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9. Energy for Transportation

This page has articles from 2014–present

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ForgeFX Interactive 3D simulation by Prentice Hall - 4-STROKE ENGINE - allows the student to explore how a four stroke engine works and to gain an understanding of the different strokes involved.

Fuel efficiency data

AAA Gas watcher's guide

WVO Designs...wiki on Biodiesel—Waste Vegetable Oil as a fuel

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2021-08-03. What if Highways Were Electric? Germany Is Testing the Idea. Source: By Jack Ewing, The New York Times. Excerpt: An electrified highway is theoretically the most efficient way to eliminate truck emissions. But the political obstacles are daunting. [photo] Overhead wires providing electricity to this truck cover three miles of highway south of Frankfurt. The idea is to test the system through everyday use by real trucking companies.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/03/business/electric-trucks-catenary-wire.html]  

2021-06-24. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/06/24/magazine/cargo-ships-emissions.html] - Can Massive Cargo Ships Use Wind to Go Green? Source: By Aurora Almendral, The New York Times. Excerpt: Cargo vessels belch almost as much carbon into the air each year as the entire continent of South America. Modern sails could have a surprising impact. ...Allwright had previously spent 10 years working with a group that tried to build small cargo ships that would run on wind power to eliminate their carbon footprint. It underscored for him that sails aren’t a relic of the past. At the most fundamental level, the way modern sails work is similar to the way sails did a thousand years ago: As wind moves against their curves, it creates a high-pressure system on one side and a low-pressure system on the other, resulting in a forward thrust that pushes the ship along. But the design, materials and size of modern sails, along with the ships’ movements, allow them to harness significantly more power from the wind than the cloth sails of the past — enough so that they can move a huge cargo vessel. In conjunction with fuel, modern sails can power ships with something close to the speed and predictability to which the global economy is accustomed.... 

-06-23. [https://photostories.lbl.gov/how-to-make-lithiumion-batteries-invincible] - HOW TO MAKE LITHIUM-ION BATTERIES INVINCIBLE. Source: By Text by Julie Chao | Photos by Marilyn Sargent, Berkeley Lab. Excerpt: In our future electrified world, the demand for battery storage is projected to be enormous, reaching to upwards of 2 to 10 terawatt-hours (TWh) of annual battery production by 2030, from less than 0.5 TWh today. However, concerns are growing as to whether key raw materials will be adequate to meet this future demand. The lithium-ion battery – the dominant technology for the foreseeable future – has a component made of cobalt and nickel, and those two metals face severe supply constraints on the global market. Now, after several years of research led by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), scientists have made significant progress in developing battery cathodes using a new class of materials that provide batteries with the same if not higher energy density than conventional lithium-ion batteries but can be made of inexpensive and abundant metals. Known as DRX, which stands for disordered rocksalts with excess lithium, this novel family of materials was invented less than 10 years ago and allows cathodes to be made without nickel or cobalt.... 

2021-06-20. [https://www.nbcnews.com/business/autos/federal-regulators-warn-risks-firefighters-electrical-vehicle-fires-n1271084] - An electric car fire is like 'a trick birthday candle' — and a nightmare for firefighters. Source: By Cyrus Farivar, NBC News. Excerpt: It’s the kind of blaze that veteran Chief Palmer Buck of The Woodlands Township Fire Department in suburban Houston compared to “a trick birthday candle.” On April 17, when firefighters responded to a 911 call at around 9:30 p.m., they came upon a Tesla Model S that had crashed, killing two people, and was now on fire. They extinguished it, but then a small flare shot out of the bottom of the charred hulk. Firefighters quickly put out those flames. Not long after, the car reignited for a third time. ...Eight firefighters ultimately spent seven hours putting out the fire. They also used up 28,000 gallons of water — an amount the department normally uses in a month. That same volume of water serves an average American home for nearly two years. ...As the popularity of electric vehicles grows, firefighters nationwide are realizing that they are not fully equipped to deal with them. ...the way that electric vehicles are powered triggers longer-burning fires when they crash and get into serious accidents. ...unlike a small phone battery, the large batteries found in the Tesla Model X, for instance, contain enough energy to power an average American home for more than two days. ...Capt. Sean Doran, the spokesperson for the Orange County Fire Authority, said that electric vehicle-related fires are a “game changer,” given that they require such huge amounts of water, and incidents can last hours longer than what most departments may be used to. ...“On a highway, to figure out how you’re going to get 20,000 gallons is a planning and logistics nightmare,” Buck, the fire chief, said.... 

2021-05-31. [https://li-cycle.com/news/interview-ajay-kochhar-ceo-li-cycle-electric-cars-will-create-battery-tsunami-in-the-coming-years/] - Interview: Ajay Kochhar, CEO Li-Cycle: “Electric Cars Will Create Battery Tsunami in the coming years”. Source: original article published in Zev.News. Excerpt: Batteries are a hot topic in electric mobility. From the concern to obtain raw materials to their end-of-life destination. Aspects by the way used by some voices to question the real sustainability of electric vehicles. The theme gains relevance in light of the exponential increase in electric vehicles expected for the coming years. A perspective that, outside the prism of concern, becomes an enormous opportunity for those capable of solving the problem and converting it into business. Precisely the proposal of Canadian Li-Cycle. The startup founded in 2016 developed technologies to replace materials in the battery production chain. In a low-emission and scalable process, capable of partially replacing mining as a source of raw materials. Li-Cycle is now operational. And accelerating as a business, as demonstrated by the beginning of the process for listing on the New York Stock Exchange. The startup claims to have one of the ways for electric mobility to achieve the so desired circular sustainability.... 

2021-05-27. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/05/batteries-used-hearing-aids-could-be-key-future-renewable-energy] - Batteries used in hearing aids could be key to the future of renewable energy. Source: By Robert F. Service, Science Magazine. Excerpt: If necessity is the mother of invention, potential profit has to be the father. Both incentives are driving an effort to transform zinc batteries from small, throwaway cells often used in hearing aids into rechargeable behemoths that could be attached to the power grid, storing solar or wind power for nighttime or when the wind is calm. ...Lithium-ion batteries—giant versions of those found in electric vehicles—are the current front-runners for storing renewable energy, but their components can be expensive. Zinc batteries are easier on the wallet and the planet—and lab experiments are now pointing to ways around their primary drawback: They can’t be recharged over and over for decades. ...recently, some zinc rechargeables have also been commercialized, but they tend to have limited energy storage capacity. Another technology—zinc flow cell batteries—is also making strides. But it requires more complex valves, pumps, and tanks to operate. So, researchers are now working to improve another variety, zinc-air cells.... 

