Tuesday, May 31, 2011



• Head of State, HSH Prince Albert of Monaco joined company co-founder Henrik Fisker to drive Karma around Monaco Grand Prix circuit
• Newest addition to Fisker's global retailer network located behind the 'pit straight'

Monaco, 29/05/2011: Visitors to the world's most prestigious motorsport event, the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, were among the first to see the first Fisker Karma off the production line put through its paces as it made its European driving debut on the famous street circuit.

On Saturday 28 May 2011, before official race qualifying began, the first European production version of the Fisker Karma, the world's first true Electric Vehicle with extended range, took to the streets of Monaco, completing a couple of laps.

The vehicle was piloted by Albert II, Sovereign Prince of Monaco. His Serene Highness was joined during this momentous occasion by company co-founder, CEO and executive design director, Henrik Fisker. This event marked the first dynamic, public showing of the Karma in Europe.

Fisker commented: "The Fisker Karma project has a distinct Monaco link. Prince Albert was one of the people who inspired me to create the Fisker Karma. When I met him at the Top Marques Show in Monaco in 2006 he commented that he would love to see a fuel-efficient luxury car, and from that small seed grew the concept of what became Fisker Automotive and our focus on premium EVer cars that deliver pure driving passion.

"We want to thank both the principality of Monaco and Prince Albert for not only being the inspiration, but also a great support for our groundbreaking automotive green initiative," continued Fisker.

Designed to reflect Henrik's paradigm of Responsible Luxury™, the Fisker Karma is the first American-designed and engineered luxury vehicle specifically developed to appeal to world markets. It is the only luxury sedan in the world that meets future fuel consumption and emission requirements, making it suitable for any international city.

The Karma was also on static display during the race weekend, both at the chicane exiting the tunnel, turns 10 and 11, otherwise known as the Nouvelle Chicane, and thereafter in Cavallari – Monaco Motors, Fisker's newest dealership, located on 6- 11 rue Princesse Florestine, MC 98000.

The only true Electric Vehicle with extended range, the Fisker Karma drives its rear wheels using two rear-mounted 201.5 horsepower (150 kW) electric traction motors that draw energy from the lithium-ion battery pack for up to 50 miles (80 km). The gasoline engine drives a 175 kW electric generator to power the motors; there is no mechanical link between this engine and the drive motors.

Uniquely, the Fisker Karma can run in one of two drive modes: Stealth and Sport. Stealth Mode maximizes efficiency, giving the car its greatest range on battery power before activating the gasoline engine-driven generator to sustain battery charge. In Stealth Mode, the Karma can accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 7.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 95 mph (153 km/h). With Sport Mode engaged, the gasoline engine drives the generator to provide enough electricity for 403 total system horsepower, allowing the Karma to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 5.9 seconds and achieve a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h).

In all aspects of performance, the Fisker Karma is designed to be a true driver's car. Its proprietary, advanced aluminum space frame incorporates new levels of rigidity and strength that give the Karma world-class ride and handling characteristics. Fisker Automotive's engineering team designed the Karma's space frame around the car's unique powertrain, filing for multiple patents in the process.

Benefitting from a four-wheel independent SLA (double-wishbone) suspension, also employing aluminum components, the Karma has been specifically tuned to run on standard 22-inch aluminum wheels, a first for a production car.

Production of the Fisker Karma recently started at Valmet Automotive's Uusikaupunki facility in Finland with Fisker aiming to achieve full build rate by the second half of 2011. It is Fisker's plan to deliver vehicles to all current deposit holders during the 2011 model year.

More information on the Fisker Karma, as well as a full equipment list and technical specification, is available at www.fiskerkarmamedia.com.

- Ends -

Notes to editors:


Fisker Automotive is a privately owned, premium auto company creating environmentally conscious vehicles with passion, style and performance. Global headquarters are in Anaheim, California, USA. Acclaimed auto designer Henrik Fisker and industry veteran Bernhard Koehler established the company in 2007. Previously, Fisker was a board member and design director for Aston Martin, as well as president and CEO of DesignworksUSA, BMW's North American design arm. Koehler led operations for Ford's Global Advanced Design Studio in London and created concept cars for Aston Martin, MINI and BMW.

Cummins developing 28-mpg 2.8-liter 4-cylinder diesel for Nissan Titan

cummins developed diesel for nissan titan
Cummins-developed diesel engine in Nissan Titan – Click above for image gallery

Is Nissan hunting for a fuel-efficient diesel engine to stuff between the fenders of its Titan pickup truck? Well, according to Automotive News (sub. req.), that seems to be the case.

Thanks to $15 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy, Cummins is developing a 2.8-liter four-cylinder diesel engine aimed at boosting fuel efficiency by 40 percent compared to the current crop of V8 mills in use in light-duty trucks.

Cummins is shooting for a combined rating of 28 miles per gallon, meaning that the diesel-equipped Titan would return more than 30 mpg on the highway without sacrificing power, since Cummins is reportedly targeting 220 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque. The prototype engine supposedly cranks out a whopping 350 pound-feet of torque at a mere 1,800 rpm. Development of this fuel-efficient, oil-burning mill should be complete by September 2014.

Source: Autoblog Green

BASF entering into business of electrolytes for Li-ion batteries

BASF is entering the business of electrolytes for lithium-ion batteries (LIB) and is forming a global electrolytes team in its Intermediates division for this purpose. By adding electrolytes to its existing portfolio for the LIB industry, BASF will offer another key component for the battery technology.

BASF is one of the licensed suppliers of the Argonne National Laboratory’s (ANL) patented Nickel-Cobalt-Manganese (NCM) cathode materials, which employ a combination of lithium and manganese-rich mixed metal oxides. The license covers the broadest scope of NCM chemistry that can be used in today’s lithium-ion batteries.

In October 2010, BASF broke ground on a $50+ million facility in Elyria, Ohio to produce advanced cathode materials for automotive lithium-ion batteries. The new production facility in Elyria is being built with the help of a $24.6-million grant from the DOE under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The plant is due to come online in 2012.

Electrolytes are complex formulations that are essential for the transport of electronic charge inside batteries. High-quality electrolytes are prerequisites for improving the battery performance.

BASF says it is already developing specific formulations for high-quality electrolytes based on organic carbonates for customers in the battery and automotive industries. The first products will be commercially available by the end of this year.

