Here’s some of the latest action in cleantech today:
Ford and Azure Dynamics ship electric vans — The Ford Transit Connect Electric (pictured, right) gets about 80 miles per charge, and some of the first vans will be shipped to the United Kingdom for a demonstration project. The car was made using the body of the Ford Transit Connect commercial van, then electrified using technology from Azure Dynamics. As VentureBeat previously reported, electric trucks and buses are currently one step ahead of mass-market electric cars and gaining traction among corporations like Frito-Lay looking to green their fleets. Ford will also be rolling out the Ford Focus Electric in select cities in 2011.
Grid Net embraces 4G for smart grid communications – The smart grid company’s software now supports the 4G standard LGE, Earth2Tech reports. Grid Net was previously the only major player championing the WiMAX standard, but recently inked a deal with Sprint that will connect meters and routers on Grid Net’s smart grid platform through Sprint’s 4G network.
Renewable energy grant program to expire — Subsidies for solar and wind manufacturers and projects will expire at the end of this year, and Republicans are nixing a move to renew those subsidies as part of overall tax cut legislation, the Wall Street Journal writes. The American Wind Energy Association said yesterday that the expiration of the program could put 15,000 jobs at risk.
Tessera Solar loses top executives — Rumors are swirling around Tessera and SES, sister companies looking to build solar thermal plants but possibly running into funding problems, and in Tessera’s case, making big layoffs, Greentech Media reports. The company was recently in the news for its Calico project, approved (after some administrative finagling) by California regulators.