2021-05-20. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/05/millions-electric-cars-are-coming-what-happens-all-dead-batteries] - Millions of electric cars are coming. What happens to all the dead batteries? Source: By Ian Morse, Science Magazine. Excerpt: ...Thousands of cylindrical cells ...transform lithium and electrons into enough energy to propel the car hundreds of kilometers, again and again, without tailpipe emissions. But when the battery comes to the end of its life, its green benefits fade. ...recycling the battery can be a hazardous business, warns materials scientist Dana Thompson of the University of Leicester. ...many problems confronting researchers, including Thompson, who are trying to tackle an emerging problem: how to recycle the millions of electric vehicle (EV) batteries that manufacturers expect to produce over the next few decades. Current EV batteries “are really not designed to be recycled,” says Thompson, a research fellow at the Faraday Institution, a research center focused on battery issues in the United Kingdom. ...Governments are inching toward requiring some level of recycling. In 2018, China imposed new rules aimed at promoting the reuse of EV battery components. The European Union is expected to finalize its first requirements this year....

2021-05-19. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/19/business/ford-electric-vehicle-f-150.html] - Ford’s Electric F-150 Pickup Aims to Be the Model T of E.V.s. Source: By Neal E. Boudette, The New York Times. Excerpt: Ford Motor has opened a major new front in the battle to dominate the fast-growing electric vehicle market, and it’s banking on one of the world’s most powerful business franchises. ... the automaker unveiled an electric version of its popular F-150 pickup truck called the Lightning. Ford’s F-Series trucks, including the F-150, make up the top-selling vehicle line in the United States.... See also Daimler’s Truck Unit Maps Plans to Replace Diesel With Hydrogen [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/23/business/hydrogen-trucks-semis.html]

2021-05-13. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/05/shipping-rule-cleans-air-dirties-water] - Shipping rule cleans the air but dirties the water. Source: By Erik Stokstad, Science Magazine. Excerpt: ...a global effort to curb pollution from the heavy fuel oil burned by most big ships appears to be encouraging water pollution instead. A 2020 regulation aimed at cutting sulfur emissions from ship exhaust is prompting many owners to install scrubbing systems that capture pollutants in water and then dump some or all of the waste into the sea. Some 4300 scrubber-equipped ships are already releasing at least 10 gigatons of such wastewater each year, often in ports and sometimes near sensitive coral reefs, researchers reported last month in the first effort to quantify and map the releases worldwide. ...The emerging debate is the result of a 2020 regulation put into place by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), an arm of the United Nations.... By banning the use of sulfur-heavy fuel oil, the rule intended to reduce pollutants that contribute to acid rain and smog. ...But cleaner fuel can cost up to 50% more than the sulfur-rich kind, and the rule allows ship owners to continue to burn the cheaper fuel if they install scrubbers …[that send] exhaust through a meters-tall metal cylinder, where it is sprayed with seawater or freshwater...at rates comparable to gushing fire hydrants, to capture pollutants. In the most popular systems, called open loop scrubbers, seawater is discharged to the ocean after little or no treatment. ...To come up with its estimate of annual discharges, a group led by environmental policy researcher Bryan Comer of the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), a nonprofit think tank, analyzed roughly 3600 scrubber-equipped ships. The 10 gigatons a year they calculated is likely an underestimate, Comer says, because more ships are adding scrubbers and many have discharge rates higher than the IMO estimates used in the study. The ICCT study, released on 29 April, also examined the routes taken by the ships in 2019 and found that scrubber discharge is concentrated where shipping traffic is dense, such as the North Sea and the Straits of Malacca. ...Researchers are particularly worried about discharges in areas that IMO has designated as ecologically sensitive. The Great Barrier Reef, for example, receives about 32 million tons of scrubber effluent per year because it's near a major shipping route for coal. Ships also release scrubber water around the Galápagos Islands. Ports see substantial discharges, too. Cruise ships dominate those releases, contributing some 96% of discharges in seven of the 10 most discharge-rich ports.... 

2021-05-06. The Lithium Gold Rush: Inside the Race to Power Electric Vehicles. By Ivan Penn and Eric Lipton, The New York Times. Excerpt: A race is on to produce lithium in the United States, but competing projects are taking very different approaches to extracting the vital raw material. Some might not be very green. ...Atop a long-dormant volcano in northern Nevada, workers are preparing to start blasting and digging out a giant pit that will serve as the first new large-scale lithium mine in the United States in more than a decade — a new domestic supply of an essential ingredient in electric car batteries and renewable energy. The mine, constructed on leased federal lands, could help address the near total reliance by the United States on foreign sources of lithium. But the project, known as Lithium Americas, has drawn protests from members of a Native American tribe, ranchers and environmental groups because it is expected to use billions of gallons of precious ground water, potentially contaminating some of it for 300 years, while leaving behind a giant mound of waste.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/06/business/lithium-mining-race.html]  [Note from GSS Director-emeritus: This article is all about mining lithium, but a related crucial question is design of electric cars and lithium batteries for which the lithium can be completely recycled!]

2021-03-15. Volkswagen Aims to Use Its Size to Head Off Tesla. By Jack Ewing, The New York Times. Excerpt: Volkswagen is going all in on electric cars, …. ...the German carmaker staged a so-called Power Day to showcase its latest electric car technology. ...The session included a number of attention-getting announcements, including a promise that Volkswagen would cut the cost of batteries by up to 50 percent by the end of the decade, while slashing charging time to 12 minutes. That would make electric cars cheaper than gasoline vehicles and just as convenient. Volkswagen also unveiled plans to build six battery factories in Europe in joint ventures with suppliers. And by 2025, the company said, it would have 18,000 charging stations on the continent operating in conjunction with energy companies including BP. The British oil producer said it would offer charging at its filling stations.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/15/business/volkswagen-electric-cars-tesla.html]

2021-03-10. Electric Cars Are Coming. How Long Until They Rule the Road? By Brad PlumerNadja Popovich and Blacki Migliozzi, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...Automakers are now shifting to electric vehicles, which could make up one-quarter of new sales by 2035, analysts project. But at that point, only 13 percent of vehicles on the road would be electric. Why? Older cars can stick around for a decade or two. ...If the United States wanted to move to a fully electric fleet by 2050 — to meet President Biden’s goal of net zero emissions — then sales of gasoline-powered vehicles would likely have to end altogether by around 2035, a heavy lift. ...Around the world, governments and automakers are focused on selling newer, cleaner electric vehicles as a key solution to climate change. Yet it could take years, if not decades, before the technology has a drastic effect on greenhouse gas emissions. One reason for that? It will take a long time for all the existing gasoline-powered vehicles on the road to reach the end of their life spans. ...So policymakers may need to consider additional strategies to clean up transportation, experts said. That could include policies to buy back and scrap older, less efficient cars already in use. It could also include strategies to reduce Americans’ dependence on car travel, such as expanding public transit or encouraging biking and walking, so that existing vehicles are driven less often.... [https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/03/10/climate/electric-vehicle-fleet-turnover.html]