By entering into electrolytes activities we are taking yet another step to support our customers’ competitiveness in the electromobility business. We will offer top-quality products and processes. We are perfectly positioned to do so thanks to our many years of experience in cooperating with the automotive industry. We also contribute our globally unmatched Research Verbund, which we are continually expanding through research cooperation projects. In the electrolytes business we intend to become a system supplier that is capable of offering tailor-made solutions to our customers.

—Dr. Andreas Kreimeyer, Member of the Board of Executive Directors and Research Executive Director of BASF

Source: Green Car Congress

Monday, May 30, 2011

GM Trumpets Virtues of Chevrolet Volt Charging With Solar Power

Continuing to show itself keen on renewable energy, Chevrolet is featuring some of its Volt owners who are using their own solar power to recharge their electric cars.

One of these is Mark Hildebrandt who has been focused on clean energy since the 1970s. He now owns a company that installs solar panels – so naturally he relies on sun power to create the electricity for his primary needs.

“I made the switch to renewable energy a while ago, and thus with solar energy, I can power my house, charge my Volt and pump energy back into the grid, which I get credit for,” said Hildebrandt, owner of Sunventrix in Saline, Mich., and one of the first Volt purchasers in the state.

Chevrolet Volt owner Mark Hildebrandt in his driveway with his Volt, Monday, May 16, 2011. (Photo by Steve Fecht for Chevrolet.)

“As more Volts are sold, I believe the demand for solar charging stations will increase,” he said. “I have spoken to a handful of Volt owners in Michigan that are really interested in charging their Volts from solar energy.”

Another Volt driver using the sun for battery power is ZD Wines‘ winemaster and CEO, Robert deLeuze. He has powered his Napa, Calif.-based winery exclusively on solar power since 2007. GM notes deLeuze often parks his Volt among the grape vines to recharge from the winery’s photovoltaic system.

As has been recently published, Chevrolet says OnStar data is showing the Volt is being used as intended – drivers are staying off of gasoline as much as possible so that 1,000 miles between fill-ups is the average.

“The majority of miles driven by Volt customers are powered electrically by the Volt’s battery,” said Cristi Landy, Volt marketing director.

And while we are unsure of the cost-benefit math in the new six-acre solar array at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, and solar-powered charging facilities as well, it seems clear Chevrolet is reaping a publicity payback as it reinforces its commitment toward a greener public image.

ZD Wines Winemaster and CEO Robert deLeuze with his Volt and a solar panel array in the vineyard of his Napa, California-based winery Thursday, May 19, 2011. (Photo by Noah Berger for Chevrolet.)

GM says the “home of the Volt, is already using sunlight to charge Volts before they are loaded for transport to dealerships. The plant has a 20kW Solar Carport that houses 10 Volt charging stations. Additional charging stations are planned for other locations around the plant.”

Source: GM-Volt.com

GM Testing 65 MPG Chevrolet Spark Diesel in India

Repost this article

Chevrolet is building a diesel spark that gets over 65 mpg – and that TCDi badge on the back of a black Chevy Sonic (caught testing by a sharp-eyed team-bhp forum member) is proof.

Don’t get too excited, though: despite the fact that this TCDI tester is based on the top-end LT variant (the rear wiper is the giveaway), GM will probably not offer a diesel Spark for sale in the US … and that’s a shame.

I like the Chevy Spark. Sure, I gave its marketers a tough time for peddling the car to kids, but I also said (in that same article) that “The Chevy Sonic is a solid car. It offers great gas mileage (over 40 mpg), respectable performance from a 1.4L turbocharged engine (138 hp, 18 more than Ford’s award-winning new Fiesta) and a close-ratio 6-speed manual that alone would have made it a “hot hatch” less than 20 years ago – all with modern safety (10 airbags!) and convenience features wrapped in an aggressive, sporty look.” All of those things are still true, of course – even the part about respectable performance, since the new TCDI is expected to deliver about 60 hp and more than 100 lb-ft of torque from its 1.0L 3-cylinder.

Granted, 60 hp isn’t enough to set the world on fire, but it’s more than the old 58 mpg Geo Metro had – and the Geo couldn’t hope to match the diesel Spark’s triple-digit torque figures (or projected 3.5L/100 km fuel economy), so this seems like exactly the kind of car GM could use to pump up its CAFE numbers here in the US.

Source: Gas2.0

Azure Dynamics logs 27 additional Ford Transit Connect Electric orders

Ford Transit Connect Electric
Ford Transit Connect Electric – Click above for high-res image gallery

Azure Dynamics has logged 27 additional Ford Transit Connect Electric sales, including a five-unit sale to returning customer FedEx, a four-unit order from the City of Toronto, a three unit purchase made by DTE Energy and a 15-unit order from various Ford commercial truck dealers.

At FedEx, the five Transit Connect Electrics – ordered through Holman Ford-Lincoln in Pennsauken, NJ – will join one of the world's largest fleets and further FedEx's goal of decreasing the environmental impact of its day-to-day operations.

DTE Energy, headquartered in Michigan, is expanding its use of alternative-fuel vehicles and the three electric vans will be vans among the first pure electric vehicles that the utility company will employ.

An additional 15 Transit Connect Electrics were sold to 14 Ford commercial truck dealers who will use the vehicles as demonstrators to entice potential customers and increase awareness of electric vehicles.

Source: Autoblog Green

Sunday, May 29, 2011

US Army TARDEC showcased diesel series hybrid CERV in run-up to Indy 500

The US Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) earlier in May showcased the diesel series hybrid-electric Clandestine Extended Range Vehicle (CERV) as part of special events ramping to the Indianapolis 500.

Jointly designed by Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies and TARDEC’s National Automotive Center (NAC), the prototype CERV is equipped with a 1.4-liter diesel to drive the genset, and is designed for quick-paced mobility operations such as reconnaissance, surveillance and target designation. CERV pairs Quantum’s advanced all-wheel-drive diesel hybrid-electric powertrain with a light-weight chassis to produce a torque rating that exceeds 5,000 lb-ft (6,780 N·m).

The unit can maintain speeds of 80 mph (129 km/h) and climb 60 percent grades while reducing fuel consumption by up to 25% compared with conventional vehicles of comparable size.

