Cool Green Cars – I haven’t done any car posts this year

I usually do a series of car posts every year, and maybe this is the time to do it. I know starting on a Friday is kind of obtuse but heh it gives me a couple of days to look at cools sites and cars before I do another post. These are hybrids but the real moves have been in all electric.

Five Hybrid Concept Cars We REALLY Want To Drive

Jun 22, 2012

Every now and then, we allow our thoughts to drift here at GreenCarReports.

Naturally, we’re thinking forward rather than back, and often to the cars we might be driving around in five or ten years time.

We’ve compiled a list of five concept cars seen at auto shows over the last year or so. All are hybrids, and all showcase exciting new visions of styling and technology that could well hit the roads in the near future.

Hyundai i-Oniq

Given the meteoric rise of Korean brands Hyundai and Kia over the last few decades, it’s only right that they should play a part in our future too. The i-Oniq concept car, revealed at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show back in March, is a sleek, two-door range-extended hybrid.

Though the styling evokes images of a huge engine under the hood, the concept uses a tiny 1.0-liter 3-cylinder unit, supplying power to a 107-horsepower electric motor when its 75-mile battery range is depleted. We’re pretty confident that 75 miles would cover most of our day-to-day driving, but that little gasoline engine would provide a useful extra 360 miles.

And you know what? It looks pretty good too.

 

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That is one of 5. Go there and read. Pretty pictures too. More next week.

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Oh If This Were True – Humans voluntarily give up fossil fuels

How cool would the world be if we actually stopped raping the Earth and started responsible stewardship instead. But I am suspicious around humans, so we will just have to see.

http://www.wheels.ca/news/peak-oil-are-we-looking-at-it-all-wrong/

Peak oil: Are we looking at it all wrong?

By as early as 2015, global demand for oil will begin to decline, some scientists say. Not because we’ll have run out of the fossil fuel, but because we just won’t need as much of it.

Published May 31, 2012

I don’t know about you, but when I’m skimming around on the Web and I catch sight of the phrase “Scientists now say” or “Some analysts find” I usually just click right on by. Because that article is going to be a bummer. Those analysts will find that the U.S. educational system is actually removing knowledge from children’s minds, and those scientists will turn out to say that pizza consumption is related to early-onset dementia. So I keep going until I find something about psychic twins or a baby raised by goats.

But it’s a good thing I broke with tradition when I came to the New Scientist article “Dump the pump: When oil will lose its luster.” Guess what these scientists and analysts now find? You know that whole problem with oil, how eventually it’s going to run out and trigger a global depression and maybe a breakdown of civilization and is it really such a good idea to bring children into this crazy world? Well don’t sweat it, everything’s going to be totally fine. It’s all going to be one hundred percent a-okay.

All right, that might be a somewhat simplistic rendering of the argument. What the scientists and analysts are arguing – and presenting evidence for – is that although we’ve been worrying this whole time about peak oil supply, the operative force will actually be peak oil demand. Due to a variety of factors – the article focuses mainly on advances in automotive fuel efficiency – global demand for oil is only going to keep increasing for a few more years, after which it will begin to decline and will continue on a downward path.

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I just printed the premise. Go there and read the rest. More Next week.

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Car Gets Over 2000 MPG – Well it is not really street legal but it is still amazing

If we could all get this kinda performance out of a 50cc engine we would be…well geniuses like the ones at Cal Poly. It is a little cramped and probablely hot but 2000 miles is a long trip at 30 miles per hour. So while the headline is deceptive, this is an amazing accomplishment.

http://inhabitat.com/students-build-black-widow-supercar-that-gets-2752-3-mpg/

Students Build Black Widow Supercar that Gets 2752.3 MPG

by Ariel Schwartz, 02/19/10
Think claims of electric vehicles that get over 200 MPG are impressive? Try this on for size: a group of mechanical engineering students at Cal Poly have developed a vehicle that can get up to 2752.3 MPG — and it doesn’t even use batteries.

