December 27, 2004

Mother Nature Flexes Her Muscles

Nature's Power
Nature's Power

The tragedy in Southeast Asia reminds us all that nature is far more powerful than we think.

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December 25, 2004

Subaru Has Hybrid Aspirations: 2010

Subaru CEO Kyoji Takenaka was interviewed by AutoWeek and was discussing plans for a hybrid powertrain. Although Subaru doesn't have any plans for a hybrid car in the near future, the company has recognized the need to be part of the future of automobiles.

Read the entire interview here.

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December 18, 2004

First Legal US Smart Car Sells on ebay

Zap sold the first legal Smart Car in the US this week on ebay. It closed at over $24,000 (well above MSRP). Congratulations to both Zap and the new owner. Enjoy your 60 mpg!

December 15, 2004

World Bank Warns Rich Countries

The World Bank blamed wealthy nations for not doing enough to protect the environment, saying that goals are not being met and that environmental progress was "alarmingly slow."

Remarkably, rich nations need not contribute much to remedy the problem, requiring a mere $2.50 USD per capita (Reuters).

While governments are always sluggish in addressing problems and avoidant in addressing those that cost money, the power to affect change lies in the individual.

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December 14, 2004

GM and DaimlerChrysler to Collaborate

These two companies are teaming up to develop independent hybrid technology. While other automakers are leveraging the research and development of the hybrid innovators, specifically Toyota, these two will set out on their own. Ford in its Escape Hybrid, Nissan, and allegedly Porsche have all licensed hybrid technology from Toyota.

Right now, GM and DaimlerChrysler are both well behind in an expanding hybrid market. Further, both companies are known for their sluggish reaction to market changes. Still, additional competition can only be responsible for an ultimate improvement in efficiency.

GM and DaimlerChrysler plan to invest hundreds of millions and expect their new technology to reach the market in 2007.

December 10, 2004

Bodman Nominated for Secretary of Energy

Samuel Bodman was nominated today by President Bush to become the Secretary of Energy in Bush's second term. On his agenda as head of the Department on Energy would be to focus on drilling in Alaska to ease a shrinking domestic supply for oil.

Bodman is a well educated, well accomplished man: He has taught chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, served as president of Fidelity Investments, and run a chemical company. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in chemical engineering in 1961 and has a doctorate in science from MIT. (AP)

Bodman would replace Spencer Abraham, who resigned last month.

December 08, 2004

Honda, Least Polluting Automaker 2003

The Union of Concerned Scientists released results of a study that measured the environmental performance of vehicle manufacturers. The the third straight time, the study named Honda the least polluting of all automakers. GM was named as the highest polluter.

The report measures smog forming pollutants from all manufacturer vehicles, and does not measure the vehicle plants themselves.

A GM spokesperson, Joanne Krell responded to the report by saying, "We think the report more accurately reflects an automaker's fleet vehicle mix, and U.S. consumers' purchase behavior, than it does environmental performance." (Reuters)

Exactly, Joanne. GM makes lousy cars, but the people keep buying them.

December 06, 2004

Prius Reaches Quarter Million Units

Toyota is proud to announce that they have sold 250,000 units worldwide of the hybrid flagship, the Toyota Prius. That makes the Prius heads and shoulders above any other green vehicle in terms of sales volume, and environmental impact.

Way to go, Toyota!

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December 05, 2004

Waiting Lists Due To Battery Shortage

The long waiting lists for the Toyota Prius and other hybrid cars is due in large part to technology production shortages. Within the Hybrid Synergy Drive's technology, it's specifically the Ni-MH batteries that are holding up vehicle production, according to ABC News.

While the batteries are not out of the ordinary, producers cannot keep up with the sudden burst of demand created by new hybrid models.

December 03, 2004

November 2004 Hybrid Sales

From Green Car Congress.

In its second month on the market, the Escape Hybrid maintained its sales from October, but the overall volume of hybrids sold decreased. This is believed to be caused by the short term inverse relationship between gas prices and hybrid sales volume as the article points out.

Still, sales volume of hybrid vehicles last month was the second highest ever.

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