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What Was Detroit Thinking?: After decades of battling, complaining and maneuvering over fuel economy standards, why did carmakers decide to fall in line with a tough, new nationwide MPG standard this week? — New York Times Climate Outlook Gets Gloomier: New climate modeling suggests that without […] Read more »

The influx of plug-in cars appearing in concept form at recent auto shows has suggested an industry now racing to catch up with startups like Tesla Motors and Fisker Automotive, which have shown that plug-in cars can be a lot more exciting than golf carts. But […] Read more »

Solar Swing and a Miss: JA Solar has reported a net loss of $23.3 million on $33 million in revenue for the first quarter of this year, missing analyst estimates “by a mile and a half.” — Business Insider’s Green Sheet A123Systems Update: Battery developer A123Systems […] Read more »

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Google has showered funds on solar power, plug-in vehicles, batteries and energy management since getting bitten by the cleantech bug a few years ago. Next-gen biofuels made from algae, which have generated no small amount of interest from other investors, might have been starting to feel […] Read more »

Automakers received yet another push this morning to accelerate efforts to clean up their fleets, with the unveiling of tough, new limits for tailpipe emissions set to take effect in 2012. If the big automakers were interested in bringing startups with clean vehicle technology into the […] Read more »

Daimler AG has a new electric vehicle partnership in the works, and it could represent a critical deal for startup Tesla Motors — for better or worse. The Germany-based automaker and the Silicon Valley electric sports car startup joined forces last year with an agreement for […] Read more »

EU Gets Another Fuel Sipper: What’s not a hybrid, doesn’t have a plug and isn’t available in the U.S. — but gets 59 MPG? A new aerodynamic Corsa ecoFLEX from GM’s European brand, Vauxhall. — AutoblogGreen The Problem With Carbon Capture: Carbon capture and storage could […] Read more »

Updated with comments from GE: This month General Electric is powering through proposals for cleaner technologies for heavy-haul locomotives like, well, a freight train. This morning the company is unveiling a new locomotive model that it says will produce fewer emissions and offer better fuel efficiency […] Read more »

Lutz on Musk on Letterman: Former GM Vice Chairman and Chevy Volt frontman Bob Lutz is scheduled to go on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday to refute attacks that Letterman and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk lobbed at the Volt last month. — […] Read more »

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As the deadline for funding requests under a new federal program for plug-in vehicle battery manufacturing draws near, companies large and small are jostling to get a piece of the $2 billion in Department of Energy grants allocated as part of the stimulus package. Following announcements […] Read more »

For the solar industry, these are not the sunniest of times. And startups in general are vulnerable to the ongoing financial storms that have tied up credit and made venture capitalists wary of long-term, high-risk investments like solar farms. But two young solar ventures — one […] Read more »

When General Motors decided on a supplier for the lithium ion cells in the battery packs for its upcoming Chevy Volt, frontman Bob Lutz explained that the risks involved with working with a startup helped tip the balance in favor of South Korea-based LG Chem. Referring to […] Read more »

When cell phones and laptops get as small, powerful and efficient as current technology and materials allow, Denver, Colo.-based startup ZettaCore wants to be there to put Moore’s Law — which dictates that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every 24 months — on […] Read more »

Woe Is Imperium: In a best-case scenario, biodiesel maker Imperium Renewables will resume production in the fourth quarter of this year, says founder John Plaza. But “if nothing changes by 2011, there will be re-evaluating across the industry.” — NYT’s Green Inc. Toyota Plug-Ins to Hit […] Read more »

Score one for Michigan. The University of Michigan students behind Husk Insulation — an early stage startup developing high-grade insulation for refrigerators from agricultural waste — beat out more than 100 teams from 40 colleges nationwide to win the grand prize of $200,000 in this year’s […] Read more »

For plug-in car and battery makers, there’s a lesson in the Obama administration’s recent decision to pull funding for research of hydrogen fuel cells for vehicles: Don’t rely too heavily on the dole for too long. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, you may recall, formed a cornerstone […] Read more »

Footing the Climate Bill: How much will an average household’s electricity bills go up if the government enacts the proposed climate and energy bill? According to grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas, $17 to $27 per month. — PV-Tech Negative Energy: Ecotricity has accused its […] Read more »

A “discussion draft” is what Reps. Henry Waxman and Ed Markey called their initial proposal for a climate and energy bill last month. And the discussion has been heating up ever since, fueled in part by multimillion-dollar lobbying efforts. The U.S. oil, gas and coal industry […] Read more »

