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Report Finds Canadian Automakers Exceeding Emissions Regulations
The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturer’s Association (CVMA) recently announced the release of a new Environment Canada report, titled “Fleet Average NOx Emission Performance of 2004 Light-Duty Vehicles, Light-Duty Trucks, and Medium-Duty Passenger Vehicles,” which indicates that new cars and light trucks sold in Canada significantly outperformed Environment Canada’s “On-Road Vehicle and Engine Emissions Regulations” instituted in 2002. “I am encouraged by the fact that the regulation standards were exceeded,” said Environment Canada minister Rona Ambrose. “These regulations are ensuring that cleaner vehicles are being introduced into the Canadian market to further reduce emissions. When combined with our low-sulfur gasoline, diesel fuel regulations, and our renewable fuels strategy, they will help protect the health of Canadians and the environment.” CVMA noted that, according to Environment Canada’s Emissions Projections Working Group, cars and light-duty trucks represent less than 10 percent of Canadian smog-forming emissions. Contact: Mark Nantais, CVMA, phone: 416-364-9333.

Toronto-Area Politicians Sample Local Air Quality
The Clean Air Partnership, a charitable organization working to promote and coordinate improvements to local air quality, recently announced that six councilors from across the Greater Toronto Area of Ontario have begun sampling the air in their municipality in an effort to raise awareness of the air quality threat to public health throughout the region. According to the partnership, councilor John Filion, with the help of two technical assistants from the University of Toronto’s new Southern Ontario Center for Atmospheric Aerosols Research (SOCAAR), has sampled the air near heavy vehicle traffic. The partnership noted that TSI International’s P-Trak ultra fine particle counter and dust track samplers were used by the team to measure both PM1 and PM2.5. Contact: Eva Ligeti, Clean Air Partnership, phone: 416-392-1220, Web site: www.cleanairpartnership.org.

Quebec To Invest $130 Million in Public Transportation
The Canadian Press (CP) reported last week that Quebec premier Jean Charest has unveiled plans to allocate $130 million for the province’s nine public transit systems in an effort to increase rider ship by 8 percent within six years. According to CP, the funds for the initiative will be sourced from the province’s new “carbon tax on oil and natural gas companies” and will be used to help improve bus, subway, and commuter train service in municipalities across Quebec while reducing vehicle emissions in the province. CP noted that none of the provincial funds can be used to lower fares and that municipalities must provide matching funds to participate.

New Ontario Committees To Address Transboundary Pollution
Ontario environment minister Laurel Broten recently announced that the provincial government has formed two new committees to combat transboundary air pollution in Ontario, eastern Canada, and the Northeast United States. According to the minister’s office, Dr. Ted Boadway will chair the Executive Committee on Transboundary Air Pollution, whose membership includes prominent Canadian and American business, legal, scientific, and environmental leaders. The committee will advise the minister of the environment on regional transboundary air issues. “Transboundary air pollution respects no borders and must be addressed now for our children and for future generations,” said Boadway. Dr. David Balsillie will chair the Advisory Committee on Transboundary Science, whose membership includes individuals from Canada and the United States. This committee’s goals include creating a list of priorities to help achieve the greatest health and environmental gains for people in affected regions and setting realistic, achievable goals to reduce emissions and the strategies to achieve these goals. Each year, according to the minister’s office, transboundary air pollution from outside Ontario is responsible for more than $5.2 billion in health and environmental damages. Last year, Ontario had 15 smog alerts covering 53 days. The Shared Air Summit 2006 to discuss these issues commences today, during which North American leaders will meet to build a strategy on how to reduce the impacts of air pollution. Contact: Anne O’Hagan, Office of Minister Broten, phone: 416-325-5809.

Chinese Officials Consider New Effort To Boost Ethanol
The Financial Times reported earlier this week that officials in China are considering implementing a target for increasing the country’s use of the alternative fuel, ethanol. According to the Financial Times, some analysts expect that China’s National Development and Reform Commission could soon introduce E10, a blend of 10 percent ethanol and 90 percent gasoline, at fueling stations in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, and Tianjin. The newspaper noted that eight Chinese provinces currently require fueling stations to offer E10. The paper reported that China is the world’s third largest producer of ethanol and primarily uses corn, cassava, and sweet potato feedstock.

China To Build Cassava Ethanol Plants
Reuters recently reported that the Chinese government will begin using cassava-based ethanol next year in the Guangxi region. According to Reuters, China’s state news agency Xinhua revealed last week that three currently-functioning alcohol distilleries will be outfitted with new ethanol facilities whose total annual capacity will be 1 million tons of output. The plan is part of a national effort to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil. China trails only the United States and Brazil in national ethanol capacity, with four plants currently online producing 1.02 million tons of output. Those plants, however, use corn and wheat, and the government is looking to avoid potential food shortages by diversifying into non-grain feedstock, like cassava. The southern Guangxi region grows more cassava, also known as tapioca, than any other area in China.

