20 January 2010

Electric scooters bring problems in China, and other company, government, supply chain, industry and science news

Top Stories

E-Yikes! Electric Bikes Terrorize the Streets of China.reliability high.
"Officials were caught off guard when that environmentally appealing solution turned out to be deadly on the streets. In 2007, there were 2,469 deaths from electric-bicycle accidents nationwide, up from just 34 in 2001, according to government statistics. That's roughly 3% of China's annual 90,000 traffic accident deaths. Still technically bicycles, they're operating in a legal gray zone. Drivers of electric bikes don't need to pass stringent driving tests to get licensed, and courts are struggling to sort out lawsuits. Pedestrians complain that e-bike riders pay little heed to the rules of the road." More on pros and cons of electric scooters and the government's efforts to control their features and use. From The Wall Street Journal. If WSJ item is not available (may require subscription) here is the story from Autoblog Green.

Taiwan Working on Carbon Footprint Labeling for CPGs.reliability high.
"Taiwan is the latest nation to float a plan to label the carbon footprint of common consumer packaged goods, following in the footsteps of the UK and Sweden. The new labeling program, from Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration, will at first apply to PET-bottled beverages, candles, CDs and cookies, reports Taiwan News. The program may help speed the acceptance of carbon labels worldwide, as many Taiwanese products are also exported." See Environmental Leader.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Intel, too, eyes home energy management.reliability high.
"Intel has designs on the nascent home energy management business, following Google, Microsoft, Apple, Panasonic, and dozens of smaller tech companies. Intel last week launched a Web site dedicated to its Home Dashboard Concept, a touch-screen display designed to help families control and reduce energy use." "'Computing in the home is going to be a lot more than just the PC,' Intel CEO Paul Otellini said during a brief demo of the energy dashboard at CES." From CNET News.

Ski property faces meltdown as global warming chills the market.reliability high.
"There may be a global freeze on at the moment but Britons who own and let flats and chalets at ski resorts could face a threat to their investments – thanks to a long-term shortage of snow." More on trends in investment in ski-related properties. See The Guardian.

AutoPort to roll out first cars equipped with UD's V2G technology.reliability high.
University of Delaware has licensed its vehicle-to-grid technology to a local firm that will convert commercial vehicles so they can sell energy to the grid. "The system is designed to generate cash for the driver, while strengthening the nation's power supply and reducing dependence on fossil fuels." "AutoPort will work with major companies in the area to demonstrate the V2G concept. A minimum of 60 vehicles is needed to produce one megawatt of power when the vehicles are plugged into the grid." "In September 2009, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell signed Senate Bill 153, which rewards owners of V2G technology for plugging into the grid, compensating them for electricity sent back to the grid at the same rate they pay for electricity to charge their car battery." From EurekAlert. [It is not clear to us how this makes economic sense unless the vehicle owner can sell the stored power for much more than it cost--probably about twice as much since there is power lost in the round trip through the battery.]


Urban 'green' spaces may contribute to global warming, UCI study finds.reliability high.
Rolling lawns look nice, but they aren't "green", research in Riverside, CA, finds. Lawn maintenance activities like mowing emit four times as much greenhouse gases as the lawn absorbs. Further findings of study. From EurekAlert. [Not all that looks green is green. Life cycle analysis matters. Do the math.]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]