Category Archives: Green News

Articles and photos that feature green environmental technology.

YeZ Concept Car Pics

YeZ Leaf Concept Car

While other car makers are looking to bring emissions down or achieve a zero emissions level, the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation has created a concept car that makes negative emissions.  That’s right, this YeZ concept car actually removes CO2 from the air and releases Oxygen, just like a tree.

[ad#Google Adsense]YeZ means ‘Leaf’ in Mandarin, which makes it quite obvious where this concept car got it’s name.  The YeZ picture shows off just how much of an influence leaves had on it’s external and even internal design.  It’ utilizes photosynthesis to run and then mimics the shape of a leaf with it’s roof and green hues.

The technology used in the YeZ is advanced and even still a working theory, which produces power through solar panels on the roof and special wind turbines in the wheels.  The actual body panels are what absorbs the carbon dioxide and through chemical reactions energy is produced and then stored in lithium ion batteries.

Actual production or even possibility of a working model is some 20 years away.  Please, all you dirty hippies, put away your pocket books.

YeZ Leaf Concept Car

Bamboo Concept Car

[ad#Google Adsense]The Bamboo Concept car pictured above was created by Yodogawa, a Japanese metalworking firm.  As unbelievable as it may seem, the manufacturer actually hopes to one day sell this car to sane buyers, looking to save the world with green materials.  The car, and I use that term loosely, was created almost entirely of traditional materials, mainly bamboo and paper.

The barely capable Meguru, which sets on 3 wheels and appears to be held together by hopes and dreams, utilizes a lithium ion battery for power.  It’s an all electric vehicle (EV), which has a maximum traveling distance of 25 miles before needing charged.  Furthermore, it has a top speed of only 25 miles per hour, which in my opinion would mean a death wish if traveling much faster.

I’m not sure which is more crazy, the fact that the Japanese hope to sell the Meguru or that they are expecting to get $10,000 for it.  You be the judge and view the picture of the Bamboo Concept Car Meguru.

Meguru Bamboo Concept Car

2010 Hybrid SUVs Have Something For Everyone

Hybrid SUVThere is no doubt that there are more choices, than ever, from which to choose if you are looking to buy a hybrid SUV in 2010. This, along with the new hybrid technology, is certain to make these hybrids some of the most popular models ever.

Leading the list of the least expensive of these models is the Saturn Vue Hybrid. It has one of the smallest engines, 2.4 liters 4-cylinders, and also offers the lowest fuel economy with 25 mpg in the city; 32 mpg on the highway. The Saturn offers the largest gas tank capacity with 18.3 gallons. The SUV comfortably seats five people. If your family does a lot of towing this SUV is capable of pulling up to 1500 pounds.

Another of the less expensive SUV hybrids is the Ford Escape. It offers a 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine. It can also seat five passengers. Although it is more powerful than the Saturn it offers the best fuel economy with 31 mpg on the highway and 34 mpg in town. The 4-wheel drive gets 27 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg in town. The Escape also offers a limited edition featuring chrome and leather for an additional $2000.

The 2.5 liter 4-cylinder engine in the Mercury Mariner hybrid shares the same great fuel efficiency offered by the Ford Escape. It offers a 17-gallon gas tank. It also holds five people inside. It is available in both a 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive model. It offers the industry standard warranty of 3-years or 30,000 miles.

The Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers a larger, 3.3 liter 6-cylinder engine that can carry seven people inside. It can get 25 mpg on the freeway and 27 mpg in the city. The tank holds 17.2 gallons of gasoline. The 4-wheel drive model is capable of towing up to 3500 pounds. Like the Escape, if you pay an additional $2000 you will have a leather interior with heated front seats, a satellite radio along with a 6-disc in-dash CD changer and other features.

The last hybrid SUV, in this class, is the Lexus RX. This luxurious SUV offers a 3.5 liters 6-cylinder engine and it still gets good mileage with 32 mpg in the city and 28 mph on the freeway. It is available in both a 2-wheel and 4-wheel drive. It offers a bumper to bumper 4 year/50000 miles warranty – of the five least expensive hybrid SUV’s it offers the best warranty.

Ford Escape Hybrid on Ebay

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Tesla Electric Motors In Trucks

[ad#Google Adsense]The service industry seems to be the most logical step for using actual electric and hybrid vehicles. After all, these vehicles are road the hardest, put in the longest hours, and at the end of the day can’t be used for carpooling. So, Freightliner has started purchasing the same electric motor used in the Tesla roadster for use in their trucks. It will be used to make big power on a small environmental foot print.

Freigtliner hopes to be the first to enter this type of commercial niche, where cargo vans are powered by a hydraulic hybrid. It has the opportunity to revolutionize the industry, where thousands of vehicles post up thousands of miles. Imagine all the UPS and FedEx trucks on the road, now imagine if they weren’t using gas as fuel. The environmental impact of that alone would make the technology worth it’s weight. In addition, Freightliner claims that going to an EV fleet will save up to $15,000 per year, per vehicle! Although the electric truck will cost more up front, the real savings will be in the fuel and maintenance cost over the 12 months.

The initial electric truck offerings will be capable of handling a 2,500 lb payload. Without battery cell expansion Freightliner claims the EV Truck will be capable of a 100 mile range and require to be plugged into a 220v line for 6-8 hours at night for a full charge. There are future plans for battery expansions, which will allow for further trips without the need to charge up. The future of commercial truck fleets will be changing, perhaps Freighliner will be leading the way.

Freightliner Electric Truck

Nissan Leaf Expects 20,000 Orders

Nissan has announced some pretty lofty goals, including being the largest manufacturer in the US for electric cars.  The model to make it happen is the 2010 Nissan Leaf, an electric car marvel.  Nissan expects to receive 20,000 orders of the battery powered Leaf by the time it hits the show rooms next year.  I don’t see how.

First of all, you are buying a very limited range vehicle, for around $30,000.  Personally, for that kind of money, I’d like to be able to drive wherever, whenever I want.  I don’t want to wait around for a charge or risk not being able to find a suitable charging station while I’m out and about.  But of course, I’m not the target audience, those living in the big cities that don’t have to worry about rural commutes.

Next, consider the Nissan dealership just might be pushing a $150 per month battery lease option.  Meaning, you buy the car, but lease the battery that powers the car.  This is done to help alleviate the concern of replacing a battery in the coming years, if there were a problem, or they don’t have the shelf life they are counting on.

Too many if’s and’s or’s and but’s for me.  However, I wish them all the luck and the more competition Toyota has, the better it is for the consumers.  Check out the Nissan Leaf pics below.