Fuelishness! -- The FuelClinic.com Blog

A study on perceived usefulness of eco-driving assistant systems in Europe

The ecodriver-project.eu study “A study on perceived usefulness of eco-driving assistant systems in Europe” released this week show there is a great deal of interest in eco-driving, good deal of belief that the benefits are real, but no interest in paying for this kind of technology/service.

While this has been our experience with a consumer-based product (like our FuelClinic), there is considerably more interest from fleets interested in incorporating similar programs into their larger operations, since the cost saving benefits are multiplied well above what your average motorist would see (in addition to the safety and collision reduction side-effects of conservative eco-driving).

So what’s the most effective way to change the behavior of motoring public at little or no cost? How about a piece of duct tape over the fuel gauge?

 



Ford’s NEW EcoSport CUV – No Soup For You!

Ford unveiled it’s new crossover, which will be available in 100 markets – but not the US.

Autoblog — Ford has unveiled the production version of its EcoSport crossover at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show. The small five-door utility should offer buyers plenty of functionality in a compact and efficient package thanks to a range of drivetrain configurations including a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder Ecoboost engine. The small-displacement engine is good for 118 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque, which should be more than enough to move the little machine around. All told, Ford says the EcoSport will see duty in over 100 world markets, though the CUV isn’t expected to show up in our neck of the woods.

Here are all the PR details:

An SUV for the Urban World – Ford Reveals Fuel-Efficient, All-new Ford EcoSport in China

Created for the urban environment, the all-new Ford EcoSport offers contemporary design, smart technologies and a high driving position – all in a compact, agile, fuel-efficient shape
Powered by an array of powertrains, including an all-new 1.0-litre, three-cylinder EcoBoost™ engine, the aerodynamically honed Ford EcoSport is designed to be a benchmark in fuel economy while giving customers the performance feel of a larger engine
Packed with aspirational appeal, craftsmanship and sophistication – including the Ford SYNC driver connect system with voice control – the all-new EcoSport offers a compelling alternative to the small car in big cities

BEIJING, April 22, 2012 – Ford today revealed the production version of the all-new Ford EcoSport and announced plans to build the compact, fuel-efficient urban SUV in China, in addition to India, Thailand and South America.

EcoSport’s global debut at the 2012 Auto China in Beijing means customers in China will soon be able to choose an aspirational sports utility vehicle alternative to a small car. The Ford EcoSport offers a confident stance, a high driving position and robust character on top of the agility, manoeuvrability and fuel efficiency that comes with a compact footprint. It’s the perfect combination for the city – ready for work and ready for play.

Within a contemporary design aerodynamically honed for fuel economy, the EcoSport is full of smart technologies, features and craftsmanship that offer customers more than they would expect in this segment.

With a number of powertrain solutions, including Ford’s newest, most advanced engine the 1.0-litre EcoBoost™, EcoSport is designed to be a benchmark in fuel efficiency. It also offers the Ford SYNC driver connect system with voice control and many other innovative features in a spacious and comfortable interior with new levels of craftsmanship as well as outstanding quietness and refinement.

“The Ford EcoSport reflects our commitment to serve our Ford customers in China and around the world with the cars, utilities and trucks they want and value,” said Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa. “EcoSport delivers outstanding quality, great fuel efficiency with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine, superior safety and really smart design with SYNC.”

The production reveal of EcoSport follows rapidly after the vehicle’s global preview in January at the Delhi Auto Expo as well as in Brazil, where Ford EcoSport was developed by a global Ford development team. In addition to production in Chongqing, the EcoSport will be manufactured in Camaçari, Brazil, Rayong, Thailand, and Chennai, India, and will be offered in nearly 100 markets globally.

EcoSport joins Ford’s family of small global vehicles, which will reach an annual production capacity of 2 million units by 2015.

