Well, they all have spots on Leno, of course.
Jay Leno took a step down (or up) from late night TV and started broadcasting in Prime Time. Well, Ford is taking advantage of this exposure and Leno’s love for vehicles, to help get the American public accustomed to driving Electric vehicles. That’s why the Sept 18th show will feature Drew Barrymore racing a new all electric Ford Focus.
The car Barrymore will be driving won’t actually be available until sometime in 2011, so don’t get out your checkbooks just yet. However, it might not be a bad idea to start saving now. Most estimates put the new all electric Ford Focus at $10,000 higher than it’s all gasoline counter part. eeek!
There are lots of conflicting information about he upcoming Chevy Volt, that just doesn’t seem to add up. Past news has presented the Volt in a light that makes the electric car look like GM’s savior. But what can an expensive vehicle focused on a small niche market do for a failing monster like GM?
Furthermore GM has announced that the Volt will get 230 miles per gallon, which is true, if you don’t understand basic math. This issue has been discussed at length with GM’s 100 mpg Hummer as well, electric cars and hybrids have limitations, which aren’t taken into consideration when figuring gas mileage.
All of this aside, from a strictly economic perspective, do you know how much gas I can buy for $40,000? At a price of $3 per gallon I can purchase over 13,000 gallons. Assuming I drive an average of 20,000 miles per year in a vehicle that gets an abysmal 16 mpg, I can purchase 10 YEARS worth of gasoline. So, with a cost analyst of buying a Volt, the only people interested will be the rich hippies.
As far as I’m concerned, we still don’t have a viable option to the traditional internal combustion engine. Count me out until the next big thing hits.
Recently there was a post in the The-Grayline.com automotive forum stating that motorcycles pollute more than trucks and SUVs. The thread starter claims that the typical motorcycle will emit 10 times more pollutants compared to a passenver car, light truck, or SUV. Personally, I find it hard to believe, but is there any truth to the inefficiency of motorcycles.
California has already taken steps to to make sure all motorcycles on the road are meeting or exceeding emission standards. However, these standards are different than passenger vehicles and may reflect a lower requirement. In February of 2009 California issued legislature to require maintenance and smog check checks every year for motorcycles.
An argument more fitting to the emissions of motorcycles is, don’t we have bigger fish to fry? I mean, motorcycles are typically driven only a few months out of the year, compared to passenger cars that are driven year round. So, focusing on such a small percentage of the actual problem shouldn’t we work on broader strokes? Even more to the point, if it’s a single person getting from A-B isn’t it more efficient to drive a motorcycle than a 4 passenger vehicle?
Increase Gas Mileage
If you do a search for how to increase fuel mileage on a search engine you will find millions of results. As gas prices have went up over the years, people have been wanting to improve their cars fuel economy. Many did not know you could do much about increasing your fuel economy or what it takes so they just went out and bought a small car. By driving carefully and steady you can really increase your current vehicles fuel economy without having to upgrade to another car.
As people became desperate sellers decided to try and see how dumb people are. Sellers saw a large market with millions of dollars on the line and so they came up with all kinds of crazy things to “help” your fuel economy. This has been going on for many years now and it amazes me people actually think these things work. I am going to talk on a few of the top fuel economy improving scams so you will know what not to buy into.
Nitrogen in Tires:
Have you ever seen a cars tires with green caps on the air inlets on the tires? That means they had their tires filled with all nitrogen instead of just plain air and that they were scammed. Let me explain how this works. Advertisers say that filling your cars tires with nitrogen will help fuel economy because the tires deflate slower. The thing is air is 80% or so nitrogen by itself. Tests have been done and there may be just the slightest delay of the air leaking out of tires if you fill them with nitrogen. No where near enough to be worth the money they charge. The best thing you can do is to check the air pressure often.
Vortex Fuel savers in your airboxes:
This one has been going around for many years. It was advertised somehow that if you put in this little ring in your air box it would make the air swirl like a tornado and increase fuel economy by making the gas vapors and air mix better. It however does nothing but make fuel mileage drop as anything in the way of the air flow only slows the air down causing worse fuel mileage.
Magnetic fuel line devices
This device is supposed to give you up to 25% better fuel economy just by clipping on these magnets to your fuel line. In reality this does nothing for your car. Honestly what could it do to a liquid to make it burn better? The magnets are supposed to break up the molecules for a more even burn which just screams scam. Don’t fall for it!
People think and swear that they get better fuel mileage if they ad things like Acetone to their fuel. It is proven otherwise and in most cases it physically impossible for them to work like they claim they will. In some cases they can help for older cars with carburetors on them but not so much for new cars with Electronic Fuel Injection. Acetone actually cleans carburetors and such out so if you have a increase in fuel economy its because it did its job. After you have added it there will be no need to keep on doing it as it wont help.
Don’t fall for those scams. Always read reviews of stuff before you buy them online. If you have any of these in or on your car be sure and remove them.
Hybrids are getting a lot more attention as gas prices go up. Now you see more and more of the popular but ugly Toyota Prius on the roads. Hybrids are good cars because they get great fuel mileage but its limited to the city. Once you get out on the freeway you will see very little difference between a hybrid model car and its regular non hybrid model.
If you do mostly city driving a hybrid is a great choice as it gains electricity back with regenerative breaking. This means when you stop it uses generators to gain back energy as you stop. When you are not stopping and going like on the freeway you can see why Hybrids do not do well on freeways.On a freeway you might not like a Hybrid being they usually have like a 1.3 liter gas motor that will be powering you. They use a small motor so it does not burn much gas and at freeways speeds you wont have much passing power.
There is another way to get good fuel mileage and you wont have to worry about any of these set backs the hybrids have. What I am talking about is a diesel vehicle. Diesel engines are more efficient than gas engines but you don’t usually see them in cars but in big trucks. In Europe diesel engines are very popular but in America they are not. As fuel prices go up they are starting to make more sense in the USA too.
One diesel car the Jetta Beetle can get 50 miles per gallon without any hybrid technology! The same goes for the other 2 models Jetta makes that runs on diesel. All 3 models get great fuel mileage and have none of the set backs a hybrid has. These are not the stinky diesels of the past but clean diesels of the future. One guy even did some minor modifications to a diesel beetle and he is getting a steady 70+ miles per gallon! He added a different spoiler and a free flow catalytic converter among other things and that was all it took.
A Jetta is also a good bit cheaper than a Hybrid and you never have to replace batteries. Honda may bring over a diesel in the near future, the Honda Civic Diesel! If you want good fuel mileage without hybrid set backs take a look into a diesel car. They might just save you a lot of money!