Clean Fuel Connection Inc. News Connecting You To The World Of Alternative Energy Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:50:47 +0000 en hourly 1 Funding for EVs and energy research Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:50:47 +0000 admin

Chu cranks up funding for EVs and energy research

Google Maps to provide information on US charge point locations through new government partnership
US energy secretary Steven Chu announced a raft of new funding awards this week, designed to accelerate the development of advanced clean technologies and speed the rollout of electric vehicles.

Chu confirmed yesterday that the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy is to receive a further $130m in funding to support five new projects, partly as a result of the budget deal thrashed out earlier this month.

The advanced research programmes will focus on a number of areas, including biofuels, energy storage, solar and potential alternatives to rare earth materials.

Speaking to reporters during a teleconference yesterday, Chu said that the hard fought budget deal brokered between Democrats and Republicans had effectively saved the agency’s research programmes.

“We do know that without additional Congressional funds … the programme essentially would have been put on ice,” he said.

The agency has been tasked with investing in relatively high risk research projects that cannot attract private investors but have the potential to revolutionise the low carbon energy sector.

The news came just a day after Chu unveiled a new partnership with Google to help electric car drivers locate recharging points, and announced a further $5m of funding to support community-based efforts to deploy electric vehicle technologies.

The initiative has also been backed by the Department of Transport and the Clean Cities Coalition, which brings together over 100 city governments committed to cutting carbon emissions and air pollution.

“The Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative is bringing together local governments and industry to demonstrate the benefits of advanced technology vehicles and help communities use less oil and gasoline to power their vehicles,” Chu said.

“The initiatives announced today are just the latest steps in our broader efforts to reduce America’s dependence on oil, improve our energy security and save families and businesses money.”

Read the full story at Business Green

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EV industry – bumpy ride Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:29:09 +0000 admin

EV industry gets ready for bumpy ride

WASHINGTON–The auto and battery industries have come up with some impressive electric vehicles. Now they’re wondering how to make money on them.

The Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are at the head of a parade of plug-in and hybrid vehicles slated to come out in the next three years. At the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) conference here, auto executives said they were confident their products can deliver, but not everyone is sure how the demand for them will form.

With few plug-in vehicles actually in the market, the surrounding industry of component and charging infrastructure suppliers need to stay roughly in synch with the automakers in order to profit from this new industry, which will help bring down the costs of plug-ins for consumers.

Read more: cnet News
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EV’s – LADWP offering rebates Thu, 21 Apr 2011 17:19:07 +0000 admin

LADWP offering rebates for home vehicle chargers

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is offering up to $2,000 in rebates for customers who want to install electric vehicle chargers in their homes.

On Wednesday, LADWP commissioners approved a rebate program called “Charge Up L.A.” for those who want to install rapid chargers. The utility’s goal is to give rebates for up to 5,000 home chargers.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is set to announce the rebates and discuss installation costs at a news conference Thursday.

Last year, he announced plans to streamline the permitting and inspection process for new charging stations. He said the city’s goal was to help customers go from applying for a permit to plugging in their electric vehicles at home in 7 days.

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BMW gambles on EV Wed, 20 Apr 2011 16:04:01 +0000 admin

BMW gambles sporty image on electric cars

NEW YORK — BMW, gambling its image as a high-performance brand, will put 700 of its 1 Series coupes on the streets this fall with an all-electric drive that it says will satisfy sports car fans and also use no petroleum.
BMW promised the ActiveE will be “100% electric and 100% BMW.” And it will go about 100 miles on a charge, the automaker says.

It is the start of a move toward electric power by the car company famous for its smooth, powerful gasoline engines and its crisp-handling sedans.

If the test of the so-called ActiveE coupe is successful, BMW will follow in 2013 with an electric vehicle it has designed from scratch to run on battery power, using a lightweight aluminum chassis and a strong, light carbon-fiber passenger-compartment cell.

That car will be called i3, even though BMW says it won’t resemble the current 3-Series sedan.The company’s first test was of a handful of electric Mini Coopers.

The 170-hp ActiveE was shown Monday at a Manhattan dealership at an event ahead of the New York International Auto Show that begins later this week.

BMW will lease 700 ActiveE’s to interested drivers in U.S. coastal cities this fall for 24 months at $499 per month, plus a $2,250 payment at the start of the lease.

Read the full Story At USA Today

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Next Charge: Strangers’ Garages? Wed, 20 Apr 2011 15:26:08 +0000 admin

Nation’s Largest EV Charging Network: Strangers’ Garages

PlugShare, the smartphone app that’s created an ad hoc EV charging infrastructure from individuals willing to let strangers plug in, is now the largest EV charging network in the United States.