“The all-new EcoSport is designed and engineered specifically for customers in global growth markets using Ford’s global SUV engineering expertise and reflecting our commitments for quality, leading fuel economy, safety and smart technology,” said Raj Nair, group vice president, Global Product Development. “We’re delivering innovative products like this to drive our global growth.”

EcoSport Titanium

Ford is showcasing its top-of-the-line model, the EcoSport Titanium, on stage in Beijing, painted in distinctive Mars Red. A similar model is being revealed today in Salvador, Brazil, as EcoSport’s global launch momentum builds.

EcoSport Titanium has 16-inch aluminium alloy wheels and a chrome grille.

Inside, EcoSport offers a stylish, modern and well-equipped interior delivering new standards of craftsmanship and quality. The cabin – spacious for five people and their gear – has been engineered to deliver outstanding levels of comfort and quiet operation for customers.

In addition to Ford SYNC with voice control, among EcoSport’s available innovative technologies are Smart Keyless Entry, Ford Power Start, and a cooled bin in the glovebox.

EcoSport offers advanced safety items, such as dual front airbags and side curtain airbags, as well as Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Program.

To take the stress out of driving, the EcoSport comes with an array of driver-assist features including Hill Launch Assist and rear parking sensors.

Its agile, manoeuvrable chassis features electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) for outstanding steering response and improved fuel efficiency.

Beautiful, agile, modern

The new EcoSport is an affordable compact SUV that is ready for work and ready for play.

It targets benchmark performance in fuel economy, driveability and performance to redefine expectations in the compact SUV segment.

The new Ford SUV’s main characteristics were defined by consumers in all of the regions in which it will be sold. The design and flexible use are part of the new vehicle’s differentiated plan, which besides the agility and practicality for urban use, offers power and robustness for more adverse terrain.

The elevated stance and purposeful posture give the new EcoSport the appearance of a higher class vehicle. Its agile and contemporary lines convey confidence, refinement and an adventurous spirit, within a modern and smart package. All this contributes to EcoSport’s aspirational appeal.

“The new EcoSport is full of personality,” said J Mays, group vice president, Design, and chief creative officer, Ford Motor Company. “Customers around the world immediately recognise its capability and SUV robustness that is achieved with aggressiveness. It is friendly and it’s a vehicle that really makes you smile.”

Powering growth in China

Reinforcing Ford’s commitment to offer a full portfolio of vehicles in China, the all-new Ford EcoSport will be the second of 15 new vehicles that Ford plans to introduce in the country by 2015. This is part of a bigger plan to bring more than 50 new vehicles and powertrains to the Asia Pacific and Africa region by mid-decade, underscoring the unprecedented expansion in the region.

“With its superior fuel efficiency and a comprehensive suite of smart technologies, the EcoSport is well-placed to power Ford into a new segment not only in China but also in other growth markets in Asia,” said Hinrichs.

Ford’s aggressive expansion plan in China is being supported by several new investments to increase production capacity.

It was announced earlier this month that Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) will invest approximately USD 600 million to expand capacity in Chongqing by 350,000 passenger vehicles, raising total capacity in China to 950,000 units by 2014. The new investment will increase Ford’s total investment in China to approximately USD 4.1 billion.

CFMA already operates two assembly plants and an engine plant in Chongqing. Additional facilities – a USD 500 million engine plant and a USD 350 million transmission plant – are currently under construction.

 



Who Else Is Feeling Gas Pains?

We’re very happy today to get referenced in a Yahoo Finance post about the winners and losers in the run up on gas prices:

The efficiency complex. When push comes to shove, Americans are really good at figuring out how to do more with less, and how to get more for their money — and then turning those ideas into businesses. When oil soars, websites such as Gasbuddy.com, which points users to cheap gas in the area, experience a surge in traffic. And firms like Propelit, whose software enables trucking fleet managers to monitor the driving habits of employees (and provide incentives for them to drive more efficiently), or FuelClinic.com, which coaches consumers on ways to drive more efficiently, find that their sales pitches go over much better.

