Fuelishness! -- The FuelClinic.com Blog

205mph Electric Hybrid Supercar from Jaguar

From The Daily Telegraph:

A sexy new 205mph Jaguar supercar that blends sporting looks and performance with the latest ‘green’ technology is set to rock the prestigious Paris Motor Show when it is officially unveiled today.

The new two-seater Jaguar C-X75 is a £200,000 electric hybrid vehicle uses hi-tech jet-turbine know-how from the aviation industry to sprint from rest to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds and up to 100mph in just 5.5 seconds…

The new Jaguar dispenses with a conventional internal combustion engine.

Instead, powered by a lithium ion battery charged from the domestic mains, the new Jaguar can run with zero-emissions for up to 68 miles on four electric motors – one of which drives each of four wheels.

Then it can harness two rear-mounted super-efficient gas-turbines to generate the extra electric power it needs to give it an extended range of 560miles – enough to get it from London to Berlin on a single 60 litre tank-full.

And that is with minimal emissions of just 28g/km of carbon dioxide – the greenhouse gas blamed for global warning and against which all UK cars are now taxed…

Read the rest (and see more great photos of this car).



Eye-candy: Porsche’s Hybrid Supercar

From The Local:

Porsche unveiled its creation at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. It claims the car has a top speed of 320 km/h but uses just three litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres – equivalent to 94 miles per imperial gallon.

“We are a sports car manufacturer and that means it’s about driving fast – but at the same time about cutting pollution and conserving natural resources,” Porsche chief Michael Macht said according to the website of news magazine Der Spiegel.

Critically, the Spyder emits an average of just 70 grammes of carbon dioxide, the firm claims. According to Britain’s Department for Transport, the third-generation Toyota Prius – the best-known hybrid car – emits 89 g/km.

500 HP V-8 that get’s 94 miles per gallon?

Read more



Ford Motor Company, Progress Energy, Orange County & The University of Central Florida to debut Florida’s First Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)

Community Leaders to Address Electronic Transportation Needs & UCF & Orange County/Metro Orlando’s Sustainable Energy Initiatives


Orlando, FL — Ford Motor Company, Progress Energy, Orange County and the University of Central Florida have partnered to debut Florida’s first Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at UCF’s Smart Solar Plug – In Research Facility on the Campus’ Memory Mall.

– Ford and Progress Energy are testing one of the industry’s first vehicle-to-electric grid communications and control systems, which enables electric vehicles to interface with the grid for optimal recharging.

-The new technology allows the vehicle operator to program when to recharge the vehicle, for how long and at what utility rate. For example, an operator could choose to charge only during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper, or when the grid is using renewable energy.

– This unique vehicle, which can achieve up to 120 miles per gallon, will be tested in Florida by Progress Energy, through its partnership with Ford Motor Company. Media will have the opportunity to be among the first to test drive the vehicle. Interview key leaders in the sustainable energy community are also available.

– UCF’s Smart Solar Plug-In Research Facility includes parking spaces for four electric-powered vehicles. The roof canopy consists of 48 photovoltaic solar panels that convert the sun’s energy into electrical power. The system also can charge vehicles when it’s dark or cloudy outside.

Date: Tuesday, March 2, 2010, 11:00 AM

Subject: Florida’s first Ford Escape plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) at UCF

Location: University of Central Florida Solar Smart Grid Research Facility on the Campus’ Memory Mall adjacent to Parking Lot D

http://campusmap.ucf.edu/printmap/ & http://campusmap.ucf.edu/address.php

Speakers:

– Dr. John Hitt, President, UCF

– The Honorable Richard Crotty, Mayor, Orange County

– Dr. Marwan Simaan, Dean, UCF College of Engineering & Computer Science

– Greg Frenette, Manager, Global Electrified Fleets, Ford Motor Company

– Rob Caldwell, Vice President of Efficiency & Innovative Technology, Progress Energy



2010 Best/Worst Overall Fuel Economy

From this month’s Consumer Reports:

Best/Worst overall fuel economy 2010 Models

Best mpg Worst mpg
Toyota Prius 44 mpg Ford F-250 Lariat (diesel) 10 mpg
Smart ForTwo Passion 39 Hummer H2 11
Honda Insight EX 38 Cadillac Escalade 13
Volkswagen Golf TDI (manual) 38 Chevrolet Avalanche LT (5.3) 13
Honda Civic Hybrid 37 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD LTZ 13
Ford Fusion Hybrid 34 Ford Expedition EL Eddie Bauer 13
Scion xD (manual) 34 Jeep Commander Limited (5.7) 13
Toyota Camry Hybrid 34 Lincoln Navigator Ultimate 13
Honda Fit Sport (manual) 33 Nissan Armada LE 13
Mini Cooper (manual) 33 Nissan Titan SE 13

Overall mpg is based on our real-world fuel-economy tests. All vehicles are equipped with an automatic transmission unless noted otherwise.