The Cal Poly Supermileage Team‘s wondercar, dubbed the Black Widow, has been under construction since 2005. The 96 pound car has three wheels, a drag coefficient of 0.12, a top speed of 30 MPH, and a modified 3 horsepower Honda 50cc four-stroke engine. It originally clocked in at 861 MPG and has been continuously tweaked to achieve the mileage we see today.Want to see the Black Widow in action? The car is being entered for a fourth time in the Shell Eco-marathon along with a new three-wheeled Urban Concept vehicle. Who knows? Maybe this one will break the 3,000 MPG barrier.

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Go there and read. Especially look at the pretty pictures. More tomorrow.

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Littlest Greenest Car – But it is way too much money

I love things like the Smart Car, the Coopers and all the little electric cars I have reported on over the years so of course I like this one too. The thing that amazes me is how much money they cost. I mean you can argue that you are front loading your costs…yada yada blah. But noway I am paying that kinda money for a car period.

http://jalopnik.com/5910190/the-worlds-smallest-cars-are-back-on-sale-for-insane-money

The World’s Smallest Cars Are Back On Sale, For Insane Money

Contact Jason Torchinsky: jason@jalopnik.com

May 17, 2012 4:00 PM

Like an adorable, tiny zombie popping out of its tiny, adorable window-box grave, the Peel P50 and Peel Trident are back from the dead. Neither of the tiny, tiny cars has been built since 1966, but a new company, with funding from the BBC’s show Dragon’s Den, is starting production up once again, as announced earlier this year. They’re street legal in the UK and US, and you can buy them for an absurd price £10,000 ($16,000).

The Peel P50 is the World’s Smallest Car, most famously enjoyed (indoors and outdoors) by Jeremy Clarkson. The Trident is a sort of sportier-looking model, with the same mechanicals (original: 49cc, 4.2 HP) but swaps the cyclopian porta-potty look for a very 50s-modern bubble-topped futuristic fiberglass body. The Trident also can hold two, instead of the solitary seat of the P50.

The modernized P50 and Trident swap the old (reverseless) three-cog transmission for a CVT unit, and use a 3.35 HP motor (one of the few times the hundredths decimal place is important), which is enough to push the 198 lb Trident or 240 lb P50 to 28 mph (electronically limited— maybe you could go a bit faster?). There’s electric versions as well, with roughly the same specs, except instead of an amazing 118 mpg, you have a meager 15 miles between charges. Dead dinosaurs sure hold a lot of energy.

At 118 MPG, Peel advertises…

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Pretty Pictures Of Places That Use Too Many Scarce Resources Too Get Around

Pretty much for the next couple of weeks I am going to post things that strike my fancy, that float my boat, and that pique my interest. I am returning to my google whoring headline grabbing self of 2007/2008. Yes sir, I am bored and I ain’t going to take it no more. Here are some pretty pictures of some popular places that pay several thousand dollars per household per year to do pretty simple stuff.

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-cities-that-are-most-screwed-by-peak-oil-2012-5?op=1

The 10 Cities That Are Most Screwed By Peak Oil

Gus Lubin and Michael Kelley

May 13, 2012, 8:20 AM?

Gas prices may finally be cutting into American sprawl, as cities have started growing faster than suburbs and people are driving less than they used to.

So what happens if gas prices keep going higher?

You can’t live in a cities like Merriam, Kansas without driving everywhere, as Maggie Koerth-Baker observes in Before the Lights Go Out.

We looked at the cities that spend the most at the gas pump, with 2010 data from consumer data site Bundle. You can imagine what will happen in these places if prices double, triple or worse.

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Go there, read and look. More tomorrow.

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Trying To Figure Out Lawn Mowing – Here at least is some help with the numbers

I know lawn mowing seems trivial in some respects, but for this blog it is purposeful behavior. Behavior that can be modified. Mowers do not start themselves nor do they drive around by themselves. So for millions of us every time you start a mower think about it. Do you really need to do this and is this mower the right one for the job?

http://www.peoplepoweredmachines.com/faq-environment.htm

Cleaner Air : Gas Mower Pollution Facts

Push Mower Comparison Chart

EPA Statistics: Gas Mowers represent 5% of U.S. Air Pollution

Each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year and producing tons of air pollutants. Garden equipment engines, which have had unregulated emissions until the late 1990’s, emit high levels of carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides, producing up to 5% of the nation’s air pollution and a good deal more in metropolitan areas.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a new gas powered lawn mower produces volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions air pollution in in in one hour of operation as 11 new cars each being driven for one hour.

