The Volkswagen Hover Concept Car is a pod-like zero-emissions vehicle
that uses electromagnetic road networks to float above the road.
Air-Powered Car Coming to U.S. in 2009 to 2010 - Zero Pollution Motors - 1000-Mile Range - Popular Mechanics
Compressed-Air-Powered Car: 2013This five-seater car runs on compressed air, has zero pollution, very low running costs
"New technologies will change how we live and how we drive our cars which all will have the beneficial effect of improving the environment and in my judgment we need to set aside whether or not greenhouse gases have been caused by mankind or because of natural effects and focus on the technologies that will enable us to live better lives and at the same time protect the environment."
-- President Bush, in response to Al Gore's documentary on global warming, An Inconvenient Truth
The challenge: Build the world's most fuel-efficient production car - one that gets maybe 250 miles per gallon and causes little or no pollution. The payoff: prize money from the group that awarded $10 million for the world's first private spaceflight two years ago. "Ford's Model T got 25 miles per gallon, and today a Ford Explorer gets 18 miles per gallon," says Peter Diamandis, X-Prize Foundation chairman. "We believe the time is ripe for a fundamental change in what we drive — and we believe an X-Prize in this area can drive a substantial change."
A British inventor unveiled a car he claims is the world's most fuel efficient -- capable of doing 8,000 miles (12,875 km) to the gallon (4.5 litres). Andy Green, 45, spent just 2,000 pounds (2,925 euros or 3,732 US dollars) over two years creating the three-wheeled contraption in his spare time. The car, named "TeamGreen," is 3.1 metres (10 feet 2 inches) long and a mere 0.6 metres (2 feet) wide, weighing just 30 kilograms (four stone).
Hybrid Cars Newsletter
The Hybrid Cars Newsletter is a free email-based newsletter discussing the latest news and information in the world of hybrid gas-electric vehicles.
Subscribe and unsubscribe at
HTTP://WWW.HYBRIDCENTER.ORG is the place to go for information about hybrid vehicles. It combines scientifically-sound, solution-oriented research with comprehensive consumer information, helping drivers and policymakers alike separate hybrid fact from fiction.
Toyota Prius Hybrid
We run an independent site dedicated to the Toyota Prius Hybrid Car.
The aim is to give visitors unbiased information on this model from the viewpoint of an ordinary car user.
The latest environmental ratings for new cars are available on ForMyWorld,
a new Web site from Environmental Defense and the National Wildlife Federation.
The ratings, from the American Council
for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), assign each type of auto a Green Score based on fuel economy, tailpipe emissions and other factors. The score enables users to compare the environmental impacts of similar types of vehicles.
Read the release:
Visit Buying Green on ForMyWorld:
Look at this site for green cars:
WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2002 (ENS) - A new website offers information on how employers can offer commuter choices that are better for the environment. The website has been launched by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation to support the Commuter Choice Leadership Initiative, the agencies' first business/government partnership to reduce air pollution and global warming associated with vehicle use.
The goal of the initiative is to reduce the traffic and air pollution of 15 million cars. U.S. employers can contribute to improving energy resources, reducing air pollution and improving public health through this voluntary program, the EPA says. Participating employers commit to offering a number of commuter choices, such as car or van pools, telecommuting, and guaranteed rides home for workers using public transit who have a personal emergency or must work unscheduled overtime.
The new website provides information on:
Did you know?
“We’ll have fun, fun, fun till her Daddy takes the T-Bird away”.
- The Beach Boys
On any given day headlines might say (a) the price
of oil is going up, (b) the price of oil is going down. Most people
don't have the time to sit down and actually sort through everything. So
there's a media coverage issue there. In other words, there's no
foundation for agreement (or belief) for most people. Without strongly
held convictions, you don't have activism. Most dramatic change occurs
when the objective conditions become so intolerable they force activity
on a sufficient number of people to make the change. That hasn't happened
yet with global warming or with oil depletion. But when faced with hard
evidence or an impact that affects us directly, we can change course rapidly
in this country. It happened after the first oil crises. It happened in
California after the major blackout, voluntary measures cut electricity
consumption to the point where we didn't have a repeat. It's starting
to happen with auto purchases (sales of full-size SUVs dropping).
One of the tricks in building awareness and active responses to global warming and depletion is to make it more immediate. One way it becomes more immediate for people is for them to understand what others are doing and why. Ask around, I bet you'll find someone you know who has made a switch.
So back to passenger vehicles. What do you do with your old Subaru Outback when you can't afford a new hybrid or a diesel? Vehicle maintenance and driver behavior play very important roles in maximizing fuel efficiency and minimizing emissions in older cars. Keep the tires at the right pressure, keep the filters clean, the engine tuned, and so on. Basic stuff.
