Posts Tagged ‘eco-friendly driving’
I’ve long thought the Ford Fiesta is the answer to our global car crisis. It’s the anti-SUV, low in power, high on mileage, and perfect for most Americans who have a love/hate relationship with their long commutes. When they brought the car back to the States in 2011, I was excited to see it resurrected, reminding me of those long gone days learning to drive in my sister’s early 90′s model.
So, they’re making it even better with the EcoBoost hybrid engine. It’s the smallest engine yet from Ford, and measures in at 1.0 liter.
Engineers at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the U.K. began designing the new EcoBoost 1.0-liter engine long before the current spike in fuel prices pushed the cost of a gallon of gas over $4. Their goal: To design a technically advanced, super-efficient three-cylinder engine that delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions.
To do that, engineers at Dunton, Ford’s global center of excellence for small-capacity engines, focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine’s internal moving parts, especially during warm-up. That’s when an engine emits higher levels of CO2 and other pollutants. The new engine introduces many new technologies that could someday be part of the DNA of future Ford engines, said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering.
The new three-cylinder engine will be available globally in the company’s small cars. It will also play an important role in North America. [Source]
It will be interesting to see how this affects mileage and power.
We saw these new UPS vehicles on the Good Magazine blog today and had to research more. UPS is a pretty innovative company, constantly searching for ways to lower gas costs. In 2007 they created new routes based on making right turns, which lowered overall mileage by 28,541,472 million miles and saved millions of gallons of diesel fuel. They’ve gone even further by developing new prototypes rumored to save 40% more fuel.
UPS embarks on an epic search today; “The Search for MPG.” UPS is the proving ground for five new vehicles by Utilimaster and Isuzu. These are not alternative fuel vehicles. They are diesel vehicles, but have smaller, 4-cylinder engines and lightweight composite materials to increase their fuel efficiency.
UPS will test them through December 2011 on the harshest routes in our U.S. network. Will these lightweight vehicles survive the rigors of deserts, mountains, back roads, snow and the constant weight of the UPS packages delivered every day? Will they endure while saving 40 percent more fuel at the same time?
Although we have 1,900 alternative fuel vehicles, none of our package car-sized AFVs are suitable for high-mile routes. Their fuel systems aren’t efficient at long ranges. Maybe the venerable diesel engine can be re-engineered to sip less fuel and lose a little weight. The composite material makes exterior parts replacement modular and could eliminate paint entirely!
I like this approach. You don’t abandon an old favorite if there’s still a ton of room to improve and make it even better. In UPS’s case, diesel is still the only capable option for many routes, so we’re working to make it ultra-efficient. [Source]
The notorious marketing campaign, “What can brown do for you?” is now “How can Brown save money and the earth?” And it is proof that each company can do its part to save the earth while reducing costs and increasing efficiency.
[Image via Nissan]
Considering buying an electric vehicle? Here’s a great article from Car Talk called Electric Vehicles: Three Reasons EVs Will Make Your Life Better (And Three Reasons They Wonâ€™t).
If you are like me, you knew about car sharing, but only in a very generic way. Turns out, car sharing under the Zipcar banner is far from generic, and offers dozens of options to keep you moving while saving cash and that other kind of green â€“ the environment.
As Zipcar media describes it, carsharing is about â€œpracticable and actionableâ€ sustainability that reduces the negative effects of transportation on the planet. This synopsis is shared by Greencar.com, which also suggests that car pooling (using Zipcar as a rideshare tool) where possible reduces overall spending â€“ a definite planet- and pocket-plus during this recession. Read more