Engineering TV interview with Paul Skalny, Director, National Automotive Center, TARDEC, on CERV powertrain and design.

GM cancels luxury plug-in hybrid, sources say

General Motors has canceled plans to develop a plug-in hybrid vehicle based on the current Cadillac SRX crossover platform, deciding the project was not financially viable, three people with direct knowledge of the project said.

While two of the sources said the plans could still be revived on a future platform, they and two other people familiar with the matter said engineers involved had been reassigned to other projects.

The Cadillac plug-in shared much of the same technology that GM developed for its battery-powered Chevrolet Volt, which has been the centerpiece of the automaker's effort to convince consumers of its turnaround after its bankruptcy and government bailout in 2009.

Reuters spoke with six people about the GM decision. They could not be named because the project was never made public by the company. GM officials declined to discuss the company's plans.

"I'm not going to comment on specific products or timing for applications, but we still see promise in the technology," GM spokesman Kevin Kelly said.

Reuters reported in December that GM was working on the Cadillac hybrid crossover, citing people with direct knowledge of the work. In January, GM Chief Executive Dan Akerson said the introduction of the plug-in hybrid was "likely."

But over the past two to three weeks, engineers and others working on the program were told the program was on hold. As recently as this week, GM sent participants cancellation e-mails and thank-you notes, two sources said.

Since becoming CEO in September, Akerson has driven GM more aggressively toward electric vehicles, a strategic area where he has left a mark, executives have said.

The push has centered on rolling out the plug-in hybrid technology GM developed for the Volt in a broader range of vehicles to recoup the company's investment more quickly.

GM's push into electric vehicles also is aimed at seizing the green mantle Toyota Motor Corp. earned with the roll-out of its popular Prius hybrid vehicle. In the United States alone last year, Toyota sold almost 141,000 Prius hybrids. GM recently boosted its 2012 production plans for the Volt by a third to 60,000 vehicles.

The Cadillac plug-in was drawn from an abandoned project to launch a rechargeable crossover vehicle that GM considered in 2008 and 2009 under the Buick and since-scrapped Saturn brands, three people familiar with the project said.

GM had developed prototypes of the luxury hybrid that were being tested on the company's proving grounds, three sources said.

The plug-in would have been based on the current SRX platform, which is two years old. In the auto industry, the life cycle of a platform, which dictates the size and body construction of a vehicle, is typically about five years.

By the time the Cadillac plug-in was ready for production, the platform would have been nearing the end of its life, adding to the costs of developing the vehicle, two sources said.

The costs of the program were already high, and the vehicle was expected to lose money, two people with direct knowledge of the program said.

GM has made engineering advances since the program was initiated, so it made more sense to focus on the next platform with the improved, more cost-efficient technologies, one source said.

"If you're this far along on a program and you find a better mousetrap through engineering, should you continue on with something that may not be the most benefit for the customer or should you maybe shift your thinking?" the source, who has direct knowledge of the program, told Reuters.

Three people familiar with the plan said parts shortages after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan also plagued the program, but played only a minor role in GM's decision to cancel it.

The earthquake, which triggered disruptions in the flow of key electronics to automakers worldwide, caused a shortage of microprocessors used in the luxury hybrid's internal battery charger, two of the sources said.

But two other people insisted the parts shortages played no role in GM's decision.

GM has said that "extended-range electric vehicle technology" will be more popular with consumers than pure electric vehicles because of the additional range provided by the traditional internal combustion engine.

The Volt has a 400-pound lithium-ion battery to provide an electric-only range of 25 to 50 miles. After the battery is depleted, a 1.4-liter gasoline engine can power the car for nearly another 350 miles.

GM's "Main Street in Motion" Tour Kicks off Again This Summer

For those in the U.S. interested in driving a Volt, another GM or competitive product, GM is running its “Main Street in Motion” tour again this year.

The no-charge event will have 70 different vehicles from 25 competitive makes, and is scheduled for 14 locations around the country from June through November.

Unfortunately, the Toyota Prius, Nissan LEAF and other hybrid and electric cars are not listed to drive back-to-back against a Volt, for those who would be interested in such a comparison.

GM has also run a Volt Unplugged Tour to highlight just the Volt. Main Street in Motion promises a lot of variety and possibly fun as well.

Otherwise, GM promises a “a free, family friendly, no-pressure environment to compare Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Acura, Dodge, Ford, Honda, Lexus, Toyota and other vehicles.”

Source: GM-Volt.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Honda Signs E-KIZUNA Project Agreement with City of Saitama -- CO2-Reduction Testing with Honda Smart Home System


TOKYO, Japan, May 23, 2011 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and the city of Saitama today signed an agreement to cooperate in the E-KIZUNA Project.*

In this project managed by the city of Saitama, Honda and Saitama will test the urban use of electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric scooters. Honda also plans to construct and test its Honda Smart Home System in Saitama in the spring of next year. This comprehensive energy management system features several Honda-developed energy production technologies, for example, a gas engine cogeneration unit and a solar power system.

Complementing the commercial grid, the Honda Smart Home System provides heat and electricity for the home, and produces power for the use of electromotive mobility. This highly efficient energy management system will help reduce household and mobility CO2 emissions. Honda will also be exploring the system's potential to independently produce electricity for the household in the event of a disaster.

Through its electric mobility (motorcycles, automobiles and power products) and energy production technologies, Honda seeks to realize the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society where people can enjoy life. Through the E-KIZUNA Project, Honda aims to achieve household CO2 emissions reduction to half of year 2000 level by 2015.

Based on the E-KIZUNA Project agreement, Honda and the city of Saitama will collaborate on exploring the following items:

1. Priority items for collaboration:
Creating the disaster-resistant city of the future with the help of a variety of energy supplies and electric mobility:
・ Enhancing access to electric vehicles and creating EV-related business models.
・ Creating independent home communities focused on local energy production and consumption.
・ Developing household energy systems that can operate in the event of a disaster.

2. Items for collaboration:
(1) Constructing an electric charging safety net.
・ Identifying electric charging infrastructure appropriate for the unique characteristics of the city of Saitama.
・ Maintaining compatibility between current charging infrastructure and electric vehicles developed in the future.
・ Using solar panels and fuel cells to supply energy.
(2) Stimulating demand and applying incentives.
・ Promoting the shared use of electric scooters and automobiles.
・ Promoting the use of electric scooters for commercial use.
・ Developing a wide variety of electric vehicles to meet citizens' needs.
(3) Tailoring educational initiatives to local needs.
・ Implementing riding safety seminars featuring electric scooters.
・ Implementing electric cart seminars for seniors.