In terms of driving, you can make a big difference by not speeding. Studies have estimated that on the highway, some 50 percent of the energy required to keep rolling is aimed at overcoming aerodynamic drag. As speed increases, the aerodynamic drag and rolling resistance increase. Cut the speed, conserve fuel. A rule of thumb says that an increase in passenger car speed from 65 mph to 70 mph typically results in a 10 percent decrease in fuel economy. The 10 percent decrease is not a linear relationship -- there is an increasingly greater increase in fuel consumption as speed increases. The 55 mph speed limit was originally established 30 years ago in response to the set of oil crises then.
In traffic, you can cut your engine at traffic lights, or if you're stopped for more than a few seconds. As an example, the Japanese government is taking a campaign for such manual "idling stop" from buses and taxis and other commercial vehicles to the general car-owning population in an effort to save fuel and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. In tests run by the government, idling-stop reduced fuel consumption by 13.4 percent. We are now seeing automatic stop-start systems appear in even non-hybrid new cars.
How quickly do people worldwide need to change their consumptive nature in order to stop the wrecking ball of unsustainability? A useful perspective comes from the Hirsch report, prepared for the Department of Energy, on strategies for mitigating the impact of depletion:
Waiting until world oil production peaks before taking crash program action leaves the world with a significant liquid-fuel deficit for more than two decades.
Initiating a mitigation crash program 10 years before world oil peaking helps considerably but still leaves a liquid-fuels shortfall roughly a decade after the time that oil would have peaked.
Initiating a mitigation crash program 20 years before peaking appears to offer the possibility of avoiding a world liquid-fuels shortfall for the forecast period.
So urgency varies with assumption of the date of the actual onset of depletion. If we actually hit peak production within the next year or so, as many are increasingly thinking, we're in for a rough decade at the minimum, more likely two. And that's in the scenario of a peaceful, rational response to depletion. A possible worst case scenario would be a bloody series of resource wars, expending state treasure and lives in pursuit of a waning resource.
Information, in part, was taken from Grist and Mike Milllikin, publisher of green-car blog.
For comprehensive information on alternative fuels and vehicles that use them visit:
Accelerated Composites, a startup in Carlsbad, California, is now assembling a new diesel-electric hybrid of its own design, made of high-end composite materials and using supercapacitors instead of batteries. Like the Honda Insight, it will seat two. Accelerated Composites expects the vehicle, called the Aptera, to cost around $20,000.
Estimate mileage: 330 miles per gallon at 65 miles per hour.
That's not a typo. The combination of super-streamlined shape, ultra low-weight materials, and high-output supercapacitors gives the design incredible efficiency. And because the composite production process developed by Accelerated Composites is faster and more efficient than previous methods, the overall cost of the vehicle can be startlingly low.
A quick glance at the image will reveal another aspect of the Aptera design: it's a three-wheel vehicle, and that means (along with its sub-1500 pound weight) it qualifies as a motorcycle instead of a car. It doesn't have to have the kind of bumpers and such that regulations demand of automobiles; safety isn't an issue, however, because the passenger compartment is built to formula race car crash cage specs.
Before we get too excited about this, bear in mind that Accelerated Composites hasn't yet finished a prototype version -- the Aptera currently exists only in computer designs. A variety of factors could reduce the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicle: it may need more weight for wind safety; real world streamlining may not match computer estimates; maybe even passenger weight could reduce efficiency.
One of the most popular posts ever on WorldChanging is my "Diesel Hybrid-Electric Cars Now!" essay from early 2004, demanding that automakers produce some of their prototyped but never released high-mileage diesel hybrid designs. A diesel version of the typical gasoline-electric hybrid could get 80 miles per gallon or better, and that sounded pretty good to me.
Discover magazine has a short (two-page) but terrific interview with Amory Lovins (of Rocky Mountain Institute and Winning the Oil Endgame fame). The article has Lovins talking about his favorite subject, energy, covering subjects like the relationship between weight and efficiency, the utility of plastic resins over steel, why the Pentagon should matter to environmentalists, and just how he's managed to grow bananas in Colorado (the picture on page 2 of the interview, of Lovins holding next to a solar panel while eating a banana, is worth checking out). My favorite bit, however, has to be his beginning comment:
When I give talks about energy, the audience already knows about the problems. That's not what they've come to hear. So I don't talk about problems, only solutions. But after a while, during the question period, someone in the back will get up and give a long riff about all the bad things that are happening—most of which are basically true. There's only one way I've found to deal with that. After this person calms down, I gently ask whether feeling that way makes him more effective. As René Dubos, the famous biologist, once said, "Despair is a sin."
Posted by Jamais Cascio at January 23, 2006 02:44 PM |
TrackBack, From http://www.worldchanging.com