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.

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.


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


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.

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

Contact Jason Torchinsky:

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…


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


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.

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.


Go there, read and look. More tomorrow.


Savings In Your Car – I consider your car as part of your residence

People traditionally do not think of their car or other forms of personal transportation as part of their residential energy package but I think it only makes sense. In between gas and insurance along or electricity now, they can be some of the most expensive things in your life. And it is a big part of of your carbon footprint. This would sure make a differenced.

Fold-up car of the future unveiled at EU

January 24, 2012

A tiny revolutionary fold-up car designed in Spain’s Basque country as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled Tuesday before hitting European cities in 2013.

A tiny revolutionary fold-up car designed in Spain’s Basque country as the answer to urban stress and pollution was unveiled Tuesday before hitting European cities in 2013.

The “Hiriko”, the Basque word for “urban”, is an electric two-seater with no doors whose motor is located in the wheels and which folds up like a child’s collapsible buggy, or stroller, for easy parking.

Dreamt up by Boston’s MIT-Media lab, the concept was developed by a consortium of seven small Basque firms under the name Hiriko Driving Mobility, with a prototype unveiled by European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

Demonstrating for journalists, Barroso clambered in through the fold-up front windscreen of the 1.5-metre-long car.

“European ideas usually are developed in the United States. This time an American idea is being made in Europe,” consortium spokesman Gorka Espiau told AFP.


Go there and read. More tomorrow.


Green Highways – We end the week at LID

Apparently there have been some changes in the recent months at this organization but it is easily one of the coolest green sites I have been to in awhile. It is great to be around an organization that talks nothing but green planning. It’s like being in the future.

Low Impact Development Center
Follow us on twitter


About Us
imageThe Low Impact Development Center was established in 1998 to develop and provide information to individuals and organizations dedicated to protecting the environment and our water resources through proper site design techniques that replicate pre-existing hydrologic site conditions.

Organization Profile

Balancing growth and environmental integrity, the Low Impact Development Center (LID), Inc. is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to research, development, and training for water resource and natural resource protection issues. The Center focuses on furthering the advancement of Low Impact Development technology. Low Impact Development is a comprehensive land planning and engineering design approach with a goal of maintaining and enhancing the pre-development hydrologic regime of urban and developing watersheds. This design approach incorporates strategic planning with micro-management techniques to achieve superior environmental protection, while allowing for development or infrastructure rehabilitation to occur. This innovative approach can be used to help meet a wide range of Wet Weather Flow (WWF) control and community development goals.


More next week.


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.


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.


More tomorrow.


Green Highways – Following up on yesterday’s post

This is an excellent website for more info about green highways. I like their inclusion of the entire roadway’s impact on the surrounding environment. Though I wish they would include a discussion of  landscapes that require no mowing and the inclusion of indigenous plants.


The Green Highways Partnership (GHP) is dedicated to transforming the relationship between the environment and transportation infrastructure.  In its nationwide review of green transportation infrastructure, the U.S. House Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation found the GHP to be “the primary federal vehicle for encouraging the use of green transportation infrastructure by state and local governments and private industry.”  Such a finding says that this effort is not only unique to the nation, but is the only one of its type serving this critical purpose recognized by Congress.

“All of the Federal Government’s greatest achievements in the last half century involved significant amounts of collaboration across sectors.”

Dr. John Bryson, U.MN-
On exercising government leadership through collaboration.

The Partnership
The GHP serves as a voluntary public-private collaborative that advances environmental stewardship in transportation planning, design, construction, operations and maintenance while balancing economic and social objectives. The Green Highways Partnership is supported by an ever growing list of dedicated and experienced partners. However, the partnership would like to recognize the following partners for their considerable financial and staff support:

Greenhighways Partnership EPA Logo Greenhighways Partnership Department of Transportation logo Greenhighways Partnership State Highway Administrator logo

The GHP was initiated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) out of a realization that building safe, sound transportation systems and protecting and sustaining a clean and healthy environment were not mutually exclusive, particularly in light of their common denominator, serving the “public good.”