* E-KIZUNA Project is managed by the city of Saitama in collaboration with a wide variety of stakeholders. The project aims to help fight global warming and realize a sustainable, low-carbon society through the popularization of electric vehicles. (In Japanese, kizuna means the ties that connect people to each other.)

New Nissan LEAF advertisement takes a shot at Chevrolet Volt

Here is the latest Nissan Leaf advertisement which takes a little jab at the Chevrolet Volt. What do you think of this tactic and the overall effectiveness of the ad?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mitsubishi logs 100-unit order for electric Minicab MiEV

Mitsubishi Minicab MiEV

In early April, Mitsubishi started taking orders for the Minicab MiEV – one of eight plug-in vehicles that the Japanese automaker intends to launch by the end of 2015. Now, Mitsubishi reports that Japan's Yamato Takyubin Delivery Company has placed a 100-unit order for the electric Minicab.

The Minicab MiEV is an electric commercial van that's offered with a choice of either a 10.5 kWh or a 16.0 kWh Toshiba-supplied battery pack. Mitsubishi says that the 10.5 kWh version of the Minicab MiEV can be purchased for approximately 1,700,000 yen ($20,784 U.S. at the current exchange rate), while the 16.0 kWh version rings up at 2,050,000 yen ($25,064 U.S.).

Powered by Toshiba's SCiB lithium-ion battery technology, the Minicab MiEV boasts a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles) with the 10 kWh pack and 150 km (93 miles) with the optional 16 kWh unit. Though the Minicab's standard 62-mile range might seem to be on the low side, Integrity Exports says that minitrucks in Japan typically travel no more than 30 kilometers a day, and therefore are "perfect candidates for electrification." The commercial electric van is slated to hit dealerships in Japan toward the end of 2011.

Source: Autoblog Green

Thursday, May 26, 2011

VW to award contract for EV batteries to Bosch, source says

German automotive supplier Bosch is set to receive a major contract to develop electric car batteries for Volkswagen AG, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters today.

Awarding Stuttgart-based Bosch the contract would give VW a second battery supplier next to Japan's Sanyo. Both VW and Bosch declined to comment on the matter.

Global automakers are accelerating plans to electrify their cars through gasoline-electric hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles to stay competitive as governments around the world tighten emissions and fuel economy standards.

Volkswagen has said it plans to launch all-electric vehicles in 2013 and expects these zero-emission vehicles to account for 3 percent of its sales by 2018.

But two major challenges that carmakers face to mass producing electric vehicle are the high cost of the batteries and the limited range of all-electric vehicles.

Mitsubishi Motors pitching i-MiEV to Europe’s public sector

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. (MMC) is seeking to increase i-MiEV sales to the European public sector, such as police departments and municipalities.

The carmaker is betting that Europe’s public sector, which places a high importance on environmental protection, will be willing to swallow added expenses for EVs.

...The firm intends to produce and ship 25,000 i-MiEVs worldwide in fiscal 2011, a threefold jump on the year. Including sales to individuals and businesses, it seeks to ship about 15,000 units overseas, mainly to Europe.

Source: Nikkei

Kia to offer Picanto Bi-Fuel in Europe

2012 Kia Picanto: Geneva 2011
2012 Kia Picanto – Click above for high-res image gallery

Korean automaker Kia has announced that its Picanto Bi-Fuel compact sedan will be exported to select European markets in late 2011. Powered by both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and gasoline, the Picanto Bi-Fuel was specifically developed to "overcome range-anxiety problems in Europe and to eliminate cold weather starting problems sometimes associated with LPG engine," a Hyundai-Kia spokesman told Ward's Auto (sub. req.).

The Picanto Bi-Fuel hybrid can travel up to 373 miles in LPG mode and, if needed, up to 115 miles in gasoline mode. Kia says that when the Picanto's engine fires up, it's in gasoline-burning mode. However, the Bi-Fuel switches over to LPG within seconds. The fuel system incorporates an underbody-mounted 35-gallon LPG tank and a 10-gallon gasoline tank.

In Korea, Kia sells the Picanto Bi-Fuel as the Morning Bi-Fuel, which is priced from 10 to 12.4 million won ($9,187 to $11,346 U.S. at the current exchange rate), depending on trim level and options. Kia has yet to announce European pricing for the Picanto Bi-Fuel.

Source: Autoblog Green

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

GM adding two shifts, 2,500 Jobs to Detroit-Hamtramck Plant

General Motors is adding two shifts and about 2,500 hourly and salaried jobs at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant to build the new Chevrolet Malibu mid-size sedan and the next-generation Impala large sedan alongside the Chevrolet Volt and Opel Ampera electric cars. Detroit-Hamtramck currently has 1,121 hourly and salaried employees.

GM also announced a $69 million investment in tooling and equipment to support the next-generation Impala. In April 2010, GM announced a $121 million investment to support Malibu production.

GM announced last week that after a four-week shutdown, the Detroit-Hamtramck plant will exclusively build Volt and Ampera electric cars with extended-range capability for the rest of the year. Exports of Volt and Ampera to Canada, Europe and China are included in the total 16,000 electric vehicles being built for the full 2011 calendar year. The Volt/Ampera production goal for 2012 is up to 60,000 with three-quarters of those to be sold in the United States.

The new Malibu—Chevrolet’s first global midsize sedan—will be built in Detroit and Fairfax, Kan., as well as China and Korea and will be sold in more than 100 countries on six continents.

Source: Green Car Congress

A RAV4 EV with the Heart of a Tesla

149 Standing between past and future RAV4 EVsI recently had the privilege of driving what I secretly fantasized might be the clandestine automotive love child of an illicit tryst that could have occurred in the midnight hours between my 2001 RAV4 EV and 2008 Tesla Roadster whilst parked next to each other in the garage. Bill Bergen, Toyota's National Manager of Training and Technology, had kindly dropped by our Huntington Harbor Home in a gleaming, pearl white demonstration prototype Toyota / Tesla RAV4 EV; one of 32 currently being put through paces in a wide range of climates and conditions under real-world driving circumstances in anticipation of a planned summer 2012 production.

