Daily Sprout


Where’s the Beef, GM?: General Motors outlined a revised viability plan today, including plans to keep development of the Chevy Volt on track — but it neglected to address the federal auto task force’s criticism that the Volt is expensive eye-candy, not a mass market solution for GM’s shrinking market share. — WSJ’s Environmental Capital

Cement Makers Threaten Exodus: Cement industry representatives say federal air emissions regulations proposed last week will lead to closure of U.S. plants and outsourcing of cement production to countries with lax environmental regulations. — NYT’s Green Inc.

So Long, SV Solar?: As the long list of VC-funded solar startups shrinks, SV Solar seems to have entered a death spiral — the victim of a poorly-hatched business plan heavily dependent on high silicon prices and investors who should have known better. — Greentech Media

Abengoa Goes Big: Spanish engineering company Abengoa has just started operating a 20 MW solar power plant — the world’s biggest — using 1,255 mirrors to focus solar radiation at the top of a 541-foot-tall tower, thereby boiling water to drive a turbine and generate electricity. — Reuters

Car Charging Network for the Netherlands: Eleven Dutch companies that manage regional electricity grids have agreed to set up a national network of 10,000 electric car charging stations by 2012. — Radio Netherlands Worldwide


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I think there’s a difference between what Obama thinks and what he’s willing to say in a press conference. And I think there’s a difference between “resting GM’s future on the Volt” and making an effort to be on the cutting edge of future technology. Current hybrid cars have a much larger carbon footprint than advertised: the batteries are shipped around 6 continents before they ever make it into a car. You’re genuinely better off keeping your CO2 emitting gas-guzzler in good condition than buying a new prius in terms of overall carbon footprint for the life of the car. But Obama / the US auto industry needs to sell cars. I think they’re well aware of the hybrid problem- they’re selling these cars to get environmental consciousness into the average consumer’s mind next time they buy a car. But the new generation, the Teslas and the plug-in-hybrid Fisker are the real environmental saviors. But they’re up-market products. GM is positioning itself slightly below the Tesla with the Volt (both made by Lotus, but the Tesla/Elise has a bigger focus on performance than the Volt/Europa) and then can adapt that technology to more cars. The trick is making an electric or plug-in-hybrid car attractive- not as an environmental statement, but as a car. They’re taking the first steps.

kent beuchert

I can’t understand why that brainless Obama auto committee thinks that GM is resting its financial future on the Volt, a single vehicle whose development (less than $750K) will have the slightest effect upon its total debt of over $40 billion. I also heard Obama Lie Number 16734 the other day when, in the same paragraph, no less, he both claimed that GM was behind in technology and that the technology of the Volt couldn’t save them, but that gren cars could. Let’s see, now. GM has the latest hybrid technology and the only practical EV in development, yet Obamabama thinks they’re not green enough.. Send Obama abck to his handlers for another brain washing.

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