According to Xatori, the outfit that created the app, PlugShare has more than 12,000 users active in 47 states sharing 2,500 outlets. Of those places to plug in, 1,000 are public charging stations. The rest are ordinary people sharing their plugs with other PlugShare users. Cooler still, 35 percent of those people are providing access to their 220-volt charging stations with J1772 plugs, the standard for home-charging an EV.

PlugShare users include EV owners looking for a place to plug in, and EV advocates who have a wall outlet to share. The app, available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, shows outlets on a map. Users click on the plug icons to get in touch with plug owners and set up a time for charging. Money can change hands, but so far users have found a sense of community more important than profit.

Xatori founder Forrest North credits PlugShare with building a community of EV owners who depend on the kindness of strangers.

“In addition to its utility as a charging network, PlugShare is also a valuable communication platform for EV owners and enthusiasts,” North said. “People are excited to connect with each other via PlugShare – it’s becoming a cause-based social network.”

Read the full story at WIRED

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‘EVolve’ Are U EV Ready? Tue, 19 Apr 2011 16:33:58 +0000 admin

New ‘EVolve’ App From BMW Decides Whether You’re Ready For An EV

Electric vehicles and other alt-fuel rides are big news these days. Tech fans and greenenthusiasts can’t wait to get their hands on ‘em, while others think that hybrids and their eco-friendly kin are part of a vast communist conspiracy.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, there are many things to consider before dumping your conventional ride for something greener. EVs, for example, are fine for most work commutes, but current models aren’t practical for longer trips because of range limitations and long recharge times. If you’re on the fence, there’s now a tool that can evaluate your lifestyle and decide whether or not you’re ready for an EV.

The tool in question is an app from BMW called “EVolve” (see what they did there?). At the moment, it’s only for Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch, but we’d expect to see it in Android form soon.

Using EVolve is pretty straightforward: when you’re ready to start your commute or run your errands or leave on that cross-country road trip, just click the “start tracking” button, and EVolve will keep tabs on you using Google Maps. When you’re done, click “finish tracking”, and you’ll see a breakdown of your travel details, including the time you spent on the road, the distance you’ve gone, and how much charge is left in your battery. (No word, exactly, on what battery standard BMW uses for the app.) A few clicks more, and you can get EV-friendly driving tips, a full travel log, and an estimate of your savings versus a conventional gas-powered vehicle.

Read the full story at All Car Tech

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Audi Concept Unveiled Tue, 19 Apr 2011 16:07:54 +0000 admin


And for those who think they’ve seen this story before, Audi was keen to point out that this latest concept has nothing to do with the A3 e-tron Sportback pure-electric car wrote about last week. That car is a running prototype based on the current generation A3 Sportback. A spokesman said that the two different concepts are simply “an exploration of different approaches.”

A 211hp 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine supplemented by a 27hp electric motor powers the Shanghai concept car. The A3 e-tron’s lithium ion batteries are stored behind the rear seats and pack a charge capacity of 12kWh – they can be charged from a household socket.

That combination gives the e-tron enough punch to get to 62mph in just 6.8secs and on to a top speed of 144mph. Oddly, though, Audi isn’t prepared to quote mpg or CO2 figures for the e-tron concept.

Read the full story at The Charging Point

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Earth Week Kick-Off Mon, 18 Apr 2011 19:26:58 +0000 admin

Secretary of Energy to Join Earth Week Kick-Off

“Innovation Motorcade” to Parade Electric Drive Vehicles Through the Streets of Washington, D.C.

WASHINGTON, April 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — With gas prices hitting $4 a gallon and the one-year anniversary of the Gulf oil disaster this week, on Tuesday Secretary of Energy Stephen Chu will headline a motorcade of battery, hybrid and fuel cell powered vehicles through Washington D.C. The parade takes place during Earth Week and is part of the Electric Drive Transportation Association’s (EDTA) annual conference – in order to highlight alternatives to oil dependence.

The Honorable Steven Chu, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy, will kick-off the “Innovation Motorcade” from L’Enfant Plaza Promenade at 10 a.m. with a press conference. He will be joined by EDTA President Brian Wynne, Congressman Ed Markey (D-MA) renowned explorer and environmentalist Fabien Cousteau. They will discuss what needs to happen to reach President Obama’s goal of 1 million electric vehicles on the roads by 2015, how electric drive technology means clean American jobs, and our overreliance on oil in light of the Gulf oil disaster. After the press conference, the vehicles will tour our nation’s capital and end at the EDTA Conference Ride, Drive and Charge event at the Washington Convention Center.