We are in the “winners” camp, apparently members of the “efficiency complex”… I’m not sure I renewed membership this year, what with the fuel prices driving up my transportation costs and all.

None the less, very happy to be of service, coaching consumers on ways to drive more efficiently.

What to expect over the next few months… rising food prices that will lag behind fuel prices by a month or two, as most of our food is transported more than 1,500 miles from farm to your local market. Super-commuters will be hit hard, as just getting to work will become more and more expensive.

Will we hit $6.00 per gallon as some predict… what do you think?



Video: Probably shocked by the gas prices…



Winner of the 1st $50 FuelClinic.com Eco-Driver Stimulus Package Announced

December 12, 2010 · Filed Under Community, Eco-Driving, FuelClinic, FuelClinic.com, Fuelishness!, LinkedIn, Twitter · Comment 

Congratulations to Kevin Luljack – he’s the winner of the 1st $50 FuelClinic.com Eco-Driver Stimulus Package fuel card for posting his comment on the FuelClinic Facebook wall. Another winner will be chosen next Sunday, so post your thoughts on our Facebook wall and ask your friends to “Like” your post.



Fuelishness Feed! Nissan’s ECO Pedal; Fuel Prices Unlikely to Fall; And the Stingiest Car Is…; Just 99 MPG?; Green Truck Summit

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Fuelishness! Feed. What a better day than Thanksgiving to gorge on some eco-driving news:

  • Nissan Licenses ECO Pedal Technology — “When the ECO Pedal system is on, each time the driver exerts excess pressure on the acceleration pedal, the system counteracts in advance with a pedal push-back control mechanism (tactile indicator) to support drivers for more effective, fuel-efficient driving. Studies show that effective eco-driving behavior with ECO Pedal drive assist contributes to improve fuel efficiency from 5 to 10% (based on internal measurement) in many driving conditions,” Nissan informs.
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  • Fuel Prices Unlikely to Fall Anytime Soon, says AA — “In the short-term, fuel prices will inflict more pain on drivers and business,” says Luke Bosdet, a fuel expert at the AA. “It may well be an ordeal we have to endure before a recovered economy restores a less volatile fuel market, though commodity speculation continues to cast a shadow.”
    .
  • And The Stingiest Car Is … — The Volkswagen Golf Blue-E-Motion. The plucky little electric car, with 115 bhp, a top speed of 86mph and 0-62mph time of 11.8 seconds won the race. “It’s a testimony to the abilities of the Golf Blue-E-Motion that it won despite the fact I’d never competed in any sort of eco-driving challenge before,” said Jim Holder, driver of the winning car.
    .
  • Just 99 mpg: Isn’t it Time to Focus on More Than Plug-ins? — Significant and cost-effective improvements in fuel economy were also suggested and supported very recently at the LA Auto Show by several automakers, particularly Hyundai which is forecasting industry-leading plans for improving fleet fuel economy without increasing vehicle costs. Similarly, the X-Prize also demonstrated that 100 mpg is achievable without the need for either hybrid or plug-in technologies.
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  • Green Truck Summit 2011 Offers Glimpse into Future — “Our industry is in a very exciting period of evolution,” says Doyle Sumrall, NTEA senior director of business development. “As innovative manufacturers continue to develop new green technology, fleets and the businesses who support them must understand how and when to use that technology to improve their operations and environmental impact. The Green Truck Summit is a unique gathering of technical experts, thought leaders and peers who all share their knowledge to provide solutions for today’s issues, as well as guidance into the future.”


Jersey Turnpike Buys System to Predict When You Will Be Sitting in Traffic

Via Bloomberg

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority said it hopes to begin alerting motorists to traffic jams — 10 minutes before they occur.

The agency, which manages the two main toll roads in the most densely populated U.S. state, approved the awarding of a $652,000 contract to En Pointe Technologies Inc.