2021-03-04. Now Making Electric Bikes: Car and Motorcycle Companies. By Roy Furchgott, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...While the pandemic has accelerated bike sales, the overriding attraction is that cities worldwide are beginning to restrict motor traffic. These companies are betting that e-bikes are the urban vehicles of tomorrow — or at least vehicles for good publicity today. “In the past 12 to 18 months, you have seen a lot of new brands come into the market,” said Andrew Engelmann, an e-bike sales and marketing manager at Yamaha, which has been in the electric bike business since 1993 and claims sales of two million worldwide. ...Credit the coronavirus pandemic, which has ignited bike sales of all stripes, but none so much as e-bikes. While retail unit sales of bicycles from January to October last year were up 46 percent from a year earlier, electric bikes were up 140 percent. Measured in dollars, regular bikes were up 67 percent and e-bikes 158 percent.... Those numbers, from the market researchers at NPD, do not include online-only retailers such as Rad Power Bikes, so sales may actually be higher still.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/04/business/electric-ebikes-pandemic.html]

2021-03-02. Volvo Plans to Sell Only Electric Cars by 2030. By Jack Ewing, The New York Times. Excerpt: The Swedish company would phase out internal combustion engine vehicles faster than other automakers…. [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/02/business/volvo-electric-cars.html

2021-02-24. A lesson in electric school buses. By Steven Mufson and Sarah Kaplan, The Washington Pot. Excerpt: Hundreds of electric school buses are about to hit the roads in Montgomery County in an effort to cut tailpipe emissions that warm the planet and can affect student health. The $1.3 million annual contract, which was approved by the county school board Tuesday, is the biggest single-district project in the country to swap combustion-engine school buses for electric vehicles. The county aims to gradually convert its entire fleet of 1,422 buses by 2035.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/02/24/climate-solutions-electric-schoolbuses/

2021-02-05. Geological Surveys Unite to Improve Critical Mineral Security. By Poul Emsbo, Christopher Lawley, and Karol Czarnota, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: A three-nation consortium is pooling geological expertise and resources to address vulnerabilities in supplies of these crucial natural resources. The global economy is unprepared to meet the exploding demand for critical minerals. These materials, many of which were of little economic interest until recently, are required to fuel a proliferation of technologies and industries that have become vital for social and economic well-being the world over. But supplies of critical minerals are at risk because of their natural scarcity and because of geopolitical issues and trade policies that complicate their distribution, among other factors. Critical minerals such as gallium, indium, and the rare earth elements (REEs) are indispensable in the operation of the electronics that run our computers and the devices that display our data. Others containing phosphorus and potassium fertilize fields that feed the growing global population and are even active ingredients in pharmaceuticals. New metal alloys made with critical minerals are used to produce lighter, stronger materials that increase vehicle fuel efficiency. Lighter vehicles, many of which use new battery materials derived from critical minerals (e.g., lithium, cobalt, nickel), are transforming our transportation systems. Critical minerals essential for the development of new energy-related technologies that support the shift to noncarbon-based energy sources are becoming especially important. ...In December 2019, the Critical Minerals Mapping Initiative (CMMI), a research collaboration among scientists from three nations, convened its inaugural meeting in Ottawa, Canada. This initiative, which includes representatives from the Geological Survey of Canada, Geoscience Australia, and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), aims to harness the combined geological expertise of these organizations to address global natural resource vulnerabilities.... [https://eos.org/science-updates/geological-surveys-unite-to-improve-critical-mineral-security]

2021-02-02. Automakers Drop Efforts to Derail California Climate Rules. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times. Excerpt: Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and several other major automakers said Tuesday they would no longer try to block California from setting its own strict fuel-economy standards, signaling that the auto industry is ready to work with President Biden on his largest effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The decision by the companies was widely expected, coming after General Motors dropped its support for the Trump-era effort just weeks after the presidential election. But the shift may help the Biden administration move quickly to reinstate national fuel-efficiency standards that would control planet-warming auto pollution, this time with support from industry giants that fought such regulations for years. “After four years of putting us in reverse, it is time to restart and build a sustainable future, grow domestic manufacturing, and deliver clean cars for America,” said Gina McCarthy, the senior White House climate change adviser. “We need to move forward — and fast.”.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/02/climate/automakers-climate-change.html]

2021-01-28.  General Motors to eliminate gasoline and diesel light-duty cars and SUVs by 2035. By Steven Mufson, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Big U.S. automaker says it will invest heavily in electric vehicles and be carbon neutral by 2040. GM chief executive Mary Barra, who antagonized many climate experts by embracing President Donald Trump’s relaxation of fuel efficiency targets, said Thursday the company now wants to lead the way to a greener future. “As one of the world’s largest automakers, we hope to set an example of responsible leadership in a world that is faced with climate change,” Barra said on LinkedIn. GM has said it would invest $27 billion in electric vehicles and associated products between 2020 and 2025, outstripping its spending on conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. That figure includes refurbishing factories and investing in battery production in conjunction with LG Chem, a South Korean battery maker. ...As part of its plan, GM — maker of Buicks, Cadillacs, Chevrolets and Corvettes, among others — will manufacture about 30 types of electric vehicles. By late 2025, about 40 percent of the company’s U.S. models will be battery-powered electric vehicles, it said.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2021/01/28/general-motors-electric/]

2021-01-15. Electric Cars Are Better for the Planet – and Often Your Budget, Too. By Veronica Penney, The New York Times. Excerpt: Electric vehicles are better for the climate than gas-powered cars, but many Americans are still reluctant to buy them. One reason: The larger upfront cost. New data published Thursday shows that despite the higher sticker price, electric cars may actually save drivers money in the long-run. To reach this conclusion, a team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology calculated both the carbon dioxide emissions and full lifetime cost — including purchase price, maintenance and fuel — for nearly every new car model on the market. They found electric cars were easily more climate friendly than gas-burning ones. Over a lifetime, they were often cheaper, too.... [https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/01/15/climate/electric-car-cost.html

