Coretalk: House Approves Bill To Increase Ethanol Fueling Pumps At Gas Stations
By an overwhelming vote of 355-9, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill (H.R. 5534) that would use fines collected from violators of corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards to fund the placement of ethanol fueling pumps at gasoline stations
At this time, only 800 gas stations have E-85 pumps installed, less than one percent of all gas stations. Automakers incur about $20 million in CAFE fines annually. Supporters hope this money could double the number of pumps available to dispense ethanol or other alternative fuel.
The bill would provide grants of between $30,000 and $60,000 to gas stations to install alternative fuel pumps. The grants would be available only to independently-operated stations and not to those owned by large oil companies. No date has been set for a Senate vote.
IPD LLC Begins Delivery Of 'User-Friendly' Monthly E-Newsletter
IPD LLC of Torrance, CA, has announced a monthly E-Newsletter available to customers and friends beginning in July 2006. This newsletter includes product updates, new products as well as other IPD or industry news. However, it will not include pricing so it will be "end-user friendly," according to the company.
IPD has been manufacturing high quality diesel and natural gas components since 1955. More information and copies of the IPD E-Newsletter is available from the company's Web site: www.ipdparts.com.
Ford Begins Production Of First Hydrogen-Powered V10 Engine For North American Shuttle Bus Use
Ford has begun production of its supercharged, hydrogen fueled 6.8L V10 engine that will power Ford's E-450 hydrogen-fueled shuttle buses. The hydrogen-powered buses are scheduled to be delivered to fleet customers later this year, first in Florida and then in other locations across North America.
According to Ford, it is the first automaker in the world to produce a dedicated hydrogen-fueled V10 engine. While the hydrogen internal combustion engine shuttle buses will provide valuable real-world experience, Ford is also conducting research into next generation hydrogen internal combustion engines, including features such as direct injection to enhance power and fuel economy.
Ford says hydrogen internal combustion engine technology represents an important step toward enabling hydrogen to become a viable motor fuel. Hydrogen fueled internal combustion engines have many advantages including high efficiency, all-weather capability and near-zero emissions of regulated pollutants and greenhouse gases (CO2). They can also be easily hybridized for further gains in fuel efficiency.
Ford's first hydrogen internal combustion engine demonstration vehicle, released in 2001, was based on a lightweight aluminum sedan body, which also was used in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Subsequent projects included the Model U concept, first showcased at the 2003 North American International Auto Show, several Focus-based demonstration vehicles, a V6 powered tractor in use at Orlando International Airport as well as two hybridized transit buses. At the 2006 North American International Auto Show, Ford displayed the Super Chief Concept, which demonstrated Tri-Flex technology, which allows a vehicle to run on hydrogen, E85 ethanol or gasoline.
Ford's partner Mazda recently delivered its RX-8 Hydrogen RE to its first two corporate customers. These vehicles, equipped with a rotary engine, feature a dual-fuel system that allows the driver to select either hydrogen or gasoline with the flick of a switch.
Additionally, the company also has a fleet of 30 hydrogen powered Focus fuel cell vehicles on the road as part of a worldwide, seven-city program to conduct real-world testing of fuel cell technology. The 30-car fleet has accumulated more than 240,000 miles since its inception.
Cummins To Produce High-Performance, Light-Duty Diesel Engines With Unnamed North American OEM Partner
Cummins Inc. has reached an agreement with a major automotive manufacturer to produce and market a light-duty, diesel-powered engine for the North American market. Cummins' OEM partner wants its identity to remain confidential for competitive reasons.
As part of the agreement, Cummins will develop and manufacture a family of high-performance, light-duty diesel engines for a variety of automotive applications in vehicles below 8,500 pounds gross vehicle weight, including standard pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles. Certain bus, marine and industrial applications also will be served by this engine family.
The first vehicles with this engine are expected to be ready for market by the end of the decade. Cummins anticipates that this diesel engine will provide an average of 30 percent fuel savings, depending on the drive cycle, over gasoline-powered engines for comparable vehicles.
The concept for this product is the result of a nine-year partnership between Cummins and the U. S. Department of Energy. The DOE contract began in 1997 because of the federal agency's ongoing interest in energy efficiency in the automotive market.
Cummins has not yet selected a manufacturing site for the new engine, but after an extensive search has narrowed the candidates to a short list of states. The company expects to have added 600 new jobs approximately two years after product launch.
For more information about Cummins, go to: www.cummins.com.
EPA And U.S. Customs Acknowledge Recent Rise In Illegal Engine Part Imports, Also Corresponding Fines
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the last nine months, federal agencies have seized or turned away more than 11,000 illegal parts for gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles and equipment. The importers of these parts have been assessed almost $800,000 in EPA civil penalties, in addition to U.S. Customs penalties and storage fees.
Recently, there has been a marked increase in illegal engine parts from China. EPA requires, under the Clean Air Act, that imports have emission labels. Many of these illegal imports are missing, or have false, emission labels. Consumers are advised to check for such labels, as products that are missing labels are likely to be illegal imports.
For more information on importing engines and vehicles, visit www.epa.gov/otaq/imports/index.htm.
EPWI Names Aftermarket Veteran Greg Dunlap New Operations Manager
Engine & Performance Ware-house, Inc. (EPWI) has named Greg Dunlap as its new operations manager. Dunlap will join EPWI on Oct. 1, following a 13-year career as president of the engine parts program group, Engine Pro/Engine Parts Group.
In this new role, Dunlap will join EPWI's Senior Management Team and will be responsible for the management and direction of a wide range of EPWI corporate operational matters and project activities.
