Tag Archives: cars

Kent A. Sepkowitz: no friend of mine

The technology to limit car speed has existed for more than 50 years — it’s called cruise control. In its common application, cruise control maintains a steady speed, but a minor adjustment would assure that vehicles, no matter the horsepower, never go past 75 miles per hour. This safety measure should be required of every new automobile, the same as seat belts, turning signals, brake lights and air bags.

NYT: “No Need For Speed

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Filed under dumbfounded, fear of the day, reasons to homeschool, stupid government

get out of my dreams, get into my electric car

she wants a 100 mpg car too, and thinks electric is the way to go.  like I said before, I don’t care how I get 100 mpg equivalent (let’s say $0.04/mile, where right now my commute costs $0.14/mile), I’d just like to get there sometime soon.

moblogic.tv seems to have an interesting vlog each and every day, with a libertarian bent (though they never come right out and get preachy about it).  if the hostess looks familiar, it’s because she stars in Crest Whitestrips TV ads where she has a smile so bright it makes mere mortals look like a spokesmen for Hedley & Wyche.  she’s also in an ad that, for about 15 seconds, actually made me want to have four periods per year.  (when Logical is doing all the research and web-surfing, I felt I could really relate.  and when Emotional is dancing around; well don’t we all want to feel that carefree?  seriously, she’s that good.)

unfortunately, she’s looking to Detroit for a solution.  good luck getting anything innovative out of them, I’m still looking towards Silicon Valley…

here’s moblogic’s inaugural post with a brief introduction:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Filed under energy policy, freedom

not so, smart

Some responses to my last post recommending looking at a smart fortwo.  from smart’s web page:

What is the gas mileage of smart?

Engineering and testing continues to take place on the vehicle that will be produced for the United States. The vehicle is designed to achieve 40 city/45 highway mpg according to 2007 EPA standards and 33 city/41 highway mpg according to 2008 EPA standards. The mpg rating for all vehicles will decrease in 2008 due to new calculation methods that the EPA has adopted.

So the mileage is barely better than a Mini, which is a real car and a blast to drive and gets 28/37 mpg (2009 model).

And what’s the deal with mpg standards changing to decrease EPA stated values?  I mean, if congress passed that 35 mpg law last year (did they? or did it get vetoed?) this means that it’s now going to be that much more improbable that automakers to reach the threshold.  I mean, the city mpg for the smart decreased by over 17% when they used the new measures…

I’m doing my part

I used to get about 360 miles out of a 15.5 gallon fill up.  My onboard computer would report 23.5 mpg.  I used to think that was pretty good, as it was combined city/highway driving (about 80% highway) and the EPA mpg estimates for this car was only 16/24.  So I was at the top end of the spectrum, right?

I remember not so long ago when I cut the speed back a little bit and got 400 miles out of a single fill-up.  I actually took a picture of the tripometer with my phone to capture the occasion (also because I rolled into the gas station with the remaining range reading “0” miles*).  That was a little under 26 mpg.

The last three fill-ups, I’ve kept it over 29 mpg, flirting with 30 mpg.  I now roll past 400 miles and the Range reports 70 more miles.  Unfortunately, the estimates are a bit aggressive, but it was really cool to hit 450 miles the other day.

The extra five or six miles per gallon is 20-25% improvement, resulting in $650 in savings per year on my 20,000 miles of commute.  I’m sorry, I just will not drive a Prius — this is me doing my part.

The secret?  Hypermiling.

* yes, I’ve gone past zero/0… it reads “—“

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Filed under energy policy

where is the one-person commuter car?

while driving an hour to work each day I’ve been obsessed with this for the past few weeks — why don’t we have a one person (perhaps a two-seater; one driver plus minimal storage) car that gets 100+ mpg?  it should be pretty easy, shouldn’t it?

I mean, nobody wants to squeeze more than two people into a sub-compact for a commute of any significant length — I only begrudgingly get in the backseat of a Mini for a Chipotle-run because it’s, well, Chipotle.  so if you’re going to get four people inside in comfort, it’s going to be in a 25-30 mpg car (which is 100-120 miles per person, a better measure).

so get rid of the backseat, get rid of the trunk, get the gross vehicle weight down around 1500 lbs, put a small but torque-y engine in it… better yet, an electric engine (I only need 125 miles per charge, and would love to pull it from clean nuclear energy) or even some reasonable veggie-diesel thing…

long story short: a vast majority of the cars I see on my daily commute have only one person in them; so instead of trying to put more people in each vehicle (which seems to be a losing proposition), why not build the car around the commuter?

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Filed under I believe the children are our future