The El Segundo, California-based company has a computer system that is designed to give drivers an early heads-up on developing traffic jams, to allow them more time to detour away from congestion, Brian Gorman, director of technology, told members of the authority’s board at their regular meeting today.

The system was tested on the 148-mile (238-kilometer) New Jersey Turnpike and the 173-mile Garden State Parkway, which stretches from Cape May to the New York state line. It predicted traffic with at least 90 percent accuracy, Gorman said. Motorists will be alerted to potential problems through electronic signage on the highways.

“We do have the ability to prevent congestion disruption,” Gorman said.

I have written similar software for the DC metro area, and it predicts traffic jams most Mondays through Fridays from 7:30am to 9:00am, and again from 3:30pm to 5:00pm.



FuelClinic Facebook Fans

Goal: 500 new fans on the FuelClinic Facebook page by the end of May.

We’d like to grow our eco-driving community on Facebook, a place where drivers can socialize a little more than they can on FuelClinic right now. It’s also a great way for us to stay in touch, we repost most (of the good) Fuelishness! blog entries there, and add some content not found anywhere else – and Fans can post comments to our wall, etc…

It’s easier than ever to become a fan, you can just click the “Like” button on the Facebook box on the top-right side of each blog page, or searching for “FuelClinic” from the search box on Facebook.



Fuelishness! Feed: Ford’s Focus on Eco-Driving; Pentagon’s Algae Fuel Research; Oil over $80; Lithium Supply for 1M Hybrids; ‘Stuck With Cars’ Discussion

  • Ford’s new Focus on eco driving — It’s about being careful and not wasteful, both when it comes to the way a car runs and, indeed, how it is built in the first place and here Ford is reducing its carbon footprint with a range of sustainability initiatives.
    .
  • Pentagon Researcher Promises Cheap Biofuel for Jets — Pentagon officials have been talking for years about weaning their jets off of fossil fuels. Now they say they’re only months away from producing a cheap fuel made from algae — for less than $3 a gallon.
    .
  • Oil above $80 as traders eye low interest rates — Oil prices rose above $80 a barrel Monday in Asia, extending a three-week rally as investors expect the U.S. central bank to keep interest rates near zero to help fuel economic growth, which would boost crude consumption.
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  • Energy for Electric Vehicles Dealt a Blow by Bolivian Lithium Production — Unfortunately for those who are expecting electric cars to spring out of the woodwork in the next few years (remembering that the President’s plan calls for 1 million plug-in hybrids by 2015) Mitsubishi estimates that the world will need 500,000 tons per year at full ramp up. The Salar di Uyuni deposit in Bolivia holds at least 9 million tons, although the country has, in total, perhaps as much as 73 million tons.
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  • Stuck With Cars — Every weekday, tens of millions of Americans get into vehicles that are full of passenger space which won’t be used, with engines capable of horsepower and speeds that won’t be attained, holding fuel tanks that could power the car for distances that won’t be traveled. The result of all this over-engineering is that cars cost way more than a vehicle for daily commuting need cost, and they consume way more energy than a vehicle for daily commuting need consume.


The Post-Crisis Consumer (John Gerzema @ TED)

John Gerzema says there’s an upside to the recent financial crisis — the opportunity for positive change. Speaking at TEDxKC, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending.

13 trillion dollars in wealth has evaporated over the course of the last two years. We’ve questioned the future of capitalism. We’ve questioned the financial industry. We’ve looked at our government oversight. We’ve questioned where we’re going. And yet, at the same time, this very well may be a seminal moment in American history, an opportunity for the consumer to actually take control and guide us to a new trajectory in America.



“Drive like there’s a glass of water on your dashboard”

January 11, 2010 · Filed Under Fuelishness!, Technology, Video · 2 Comments 

“Drive like there’s a glass of water on your dashboard” is one of the visualizations supposed to help drivers moderate jack-rabbit starts, wild turns, and sudden stops.

