When we were kids, carpooling was a fact of life. Whether it was piling a bunch of kids into the mini-van or station wagon after school or going to little league practice, it seemed like carpooling made sense. Parents shared responsibility with other parents and took turns from time to time. Kids could continue their playground antics a little while longer. At some point, (more…)
Green transportation is evolving at an extremely rapid pace. Perhaps a scene from The Jetsons is an unlikely scenario in the near future, but there are a number of very fascinating things currently happening in the transportation industry. For one thing, many public transportation buses now run on natural gas, a cleaner burning fuel than gasoline. In addition, advances are being made in technologies that allow automobiles to run on biofuel derived from algae. And let’s not forget about the electric vehicle which only recently went from a concept to a reality. Because we rely so heavily on transportation in our day to day lives, developing more efficient and cleaner ways of traveling will be critical to saving our environment.
The Hummer. It is unmistakable on the roadway, and it is probably the closest a civilian will ever get to driving a tank. That’s not surprising, since the Hummer is essentially a military vehicle that was re-purposed for civilian use. It looks a lot like the army’s Humvee because it essentially has the same chassis. The Hummer is heavy, can cross extremely rough terrain, (more…)
Here’s an article that underscores something I firmly believe: the concept of car ownership, a paradigm of the American lifestyle in the 20th Century, is on its way out. Just as a generation decided it no longer needed a telephone that was hard-connected to a copper wire, an even larger group of people is starting to realize it doesn’t really require a (more…)
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week issued a fuel economy rating of 119 MPGe to the Chevrolet Spark EV, making it one of the most efficient cars in the United States. The all-electric subcompact goes on sale this summer in California and Oregon. The news begs this question: What is that little “e” doing at the end of MPGe? (more…)
According to Pike Research, almost 200,000 plug-in electric cars and trucks equipped with vehicle-to-building (V2B) technology will be sold through 2020. The company said that from 2012 to 2020, investment in that space will total $279 million.
That’s a lot of money. V2B and its vehicle-to-grid (V2G) cousin (more…)
Fun to drive is a phrase that is not often associated with a compact car. In the case of the 2013 Mazda Mazda3 with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, fun is exactly what you get. That is only part of the story. Fuel efficiency is the other part of the story. After spending a week in the Mazda3 and amassing over 550 miles in the driver’s seat, the Mazda3 was a car that easily (more…)
Those of us old enough to remember can recall the day when cars sold in the U.S. – even new cars — didn’t require seat belts. And the debate here was fierce; public safety advocates had their reports detailing how many lives would be saved each year, but the auto industry insisted that such legislation would ruin the industry: it would increase the cost of cars to an (more…)
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids that are moldable. Plastics are typically organic polymers of high molecular mass, but they often contain other substances. How about mostly sulfur? A new chemical process can transform waste sulfur into a lightweight plastic that may improve batteries for (more…)