DailyDirt: Greener Cars
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
The debates over the best energy technologies will likely exist for a long time to come — perhaps to the detriment of making actual progress in replacing fossil fuels with renewable or cleaner energy sources. The transportation sector makes a pretty big dent in total energy usage, so it’s always nice to see cars getting more efficient and greener. Here are a few quick links on some efforts to improve personal transportation (but that may not really be that green in the big picture).
- GM’s Volt is going to use recycled plastic from the oil booms that helped to clean up the Gulf oil spill. By doing so, over 45,000 kilograms of polypropylene will be saved from going (directly) into a landfill. [url]
- For those of us who can’t quite afford to buy a new hybrid or electric car, there are some companies working on retrofit kits that could turn your car into a “partial hybrid” — for less cost than a new full hybrid car. Too bad the car’s performance takes a hit in the process. [url]
- Another approach to a partial hybrid just tacks on an electric motor to the rear differential — without replacing any of the original parts. But so far, it’s only available for Lincoln Town Cars. [url]
- For all the efforts to drive more fuel efficient cars, there’s also the “backfire effect” to watch out for — where people will just end up using more energy, no matter how efficient their vehicle is. Take it from the Swedes. [url]
- Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. Maybe with NASA’s help, we’ll be able to trade in our SUVs for Suburban Air Vehicles (SAVs). [url]
- To discover more interesting car-related content, check out what’s driving around StumbleUpon. [url]
By the way, StumbleUpon can recommend some good Techdirt articles, too.
Filed Under: backfire effect, partial hybrids, suburban air vehicles
Companies: gm, xlhybrids
Comments on “DailyDirt: Greener Cars”
Someday we may only need air to make something move, but for today how about your own electric generator powered by air?
Re: But where does the compressed air come from?
There are already a few compressed-air-powered cars:
And I think the Amish are also quite fond of using compressed air appliances in lieu of the electrically-powered ones most people use….
Re: Re: But where does the compressed air come from?
Yep I knew that one but I was thinking about electric cars, those other cars moved by compressed air have some problems going uphill LoL
Still I’m longing for the days where when your “gas” runs out you just need a hand crank to generate more 🙂
I was at a party and had a conversation with a young woman working on a team creating an air powered battery. One of the big hurdles is dealing with the moisture created when compressing air. She said they were fairly close to a working prototype.
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Painters have the same problem with air guns the solution for them is to use a filter that removes moisture from the air before it gets pumped and one after it gets out from the cylinder.
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Solution to moisture can be found in air-conditioners also, like the coolerado.
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The big issue is the loss of energy associated with the moisture. Sure you could just suck the moisture out but can you do it with minimal energy loss?
Re: Re: Re:2 Re:
If you are compressing dry air what is the energy loss?
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If you compress air dry air where is the energy loss?
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Particularly I’m fond of liquid salts, as a solution for that problem, that are hydrophilic and can be regenerated by heating them, making it reusable and not disposable.
Suburban Air Vehicles (SAVs)
YES! Finally, Jetsons-style flying cars for everyone!
Greener is greater... for the environment
These companies are classic nerds, they tunnel into the one area they believe will save their business and stop innovating in other areas.
There’s no question creating more efficient transportation is good for the environment but it is rare that this sells cars.
A car being more efficient doesn’t feel very much like a new feature when I get in and test drive. So make my car greener, thats great for the environment, but if you want to increase your business, you need to add features.
I’ve been complaining for far too long that my car doesn’t have a usable computer in it that can wirelessly sync to my wifi and download music and movies, maps and directions while parked in my driveway. Some new cars are adding mounted ipads in the dash, which is a step in the right direction. I think the best thing for us all would be if Google would partner up with a car company.
Greener == cheaper
I don’t now about you, but in my part of the world, gas cost money. So, greener, or more fuel-efficient cars are more popular because they save real money.
Who the hell need a “usable computer” built-in to the car? Have you ever heard about laptops? What about cellphones?
Talking about cranking things I just saw this.
The Wave Disk Generator that promises to combust any type of fuel and increase the output 3.5x and have fewer parts then a conventional combustion motor.
Some people already realized that there is no one solution that can handle the future, people are starting to realize they will need all of the solutions available, the future will be a mix of all we have right now and some new things to come to get out of fossil fuels dependency.