Fuelishness! -- The FuelClinic.com Blog

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



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.



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: 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


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?



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…



Join The FuelClinic Community

Fleet Eco-Driving Training

Spread the Fuelishness!

      

Watch Fuelishness!

Subscribe to Fuelishness!

Search Fuelishness!

Custom Search
FuelClinic.com - Safer, Smarter, Fuel Efficient Driving.