U.S. Diesel Car Registrations Increase by 24%

April 29, 2013 California, Massachusetts and New York are the fastest growing states for diesel car sales, while Texas, California and Florida have the most diesels on the road. WASHINGTON – Clean diesel car registrations increased by 24.3% in the United States from 2010 through 2012, following similar trends of double-digit diesel car sale increases throughout the country, according to new data compiled for the Diesel Technology Forum. The national registration information was compiled by R.L. Polk and Company and includes data for all types of passenger vehicles — cars, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans — in all 50 states and the District of Columbia from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2012. “This consistent growth in clean diesel registrations in the last three years is particularly noteworthy since it has occurred during an economic recession, the availability of an extremely large number of fuel efficient vehicles, which was topped off by some of the highest diesel fuel prices in U.S. history. Even in the face of these significant challenges, diesel buyers are seeing the big picture and long-term value by investing in record numbers of clean diesel cars and SUVs,” said Allen Schaeffer, executive director of the Diesel Technology Forum. Diesel car and SUV registrations increased from 640,779 in 2010 to 796,794 at the end of 2012 — a 24.3% increase. During this same period, hybrid car and SUV registrations increased from 1,714,966 to 2,290,903 — a 33.6% increase. In contrast, the total car and SUV registrations in the U.S. increased by just 2.8% during the same period. “When all passenger vehicle registrations are included — cars, SUVs, pickup...

Top Award from Intel Science Research for 2013? Biodiesel from 2nd Gen Feedstock

Sara Volz’s long-term goal, she says, is to understand the universe. But in the shorter term, the 17-year-old is working on developing algae that create biofuels more efficiently. In her home lab — it’s under her loft bed — she’s been artificially selecting algae that produce higher oil content, with the idea that these will produce biofuel more cheaply and efficiently. Not only is that an awesome project to have in your bedroom, it won her the prestigious Intel Science Research Foundation Talent Search contest and the accompanying $100,000 prize. NBC News explains why her super-oily algae have an advantage in the push to make commercially viable algae-based biofuels: Other researchers have approached the problem by tweaking the algae genome or selecting the prime environmental conditions for algae growth. Volz’s approach, she said, is different and lower cost. It relies on an herbicide that kills algae cells with low levels of an enzyme crucial to making oil. “The idea is, if you introduce this chemical, you kill everything with really low oil production,” she explained. “What you are left with is a population of cells with very high oil production.” We salute anyone who decides to live with tubes of algae under their bed in service of the greater good. (And Volz is so hardcore, she’s also decided to sleep on the same light cycle as her little green charges.) But we also salute Volz for being an all-around awesome geek: She’s field captain of her high school’s Science Olympiad Team and captain of the Science Bowl team. Also, she likes improv and musical theater. She’s going to MIT...
President Obama Supports Biodiesel

President Obama Supports Biodiesel

Earlier this month the Obama Administration showed strong support for the biodiesel industry when it finalized a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) volume increase for biodiesel. The EPA’s decision finalized the 2013 volume requirement under the RFS for biomass-based diesel to 1.28 billion gallons. This represents a modest increase from the industry’s record production in 2011 of nearly 1.1 billion gallons and puts the industry on course for steady, sustainable growth in the coming years. “This was an incredibly important decision, and the Obama Administration got it right,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “It will allow biodiesel plants across the country to invest and expand, creating thousands of jobs. At the same time, it sends a strong signal that the U.S. is standing firm behind its commitment to producing clean, American-made energy to strengthen our energy security and break our dependence on petroleum.” The EPA is responsible for developing and implementing regulations to ensure that transportation fuel sold in the United States contains a minimum volume of renewable fuel. The RFS program regulations were developed in collaboration with refiners, renewable fuel producers, and many other stakeholders. “This decision will continue to diversify our fuel supplies so that we’re not so vulnerable to global petroleum markets and this endless cycle of price spikes,” said Jobe. “The Renewable Fuel Standard is clearly working to do that, and the benefits of doing so are clear: We’ll continue to create good jobs, expand our economy and reduce harmful emissions. It’s just smart energy...

DON’T WORRY, DRIVE ON…

Richard Heinberg continues his series of videos to help educate the American public and to urge people to become more prepared before the shortages and high prices of petroleum severely impacts individuals’...

Auto Giant Honda Joins the Migration

Sharmistha Mukherjee/New Delhi – 2012-09-23 Japanese auto giant Honda Motor Co Ltd is set to introduce its first diesel vehicle in India — an entry-level sedan based on the Brio platform — in the next financial year.  The move comes at a time when Honda is battling slowing sales of its petrol vehicle. The move is significant as its Indian subsidiary, Honda Cars India Ltd, is battling slowing sales as its portfolio of petrol vehicles is becoming less attractive in a market which is increasingly preferring diesel-powered vehicles. The company is likely to invest close to Rs 3,200 crore to commence assemblying diesel engines and introduce diesel variants in a bid to fast ramp up its operations in the country. The new diesel engine will be sequentially adopted to new models the company has scheduled for introduction in the market starting 2013-14. “The new diesel engine will be assembled at our second unit in Rajasthan. It will be fitted on the entry-level sedan slated for launch next year and on new models thereafter. It will not be adopted on to the existing products in our portfolio,” said Jnaneswar Sen, senior vice-president, sales and marketing, Honda Cars India. Outlining the company’s plans till 2017, Takanobu Ito, global chief executive officer of Honda Motor, said in Tokyo today: “In India, an all-new diesel engine will be adopted sequentially to new models, starting in FY2014. In addition to the high fuel efficiency, the cost competitiveness of the all-new diesel engine will be enhanced through local sourcing and local production to make new diesel models more affordable for customers.” Overall, Honda Motor aims...