Dunlap brings more than 30 years of automotive and engine parts aftermarket experience to his new position with EPWI. Dunlap started his automotive career in 1974 and has held senior management positions with both aftermarket and OEM automotive and automotive parts companies including Repco Limited/Repcoparts USA, Inc., Nippon Denso, Daihatsu America Inc. and Engine Pro/Engine Parts Group, Inc.
For the last 12 years, Dunlap has held the position of president of Engine Pro/Engine Parts Group, the nation's leading engine parts program distribution group headquartered in Wheat Ridge, CO. EPWI is both a current and charter member of Engine Pro/Engine Parts Group, Inc.
Dunlap will remain in Colorado and will office in the EPWI corporate facility located in Denver.
PRI Orlando Trade Show To Feature Opening Night All-Star Karting Race
A new feature - the "Stars of Karting" - will join the PRI Trade Show in Orlando, Dec. 13-15, 2006.
Many of North America's racing stars will participate in an All-Star kart race to run Thursday night, Dec. 14, on a specially configured track adjacent to the Orange County Convention Center. Some of racing's best drivers will return to their roots and square off against the top karters of today.
Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, IndyCar driver Bryan Herta, and Stars of Karting Promoter Paul Zalud will bring their Stars of Karting competitors to the PRI audience to perform on a special, 12-turn sweeping and twisting purpose-built track to showcase their exciting wheel-to-wheel racing action.
Over 30 specially selected kart racers, along with several guest stars, will compete in this invitation-only event, guaranteed to thrill PRI Trade Show attendees with their racing skills.
Admission is free and the 7 p.m. start time follows PRI's special "Happy Hour" which will run in the lobby of the Convention Center starting at 6 p.m. Show exhibitors and attendees can catch up with industry friends and then go out to watch the kart race.
In addition, the 2nd Annual MOPAR PRI Sprint & Midget Classic will return to Orlando Speedworld on Friday night, Dec. 15th, 2006. MOPAR has returned as title sponsor along with Impact Racing, which will provide the $50,000 bonus to the winner of both features.
The racing will feature both a Sprint and a Midget 40-lap feature races. Impact Racing is offering a $50,000 bonus award if any driver can win both the Sprint and Midget feature races, with the added challenge of having the winner of the first race start dead last in the second feature race.
Nitto Tire returns as sponsor of the popular drifting exhibition. "Drifting is one of the most action packed spectator sports out there right now, we are very proud to be involved with PRI and the Drifting exhibition for the second year," said Nitto Tire's Jonathan Ozeretny.
Associate Sponsors include: Cometic Gasket, Oakley, C & R, JE Pistons, L.A. Sleeve, Edelbrock, The Driver's Challenge, Brown & Miller Racing Solutions, Fuel Safe and Performance Friction.
CV Products and Smiley's will provide Purse Enhancement prizes of $1,500 each for the fastest qualifying Midget driver (CV), and the same amount for the Sprint race from Smiley's. JE Pistons is offering $100 for every car the winner of the first Sprint Car feature race passes in the Midget feature race, after starting dead last in the Midget race. Klotz has posted a lap leader prize for the Midget race.
Entry and ticket information will follow shortly, and additional information is available at www.performanceracing.com.
AAIA Publishes Electronic Edition Of Popular Aftermarket Factbook
The CD-ROM version of the 2006/2007 edition of the Aftermarket eFactbook is now available from the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA). With identical content to the best-selling Aftermarket Factbook, users of the eFactbook can access information from the CD-ROM, whether in the office or on the road. Charts and tables can be printed or copied and pasted into Excel, PowerPoint and other software packages.
The 2006/2007 Aftermarket eFactbook provides a comprehensive overview of the entire aftermarket industry and includes information on: overall size of the automotive (i.e., light duty) aftermarket; overall size of the heavy duty aftermarket; key aftermarket segments (paint and body equipment, tool and equipment, etc.); DIY consumer demographics; and more.
The 2006/2007 Aftermarket eFactbook is available to AAIA members for $199 and to non-members for $449. To order a copy of the eFactbook or the printed Factbook, call 301-654-6664. For more information, visit www.aftermarket.org. Discounts are available for multiple copies.
Dana, Desc Dissolve Spicer Mexican Joint Venture
Dana Corp. and Desc S.A. de C.V. completed the dissolution of their Spicer S.A. de C.V. Mexican joint venture last week, providing Dana with full ownership of several core operations in Mexico.
The operations will be folded into Dana Holding Mexico S.A. de R.L. de C.V. Dana will take full control of the JV‚s drivetrain component operations, in which it previously held a 49 percent minority interest. The company also makes a cash payment of $19.5 million to Desc, which assumes full ownership of Spicer‚s transmission and aftermarket gasket operations. With the completion of the deal, Dana acquires full ownership of five manufacturing plants in Mexico, with combined 2005 sales of $296 million, the company says. Desc, in turn, acquires full control of four operations in Mexico and Knoxville, TN.
Meanwhile, Dana is supplying Ford Motor Co. with cylinder head gaskets, front cover gaskets and thermoplastic cylinder head cover modules for use on the 3L Duratec V-6 powering the Ford Freestyle and Five Hundred and Mercury Montego vehicles. The cylinder head cover, which is completely recyclable, includes the cover, perimeter gasket, spark plug gaskets, fastener assemblies, baffle and vent tube, Dana says.
Separately, Dana reportedly wants to pay CEO Mike Burns a $6 million bonus, payable in two installments, if he can lead the company out of bankruptcy or sell off its assets. The proposal, made in U.S. bankruptcy court in New York, is part of a $10.3 million executive compensation plan involving five other executives. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for July 19. In addition, the plan calls for a $1 million annual salary for Burns, along with an additional $2.1 million bonus for 2006. Dana, which reportedly paid Burns $2.3 million last year, filed for Chapter 11 protection March 3.