Alternate propulsion news

By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine

— After a lengthy investigation and prosecution, the state of California settled with NRG Energy and its subsidiary  Dynegy  for $120 million in a matter related to installing public charging stations for pluggable EVs. Under the agreement, twenty mil was to be paid to the state, and the agreement required the company to spend most of the rest to install “Freedom Stations” as part of the Electric Highway program.

That didn’t sit well with Ecotality, a competitor for the charging station contracts. The company has now filed a lawsuit charging that the settlement makes NRG “the default provider of charging stations” and that the company is “being punished” to use its own products.

— Got an ’01-05 Honda Civic that’s a little tired? Send your car and $24,000 to the ChargeCar project at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa and they’ll send you back an electric car. The conversion is complete with everything needed, including an updated dash display. They say the electro-Civic is good for about 40 miles of range under the usual “normal conditions.”

—  The headline said “California cuts hydrogen fuel funds,” but that’s not all of the story. The

California Energy Commission decided to re-examine nearly $30 million in grants, most of which would go to two private companies who were to build hydrogen refueling stations in the state.

Air Products and Linde Group were the prime players selected by the California Fuel Cell Partnership, an industry development group including Chrysler, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, VW and Toyota. All of the OEMs are working on hydrogen fueled vehicles.
The state is evaluating whether the two suppliers were a little too cozy with each other and whether any collusion occurred.

— Toyota’s Prius in all its guises — including the recent C, V, and Plug-in models — has become the best selling car in Japan, and according to some stats, the third most popular car in the world. U.S sales numbers are respectable, up 42% for the first three months of this year compared to last, and continue to grow.

And yet, while Booz & Co’s “U.S. Automotive Industry Survey and Confidence Index” predicts that alternative powertrains may carve out 10% of the market in the next eight years, few believe it can happen without government support through tax incentives or rebates. Additionally, many said  the higher initial costs of such vehicles was a stumbling block to general acceptance.

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society’s blog has been honored as the best business to business blog in the Automotive Aftermarket by the Automotive Communications Awards and the Car Care Council Women’s Board!

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 33rd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Training Conference and Trade Show, Be the Best of the Best will take place February 7-9, 2013 at the Caribe Royale, Orlando, FL.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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