No real surprises here.



Test-drive: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid – Examiner.com Car of the Year

A few weeks ago I took a 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid for a test drive, at the invitation of Michael Block at the Orlando Examiner. He’s been gaining momentum as a car critic over the past year or so, with some thoughtful insights and interesting ideas about modern automobiles, alternative engineering, and fuel efficiency. Give his site a visit.

I found the Fusion Hybrid to be very easy to be comfortable with. The only problem I found was also mentioned by Block – the lack of “toe room” over the pedals – thanks to the “knee airbag”. I think if I was wearing work boots or other “heavy” shoes, it would have been even more annoying.

Instead of re-writing, let me urge you to read Block’s excellent review.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Fusion Hybrid is, as Ford calls it, “the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in America.” Up against other hybrid family sedan offerings, such as the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Nissan Altima Hybrid, and Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, it does indeed come out on top with its city rating of 41mpg and highway rating of 36mpg. Observed fuel economy was 35.2mpg, not quite matching the EPA estimates. But considering that most subcompact hatchbacks which are substantially smaller, lighter, and less powerful struggle to achieve the same figures, it’s quite commendable nonetheless.



Configuring CarChip Pro for Hybrid Vehicles

I had a chance to test-drive the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid over the weekend. I connected one of our CarChip Pro data loggers to it to gather real-time data on speed, throttle position, engine load, and mass air flow. Unfortunately the CarChip Pro was not working properly with the Hybrid vehicle, and a quick inquiry to Davis Instruments revealed why, it needed to be configured specifically for a hybrid – or “Anomalous Vehicle” (something I was not aware of).

Here are the instructions for configuring a CarChip Pro for both the Toyota Prius, and the Ford Fusion Hybrid…

In the past we had issues with hybrids in general. However, we put a fix into the software that should allow the CarChip to work with Hybrids.

Below are directions on how to get the CC to work on hybrids. These were written for a Toyota, but it is the same for Ford, other than clicking on the Ford Hybrid option.

Because the Prius [and 2010Ford Fusion Hybrid] is a hybrid vehicle we must take special steps to configure the CarChip.

Open up the CarChip software with the CarChip device connected to the PC.

Go to the CarChip menu and choose “Set Anomalous Vehicle”. See Figure 1.


Following that select “Specific Exceptions”, then “Toyota Hybrid” then click “OK”. See Figure 2.

I’ll re-configure the CarChip Pro and test again the next time I get the chance. I’d like to hear from any existing CarChip Pro users who are using the device with a Hybrid. What has your experience been?



Fuelishness! Feed: Test Drive Taurus SHO w/ EcoBoost; Bioethanol Volvo Wins; Hybrids Offset Little Oil; How Much Is That Hybrid In The Window?

  • Test-drive: 2010 Ford Taurus SHO w/ EcoBoost – The EcoBoost V6 readily delivers on Ford’s claim that it produces V8-levels of power, and it also does it with V8 linearity. Torque reaches peak at a very low 1500rpm and rides a plateau all the way to 5250rpm, thanks to the diminutive size of the Honeywell GT15 turbos which max out at 12 pounds boost, and the high 10.0:1 compression ratio that’s only possible because of the direct injection. In other words, there really is no turbo lag whatsoever. (This ain’t your Momma’s Taurus!)
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  • Bioethanol Powered Volvo Posts Wins at Swedish Touring Car Championship – The Swedish Touring Car Championship is the first production car championship race to allow the use of bioethanol or E85. With the use of the alternative fuel, Volvo’s race cars produces 80 percent less carbon dioxide emissions compared to gasoline-powered vehicles participating in the championship.
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  • Study: Hybrid Cars Won’t Save Much Oil – In a report, the analysts point out that even under high-growth assumptions, where hybrids account for a third of all new car sales in 2020, the savings would be just 200,000 barrels of oil a day, or just 1 percent of the nation’s current oil demand.
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  • Detroit needs a buyer for its efficiency drive – Research from Walter McManus, director of the Automotive Analysis Division of the University of Michigan, suggests the big three carmakers — GM, Ford and Chrysler — could boost their gross profits by $3 billion (£1.8 billion) a year and increase sales by the equivalent of two assembly plants by embracing new government standards on fuel economy.


