Written by Prognog Staff   

Chevy Volt GM recently released their new plug-in hybrid, concept car, the Chevrolet Volt.  Unlike other hyrid vehicles, the Volt will be pushed along exclusively via an electric motor powered by a next-generation battery pack that is recharged by a small, gasoline powered onboard motor--or plugged into any standard, electricity socket.

There's only one catch to this exciting car, the technology isn't available to make production feasible--and may not be for several more years.  "We have a thoroughly studied concept, but further battery development will define the critical path to start of production," said Jon Lauckner, a GM vice president for product development.

That said, the fact that GM is willing to put it's name behind such a product is worth mention.  GM has recently been criticized for its abandonment of the EV1 electric car which it produced from 1996 to 2003.  GM claims that it learned a lot about electric vehicles from that product and that technology helped in the creation of the Volt.  The biggest changes in this new generation of electric/hybrid car will feature small, more powerful batteries that recharge faster, more room for passengers and faster maximum highway speeds.

The Chevy Volt is projected to fun for about 40 miles on electric-only power before the motor kicks in the start recharging, though the gas motor will never actually power the car itself.

Read more: A New Plug-In Hybrid, The Chevy Volt
Written by Web master   

Hybrid CarA hybrid vehicle or gas-electric hybrid powered vehicle uses a mixture of technologies such as internal combustion engines (ICEs), electric motors, gassoline, and batteries.Today's hybrid cars are driven by electric motors powered by both batteries and an ICE. Please see Gas-Electric Hybrid for further clarification of what the word hybrid is describing with regards to these vehicles.

Written by Prognog Staff   

Written by Gregg Hall

Hybrids are one of the most popular options in transportation today. Consumers are flocking to these vehicles for many reasons. One of the most popular reasons consumers love hybrids is because they save them hundreds of dollars a year in gasoline purchases.

Read more: The Latest in Hybrid Happenings
Written by Prognog Staff   

Prof. Andrew Alfonso Frank, Director of Hybrid Vehicle Research at the University of California-Davis, has recently written an interesting article on the need to move towards using plug-in hybrids vehicles (PHEV). He claims: "In contrast, to the much touted hydrogen economy, there is no need for massive infrastructure development and construction. The PHEV allows us to immediately transition from our dependence on oil for transportation to one where we can begin to transition to cleaner and more efficient electricity without a need for new infrastructure.

Read more: Plug-In Hybrid
Written by Prognog Staff    Hybrid-car Hybrid cars are very popular vehicles in today's society. Hybrid cars combine the power of a gasoline engine with the environmental benefits of an electric engine to create what most consider being a better car. There are essentially two different types of hybrid cars on today's market.

Read more: Second Hybrid
Written by R.E. Lord   

Image The nation's first ever biorefinery designed to convert switchgrass into ethanol has recently been christened in Tennessee.  The demonstration facily is 74,000-square-foot and experts predict that the plant should produce 250,000 gallons of ethanol.  In addition to switchgrass, the plant uses matter from agricultural residue (such as corn cobs) and bioenergy crops.

The plant is expected to open for commercial purposes in 2012.  Tennessee has allocated $70 million on the project of turning switchgrass into ethanol, or "grassoline" as they call it.  The impetus for the project comes from the Federal government as Congress has mandated an increase in the use of ethanol.

Local growers, up to about 40 in the region, are receiving subsidies to grow switchgrass for use as ethanol and at present about 2,600 acres of the crop are being grown in the area.


Written by Prognog Staff   

Ethanol GrassOn the surface, ethanol seems like a great idea.  Instead of importing millions of barrels of oil, why not just use the renewable resources readily available domestically?  The problem is, however, this wonderul renewable resource, at least in the United States, happens to also feed millions of people and animals.

One possible answer to this dilemma is to produce ethanol from an alternative resource--one that we don't already use for consumption.  Ethanol derived from cellulosic materiels such as grass, wood, straw and other plant materials seems to be one such solution.


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