Usually cars are just machines. You can push them as hard as you want…until now. Nissan’s new ECO Pedal pushes back. The system is designed to provide maximum fuel economy by monitoring current conditions and suggesting more fuel-efficient driving. The car decides the necessary acceleration, and if it detects too much pressure on the accelerator pedal, it will provide counter pressure in an I-don’t-think-so-Dave manner.
Nissan claims a five to ten percent improvement in fuel economy when the ECO Pedal is utilized. It wants to start using the system next year, and unlike HAL, the driver can shut off the ECO Pedal at any time.
Gas prices are as bad here in the U.S. as they are in China. So fuel prices and concerns over air quality for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing should send customers looking for hybrids, right? Unfortunately it seems that the Chinese automakers do not offer many alternatives to gasoline, and the mainstream market is not yet demanding alternative energy.
The Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers published statistics display’s the public’s lack of appetite for alternate energy cars in China. The Chinese Association of Automobile Manufacturers regard any car that is not a powered by gasoline or diesel as a ‘new energy car’ which include electric cars, hybrid cars, LPG, and hydrogen powered cars. In total, 366 new energy cars were sold in China from Jan to June in 2008. On the brighter side, that still represents a 107 percent increase over the previous year’s statistic.
A British chemical company, Ineos, has found a way to alleviate prices at the pump by converting ordinary household trash into ethanol. The process involves burning the trash to produce gas, then feeding the gas to bacteria which in turn produce ethanol. They purify the ethanol into fuel to be used in cars. Claims are that 100 gallons of fuel can be made from one metric ton of dry waste. Ineos plans for commercial quantities to be produced within two years.
“In North America and Europe we will see around 10 percent or more of petrol (gasoline) being replaced with [ethanol],” said Peter Williams, Bio chief executive officer. “Our technology will make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gases and the world’s need for fossil fuels.” The heat that is recovered during the gasification and fermentation processes will be used to produce electricity.
Lottery prizes are sometimes so great that the winner can quit his/her job and buy a Ferrari. Well one new prize is just making it easier to drive to work and earn that Ferrari. Florida began a prize earlier this month that awards runner-up winners "Free Gas for Life". This has become a popular enough idea that Georgia and Oklahoma are giving out similar prizes. The catch in Florida is that winners actually receive 26 gas cards annually worth $100 each. So it likely still won’t completely fund the fuel for you daily-driver Ferrari, but every little bit helps.
Sometime in the future, gas stations would switch to selling gas. Gas in the sense, air, which when compressed to an extent, has enough energy to help a specially designed engine, generate power. Big companies like BMW and Mercedes-Benz, are interested in looking for other ways to run their cars, and might want to take a close look at these air powered engines.
Sure, these things make a lot of noise and don’t coax out enough horsepower, but with time and research, things could change drastically. Just like how electric cars or hybrid cars have evolved and reached a certain stage where the trade-offs are not considerable and offer a number of advantages over the normal cars, soon air powered engines might catch on and small-car manufacturers could use them on a large scale.
The diesel Cayenne has got all our attention. Mid-2009 was the launch date and the hype multiplied when rumors floated of a version with the V12 TDI found in the new Q7, was going to be offered. But No! Dreams will remain dreams.
The diesel avatar of the Cayenne SUV will be launched with the lighter 3.2 liter V6. There are a host of reasons like fuel economy, emissions, suitability and so on, which have prompted Porsche to make this move. But no worries. The V6 is said to produce around 300 hp with loads of torque which will make up for some of the disappointment. And lets agree on the fact that Porsche know more than you and me and we (majority of us) have always been fascinated and accept their products for what they are.
There is no point in making a car which houses an engine that measures to a size of an office cubicle but fails to get the all power it produces down on to the road. The engine is just one part of the whole equation and lets leave it Porsche to do what they want. All we need is the Porsche magic in it and nothing more. Regardless of all that, there will be a few unsatisfied people, the-more-power-madness-I-want category of customers whom I bet will be taken care by Gemballa or RENNtech immediately after the launch.
Good news for petrol-heads. Your dreams of driving a gasoline-powered automobile far away in the future is not shattered after all. Two scientists F. Jeffrey Martin and William L. Kubic Jr, from the Los Alamos National Laboratory proposed a project “Green Freedom”. Their proposition looks quite possible and interesting-By blowing air over a solution of potassium carbonate, the carbon dioxide in the air will be absorbed. Then the solution is put through a series of chemical reactions that would transform it into methanol or gasoline. In the process, CO2 is capped and gasoline is produced.
The scientists have put this down on paper and are yet to present a working model. They claim that by using an electrochemical process, the gathered CO2 will be detached from the solution. Production of gasoline through this process on a large scale will consume an enormous amount of energy and the scientists believe Nuclear energy will be the best solution for the problem alongside renewable sources like solar power.
Sounds feasible, but the scientists need a $5 billion initial investment, but would produce gasoline for $1.40 a gallon. We at topspeed, wish the two scientists, all the very best with their new venture and hope and pray that the government gives them the required support and assistance for this dream project to turn into reality.
It’ll only be a matter of time, guaranteed. The boys and girls at Australia’s Revetec are well underway testing what will hopefully become the world’s first production Controlled Combustion Engine (CCE). They are very advanced in their development and are reportedly in talks with several manufacturers across Asia. Based in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, Revetec Holdings Limited has been working on this revolutionary idea since 1995 and believes it is nearing production readiness.
Honda today unveiled the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show, announcing plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle in summer 2008. The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle based on the entirely-new Honda V Flow fuel cell platform, and powered by the highly compact, efficient and powerful Honda V Flow fuel cell stack. Featuring tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency - and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle - the FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car.