2020-12-28. The Gospel of Hydrogen Power. By Roy Furchgott, The New York Times. Excerpt: Mike Strizki powers his house and cars with hydrogen he home-brews. He is using his retirement to evangelize for the planet-saving advantages of hydrogen batteries. In December, the California Fuel Cell Partnership tallied 8,890 electric cars and 48 electric buses running on hydrogen batteries, which are refillable in minutes at any of 42 stations there. On the East Coast, ...there’s just one. His name is Mike Strizki. He is so devoted to hydrogen fuel-cell energy that he drives a Toyota Mirai even though it requires him to refine hydrogen fuel in his yard himself. ...You can make fuel using water and solar power, .... The byproduct of making hydrogen is oxygen, and the byproduct of burning it is water. Hydrogen is among the most plentiful elements on earth, so you don’t have to go to adversarial countries or engage in environmentally destructive extraction to get it. The car is as quiet to drive as any other electric, it requires little maintenance, and because it doesn’t carry 1,200 pounds of batteries, it has a performance edge.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/28/business/hydrogen-power-cars.html

2020-12-03. Oil Refineries See Profit in Turning Kitchen Grease Into Diesel. By Clifford Krauss, The New York Times. Excerpt: Many businesses are betting that electric and hydrogen-powered cars and trucks will play a critical role in the fight against climate change. But some oil companies are hoping that so will smelly restaurant grease and slaughterhouse waste. Companies that refine crude oil into fuel are increasingly using such putrid scraps to make a renewable version of diesel that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucks, buses and industrial equipment without requiring families and businesses to invest in expensive new vehicles and factory gear. Phillips 66, Marathon, HollyFrontier and several other refiners are spending roughly $2 billion to retool refineries to produce the fuel over the next four years. Renewable diesel has been around for years, and its production, while tiny compared with its fossil fuel counterpart, has grown steadily because the federal government and California offer incentives for companies to make and sell it. That support has made the fuel even more attractive to oil refiners during the pandemic because demand for regular diesel, gasoline and jet fuel has plunged as people drive and travel less. Production of renewable diesel is up roughly 7 percent this year. If current trends continue, refineries could produce as much as 3.8 billion gallons of renewable diesel by 2025, or more than 5 percent of the total diesel production last year, according to S&P Global Platts, an energy research firm.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/03/business/energy-environment/oil-refineries-renewable-diesel.html

2020-11-11.  California Is Trying to Jump-Start the Hydrogen Economy. By Ivan Penn and Clifford Krauss, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...in California, the beginnings of a hydrogen economy may finally be dawning after many fits and starts. Dozens of hydrogen buses are lumbering down city streets, while more and larger fueling stations are appearing from San Diego to San Francisco, financed by the state and federal governments. With the costs of producing and shipping hydrogen coming down, California is setting ambitious goals to phase out vehicles that run on fossil fuels in favor of batteries and hydrogen. ...With about 7,500 hydrogen vehicles on the road, an aggressive state program of incentives and subsidies from cap-and-trade dollars envisions 50,000 hydrogen light-duty vehicles by middecade and a network of 1,000 hydrogen stations by 2030. ...Hydrogen-powered vehicles are similar to electric cars. But unlike electric cars, which have large batteries, these cars have hydrogen tanks and fuel cells that turn the gas into electricity. The cars refuel and accelerate quickly, and they can go for several hundred miles on a full tank. They emit only water vapor, which makes them appealing to California cities that are trying to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/11/business/hydrogen-fuel-california.html]  

2020-11-04. Greening the Friendly Skies. By Mark Betancourt, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Decarbonizing the aviation industry won’t be easy. The coronavirus pandemic complicates the situation but also presents an opportunity. ...Aviation accounts for 2.4% of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and demand for flights is projected to double within the next 2 decades. If the industry’s current decarbonization goals aren’t met, aviation could contribute up to one quarter of the world’s entire carbon budget by 2050.... [https://eos.org/features/greening-the-friendly-skies

2020-10-29. A new era in maritime travel: Electric boats. By Justin Sondel, The Washington Post. Excerpt: NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — With the sun streaming into the Niagara Gorge, visitors lined up in socially distanced groups waiting to shuffle onto the Maid of the Mist, the boats that have ferried tourists to the base of Niagara Falls for the past 174 years. Whether they knew it or not, these passengers were experiencing a new era of maritime transportation: boats powered by electricity. Earlier this month, the Maid of the Mist launched two electric catamarans into the gorge, the first of their kind in North America. The hulking double-deckers run on dual banks of lithium-ion batteries. All the power used to charge the batteries is supplied by the nearby Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant, one of the most productive hydroelectric facilities in the United States, making the boats a zero-emission operation. ...On the other side of the country, Washington is in the process of electrifying its ferry fleet — the largest in the United States — with the goal of cutting diesel fuel consumption in half by 2040. ...For Maid of the Mist President Chris Glynn, the decision to electrify the fleet was easy. When the company began looking into replacing its two aging diesel vessels in 2018, a consultant proposed electric boats. He and others at the company jumped at the opportunity, he said. “As soon as we heard that, we knew that was something we were most interested in doing and wanted to pursue it,” Glynn said, adding that it was important to him to protect the waters of the Niagara River and be part of a larger movement to move into a green future. “It’s a great sustainability statement. Many people appreciate that.” ... [Can airplanes go green?] Justin Miller, chief of the inspections division with the U.S. Coast Guard, said one of the biggest challenges was ensuring the battery system could operate safely...to make sure that the massive batteries could power the boats without failing or catching fire, a rare hazard with lithium-ion batteries. Each vessel is powered by two 3,300-pound battery banks. The boats are recharged between runs at the dock by plugging two high-voltage lines into a charging station for seven minutes. The charge is more than enough to power the boats for their 20-minute tours of the gorge. ...The new boats offer an uninterrupted connection to the falls without the loud hum from the old diesel engines or a view obstructed by fume-spewing exhaust stacks. “The ride is smooth,” Glynn said. “There’s virtually no noise other than nature itself, the sound of the falls. It’s almost like a sailing experience.”.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2020/10/29/climate-change-electric-boats/

2020-10-16. GM's Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant renamed 'Factory ZERO' amid shift to all-electricJamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press. Excerpt: The iconic General Motors factory that straddles two cities is getting a new moniker as GM turns it into its most modern plant in the country. Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly will now be Factory ZERO, serving as the "launchpad" for GM's multi-brand EV strategy, GM said Friday. “Factory ZERO is the next battleground in the EV race and will be GM’s flagship assembly plant in our journey to an all-electric future,” said Gerald Johnson, GM executive vice president of Global Manufacturing. “The electric trucks and SUVs that will be built here will help transform GM and the automotive industry.” ...To that end, GM is investing $2.2 billion in the 35-year-old factory to build all-electric vehicles there starting late next year. It's GM's single largest investment in a plant in the automaker's history. The investment was a big win by the UAW in last year's contract negotiations after GM had threatened to shutter the facility in late 2018. GM built the last of its internal combustion vehicles there early this year. The last Cadillac CT6 sedan rolled off the line on Jan. 24 and the final Chevrolet Impala sedan on Feb. 27. GM plans to build a GMC Hummer electric pickup there. GM will reveal that vehicle next week and it will go on sale later next year. GM will also make the self-driving Cruise Origin EV along with other new EVs at Factory Zero.... [https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/general-motors/2020/10/16/gm-detroit-hamtramck-assembly-plant-renamed-factory-zero/3665925001/]  