New Report Predicts Increased RUC in Eastern Europe
Research and analysis firm Frost & Sullivan (F&S) recently released a new report, titled “Strategic Analysis of the Road User Charging Markets in Eastern Europe,” which predicts that every country in Eastern Europe will have road user charging (RUC) systems in place by 2012. RUC systems charge a fee to drivers based on the distance their vehicle travels on a highway. F&S attributes the expanded use of RUC systems in Eastern Europe to “increasing road congestion coupled with ongoing technological advancements” in the region. The company noted that the RUC market generated revenues of 1.5 billion euros (about $1.9 billion) in 2004, and is anticipated to generate 2.6 billion euros (about $3.3 billion) by 2015. “Electronic toll collection systems account for the bulk of the European RUC market, with an overall share of 84 percent,” said F&S. “Although manual toll collection systems dominate in eastern Europe, the success of microwave-based/dedicated short-range communication systems and satellite-based vehicle positioning systems in western Europe indicate that eastern Europe will also gradually shift toward more technologically advanced methods.” Contact: Tolu Babalola, F&S, phone: 210-477-8427, e-mail: tolu.babalola@frost.com.

Tenneco To Launch Retrofit DPFs for European Aftermarket
Tenneco recently announced that it will launch a retrofit diesel particulate filter (DPF) for the European independent aftermarket before the European Union legislation and tax incentives for retrofit units come into effect next month in The Netherlands. Tenneco noted that its Walker DPF combines the catalytic converter and DPF into one unit, allowing installers to quickly and easily replace the catalytic converter with the DPF without adding additional weight or without disturbing the vehicle’s entire noise, vibration, and harshness profile. “With EU pressure on reducing emission limits growing, we see significant potential for a fully homologated, highly-efficient retrofit product that offers consumers the opportunity to benefit from tax reduction incentives while avoiding potential driving bans in the event of particulate matter alerts,” said Tenneco chairman and CEO Mark Frissora. “In addition, the presence of a retrofit DPF has the potential to increase the resale value of older cars.” Contact: Tenneco, Web site: www.tenneco.com.

ABAT Signs European Distribution Agreement with LML
Advanced Battery Technologies, Inc. (ABAT), a developer, manufacturer, and distributor of rechargeable polymer lithium-ion (PLI) batteries for such applications as electric vehicles, recently announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dutch company Lefeber Management, Ltd. (LML), to distribute ABAT’s PLI and nanometer material batteries in Europe. According to ABAT, the agreement covers a two-year period. ABAT noted that LML has agreed to pay in advance for shipment of products ordered and to reach a minimum of $3 million in sales annually. Contact: Mellisa Chen, ABAT, phone: 212-391-2752.

Toyota’s European Hybrid Sales Pass 50,000-Unit Mark
Toyota Motor Europe (TME) recently announced that cumulative European sales of both the Toyota and Lexus brand hybrid vehicles has exceeded 50,000 units. According to TME, nearly 41,000 Toyota Prius models have been sold since 2000, the year the model was introduced in the European market. Sales of the automaker’s Lexus RX 400h and GS 450h hybrid models have exceeded a combined total of 10,000 units in 17 months of sales. TME said that it expects total European hybrid sales this year to reach 37,400 units. Contact: TME, Web site: www.toyota-europe.com.

Veolia To Build New Biodiesel Facility in France
Veolia Environmental Services recently announced plans to build a new biodiesel production plant near Paris in the harbor zone of Limay Porcheville. According to Veolia, the project, which is scheduled to commence in 2008, will be capable of producing 60,000 tons of the alternative fuel. Veolia noted that the biodiesel facility is part of a French government program to promote the development and use of biofuels. Contact: Veolia, Web site: www.veoliaenvironnement.com.

India’s Ace Motors To Offer Two New Electric Bike Models
The Hindu Group’s daily Business Line newspaper reported last week that Pune, Maharashtra-based manufacturer Ace Motors has begun offering two new electric bicycle models that are capable of traveling at speeds up to 25 kilometers per hour (about 15 miles per hour). The newspaper noted that the bikes feature 250-watt, direct-current motors and can travel up to 70 kilometers (about 43 miles) on a single six- to eight-hour charge. The two models, both of which are manufactured in India, are named “e-sportz” and “e-trendy.” According to Business Line, Ace Motors is offering the electric bicycles at its two dealerships in Pune and plans to open new locations in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. The newspaper said the company is able to manufacture 2,000 bikes per month at its facility in the nearby city of Pimpri.