After I inspected the new-generation RAV from the sleek under belly pan to the stylish headlamps, Bill calmly explained the stratospheric value of the electrified prototype RAV I was just about to pilot. Vowing to drive with elaborate care, I slid cautiously behind the wheel, stepped on the brake and pushed the roadster-like Drive Button on the center console. It was cool to realize that, unlike my gracefully-aging 2001 RAV4 EV, this re-engineered RAV has Tesla DNA coursing through the power train, the motor, inverter and in the 660-pound battery pack mounted under the floor. Future 2012 RAV4 EVs will share -- though not precisely -- the Tesla roadster's lithium battery chemistry and regenerative braking as well as other Tesla touches. Toyota, with its long-standing RAV4 EV history, is clearly hard at work with Tesla Motors to create a revolutionary RAV4 EV with its mostly standard RAV4 2012 body -- a body that is longer and sleeker in style than the chubby, cheeky RAV4 EVs we long-time RAV4 EV drivers are used to.

150 Under the HoodBut back to the test drive: I stepped on the accelerator and off we headed to Pacific Coast Highway. I could discern the distinct, Tesla-like whir-purr I've come to love with none of the annoying roadster road noise I've come to resent. At the first stop sign I experienced familiar Tesla-like regenerative braking. Perhaps it's only because I've grown accustomed to the touch, but I totally dig my roadster's level of regenerative braking. And in that respect, this RAV4 EV prototype couldn't have been better designed for me than if it were custom created for me. I found that with just the right foot lift from the accelerator, I could pretty precisely time stops without much brake action. Other drivers less familiar with the roadster's more aggressive regenerative braking compared to their legacy RAVs' lighter regenerative braking might disagree with me on that, however.

As we headed down Edinger Avenue's sparsely-traveled straight-away, I became focused on this RAV's torque and off-the-line performance. I guesstimated zero to 60 at about nine seconds. And that, as it turned out, was right on the money. This SUV doesn't pretend to be a flashy, fast electric sports car, but it would effortlessly leave my dear old 2001 RAV4 EV in its electrified wake.

I don't know how many cells make up the RAV's battery pack, but as with my Tesla Roadster, there are thousands of them to provide the wherewithal to potentially power a 3,932 pound SUV up to 100 miles an hour while in much more moderate driving, sending that same car over a range of 100 miles. Bill explained that small, liquid-cooled format cells with 37 kWhs of usable energy make up a long, relatively narrow battery pack which rests under the floor -- much more similar to Tesla's Model S battery format than to the roadster's.

I steered this rare RAV down Pacific Coast Highway, over to 2nd Street and then zoomed onto the 22 Freeway where the car performed well at higher speeds and in traffic. Here's my main concern, though: The car is designed to take an inconvenient 12 hours to charge at 240 VAC and a stultifying 28 hours to charge at 120 VAC. (Toyota must, therefore, be limiting the charge rate on 240 VAC to 16 amps.) Since the 2012 RAV's usable energy is 37 kWhs, if 32 amp charging were allowed at 240 VAC, a full charge should take a mere five hours. So why would I choose to wrestle with the inconvenience of wrestling around with 12 hours for a Level 2 charge in a supposedly new and upgraded car? What this means is that a 2012 RAV is going to take nearly seven hours more to charge than my 2001 RAV. Really? Even more compelling: my Tesla roadster (the other half of this production equation) takes a mere 3 1/2 hours to charge at 70 amps.

You've proven before that it can be done, Toyota. Plus you are co-partnering with this amazing start-up, Tesla Motors, to design an innovative new product. But you do need to get amped up about this charging business. If you can reduce that charge time to a reasonable rate, then gimme the keys, and I'll fork over the dough. Because in other respects that new RAV4 EV of yours is a winner.

153 Milbank Charging the new RAV4 EV

Source: PluginAmerica

Mercedes Will Offer Diesel-Electric Hybrid e-Class in 2012

It’s a comment that appears on green-car articles again and again, “Why doesn’t anyone build a diesel hybrid?” and – for the most part – the question has been ignored … until now. Mercedes-Benz has heard your cries, true-believers, and will begin selling the E300 BlueTEC Hybrid-electric sedan you see here in 2012 … a full year ahead of VW’s TDI hybrid!

I’m excited, obviously, but – considering my opinion of Mercedes’ diesel engines, my time testing the company’s S400 hybrid, and my general Mercedes-V12 fanboyism – I think that’s to be expected. You, dear readers, should also be excited about a stop-start equipped, clean-burning, full-size luxury sedan with sporting pretensions that punishes its tires with over 450 lb-ft of torque and still manages to give back better than 45 miles-per-gallon.

In other words: YEE-HA!

Yee-ha? I’ll admit, that’s a bit simplistic, but this new BlueTEC Hybrid could well be the car that makes diesel the fuel of choice for America’s euro-posers premium sedan buyers, and that accomplishment (followed by the inevitable “trickle-down” of the technology into more mainstream vehicles) would be a big win for everyone.

Source: Gas2.0

Monday, May 23, 2011

VW plans to introduce EVs in Japan within 3 years

Volkswagen AG plans to introduce electric vehicles based on its Up! and Golf compact cars in the Japanese market within three years, according to Gerry Dorizas, head of VW’s Japanese unit.

In addition to releasing EVs in Japan, Dorizas says the German auto giant will debut more competitively priced hybrid vehicles. It unveiled its first hybrid model in January, a luxury sport utility vehicle priced at 8.98 million yen.

Dorizas indicated the company expects 14% of passenger car sales in the Japanese market to be hybrid vehicles this year and is looking to add less-expensive models to help broaden its customer base.

Source: Nikkei

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors Sign Contract for Establishment of Joint Venture for Minicar Business


Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation today announced that the two companies signed a contract for the establishment of a joint venture related to their minicar business in the Japanese market. The establishment of the joint venture was part of an agreement signed in December 2010 to expand the scope of cooperation between the two companies. The two companies will strengthen their competitiveness in the minicar business through this joint venture.