2020-10-15. How Green Is That Electric Car? And When It Hits 100 M.P.H.? By Paul Stenquist, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...A 2012 article in The New York Times summarized a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists that found the environmental benefits of subcompact, modestly powered electric cars like the Nissan Leaf depended on where they were charged. ...many states still relied heavily on coal-fired plants for electricity, and the investigators found that in some areas, electrics were no cleaner than efficient gasoline-powered cars when factoring in the emissions resulting from electricity generation. E.V. technology has advanced considerably since then, and electricity generation in America has shifted, as well. The latest report from the Union of Concerned Scientists, in a February article by David Reichmuth, its senior vehicles engineer, is much more optimistic than the one eight years ago. ...the group found that electric vehicles were responsible for about 10 percent less overall emissions in 2018 than they were just two years earlier. ...In this study, the average electric vehicle in the United States was found to be responsible for emission levels equivalent to those generated by a gasoline vehicle that gets 88 miles per gallon. In areas where a lot of coal is still burned to make electricity, the electric vehicle m.p.g. equivalency number can fall to as low as 49 miles to a gallon, but those areas are few and less densely populated than regions with clean power.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/15/business/electric-supercars-porsche-taycan-tesla.html


2020-09-23. California to phase out sales of new gas-powered cars by 2035. By Dino Grandoni, Faiz Siddiqui and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post. Excerpt: California, the world’s fifth-largest economy and the state that created U.S. car culture, will stop selling gasoline-powered automobiles within 15 years, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Wednesday. Facing a record-breaking wildfire season as well as years of heat waves and droughts exacerbated by climate change, the Golden State is seeking to accelerate the shift away from combustion engines on its roads, which account for more greenhouse gas emissions than any other source. ...Under Newsom’s order, the state’s air regulator, the California Air Resources Board, will develop regulations that ensure every new passenger car and truck sold in the state is electric or otherwise “zero-emissions” by 2035. ...Transportation currently accounts for the largest source of emissions in the state, outpacing the industrial, agricultural and residential sectors combined.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2020/09/23/california-electric-cars


2020-09-20. The Age of Electric Cars Is Dawning Ahead of Schedule. By Jack Ewing, The New York Times. Excerpt: Battery prices are dropping faster than expected. Analysts are moving up projections of when an electric vehicle won’t need government incentives to be cheaper than a gasoline model. ...As electric cars become more mainstream, the automobile industry is rapidly approaching the tipping point when, even without subsidies, it will be as cheap, and maybe cheaper, to own a plug-in vehicle than one that burns fossil fuels. The carmaker that reaches price parity first may be positioned to dominate the segment. ...A Tesla may even be cheaper to own than a BMW because it never needs oil changes or new spark plugs and electricity is cheaper, per mile, than gasoline. ...Current battery packs cost around $150 to $200 per kilowatt-hour, depending on the technology. That means a battery pack costs around $20,000. But the price has dropped 80 percent since 2008, according to the United States Department of Energy.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/20/business/electric-cars-batteries-tesla-elon-musk.html]


2020-09-09. Seaports Expected to Grow by up to Fourfold by 2050. By Liza Lester, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: Seaport footprints will need to expand by up to 3,689 square kilometers (1,424 square miles) worldwide in the next 3 decades to cope with the combination of sea level rise and rising demand, according to a new study in Earth’s Future. Ships transport 80% of trade goods worldwide. Ports have been expanding since the 1980s to meet increasing growth in the sector driven by liberalization of trade, the opening of China’s economy, and increased use of containers. The new study by Hanson and Nicholls modeled trade growth and port demand through 2050 under four combinations of climate policy interventions and global temperature increases. All scenarios lead to increased traffic through ports, requiring doubling or even quadrupling port areas. The cost of building new port capacity to meet demand for freight traffic will dwarf sea level rise adaptation costs, according to the authors. The scenario with minimal greenhouse gas restrictions produced the highest cost projections, US$750 billion, generated mostly from port expansion to meet rising demand.... [https://eos.org/research-spotlights/seaports-expected-to-grow-by-up-to-fourfold-by-2050


2020-09-03. Aviation is responsible for 3.5 percent of climate change, study finds. By NOAA. Excerpt: New research that provides the most comprehensive calculations of aviation’s impact on the climate finds that global air travel and transport is responsible for 3.5 percent of all drivers of climate change from human activities. The study, published in the journal Atmospheric Environment, evaluated all of the aviation industry’s contributing factors to climate change, including emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), and the effect of contrails and contrail cirrus – short-lived clouds created in jet engine exhaust plumes at aircraft cruise altitudes that reflect sunlight during the day and trap heat trying to escape at night.... [https://research.noaa.gov/article/ArtMID/587/ArticleID/2667/Aviation-is-responsible-for-35-percent-of-climate-change-study-finds

2020-08-27. Soon, the Kitty Litter Will Come by Electric Truck. By Jim Motavalli, The New York Times. Excerpt: Going back years, you might have been able to spot a truck from the likes of FedEx and UPS, and more recently Amazon, that ran on electricity. But most of these were small, short test runs that left the internal-combustion status quo in place. Now that battery technology is catching up to ambitions, many companies are making big commitments to electrify the last delivery mile, typically from transportation hub to destination. The momentum means that plugging in the fleet may happen well before another vaunted goal — self-driving — is reached. Success is not guaranteed, though. The companies are eager to buy, but they will need the latest in battery-powered trucks, and a lot of them. The rush to electrify, prompted by concern about climate change, a chance to offset growing delivery costs, government regulation and big advances in battery technology, is occurring as the coronavirus pandemic has caused a huge spike in package delivery. ...Electric vans make sense for a variety of reasons, Mr. Hansel said, including reducing the cost per mile for deliveries — especially crucial when online retailers compete by offering free deliveries. “The last mile for deliveries used to be overnight envelopes, but now it’s dog food,” he said. The same-day delivery market will account for $200 billion in U.S. online sales by 2025, according to Accenture. An Ohio company, Workhorse, is hoping to deliver 300 to 400 delivery vans this year, and UPS is an eager customer. But the big prize is what the U.S. Postal Service calls Next Generation Delivery Vehicles, which has been in a bidding process going back five years. Suppliers provided test vehicles, which have electric, hybrid and internal-combustion drivetrains, and testing of those was completed in early 2019. The post office has been struggling financially, but it wants as many as 186,000 of these vehicles to be delivered at a cost of more than $6 billion to replace its aging fleet. Workhorse is a finalist, and the post office plans to make awards for the production phase by the end of 2020.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/27/business/electric-delivery-vehicles-ups-fedex-amazon.html

