Who is the Winner? EVs or Flex-Fuel Vehicles and Biofuel?

bangkok-thailandIn looking at the future of alternative fuel vehicles—principally electric vehicles (EVs)—in the Thai market, it appears that the only push for promoting EVs is coming from the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT). In fact, the only comprehensive study on EV use in Thailand has been conducted by EGAT, which suggests that shifting electricity generation at power plants for use in electric vehicles would improve plant efficiency. However, can this alone be the driving force for consumers to move to purchasing EVs? The answer is an emphatic ‘No.’

Thailand’s Future Energy Plans Focus on Biofuel

A major obstacle in transitioning to EV use in Thailand comes in the form of the government’s Alternative Energy Development Plan (2008‐2023), which clearly shows that planned energy output to serve the transport sector for the next decade will be provided by biofuels, not electricity.

Thailand has an abundant supply of sugar cane, which can be processed into ethanol. Ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel made by distilling and fermenting crops, such as sugar cane, and more experimental sources such as cassava and molasses. Continue reading ›

US Makes Progress in Fuel Efficiency, EVs

Mike Omotoso

In a recent speech about long-term energy policy in the United States, President Obama spoke about the need to develop alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. He said developing alternative energy sources is a priority due to recent crises in other parts of the world, including changes in the Middle East and concerns about the impact of the ongoing Japan nuclear power plant reactor situation, which is causing rolling blackouts and auto plant shutdowns. One of the goals in this new energy policy is to cut our oil imports by one-third by 2025. President Obama stressed that the United States needs to promote programs focusing on biofuels, natural gas, electric vehicles, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks, according to news reports.

US automakers have made significant progress in some of these areas. The two main areas are fuel efficiency and electric vehicles (EVs). Less progress has been made in biofuels and natural gas. Most natural-gas vehicles are in the medium-duty truck segment, and there are diesel pickup trucks such as the Dodge Ram, Ford F-Series and Chevrolet Silverado that can use up to 20% biodiesel. Continue reading ›