Gardeners Spill More than the Exxon Valdez

And speaking of gas, the EPA estimates that over 17 million gallons of fuel, mostly gasoline, are spilled each year while refueling lawn equipment. That’s more than all the oil spilled by the Exxon Valdez, in the Gulf of Alaska. In addition to groundwater contamination, spilled fuel that evaporates into the air and volatile organic compounds spit out by small engines make smog-forming ozone when cooked by heat and sunlight.

Calculate Your Gas Mower’s Emissions

Until 1995, lawnmower emissions were unregulated. Older more powerful, less efficient two-cycle engines release 25-30% of their oil and gas unburned into the air. Gas mowers emit hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen (the principle ingredients of smog), particulate matter (damaging to the respiratory system), carbon monoxide (a poisonous gas) and carbon dioxide (contributing to global warming). The health toll includes cancer as well as damage to lungs, heart, and both the immune and detoxification systems. Plus smog inhibits plant growth. Lawnmowers are currently subject to EPA’s Phase 2 regulations. These requirements have reduced volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides emissions by over 70 percent from unregulated levels. EPA’s Phase 3 regulations take effect in 2012 for lawnmowers and will result in additional reductions in these pollutants.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Gardening And Energy Conservation – How do you figure

Most people do not see gardening your own food as saving energy. They see it as healthy and even self reliant. It does save a huge amount of energy. First and foremost there are no transportation costs to your vegetables. If you use a lot of fertilizer then that changes some but the cost of an avocado  from Mexico is huge. Second, you are not driving heavy equipment like at a large vegetable farm. You should see the fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides they use.

http://gardenofeaden.blogspot.com/

ROSEMARY

Rosemary is one of those plants that not only smells good, it tastes good and looks good too. When I say taste, I mean as a flavoursome herb so don’t start chomping on a random stem and expect it to fill you with culinary delights – because it won’t!

Be that as it may, rosemary plants are fantastically popular and are often found in gardens as a specimen shrub or informal hedging.  Evergreen – and tolerant of most soils so long as the drainage is good, they will even put up with most of the weather that Britain can throw at it despite is warmer origins of the Mediterranean and Asia

Its Latin name, Rosmarinus officinalis, means “dew of the sea” and while rosemary is most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking you don’t need perfect sunshine, or a sea mist to grow it successfully. All you need to provide is a free draining, sunny spot. Poor soils are no obstacle and it will even survive periods of drought.If you are growing it as a formal hedge then it can be clipped throughout the growing season, but be aware that if you do this you will be removing the flower buds and so it won’t produce flowers for you.

If you are using it as a specimen plant then you can prune after flowering. Otherwise, August to September will be the best months.

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Go there and read tons of stuff. More tomorrow.
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What If We All Had The Energy Storage And The Efficiency Of The Astronaut’s Devices

While this post is all about cars and utility storage systems, the title for this blog is a lift from a question the author asks halfway through the article.

http://www.intelligentutility.com/article/11/06/power-storage-advances-unexpected-sources-renewable-energy-storage-kicked-high-gear

Power Storage Advances from Unexpected Sources: Renewable Energy Storage Kicked Into High Gear

James Cahalin | Jun 02, 2011

What do you think has a greater impact on society, a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport or a Tesla Roadster? Both have spectacular performance reviews, with the Super Sport setting top speed records. Both will turn heads driving down any road or even through any parking lot in the world. Both are truly engineering marvels.

However, the engineering accomplishments behind both vehicles will be dwarfed by the advances Tesla has made with its power storage devices. Let’s take a look at a few numbers for both vehicles (see table).

