If you think buying a "green" car is as easy as picking the paint color, we've got news for you--there are different types of green and many different car choices. Are you trying to reduce smog and its attendant health risks, or are greenhouse gases and global climate change your biggest concern? And those aren't exclusive concerns, either. Amongst the types of cars you can choose, there are hybrids, PZEVs, SULEVs, flex fuel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, and even diesels. We also take a look at future technologies that are in heavy development and could the … Read more
I'd like to thank licensed ship captain and editor of the gCaptain.com blog, John A. Conrad, for this one: a ship that floats on a curtain of bubbles.
The Bubbling Ship is a concept devised by Yoshiaki Kodama, director of the Advanced Maritime Transport Technology Department at Japan's National Maritime Research Institute in Tokyo. The ship would blow bubbles from slits near the bow of the ship. The bubbles would travel along the hull, reduce friction, and hence increase gas mileage.
Is it feasible now? No, but that's what research grants are for. Ships are one … Read more
At the 2008 New York International auto show, Brian Cooley takes a look at the newly redesigned Mercedes M-Class. It not only got a refreshed design outside, but also the inside has been updated with a richer media interface and a new voice-control system.
Mercedes-Benz showed off the BlueTEC ML320 SUV at the 2008 New York auto show. According to Mercedes-Benz, its AddBlue technology makes the ML320 the world's cleanest diesel. The ML320 BlueTEC uses a turbocharged diesel 3.2-liter V-6 engine, producing 210 horsepower and 398 foot-pounds of torque. That engine is mated to a seven speed automatic transmission, giving it wide range of gear ratios appropriate for city and freeway driving. The ML320 BlueTEC represents the first use of AddBlue technology in the U.S. AddBlue is a urea-based liquid that, when injected into the exhaust stream, converts 80 percent of … Read more
Sail power is back.
The MV Beluga SkySails, a cargo ship rigged up with a billowing 160-meter sail from SkySails, used approximately 20 percent less fuel than it would have without the sail during a two-month voyage. Put another way, that's 2.5 tons of fuel, or $1,000 a day, in operating costs. Beluga Shipping ultimately hopes to save $2,000 a day with the technology.
The ship left Bremen, Germany, on the 22nd of January, sailed to Venezuela, and then headed toward the Norwegian port of Mo-I-Rana, docking on March 13. In all, the ship sailed 11,… Read more
Whereas diesel engines have made great strides in the European auto markets, here in the U.S., gasoline still dominates. Apparently, the prospect of much higher fuel mileage and lower CO2 emissions from diesels doesn't overcome the objections of U.S. environmental regulatory authorities concerned mainly about local air quality issues. I suspect that, even if (when?) these objections are overcome by continued refinement, diesels will still find it difficult to win market share in the U.S., largely because of the wider availability of gasoline.
January is diesel engine month, it seems.
Following announcements from EcoMotors and Transonic Combustion, San Diego's Achates Power has said on its Web site that it's creating a clean, light, fuel-efficient diesel engine.
The company has also received investments from Sequoia Capital, a relative newcomer to energy investments, Rockport Capital Partners and Interwest Partners. (VentureWire has a brief interview with Achates CEO James Lemke.)
Achates has not said how its engine will work, the company has three patent applications on file with the U.S. Patent Office. Two of the patents describe what's known as an opposed … Read more
It's sort of like an organ transplant for cars.
Transonic Combustion, which has been relatively secretive until now, has created a fuel injection system that will let diesel engines run on regular gasoline. Diesel engines get better mileage than regular gas engines, explained CEO Mike Cheiky in an interview. However, diesels typically emit more particulates. Gas is also far more readily available than diesel in the U.S. Insert Transonic's components into a diesel engine and you get the best of both worlds.
Additionally, the company's fuel injection system dramatically increases the internal compression in an engine, … Read more
BMW's got fast diesels ready for all 50 states. We take a first look from the floor of the 2008 Detroit auto show.
At the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, diesel cars grabbed their share of the limelight, as manufacturers such as Audi, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW prepare to import new diesel vehicles to the U.S. New diesel engines promise performance equivalent to gasoline cars but much better mileage, and new technology means cleaner emissions.