by Jasmine Petro @ 2:41 pm 1 comment »
Alright, I have a confession to make … (as a Cali-based college student), as much as I try, I don’t bike everywhere. There are mornings when I don’t have the energy to wake up extra early for the bus, and I don’t exactly drive a Prius. Honestly, sometimes driving my car is pretty unavoidable, and no matter how environmentally responsible I want to be, it just isn’t going to be financially feasible for me to pick up the lovely new Leaf anytime soon. But all hope is not lost on me, or any of my fellow classmates who also feel a little guilty about their car usage. Here are a few simple tips for driving a bit greener in whatever wheels you already have:
- Lighten the Load – Cleaning out your car is a quick and easy way to up your mean machine’s green factor (and save money on gas). The more weight a vehicle carries, the more fuel it consumes, so trim the fat for a ride that is lean and green.
- Cruise – Cruise control, if you have it, is a surprisingly useful tool for green driving. Unnecessary acceleration (which many of us do naturally by responding to small changes in traffic rather than taking a long view of the road) is a huge drain on your gas tank. Turning on cruise control is an easy way to counter this troublesome tendency; one test logged a maximum 14% saving in gas consumption just from using cruise control. (more…)
Thursday, October 11, 2012
by Ross Dulmaine @ 2:54 pm 1 comment »
If you’re considering buying a fuel efficient vehicle next year you may want to consider Ford Motor Company’s new C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. Ford is touting the C-MAX (available in early 2013) as the world’s most fuel-efficient plug-in hybrid, boasting an EPA certified 108 MPGe city and 100 MPGe combined rating.
The C-MAX Energi’s combined rating of 100 MPGe accomplishes a best-in-class rating, beating the Toyota Prius plug-in rating by 5MPGe. The EPA equates the 5 MPGe to nearly $7,000 in fuel savings within the span of five years and at a starting price of $29,995 (after federal tax credit and including destination and delivery costs) — the C-MAX Energi is expected to be America’s most affordable plug-in hybrid.
The 100 + MPG club includes the Ford Focus Electric at 110 MPGe in the city. The C-MAX Energi joins the C-MAX Hybrid as part of Ford’s first hybrid-only dedicated line of vehicles. C-MAX Hybrid, available in dealerships this fall, is now officially EPA-certified at 47 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined – beating Toyota Prius v by up to 7 mpg.
“Ford is giving customers the power of choice for leading fuel economy regardless of what type of vehicle or powertrain technology they choose,” said John Davis, chief nameplate engineer, C-MAX Energi. “With $5-per-gallon gasoline, C-MAX Energi customers essentially will pay $1.25 per gallon for the same distance traveled compared with average vehicles estimated to achieve 23 mpg.”
C-MAX Energi features include:
- Regenerative braking
- Hybrid transmission
- Advanced Lithium-ion battery – covered by an eight-year/100,000-mile
- Charge port with LED light ring
- EV mode button – allows a driver to switch vehicle operation between three modes: all-electric and normal hybrid operation to conserve fuel
- ECO Cruise saves vehicle energy by relaxing acceleration compared to standard cruise control
- SmartGauge with EcoGuide provides in-vehicle customizable displays, including instantaneous fuel economy readings and coaching functions to help drivers understand and optimize their fuel efficiency
Source: Ford Motor Company
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
by Mojisola Ogunleye @ 10:11 am 2 comments »
Seeing natural gas fueling public buses of Southern California and expanding to the commercial trucking fleets of businesses like Coca Cola, makes me wonder why this transition to cleaner natural gas power is not being applied to the general public. The recent record increases in gasoline prices across the United States are occurring when the transition to natural gas systems for consumer automobiles seems to have been put on the back burner.
While hybrid and electric car technologies are currently available and/or being developed and more extensive use of biofuels is on the horizon – the benefits, savings and emissions reductions of natural gas could be realized now. According to energy analyst Frank Curzio, natural gas is implemented as an option to the mass market cars in Europe and Asia, but not in the United States (Growth Stock Wire, 2012). Ronnie Oldham, owner of CleanFuel Conversions (located in Austin, Texas), converts cars to run on natural gas. It only took Oldham $5,000 to convert his own car to natural gas power. Natural gas costs him about $1.90 per gallon at a local natural gas filling station compared to the local gasoline stations charging twice as much per gallon for gasoline. Oldham believes in the near future the entire nation will be running on this cleaner alternative to gasoline.
Since the U.S. has tremendous natural gas reserves (much of it untapped), this can help reduce our exposure to skyrocketing gasoline and oil prices and market fluctuations created by oil market speculators, government conflicts, and accidents (refinery fires and spills), while also reducing our dependence on foreign petroleum regulated by OPEC and other foreign suppliers.
additional source: statesman.com
natural gas bus photo via shutterstock.com
Friday, July 6, 2012
by Ross Dulmaine @ 4:47 pm post a comment »
GreenTech Automotive of Horn Lake, Miss. just unveiled the American version of the MyCar — a two-seat all-electric vehicle that produces zero emissions and provides a range of up to 115 miles. Due to U.S. regulatory restrictions the American version of the car will have a top-speed of 25 miles per hour and thus be classified as a Neighborhood Electric Vehicle* (NEV). The European Union version of the MyCar has a top speed of up to 45 miles per hour. Though small in stature the MyCar meets and exceeds all safety standards for its vehicle class.
The little EV can be recharged via a common 110 wall outlet, a 220 wall outlet or a fast charging system with re-charge times ranging between three to twelve hours depending on the charging system used. The vehicle is expected to retail for around $15,500.
*Note: most vehicles falling under the Neighborhood Electric Vehicle regulations are restricted to roadways with posted speed limits of not more than 45mph.
related: more green car news from The Alternative Consumer
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
by Omar Khalidy @ 11:45 am post a comment »
From a niche, almost novelty vehicle to a powerhouse in a little over a decade, the Prius has proven itself to be a market role model for the future of transportation. Despite the fact that many consumers likely think of hybrid vehicles as “alternative,” the Prius has become the third bestselling vehicle worldwide.
It finds itself in good company as well, first quarter sales of the Prius trailed only behind the Toyota Corolla and 2012 Ford Focus whose respective quarterly sales were 308,000 and 277,000 cars. The Prius sold just 30,000 less cars than the Focus to solidify its place on the Top 3 podium. (more…)
Saturday, May 19, 2012
by Omar Khalidy @ 1:35 pm post a comment »
There’s a new and encouraging reason to consider investing in an electric vehicle, especially for the largest car market in the nation, California; Pacific Gas and Electric has revised a recent proposal that is laying the framework for a $1 per gallon fuel baseline.
The per gallon baseline is used to refer to cost per mile in a manner that the majority of the population can relate to. Not as many people know what a Kilowatt-hour is or how it applies to their electric vehicle and efficiency, so PG&E incorporated the standard that everyone can understand.
The new proposal relates when and how consumers can charge their vehicles most efficiently — and inexpensively — during off-peak hours. The older proposal only granted night time hours and a hefty 8$ monthly charge. Due to public outcry PG&E has eliminated the monthly charge (for now) and also includes more charging options (nights, weekends, and the ability to keep existing charge plans for customers until 2015).
According to David Goldstein, having a similar charging standard nationwide would save “consumers and businesses $16 trillion (cumulatively till 2050)”. Something that should not go unnoticed.
So implementing this new proposal could mean “a world of difference” for the future and it could be coming as early as in the fall.
Refer to the PG&E website for more information about the proposal and other related news.