2020-07-31. Can airplanes go green? By Ilana Marcus, The Washington Post. Excerpt: When Val Miftakhov touched down at Cranfield Airport in England last month, his Piper Malibu Mirage six-seater became the first commercial-grade, zero-emission airplane to fly in Europe. That test flight was just 21 miles. But Miftakhov, the chief executive of a Silicon Valley start-up called ZeroAvia, envisions a future of passenger planes that fly on hydrogen-powered electricity, not jet fuel. Air travel accounts for about 2.5 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions — much less than produced by cars. Despite a temporary dip due to the coronavirus, demand for air travel has been dramatically growing and planes are projected to produce as much as 25 percent of global carbon emissions by 2050. Miftakhov’s Piper was powered by batteries, but his company is working on integrating a hydrogen fuel cell for aviation. ...Think about the hydrogen tanks plus fuel cell system as a really good battery. You charge it with hydrogen, so you put gas or liquid hydrogen into your tank, but the output of that in the aircraft is electricity. That electricity then is used by the electric motors to drive the propellers. … We’re already five times better on energy density than the best battery out there, and we can further improve it by a factor of three or four by moving from compressed gas storage hydrogen to liquid hydrogen. ...To your point on safety, compressed gas has been used in now maybe over 50,000 ground transportation vehicles worldwide. Most of those vehicles are actually in warehouses — material handling equipment, trucks that move around in Amazon warehouses or forklifts — and a lot of them are powered by hydrogen fuel cells, because it’s a high-density fuel, so you don’t have to recharge so often. The fueling takes just minutes, instead of hours recharging a battery, and there is zero emission. The only emission you have is … water vapor, a little bit of humid air coming out of the system…. So, 50,000, give or take, of ground vehicles operating for a number of years, a lot of them with unqualified operators, regular people, and all of those run through all the safety procedures, crash testing and all that, so it’s pretty safe fuel and a pretty safe way to store it.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2020/07/31/electric-airplane/]

2020-07-13. Seawater could provide nearly unlimited amounts of critical battery material. By Robert F. Service, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Booming electric vehicle sales have spurred a growing demand for lithium. But the light metal, which is essential for making power-packed rechargeable batteries, isn’t abundant. Now, researchers report a major step toward tapping a virtually limitless lithium supply: pulling it straight out of seawater. “This represents substantial progress” for the field, says Jang Wook Choi, a chemical engineer at Seoul National University who was not involved with the work. He adds that the approach might also prove useful for reclaiming lithium from used batteries. Lithium is prized for rechargeables because it stores more energy by weight than other battery materials. Manufacturers use more than 160,000 tons of the material every year, a number expected to grow nearly 10-fold over the next decade. But lithium supplies are limited and concentrated in a handful of countries, where the metal is either mined or extracted from briny water. ...The world’s oceans contain an estimated 180 billion tons of lithium. But it’s dilute, present at roughly 0.2 parts per million. Researchers have devised numerous filters and membranes to try to selectively extract lithium from seawater.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/07/seawater-could-provide-nearly-unlimited-amounts-critical-battery-material]  

2020-06-12. Can India chart a low-carbon future? The world might depend on it. By Joanna Slater, The Washington Post. Excerpt: ...About 1.75 million electric rickshaws ply India’s roads — more than the total number of electric cars sold in the United States. The scrappy, slightly anarchic industry is a homegrown success story in India’s fight against climate change and debilitating air pollution. It’s a small leap forward in a much longer race. As the world confronts a changing climate, India is a crucial unknown, and its decisions could either doom efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions — or jump-start them. ... In the coming years, India will need policies that not only lower pollution and carbon emissions but also create jobs for its growing workforce. In that regard, the spread of electric rickshaws is instructive. Unlike in the United States, where the transportation sector is the largest single contributor to emissions, in India the sector accounts for about a tenth of the total. ...Smaller vehicles far outnumber cars in India for reasons of affordability. According to government figures, there are about 187 million scooters and motorcycles in the country compared with about 28 million cars and taxis. The government now believes the best prospects for electric vehicle sales are in two-wheelers, three-wheeled rickshaws and buses — not cars.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2020/06/12/india-emissions-climate/


2020-06-08. Tesla battery supplier Catl says new design has one million-mile lifespan. BBC News. Excerpt: A Chinese car battery-maker says it is ready to manufacture a product capable of powering a vehicle for 1.2 million miles (two million kilometres) across the course of a 16-year lifespan. ...The European market for EVs and plug-in hybrids grew by 72% in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2019, representing 7% of all delivered new cars, according to research firm Canalys.... [https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-52966178


2020-05-13. The Pandemic Will Permanently Change the Auto Industry. By Jack Ewing, The New York Times. Excerpt: Some automakers may emerge stronger, others too weak to survive on their own. Factories will shut down. The pressure to go electric could become more intense. People may travel less now that they have discovered how much they can get done from home. Or they may commute more by car to avoid jostling with others on crowded buses and trains. ... Sales of electric cars have been surprisingly resilient even as lockdowns gutted sales of gasoline and diesel powered vehicles. In March, as much of Europe went into lockdown, car sales on the continent fell by more than half. But registrations of battery-powered cars surged 23 percent, according to Matthias Schmidt, an analyst in Berlin who tracks the industry. In April, lockdowns caught up with electric cars, too, and their sales fell 31 percent, according to Mr. Schmidt’s estimate. But that was nothing compared with the total European car market, which plummeted 80 percent. ...The big unknown is whether the crisis will change the kinds of cars that buyers want. People may emerge with a greater appreciation for the cleaner air that was a side effect of the lockdowns. They may be more willing to invest in a vehicle that produces no tailpipe emissions.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/13/business/auto-industry-pandemic.html] For GSS Energy Use chapter 9. 