Fuelishness! Feed: Fuel Efficient Prototypes; Fuel Efficiency Ratings for Tires; Peugeot Advert gets Banned; More MPG from a Pickup Truck

  • GreenTech Unveils 4 Fuel Efficient Prototypes — According to the Associated Press, “The prototypes include a midsize four-door hybrid that will get 50 miles per gallon, a zero-emissions electric car, a high-efficiency gasoline car designed to get 65 mpg and a hybrid sports coupe designed to get 45 miles to gallon and to go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5.9 seconds.”
     
  • Europe may have tyres with efficiency ratings — When adopted, this legislation will help to reduce CO2 and noise emissions on Europe’s roads, by promoting green tyres with improved fuel-efficiency that do not compromise on safety. In addition, the labels will provide more transparency to consumers.
     
  • Peugeot 308 ad campaign banned for suggesting unrealistic level of fuel efficiency — The ad campaign, which ran in the national press, highlighted a “fuel stretching world record” that achieved 126 miles per gallon in a Peugeot 308 HDi. A picture of the car in the ad had the text “126mpg” on it.
     
  • Getting the Most Possible Mileage Out of a Pickup — Because today’s EPA ratings are fairly realistic, thanks to the recent change in how they’re calculated, these trucks should be about 1 mpg better in real-world use as well. But at $2.40 a gallon at an average 18 mpg (versus 17), if you drive 12,000 miles each year, that 1-mpg difference will save $94 a year. Which raises the question: Why are these trucks just 1 mpg better? Why can’t automakers improve the fuel economy by 10, or even 12?


Jetta TDI Meets Prius [Video]

May 20, 2009 · Filed Under Automotive Industry, Diesel, Hybrid Vehicles · Comment 

This is funny new commercial.

Popular Mechanics wrote:

The new era of clean diesel in America will officially be ushered in by the new VW Jetta TDi when it goes on sale in a few months. Powered by a 2.0-liter four-banger that produces 140 hp and 236 lb.-ft. of torque, it will be the first automobile to meet the world’s most stringent emission control standards, California’s Tier II, Bin 5.

I enjoyed driving a brand new diesel Seat around the beautiful country of Estonia in 2006. My Estonian cousin who’s car I was driving smiled as he pointed to a local blooming soy-bean farm and told me we are driving on sunshine. He fills his car with bio-diesel. He wondered why I didn’t do the same thing.

Clean diesels are a blast to drive. Like most diesels they have gobs of low-end torque that plants you in your seat, and since you can upshift as low as 1200 rpm you can take mechanical advantage of all that torque with quick up-shifts instead of revving out your fuel pump.

It’s not an answer to our oil addiction, and road taxes on diesel is pretty steep (meaning diesel is often more expensive than gasoline), it does offer you a way to get more mpg and enjoy the music of a finely tuned machine.



Fuelishness! Feed: The axles of evil; Fuel injected motorcycles; Nissan’s improved fuel-efficiency; Toyota says Prius achieves highest fuel efficiency for gasoline cars

  • The axles of evil: Absent $4 gasoline, customers, those nuisances with their insufferable preferences, do not want the vehicles the politicians want them to want, even with manufacturers now offering large rebates and other incentives… 
      
  •  Fuel Injection in motorcycles: Since it is intelligent to use the fuel the Fuel Efficiency of the motorcycle is increased than the carb ones. And also fuel injection helps to deliver good power even in high altitude regions… 
     
  • Nissan’s improved fuel-efficiency models to offer major tax breaks : Nissan Motor Co. will soon release seven vehicle models with improved fuel efficiency, measures that qualify them for major tax breaks…
     
  • Toyota says Prius achieves highest fuel efficiency for gasoline carsToyota Motor Corp. claimed Friday its new Prius gasoline-electric hybrid car to be launched in mid-May has achieved the world’s highest fuel efficiency of 38 kilometers per liter, an improvement of some 7 percent from the current Prius.


Hybrid car sales go from 60 to 0 at breakneck speed; Hybrid Car Sales Take Off

Hybrid whiplash. (Two articles w/ dissimilar headlines… 3/17/2009)

  • Hybrid car sales go from 60 to 0 at breakneck speed

    The gas-electric vehicles are piling up on dealers’ lots as anxiety over gasoline prices evaporates. But more hybrid models are on the way. 

