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Presentan el primer vehículo eléctrico 100% español

El primer coche eléctrico pensado, desarrollado y fabricado en España ya es una realidad. SEAT ha presentado el prototipo Altea XL Electric Ecomotive, un vehículo de propulsión totalmente eléctrica y cero emisiones de CO2. Además, el fabricante español también ha mostrado el nuevo prototipo León TwinDrive Ecomotive, un vehículo híbrido enchufable. En los próximos meses, SEAT cederá unidades de ambos modelos a Administraciones Públicas de Cataluña y de Madrid y a empresas e instituciones para que los incorporen a sus flotas de vehículos. Esta prueba permitirá recoger datos sobre el uso de los coches y evaluarlos para que, a medio plazo, SEAT fabrique vehículos eléctricos en serie. La compañía prevé lanzar al mercado el primer híbrido eléctrico enchufable en 2015 y, un año después, un coche puramente eléctrico. La estrategia de SEAT apuesta por la diversificación de tecnologías alternativas. Por esta razón, el fabricante español presenta ahora dos modelos distintos pero complementarios: uno de propulsión eléctrica y otro híbrido eléctrico enchufable. El presidente de SEAT, James Muir, ha explicado que “los clientes demandan una movilidad más sostenible, pero sus necesidades son diversas. Por esta razón, creemos que nuestra estrategia de desarrollar en paralelo estas dos tecnologías diferentes posicionará a SEAT en un lugar óptimo para satisfacer estas necesidades”. El anuncio del lanzamiento de los primeros vehículos eléctricos coincide con la mayor ofensiva de producto de la historia de SEAT, en la que la compañía lanzará cuatro nuevos modelos al mercado durante los próximos doce meses. El primero será el Mii, el nuevo vehículo urbano de SEAT. La electromovilidad, un proyecto compartido Para asegurar el futuro de la electromovilidad en España no sólo se necesitan vehículos sino también los componentes que precisan los vehículos, como las baterías, y la infraestructura de recarga. Por esta razón, SEAT –el primer inversor industrial en I+D de España– lidera el proyecto CENIT VERDE. En esta iniciativa de colaboración publico-privada, fabricantes, universidades y centros de investigación y el Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación están investigando desde una perspectiva global las bases para que la implantación del vehículo eléctrico en España sea una realidad. Altea XL Electric Ecomotive, el primer vehículo eléctrico de SEAT El Altea XL Electric Ecomotive abre el camino a la electromovilidad en España. Con una autonomía de 135 kilómetros, como en todos sus modelos SEAT garantiza placer de conducción ya que su motor tiene una potencia de 115 CV (85 kW) y su par motor es de 270 Nm. Esta potencia se traduce en una velocidad punta máxima de 135 km/h. Con su amplio espacio interior y maletero de dimensiones generosas, el Altea XL eléctrico se adapta igualmente bien a las necesidades de una familia o de una empresa de transporte. La ubicación inteligente de sus baterías debajo de los asientos posteriores y del maletero no supone una disminución del habitáculo. Un sistema sofisticado de regeneración con par de frenado ajustable optimiza el uso de la energía. Así, cuando el Altea XL Electric Ecomotive está aparcado al sol las células fotovoltaicas instaladas en el techo cumplen la función de recircular con aire fresco el habitáculo del vehículo, lo que reduce la necesidad del consumo de energía por el sistema de climatización del vehículo. El vicepresidente ejecutivo de I+D de SEAT, Dr. Matthias Rabe, ha explicado que “SEAT tiene asegurado un futuro eléctrico. Con el Altea XL eléctrico demostramos la madurez de nuestra tecnología”. Y, ha añadido: “El Altea XL Electric Ecomotive ha sido una elección estudiada para la primera flota. Nos permitirá experimentar en una amplia variedad de usos”. León TwinDrive, un coche para todos los usos El nuevo SEAT León TwinDrive Ecomotive es un concepto innovador de híbrido enchufable, ya que aúna las ventajas de conducir sin emisiones con la autonomía de un vehículo equipado con el tradicional motor de combustión interna. En modo eléctrico el TwinDrive tiene una autonomía de 52 kilómetros y alcanza una velocidad de 120 km/h. Y en modo combinado (eléctrico y combustión) la previsión de consumo es de tan sólo 1,7 litros de combustible o 18,5 kWh por cada 100 kilómetros, lo que equivale a unos escasos 39 g/km de emisiones de CO2, con una velocidad máxima de 170 km/h. En palabras del vicepresidente ejecutivo de I+D de SEAT, Dr. Matthias Rabe, “el León TwinDrive Ecomotive es una solución innovadora y fascinante. Técnicamente, permite conducir de una manera totalmente eléctrica y, al mismo tiempo, disfrutar de una propulsión híbrida inteligente”. “Gracias a su gran autonomía, ninguno de nuestros clientes tendrá que cambiar su estilo de vida o hábito de transporte”, ha...

Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, rápido y de bajo consumo

La automotriz alemana presentó una versión deportiva con motor híbrido, uno de las mayores apuestas en el mundo de los autos ecológicos. Por Gabriel Tomich @GabrielTomich Especial para ConexionBrando  ¿Puede ser un automóvil deportivo y ecológico al mismo tiempo? El nuevo Porsche Panamera S Hybrid que manejamos en Alemania es un ejemplo que la velocidad y el ahorro de combustible no son tan opuestos como se cree. El secreto de Porsche para construir el Panamera S Hybrid, Gran Turismo deportivo, pero a la vez lujoso, confortable y de bajo consumo, es la tecnología Parallel Full Hybrid, que combina un propulsor naftero V6 3.0 con un motor eléctrico que, en conjunto, entregan una potencia de 380 CV. Eso sí, además de las funciones normales de los autos híbridos para circular por áreas urbanas, como la recarga de la batería mediante la recuperación de la energía cinética al frenar y el sistema Start&Stop que apaga y enciende el motor cuando el auto se detiene cierto tiempo (en un semáforo, por ejemplo), el Panamera S Hybrid dispone de la función denominadanavegación a vela para las autopistas. Con ella, se mantiene la inercia de avance sin utilizar el motor V6 hasta una velocidad de 165 km/h. El carácter deportivo queda a salvo con prestaciones como 270 km/h de velocidad máxima y 6 segundos para acelerar de 0 a 100 km/h. El consumo promedio es de 6,8 l/100 km.  Además, la suspensión neumática PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) se ajusta electrónicamente para dar más confort de marcha o mayor dureza para doblar estilo sport. El interior es lujoso con variadas combinaciones de cuero para tapizar las cuatro plazas delPanamera, el primer modelo de cuatro puertas en la historia de la marca de Stuttgart. Equipamiento le sobra. Se destaca la gran pantalla táctil de 7″ para utilizar el Porsche Communication Management ( PCM ), sistema que integra las funciones de confort, audio, comunicaciones y GPS.  La lista de opcionales, además, es muy amplia, incluyendo el Porsche Rear Seat Entertainment,que dispone de dos consolas integradas en los respaldos de las butacas delanteras con pantallas TFT orientables de 7″, reproductores integrados y auriculares inalámbricos. Otro elemento que puede ser incorporado en el paquete de entretenimiento del Panamera S Hybrid es el sistema de sonido envolvente Bose de 545 W de potencia.  Original...

