green and sustainable business

Archive for January 2010

Ford, GM pony up big bucks for EV batteries and motors

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Ford says it will invest another $450 million in electric vehicle development and facility retooling, bringing its total investment in this area to a round $1 billion.

The latest monetary infusion, a part of its “Electrification Strategy,” paves the way for the Dearborn, MI, carmaker plan to engineer, produce and launch new electrified vehicles, battery systems and hybrid transaxles, while creating up to 1,000 new jobs in the state.

GM is also planning to spend big dollars, about $246 million, for electric motor and hybrid component production at a Baltimore facility.

Ford will build what it calls its next-generation hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles at the Michigan Assembly Plant beginning in 2012, in addition to producing the new Ford Focus and Focus Electric at the same plant in 2010 and 2011, respectively.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

26 January, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Progress on reducing emissions at Seattle port

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The Port of Seattle may be running a bit ahead of the game, or at least ahead of the hammer of stringent pending Environmental Protection Agency rules with the results it is reporting from its activities in connection with the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy.

“Trucks, ships, and cargo-handling equipment will see lower emissions levels,” the port says.

The port’s staff last week reported favorable results to the five-member port commission, which oversees port activities, on the major components of the Northwest Ports Clean Air Strategy. Initial results from the At-Berth Clean (ABC) Fuels Program, Clean Truck Program, and retrofits on cargo handling equipment “show goals are either being met or exceeded, preventing tons of pollution from entering the local environment.”

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Written by William DiBenedetto

18 January, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Toyota launches ‘Baby Prius’ concept

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Toyota Motor Company. the world’s largest carmaker, is launching a subcompact version of its hugely popular hybrid auto, the Prius.

A Detroit News report last month revealed that TMC was developing an all-new gas-electric car that will be smaller and more affordable than the Prius. It will also surpass the Prius’ 50 MPG average

Toyota this week unveiled the FT-CH concept at the Detroit auto show.

It is reported the car could cost about $3,000 less than the Prius while offering higher mileage than any other hybrid currently on the market.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

11 January, 2010 at 6:07 pm

For 2010 it’s bioplastic, not plastic

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The future of plastics once fossil fuels run dry or the price for it becomes too expensive will hinge on bioplastics.

So says says Frederic Scheer, chairman, president and founder of Cereplast Inc., a Hawthorne, CA, company that designs and manufactures bio-based, sustainable plastics. But he also says, somewhat ruefully, that the bioplastic future is distant, measured in terms of decades.

Which is not to say that bioplastics’ present is particularly shabby: Scheer says that U.S. demand for bioplastics could exceed $10 billion by 2020. That’s a conservative estimate, he contends, but it’s still a “drop in the bucket” compared to the traditional plastic market, which is about $2.5 trillion.

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Written by William DiBenedetto

4 January, 2010 at 6:18 pm

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