More tomorrow.


Green Roads Choked By Contractors – The past always repeats itself

This is a guest post. I concur with it. I can’t post the whole thing here because it is a little long. Please go to the website listed below and read the rest.

Green Roads Construction: Are Contractors Our Roadblock?

by Derek SingletonERP Analyst, Software Advice
Jul 07, 2011

The buzz of innovative ideas on how to build cheaper, greener roads is all around us. These ideas range from using scrap construction materials and rubber tires to using recycled glass to reduce our reliance on asphalt. While these brainstorms are laudable, they’ve yet to prove themselves in a total life-cycle analysis.

The green construction practices that have a demonstrated track record can’t gain traction because of an archaic contractor bidding process. And herein lies the problem. A problem that we can no longer afford to ignore given the sheer cost and impact of our highway system.

“Our roads are everywhere. Anywhere you turn, you’re automatically on a road. We can’t get away from them. We step outside of our house and we’re on a road. If we go to a National Park, we take a road. People don’t realize this but [building roads] is one of the highest impact things we do.” – Shane Stathert, Think Green Roads

The need for lower impact roads is a pressing economic issue. Each year, we spend roughly 7 percent of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on transportation infrastructure. For fiscal year 2010, that amounted to nearly $1 trillion. A key input to these costs is the amount of asphalt we use. But the costs don’t end there.

A typical two-lane mile stretch of highway uses roughly 25,000 tons of crushed stone, which is what makes aggregate (the base layer for roads) one of the most mined materials in the world. Then there’s the CO2 emissions. The 32,300 lane miles of road the United States paves every year emits millions of tons of CO2. Here’s a conservative estimate.

Constructing a single-lane mile of road emits 1,200 tons of CO2. If we assume every mile of road built is single-laned (yeah right, not in America) then building our roads emits 38,760,000 tons of CO2 every year. That’s the same as the annual energy use of 6 million homes. Seriously, 6 million, stop and think about that for a second.

Needless to say, these exorbitant costs – both fiscal and environmental – left many in the industry wondering: how can we reduce expense and still maintain the quality of road construction? Thus, the green road construction movement was born.

Recycled Materials: A Reliable Aggregate Alternative?

With 94 percent of paved roads covered in asphalt, the first obvious target was determining how excessive use of asphalt could be reduced to minimize economic and environmental impacts. One idea that’s gaining a lot of attention in the green construction movement is the use of recycled materials for aggregate.

The logic is simple: pick a material with a good consistency that would normally sit in a landfill, grind it up and you’ve got an aggregate substitute or aggregate base. Popular fillers and aggregate replacements include rubber tires, roofing shingles and even glass.

Using recycled material for aggregate in this way not only saves money, but it also makes use of a material that would otherwise remain unused. A single lane mile of road constructed with rubber tires will use roughly 2,000 tires and save as much as $50,000. It also diverts rubber tires from landfills where they’d otherwise pile up and present a fire hazard or act as a breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

But putting what would otherwise be considered trash into our roads raises a healthy amount of skepticism. What happens when the roads break apart? Is it safe for plastics, rubber and used construction material to be exposed to the elements? What if these wash into our water system?

There is a dearth of research on the environmental costs of using such recycled materials for aggregate or mixing them with asphalt. And using recycled rubber is one of the most promoted ways to green a road today. Both the Green Highway Partnership and National Asphalt Association tout recycled rubber as an environmentally safe and viable alternative.


More tomorrow


Green Transportation For The Saudis – Germans sell Leopard 2A1 tanks

Please play this song in the background.

It is kind of a return to our old Jam Band Friday format.