Lufthansa passenger flights taking off with Biofuel

Hamburg passengers boarding Lufthansa’s 11:15 a.m. flight LH013 to Frankfurt a week from today shouldn’t be startled to hear this announcement: “Fasten your seat-belts, secure your tray tables, and place your inedible plants in the engine.” That’s because on Friday, July 15 Deutsche Lufthansa AG will do something no other airline has done: It will begin using jet biofuels regularly on routinely scheduled commercial passenger flights. Airlines have flown plenty of demonstration biofuel flights, including one last week when KLM-Air France powered a Boeing 737-800 between Amsterdam and Paris using discarded cooking oil. Three weeks ago, two flights crossed the Atlantic ocean non-stop on their way to the Paris Air Show using biofuels processed by Honeywell from camelina, an inedible plant. But no airline has yet introduced biofuels into regular passenger flights. Standards body ASTM cleared the way for that to happen last Friday when it issued final approval for jet biofuels. Barring another airline beating them to the punch, Lufthansa will become the first to use them regularly. It will use a 50/50 blend of biofuel and conventional fuel on 8 of its daily 28, 50-minute flights between Hamburg and Frankfurt over the next 6 months. Lufthansa has dedicated one 200-passenger two-engine Airbus A321 to the 244-mile route. One engine will run on the blend, supplied by Finland’s Neste Oil, and the other on conventional kerosene fuel. The airline has not modified either engine. Why just one engine, and not both? Does that represent a lack of confidence? “It’s safe,” Lufthansa spokesman Aage Dünhaupt told me. “Otherwise we wouldn’t be using it.” Dünhaupt said that the dual fuel use on the same aircraft gives the airline an opportunity to compare the performance of the separately fed engines under exactly the same flying conditions over the 6 months. The ASTM certification and Lufthansa flights come about 3 months later than originally expected, as ASTM delayed its approval while the industry conducted further tests. The 50% blend is the highest ratio permitted under ASTM specifications. Biofuels do not contain the critical sulphurs and aromatics present in hydrocarbon fuels that prevent leaks in engines, tanks and pipes. Aromatics tighten engine seals by swelling them, for instance. A 50% blend assures enough sulphurs and aromatics, according to Dünhaupt. Biofuels also have a lower density than ASTM’s minimum requirement. Lufthansa has been eagerly awaiting ASTM approval. It has already purchased 800 tons of Neste’s NExBTL blend, which is sitting in a tank at the Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel Airport. That’s enough fuel to cover the 1200 or so flights over the 6 months, Dünhaupt said. He would not reveal how much Lufthansa paid for the fuel, except to say it was “more than double” the price of conventional kerosene-based fuel. Lufthansa is spending €6.6 million on the flights, a “large percentage” of which is fuel, Dünhaupt said. Other costs include monitoring equipment to help measure engine performance. Jet biofuel prices can be vastly more expensive than conventional jet fuel, but should decline as suppliers like Neste, Honeywell UOP and others ramp up production. Neither Lufthansa nor Neste would yet reveal the “feedstock” for the biofuel. Dünhaupt would only say that the fuel does not come from palm oil. “We have to leave some news for the day,” Dünhaupt said. Neste, an €11.9 billion ($17 billion) oil company, uses a variety of sources including rapeseed oil – a common variety is known as canola in N. America – palm oil and animal waste, among others. The industry is experimenting with various sources to minimize competition for food and water. These include inedible plants like camelina and jatropha, as well as microalgae. Biofuels could help slash airlines carbon emissions and avoid price and availability issues associated with hydrocarbon-based fuels. “Our interest is to have sustainable resources in the future, to have an alternative to offer flights at affordable prices to everyone,” Dünhaupt said. Lufthansa estimates that the 1200 flights will save 1500 tons of CO2. Original...

Chinese aircraft flies on plant oil

An Air China Boeing 747 passenger jet powered by plant oil took to the skies recently in an hour-long flight around Beijing, a test that could mark the beginning of more widespread use of biofuels by the Chinese aviation industry. The plane was powered (in part) by a biofuel produced from jatropha, a hardy-drought resistant shrub that grows oil-heavy seeds (see photo). The plant has been championed in recent years as the perfect biofuel source because it grows on marginal lands and isn’t edible.  Despite all the cheerleading, jatropha has its shortcomings. It’s expensive. And it requires a lot of water to produce the a bumper crop. Fueling airplanes with jatropha-derived plant oil isn’t new. Several European carriers includingKLM Royal Dutch Airlines use biofuels on a regular basis. Still, China dipping its toe into aviation biofuels is noteworthy. If the government adopts an aviation biofuels plan, the market impact would be sizeable. Chinese aviation regulators are part of a global constituency that coordinates 15,000 commercial flights a day and is one of the fastest growing markets, reported the Wall Street Journal’s China Real Time Report. Some project stats: The jatropha plants were grown in the mountains of China’s Yunnan province; The flight used a 50 percent blend of petroleum-based fuel and “green jet fuel” made from the jatropha seed in one of the four engines; Honeywell International and PetroChina jointly produced the “green jet fuel” used on the flight. The aircraft was powered by Pratt & Whitney PW4000 94-inch engines. There were no modfications to the aircraft or engines, which means the plant oil is a “drop-in” fuel. Original...