Engineers in Japan have responded:

Surely a fun demo of an interesting stabilizer system using an accelerometer to determine g-forces on the car/glass of water, apparent built on an open-source hardware framework called Arduino I have been looking at lately for a project of my own.

Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.

I’ll keep you posted.



Hacked? (Confirmed)… Fixed!

December 24, 2009 · Filed Under Fuelishness! · Comment 

On certain browsers I’m seeing “Online Casino” links somehow injected into the Fuelishness! Blog titles and content. If you are seeing this also, please let me know in the comments or using the feedback tab. It only appears to effect IE, because Firefox and Chrome appear ok. Anyone have a clue where to start looking for this one? – Michael

Confirmed… only shows up on Googlebot scans and certain browsers, there goes my page rank… asking hosting provider to restore from a backup or upgrade the site to a fresh install. I think it might be time to use a different blog package – this is the third or forth time we’ve been hacked this year.

Thanks to the always impressive customer service of HostMySite/Hosting.com (and Brady, thank you very much) the codebase got a fresh install of the latest version of WordPress, and I’m not seeing the sneaky injections in my tests of the site. Might be a few more days before Google is corrected, hopefully my PageRank will be restored.

Thank you Brady at Hosting.com VPS support – it’s a Christmas miracle! (I couldn’t resist.)



Video: “The Rest Is Up To You” – Eco-Driver On Board

Eco-Driver On Board

FuelClinic.com will show you how to improve your gas mileage and get 5%, 10% up to 20% better MPG (and sometimes more) using the vehicle that you already own, while helping improve road safety, reducing traffic congestion, and saving you money.

FuelClinic.com will accurately calculate and track your actual gas mileage online easily, will teach you safe and efficient driving techniques that will improve your gas mileage, and will help you monitor your progress as you continue to practice better driving techniques.

You will save money, cut your own carbon emissions, and help reduce our dependence on foreign oil – all at the same time. Join the thousands who already use FuelClinic.com to become safer, smarter, more efficient drivers.

Safer, Smarter, Fuel Efficient Driving

Visit http://www.fuelclinic.com to learn more about eco-driving, and to join our community of eco-drivers.

Category: Autos & Vehicles



Video: New FuelClinic.com Feedback Forum

December 20, 2009 · Filed Under FuelClinic, FuelClinic.com, Fuelishness! · Comment 

I’ve just created my first Jing video, a <5-minute screen capture that demonstrates the User Voice Feedback system that I’ve added to FuelClinic in an effort to organize bugs and requests in a community-driven forum.

user-voice-jing-feedback

Watch the quick video online here and add your own feedback to the new forum or vote on existing ideas you want to see get completed first.



MINI Cooper D Sets New Zealand Fuel Economy Record Of 3.5 l/100km (67.2 MPG)

Source: The Motor Report

2009-mini-cooperd-newzealand-fueleconomyrecord-01

A MINI Cooper D (diesel) – piloted by trained ecodrivers Mark Whittaker and Paul Owen – has just set a new record for fuel efficient driving, by driving 2000 km on just over 72 liters (19 US gallons) of diesel fuel – achieving 3.5 l/100km (just over 67 MPG) average for that trip.

Mark Whittaker said the aim of the exercise was to highlight the potential for cutting New Zealand’s transport related emissions at little or no extra cost.

“In setting this record we are demonstrating that everyone can contribute to reducing emissions by choosing a fuel efficient car and employing simple ecodriving techniques,” Mr Whittaker said.

While Whittaker and Owen had originally targeted an average of 3.0 l/100km, the final 3.5 l/100km figure bested the country’s other top fuel miser – the third generation Toyota Prius – with which the Cooper D shares an official fuel economy of 3.9 l/100km.

The MINI Cooper D sports a fuel efficient and spunky small clean diesel engine and state-of-the-art start/stop technology similar to the new Ford Focus ECOnic we profiled a few days ago.

The Cooper D’s figures are thanks to a host of technological innovations borrowed from parent company BMW (including a start-stop system and a thrifty diesel engine from PSA).

BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director, Mark Gilbert said the fuel economy record proves how far diesel technology has come.

“The MINI has proven that new, small clean diesel engines have an important part to play in improving the fuel economy of the New Zealand vehicle fleet,” said Mr Gilbert.

“And the other clear message from this exercise is that it is not only what you drive, but how you drive, that counts,” he said. (Emphasis added)

That last bit sounds familiar! We certainly agree.

The bad news is that although it was mentioned last February that MINI was considering making the Cooper D available in the US, it has yet to become a reality according to our local MINI dealer. A message to MINI USA about the future availability of the “D” here in the US is awaiting reply – I’ll update you should we hear back. (If you’ve seen a “firm” scheduled availability date, please let me know.)

The future availability of the Ford Focus ECOnic diesel is also yet to be announced. In the past I mentioned my experience driving the SEAT with a small clean diesel a few years ago in Estonia… for now, you’ll still need to cross the pond to have this much fun driving at over 65 miles per gallon.



Congestion Challenge Awardees Presented at 2009 ITSA Annual Meeting

Source ITSA:

ITS Congestion Challenge

The first global ITS Congestion Challenge, announced in June 2009, was open to entrepreneurs, commuters, transportation experts, researchers in all fields, universities, and citizens around the world. Three winners and six finalists from Hungary, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States, were selected by an open global community of more than 4,000 people, including transportation industry professionals and the general public.

1st PLACE

iCarpool provides commuters and other travelers with comprehensive travel choices for modes of travel other than driving alone. Read more.

2nd PLACE

FuelClinic, for their “Eco-System” and “Eco-Driver On Board” programs, which provide tools and certified eco-driving training to improve, track, and manage driver performance for increased fuel efficiency, increased driver safety, and reduced accident rates. Read more.

3rd PLACE

iCone Products, LLC, for an ITS concept to beam real-time traffic information over the Internet to a central web site for use by government officials, emergency response personnel, trucking fleets, the public and information resellers, including media outlets and GPS services. Read more.



“Caption This Image” Winner(s) Announced

December 8, 2009 · Filed Under FuelClinic, FuelClinic.com, Fuelishness! · Comment 

In late October I posted an image I had cobbled together and asked Fuelishness! readers to help me improve the caption that accompanied it. I offered a $50 gas card as a reward for what we felt was the best suggestion. We received over 50 suggestions here at Fuelishness! I did something similar at the Vencorp classifieds, and we collected about a dozen additional suggestions.

At Vencorps, we chose the suggestion by Shashank K:

Emissions Compliance [Check]
Engine Performance [Check]
Aerodynamic design [Check]
There’s only so much the car can do, then its all YOU.

It’s a great suggestion, an we’ve already started to use it in a new animation currently in production. (It’s fantastic!) I hope to be able to release this new animation by the end of this year.

Here at Fuelishness! the choice was much harder to make… there are so many good suggestions. First we whittled the field down to the top dozen. Then we weighted each and added up the scores. We chose the suggestion by Lori on October 22nd:

Want better MPG’s? You’re in the Driver’s Seat.

We will be using this caption in future marketing materials.

Congratulations to the winners, and thank you all for participating in our first ever FuelClinic Fuelishness! contest.



Free “Keep The Receipt” Reminder Magnets

December 1, 2009 · Filed Under Eco-Driving, FuelClinic, Fuelishness! · Comment 

Recently I was asked about a “reminder” magnet from a FuelClinic.com user who sometimes forgets to take the receipt from the fuel pump, causing him to miss a fill-up and creating a problem in his FuelClinic account.

Last year we had created a “First Aid for High Gas Prices” magnet that FuelClinic users are proudly showing off on their cars around the country, but  I wanted to make something smaller and cheaper, so that we could just give them away instead of having to sell them. Here’s what the new smaller reminder magnet looks like:

keep-the-receipt

We’ve made a few hundred of these and if you send us a self-addressed stamped envelope, we’ll send you two reminder magnets that can be placed near your fuel door, inside your fuel door, or on your refrigerator. This is a limited time offer.