2020-04-28. As COVID-19 forces conferences online, scientists discover upsides of virtual format. By Michael Price, Science Magazine. Excerpt: Biochemist Kathleen Prosser wasn’t planning to present her research at a conference this spring. But when COVID-19 caused organizers to cancel a series of local chemistry meetings across Canada—called Inorganic Discussion Weekends—and offer a virtual alternative, she signed up to give a talk. ...by going virtual, she gained an international audience. The day after her talk she heard from a chemist in Australia, asking for more details and hinting at a future collaboration. “The time zone difference would not have allowed them to see it live, but they watched it [afterward],” she says. As the novel coronavirus outbreak shutters businesses ...massive annual conferences and small society meetings alike have moved online. The new format poses numerous technical and organizational challenges, but it also offers opportunities—for reaching wider audiences, reducing the carbon footprint of meeting travel, and improving diversity and equity. For some meetings, the shift may be permanent. The scientific community is “making lemonade out of lemons,” Prosser says. ...For some societies, the COVID-19 crisis hasn’t so much started discussions about virtual conferences as accelerated them. Last fall, the Cognitive Neuroscience Society’s governing board began to ponder how to make future meetings more accessible, affordable, and environmentally friendly. “A lot of our membership had started to ask about our carbon footprint,” says George Mangun, the director of the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis who sits on the society’s governing board. Originally, board members discussed holding a portion of the 2021 meeting virtually. But when the pandemic hit, they adjusted their strategy and now plan to hold the entire 2020 meeting online in May. If the conference succeeds this year, Mangun notes, it will further solidify the society’s march toward virtual meetings.... [https://www.sciencemag.org/careers/2020/04/covid-19-forces-conferences-online-scientists-discover-upsides-virtual-format


2020-04-16. ‘Charger Desert’ in Big Cities Keeps Electric Cars From Mainstream. By Lawrence Ulrich, The New York Times. Excerpt: For city dwellers who would love an E.V., the biggest hurdle might be keeping it juiced up without a garage or other convenient charging stations. There are people across America who would buy an electric car tomorrow — if only they had someplace to plug it in. Forget oft-cited “range anxiety,” many experts say: The real deal-killer, especially for city and apartment dwellers, is a dearth of chargers where they park their cars. ...“The fact is, about 40 percent of Americans don’t live in single-family homes where you could have a personal charger,” Mr. Nelder said. “There’s no doubt the cars are coming, so we should stop waffling and start building some charging infrastructure.” He added, “Unless there’s a charger at work or your apartment, or damn close to it, it’s not practical to buy an E.V.”.... [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/16/business/electric-cars-cities-chargers.html] For GSS Energy Use chapter 9. 


2020-03-30. Trump administration to finalize weaker mileage standards, dealing a blow to Obama-era climate policy. By Juliet Eilperin and Brady Dennis, The Washington Post. Excerpt: The new rule will improve the U.S. car and light truck fleet’s efficiency by 1.5 percent a year, versus nearly 5 percent under current law.... [https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/30/trump-mileage-standards-environment] See also: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/30/climate/trump-fuel-economy.html

2020-03-19. Big Rigs Begin to Trade Diesel for Electric Motors. By Susan Carpenter, The New York Times. Excerpt: ...Mr. Williams has been a truck driver for 22 years, logging at least a million miles with diesel power. Since December, he has been testing the battery-electric eCascadia as part of a pilot program in Southern California. “It’s beautiful,” he said. “You don’t go home with your ears ringing every night.” Two years ago, the eCascadia was nothing more than a PowerPoint presentation.... Now it’s one of several competing models, from start-ups as well as established truck makers, that are gearing up for production next year with real-world testing. Orders have poured in, from companies eager to shave operating costs and curb emissions, for trucks that won’t see roads for months or even years. ...“We want them quicker than the manufacturers can produce them,” said NFI’s president, Ike Brown. NFI, a freight hauler based in New Jersey, has been operating 10 eCascadias between the port complex, the country’s busiest, and its warehouse in Chino, 50 miles inland. Mr. Brown’s company makes regional deliveries using a fleet of 4,500 mostly diesel trucks. With a defined daily route of about 250 miles, and trucks that return to the same place every night to recharge, electric trucks “just make sense,” Mr. Brown said. ...Medium- and heavy-duty trucks are responsible for about 8 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Electrics not only reduce tailpipe emissions to zero, they cost less to operate. With fewer moving parts, they are also easier to maintain. On average, it costs about $1.38 per mile to operate a diesel truck, according to the trucking information website TruckInfo.net; $70,000 of the $180,000 annual operating cost is fuel, and $15,000 goes toward maintenance. Tesla, by comparison, estimates its electric Semi will cost $1.26 per mile.... 

2020-01-14. Should Public Transit Be Free? More Cities Say, Why Not? By Ellen Barry, The New York Times. [https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/us/free-public-transit.html] Excerpt: Mayors are considering waiving fares for bus service as a way to fight inequality and lower carbon emissions. Critics wonder who will pay for it....  

2020-01-09. First U.S. Airline Goes Carbon Neutral. By Jenessa Duncombe, Eos/AGU. [https://eos.org/articles/first-u-s-airline-goes-carbon-neutral] Excerpt: JetBlue will buy carbon offsets for all domestic flights starting in July, but are carbon offsets enough to clean up a dirty industry? ...JetBlue will offset their carbon dioxide emissions by funding projects that include forest conservation, landfill gas capture, and renewable energy. The airline will also use sustainable fuel to power planes leaving from San Francisco International Airport. JetBlue did not release a cost estimate for the changes, but a spokesperson told CBS News that the decision would not raise ticket prices.....  

2020-01-09. First U.S. Airline Goes Carbon Neutral. By Jenessa Duncombe, Eos/AGU. [https://eos.org/articles/first-u-s-airline-goes-carbon-neutral] For GSS Energy Use chapter 9. Excerpt: JetBlue will buy carbon offsets for all domestic flights starting in July, but are carbon offsets enough to clean up a dirty industry? ...JetBlue will offset their carbon dioxide emissions by funding projects that include forest conservation, landfill gas capture, and renewable energy. The airline will also use sustainable fuel to power planes leaving from San Francisco International Airport. JetBlue did not release a cost estimate for the changes, but a spokesperson told CBS News that the decision would not raise ticket prices..... 

2019-10-25. The coming electric vehicle transformation. By George Crabtree, Science Magazine.

2019-10-10. The Most Detailed Map of Auto Emissions in America. By Nadja Popovich and Denise Lu, The New York Times.

2019-09-23. Tesla May Soon Have a Battery That Can Last a Million Miles. By Daniel Oberhaus, Wired Magazine.

2019-08-24. Climate change: Should you fly, drive or take the train? By BBC News.

2019-08-24. Soap, Detergent and Even Laxatives Could Turbocharge a Battery Alternative. By XiaoZhi Lim, The New York Times.

2019-08-22. Inside India’s Messy Electric Vehicle Revolution. Photographs and Video by Saumya Khandelwal, By Vindu Goel and Karan Deep Singh, The New York Times.

2019-06-28. Aviation’s dirty secret: Airplane contrails are a surprisingly potent cause of global warming. By Katie Camero, Science Magazine.

