Current economic doldrums may impair the general market appeal of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles for a while, but hybrid diesel schoolbuses are one aspect pulling into high gear.
Energy & Fuel
"The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements .... That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells."
"Restrictions on the sale of incandescent bulbs begin going into effect across most of Europe on Tuesday in the continent’s latest effort to get people to save energy and combat global warming."
"A $774 billion plan to power Europe with Sahara sunlight is gaining momentum, even as critics see high risks in a large corporate project using young technology in north African countries with weak rule of law."
"How much longer will the 'Oil Age' last?"
"Declining industrial electricity demand and an abundance of cheap natural gas will threaten coal's status as the dominant U.S. fuel to generate electric power, even after the economic recession ends" say electric industry executives and analysts.
Laboratory researchers are pursuing technologies for skipping the burning of coal altogether, and producing electricity directly from carbon via fuel cells.
Think electric cars are small and wussy? Go out on the drag strip and smell the burning rubber. "Mike Willmon's 1978 Ford Pinto can go from zero to 60 in about 3.5 seconds — just like the $1 million Ferrari Enzo." He built it himself.
Chinese companies like Suntech are using government subsidies to leap ahead of the U.S. in the solar panel market.
"The U.S. Department of Energy said on Monday it has awarded $27.6 million of funding to evaluate the potential risks of storing carbon dioxide underground, which is seen as a way to control global warming."