Las Vegas, long known for the unusual and the spectacular, has come up with the strangest combination yet: a brew concocted from ethanol manufactured from fermented food and beverage waste — including old soda and beer — and diesel.
"The advantage of this concoction over other clean-burning fuels it is requires no mechanical modifications to begin using it," stated Alan Rae, chief executive of AAE Technologies, the company which holds the patent on the oxygenated blend.
Several Citizens Area Transit buses will be running on this concoction during a year-long test to evaluate diesel emissions. It is estimated that diesel emissions will be cut in half.
The buses will be examined periodically by representatives from the University of California Riverside's Center for Environmental Research and Technology to document the fuel's impact on emissions, mileage, and maintenance.
After two decades of effort, a monorail system on the Las Vegas strip is up and running. Next are plans to extend the monorail to downtown and, ultimately, to McCarran airport.
The plan to use the French optically guided diesel electric Civis bus continues to move forward in Las Vegas despite protests.
The Transportation Commission's Old Americans with Disabilities Advisory Committee voted to halt the purchase of the buses because of France's failure to support the United States in the war with Iraq. While the Transportation Commission staff say they understand the concern voiced by the Committee, they have already spent $5.4 million and have paid millions to the Iris-Bus. If the plan was called off they would have to return $10 million in Federal funding.
Using a "Buy American" waiver from the Federal Transit Administration, Las Vegas will be the first metropolitan area in the United States to put into service the technology perfected on the winding roads of France.
The first Civis route will begin running on Las Vegas Boulevard North by the end of the year.
The Terrible Herbst has rebuilt their service station and car wash on the corner of Sahara Avenue and Valley View Boulevard in Las Vegas. They celebrated "April Fuels Day" by offering gasoline for 96 cents a gallon to the first 96 cars in line.
As gasoline prices rose in the Las Vegas Valley, local Toyota and Honda dealers saw a quick upsurge in customers investing in the hybrid cars which run on a combination of gasoline and electric power. They report that not only are the potential buyers tired of rising gasoline costs but they are moved by politics as well and don't want to depend on oil from foreign countries.
Plan on attending the Pacific Oil Conference and Trade Show Sept. 16-18 at the Reno Hilton in Reno. For the first time, the National Association of Texaco and Shell Marketers is bringing their annual meeting to the POC conference.
The keynote speaker at the POC will be Russell Caplan, vice president of sales and marketing for Shell Oil Products.
Check out the sleek new POC web page at www.petroshow.com to make your reservations on-line.
While Las Vegans simmer in the 100-degree-plus heat, lucky travelers will be joining the WPMA's post convention trip planned for June 8-15. They will be cooling off on a Alaskan Inside Passage cruise aboard the beautiful ship, Vision of the Seas. Bon voyage and we all wish we were fellow shipmates.
Originally published in the June 2003 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2003 by KAL Publications Inc.
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