Self-driving trucks are on the roads of the US state of Utah. Uber has been sending self-driving trucks on delivery runs across the state since November. The trucks haul goods in both directions, using Uber Freight to coordinate load pickups and dropoffs with local trucking companies. Uber Freight is an app that matches shippers with loads. Trucking is a $700 billion industry in the US that moves 70% of all domestic freight. Uber does not plan on entering the trucking industry but may consider selling its technology to other companies.

The Canary Islands off the Atlantic coast of North Africa will form part of an European Union study to see if hydrogen can be produced using renewable energy to power cars, boats and heat buildings. The project will include construction of a hydrogen plant on the islands, where up to 25 kilogram of hydrogen gas a day will be produced, sufficient to power up to 10 commercially-available cars with a maximum range of 600 kilometers. The hydrogen will be generated using seawater and solar panels. Dr Pau Farràs Costa from the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway said:

“The plan for the project is to study if this model is a viable business model to export to other places within the islands and other regions. We are looking at other possibilities including heat, but also for boats and ferries. We are focused on islands because they are so dependent on fossil fuel imports.”

An alliance of 11 Japanese automakers and energy firms (“Japan H2 Mobility”) said it will build more filling stations for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. They intend to nearly double the amount of hydrogen stations by adding 80 new stations over the next four years adding to the 100 or so that already exist in Japan. The joint venture includes car manufacturers Toyota, Nissan and Honda along with major gas and energy firms.

The European Union has approved a five-year project that plans to replace diesel generators widely used for backup and temporary power with a hydrogen (H2)-powered equivalent. The 12 companies that comprise EVERYWH2ERE have been given €7 million ($8.7 million) to build eight plug and play gensets powered by hydrogen fuel cells to be used for portable, temporary power in urban environments.

Eco-Business writes about the potential of hydrogen to replace fossil fuels.

The European Commission has approved financing for an Italian plan for the production and distribution of advanced biofuels, including advanced biomethane for use in the transportation sector. These fuels are referred to as second and third-generation biofuels. The European Union will provide €4.7 billion (US$5.8 billion) over the period 2018 until 2022 to assist in financing the project. The plan will be financed by transport fuel retailers who are obliged by law to include a certain percentage of advanced biofuels and biomethane in their fuel blends .Advanced biofuels and biomethane are produced from feedstock that do not require agricultural land for their production, and include waste, agricultural residues, and algae. Since they have much higher production costs than fossil fuels, producers of advanced biomethane and biofuels will receive a subsidy which allows them to compensate for these higher costs and compete with fossil fuels in the transport sector. The subsidy can be increased if producers also make investments to improve the distribution and liquefaction of advanced biomethane. The level of the subsidy will be reviewed each year in relation to the production costs to ensure that producers are not overcompensated. The plan will also provide incentives to Italian farmers to produce biofuel and biomethane from manure and other residues originating from their farming activities and use the fuel to power their agricultural machines and vehicles. The EU’s Renewable Energy Directive requires all 27 Member States to ensure that at least 10% of all energy consumed in the transportation sector comes from renewable sources by 2020.

The city of Reading, England has introduced 17 new double decker buses that are powered by biogas. The biogas is produced from food and sewage waste. The buses will be operating on the city’s busiest route. The compressed natural gas (CNG) buses have a range of 250 miles and can refuel at the Reading bus station. The city now has 40 buses running on biogas. John Bickerton, chief engineer for Reading buses states:

 “Running a biogas fleet is less than 70% of the direct cost of a diesel fleet. They’re also much more reliable, which would be worth paying a premium for. Switching to biogas has meant a saving of up to 20% on fuel costs too.” 





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