Recharge Wrap-up: Porsche 911 hybrid possible, Ecocruise EVs coming soon

Recharge Wrap-up: Porsche 911 hybrid possible, Ecocruise EVs coming soon

Unstoppable: B-Class F-CELL sets continuous running record

– Mercedes-Benz fuel cell electric vehicle cracks 300,000 kilometer mark
– Extreme long-term test under everyday conditions
– Record Receives Innovation Award

With more than 300,000 kilometers, a B-Class F-CELL from the current fuel cell electric vehicle fleet of Mercedes-Benz has achieved a continuous running record under normal everyday conditions. The world’s unique and still running test show that fuel cell cars are reliable even under extreme stress and over several years. For this achievement, Daimler AG was honored with the “f-cell Award 2014” and therefore was, for the third time, convincing with its developments in the field of fuel cell technology in the competition for the Fuel Cell Innovation Award. “The test is a step in the direction of series-ready application of the fuel cell drive train”, says the jury comprising of experts from economics, science and politics.

Produced under series production conditions, the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL has already been in day-to-day use with customers in the European and American markets since 2010. Today, the total mileage of the Daimler fuel cell fleet, which now numbers more than 300 vehicles, including numerous research vehicles, reaches far more than 9 million kilometres. Based on the current and pending results, the Mercedes engineers expect to identify further potential for optimization, which will flow directly into the development of the next generation of fuel cell electric vehicles. The company has the clear objective to develop a common drive train in cooperation with Ford and Nissan and to bring competitive fuel cell electric vehicles in large numbers on the streets by 2017. Pressing ahead, Daimler is thus working on market preparation – and is involved in several initiatives, such as H2 Mobility, for the build-up of a hydrogen infrastructure. “We have clearly demonstrated that the fuel cell electric drive is ready for the road,” says Prof Herbert Kohler, Vice President Group Research and Sustainability, Chief Environmental Officer of Daimler AG. “The last hurdles we will overcome in intensive cross-industry and cross-border teamwork.”

The f-cell award is given for the fourteenth time by the Ministry of Environment, Climate, Protection and Energy Sector Baden-Württemberg and the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation (WRS). Donated by the state of Baden-Württemberg, the Innovation Award honors application-oriented developments around the fuel cell topic. Its aims are to honor outstanding developments in one of the most interesting fields of technology of the new century and to stimulate further innovation.

Canada, US and Big Oil bullying dilutes EU dirty fuel law

Brussels, 07 October – For immediate release

After five years of heavy-handed lobbying by Canada, the US and oil majors [1], the European Commission today published fuel quality rules that fail to discourage oil companies from using and investing in the world’s dirtiest oil such as tar sands and coal-to-liquid.

Agreed in April 2009, the Fuel Quality Directive (FQD) for the first time obliges fuel suppliers in Europe to reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of transport fuel by 6% by 2020. The law lacked rules on how to account for GHG emissions from different sources of crude oil, which represents 95% of EU’s transport fuel market, and electricity. This meant that the enacted target could only be met with biofuels.

Today’s proposed implementing measures will still encourage the use of electricity in transport and incentivise oil producers to reduce emissions from highly polluting processes such as venting and flaring. The proposal also mandates oil companies to report the origin and trade name of their products, bringing some transparency to this opaque industry.

Reacting to the proposal, Nusa Urbancic of T&E said: “After a five-year siege by Canadian officials and industry lobbyists, the EU is letting oil corporations off the hook. That is not just a tragedy for the climate; excusing the oil industry from carbon reduction efforts is unfair, inefficient, and costly as well.”

Back in 2012 EU environment ministers failed to agree on proposed rules to implement the FQD. The Commission was legally obliged to produce new implementing rules ‘as soon as possible’, but amidst intense lobbying it was delayed by more than 32 months.

Transport is almost entirely dependent on oil: it emits 31% of the EU’s total CO2 emissions and will become the biggest source of climate-changing emissions soon after 2020. The FQD is a key law to promote cleaner transport fuels and is part of the EU’s wider goals to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

Last year, the scientific community wrote to outgoing Commission president Barroso to urge him to go ahead with labelling tar sands and other dirty forms of oil as more polluting than conventional crude, arguing that ‘we cannot burn all of the fossil fuels without causing dangerous climate change’.

“After five years of delay, we will likely end up with a very flawed law that won’t deliver on its original objectives of discouraging high-carbon fuel investment. Despite that, we need to implement it. Starting post-2020 work with a basic tracking system in place is better than nothing,” Nusa Urbancic concluded.

A coalition of alternative fuels companies and green NGOs have written to the EU Council, European Parliament and Commission urging them to set an EU binding target to reduce GHG emissions from transport fuels after 2020.

The proposal still needs to be approved by national governments and the European Parliament in the coming months.


[1]. Big European corporations with stakes in tar sands projects include Royal Dutch Shell, with US$26bn in planned investments for the next decade, BP of the UK and Total of France.

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