These numbers are astonishing. As a “car guy,” the opportunity to drive either of these vehicles would be amazing. However, as an energy professional, these numbers are even more astonishing.

Amazing Head Output

The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport was designed and built for one purpose — to set a new speed record. It is also what I like to refer to as a “straight-line car.” What I mean by that is simple: Even with that much horsepower and amazing technological advances, there are cars (and some cost under $100,000) that can beat the Super Sport around a race track.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Creating Green Transportation Options Take Money, Cash and Moola – Suspended regulations do not hurt either

 

While Solyndra made headlines, Aptera’s crash and burn is deeply frustrating because solar panels are made all over the world so the loss of one company is no big deal. The press of course had a field day with it as well they should. But not everyone tries to make green cars. So this is a sad piece as well.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1070490_aptera-collapse-how-why-it-happened-a-complete-chronology

Aptera Collapse: How & Why It Happened, A Complete Chronology

December 12, 2011
t’s not the best photo, but it means a lot to the 19 people in it.Posed in front of a mirrored glass office building under a colorful logo, they are the final employees of the now-defunct Aptera Motors on the last day of its existence: Friday, December 2.

Now we can bring you the inside chronology of the events that led to the end of Aptera.

Costly, risky, and very, very hard

Over the last week, we’ve interviewed former CEO Paul Wilbur and former marketing VP Marques McCammon, who were there to the very end.

We also spoke at length with company founder Steve Fambro, who resigned his seat on the Aptera board of directors early this year. He had been replaced by Wilbur as CEO in September 2008.

If there’s one lesson to be learned from Aptera, it may be this: Starting a car company takes a huge amount of money–orders of magnitude more than the software startups Silicon Valley venture capitalists like to fund.

If the cash runs out at any point, the company will die.

Not just a single car

Through several hours of conversations, a few themes emerged from the Aptera story as recounted by Wilbur and McCammon.

The pair speak highly of the entire workforce, all of them now looking for jobs.

And it is clear that the car designed by founders Fambro and Wilbur was not the car Aptera ended up developing. In fact, it created a longer, larger version of the three-wheeler to comply with the 738 separate Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards covering cars that may legally be sold.

Then, after it became clear that funding a three-wheeler wasn’t going to be possible, the company switched gears in January and threw all its design resources into creating a four-seat, four-wheeled car using the same plastic composite body shell construction as the original three-wheelers.

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Go there and read. More tomorrow.

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Automobile Mass Transportation – More green then driving yourself

I have some questions about this guest post. I have a hard time imagining this as a true green option. I guess if you took the train to where you are going, or if the car is going to someone else maybe. It is hard to think of long haul truckers as being the friends of the environment but as always I am open to new ideas.

http://a1autotransport.com/

by

Preston Web

Automobile Transporting – Something to consider when moving a car

 

When thinking about “going green” and the different ways in which one can retrofit their lifestyle to live more sustainably, is not usually one of the first green alternatives to pop into mind. However, with the great advancements being made in the freight shipping industry, auto shipping has become a much more viable choice than ever before.

 

Moving your vehicle with an auto transport company has always been a sustainable option considering the fact that you’re using one truck to ship multiple cars, which can cut the amount of fuel consumption by up to 80%. If you were to multiply the gallons of gas saved on each auto shipment by the thousands of auto shipments which are made every year, the total amount of fuel saved would be tremendous.

 

Now beyond the reduction of fuel consumption that is already associated with using freight transport to move your vehicle, there are a number of innovations that are helping to make auto shipping a much more eco-friendly option. Some of the cutting-edge technologies being utilized by environmentally aware companies include:

 

–         Idle Reduction

–    Aerodynamic Technology

–         Diesel Oxidation

–         Modernized Logistics Systems

–         Emission Reduction

–         Crankcase Ventilation Filters

–         Emission Reduction

 

 

Before choosing an auto transport company for your shipment, be sure to inquire as to what methods of sustainability they are currently putting into practice. If the only response you get is, “Well, we recently put in a recycling bin here at the office,” then you might want to consider a different service provider.

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More tomorrow.

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