[Outline of New Joint Venture]

Date contract agreement: May 19, 2011
Date of establishment: June 1, 2011 (Planned date)
Capital: 10 million yen

Capital structure: Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. : 50%
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation : 50%

Business description: Product planning and engineering of minicars for the Japanese market.

Main board members:
CEO (Chief Executive Officer): Junichi Endo
COO (Chief Operating Officer): Shinichi Kurihara

Ohio Company Puts Mercedes ML350 Into EV Mode and Onto Iceland's Roads

Amp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV
Amp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV - Click above for high-res image gallery

Amp isn't the first company to figure out that luxury vehicles can better hide the cost of an expensive battery pack than an econobox – Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive pioneered this strategy – but this is a case where you don't have to be first to benefit. After spending a few years learning how to convert standard ICE vehicles from General Motors to electric drive (the Saturn Sky and Chevrolet Equinox), Amp last week delivered its first converted Mercedes-Benz: a honking ML 350.

Now called the Amp ML EV, the world's first production all-electric SUV was the star of the show at an event held last week attended by all of Amp's top brass as well as the mayors of Cincinnati and Red Ash (the suburb where Amp is located) and a representative of the governor of Ohio. In their speeches, the politicians made it clear they were proud that a local business would be giving an environmental benefit to a country halfway around the world, and that this showed the region's economic powerful reach. The real reason for the shindig, after all, was to hand over the keys to the ML EV's first and most important customer: Gisli Gislason, the chairman and CEO of Iceland's Northern Lights Energy (NLE), which has ordered 1,000 of these babies. We were on hand because Amp promised to let us drive it. Continue reading...

[Images: Copyright 2011 Sebastian Blanco / AOL]

From 2 to 1,000 and beyond

Gisli Gislason is a red-headed, Icelandic version of Elon Musk. He's outspoken and charismatic, strongly committed to electric cars but has plenty of interests outside of getting an entire nation to change the type of vehicles it drives (prime example number one: the 2009 horror flick Reykjavik Whale Watching Massacre. (For more details on the NLE "plan," or whatever it is, read this.) In Ohio, Gislason referenced Iceland's history of making big leaps away from fossil fuels, all of which need to be imported. In the 1970s, he said, Iceland imported huge amounts of oil to heat people's homes. There may only be 320,000 or so people in Iceland, but the winters are long and cold. Someone realized it would be possible to invest in geothermal power instead of importing oil, and the country got rid of oil as a heating fuel in about ten years. Gislason said he is confident Iceland can do the same shift with gas-powered to electric vehicles, adding that the U.S. could manage this feat, too, but Iceland will do it first. NLE is not dealing exclusively with Amp, but the ML EV will be part of the EV avant-garde.

Currently, there are only two ML EVs in existence, Amp's test vehicle and the one that Gislason drove out of the packed showroom onto the Ohio roads (no need to worry about spewing noxious emissions when you've got electric drive). Before he did that, we took a turn, hitting both the highway and some residential streets for around 20 minutes. It wasn't enough to see what it's like to live with one of these, but it was plenty of time to prove that anyone who is looking for an all-electric SUV that drives exactly as you'd expect such a beast to drive and has all of the amenities of an expensive German vehicle. In the days following our test drive, the ML EV was bound for the east coast and then on to Iceland, where it will be used for test drives as NLE gets ready to start selling the vehicle through the upcoming EVEN network.

Amp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV side viewAmp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV front viewAmp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV rear view

EVEN stands for Electric Vehicle Environment (or something like that), but Gislason's right hand man, Sturla Sighvatsson, told AutoblogGreen that what it really stands for is one-stop EV shopping. Based on Apple Stores, EVEN concept stores will offer a variety of electric vehicles (NLE is talking to 16 different companies right now) as well as insurance, financing and power subscription plans. Currently, NLE has set its sights on Norway and Iceland for the first two stores. In other parts of Scandanavia, NLE will sell the vehicles through established dealerships. Distribution numbers for NLE vehicles throughout Scandanavia could be announced later this summer. The Iceland store will open early next year and NLE is committed to getting at least 1,000 vehicles from Amp. Sighvatsson said that, based on what he and Gislason saw during their drive in the ML EV, this is just the beginning: "This is solid. There were some glitches here and there in generation 1, 2 and 3, but what they have now is a pretty solid product. They're still working on some minor details, but we're at the stage of a deliverable product now. We're going to buy more vehicles from Amp, that's for sure."

This confidence is why the number of ML EVs out there will increase rapidly soon. Amp representatives told us the company will start building/converting between 20 and 30 units a month (the maximum capacity at its current Cincinnati location) and begin "volume deliveries" to Iceland in September. The official plan is to convert and deliver the initial 1,000-vehicle order over five years, but AMP's President and Founder, Steve Burns, told us that he expects things to escalate soon, saying that a five-fold increase in sales is possible from various buyers. To prepare, Amp is already looking for a larger facility in either Ohio or Michigan, where people are motivated to work and factories are cheap. He said Amp wants to secure the land this year and is also considering using the old Think plant in Norway or maybe making the Amp electric drive parts in Ohio and shipping them to Iceland where they would be used to convert vehicles. Since Amp currently buys stock ML 350s from Cincinnati-area dealerships to convert (at a discounted fleet rate, which Burns said, "brings the cost down nicely"), there is no reason they couldn't be purchased in Europe. Right now, Amp resells the engine and transmission, but Burns said he's love to get a glider deal direct from Daimler but the relationship – such as it is between the two companies – isn't that evolved. After all, Daimler is working with Tesla and BYD, and has its own plug-in program. "I don't want to call it a relationship," Burns said. "We got some help from them and got their blessing, and I hope we have a relationship with them. But they told us the first day we met them that they wanted to make sure there were no conflicts."

Amp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV drivetrain

Cruising in the ML EV: 5,000 pounds of smooth

However they did it, Amp has certainly created a no-conflict vehicle, at least for the few miles we got to put on the tires. When we got behind the wheel, there were already 3293 miles on the odometer, a sign that Amp engineers have been doing some testing. Still, as is pretty common when we drive Amp vehicles – see here and here – the ML EV a bit of a work in progress. For example, the gas gauge corresponds to the battery state of charge, and the tachometer displays power going in to or out of the battery, with 12 o'clock/the top indicating that no current is moving. Small changes, but something that will have to be changed before average Icelandic drivers take them home.