Plug-in vehicles held the spotlight in the turnaround plans drafted by General Motors and Chrysler in recent months, and Congress has allocated billions of dollars for investment in plug-in car and battery research, production and infrastructure. But there’s another technology in the mix that could end […] Read more »

Updated with additional information from MIT: The MIT students behind startup Levant Power have already won over some tough crowds, drawing interest in their energy-harvesting hydraulics from the U.S. military and several U.S. truck makers. Today the Levant team won the nod of the university from […] Read more »

Stimulus Funds Blow In for Mass. Turbine Testing: Government officials say Massachusetts will receive $25 million in federal stimulus money for testing wind turbine blades at a new facility scheduled to break ground in September. — Boston Globe Ener1 Eyes Fuel Cells: Battery maker Ener1 is […] Read more »

It takes an optimist to see bright spots in today’s biofuels industry. As Lux Research puts it bluntly in a new report on the future of biofuels, the industry “has plunged over a cliff amidst rancorous debate over its near-negligible carbon mitigation, competition for arable land, […] Read more »

Sakti3 to Team Up with GM on Battery Tech: Khosla Ventures-backed startup Sakti3 is collaborating with engineers from General Motors to design new materials for vehicle batteries. GM is not providing funding. — Michigan Business Review Think in the Clear: Norway’s Think Global has secured for […] Read more »

Neighborhood electric vehicles (NEVs) have won over the more passionate electric car fanatics, but for many drivers they seem impractical, unsafe, and somewhat less-than-thrilling to drive. But a growing number of automakers, including General Motors subsidiary Vauxhall, Ford, Norway’s Think Global, Toyota, Daimler and others are […] Read more »

Duke Energy Gets Go-Ahead For Save-A-Watt: North Carolina utility regulators have approved Duke Energy’s proposal to temporarily charge residential ratepayers an extra 38 cents per month as it sets up a long-planned energy efficiency program. Regulators will review a final compensation scheme for Duke this summer. […] Read more »

Updated with comments from Fisker Automotive: Rumors circulated for months last year that plug-in hybrid car startup Fisker Automotive would tap Advanced Lithium Power to make the batteries for its first vehicle, the $87,900 Fisker Karma. The relationship proved even tighter than expected in March when […] Read more »

When the economy hands out lemons, Coulomb Technologies expects to make lemonade — at least, if policy continues to swing in its favor. While the electric vehicle infrastructure startup has opted out of applying directly for stimulus funds, it is seeing new opportunities arise as the […] Read more »

Has Google Really Gone Carbon Neutral?: Google claimed on its blog last night that it has reached its goal of becoming carbon neutral for 2007 and is almost entirely neutral for 2008. But how does it really measure up to other tech companies? — CNET’s Green […] Read more »

Lead metal is about to go the way of so many pop stars: out of the limelight. It’s had a good long run as the material of choice for batteries, but new materials that allow for faster charging, lighter weight, and higher energy density are poised […] Read more »

Updated with clarification from Tesla: Ford Motor Co. took a big step today on the road to producing an all-electric Ford Focus by 2011, pledging to invest $550 million to retool an SUV and truck factory for the new Focus and other small-platform cars in Wayne, […] Read more »

Ford’s $550M Electric Focus Factory: Ford plans to invest $550 million retooling a truck and SUV plant in Wayne, Mich. to build subcompact cars, including an electric version of the Ford Focus developed in partnership with Magna International. — Detroit Free Press Carbon Cap/Tax Throwdown:Is all […] Read more »

Transit buses may seem an unlikely sector to ever warrant the term “hot,” but a growing number of startups working on next-gen hybrid and electric vehicle technology are looking to buses as a way to weather the downturn and capitalize on shifts in the global economy. […] Read more »

For Deeya Energy, good things come in threes. The Fremont, Calif.-based startup, which is working on energy storage technology for three applications — replacing diesel generators, stockpiling renewable energy, and stabilizing the electric grid — has just closed a third round of financing. The oversubscribed $30 […] Read more »

Uncle Sam, Hybrid Car Salesman: Soon the Obama administration and whoever is running GM and Chrysler will have to confront the challenge of how to sell the cars they want America to buy, given that demand for hybrid sales has plummeted. — Wall Street Journal Gaga […] Read more »

Chinese automakers have a strategic reason to move quickly toward electric cars: the legacy car companies in North America, Europe and Japan haven’t yet mastered the technology. According to a new forecast from research and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, that’s part of why China-based Chery, […] Read more »

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