As with all of those magnets for your car, it’s recommended that you keep it clean underneath and move it around every few months to prevent your vehicle from having uneven paint fading from the sun being blocked by the magnet.

For a pair of FREE reminder magnets, send a self-addressed stamped envelope (regular first class stamp in the US, outside the US make sure you include full return postage) to:

FuelClinic.com
Free Reminder Magnet Offer
522 Hunt Club Blvd., #319
Apopka, FL 32703

In your return envelope you’ll get both magnets on one sheet, just cut along the faint line in the center to separate them.



Fuelishness! Feed: Ford Fusion Car of the Year; Eco-Driving Savings; Feds Buy Green; Hybrid Special Ops Buggy; Hyundai-KIA Develop CVT for hybrids

November 18, 2009 · Filed Under FuelClinic, Fuelishness! · Comment 
  • Ford Fusion Named Motor Trend Car of the Year — Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of global product development, said the 2010 Fusion has a sportier look and better fuel economy than previous versions. It gets 34 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with a four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The gas-electric hybrid version gets 41 miles per gallon in the city.
  • How much money can eco-driving save you? Matt Joy took part in BP’s Fuel Efficiency Challenge to find out — Go from a not-uncommon 30mpg to an achievable 40mpg and you could save £150 a year on fuel, if not more – and all that without spending thousands on a new car. That will please everyone except the taxman.
  • SPIN METER: Feds buy green cars, auction rejects — If you missed out on Washington’s cash incentive program to trade in your old clunker, Uncle Sam still has a deal for you: The government will sell you rejects from its own fleet, even as it makes dealers scrap all those old cars that were collected from the public.
  • Army tests new special ops hybrid vehicle — The CERV pairs the Quantum’s new “Q-Force” advanced all-wheel-drive diesel hybrid electric power train with a light-weight chassis to produce a torque rating that exceeds 5,000 foot-pounds. The unit can maintain speeds of 80 miles per hour and climb 60 percent grades–all while reducing fuel consumption by up to 25 percent compared to a conventional alternative, according to the company.
  • Hyundai-Kia Developed Its First CVT for the LPI Hybrids — The Elantra LPI Hybrid has a fuel economy rating of 17.7 km/l (5.7 L/100km or 42 mpg US); gasoline-equivalent fuel economy is 22.7 km/l (4.4 L/100km, 53 mpg US). This represents a 47% improvement over a conventional 1.6L Elantra.


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?


Fuelishness!: Top 10 Clunked Alt-Fuel Cars; Intelligent In-Vehicle Tech; Fickle Consumers and MPG; India pressured to cut fuel subsidies

September 28, 2009 · Filed Under Eco-Driving, FuelClinic, FuelClinic.com, Fuelishness!, LinkedIn, Twitter · 1 Comment 
  • Top Ten “green” cars that met their fate during Cash for Clunkers — We looked through the official, but as of yet unverified, list of trade-in cars that were clunked using the Car Allowance Rebate System (Cash for Clunkers) and found that the aforementioned CNG vehicles, 1,779 flex-fuel vehicles and 24 LPG vehicles found their way to the recycler thanks to CARS. Which alternative-fuel models were most dumped? Which single hybrid took a dive?
     
  • Europe to Launch Large-Scale Test of Intelligent In-Vehicle Technologies — Beginning in 2010, no less than 1,000 vehicles from various European vehicle brands equipped with various intelligent in-vehicle systems will drive around Europe for approximately one year. These intelligent vehicles will collect data that should deliver answers with regards to the impacts that these systems have on safety, efficiency and driver comfort.
     
  • U.S. auto industry faces tougher fuel-efficiency standards, fickle consumers — Trouble is brewing on the horizon for the U.S. automotive industry as it prepares for tougher fuel economy standards calling for the auto industry’s fleet of new vehicles to average 35.5 miles per gallon by 2016.
     