When they do, they'll find that the ML EV is undeniably a nice ride, marrying the best parts of Mercedes comfort with the silent smoothness of electric drive. This is by far the quietest vehicle Amp has ever made, thanks in part to Mercedes' already-isolated interior and the fact that most of the rubber molding holding the motor in place can remain in place when Amp puts in the battery and motor. It's not just the quietest; as far as we can recall, this is the biggest EV available right now (not counting things like buses), making it a great everyday driver ... if you happen to need to carry five people every day. For single of double occupancy, the ML EV is complete overkill.

Amp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV interiorAmp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV gaugesAmp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV instrument panel

Amp has programmed the vehicle to perform most impressively between 40 and 70 mph, sacrificing a bit of speed off the line to get better highway performance. This doesn't mean that the 0-40 mph run is slow; it's just that you realize you're hauling a 2.5-ton SUV down the road when you get going from a stop sign. The official 0-60 time is "less than 10 seconds." You don't care about this when you're dealing with what we feel is the ML EV's best feature: simply wonderful coasting. When you take your foot off the accelerator, you kind of feel like you could go forever which is great for people who like to hyperbole. "The ML EV coasts so great because they don't have differentials or trannys," Burns said. "We don't do regen letting off the pedal" because harsh regen "throws people." Drivers get used to it, he said, but first-time EV drivers don't expect it, and that's something Amp wants to avoid. For now, Amp has decided against selectable regen, but the engineers have discussed putting in a sport/eco mode. When you step on the brakes, what regen there is isn't readily apparent. You can see it on the dial, but what you feel through the pedal is pretty much identical to stepping on standard brakes. At parking lot speeds, there is the tiniest bit of creep, so weak it doesn't move the car on even the slightest uphill slopes. (For other companies' takes on coasting and regen, see these articles – here and here – about the Toyota RAV4 EV and this article on the Volvo C30.)

Of course, there are some annoying parts of the ML EV that Mercedes put in and Amp couldn't take out: a terribly located cruise control stalk that constantly pretends it's the turn signal is the main offender here. And Burns told us that figuring out how to make the power steering work smoothly was a challenge, because the ML 350 weighs around 5,000 pounds. Nonetheless, Amp's 37.6 kWh li-ion phosphate battery is apparently good for 100 miles real-world driving range of 100 miles, less than the Equinox's 150. With a top speed (electronically limited) of 100 mph and the ability to charge from both 110- and 220-volt outlets and a J1772 connector.

Amp Electric Mercedes-Benz ML EV rear 3/4 view

A few other stats. The ML EV has a 5.5 kW on-board charger that offers a charge time of 15.5 hours (using 110 volts) or six hours (220/30A). You can pack in 72.4 cubes worth of stuff, just like in ICE version. The two Remy rear-mounted direct-drive permanent magnet AC motors offer 164 kW/220 horsepower and 320 Nm/236 pound-feet of torque. Amp will freely share these number, but there's one number no one will discuss: the price. This hasn't been officially set or released, and that means all we can do is guess. The 1,000-vehicle order is worth up to $100 million, which comes to $100,000 per vehicle. You probably couldn't walk up to Amp and buy one for that price, but that's what the math tell us. Should the vehicle ever get a real price tag and be available to buy in the U.S., the ML EV is everything you'd ever want for daily all-electric SUV driving.

Source: Autoblog Green

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Obama administration looks to purchase 100 electric vehicles"

Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt

The General Services Administration (GSA), which oversees two-thirds of the 600,000-plus vehicles in the U.S. government's fleet, is putting the final touches on its first 100-unit purchase of electric vehicles, according to a U.S. Department of Energy official. Patrick Davis, the DOE's vehicle technologies program director, told a Senate panel that:
The administration shares your commitment to upgrading the federal fleet and is finalizing the procurement of 100 electric vehicles.
According to Automotive News (sub. req.), GSA spokeswoman, Sara Merriam, declined to say when the purchases would be officially announced, which makes and models are involved and when the vehicles would join the government's fleet. However, back in early May, when the GSA announced that the average miles-per-gallon rating of the government's fleet of vehicles jumped from 19.1 in 2010 to 23.4, GSA administrator, Martha Johnson, stated:
We will be depending on innovative technologies and products coming out of Detroit to help us achieve these goals, and I am confident that American automakers will continue to rise to the challenge.
So, we'd assume that the Chevrolet Volt – though, technically not an electric vehicle – will account for the bulk majority of the GSA's 100-unit order, while the Nissan Leaf – with its made in Japan status– won't be as popular a pick. Your thoughts?

Source: Autoblog Green

Friday, May 20, 2011

EV Tax Rebate Could Become an Instant $7,500 Rebate in 2012

There’s plenty of debate over the government’s $7,500 tax rebate for plug-in vehicles, and the debate will surely kick into overdrive as the government considers turning the tax rebate into an immediate rebate right at the dealership’s door.

As of right now, if you want to buy say, a Nissan Leaf, you have to pay the dealership $32,780. The $7,500 tax refund only kicks in when you file your taxes, which makes it a lot harder for people right on the cusp of being able to afford a Leaf, or a Volt, or whatever, to get financing. But Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wants to turn that tax rebate into a cash rebate that is applied right at the dealership, so instead of signing on to pay $32,780 for a Leaf, you would pay $25,280, no waiting for taxes necessary. During a recent tour of Nissan’s new battery plant being built in Tennessee, LaHood said such a rebate could come as soon as 2012.

I like the idea, although I don’t like the idea of putting the rebate into the hands of car dealers. Why? Well Cash for Clunkers, the government program designed to boost car sales and get some old cars off the road, was fraught with fraud and by some calculations, a gigantic waste of government money. If there is a way to screw people out of money, car dealers will figure it out. On the same token, I hope this rebate brings more would-be EV buyers into the fold, as cash on the hood is always a tempting offer. And all this investment into EV vehicles and charging infrastructure could be just what our economy needs to get back on track.

Source: Green Car Congress

Corporate Vehicle Fleet Managers Looking To Add EV's

Fleet managers rated rising, volatile fuel prices as their top concern for 2011, over driver safety and cost savings, according to a survey conducted by General Electric Capital Fleet Services during the 2011 NAFA Institute and Expo. The survey shows that 28% of the 105 corporate fleet managers they questioned will introduce electric vehicles into their fleets within a year, possibly as one solution to the spike in gas prices.

