June 12, 2006


Get fill-up of the future now at a fuel oasis in San Diego (TIM MOLLOY, 6/12/06, The Associated Press)

If the United States is going to end its addiction to oil, the fuel station of the future might look like Pearson Ford Fuel Depot.

Along with gasoline and diesel, the one-of-a-kind station — part of a dealership near busy Interstate 15 — offers a full range of clean-burning alternative fuels from ethanol to propane to BioWillie, a brand of biodiesel made from soybeans and promoted by country singer Willie Nelson. [...]

At first glance, the facility looks like any other gas station — except there are pumps labeled "E85" and "compressed natural gas" along with recharging stations for people with electric cars.

The station is the only one in the country that sells such a wide range of fuels. And it's the only facility on the West Coast where private citizens can buy E85, a mix of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline that can be used in a number of models already made in the United States. [...]

High gas prices coupled with President Bush's call for Americans to cut their dependence on foreign oil are drawing more attention to alternative fuels that can be produced domestically, sold cheaper than oil and generate lower amounts of greenhouse gases.

One of the most promising is E85, known for getting fewer miles to the gallon but higher octane, resulting in more horsepower. The fuel works in more than 30 models, including the Yukon sport-utility vehicle from General Motors, Silverado trucks and Impala cars from Chevrolet, and the Ford Taurus. Those flex-fuel cars can run on gas, E85, or combinations of the two.

Automakers turn to gearless transmissions to improve gas mileage (Matt Krantz, 6/12/06, USA TODAY)

Instead of slicker aerodynamics or reduced horsepower, automakers scrambling to increase mileage amid skyrocketing gas prices are going straight to an unexpected place — the transmission.

Nissan and DaimlerChrysler are hoping to raise gas mileage by up to 10% in models by equipping them with a type of computer-controlled transmission that never shifts gears. Called continuously variable transmissions or CVTs, these high-tech gearing systems let engines move seamlessly through the power range.

Ontario to build reactors (ROBERT BENZIE, Jun. 12, 2006, Toronto Star)
The provincial government will announce tomorrow that Ontario is embracing more nuclear power plants, sources told the Toronto Star.

Premier Dalton McGuinty has privately spoken of his government's plans to confidants for days, insiders say.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 12, 2006 7:52 AM
Comments for this post are closed.