EREN Network News
January 10, 2001
News and Events
- General Motors to Produce Hybrid Electric SUVs by 2004
- BAE to Supply 200 Hybrid Electric Buses to New York City
- GM, Toyota, ExxonMobil Focusing on New Fuel for Fuel Cells
- Prius and Insight Lose Out to PT Cruiser – or do they?
- California to Spend $250 Million on Energy Efficiency
- DOE Provides $10.9 Million for Energy Efficiency Research
Energy Facts and Tips
- International Centre for Hydropower
About this Newsletter
- DOE Sites Provide Energy Rankings and Historic Trends
News and Events
General Motors to Produce Hybrid Electric SUVs by 2004
General Motors Corporation (GM) has developed a hybrid
gasoline-electric drive system that the company says will be
included in a sport utility vehicle (SUV) by 2004. The
"ParadiGM" system combines a V-6 or an four-cylinder engine
with a pair of electric motors and a battery pack. The 3.6-liter
V-6 version of the hybrid drive system, which will be offered
first, combines 220 horsepower from the engine with another
32 horsepower from the electric motors. The hybrid drive will
achieve about 20 percent better fuel economy than comparable
non-hybrid models. According to GM, the drive system provides
a platform that will allow the company to sell a portfolio of hybrid
vehicles, including cars, trucks and commercial vehicles. The
new drive system was announced this week at the North
American International Auto Show, now being held in Detroit,
GM also announced that it has developed a "parallel" hybrid
electric drive for use in buses and heavy trucks. GM is
already producing a "series" hybrid electric drive for buses
and trucks, which uses an engine to charge the batteries for
an electric motor that propels the bus. The parallel approach
uses a combination of the engine and the motor, both of
which directly propel the bus. The new system, which has
been successfully integrated into a 40-foot Gillig Phantom
transit bus and a GMC C7500 "TopKick" truck, will be less
expensive and will achieve about 60 percent better fuel
economy than a conventional diesel-fueled bus. See both
GM announcements by scrolling down the page.
To learn more about hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), see the
"What is an HEV?" page on DOE's Office of Transportation Technologies Web site.
BAE to Supply 200 Hybrid Electric Buses to New York City
BAE SYSTEMS Controls announced in late December that it
will supply the propulsion systems for 200 new hybrid-electric
buses for the New York City Transit (NYCT) system. BAE
SYSTEMS will provide its HybriDrive systems for Orion Bus
Industries, which will assemble the buses. Currently, NYCT
operates 10 buses that use the HybriDrive system, and they
have logged more than 200,000 miles of service. See the
press release on the BAE SYSTEMS Web site.
GM, Toyota, ExxonMobil Focusing on New Fuel for Fuel Cells
GM and Toyota Motor Corporation announced on Monday
that their collaboration to develop clean vehicles, which
began last year, has yielded progress in the arena of fuel
cells. The companies have agreed that hydrogen is the
ultimate fuel for fuel-cell vehicles in the long run, but until
then, the companies are focusing on an unspecified "clean
hydrocarbon fuel, which has properties similar to gasoline."
The companies have also teamed up with ExxonMobil for
their continued research in fuels, fuel processors, and fuel
infrastructure needs. See the GM press release.
Prius and Insight Lose Out to PT Cruiser – or do they?
Unlike recent years, this year's North American International
Auto Show is lacking in fuel-efficient concept cars. But the
show held a potential gold star for hybrid vehicles, as both
the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius were among the top
three contenders for the North American Car of the Year
award. In the end, though, brassy retro style won out over
high-tech achievements, as Chrysler's PT Cruiser took the
award. For some bragging from the winner, see the
DaimlerChrysler press release.
If you feel like demanding a recount, you might want to visit
the newly expanded "Tailpipe Tally" Web site from
Environmental Defense. The site allows you to make head-
to-head comparisons of up to four vehicles in terms of fuel
economy and emissions. Compared against the PT Cruiser,
the Prius and Insight win in all categories. Try it yourself on
the Tailpipe Tally Web site.
California to Spend $250 Million on Energy Efficiency
Governor Gray Davis of California announced in his State of
the State Address on Monday that California plans to spend
$250 million on energy efficiency this year. The Governor
proposed cash incentives for replacing inefficient
refrigerators, washers and air conditioners with more
efficient models. He also proposed a comprehensive
campaign to create energy smart schools, homes,
workplaces and communities. "By reducing our electricity
demand by even a small amount we can reduce the
price, avoid shortages, and lower energy bills," said
Governor Davis. See the Governor's January 8th press release by selecting "Press Releases."
A continuing power crisis had driven several California
electric utilities to the brink of bankruptcy, a dire situation
that also threatens the economic health of their creditors,
including large banks and several suppliers of power from
geothermal energy. DOE Secretary Bill Richardson met
yesterday with Governor Davis about the power crisis.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman James
Hoecker and U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers
were also expected at the meeting. At press time, no
outcome from that meeting had been announced. For a
sample of the news that has been generated by California
utilities, see the recent press releases from Edison
International parent company of Southern California
See also the highlighted "rating action" on the home page of
Moody's Investors Service.
DOE Provides $10.9 Million for Energy Efficiency Research
DOE announced yesterday that it has selected 13 firms to
perform scientific research for energy-efficient power
generation, industrial and buildings systems, and
transportation. The total grant amount is $10.9 million. The
research topics run the gamut from compact heat pumps
using microtechnology to improved superconducting tapes.
See the DOE press release.
International Centre for Hydropower
This Norway-based center is an international association of
companies and organizations that are active in all aspects of
hydropower generation and supply. The site provides
industry news, a newsletter archive, and details about the
Centre's upcoming conferences.
For this and other recent additions to the EREN Web site,
Energy Facts and Tips
DOE Sites Provide Energy Rankings and Historic Trends
If you're looking for some "top ten" lists relating to energy,
ranging from oil producers to energy costs, try out the new
"Energy Data Rankings" Web page, provided by DOE's
Energy Information Administration (EIA). Did you know that
in 1997, Hawaii residents paid the most for energy, and
Louisiana residents paid the least? Or that in 1999, Norway
actually supplied more oil to the United States than Kuwait?
Learn these facts and more at EIA's Energy Data Rankings Web page.
A much more comprehensive collection of data has been
compiled into EIA's Historic Data Web page. The data sets
presented here run the gamut from solar power to motor
vehicle mileage, and some of the information dates back to
1949. Did you know that alternative fuel use in the United
States has increased more than 60 percent since 1992? Or
that the U.S. production of solar cells increased by a factor
of seven between 1982 and 1998? See the EIA's Historic
Data Web page.
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