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Miscellaneous/Automotive/Transportation 060311
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Microsoft Excel Chart In the near term, diesel ICE growth will be robust, due in part to the introduction of low-sulfur fuels (scheduled for late 2006). The technology has also been successful in Europe, where it is on the verge of capturing 50 percent of the light vehicle market.  

The market for hybrid-electric ICEs will expand significantly.     Demand is being driven both in increased concerns regarding fuel prices and additional performance HEVs can offer in acceleration.  Two types of hybrids are currently being developed: full hybrids, with large high Voltage battery packs; and mild hybrids, which provide less electric power to operate the vehicle but can be more easily integrated into existing ICE drivetrains and are more cost effective.

Fuel cell-powered vehicles will emerge slowly in the next decade.  Significant but apparently solvable vehicle-related engineering challenges as well as daunting fueling infrastructure requirements will limit commercialization.  

(Information is from “Hybrid Electric Vehicles & Competing Automotive Powerplants” by The Freedonia Group,  01/2006.  For price of  the full report, see www.freedoniagroup.com.) +
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Microsoft Excel Chart (Jan 2006) The aftermarket for light vehicle components and parts in China is projected to increase at an annual rate of 13.8 percent, reaching 40 billion yuan (about $4.9 billion) in 2009.  China’s light vehicle parts aftermarket will experience dramatic levels of growth in the coming year, driven by the extremely high rates of new light vehicle sales the market is witnessing.

Potential barriers to continued aftermarket parts revenue growth include China’s lack of a functioning used car market with appropriate market-based pricing mechanisms, which hinders replacement parts for used vehicle refurbishment, although progress is being made in this area.  Beijing’s plans to restructure the light vehicle industry could have a negative impact on global automakers setting up capacity.  In addition, some OEMs such as Volkswagen have already begun to limit future expansion plans in the market as competition increases.  Nonetheless, capacity will likely exceed demand in the near term, placing China in the same situation faced by most of the rest of the world.  In addition, issues concerning the openness of China’s markets continue to be expressed by trading partners, in spite of positive actions such as the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization.  Finally, rampant aftermarket parts counterfeiting could limit growth in the legitimate parts aftermarket going forward, causing intensive levels of price competition.

Professional service providers -- the so-called do-it-for-me industry -- will remain dominant.  The do-it-yourself segment of the aftermarket is tiny, but will grow strongly as China establishes a true used vehicle market.

(Information is from “Automotive Aftermarket in China” by the Freedonia Group, Inc., 11/2005.  The entire report is $4,400.  For more information, see www.freedoniagroup.com) +
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 CARB (California Air Resources Board) adopts new “idling truck rule.” The rule  requires  sleeper trucks to shut off their engines during  a layover or when parked.  The rule goes into effect for  2008 model year trucks weighing more than 14,000 pounds.  Trucks will have to be equipped with a system to automatically shut off the engine after five minutes.  Pre-2008 sleeper trucks may have to install an auxiliary power system to shut off the engine to comply with the ruling.  

Approximately 180,000 big-rig trucks operate on California roads every day. While idling their engines during  layovers and extended parking times , 53 tons of nitrogen oxide  are added to the air.  Nitrogen oxide is responsible for the formation of smog.    


The trucking industry groups oppose the measure.
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 U.N. study forecasts job less for American auto workers
Parts making operations which have already begun to move to China will also increasingly gravitate to Eastern Europe, and India, according to a ;144 page study by the International Labor Organization. China will double the number of workers in this sector by 2015. The reason for the increase of jobs is the Chinese benchmark wage of $1.30/hour, compared to wages 25 times greater in the U.S. and 30 times greater in Germany.
The Desert Sun, January 8, 2005, p. E2
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 The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency release fuel economy  statistics for Model Year 2005 Vehicles.  Topping out at an estimated 61 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city, hybrids lead the list of fuel-efficient vehicles.  Debuting at 12th in overall mileage this year is the Ford Escape hybrid two-wheel drive sport-utility vehicle (SUV), which at 36 mpg in the city leads the SUV class.  The Ford Escape joins the Honda Insight, Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius in the hybrid market.  These vehicles also received a  score of 10 (the best rating) in the air pollution category.  

The Web site, www.fueleconomy.gov can help consumers make decisions about purchasing vehicles.
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 (March 2004) SunLine Transit in Cochella Valley, California shifts gears from striving to become a world leader in alternative-fuel research to improving bus service.  

For the past several years, SunLine Transit has received various grants to offer alternative transportation to the Valley residents.  It was one of the first transit agencies to receive a Ballard-powered fuel cell bus and had a number of transport vehicles powered by hydrogen as well as natural gas.   

