best way to save money on gas, as well as to save the environment is to drive a hybrid vehicle. Right now the best option we have for building a fuel efficient car is hybrid technology. This is especially important for people who drive large vehicles that use a lot of gas. If you drive a van then a hybrid could save you a lot of money on gas, not to mention significantly reduce your carbon footprint. So what are the options for buying a hybrid van?

The options when it comes to hybrid vans is that there aren’t any. There are currently no hybrid vans available on the market. One would have thought that vans would have been amongst the first vehicles to receive a hybrid engine since they tend to use the most fuel of any passenger vehicle. This is especially true of the minivan which is used almost exclusively by families. Minivans owners are the kind of people who are usually most sensitive to the price of fuel. It is strange that the manufacturers have not chosen to put a hybrid in a van.

The fact that there are no hybrid vans is made doubly strange by the fact that there are so many hybrid SUV’s. Vans and SUV’s normally have the same chassis and drive train it is usually just the body that is different. The fact that there are so many hybrid SUV’s available and no vans is hard to understand. If they are already building SUV’s with hybrid engines it is quite an easy matter for them to build vans with them as well.

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Reva will be launching two models of electric vehicles in the upcoming international auto show in Frankfurt. Aside from the new members of their fleet, the company will also unveil to the public what they claim to be a remote wireless recharging system.

The first EV to catch the spotlight will be the NXR. Reva describes this as a car capable of carrying 4 persons but a lot doubt it since the dimensions seems to be small to achieve this.

Next in line will be the NXG, a two-seat EV that is scheduled to debut by next year. The NXR will roll off the market by 2010.

The rest of the car industry is more interested in what Reva calls REVive system. This technology aims to alleviate the range anxiety which is a big issue in the acceptance of EVs in any market. How REVive work is not yet clear but according to sources it will be a remote charging system.

Reva 1

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Fuel cells are different than batteries, because instead of storing energy they are used as electrochemical conversion devices. The chemicals used for conversion by fuel cells are hydrogen and oxygen which are then turned into water and in this process electricity is produced. This electrical energy is then used to power a car. As long as the chemicals constantly are added and flow into the system, the fuel cell never dies and that is just one way that they contribute to environmentally friendly motoring.

Some types of fuel cells are more efficient than others, and fortunately one of the most promising kinds to be used in the future for cars, is one of the most efficient. The hydrogen fuel cell works at about 50% efficiency and that means that half of the hydrogen added will be converted to electrical energy. The other half is released as heat and neither of those products damages the environment. Cars that will use hydrogen fuel cells in the future will have no negative impact on the environment and therefore can be driven without feeling guilty.

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Korean carmaker Hyundai is set to unveil the two latest members of their green fleet during the upcoming Frankfurt Motor Show. The auto industry will be welcoming the production version of the i10 Electric and see the ix-Metro Hybrid concept vehicle.

The i10 Electric is expected to be sale in Korea by 2010 and is powered by a 49kW electric motor depending on a 16kWh battery. This EV can go on a single charge for 99 miles and has a highway friendly speed of 81mph.

The i10 Electric will have a limited run with the first units going to government agencies, utility firms, and state corporations. Sales to the public will eventually come but the details and date have not yet been revealed by Hyundai.

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Jonathan on July 11th, 2009

Tesla recently announced that it is forming a tie with Bank of America so it can offer its consumers new financing deals for the Tesla Roadster. The move is aimed at attracting more consumers to get hold of the all-electric vehicle with Bank of America handling all the works from documentation, financing, and even providing an online platform.

The partnership with the bank will allow consumers to buy the Tesla Roadster and deal directly with the bank for all the agreements that need to be signed and for all the payments.

The collaboration between the bank and the car manufacturer though does not mean that all people with great credit ratings and who want to be behind the wheel of an EV can buy the car. There are a lot of things to look at and the hefty tag price of $100,000 is on top of the list. Aside from the sticker price one should think about the $20,000 down payment plust about $7500 of federal tax. Financing is also taking in 7.7% for a 5-year term with monthly payments of around $1650.

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Jonathan on May 27th, 2009

Range Fuels InvestingRange Fuels has received a $80 Loan Guarantee grant from the US Department of Agriculture. A commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol company, Range fuels is the first to have received such an assistance from a government department.

The loan guarantee grant is said to help the construction of the company’s plant in the state of Georgia. Range Fuels said that the construction of the plant is expected to start in early 2010.

The said loan guarantee grant was also the first since the 2008 Farm Bill was approved. According to Section 9003 of the Farm Bill, appropriately called Biorefinery Assistance Program, the government will provide loan guarantees to commercial-scale biorefineries. The Section also mandates the government to give grants for demonstration-scale biorefineries that manufactures fuels that were not made out of food sources (advanced biofuels).