    …Americans have cut back on buying vehicles of all types as the economy continues its slide. But the slowdown has been particularly brutal for hybrids, which use electricity and gasoline as power sources. They were the industry’s darling just last summer, but sales have collapsed as consumers refuse to pay a premium for a fuel-efficient vehicle now that the average price of a gallon of gasoline nationally has slipped below $2.”When gas prices came down, the priority of buying a hybrid fell off quite quickly,” said Wes Brown, a partner at Los Angeles-based market research firm Iceology. “Yet even as consumer interest declined, the manufacturers have continued to pump them out.” 

    Last month, only 15,144 hybrids sold nationwide, down almost two-thirds from April, when the segment’s sales peaked and gas averaged $3.57 a gallon. That’s far larger than the drop in industry sales for the period and scarcely a better showing than January, when hybrid sales were at their lowest since early 2005…

    Read the rest…
      

  • Hybrid Car Sales Take Off 
     
    …The hybrid vehicle market is about to heat up. Major car makers are expanding their hybrid offerings with new innovations and improvements, including greater fuel economy, all designed to help the environment. Toyota, Lexus, Ford and Honda all have announced major milestones over the past week.Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. says the total combined Toyota and Lexus hybrid vehicle sales in the U.S. now have topped the one-million mark, thanks to six hybrid vehicles including the top-selling Toyota Prius. The Prius is touted as the all-time worldwide leader in hybrid sales.Cumulative worldwide sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids have exceeded 1.7 million vehicles through January 2009. The car maker projects sales of one million gas-electric hybrids per year by early in the next decade with the launch of 10 new hybrid models between now and 2012…

    Read the rest… 

Which is it? Tell us what you think in the comments.



Fuelishness! Marathon – Part 2: Plug-In Charging Stations; Mille Hybrid-Powered Race Recovery Vehicle; Omnivore Concept Engine

  • Raleigh, N.C. to Install Plug-in Hybrid Charging Stations : Like the San Francisco-based program, drivers will access the charging stations through key-cards. In Raleigh, this means simple credit card access at a cost of about 2.5 cents per mile, while the SF-based program uses chargers provided by Coulomb Technologies at no cost, but are only available to members of the car-sharing programs City CarShare and Zipcar.
     
  • Miller Industries Adds Eaton Hybrid-Powered Race Recovery Vehicle To Fleet : The debut of the colorful white and green vehicle as part of Miller’s 12-truck fleet at the famed Daytona International Speedway was so successful that Miller announced plans to have it added to the company’s fleet of race recovery vehicles that will be operating throughout 2009. Miller supplies race recovery trucks for a large number of NASCAR events.
     
  • Geneva Preview: Lotus to unveil Omnivore concept engine : The Omnivore is specifically designed to take advantage of varying fuels and modern electronic control capabilities. Like most research engines, this is a single cylinder design that allows the Lotus engineers to more quickly make changes and study the effects. This is also a two-stroke design with an air assisted direct injection system provided by Orbital Corporation of Australia. Those interested in two-strokes may remember Orbital from the early nineties when a number of manufacturers were investigating two-stroke engines. The concept engine uses a mono-block layout with a single hunk of metal comprising the cylinder block and head and no poppet valves. Instead the ports are exposed by the piston’s motion. Variations in timing between intake and exhaust are achieved by valve in the exhaust port that traps the exhaust.


Fuelishness! Feed: Car Shoppers Want Efficiency, Hydraulic Hybrids Cheaper than Electric, Mass. Considers Gas Guzzler Tax, 70MPG VW Rabbit for $7000?

  • Fuel Efficiency is the First Priority of Car Shoppers : Many car shoppers at the Chicago Auto Show say money-saving fuel-efficiency technology is becoming the top factor affecting their purchase decisions… Though the price of gasoline has dropped in the past seven months, down from $3.86 to $1.97 per gallon on average for regular gasoline, car shoppers have learned their lesson, becoming more cautious of fluctuating prices. [ With video ]
     
  • Green Car Halves Fuel Consumption : A hybrid hydraulic drive allows energy usually wasted during braking to be stored and used again when the car needs to accelerate. The car ran on a mixture of stored energy and petrol, with computer control technology used to switch between the two power sources. The team from Midlothian-based Artemis Intelligent Power said the equipment was less expensive than the batteries used in existing hybrid vehicles.
     
