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Fuel efficiency

The EcoSpeed app takes into account various factors, such as the number of traffic stops, ...

By now, we should all know that how you drive has a huge influence on fuel economy, but knowing exactly how to drive in certain circumstances to maximize fuel economy isn't always easy. We've looked at various technologies designed to make the task of traveling at the most fuel efficient speed, taking the most fuel-efficient - if not necessarily the shortest - route, and taking into consideration traffic conditions, that little bit easier. Now there's an app for mobile devices that does all these things. Called EcoSpeed, its creators say it could provide fuel savings of as much as 30 percent.  Read More

A team of researchers are developing inexpensive, light-weight, long-lasting aluminum cera...

Currently, brakes made from composite materials tend to be expensive, and as such mainly just find their way onto high-performance cars and motorcycles. That could be about to change, however. Researchers from Michigan-based materials company REL and the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) are developing aluminum composite brake rotors for everyday cars. Not only should they be much easier to produce than existing composite rotors, but they should also be 60 percent lighter than their iron counterparts, and last three times as long.  Read More

Scania trucks will soon offer Active Prediction

As useful as GPS is in the modern world, we're really only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to some of the potential functionality of satellite-based navigation. The Active Prediction system under development at Scania, a member of Volkswagen AG, is one example. The system fuses GPS and cruise control, allowing the vehicle to predict terrain features of the road ahead and help to boost gas mileage.  Read More

Zoleco's lightweight body and drag reduction design offers a claimed 82 percent reduction ...

Canadian Zoltan Bod is a self-proclaimed "car and performance nut" who has built his very own, very efficient, 151 mpg (1.56 L/100 km) concept car. Dubbed Zoleco (which merges part of Bod's name with the word "eco"), it is designed with ergonomic considerations and seats up to four passengers comfortably. It also features a teardrop body shape and a three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine, along with thermal and braking energy recovery technologies, that conserve as much energy as possible. The result is a sporty and eco-friendly car that we're told is fun to drive.  Read More

NASA has just announced that Pipistrel-USA's Taurus G4 aircraft won first prize in its Gre...

Two years ago, aircraft designers were invited to build an electric airplane that could fly at least 200 miles (322 km) in under two hours, using less than one gallon (3.8 liters) of fuel per occupant – or the electrical equivalent. Whichever plane performed best would win its makers a prize of US$1.35 million. That was the idea behind the Green Flight Challenge, a NASA competition that was managed by the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation, and funded by Google. Well, the challenge wrapped up last week, with the winners being announced this Monday. Pennsylvania’s Pipistrel-USA team took first place, for its Taurus G4.  Read More

The 2011 Chevy Equinox comes with active noise cancelation technology to combat the noise ...

Charged with the task of getting the fuel economy of the 2011 Chevy Equinox down to 32 mpg on the highway and beat out the 28 mpg-rated Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, GM engineers employed some rather unconventional fuel efficiency technology – active noise cancellation (ANC). By using the same technique used in noise cancelling headphones, the team was able to let the Equinox’s engine run at a more fuel efficient rpm without the associated low frequency noise and achieve what GM claims is segment-leading fuel economy.  Read More

Wayne Gerdes alongside the Kia Optima Hybrid that will take him and Chris Bernius across t...

With gasoline prices steadily heading into the stratosphere, fuel economy is forefront in the minds of the majority of car buyers, prompting automakers to perform all kinds of stunts to highlight the efficiency of their vehicles. The latest such attempt comes from Korean company Kia, which is sending a 2011 Optima Hybrid on a road trip across the contiguous U.S. Kia hopes the journey will gain it an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records by setting a new record for the lowest fuel consumption in a gasoline hybrid car while driving through all 48 adjoining U.S. states.  Read More

Google is sponsoring the Green Flight Challenge in which the e-Genius electric glider (pic...

Whether you view Google as a benevolent Internet overlord or the new 'Evil Empire', there’s no arguing that the search giant at least devotes some of its squazillions towards environmentally beneficial causes. Earlier this year the company invested US$168 million in what will be the world’s largest solar power tower plant and now it has partnered with NASA to sponsor the Green Flight Challenge that offers a prize purse of $1.65 million for the design of quiet, practical and energy-efficient aircraft.  Read More

Next stop, the West Coast - the Hoovers began crossing the U.S. in a hybrid human/electric...

To the continued annoyance of his father Pierce, twelve-year old Nash Hoover was forever leaving his bedroom light on when he wasn't in the house. Determined to teach him the real value of wasted energy, Nash's journalist father popped the young wastrel on an exercise bike that displayed the amount of energy being produced and told him to pedal away until he managed to produce enough watts to power a standard incandescent light bulb. Then the pair had the notion of spreading the now fully-learned lesson by traveling across America in a vehicle that uses no more energy than a light bulb left on each day.  Read More

Researchers have harnessed the energy generated by heavy machines, and used it to cut thei...

Many hybrid cars feature regenerative braking – they harness the energy generated when they brake, and store it in the battery for later use. This helps maximize the amount of time that the car can run on one charge. One can’t help but wonder, then, how much energy could be harvested from heavy-duty construction, mining and agricultural machines, as they go about their business. A group of researchers from Finland’s Aalto University decided to find out, and reportedly ended up cutting those machines’ fuel consumption by 50 percent.  Read More

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