But, changes  are taking place because for the past several months, “auditors have been poring over management and financial practices at the agency and making recommendations for improvement.” (Quote from “SunLine reshuffles priorities,” by Kimberly Trone,  The Desert Sun, 01/29.04, p.1 Section B).  Both SunLine’s  General Manger, Richard Cromwell III, and chief financial officer, William Mair, resigned in August “amid disclosures of conflict of interest and financial management.” According to the article in The Desert Sun there is evidence transit funding had been shifted to non-transit expenses and that contracts had been made without board approval.
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(December 2003) DIESEL FUTURES

In a study conducted by General Motors, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Alberta in Canada found that the well-to-wheels efficiency of diesels was better than that of fuel cells and gas/electric hybrids.  Details of the study were not made available. Mercedes–Benz will join Volkswagen in with new diesel passenger cars most likely in Europe only, since European cetane levels are close to 3 percent that are then the U.S. diesel, facilitating quick starts and continuing combustion.

Using highly controllable injection systems, reduced sulfur diesel fuel, high cetane rating, and high technology exhaust after treatment systems, the possibility for high mileage, low pollution engines may lie with the diesels.

The reader is impressed with the diesel possibilities which are within reach today, using present fossil fuels.

Ref: Popular Mechanics, Nov., 2003, pp. 94 – 98
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 (Oct. 2003) Gas guzzlers win in new tax law.  This fall, the U.S.  Congress passed a tax bill that offers a $100,000 tax credit to any business owner who wishes to purchase any vehicle weighing  6,000 pounds or more when fully loaded.  Already, sales personnel  in the retail auto market are touting the benefits.  In the Anchorage Daily News on September 28th,  Chris Thrope at the Anchorage dealership reported that he had already sold ten Hummer H2s in the past month.

This  October, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee voted to cut the amount small business could deduct for purchasing an SUV from $100,000 to $25,000.  The bill will now be presented to the full Senate.  However, the law remains as it is until further action is taken.

On the other hand, hybrids which can average 50 to 60 miles per gallon, are in the process of having the $2,000 tax deduction phased out.  Congress is considering legislation that would extend the tax deduction; however, status of the bill remains uncertain.

The U.S. government states that American drivers burn nine million barrels of oil a day in their cars and trucks.  By 2010 if the average m.p.g. does not improve, the number will escape to 12 million barrels a day.

According to Tom Gross, a board member of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and a guest speaker at Michelin’s Challenge Bibendum in San Francisco in October, the United States accounts for 25 percent of oil use in the world, but has only has 2.2 percent of the reserves.  Transportation accounts for two thirds of all  U.S. oil usageand is  95 percent  dependent on oil.   The DOE does not see sales of SUVs being stagnant or declining, but rather escalating  sharply over the next two years.
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(October, 02)Solar and Lithium-ion polymer - a potential synergy of power for tomorrow’s vehicles
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(   )Toby's Comments...Hello Subscribers,

I suppose none of us succeeds all the time. I don’t want to bother you with my problem which currently relates to passing the lab part of my class in refrigerator door opening. It’s not going as hoped.

Fortunately for my ego, others are having problems, too, and their solutions are more interesting. Take for instance the ZEV mandate in California. Automakers must sell 2 per cent of all offerings in California as ZEVs. (Ed note: An electric car is Adobe Photoshop Imageanything but a ZEV or Zero Emission Vehicle because the electricity comes from a variety of sources including coal generating plants, some of the worst polluters on the planet. Others cite nuclear not as an air polluting source but as a long term environmental polluter. Driving an EV requires polluting emissions in the preparation of the ‘fuel’ whether in electricity or hydrogen form, unless obtained from a true pollution free source such as photovoltaic or wind. Even these will have to be manufactured with ‘green’ power to achieve total cleanliness.)

Now, put yourself in the place of an automaker. GM spent a ton developing the EV1 and nobody wants them as replacements for their IC autos. GM could either design another loss leader EV or put another 5 tons in advertising to make people want to plug in. This comment is offered on the basis that you can sell anything if you advertise it enough and get enough movie stars to have one: -case in point divorces, the SUV and the PDA.

GM can’t make a buck in pouring an ounce into either developing a new EV or paying for Supergreen Superbowl ads. Hybrid vehicles don’t qualify in the ‘ZEV’ category, so they have come up with possibly the lowest cost method to meet the mandate: give EVs away!
At this time, GM will give away 10,000 Club Car’s Pathway NEVs (Neighborhood Electric Vehicles), surely not zero emission vehicles, but aptly named as feature laden golf cars.) The company follow with studies on the vehicle useage and performance in California and the Northeast U.S. over the next several months. GM needs to place nearly 5,000 in California to meet their obligation.

Ford and DaimlerChrysler have also seen the light. Ford is donating 500 Th!nk NEVs to the national parks in California, and DaimlerChryser is negotiating to place 300 Global Electric Motorcars in the state parks of California. As the Lead-acid batteries wear out in a few years, there is either going to be a nice battery replacement market or soap box derbies will get a new platform.


BD