  • Massachusetts Considers Gas-Guzzler Tax : Governor Deval Patrick said today he is looking at a Hummer tax — adding higher registration fees for gas-guzzling cars and offering discounts for those that do less harm to the environment. One industry opponent said it would be the first such fee in the nation on the state level. 
      
  • Top Gear America to Build 70MPG Car Out of a 1971 VW Rabbit for $7,000 : “While converting a gas-powered car to diesel power is technically simple (replace the engine and the gas tank), it’s bureaucratically cumbersome. Our creation will need a license plate, and that license plate requires a registration, and renewing that registration will require some kind of emissions test… If the book doesn’t say the Scirocco’s pipe gas should smell like a diesel, we’re dead in the water.” 


Fuelishness! Feed: Plug-In Tax Credits; Reducing Travel Intensity; Chu Doesn’t Know What to Do; The Electric Car Re-Thought

  • Stimulus Bill Provides Major Increase in Plug-in Vehicle Purchase Credit Program : Under current law, a credit is available for each new qualified fuel cell vehicle, hybrid vehicle, advanced lean burn technology vehicle, and alternative fuel vehicle placed in service by a taxpayer during the taxable year. In general, the credit amount varies based on technology, weight, fuel efficiency, and other factors. The credit generally is available for vehicles purchased after 2005. The credit terminates after 2009, 2010, or 2014, depending on the type of vehicle. The alternative motor vehicle credit is not allowed against the alternative minimum tax.
     
  • Two Studies on Regional Options for Reducing GHG Highlight Need for Reduction in Travel Intensity : Achieving targeted regional reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector will require concentrated efforts to change travel behavior and reduce vehicle miles travelled in addition to advances in vehicle technology and fuels, according to two recent studies.
     
  • As OPEC Prepares to Meet, Chu Focuses on U.S. Energy : Energy Secretary Steven Chu — whose agency has long taken the lead on global oil-market policy — said Thursday he doesn’t know what the Obama administration would urge the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to do at its meeting next month.
     
  • Better Place – Electric Recharge Grid Operator : Instead of gas stations on every corner, the ERGO would blanket a country with a network of “smart” charge spots. Drivers could plug in anywhere, anytime, and would subscribe to a specific plan—unlimited miles, a maximum number of miles each month, or pay as you go—all for less than the equivalent cost for gas. They’d buy their car from the operator, who would offer steep discounts, perhaps even give the cars away. The profit would come from selling electricity—the minutes. [ Video : 33min


Sunrider Electric Pontoon Boat – Solar Powered Boating

February 24, 2009 · Filed Under Electric Vehicles (EV), FuelClinic, Hybrid Vehicles, Twitter · 5 Comments 

A new class of electric-powered watercraft are being developed around the world, to include hybrid motor yachts, electric/wind-powered catamarans, and a solar powered pontoon boat called the Sunrider.

Sunrider Electric Boat

The Sunrider is being developed in India by Navgathi Marine Design & Constructions, using some off-the-shelf technology including the high-efficiency outboard electric motors from Torqeedo plus proprietary control and charging systems developed by Navgathi. 

We did a the test upstream and downstream at various steps of the motors speed. The highest speed achieved against upstream (0.8 Kmph current) was 11.4 Kmph. Check out the video for more details.

At the end of the trials this is what Malcom Moss had to say, “This boat is competent in performance, efficiency, style and finish.”

Here’s one of two videos of an early sea-trial. (See the other video at the Navagathi Blog).

 

Additional information available at the Sunrider Blog and at Autobloggreen.



Fuelishness! Feed: Slippery Mercedes E-Class, Fuel-Efficient Indian SUV’s, Another Pay-Per-Mile Road Tax Scheme

  • New Mercedes E-Class Coupe couples low drag coefficient to efficient engines : Partnering the wind-cheating new shape of the E-Class Coupe, which replaces the outgoing CLK and joins the new E-Class sedan just unveiled a few months ago, is a range of fuel-sipping engines, including the new four-cylinder turbo-diesel E 250 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY, which offers more power and torque than the model it replaces while returning 17 percent better fuel economy (5.3 liters per 100 kilometers on the European combined cycle) and emitting 138 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer. Efficiency is also optimized by use of on-demand activation for the steering and fuel pumps, a dynamic alternator and tires with low rolling resistance, which join the roster of new driving and safety systems you can read about in the press release after the jump. See more photos of the new E-Class Coupe in the gallery below.
     
