Fashion Home Decor Design Health & Beauty Green Gadgets Eco News Food Alt Energy Pets


The Ford Focus Electric – America’s New Most Fuel Efficient Car


The new Ford Focus electric touts specs that have lead the EPA to proclaim it the new leader in fuel efficiency — yes even over the beloved Nissan LEAF.

The Focus, which is the first of many in Ford’s forthcoming “family” of electric vehicles, showcases a combined 105 MPGe (electric) rating, besting the Leaf by 6 MPGe. Pricing is comparable to the LEAF– estimated to be about $40,000 before any government aid or manufacturer rebates. Range is estimated to be around 100 miles on a single charge when driven with “good” habits.

Microsoft Infotainment Screen

A big upside to the Focus driver experience is the Microsoft infotainment system. The system provides users feedback in ways that enhance the overall driving experience, including a valuable new feature — Value Charging.

Value Charging gives customers the ability to “reduce their electricity costs by taking advantage of off peak or other reduced rates from their utility without a complicated setup process”. In other words it’s a “set it and forget it” process which always shows the best location and times to charge the vehicle without the need for user input; ever.

Ford is upping the ante in other ways, too; the car company plans to have a lineup of 10 cars with leading fuel economy. Chief Engineer Eric Kuehn explains, “Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology (electric or fuel) they choose.” So whether or not a customer opts for electric, they can rest assured that whatever Focus model they do purchase will be among the leaders in its class when it comes to fuel efficiency.

A competitively-priced American car built in the U.S. with global implications, that features innovative, cost-saving technology and great fuel economy; sounds like a recipe for success.

sources: +

related: more green car articles on The Alternative Consumer

Share it:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Book Review: The World in 2050

What will the world be like in 2050? Which countries will be the dominant forces? And what about our resources? The World in 2050, written by Laurence Smith, predicts the answers to all of these questions and more by acting as a Thought Experiment.

world_in_2050_bookcover.jpgIn this thought experiment, Smith examines four global forces “that have been busily shaping our 2050 world for tens to hundreds of years:”

  • demography
  • humans’ growing demand of natural resources, services, and the gene pool of our planet
  • globalization
  • climate change

According to Smith’s book, all lands and oceans located 45 degrees N latitude or higher will undergo an alteration—“making them a place of increased human activity, higher strategic value, and greater economic importance than today.” (For good and ill) Labeled as the “New North,” this area currently comprises eight countries: United States, Canada, Iceland, Greenland (Denmark), Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia.

One of the really cool things about this book is the chapter titles—take for example Martell’s Hairy Prize. And, each opening to a chapter is told with such an interesting narrative. This isn’t just a bunch of pages filled with numbers.

What I especially find interesting is the book’s take on our looming water crisis. As I have long feared an outbreak of destructive wars over this source of vitality, which every living being needs. The World in 2050 offers a solution to this problem that I had never before considered. I’ll give you a hint so that you can find out for yourself: The water crisis is also about information.

You may not agree with everything in this book. But, I’ll tell you one thing. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the importance of Smith’s last question addressed to himself and his readers: “What kind of world do we want?”

Note: The World in 2050 was originally published in 2010

Share it:

eco news roundup


Share it: