Category: Fuel Economy
One struggles to count on more than one finger the number of fuels debated more than ethanol — in America, corn-based ethanol specifically. Many detractors claim ethanol’s disadvantages outweigh its benefits. Proponents for ethanol in our fuel supply contend the fuel’s geopolitical positives and other factors give ethyl alcohol much needed consideration. Unfortunately, both sides of the ethanol coin have a multitude of reasons for supporting or protesting the fuel beyond the immediately obvious.
Enter Automobile’s Jamie Kitman. The man is looking to separate the corn from the husk in a new multi-part series dubbed “The War Against Ethanol.”
Infiniti has a revolutionary new engine in the works that’s both a high-compression mileage-maker and a low-compression pavement burner, giving drivers the option of being lean or mean at any given time.
The world’s first variable compression engine, dubbed the VC-T, ate up 20 years of design work before Infiniti went public with its achievement. The automaker plans to unveil the revolutionary engine next month, at the Paris Auto Show. Read More >
For the past few years, startup Elio Motors has said that the “target price” of their enclosed tandem three wheeler was $6,800. As the company and their vendors finalize the design of the production vehicle and seek financing for that production, Elio has announced a “locked in” base price of $7,300, though that price for now only applies to the first 65,000 reservation holders (and it appear that those who already have placed reservations may pay as little as $7,000).
Since more than 56,000 people have already put down reservations for the Elio trike, if you want to buy an Elio and lock in that $7,300 price, there are fewer than 9,000 slots remaining. There was no word on what the price will be after the first 65,000 are reserved.
The pricing announcement is tied to the company’s still active application for a $185 million loan from U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing program. Read More >
The search for better fuel economy takes engineers down weird paths, and the latest plan to wring out extra mileage is no different. It involves an unlikely part of the vehicle — the suspension.
Audi just announced a new suspension system that harvests wasted energy and turns it into electricity, capable of adding juice to a vehicle’s 48-volt electrical subsystem. Read More >
The dialogue from Tesla wasn’t all rainbows and puppies this week.
In oddly coordinated diatribes, CEO Elon Musk and his vice-president of business development took off the soft driving gloves and laid into their competition and the country’s regulators. The message? Put up, pay up, or shut up. Read More >
Volkswagen’s emissions scandal gave oil burners a bad name, but Mazda isn’t ditching its plans for a diesel roll-out in North America.
Frustrated by congestion and unsafe lane changes, state governments are telling left lane drivers to get the lead out.
Tennessee rolled out a new law on July 1 that dings drivers $50 for driving too slowly in the left lane, joining a growing list of states that want to free up the go-fast lane through penalties. The days of drivers coasting along at (or slightly under) the speed limit in the passing lane are waning, and that’s a good thing. Read More >
The federal agencies reviewing the country’s corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) targets are pleasantly surprised by the amount of fuel-saving technology in modern vehicles, and hint that the target they decided on back in 2011 is still doable.
Those agencies just released a technical assessment report (TAR) to guide the review process. In it, they figured that vehicles will average between 50 and 52.6 miles per gallon by the target year of 2025 — if gas stays stable and consumers continue buying SUVs and trucks.
That’s not too far off the original target, and judging by the optimistic tone of the report, it’s likely the 54.5 mpg mandate will stay intact. Read More >
Business is about to get much more expensive for automakers with thirsty fleets.
The penalties leveled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration against automakers who miss their annual corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards are about to go up in August. Way up. Read More >