June 19th, 2009
So as far as I can tell there are now THREE great reasons why this is the time to get rid of your old hunk o’ junk and upgrade to a cleaner, greener car.
1) It is the right thing to do for the environment. Remember your car is one of the biggest ways you personally contribute to global warming.
2) There are ridiculous deals on cars right now. Dealers are suffering and you can negotiate with abandon.
3) Congress has just passed the “Cash for Clunkers” legislation that will allow consumers to get up to $4,500 for turning in an inefficient vehicle and buying a new, more efficient one.
So hop to it people!
The new bill would even allow consumers to buy a wide range of vehicles — including large pickup trucks — with the government money when they scrap an older, less-efficient model. The cars that are offered for trade-in must get 18 MPG or less, be built in 1984 or later, and be in operating condition. The new car purchased must be at least 22 MPG for a car, 18 MPG for a light truck or 15 MPG for a heavy-duty truck. To learn more about the requirements for the new cars click here.
The proposed program would subsidize the purchase of 600,000 to one million vehicles,
Popularity: 6% [?]
May 20th, 2009
Written by Christopher DeMorro, courtesy of Gas2.0
Jeremy Clarkson, the outspoken host of Britain’s Top Gear auto show, made a spectacle of racing a Prius vs. a BMW M3, in which the latter recieved better gas mileage. His point was that is isn’t what you drive, but how you drive. Nothing emphasizes this idea more than the Aerocivic, a simple yet highly publicized Civic whose owner, Mike Turner, utilized basic hypermilling techniques such as coasting down hills and shutting off his engine at stop lights to maximize fuel usage. He then took his very basic car a step further by applying an aerodynamic body kit to reduce drag at high speeds, and now he is using the power of the Interweb to give further insight into the how and why of his car, the Aerocivic.
Turner details the cost of improvements to his 1992 Civic DX, such as the boat tail, smaller side view mirrors, and lower nose, all of which work to lower the drag coefficient, thus allowing the car to slide through the air easier and using less power and petrol. Turner says he spent only $400 improving the fuel efficiency of his car, which has been the subject of many stories already, and on a level road going 65 mph he claims to get 95 miles per gallon.
The website is very informational and also details where Mike got his influences, such as homemade aircraft and the 1939 Maybach Stromlinienkarosserie. The little details like the sealed panel gaps and windshield wiper deflectors help greatly in reducing drag, you can really appreciate the thought that went into this car. It is a really great read and contains some good ideas for your own Aero-car project, so make sure you check out the Aerocivic website.
Popularity: 3% [?]
April 26th, 2009
Written byAmiel Blajchman, courtesy of Gas2.0
Masdar City, located within Abu Dhabi, is introducing personal rapid transit “podcars”. Basically, a cross between the convenience of grabbing a cab and a public bus; the podcars will be a component of Masdar City’s public transportation system.
As part of Masdar City’s car-free design; these podcars will be part of a network of electric taxis without drivers (!). The first of these podcars (also known as personal rapid transit - PRT) are set to debut this year.
According to Luca Guala, a planner at the consulting firm Systematica that designed the PRT network, it will:
Initially, the system will be very simple, with only a couple of stations. During this period, the system will function kind of like an elevator – you press a button and go to the third floor. Think of it as a horizontal lift. Later on it will be more sophisticated, and passengers will be able to get within 100 meters of any destination.
Since it is a prototype system, PRT is currently expensive to build. But, doesn’t it just scream “vision of the future”?
Image: Flyway Gotgatan via Flickr’s Media Commons
Popularity: 9% [?]
March 4th, 2009
With the money Detroit got recently, will we finally be able to expect hot green cars from U.S. carmakers soon? Hopefully, but for now, the Toyota Prius is still king. In Consumer Report’s 2009 auto issue, the Prius got the green car top pick nod — for the 6th year in a row.
“The base model’s 44 overall mpg is the best we’ve measured in any five-passenger car,” opines Consumer Reports, which made its top picks based on 3 main criteria — road tests, reliability, and safety — as well as eco-reasons for the green car category.
But lest you lose interest, thinking nothing new’s happening in the green car world, rest assured that the Consumer Reports issue does offer other useful eco info. For one, the “Best in class: Fuel-efficient vehicles” guide highlights six vehicles — from budget cars to minivans — that offer the best miles per gallon value for your needs.
Plus, the New Car Preview gives us a look at some hybrid and electric models — including the Chevy Volt, which I feel I’ve been waiting for so long I’ll have a green heart attack if and when it actually hits showroom floors.
Last but not least is Consumer Report’s Green Car Guide, which goes beyond how you can save gas in your next car to focus on how you can save gas (and money) in the car you have now. You can also check out the handy spreadsheet that shows you fuel savings depending on your car’s MPG, an article on when best to downsize your car (presumably to a more eco-friendly model) to get the most bang out of your buck, and a video on money-saving hybrids.
After all, in this recession, going eco’s important, but saving money’s going to be at the forefront of people’s minds. This auto issue will help people address both to make the most eco-nomically sensible decisions.
Images via consumerreports.org
Popularity: 3% [?]