  • Indian Automaker Sees U.S. Market As Ready For Its 30 MPG Diesel Pickups and SUVs : Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian manufacturer specializing in pick-ups and SUVs, believes that what works with value-conscious Indian car buyers will translate to American consumers weary of gas guzzlers but not quite ready to kick their SUV habits… A key part of the trucks’ allure will be high fuel-efficiency figures. Power will come from a 2.2-liter common rail four-cylinder diesel engine, fitted to a six-speed automatic transmission.  Mahindra representatives say the engine and transmission combination will deliver a fuel economy average of at least 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving.
     
  • Massachusetts Joins States Contemplating Pay-Per-Mile Road Tax Plans : As a matter of national policy we are encouraging people to jettison their gas-guzzlers and seek out the most efficient cars and trucks they can. We want plug-in hybrids and electric cars that use no oil at all. Taxing gasoline rewards and thus encourages purchases of fuel-efficient vehicles; charging by the mile doesn’t. The driver of a 15-miles-per-gallon Jeep Grand Cherokee pays the same for a 100 miles trip as the driver of a 48-mpg Prius, even though the Jeep uses more than three times as much fuel and, as a heavier vehicle, does more damage to the road surface. 


500 Miles on One Tank of Fuel: The Toyota iQ Fuel Efficiency Challenge

February 3, 2009 · Filed Under FuelClinic, Gasoline-Electric Hybrids, Green Automakers · 1 Comment 

this_is_iq_01

Toyota wants to help introduce the fuel-sipping iQ to the world. They’ve sent two drivers on a road trip around England, to see how far they could drive on one tank of gas, without using hard-core “Hypermiling” techniques. 

So, how did they do?

The boys finally had to call it a day on a lay-by just outside Oxford a couple of minutes ago. They’ve managed to get 504.2 miles out of their single tank of fuel, and tagged 18 cities along the way. Official figures for the fuel efficiency – 65.7mpg – said they’d only make 462 miles. But apparently, 72mpg is not too much to ask of iQ. Simon and Mark will be blogging in more detail about the hypermile challenge soon. 

How did they do it? Part 1, Part 2

A wrap-up report is promised, I’ll add links when it’s available.



Is Ford the “Greenest American” Car Maker?

The Ford Motor Company isn’t looking for a handout – they’ve managed to keep their business running the old fashioned way, they’ve kept their finger on the pulse of American car buyers.

Years ago they developed a “sustainability” plan, long before it was a political topic. Near-term elements of Ford’s sustainability plan include improving today’s gasoline engines to make them more fuel efficient with reduced emissions:

  • The Ford Fusion is now America’s most fuel efficient mid-size sedan for both hybrid and conventional gasoline models 
  • The four-cylinder Ford Fusion S is now certified at 34 mpg highway and 23 mpg in the city, topping the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord 
  • The new Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrids deliver up to 41 miles per gallon in the city – eight miles per gallon better than the Toyota Camry Hybrid. In addition, the base Fusion with its 4-cylinder engine and six-speed transmission is EPA certified with best-in-class fuel economy of 34 mpg on the highway 
  • The Ford Focus with its 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and manual transmission delivers 35 mpg on the highway, 5 mpg better than Toyota Corolla’s 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine and 2 mpg better than Honda Fit’s 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, both also with manual transmissions 
  • The all-new 2009 Ford F-150 – which is Motor Trend magazine’s Truck of the Year – achieves 3 mpg more than the Toyota Tundra pickup on the highway and 1 mpg better in the city with its 4.6-liter V-8 engine, compared to Toyota’s 4.7-liter V-8. The F-150’s larger 5.4-liter V-8 achieves 2 mpg better on the highway than the facing Tundra engine 
  • The 2009 Ford Escape with its new 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and six-speed transmission achieves 28 mpg on the highway, the same as Toyota’s RAV4 and 1 mpg better than the Honda CR-V, both with 4-cylinder engines, too 
  • The Ford Expedition achieves 20 mpg on the highway, beating both of the Toyota Sequoia’s V-8 engines by as much as 3 mpg on the highway

And Ford’s plans for the near future:

  • A new battery electric commercial van in 2010 
  • A new battery electric small car in 2011 to be developed jointly with Magna International 
  • Next-generation hybrid vehicles, including a plug-in version in 2012 

Some other links to Ford documents with additional information about the their plans and progress:

What do you think – has Ford proven itself to be the Most American Car Maker?