The guarantees given to selected companies may be used to assist and support the development or construction of their own biofuel refineries. The bill limit grants to a large $250 million for every project.

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Brown RotA recent analysis of Postia placenta’s genome, secretome and transcritome, may pave ways for better biofuel productions in the future. Postia placenta, also known as brown rot, can decompose plant, specifically wooden material rapidly.

In the recent scientific study, the international group of scientists found a system of extracellular enzymes that occurs uniquely in the rot fungus species. This particular enzyme is believed to be a potential ingredient in the production of more cost-effective biofuels.

To be more specific, this particular enzyme system, according to the analysis, can work around the polymer lignin structures of the plant matter. Brown rot has the ability to effectively unbind, breakdown and ferment the sugar units in the plant matter.

In other words, with the help of brown rot, wood can be harnessed as distilled, liquid biofuel in the future.

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Bioliq Biosyn FuelResearchers forecasts a good price of $3 per gallon or Euros 0.8 per liter for the biosynfuel that will be produced through the Bioliq biosyncrude gasification method that has a capacity of more than 1 Mt/a.

The estimate price has a 30% margin which will translate into a price between US$2.72 and $5.03 per gallon. The estimate price basing on a $100/ bbl of crude oil is $2.72/gallon before taxes.

Bioliq consists of three processes involving fast pyrolysis facility, a centralized gasification plant, and a fuel production factory.

Starting from a biomass, the raw material is pyrolyzed and converted into pyrolisis oil. This pyrolysis ou is processed with coke to create a raw biocrude which can be made into syngas or converted to other fuels components.

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2009 Cadillac Escalade HybridTo some, it might seem absurd to combine the luxury of a Cadillac Escalade with a hybrid powertrain, but then, Cadillac excels at going beyond expectations, so why not pair a full-sized, never-intended-for-off-road-driving SUV known for generally poor fuel economy and use it to show just how mainstream green technology is becoming? The 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid may not be the environmental lobby’s choice of an official car, but Cadillac has certainly turned it into a rolling advertisement for their green line.

The hybrid engine in the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is the same one used in the GMC Yukon and Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrids (which latter was voted the 2008 Green Car of the Year by the Green Car Journal). It’s a system that allows the Escalade to offer roughly the same fuel economy whether it’s on the open highway, or in stop-and-go city traffic.

Under the Hood

Specifically, the Escalade Hybrid has a 332-horsepower, 6.0-liter V8 engine that includes cylinder deactivation technology, allowing the engine to run on four cylinders in certain conditions. It’s mated to an electrically variable four-gear transmission and a 300-volt battery pack. It’s two-mode hybrid system allows the vehicle to accelerate on electric power alone from both cruising and full stop, with the gasoline engine kicking in to add supplementary power. As with most hybrids, the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid captures energy during braking, and stores it in the battery pack to be used later. Cadillac says this combination will allow the Escalade Hybrid to achieve city fuel economy of about 18 mpg, which isn’t terribly impressive for hybrid cars, though it is a significant improvement over the 12 mpg achieved by the gas-only version.

Where the Hybrid falls behind the gas-only Escalade is in towing. Properly equipped, the rear-wheel drive hybrid can pull up to 6,000 pounds and the four-wheel drive hybrid maxes out at 5,700 pounds, while the gas-only version can tow up to 7,700 pounds.

Inside the Escalade Hybrid

The interior of the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid is essentially the same as that of the regular version, with a few hybrid-specific features added. One of these is the additional gauge that monitors the vehicle’s efficiency.

The cabin provides seating for up to eight people in three rows – the second row is a bench, like the third, and comes in two colors, cashmere and ebony, with leather seats the standard. Cargo space behind the back row totals 16.9 cubic feet.

Safety features of the Escalade Hybrid are fairly standard, and include side-curtain airbags for all three rows, an electronic stability system, and anti-lock brakes.

Exterior View

The body of the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid has no appreciable differences from the gas-only version, unless you count the myriad Hybrid badges that appear on the C-Pillars, lift-gate, and front fenders. It comes standard with 22-inch chrome wheels, and a power lift-gate.

The MSRP of the 2009 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid ranges $73,135 to $87,435.

Jonathan on March 16th, 2009

Tata Indica VistaA subsidiary of Tata Motors, Miljo Innovasjon has chosen TM4, a subsidiary of Hydro-Quebec, to supply electric motors, vehicle regulators, power electronics for an exhibition program of electric cars to be initiated in Norway in 2009-2010. Li-ion batteries are to be supplied by Electrovaya.

This exhibition program will make Miljo create more than one hundred units of an all-electric version of Tata Motors’ Indica Vista.

Tata Motors and Miljo will gain advantage from TM4’s latest production of motors for the industry of automobile, the TM4 MOTIVE series. An inverted rotor topology was utilized by the TM4 motors for utmost torque density.

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