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More than half of the alternative-fuel cars bought by government agencies last year were built by Asian automakers.
National parks are naturally concerned with environmental preservation and a handful are finding ways to encourage driving at the same time.
Certain drivers in the San Francisco Bay area are getting the chance to gas up with a new kind of fuel this week.
It’s no secret that Colorado is a fan of alternative energy. The state government offers additional subsidies for people interested in vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt, offering thousands in incentives. Still, it seems far into the future that the state — or anyone, will start fueling cars with feces.
Despite that, there is such a vehicle currently being used at the Denver Zoo. A 20-year-old motorized rickshaw from Thailand, better known as a tuk tuk, has been re-engineered to run on, well, poop.
Mike Dunbar is one of the mechanical engineers working at the zoo who helped engineer the waste wagon, which runs on animal dung and other zoo waste. The vehicle’s power system compresses the material, creating a gas that is then used to generate electricity. That charge is then used to power everything on the rig.
While the tuk tuk is painfully slow, its creators say the point is to demonstrate that it’s possible to run a vehicle on trash. The vehicle is still incomplete, but is expected to be finished by the fall.
“This is not just a zoo thing,” Hale said to the Denver Post. “It can be applied on campuses, in communities and many other environments.”
Once completed, the project currently powering the puttering tuk tuk will be scaled up to generate 20 percent of the zoo’s energy, which translates into repurposing roughly 1.5 million pounds of waste annually.
Watch a video of the vehicle in action after the break.
[Source: Denver Post]
The only natural gas production car to be manufactured and sold in the United States, the all-new 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas will be available at 200 dealers across 38 states beginning on October 18th.
Prices for this one-of-a-kind alternative energy vehicle begins at $26,155. The Civic Natural Gas is powered by a modified version of the same 1.8-liter engine that’s found in the petrol Civics. While the Civic Natural Gas is significantly more efficient than the regular Civic at 27 city and 38 highway, it falls short of the 44 mpg achieved by the Honda Civic Hybrid. Starting at $24,800, the Civic Hybrid is cheaper than the Natural Gas variant as well.
Honda explained in their press release that the Civic Natural Gas significantly reduces operating costs and fuel costs, as natural gas at gas stations have historically cost approximately 30 percent less per gallon than gasoline. Furthermore, as the Civic Natural Gas’ engine produces almost zero smog-forming emissions and is the cleanest internal-combustion engine certified by EPA (Tier-II, Bin-2, ILEV certification), it earned a state-issued decal that allows for single-occupant access on the HOV lane in multiple states including California. While it is more expensive than the Honda Civic Hybrid, owning a Civic Natural Gas sure has its perks.
GALLERY: Honda Civic Natural Gas
Only until recently did Kia find its groove and really start to deliver a lineup of attractive cars. However, Hyundai‘s vision for Kia’s future has something different in store. Rumors have suggested that Hyundai-Kia Automotive group may be performing an unprecedented hedge to have Kia carry a solely electric vehicle green model range while Hyundai continues to develop plug-in hybrid and fuel cell cars.
The motivation behind this strategy is to push Kia to unveil the automaker’s first highway-capable electric vehicle (code named TAM) by the end of 2011. Furthermore, Hyundai will continue their research and development over a hydrogen fuel cell Tucson concept set to debut for 2013.
Kia’s most recent move towards a production-ready EV came at the Seoul Motor Show, with the Naimo Concept, an electric car that’s slightly larger than the Toyota Yaris. In concept form it used an electric motor and lithium-polymer battery pack to make 109-hp and 207 lb-ft of torque with a range of 124 miles.
There’s no denying that leading automakers are vying to be future leaders in alternate energy. With Hyundai-Kia’s two prong approach, chances seem likely that the competition will be in for a surprise.
GALLERY: Kia Naimo Concept
Communauto, a car sharing service in the Canadian province of Quebec, announced today that they are planning to add 50 Nissan Leaf electric cars to their fleet as soon as the vehicle becomes available in Canada in late 2011.
Communauto is partnering with both municipal and provincial governments, utility companies and Nissan Canada, Communauto is able to offer the cars, as well as adequate recharging stations in major Quebec areas such as Montreal, Quebec City and the outlying suburbs, as well as Gatineau, a suburb of Ottawa, Ontario.
Traffic in Quebec City and Montreal is congested, with narrow, winding European style cobblestone lanes and one-way streets prominent in both cities. Gas prices are also significantly higher than the rest of Canada, with gas regularly over $4 a gallon. The compact Leaf is well suited to these conditions, although the notoriously brutal winters in both cities may prove to be the ultimate test for EV technology.
Hit the jump to read the official press release.
At 38 years old, Elon Musk has already lived a life filled with more adventures and pitfalls than most of us can fathom. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX was also a one time owner of a McLaren F1, the holy grail of car collecting, and served as the inspiration for Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, in the latest films inspired by the Marvel Comic franchise.
Unlike the real Tony Stark, Musk is currently mired in a messy divorce, and the latest court filings show that he is pretty much flat broke, relying on “emergency loans” from friends, which we presume is the wealthy billionaire version of asking “Dude, can I crash on your couch?”
While various gossip blogs are injecting their own analysis into the mix (it doesn’t help that Musk left his wife for 24-year-old actress Talullah Riley), The Truth About Cars’ Bertel Schmitt managed to extrapolate just how the divorce problems will affect Tesla Motors (emphasis added by Autoguide).
If Tesla’s IPO is successful, his finances would look brighter. But there are two problems. The court has slapped a protective order on Musk’s holdings, says Venturebeat. He won’t be able to liquidate significant holdings without first getting permission from his ex-wife. That’ll cost him. Then, there is the matter of how Musk’s precarious finances will affect the IPO.
Should the IPO fail, then no money from Toyota – it’s contingent on the successful IPO. We, the U.S. taxpayer likely won’t see any of the money the Department of Energy loaned Tesla. Should the IPO succeed and the Tesla stock sink afterwards, then you won’t have to wait long for an onslaught of lawyers. The dirty laundry most likely will feature prominently.
If you think that’s bad, wait till you see what Musk’s ex-wife is asking for in the divorce settlement.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]