The Greenest American Car Maker?



ComEd Adds 50 Prius Electric Plug-INS and Hybrids to One of Nation’s Largest Green Fleets

/PRNewswire/ Chicago, Jan 8th – One of the nation’s largest private fleets of alternative-fuel vehicles just got greener. ComEd has added 50 new Toyota Prius hybrids and plug-in electric hybrids to a fleet that now numbers more than 2,100 green vehicles.

ComEd meter readers in Chicago and the company’s Maywood office will drive the 50 new Priuses, including 10 Priuses that have been specially converted into electric plug-in hybrids. The plug-in conversion is expected to significantly increase fuel-efficiency by providing greater electric-drive capability.

Plug-in electric vehicles and smart charging technology are enabled by building the Smart Grid of the future, an initiative ComEd is actively working on in collaboration with the Illinois Commerce Commission and other stakeholders.

“These new vehicles not only use electricity to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions but may eventually be used as back-up power sources,” said Terence Donnelly, ComEd senior vice president of Transmission and Distribution. “Deploying advanced metering and other Smart Grid technologies will help us understand and manage impacts to the grid from plug-in electric vehicles but more importantly will improve reliability and enable customers to make more efficient choices about their electric usage.”

Traditional hybrids run on a combination of gasoline and electricity. Compared to an average subcompact, the Prius hybrid and plug-in electric version consume about 30 and 65 percent less fuel, respectively. ComEd estimates this will reduce its gasoline use in 2009 by 6,500 gallons and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 metric tons.

Read more



Our goal needs to be more than energy independence

April 6, 2008 · Filed Under Fuels, Hybrid Vehicles, Industry, News & Reports · Comment 

 Noblesse Oblige

…In the end oil, coal, and food are foolish to burn, all create carcinogenic compounds that pollute the air – and if you have a ecological concern that should be it, not global warming. However our current eco-movements are headed down this exact path, with politicians hostage to the coal, oil, and bio-fuel lobbies worldwide.

We have the means to create plentiful, worldwide, cheap energy with Nuclear, Solar, Hydroelectric, Wind, Geothermal, Ocean thermal, and in the future Solar Power Satellites. The chest of options for really clean energy is full, but we fail to open it.

Our goal needs to be more than energy independence, if we are truly a great nation then we should set the bar higher – we must create abundant clean energy for the world.



150 MPG (Equivalent): XH-150 and XH250 Hybrids

At the Detroit 2008 Car show… Details over at Autobloggreen

detroit-2008-afs-extreme-hy.jpg

AFS Trinity Power Corporation is displaying a new hybrid SUV (actually a converted Saturn Vue) that gets more than 150 mpge thanks to something AFS calls the Extreme Hybrid (XH). The SUV recently achieved “more than 150 miles per gallon of gasoline based on the EPA Combined Urban/Highway Driving Cycle with 6 days per week of 40 miles per day in all electric mode and one day at 100 miles with assistance of the gas engine.” The test reportedly returned mpge numbers of around 170, but AFS wants to use 150 so as not to leave people disappointed if they drive more aggressively or under different circumstances than the test was run in.



GM’s new electric car project – the Volt

GM had a successful electric car push a few years ago, but abandoned it after what appeared to be successful public trials, causing some to theorize that the car was “killed” for other-than-technical reasons. (See “Who Killed the Electric Car?” for more background.)

2007_01_07t175933_450x326_us_autoshow_volt.jpg

Today, GM announced that they are re-entering the electric car market with a novel electric design which uses the latest battery technology coupled with a small on-board recharging engine which is powered by gasoline.

This system of battery-drive with combustion engine re-charging is very similar to proven naval propulsion designs used most notibly in diesel-electric submarines from World War II thru present day. In similar systems, electric battery banks power electric motors while underwater with diesel engines recharging as needed while on the surface or at snorkle depth.

…The push to develop environmentally friendly cars is also an attempt by GM to distance itself from its close association with gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles, a reputation executives say has hampered its sales in some markets.