The following day, the Honorable Ray H. LaHood, Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation, will be the keynote speaker at the opening plenary of the 2011 EDTA Conference, where leading government and industry experts will discuss the latest advances in electric drive technology and policies to accelerate the electrification of transportation.
“We are excited to show consumers and policymakers how many electric drive choices are available and how rapidly innovations are being brought to the market place,” said Brian Wynne, the President of EDTA. “These cars and trucks, and the technology that supports them, are helping to reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign oil, reducing driving costs and pollution, improving our national security and creating advanced energy jobs.”

The documentary film Revenge of the Electric Car premieres at the Tribeca Film Festival on Earth Day, April 22. This week also features the New York Auto Show, where new models of electric vehicles will be the buzz of the show.


10:00 AM: Opening press conference (with Secretary Chu, Rep. Ed Markey, EDTA President Brian Wynne, EDTA co-chair Ted Craver, and Fabien Cousteau) followed by Q&A (approx 25 cars will be present); LOCATION: L’Enfant Promenade just south of the intersection of Independence Avenue and 10th Street SW
11:00 AM – 11:45 PM: Cars and trucks depart for Innovation Motorcade through Washington, D.C.
12:15 PM: Walter E. Washington Convention Center “Ride, Drive and Charge” event, where the public can interact with the vehicles and charging stations.

About EDTA

The Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA) is the trade association representing battery, plug-in, hybrid and fuel cell electric drive technologies and infrastructure companies. EDTA conducts public policy advocacy, education, industry networking, and international conferences. EDTA’s membership includes vehicle and equipment manufacturers, energy companies, technology developers, component suppliers, and others. For more information about EDTA and its members, visit For consumer information about owning and operating electric vehicles, please visit

SOURCE The Electric Drive Transportation Association


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Solar’s up! Mon, 18 Apr 2011 17:53:31 +0000 admin

Solar’s up! 3 new, noteworthy California projects

I don’t normally write about all the solar projects going live in a given week or month, because then this blog would have to become solar-tech pastures. But three on-site projects have just gone live in California that are each noteworthy in their own right. On-site corporate solar investments are compelling to me because these are organizations that have gone beyond purchasing renewable energy from a utility company. They have contributed directly to the cleantech cause.

#1: The Nichols Farm
The reason this one caught my attention is because the technology involved at theNichols Farmpistachio processing facility is concentrator photovoltaic, and the project is being billed as the first of its kind in North America. The 1-megawatt capacity power plant is expected to produce approximately 2,244 kilowatt-hours in its first year of operation, which is about 70 percent of the electricity needs for the pistachio farm’s processing facility. The solar installation takes up six acres next to the plant, and it uses SF-1100 CPV technology fromSolFocus. The units concentrate the solar, meaning they can collect more potential energy on a smaller piece of land than is typically possible with other types of solar. They have tracking units to follow the sunlight supply. The installation was designed and built by Bechtel.

Nichols Farm

Nichols Farm

Said the Nichols Farm owner Chuck Nichols:

“As an integrated grower, processor and marketer of pistachios, I appreciate the value of harnessing natural resources in an efficient, sustainable manner. That’s why I selected SolFocus CPV from a list of solar options. The high-energy yield combined with the superior environmental footprint of the SolFocus systems made it an ideal choice for our facility, which processes pistachios for farmers throughout the Central Valley of California.”

Read the full story at ZD Net

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Walgreens EV Network Mon, 11 Apr 2011 18:03:37 +0000 admin

Walgreens Helps Launch First Privately Funded EV Charging Network

Written on APRIL 11, 2011 by DOTTIE HANAN SMITH

The nation’s first privately funded and comprehensive electric vehicle (EV) charging network has been launched with its initial charging station at a Dallas, Texas Walgreens drugstore.  The drugstore-retailing giant is working with NRG Energy to install high-powered rapid charging eVgo Freedom Stations at 18 locations across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with construction beginning this month at two of those locations.

NRG plans to install a minimum of 30 charging stations at public parking facilities, workplaces and other retailers across the area by Labor Day.  Walgreens is the largest retailer participating in the program with the charging stations being conveniently located near retail districts, family communities and along major freeways.

“Every day, we serve our customers’ health and daily living needs and now, we are expanding those services to help customers who embrace environmental sustainability and electric vehicle use,” said Walgreens director of energy and sustainability Menno Enters. “This is another way Walgreens is showing its commitment to helping the planet through innovation, design and efficiency.”

Read the full story at Automotive Discovery

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