Valero Invests in Producing Car Fuel From Wood Waste

The cellulosic ethanol movement got a much needed boost yesterday with the announcement that Valero, the nation’s largest independent oil refiner, is investing $50 million into the Mascoma Corporation’s plans to build a commercial sized wood-based biofuel refinery in Kinross, Michigan. Together with subsidiary Frontier Renewable Resources, Mascoma, based in Lebanon N.H., intends to break ground on the facility by …

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Portland Set To Build Innovative Pedestrian and Bike Bridge

Portland, Oregon continues to set the standard of being a bike and pedestrian friendly city by building a 700 foot bridge over Interstate 5 that will allow users to travel from the Lair Hill neighborhood to the South Waterfront District. The Gibbs Street bridge is only for walking and bike riding. Portland bike commuters will benefit from taxes paid by …

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Better Place Shows Electric Taxis Working in the Real World

Shai Agassi, founder and CEO of Better Place, has a vision — a vision for a world free of oil dependency. Mr. Agassi, who is well on his way to making this vision a reality, has what he believes is the solution for making electric vehicles efficient and affordable. He theorizes that the only way to take electric vehicles into …

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3 Reasons Light Rail is an Efficient Transportation Option for U.S. Cities

Light rail is a type of electric railway that runs on right-of-way railroad tracks or on tracks in city streets. Using their own lanes and able to go anywhere, light rail cars mix well in urban settings by not getting caught up in traffic congestion. Though the United States operates the largest and most efficient freight railway system in the …

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Best Bike Panniers For Commuting

Ortlieb Bike Shopper Pannier Bag

Even if you’re not biking cross-country, you still need a good way to carry items while cycling to work or running errands.  You can do away with your makeshift bungees and get the most out of your bike rack with a bag or pannier to help haul your stuff.  These are five of the best ones available for day-to-day use …

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Best Commuter Bicycle Tires

Once you’ve found the perfect bike, bag, rack, and helmet, you’re all set for gas-free commuting, right?  Not quite – the right tires are an often-overlooked part of the package, and they can make all the difference for biking around town.  Here are four of the best tires for commuters, blending traction, durability, and low rolling resistance on pavement.  All …

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Delta Airliners Integrating Wheeltug Hybrid Motor Technology

Hybrid vehicles keep getting bigger: first there were tiny experimental cars, then hybrid SUVs began to appear on the road. And now some of Delta’s next-generation Boeing 737 aircraft (like the one pictured above) will be equipped with Wheeltug hybrid motors for taxiing on the ground. These motors will improve efficiency and safety while planes maneuver around the tarmac, reducing …

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Boeing 787: The World’s Most Efficient Airliner

Air travel can present an efficiency dilemma. Trips that wouldn’t be possible by any other means because of time or distance are suddenly viable – though when it comes to manufacturing and fuel resources, airplanes admittedly aren’t the most efficient mode of transportation. But Boeing’s newest passenger jet, the 787 Dreamliner, aims to take a big efficiency step forward with …

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AC Propulsion Converts Cars To Electric Power

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/3523593[/vimeo] Here’s a video from a company called AC Propulsion, showing how straightforward it is to convert your car to electric power.

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New Longtail Utility Bike: The Madsen kg271

Here’s a rare find — a new longtail bike. This bike is called the kg271, and it’s made by Madsen Cycles. They describe the bike as an “urban utility bike”. It comes in two versions: one with a rack built with oversized steel tubing, and another version with a bucket that incorporates a removable seat and two seatbelts.

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The Best Commuter Bikes Of 2010

The sales of commuters bikes in the U.S. have grown quickly in the last couple years. Commuter bikes are those that include features useful for commuting to work or around town — like fenders, chain guards, storage racks, comfortable seats, lights and puncture-resistant tires. You may also be interested our reviews of folding bikes and electric commuter bikes and women’s …

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2010 Prius To Use Solar Power

“Prius,” in Latin, means roughly “to go before.” Since its first appearance in 1997, Toyota’s iconic hybrid has lived up to its name, with more than 1.5 million sold world wide. Revamped in 2003 with Toyota’s hybrid synergy drive, the Prius is now entering its third generation with the 2010 model to be available later this year. And, in keeping …

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100% Electric Aptera Unveiled

I first mentioned the Aptera last year, when it was being test driven. This car’s eye-catching design isn’t just for show — it’s designed to be a very, very efficient vehicle. Just check out the video below you’ll see what I’m talking about: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUhPaxvhJCI[/youtube] Much like a jet, the shape of the Aptera is designed to be highly aerodynamic.

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Efficient: Books That Explain Train Travel In North America

Train travel is one of the most efficient forms of transportation. However, in North America, traveling by rail is not particularly systematic or comprehensive. It’s difficult to get an overview of what’s available. Thankfully, there are several good books on North American train travel, which I read recently. Here’s a brief review:

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LiFePO4 Batteries: A Breakthrough For Electric Vehicles

Note: If you looking for AA-sized LifePO4, you can find them here. Soon, we’ll probably be seeing Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4) batteries being used in most electric cars and bikes. This new battery type is set to dominate the market. Based upon lithium ion technology, LiFePO4 batteries offer many advantages over lithium cobalt dioxide (LiCoO2) batteries which are commonly used …

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Notes From The MetaEfficient Labs

Ozone Systems Won’t Directly Affect Pool PH Levels

I’ve been doing a lot of work in the MetaEfficient lab. I thought I would post an update on my experiments and research:

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Zero X Motorcycle: 100% Lithium-Ion Electric, 40 Mile Range, Weighs Only 140 Pounds

The Zero X Motorcycle was designed from the ground up to be a 100% electric bike. What makes this new bike truly different is that it contains 168 individual high-power lithium ion cells and is expected to endure six years of hard riding. Zero Motorcycle’s power grid technology has the highest power density (power storage per weight) battery pack on …

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Danish Drivers To Fill Their Tanks With Wind Power

Denmark has a problem — it’s generating too much power from the wind. Currently, Denmark gets about 20% of its total electrical power from wind. On windy days, that percentage can double. The ups and downs of wind power can strain an electricity grid. In western Denmark, the price of electricity can drop to zero on a windy day, leaving …

First Hybrid Car To Use Lithium-Ion Battery

Ener1, an alternative energy company, has become the first to successfully integrate a lithium-ion battery into an operating hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), an important milestone for the electric vehicle industry. The company’s battery division, EnerDel, will exhibit its lithium-ion battery pack in an operating HEV at the EVS-23 show in Anaheim, California Dec. 2-4.