Fleet vehicle heavy hitters like Ryder, UPS, FedEx (and even the USPS!) already boast EVs in their fleets. Back in November, General Electric Co. (GE) pledged to purchase 25,000 electric vehicles for its own fleet and for global fleet customers by 2015- almost have of which will be purchased from General Motors Co. The first model will be the Chevrolet Volt- which has been earning rave reviews from owners.

While 25,000 vehicles may be a drop in the bucket, Deb Frodl, Chief Strategy Officer for GE Capital Fleet Services, claims that GE might be in a “strong position” to promote EV adoption and growth, presumably by example. GE owns one of the largest fleets, operates a global fleet management business, and offers a multitude of EV-related products that may contribute to the development of an EV infrastructure. There are also now more plug-in and electric vehicle options for fleet managers to choose from than just five years ago, giving the market more choice in which direction they choose to go.

Source: Gas2.0

Chevrolet Volt Hamtramck Plant Closing For Fours Weeks to Prepare for Increased Production

General Motors announced today that the Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly plant will close for four weeks beginning in June for planned upgrades to prepare for a significant increase in the rate of Volt production, along with assembly of the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan.

For the next three months, Volt supply will be further restricted for retail deliveries. Coupled with already low dealer inventories and strong demand, the suspension of production will result in limited availability and reduced sales in June and July.

After the plant re-opens, it will begin exporting Volts and the Opel Ampera to Europe, and some Volts to China.

The Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant will close next month for one month, This will of necessity curtail supply in order to ready the plant for large-scale production next year, as well as prepare for new Malibu production.

“The Volt will be available to customers nationwide by the end of 2011,” said Cristi Landy, director of Chevrolet Volt Marketing. “By taking the time to reconfigure the plant, we will be better able to meet the tremendous consumer demand.”

Although Volt availability will be restricted for the time being, ultimate Volt and Ampera production capacity will increase to 16,000 units this year, including exports and several hundred Volt demonstrator units sent to U.S. dealers. Of these, the U.S. gets 10,000, 2,500 are dealer demos, and 3,500 go to export markets.

Global production capacity in 2012 is expected to be 60,000 vehicles. Of these 45,000 are slated for the U.S., with the rest being divided to export markets.

Other publications may present this production increase as first-time news, however, GM-Volt.com reported these approximate numbers on April 6.

At the time, we wrote: “In fact, Chevrolet will sell more than 10,000 Volts for 2011. GM will actually build 15,000 Volts at its Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant this year. And while we’re on the topic, next year it won’t build 45,000, it will build 60,000.”

During the four-week shutdown next month, the plant will complete some pre-scheduled upgrades, including the installation of new tools, equipment and overhead conveyor systems throughout the facility.

This will prepare the plant for 2012 Volt and Ampera production and continue work on projects in preparation to launch the 2013 Malibu next year.

Production at the DHAM plant of the all-new 2013 Chevrolet Malibu will begin next year. The 2013 Malibu launch will be led by the Eco model, expected to achieve 38 miles per gallon on the highway.

Source: GM-Volt.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

GM breaks ground on historic electric motor production plant

This week General Motors became the first major U.S. automaker to break ground on a plant to make “critical components” for plug-in electric and hybrid vehicles.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley was present Tuesday at a ceremonial shoveling of dirt by GM executives and local politicians. The proposed addition will adjoin the complex that houses the company’s two-mode hybrid and heavy duty transmission operations.

The $269.5-million plant construction had been previously announced, and GM said electric motor design and production represents a core business for the company as part of its plug-in and hybrid electric vehicle development and manufacturing.

More plug-in cars are being prepared for, as GM is in process of building a motor plant expected to become a new contributor to its growing core business.

The plant is expected to employ 190 people, according to Edmunds, and more than 200 people currently work at the transmission plant.

Construction is expected to begin in earnest in July, and the plant is slated to open in 2013 for production. In addition to nearly half the funding coming from GM, money for the project comes from a combination of federal, state and Baltimore County subsidies.

“We believe the future of sustainable transportation is electrically driven vehicles and this facility will help us maintain a leadership position within this category,” said Mike Robinson, GM vice president, Energy, Environment and Safety Policy. “It’s fitting that green ‘motors of the future’ are being built at a facility well recognized for ongoing efforts to reduce its environmental impact.”

2011 Chevrolet Voltec drive unit.

The campus will receive about 9 percent of its energy from a 1.23 megawatt rooftop solar array, expected to save approximately $330,000 during the life of the project.

“By harnessing solar energy from this array, GM will offset up to 1,103 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the air per year – equivalent to the emissions from 216 passenger vehicles,” said Robinson.

The solar power system will be built by Constellation Energy which will also own and maintain it. GM will purchase all of the electricity it generates under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Constellation Energy’s first solar array for GM was a 951-kilowatt system at its Fontana, Calif., Service and Parts Operations warehouse.

Constellation Energy installed these solar panels on the roof of General Motors’ two-mode hybrid and heavy-duty transmission building at GM’s Baltimore Operations complex.

“Solar as a power-generation source is an attractive option for GM and other large-scale manufacturers to achieve environmental goals and control electricity costs,” said Michael D. Smith, senior vice president of green initiatives for Constellation Energy’s retail business.

As previously reported, GM uses renewable energy from solar, hydro, and landfill gas resources at various plants. In the United States alone, 1.4 percent of its energy consumption comes from renewable resources.

GM said the Baltimore Operations is both powered by renewable energy and it generates no landfill waste. It earned zero-landfill status in 2007 by recycling, reusing or converting to energy all wastes from daily operations.

Last year, the Baltimore Operations complex won a Maryland Green Registry Leadership Award for showing commitment to sustainable practices with measurable results.

“Our state is one of discovery and innovation, where traditional manufacturers like GM embrace the new technologies that move our companies, our commerce and our citizens forward,” Gov. O’Malley said.

Separately, GM said the GM Foundation and Baltimore Operations announced they will donate $20,000 to the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce, Habitat for Humanity, Maryland Food Bank and the Wildlife Habitat Council. The donations are part of the Foundation’s Plant City Grants which will award a total of $1 million nationally to local communities with GM facilities.

Source: GM-Volt.com