Air China and Boeing Conduct First Chinese Sustainable Biofuel Flight

Air China, Boeing and Chinese and U.S. aviation energy partners today conducted China’s first sustainable biofuel flight. The two-hour mainland flight from Beijing Capital International Airport was witnessed by officials from both countries and highlights the viability of using sustainable aviation biofuel sourced in China. “Through our collaborative efforts with China we have found an incredible partner and place where national capability, innovation and technology come together in a remarkable way,” said Boeing China President Marc Allen. “This historic flight illustrates exactly how bilateral collaboration can help address environmental challenges, and we commend the Chinese for their leadership in helping to develop sustainable aviation solutions.” PetroChina, working with Honeywell’s UOP, sourced and refined the China-grown, jatropha-based biofuel used for today’s flight aboard a Boeing 747-400 powered by Pratt & Whitney engines. China National Aviation Fuel blended the biofuel with traditional jet fuel and also provided aircraft fueling support. China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) and Boeing also announced an agreement for further study of regional biofuel development. The study results will help support future efforts to establish a sustainable aviation biofuels industry in China, and also form the foundation for an announced renewable energy agreement between the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the NEA. Air China and Boeing are already working plans for an international flight between the U.S. and China fueled by sustainable biofuel, which will highlight increasing cooperation on renewable energy development between the two countries. “The recent success of our biofuel initiatives with government, energy and aviation organizations in China and around the world underscores the tremendous support that exists for the macro-economic benefits and value aviation provides through its unique ability to connect people, cultures, goods and services,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes Vice President of Environment and Aviation Policy, Billy Glover. “Working closely with the Chinese and U.S. energy agencies we can reduce carbon emissions in the two largest aviation markets, while helping to ensure sustainable industry growth.” The China-Boeing aviation partnership dates back nearly a century, with more than half of all commercial jets operating in China today being Boeing aircraft. Boeing and its partners, including the US-China Energy Cooperation Program, are now jointly addressing the challenges of sustainability and working to establish a pathway for China to create a sustainable aviation biofuel industry. Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Boeing Research & Technology are at the forefront of the global effort to expand aviation’s fuel supply through sustainable options. For more information on Boeing’s sustainable biofuel initiatives, please visit www.newairplane.com/environment or www.SAFUG.org . Original Post:...

Apple working with US energy company on North Carolina solar farm

By Neil Hughes While companies from China dominate solar panel production, Apple has opted to partner with an American company to help build its forthcoming solar farm in North Carolina, AppleInsider has learned. Leaf Solar Power, a renewable energy company based out of Lake Worth, Fla., is working with Apple on a new solar farm that will power its $1 billion data center, according to a person familiar with the ongoing project. Leaf Solar’s involvement in Apple’s North Carolina solar farm may be the the company’s largest and most lucrative partnership yet, as Leaf’s officialLinkedIn page notes that it specializes in residential and “small” commercial projects in South Florida. Last month, local permits revealed that Apple is planning to build a solar farm across from its massive data center in Maiden, N.C. Details for the project have not yet been revealed, as a permit obtained by Apple simply applies to erosion control. More details on the solar farm will surface when Apple decides to formally apply for a building permit — a process that could also expose the full extent of Leaf Solar’s involvement in the project. When contacted by AppleInsider on Tuesday, a person representing Leaf Solar declined to comment. The company is also said to have co-developed solar projects in Tennessee, and also allegedly received a request for proposal for a 17-megawatt solar farm in Arizona. The person said the company is also looking to open a 300-megawatt “world class manufacturing facility,” but AppleInsider could not confirm the accuracy of these claims. The move by Apple to conduct business with a U.S.-based solar company comes at a time when production of solar panels has been increasingly sent overseas. In particular, solar panel production has greatly shifted to China over the last two years. China’s dominance in the solar panel market has become such an issue that earlier this year, U.S. President Barack Obama signed a law with a “Buy American” provision for the purchase of solar panels by the Defense Department. The U.S. government hopes the American military’s investment in renewable energy can be kept stateside, rather than sending money overseas for solar panels built in China. The extent of Leaf Solar’s involvement in Apple’s North Carolina solar farm is not yet apparent, but the company’s recently updated website does name “Solar Farms” under its list of products offered. A business description listed on Yelp also notes that Leaf Solar “specializes in solar power installation, including solar hot water heaters, solar pool heating, and solar electric energy.” Apple’s massive data center in North Carolina was first announced in July of 2009. The $1 billion project eventually opened this spring to support Apple’s online services, including iTunes and the newly launched iCloud. Use of sustainable energy at facilities including data centers is not new for Apple. The company’s website boasts that just 2 percent of its energy footprint comes from facilities, while its operations in Austin, Tex.; Sacramento, Calif.; and Cork, Ireland; use 100 percent renewable energy. Apple’s commitment to green energy has been well documented, but the company’s partnerships with overseas companies, particularly for assembly of popular devices like the iPhone and iPad, have also generated negative publicity. In particular, Apple’s relationship with Foxconn, which runs a number of massive assembly facilities in China, has come under fire on numerous occasions.Every year Apple audits its overseas partners, and one report issued this February revealed that the company terminated business with a facility that employed 42 underage workers. The audit also uncovered one case of bribery, in which a facility manager offered cash to Apple’s third-party auditors to reduce the number of audit filings, prompting Apple to cease business with the company. Given the controversies that stem from Apple’s partnerships with overseas companies, the company’s believed decision to broker a deal with a U.S.-based renewable energy company, rather than outsourcing the work to China, could be viewed as significant. The apparent deal could also help to fuel investment in homegrown “green” energy solutions, bolstering America’s role in the push for renewable power while creating sustainable jobs in the area. Original...

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