Although the Hybrid Accord did not do very well and Honda has stopped producing it, Honda hopes that a new diesel Honda will do better. The clean-diesel car is expected to be in the U.S. by 2010 and can get up to 62.8 miles a gallon. The main advantage of a diesel car is that it can have a lot more power. In the 90s, California passed strict emission controls that restricted the amount of sulfur that a car can emit and as a result, most diesel manufacturers basically stopped promoting diesel cars to California and the rest of the U.S. Diesel cars have been the majority of automobiles in Europe because they are more fuel efficient and they have less stricter emission regulations. With the new diesel cars that are coming out, we may see more diesel cars in the U.S. The newer diesel engines have a two-layer catalytic converter that turns nitrogen oxide from diesel exhaust before it is sent to the atmosphere. Daimler-Chrysler and BMW both have some very fuel efficient models and may also release a diesel model in the U.S. soon as well. Daimler-Chrysler plans on releasing their next generation diesel engine in its 2008 Volkswagen lineup. There are many alternatives to using gasoline as I have mentioned here and with the rise in gas prices, manufacturers will be looking into producing the second best choice of fuel in cars. We will definitely see a difference in 10 years regarding what kind of fuel, automobiles will be using. Gasoline will probably not go away anytime soon, but we will definitely see other fuel alternatives take a market share of the automobile industry.
This is part of a series of episodes to let people know about the energy bill that Congress will be debating on. For the series of videos, Phin has the help of Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Jason Biggs, Jennifer Garner, Tobin Bell, Sarah Silverman, and Joshua Jackson. http://www.cleanmyride.org/
The BMW Hydrogen 7 Series Sedan is not currently available for purchase, but I am sure it will be eventually. It has started a limited production run and will currently only be made available to influential public figures such as Al Gore and Arnold Schwarzenegger. It has a V-12 engine that produces 260 horsepower. What makes this car great is that when it is running on hydrogen, it releases zero emissions as the hydrogen fuel just releases water vapors.
Since there are currently only a limited amount of hydrogen refueling stations, the engine is designed to run on either hydrogen or gasoline. There are two fuel tanks located at the rear of the car, one holds 17.5 lbs of liquid hydrogen while the other holds 16 gallons of gasoline. A filter pipe for the hydrogen is constantly chilled to -418 F degrees. In order to keep the gas cold, a special material 30 mm thick insulates as well as a 56 foot thick styrofoam panel. The driver can easily switch between the two by pressing a button on the steering wheel. The hydrogen can power the car for 123 miles while 300 miles can be driven with the gasoline.
The BMW Hydrogen 7 has gone through numerous development and testing processes including performance testing at the Nurburgring tracks in Germany, the heat of Death Valley, and the chilling cold of the Polar regions.
The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will be building a $125 million biofuels research center. It will be one of three centers funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The other two are based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Five months ago, BP awarded U.C.Berkeley with a $500 million grant for a separate research on biofuels. The center will be called the Joint BioEnergy Institute and will be staffed by 130 scientists, researchers and support personnel. The new center will have four divisions, one is for researching new plants to create a source for renewable carbon, second is to research enzymes for transforming plant cellulose into sugars, the third will be for developing biofuels such as ethanol made from cellulose, and the fourth will be supporting the three research lines and the general biofuel industry. This new center will keep the bay area ahead in the forefront of biofuel research and will surely spawn new labs and companies in the area.
For one month, there will be a specially marked hybrid Muni bus that will be offering free rides in San Francisco. The free boarding times will be from 7am to noon and 2pm to 7pm until July 15th. The bus will have pictures of sunflowers and labeled by “Muni Light.” The program started on June 15th no the 10-Townsend line today but will switch routes throughout the free program. There are currently 23 electric-diesel buses being used and Muni plans to have 63 more.