Indian Company Introduces New Electric Bicycle
India’s Business Standard recently reported that Ludhiana, Punjab-based bicycle manufacturer Avon Cycles has introduced a new electric bicycle that is capable of traveling at speeds of up to 14 miles per hour. According to the Business Standard, the new Avon e-bike costs 15,000 rupees (about $325) and features a 36-volt lead acid rechargeable battery. The bike is currently available in the states of Punjab, Haryana, and New Delhi. The paper noted that the Avon Cycles e-bike can travel up to 25 miles on electric power alone and up to 38 miles using pedal assist.

Toyota Launches Redesigned Estima Hybrid Minivan in Japan
Toyota Motor Corporation recently announced the launch of its redesigned Estima Hybrid minivan in Japan. The vehicle was originally introduced in 2001. According to the automaker, the redesigned Estima features the Toyota Hybrid System II, with a motor speed reduction device and high-output, high-efficiency four-cylinder engine. Toyota noted that the redesigned Estima also features the first-ever use in a minivan of Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, which “integrates and optimally balances drive power, steering, and braking.” In addition, the vehicle is equipped with Toyota’s Electronically Controlled Brake system and E-Four electric four-wheel drive system. Contact: Toyota, Web site: www.toyota.co.jp/en.

Japanese Initiative To Encourage Greater Use of Biofuels
Japan’s Environment Ministry is expected to start a project that aims, within five years, to have 40 percent of the nation’s vehicles operating on biofuels, the business newspaper Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. This biofuel will be produced in the country, as sugarcane from Japanese island Miyako is made into ethanol, the newspaper said. According to the paper, about 300 billion yen ($2.6 billion U.S.) is expected to be budgeted for the project. Reasons cited by the report for the initiative include cutting down greenhouse gas emissions and limiting reliance on oil from abroad, especially because of recent price increases. The newspaper said that by March 2009, gasohol is expected to fuel all cars in Miyako, with the rest of the country following to meet the 40 percent goal by March 2010.

IFT, CIIF Oil Mills Group To Develop Biofuels for Philippines
International Fuel Technology, Inc. (IFT) and Philippine coconut producer CIIF Oil Mills Group recently announced a research and development program designed to expand the use of coconut oil in biofuels blended with diesel fuel. IFT noted that the move comes in the wake of the Philippine government’s recently instituted mandate on use of one percent coconut biodiesel in all government diesel-fueled vehicles. “Based on careful study of IFT’s technology, test data, and commercial results in the Philippines and elsewhere, there is no question in our minds that this could be the fuel economy technology of the future,” said CIIF Oil Mills Group president and CEO Danilo Coronacion. “It is unique, affordable, and very effective. Our joint research and development program has the potential to develop a new Asia-wide application for coconut extract.” Contact: Stuart Beath, IFT, phone: 314-727-3333, ext. 417.

IFT Appoints Equipment Engineers as Philippine Distributor
International Fuel Technology, Inc. (IFT) announced this week that Equipment Engineers, Inc. (EE), an industrial systems provider, has been named the sole distributor of its DiesoLIFT fuel additive in the Philippines. According to IFT, DiesoLIFT increases fuel efficiency and reduces emissions by lowering the fuel’s overall surface tension and acting as a detergent in the fuel delivery system. The product has been tested in diesel-fueled rail, road, and stationary power-generation applications in the United States, Asia, South Africa, and Europe. “Over a year of extensive field trials in the Philippines has clearly demonstrated the efficacy of our technology and the significant value proposition it offers in the marketplace,” said IFT director of sales and marketing Gary Kirk. “Collaborating with a partner of EE’s stature and industry expertise is an important step on the path to commercialization of our technology in the Philippines.” Contact: Stuart Beath, IFT, phone: 314-727-3333, ext. 417, Web site: www.internationalfuel.com.

US Energy Initiatives Signs Agreement with Autogas of Thailand
US Energy Initiatives Corporation recently announced an agreement with Autogas (Thailand) Ltd., that grants Autogas the right to market and distribute the company’s dual-fuel diesel to natural gas systems in Thailand. “In addition to our anticipated work with the Isuzu engines, on our behalf, US Energy is also developing a dual fuel system for Nissan 454 series, the Hino H07 series, and the Mitsubishi FD series,” said Autogas CEO Robin Hughes. “The potential for these three engines for our existing portfolio of clients runs to over 3,000 vehicles.” US Energy noted that it expects to begin deliveries to Autogas sometime later this year. Contact: Mark Clancy, US Energy, phone: 813-287-5787, Web site: www.usenergyic.com.

Articles released with permission from: EIN Publishing – Copyright 2005 by EIN Publishing, Inc.
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