Ford is offering an innovative package that pairs electric car ownership with a rooftop solar energy system generating enough electricity to offset an average of 1,000 miles of driving each month. The result is what many electric vehicle owners dream of – the ability to drive with zero emissions and effectively, without additional load on the grid. While the SunPower system doesn’t actually charge Ford’s upcoming 2012 Focus Electric directly, it does feed enough solar-generated electricity into the grid to offset the energy required for keeping batteries charged. Focus Electric owners can add the solar option for less than $10,000 after federal incentives.
The ‘Drive Green for Life’ program not only provides an all-new option for those who want to go the extra mile to drive sustainably, but also is big win for solar energy. Moves like this will motivate consumers to embrace solar energy who may not have done so otherwise.
Fueling infrastructure remains one of the biggest challenges for any alternative motor fuel. To encourage more natural gas vehicles on the road, Chesapeake Energy and Clean Energy Fuels are working in a major effort to expand the natural gas vehicle fueling network across the United States. Clean Energy is already the largest provider of natural gas for transportation in the U.S.
Chesapeake’s $150 million investment in Clean Energy will bring natural gas fueling to 150 additional locations along major trucking corridors, many co-located at existing Pilot-Flying J Travel Centers. The aim is to create the backbone of ‘America’s Natural Gas Highway’ by providing convenient compressed and liquefied natural gas pumps for commercial and personal natural gas vehicles.
Propane autogas is making inroads in many ways these days. One of the latest innovations has special merit since it’s aimed at reducing emissions in buses designed to transport school children. Powered by Ford and ROUSH CleanTech, advanced propane autogas buses are now being built on the Blue Bird Vision body and chassis that’s been popular in school, childcare, Head Start, church, tour, and shuttle service for some time. The buses use ROUSH’s latest-generation liquid propane autogas system.
School buses have been an area of particular focus by environmental groups over the years because of the unacceptably high levels of emissions school children have been exposed to while being transported and as buses idle at school bus stops. In addition to greater fuel efficiency, propane autogas buses feature lower nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, CO2 greenhouse gas, and particulate emissions