09 November 2009

Chrysler pulls the plug, directory of green government financing sources, and other company, government and technology news

Top Stories

Chrysler dismantles electric car plans under Fiat.reliability high.
After making a big noise about aggressive EV plans when it was seeking bailout funds, Chrysler Group LLC has pulled the plug on its ENVI group. "Chrysler has disbanded a team of engineers dedicated to rushing a range of electric vehicles to showrooms and dropped ambitious sales targets for battery-powered cars set as it was sliding toward bankruptcy and seeking government aid. The move by Fiat SpA marks a major reversal for Chrysler, which had used its electric car program as part of the case for a $12.5 billion federal aid package." The EV efforts that remain have been folded into the overall vehicle development program, and "a presentation of Chrysler's five-year strategy by Marchionne on Wednesday made no mention of Chrysler's earlier electric car development plans." From Reuters. ["You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, Know when to walk away and know when to run."]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati Launches of Government Funding Resource.reliability high.
Law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and the Cleantech Group have launched an on-line resource to help track government subsidies and other funding available to clean technology and related companies. "The publicly available tool—driven by Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati content—aggregates and frequently updates the numerous financing opportunities, such as grants, loan guarantees, tax credits, and other programs, being offered by federal and state governments." The site asks, "Is the Government Your New Lead Investor?" Access at WSGR site (registration required).

90% bioplastic substitution possible.reliability medium.
"A new study from the European Bioplastics and the European Polysaccharide Network of Excellence (EPNOE) estimated that substitution potential of up to 90% of the total consumption of plastics by bio-based polymers are technically possible." See Green Chemicals blog. PDF of report here.

Hybrid Excavator helps minimize greenhouse gas emissions.reliability high.
"Powered by the Komatsu Hybrid System, the Hybrid PC200LC-8 uses a newly developed electric swing motor, power generator motor, capacitor and diesel engine. Komatsu developed its revolutionary hybrid system to work on the principle of swing energy regeneration and energy storage using the Komatsu Ultra Capacitor system." "In tests comparing the standard PC200LC-8 hydraulic excavator to the Hybrid PC200LC-8, the hybrid model reduced fuel consumption by approximately 25-40%, depending on the application." See ThomasNet News.

e-Motive Launches Range of Affordable Electric Scooters.reliability medium.
"British company e-Motive has launched a range of electric scooters in the UK and, at prices starting from just £1399 ($2300), is hoping to kickstart a zero-emission revolution. The e1, e3 and e5 debut models are powered by the latest electric motor and battery technology, are road tax exempt, and cost as little as one pence per mile to run." From Green Options Media Gas 2.0. e-Motive site.

Companies Launch New Initiative to Show Broad Business Support for Climate Legislation.reliability medium.
"launch of American Businesses for Clean Energy (ABCE), a broad initiative by businesses that want their voices heard on clean energy and climate legislation and that want to make it easy for other businesses - large and small - to signal their support for clean energy and climate legislation." "This initiative comprised of 22 founding companies  represents a diverse cross-section of American businesses, including retail, utilities, sports and banking." See NRDC blog. ABCE site.

Government and Regulation

Pay-by-the-mile auto insurance advances in California.reliability high.
"Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner released regulations permitting and authorizing mileage verification for pay-as-you-drive, without dictating what form such plans must take. The goal is to use per-mile pricing to entice Californians not to drive so much, thus easing air pollution, relieving traffic congestion and lowering the number of traffic collisions. A first-of-its-kind plan is MileMeter, available only in Texas, which last year began offering six-month policies with chunks of insured miles ranging from 1,000 to 6,000 miles. When the "tank" runs dry, motorists buy more." From Sacramento Bee.


Western Australia sea level rising fast.reliability high.
"Statistics from Australia's National Tidal Centre show levels have increased by 8.6mm a year off the coast of the state capital Perth. That compares to a global average of just over 3mm." And before the 90s that global average was 1.7mm for much of the 20th century. See BBC News. [This is big (although it is not clear these are new results). 8.6mm per year is nearly a foot in 30 years, even if rates of rise stop increasing. Compare that to global average rise of about six inches in the previous 100 years.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]