2019-06-22. L.A. to Vegas and Back by Electric Car: 8 Hours Driving; 5 More Plugged In. By Ivan Penn, The New York Times.

2019-06-06. Automakers Tell Trump His Pollution Rules Could Mean ‘Untenable’ Instability and Lower Profits. By Coral Davenport, The New York Times.

2019-05-28. Savior of G.M. Lordstown Plant, Hailed by Trump, Is a Corporate Cipher. By Nelson D. Schwartz, Matthew Goldstein and Neal E. Boudette, The New York Times.

2019-04-19. Sodium batteries are one step closer to saving you from a mobile phone fire. By Robert F. Service, Science Magazine.

2018-12-13. Researchers use jiggly Jell-O to make powerful new hydrogen fuel catalyst. By Kara Manke, UC Berkeley News.

2018-11-20. Palm Oil Was Supposed to Help Save the Planet. Instead It Unleashed a Catastrophe. By Abrahm Lustgarten, The New York Times. 

2018-11-12. The Wheels on These Buses Go Round and Round With Zero Emissions. By Brad Plumer, The New York Times.

2018-09-26. Cheaper Battery Is Unveiled as a Step to a Carbon-Free Grid. By Ivan Penn, The New York Times.

2018-06-11. Free Power From Freeways? China Is Testing Roads Paved With Solar Panels. By Keith Bradsher, The New York Times.

2018-05-25. California regulators approve $423 million for clean transportation. By Kate Galbraith, San Francisco Chronicle.

2018-05-25. BYD’s Electric Bus Woes Threaten to Tarnish the Broader Industry. By Julian Spector, Green Tech Media.

2018-05-08. Building Electric Cars Enhances STEM Learning. By Debra Shapiro, NSTA Reports.

2018-03-03. The World Is Embracing S.U.V.s. That’s Bad News for the Climate. By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times.

2017-12-21. Should AGU Have Fly-in Meetings Anymore? By Judith Totman Parrish, Eos/AGU.

2017-12-18. What Needs to Happen Before Electric Cars Take Over the World. By Jack Ewing, The New York Times.

2017-11-16. Tesla Unveils an Electric Rival to Semi Trucks. By Neal E. Boudette, The New York Times.

2017-10-02. G.M. and Ford Lay Out Plans to Expand Electric Models. By Bill Vlasic and Neal E. Boudette, The New York Times. 

2017-09-18. Solar-to-Fuel System Recycles CO2 to Make Ethanol and Ethylene. By Sarah Yang, Berkeley Lab News Center.

2017-07-26. Britain to Ban New Diesel and Gas Cars by 2040. By Stephen Castle, The New York Times.

2017-07-06. France Plans to End Sales of Gas and Diesel Cars by 2040. By Jack Ewing, The New York Times.

2017-03-11. Behind the Quiet State-by-State Fight Over Electric Vehicles. By Hiroko Tabuchi, The New York Times.

2017-02-17. A Push for Diesel Leaves London Gasping Amid Record Pollution. By Kimiko de Freitas-Tamura.

2016-10-06. Range Is All the Rage in Paris, as Electric Cars Steal the Show. By Jerry Garrett, The New York Times.

2016-09-11. A Glorified Sidewalk, and the Path to Transform Atlanta. By Richard Fausset, The New York times.

2016-08-19. How Garbage Trucks Can Drive a Green Future. By ROBERT B. CATELL and JOANNA D. UNDERWOOD, The New York Times.

2016-07-25. Round-the-world flight completed by solar aircraft. By Associated Press.

2016-07-19. Chemists create vitamin-powered battery. By Naomi Lubick, Science.

2016-06-08. Jet flight to SFO fueled by corn. By David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle.

2016-06-02. Microbe-linked solar panels are better than plants at converting sunlight to energy. By Robert F. Service, Science.

2016-05-27. The Battery Builder. By Robert F. Service, Science.

2016-05-13. Biofuels Plant in Hawaii Is First to Be Certified as Sustainable. By Diane Cardwell, the New York Times.

2015-12-22. How Biofuels Can Cool Our Climate and Strengthen Our Ecosystems. By Evan H. DeLucia and Carl R. Woes, Earth & Space News (AGU).

2015-11-12. Global shift to bicycling could save world trillions of dollars, 10 percent of transport emissions. By Kat Kerlin, UC Davis.

2015-11. How Do Electric Vehicles Compare to Conventional Gasoline-Powered Vehicle When It Comes to Global Warming Emissions? By Rachael Nealer, Union of Concerned Scientists.

2014-11-18. A Road Test of Alternative Fuel Visions. By Kenneth Chang, The New York Times.

2014-05-22. EV Ownership: A Conversation with the Experts. 37 min video-recording of a Google Hangout discussion on electric vehicles.... http://blog.ucsusa.org/dont-just-google-it-ucs-answers-your-questions-about-evs-544 . By Union of Concerned Scientists.

2014-02. A greener way to make biofuels. Excerpt: Plants take energy from the Sun, and use it to make sugar. We ...extract the sugar, and ferment it to make fuel. That’s the process for ethanol and cellulosic biofuels in a nutshell. ...Kef Kasdin... is executive at Proterro, a company that has taken a different approach to biofuels. Proterro cuts out plants entirely, instead using cyanobacteria to produce sugar directly. ...Kasdin and Proterro cofounder John Aiken ...were drawn to the idea of engineering cyanobacteria to make sugar. Cyanobacteria get all the energy they need from the Sun, and live on water and carbon dioxide. ...Irrigation-grade or even waste water can be used. And depending on how they are grown, they can produce considerably more sugar per acre of land than sugarcane can. ...[Proterro's] bioreactor sits in a field in Florida, a 5-meter-long white cylinder suspended in black netting. ...Proterro hopes this outdoor bioreactor replicates the success of its greenhouse demonstration, .... If this bioreactor does as well, they will replicate it 100-fold. And ...the next step would be a commercial plant. Ideally, such a plant would be hooked up directly to an ethanol fermenter, Kasdin says. Proterro would take the CO2 exhaled by the fermentation yeast in the ethanol vats and pump it through the bioreactors. The cyanobacteria in the bioreactors would take the carbon dioxide and make sucrose. The sugar water from the cyanobacteria’s bioreactors could then be pumped right back to the ethanol refinery and fed to the yeast. “That sounds pretty easy, a pretty tight little loop ...eliminating the traditional costs of transport, harvest and storage for biomass. Once implemented, the process would sharply increase the energy return on energy investment (EROEI) compared to conventional ethanol production, according to Proterro’s Kasdin.... http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/news/10.1063/PT.5.5010.  Kim Krieger, Physics Today.