The Volt’s combustion engine is designed only as a supplement to keep its batteries charged, an innovation GM executives hope will help the automaker jump ahead of Toyota Motor Corp. (7203.T), which now dominates the hybrid market…

Read it all here 



Plug-In Hybrids = 100+ MPG

EDrive 

A Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) is essentially a regular hybrid with an extension cord. You can fill it up at the gas station, and you can plug it in to any 120-volt outlet. It’s like having a second fuel tank that you always use first — only you fill up at home, from a regular outlet, at an equivalent cost of under $1/gallon…

…PHEVs are meant to plug-in at night. In many areas of the country, overnight power is available at a lower cost. As PHEVs start to enter the marketplace, we’ll see increasing support from electric utilities, as they’ll offer reduced nighttime rates to incentivize off-peak charging. In some areas where wind and hydropower is wasted at night, the rate can be as low as 2-3 cents per kWh. That’s 20-25 cents a gallon…

…The nationwide electrical grid is only 3% petroleum-fueled, whereas transportation is almost completely powered by oil — 60% of which comes from foreign sources (and growing). Adoption of plug-in hybrids will transfer the overwhelming majority of our miles driven to nearly oil-free electricity. If all vehicles were plug-in hybrids we would cut our oil needs by 55%, nearly enough to eliminate foreign sources altogether.

The winning combination from an environmental and national-security perspective is the flexible-fuel PHEV — one that runs on biofuels, cellulosic ethanol, methanol, or alternative liquid fuel in place of gasoline. This will reduce the transportation sector’s use of oil to almost zero — and cut the United States’ annual oil needs by 2/3.

Lot’s more about PHEV’s…



Small, Clean, Powerful Diesel Engines

clean.diesel.engine.500.jpg

From: Edmunds.com 

Honda Motors unveiled its latest development in diesel technology on September 25, putting the carmaker well ahead of the pack in the race to bring clean diesel vehicles to market. Its next-generation diesel engine uses a catalytic converter requiring no additives of any kind and will run cleaner through its new design…

…What sets Honda’s new technology apart is that its catalytic converter requires no outside chemicals whatsoever. As the exhaust hits the first layer of the unit, a small amount of NOx is converted to ammonia, which is then absorbed by a second layer. The second layer, now ammonia rich, then reacts with the remaining NOx and spits it out as harmless nitrogen…

…Honda designed the converter for use in its 2.2 iCTDi diesel engine, which has garnered widespread attention since its debut in the current model European Accord. The engine, which is remarkably quiet, is also much cleaner than most diesels right out of the gate. Thanks to a redesigned combustion chamber, a reduction in fuel injection time and other efficiency improvements, the engine already emits significantly less NOx. Add on the new technology the converter affords, and clean diesel could be right around the corner.

While European drivers may be seeing this technology sooner than we will, Honda estimates that their diesel vehicles will start hitting our shores in about three years. Couple this with their recent announcement concerning future diesel hybrid vehicles, and it looks as if Honda is pulling to the head of the clean diesel pack.

Read the whole thing…



Tax Credits for Toyota Hybrid’s Begin to Phase Out…

September 9, 2006 · Filed Under Hybrid Vehicles, Related News, Tax Credits · Comment 

One of the ways the US Government has helped motivate consumers to buy more fuel efficient vehicles is through generous tax incentives on the Hybrids. These include various models from Ford, General Motors, Honda and Toyota.

But as the manufacturer sells more of any particular model, those incentives begin to “phase out” in two steps, each one reducing the tax credit for that particular model by half.

Toyota appears to be the first manufacturer reaching those sales numbers, and on October 1st, 2006 the tax credits for the 5 Toyota-made models will be cut in half. If you want a Toyota Hybrid, you have until the end of September to get the full tax credit for your purchase! ($3150 on the Prius)

(From “FuelEconomy.gov”)

Qualifying hybrids purchased or placed into service after December 31, 2005 may be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $3,400.

Credit amounts will begin to phase out for a given manufacturer once it has sold over 60,000 eligible vehicles.

When does this incentive end?

The credit will begin to phase out for vehicles offered by a given manufacturer after it sells a total of 60,000 eligible hybrid and lean-burn vehicles starting from January 1, 2006. RS will announce when a manufacturer has exceeded this sales figure.

Beginning with the second calendar quarter after the calendar quarter in which the manufacturer sells 60,000 vehicles, the credit will be 50% of the full credit amount. This part of the phase-out will last for two calendar quarters (6 months).

For the next two calendar quarters, the credit will be 25% of the full credit amount. The incentives for vehicles by that manufacturer will end thereafter.

In addition to the phase out rules, any vehicle purchased after December 31, 2010 will not be eligible for the credit.

See the US Government Data…



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