Anyway crossing the boundaries between green transportation, energy policy and crowd control, the Germans announced they had come to an agreement to sell Saudia Arabia 200 of their Leopard 2A1 battle main tanks. As Der Speigel quickly pointed out such a sale sends both a crazy signal to Germany’s large peace community but a defeatist one to those countries involved in the Arab Spring (read: food riots). But when it comes to crushing resistance any battle main usually weighs over 50 ton, so that works out pretty well. Do not be fooled either by the nameless chinese man’s dance with the Chinese battle main because that was a once in a century event. The Arab drivers prefer to get them  babies up to their top speeds of 45 miles per hour and roll. At those speeds they get a whopping 1.3333 miles per gallon. But at more cautious battle speeds they get something more like 4 – 5 miles per gallon. Kinda like a 1963 red corvette. Or maybe a Hummer. But when you compare it to its actual soul mates like the Caterpillar 797 which gets a heart pumping 3 miles per gallon at the same speeds the Leopard is a true jungle cat. OK well I have had enough fun for today.,8599,2081566,00.html?


Should Germany Sell Tanks to Saudi Arabia?

By William Boston / Berlin Thursday, July 07, 2011
Click here to find out more!

Troops of the 37th Armored Infantry Brigade (37. Panzergrenadierbrigade) prepare to board their Marder light tanks.

It’s never easy to balance idealism with political realities, but as Germany grapples with the challenges posed by the Arab Spring it is sometimes hard to tell which side
Berlin is on.

The capital’s latest foreign-policy faux pas is an alleged behind-closed-doors deal to sell state-of-the-art tanks to Saudi Arabia. The deal — so secret the government won’t even acknowledge it was ever discussed — has kicked up a firestorm of protest, uniting an unlikely coalition of leftist politicians, human-rights groups, church leaders and senior members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s own Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party. (See “Angela Merkel: German Rules.”)

News of the deal broke on Sunday, when the newsweekly Der Spiegel reported that Germany’s ultra-secretive Federal Security Council, whose members include Merkel, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and Defense Minister Thomas De Maiziere, approved the sale of 200 Leopard 2 tanks, Germany’s most modern battlefield tank, to Saudi Arabia. During a meeting of the CDU parliamentary group on Monday, Norbert Lammert, the president of the Bundestag — the German parliament — and Ruprecht Polenz, head of parliament’s influential foreign affairs committee, argued forcefully that Germany could not sell such heavy arms to a country known for routine violations of the most basic human rights. “Such decisions cannot be taken at a time when people are fighting for democracy in the Arab world,” said Juergen Trittin, a Green Party leader, on German television on Tuesday.

Protests have also been raining in from church leaders and human-rights activists, who argue that Saudi Arabia is on the wrong side of history in the tide of rebellion sweeping through the Arab world. As the momentum of protests in Tunisia and Egypt carried the Arab Spring into the tiny nation of Bahrain last March, some 2,000 troops from Arab nations close to the ruling monarchy, including heavily armed Saudis, quashed the rebellion. Meanwhile, the German government still faces criticism for abstaining from the U.N. Security Council vote authorizing air strikes in support of Libyan rebels, and still refuses to offer direct military aid, even after softening its position (it does provide about $5.3 million in financial assistance for NATO’s Libya mission.) Against that backdrop, even Merkel’s closest party allies are at a loss to justify the sale of weapons to a nation with a history of oppression.

(See where Angela Merkel falls on the most powerful women list.)

The deal, were it to take place, is stunning not only because of the political signal it sends to pro-democracy activists in the Middle East and North Africa. A weapons sale of that order would mark a significant change in German arms-export policies. For the past 20 years, Germany has refused to sell such heavy artillery to the Saudis, citing concerns over human-rights abuses. German law also forbids weapons exports to countries engaged in a direct conflict — though the definition of conflict is open to interpretation.

dot dot dot (as they say) 

The Leopard 2 tank is manufactured in Germany but is also produced under license in Spain. And the Saudis are believed to have also negotiated with the Spanish, putting Madrid and Berlin in competition for defense jobs. Germany has a small army and with the end of the Cold War there is little requirement for tanks like the Leopard 2 on potential European battlefields. NATO is scaling back its traditional European land defenses in favor of lighter, rapid deployment forces to support campaigns out of the European theater, such as Afghanistan. The shrinking demand at home leaves defense companies looking abroad for contracts.


