A hydrogen fuel cell is able to combine hydrogen with oxygen from the air, producing electricity in the process. This electricity can be used to run an electric motor. Fuel cell technology allows to run vehicles off of hydrogen as a fuel instead of gasoline. As an important benefit, they produce water as the only byproduct of combustion between the oxygen and the hydrogen, which means no air pollution and no global warming boosting carbon dioxide.
A roofrack increases the aerodynamic drag of your car, which makes it use more gas. If you are not using your roofrack, take it off. At higher speeds, aerodynamic drag becomes larger and larger. Lots of highway speed miles with an unused roofrack is burning gas for nothing. So remove that roofrack until you need to use it and save on gas!
It is getting harder and harder to produce oil. The easiest to get oil has all been discovered and much of it already produced ( or extracted ). New discoveries are of oil that is in difficult to reach places, such as under miles of rock sunken beneath thousands of feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Deepwater rigs are complicated and difficult to operate machines, and sometimes things will go wrong. The Horizon fire is an example.
Domino's Pizza is another company which depends on transport looking to save on gas. They are experimenting with a small electric vehicle, the ZAP, for pizza deliveries. Since these deliveries are local and a pizza is not heavy cargo, a small, short range electrice vehicle is fully capable of doing the job, and does not cost a drop of gasoline.
UPS is joining the growing list of freight and delivery companies turning to non gasoline powered vehicles. UPS is using the Xebra, a small electric truck for short range deliveries. Small, light vehicles do not need as much energy to move as heavier vehicles. And a short range is not important for local deliveries. Since the Xebra is all electric, UPS can save on a lot of gas using it where conditions permit. As the price of crude oil and gas slowly rises, more and more companies that depend on efficient transportation are looking for ways to get things moving without needing gasoline. All of us should follow their example and look for ways to save on gas. The longer we wait, the worse the situation will get. Crude is never going back to the cheap old days.
Here are a couple of small and cheap electric vehicles that sell for $14,000 or under. The interview in the video has the statistic that 90% of the people in the US own at least one car that goes less than 25 miles a day. Such short trips typically do not need a full sized car. A small, light, energy efficient electric car can be perfect for these trips. And using an electric vehicle, you can do your local errands without using a drop of gasoline!
The ZENN or Zero Emission No Noise Vehicle is a new NEV (Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle). It is a small vehicle designed for short trips around your neighbourhood. For example, you could use it to pick up groceries or drop the kids off at baseball practice. Being lightweight it does not need much energy ... the heavier the vehicle, the more energy ( think fuel ) it takes to move it around. The ZENN is electric, which means you can save on gas.
Slowing down by 10 miles per hour can reduce your fuel consumption enough to notice, and for most trips the extra time taken is negligible. For example, consider a 60 mile trip. Driving at 60 miles per hour will get you to your destination in 1 hour or 60 minutes. Speeding up to 70 miles per hour will get you there in about 51.5 minutes. You saved only 8.5 minutes, but you burned through a lot of extra gas ( and money ) to do it.
Europe is slowly but surely becoming criss crossed by a network of high speed rail lines. In the future of pricey petroleum, the US will regret not developing such a network here at home. Although recent announcements by the administration might mean we will begin building one.
The Interstate highway system was built in an era of cheap oil to meet the needs of a population able to buy cheap gasoline. In the future, with expensive gasoline making driving a much reduced activity and pricy petroleum leading to expensive asphalt and thus costly maintenance, what will happen to the Interstate system? Here is one look into the future.
What will the American highways of the future typically have driving on them? Since the future will see permanently high and possibly continuously rising gasoline prices, the American car buyer will look for something fuel efficient and cheap. It will have to be cheap to leave enough money left over to operate it. Being fuel efficient means being small. Every extra bit of weight needs fuel to haul it around. And the main purpose of a personal vehicle is to move the driver, not hundreds of pounds of plastic and metal forming the body of a large car. So we will probably see highways full of vehicles that look very much like the Smart Car in the video.
Posted by gasburner at 15:16
The nation can save a lot of gas if the number of single occupant car trips goes down. Commuting to work via public transit is much more efficient fuelwise than driving by yourself. The trouble is, in many or possible most cities and towns in the United States, public transit is not cheap and available. That means even though on a national level public transit saves on fuel, for individuals it can be expensive and inconvenient. A realignment of policy related to public transit could go a long way to helping the United States reduce its need for crude oil.
Here is a report from the 2006 New York International Auto Show talking about fuel efficient vehicles. We are now in 2010. The progress in the US towards higher fuel economy is very slow, in fact, until the major oil price spike in 2008 and the collapse of Detriot fuel economy was ignored by almost everyone except trucking companies.
How would you like to run your car on methane generated from chicken droppings? It can be done! The picture above is of exactly that!
Or, if you prefer to buy rather than do the conversion work yourself, you can buy a methane powered car from Fiat. The video shows one being fuelled.
And of course everybody knows that cow poo is a great source of methane!
Aside from taste, does the color of your car matter? Can it have any influence over anything? Recall that light colors reflect more light than dark colors. This means that a car in strong sunlight with a dark paint job will get hotter than a light painted car. In the heat of a sizzling summer, the difference might be quite a bit. On other days, the difference might be enough to make you decide between switching on the air conditioning or not. And if the air conditioner is on, a light paint job will make its job slightly easier.
The air conditioner burns extra gas every minute it is running. So using the air conditioner less will save on gas. So if you are interested in saving on gas, especially if you live in a hot and sunny place, choosing a light colored vehicle could help you out.
The transport of raw materials and finished goods across the oceans is a vital part of the modern economy. The current depression coupled with persistently high crude oil prices has hurt the global shipping industry. Now many tankers and cargo ships are idled, just floating waiting for a job.
Some tips on getting better gas mileage. The very best way to save on gas is to drive less ... as the video says, carpooling and public transit are the gas saver's best friends. But sometimes these are not practical or do not allow for enough cargo and so on.
The US imports a lot of crude oil to keep our vehicle fleet fueled. Currently we are at about 9 million barrels per day. At a price of $80 per barrel, that is costing the nation $720 million each and every day. The Illinois state debt of about $120 billion could be paid off in half a year with what the nation spends on importing oil. Now that says something. Not only do we spend a fortune on foreign oil, but we are so badly in debt that even the fortune we spend on oil is not enough to pay it all back quickly! It is safe to say that we are consuming money and resources well beyond healthy limits.
Electric cars and performance can go together. How about an electric 1972 Datsun beating a Corvette by a second over a second, not once but twice!? The secret is that an electric motor can generate maximum torque right from the start.
Your car needs petroleum for more reasons than you might know. The gasoline it burns comes from crude oil, but did you know the asphalt that surfaces many of the roads you drive on also needs crude oil to make? The price of oil is now in the middle eighty dollar range. The price of gasoline is reaching three dollars a gallon. The rapidly developing economies of India, China, Brazil and others are beginning to compete with the US for the global oil supply. And all of the world's asphalt roads are clamoring for their share of crude oil. No surprise that the price of gas is high and rising. The surprise is that there are still a lot of people who think it will go back down, to the way it was ten years ago in 2000, when 80 dollar oil was considered impossible.