  • G20 puts pressure on India to phase out fuel subsidies over mid-term — The International Energy Agency and the OECD have estimated that removing fossil fuel subsidies by 2020 [sic] can bring down greenhouse gas emissions in 2050 by a whopping 10%.


Fuelishness! Feed: How to rate electric cars; 10 Ways to more MPG; Hybrid Corvette?; Windows Up/Down?; Uncle Sam and Fuel Efficiency

September 23, 2009 · Filed Under Fuelishness! · Comment 


Fuelishness! Feed: $700B Gains from Energy Efficiency; Bio-Engineering Algea; Cash for Clunkers FAIL; Cellphone Use as Deadly as Drunk Driving; Merits of a Gasoline-Diesel ‘Cocktail’



Fuelishness! Feed: Iran Removes Oil Chief Torkan Amid Political Unrest; Iran’s oil supply and potential for disruption; [Flashback 2006] Why Iran oil cutoff could be suicidal

June 23, 2009 · Filed Under Fuelishness!, Governments, Oil Industry · Comment 

Some fresh Fuelishness!

  • Iran Removes Oil Chief Torkan Amid Political Unrest – The sudden dismissal could raise concerns that political unrest in the second-largest member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may be spilling over into the country’s oil industry.”If his removal is for political considerations, it is sad to bring in politics into the oil industry,” Manouchehr Takin, an analyst covering Iran at the U.K.-based Centre for Global Energy Studies. “He was considered a ‘doer’, someone getting things done. He got projects moving.”
     
  • Iran’s oil supply and potential for disruption – Disruption to Iran’s oil exports would drive up the oil price as refiners that buy the Islamic Republic’s oil would be forced to buy elsewhere. Strikes in the run up to the Iranian revolution in 1978 stopped the flow from the southern fields, and the country’s capacity has never recovered to the 6 million bpd of before the revolution.The disruption was keenly felt by top oil consumer the United States, which had to ration fuel. The shortfall ruptured global supply lines, sparked panic-buying and saw a sharp rise in oil prices that contributed to the U.S. recessions of 1980 and 1981.

    Iran now pumps around 3.8 million barrels per day, or about 4.5 percent of global supply.

  • [Flashback 2006] Why Iran oil cutoff could be suicidal – Iran’s nuclear standoff with the United States, Europe, and other nations has led to considerable speculation of $100-per-barrel oil and $4-per-gallon gasoline in the US. Such high prices might kick off a worldwide energy crisis and recession.


FuelClinic.com is currently #3 in the running at IdeaBlob

June 3, 2009 · Filed Under Doc Miles, FuelClinic, Fuelishness!, LinkedIn, Poll, Twitter · Comment 

Votes at IdeaBlob are tallied each night, and I just received notice from them that the FuelClinic idea is currently #3 in this weeks “sprint”. This is great news!

fuelclinic-ideablob-homepage

This is a good indication that we have a real chance of success with this grant. 

I still need your help – for those who have not yet voted, please do so. IdeaBlob does require registration, which is a little bit of a pain, but it helps prevent cheating. (btw: I first registered with them in November 2008, and they have not sent me any spam at all.)

For those that have voted, thank you — may I have another? Please pass on my request for votes and encourage your friends and family members who can spare a few minutes to help.

Details of what the grant would be used for are contained in the proposed idea, but basically the money will be used to produce eco-driving training videos that will demonstrate proven techniques anyone can use to improve fuel efficiency and save gas money.

If our idea should win, the grant money will be spent immediately to stimulate the economies of several small businesses (videographer, director, assistants, test track, car rental, pr person) as well as pay a lucky university student who will help with post-production editing, etc. The videos will become a part of FuelClinic freely available training modules (in development) as well as available to anyone via YouTube. 

Thanks again for your help.

– Mike



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