Leopard 2E

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Leopardo 2E. zaragoza 1.jpg
Spanish Leopard 2E in Madrid, October 2006
Type Main battle tank

The Leopard 2E (E stands for España, Spanish for Spain) is a variant of the German Leopard 2 main battle tank, tailored to the requirements of the Spanish Army, which acquired it as part of an armament modernization program named Programa Coraza, or Program Armor. The acquisition program for the Leopard 2E began in 1994, five years after the cancellation of the Lince tank program that culminated in an agreement to transfer 108 Leopard 2A4s to the Spanish Army in 1998 and started the local production of the Leopard 2E in December 2003. Despite postponement of production due to the 2003 merger between Santa Bárbara Sistemas and General Dynamics and continued fabrication issues between 2006 and 2007, 219 Leopard 2Es have been delivered to the Spanish Army.

The Leopard 2E is a major improvement over the M60 Patton tank, which it replaced in Spain’s mechanized and armored units. Its development represented a total of 2.6 million hours worth of work, 9,600 of them in Germany, at a total cost of 1.9 billion euros. This makes it one of the most expensive Leopard 2s built. Indigenous production amounted to 60% and the vehicles were assembled locally at Sevilla by Santa Bárbara Sistemas. It has thicker armor on the turret and glacis plate than the German Leopard 2A6, and uses a Spanish-designed tank command and control system, similar to the one fitted in German Leopard 2s. The Leopard 2E is expected to remain in service until 2025.


Gets better mileage then the Space Shuttle, which “leapt from the ground like a scared cat” today for the last time. God speed. More next week.


All Electric Vehicles From Cork City Ireland – Guest post

I get requests for guest posts and links all the time. Some are just pretend commercial sites. If they are on topic and interesting sometimes I give them a link or even a post but the legitimate ones I always put up. This one came in while I was posting about nuclear power and I couldn’t figure out a way to work it in. So here is an interesting guy, Evan Collins take on all electric vehicles.

All Electric Vehicles: My Search for the Perfect Electric Car (or hybrid, scooter, bicycle, or motorcycle!!)

Have you ever thought about Switching your Transport to an Electric Vehicle?

If you’re like me or the people I know, probably not! … at least not up to recently.

electric vehicles You may have noticed that, as of today, electric vehicles account for a TINY percentage of all the cars, motorbikes, scooters and bicycles on sale.

The thing is, it seems to be becoming more widely believed that electric vehicles will be the main type of transport around the world within 10 years.

electric vehicles
Hi there, my name is Evan Collins. I’m a Mechanical engineering student and live just outside Cork City in Ireland.

Like most guys (and students) my age, I don’t have much of my own money … but I do need to get around!

I got my car licence a couple of years back and that’s what led to me to talking to you here today.

electric vehicles You see, my parents have insured me on their little Peugeot 207 diesel – and while that’s great – I have some ideas of my own for the future when it comes to car ownership.

While I’m not exactly a dedicated environmentalist, I have come to realise that if I want to get my own set of four-wheels – one that I can actually afford in the next couple of years, then I’m going to take a different approach.

Here’s what I’m going to do:

  • Research all of the pros and cons of electric vehicles – what’s on the market now, what will be in a couple of years time?
  • Test-drive what is around now (now I like the idea of that!)
  • Come up with the best recommendations
  • AND share this information with all of you guys through this website

electric vehicles
I reckon the journey will be worthwhile, with lots of chances to test-drive some cool wheels – and maybe even get a chance to buy one (a Tesla would be nice)!

Of course, with electric vehicles, the theory is that they will save loads on fuel and running costs, as well as lowering environmental impact – and I suppose they will, but I aim to have the coolest set of wheels in town!

electric vehicles So, is it possible to find a lively, good-looking, fuel-miserly set of electric wheels at this moment in time? If not, when? One year from now? Two years? By the time of my pension?

Stay with me here – have a look around – see what happened next. And then make your own mind up!