Not a week goes by where someone doesn't approach me with the same smug, "Oh, my '92 Civic hatch gets better fuel economy than the current Civic," or "LOLZ! My Geo Metro XFi getz teh 50mpg!!! PWND!!" This is usually followed by some ill-researched rant about how the gasoline engine hasn't advanced in 40 years or how automakers and oil barons are conspiring to keep gasoline expensive. In reality, compared with their modern analogs, your late-'80s vintage econobox is crap. I'm sorry to say it, because I love older compact cars, but … Read more
GM announced its development of a new, more efficient internal combustion engine that will eventually be used to power its lineup of hybrid and extended-range plug-in vehicles.
In the homogenous charge compression ignition engine (HCCI), the air and fuel mixture is compressed to ignite rather than using a spark. When combined with other advanced technologies, the HCCI engine provides up to 15 percent better fuel economy, according to GM. … Read more
Setting a world record a gasoline fueled midsized sedan, the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid traveled 1,445.7 miles on a single tank of gas on Tuesday, April 28, 2009.
Traveling between 20 and 45 mph depending on traffic to take advantage of the car's capability to operate in electric-only mode up to 47 mph and foregoing cruise control to maximize fuel economy, a team of seven eco-drivers set out from Mount Vernon, Va. on Saturday at 8:15 a.m. ET with a goal of reaching 1,000 miles on their 17-gallon tank.
The team included Nascar driver Carl Edwards, high mileage trailblazer Wayne Gerdes and several Ford Motor Company engineers who took turns at the wheel, twittering their progress along the way.
The 1,000 mile target was easily reached at 9:07 a.m. EDT on April 27. Edwards reportedly took them past this milestone with an average fuel economy of 76.3 mpg, according to a post on Twitter.
With fuel still in the tank, the team continued driving into the night to see just how far the Fusion Hybrid could go. … Read more
WASHINGTON -- The EPA on Friday proposed a finding that greenhouse gases from new vehicles and industrial plants pose a danger to the public, kicking off a process that could result in tighter regulation of carbon dioxide emissions. The EPA's findings come two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the agency to determine whether these emissions contribute to harmful air pollution under the Clean Air Act or whether the science is too uncertain.
The long-expected move by the EPA sets the stage for the agency to use its power to revisit the auto industry's fuel economy … Read more
Just last week, we were able to best the Honda Fit's claimed 33 highway mpg to achieve just a bit more than 40 combined mpg (and that was with lead-footed me behind the wheel for about a quarter of a tank). Now, the Fit is a fairly economically tuned car, but how would we have handled a less docile vehicle? U.K. magazine Auto Express entered a John Cooper Works Mini--the hottest, fastest Mini Cooper available--in a MPG Marathon. How did they fair?
Surprisingly for a turbocharged hot-hatch with enough moxie to sprint from 0-60mph in only 6.5 … Read more
The EPA is not sure how to rate the Chevrolet Volt's fuel economy, and GM isn't at all happy about it.
According to Motor Trend, the confusion stems from the EPA's classification of the Volt. Is it an electric vehicle (EV) with an onboard generator, or a hybrid vehicle that relies heavily on its electric drive? It's actually a little of both and a little of neither. The driving habits and battery-charging routines of the operator play a huge role in the classification of the Volt.
The way the Volt is designed, the wheels are powered … Read more
GreenRoad Technologies announced it has received $3 million in series C funding from Amadeus Capital Partners, Virgin Green Fund, Benchmark Capital, and Balderton Capital on Monday.
The company's main product, the GreenRoad Safety Center, might be called a digital backseat driver. It features on-board sensors tracking some 120 moves made by the driver. Paired with Web applications, a dashboard display offers real-time suggestions about how to steer the car more safely.
GreenRoad claims that clients have found a 54 percent reduction in crashes and a 7 percent drop in fuel costs.
The company says its product is being picked … Read more
The United States can slash its use of petroleum dramatically by 2035 by adding a heavy dose of hybrids to the market, according to a study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
To return U.S. fuel use to pre-2000 levels, however, carmakers would have to improve efficiency and consumers would have to learn to love hybrids, trading features like increased speed and size for higher fuel efficiency.
"There's all this fascination with vehicle technology--more hybrids, more diesels, and so on," said study author Anup Bandivadekar, an analyst at the International Council on Clean Transportation, in a … Read more
As we told you last September, BMW has been kicking around the idea of a fourth brand (in addition to MINI, Rolls Royce, and BMW) for a while. This week it emerges that this new addition to the Bimmer family lineup may be a dedicated "green" line of vehicles focused on high fuel economy and lower emissions. If so, the strategy would certainly make sense as it will enable BMW to meet tough environmental requirements without sacrificing too much of its performance-related DNA. BMW is one of a number of premium European brands likely to suffer most at … Read more
Consumers won't pay more for cars that would meet new, stricter emissions standards.
That was the message sent last week by Susan Docherty, Western Region general manager of General Motors, as a handful of automotive journalists (including yours truly) sat scattered at a very large table in a private room in the back of one of Santa Monica's poshest hotel restaurants during a GM-sponsored holiday dinner.