Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wood Gas?

     Now many companies are looking  for new fuels to run cars on to ween us off fossil fuels and could wood gas be the answer.A Finnish politician by the name of Juha Sipila has converted his U.S.-built 1987 Chevrolet El Camino to run on wood gas.

   Sipila's El Camino, dubbed El Kamina (The Stove), features a wood gas setup – similar to the ones used in Europe during World War II – that consumes nearly half of the truck's bed. The El Kamina's 400-cubic-inch Chevy V8 engine can propel the 4,400-pound truck to 125 miles per hour and its bed can haul up to 175 pounds of wood, enough fuel for the truck to travel up to 800 miles.

      Juha, a parliamentary candidate, seems to firmly believe that homegrown biofuels can reduce his country's dependence on oil and that's one of the reasons behind his conversion. Plus, if he's within 800 miles of some fallen timber, then running out of fuel isn't likely to be a problem.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Low resistance tires can save fuel?

     For last few years automakers have tried to find ways to save fuel in cars with hybrid technology and new materials different fuels etc.. but what about the tires. Let's say that your vehicle's tires are nearing the end of their useful life. Looks like you're in need of standard replacement tires then, right? Well, instead of opting for a conventional tire you could save fuel by picking up a set of low-rolling resistance tires.Low-rolling resistance tires minimize energy wasted as a vehicle moves down the road, thereby improving fuel efficiency. Approximately five to 15 percent of the fuel consumed by a typical car is used to overcome rolling resistance. Therefore, by reducing rolling resistance, fuel consumption drops.

Okay low-rolling resistance tires reduce fuel consumption, but how much gas are you likely to save? A drop? An ounce? Gallons? Well, the California Energy Commission (CEC) estimates that equipping a vehicle with a set of low-rolling resistance tires reduces fuel consumption by 1.5 to 4.5 percent. So lets think about this tires that can save fuel, it may not be much but hey every little bit counts right.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Can Performance and Hybrid Co-exist

       As a self described car nut I'm very concerned about the current state of our dependence on oil as I feel the current crop of hybrid or electric cars don't meet my standards for the need for speed, in fact my current car a 2009 Mazda Speed3 is not the most fuel efficient car on market despite it being a four cylinder engine, but with a high pressure turbo and running premium fuel pushing out almost 300 horsepower and more than that in torque so my fuel millage is a secondary thought for me but has Porsche come up with the perfect combo.

Porsche has pulled back the curtain on the second version of its 911 GT3 R Hybrid race car. The German automaker has managed to reduce the electrified racer's weight by mostly by toying with the hybrid drive train.

Two electric motors mated to a portal axle spin the front wheels with up to 200 horsepower for a few seconds at a time. That's in addition to the 470 horsepower on tap from the flat six-cylinder internal combustion engine mounted out back. Thanks to data collected during the previous generation 911 GT3 R Hybrid's time on track, which was extensive, engineers were also able to reconfigure the vehicle's high-voltage components and in the process, reduce the system's overall weight by 20%.

Doing so allowed for the deletion of those massive air intakes on the rear fenders of the old body (right, at last year's 24 Hours of Nürburgring). The new skin is significantly more aerodynamic and helps deliver increased fuel economy as a result. The 911 GT3 R Hybrid still uses an electric flywheel accumulator, though it and the rest of the hybrid kit is now stored in a carbon-fiber safety cell on the passenger side of the cabin.

Porsche plans to campaign the 911 GT3 R Hybrid 2.0 at various race events throughout the year