For a lot of people, shopping for a new car brings two major things to mind. First, how can I be eco-friendly and reduce my personal carbon footprint? And secondly, how can I do that without breaking the bank? The truth is, the real key to lower costs and lower emissions rests not with the sticker price or the model specs. The answer to both of these concerns is tucked away in a vehicle’s gas mileage capabilities.
Facts and figures pertaining to fuel economy are publicly available thanks to the EPA.
A quick looklook at this information will confirm something you may have already guessed: Hybrid and Electric vehicles consume less fuel than other vehicles by a pretty wide margin. However, at the current time these vehicles are known to carry a hefty price tag, so many shoppers are looking for other ways to save on money and gas.
In the realm of conventional gas run vehicles, not all are created equal. Gas mileage can vary greatly from model and make, and especially by the manufacturing year. Older vehicles tend to use much more gasoline while many newer models can reach fuel efficiencies of above 35 MPG on the highway. For that we can thank federal mandates which have driven innovation in the auto industry leading to lighter components, better engineering, and other smart technologies.
While all manufactures seem to be trying to increase fuel efficiency across the board, it also appears that each brand name wants an especially affordable and efficient vehicle on the market. The top six most efficient vehicles for under $20,000 currently on the market are the Honda Fit, Chevy Cruze, Mini Cooper, Toyota Corolla, Ford Fiesta, and Mitsubishi Mirage.
As car nuts will note, this shows us that smaller and more compact vehicles are often better on gasoline consumption. However, for some people driving a big truck is a necessity for their line of work. Luckily, the industry-wide raising of standards has made big changes even in the truck and SUV sectors. Many modern trucks with six or eight cylinders will even cycle down to three or four cylinders respectively while cruising the highway – often without the driver even noticing.
Still, you can take actions to minimize the environmental impact of your truck by reducing wind resistance. This can be done by temporarily removing your tailgate when it’s not needed, or with the addition of a truck bed cover . Either of these fixes will lower the drag on the rear end of your truck, and improve your gas mileage instantly.
Beyond gas mileage, one enormous automotive environmental impact people tend to forget is the negative effect of junking old cars . Especially if you own a recently manufactured vehicle, keeping it on the streets will be infinitely better than letting it rot in a landfill or junk yard. And as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Taking appropriate precautions such as finding some custom fitting floor mats will not only ensure your vehicle will remain in good shape for your own use, but it will make it easier to resell to another loving driver when you need to move on.
Driving a personal vehicle is essential for many Americans. However, burning tons of gasoline and spending piles of money is anything but essential. With smart shopping, full tires, and a couple of light modifications, you might be surprised how far one tank can get you these days.
CarKeys.co.uk have put together a retro video animation on how far electric cars can actually drive on a single charge – challenging the front runners in the EV market against each other.
It's a fun animation that offers something different, they have even gone with the Tesla theme and hidden their very own Easter Eggs within the video.
Tesla Motors first came onto the car scene with the release of the Tesla Roadster, an electric sports car capable of 0-60 mph in between 3.7 and 3.9 seconds (challenging the likes of 2017 Audi R8 V10) and breaking records at every corner.
CEO Elon Musk has long been promising to change the world, creating affordable electric cars for the everyday person, planning trips to Mars and even developing AI in a way that is safe and beneficial to humanity.
Tesla and Musk have pledged to produce 500,000 cars a year by 2020 and have fully autonomous cars capable of doing everything in the near future. But many people know virtually nothing about Tesla or Musk, except that they produce electric cars. Here’s 10 Insane Facts About Tesla Motors and Elon Musk from Stanley R Harris.
Recent years have seen electric cars go from being somewhat of a niche area to a real contender to traditional petrol or diesel engines. This infographic takes a look at how the rise of electric cars will continue into the future, as it is predicted that they will account for over one third of all new car sales and exceed 400 million by 2040.
China is one of the main reason for the estimated increase in sales of electric cars as they currently have the largest expanding market.
One key point of this predicted rise is the falling cost of the batteries, which are expected to have dropped by 4/5ths by 2030.
Luxury electric cars, such as the Tesla, are dominating the figures, however, other manufacturers are aware of Tesla's success and are following suit. The infographic looks beyond the BMW i series and includes some of the most innovative Tesla vehicles that should be on the market within the next few years. It also includes one of the most secretive cars, the Faraday Future, which has received $1 billion of American investment to date.
Looking forward it is possible that the car manufacturing market could be challenged further from the likes of Apple and Google with Giant Baidu and Dyson UK also showing a keen interest in expanding into the electric car market.
Composite materials are the new hot thing in the market. As you already know, Tesla Motors have a few different models of electric cars, and Toyota has their hybrid models. The future is looking more and more electric, but there’s an important issue that needs to overcome – battery life. Namely, Tesla models can go around 320 miles (515km) maximum without recharging their batteries (this is, of course, the extreme example, you shouldn’t risk going that far without charging).
Composites are great materials which will most likely revolutionise the way cars handle storing their energy.
Introduction to composite materials
A composite material is a material which is a combination of more than two materials that don’t lose their macrostructure, which enables us to design a material which is better than any of the materials that it is made of. For example, Aluminium Composites are used as insulation or as facades of buildings. This means that Aluminium Composites are stronger yet lighter-weight than the constituents.
Detail information about composites – Polymer & Ceramic
Polymers are efficient in storing energy and are a potentially great choice when it comes to this use. They are popular due to their lightweight, dielectric strength which is high, and scalability. Unfortunately, the polymers that are in use today aren’t such a great choice when it comes to hybrid and electric vehicles. The polymer, which is called BOPP, has issues with operating in high temperatures, thus requiring extra cooling equipment, which in turn increases the vehicle weight and price. However, there is a new polymer which is being developed! The polymer has a ‘sandwich structure’ and it aims to solve all the problems that the BOPP has.
Ceramic is used in combination with polymer composites as a filler material. It improves power and energy density, and it protects from dielectric breakdown. It’s only a matter of time before these composites are perfected and become commercially available, replacing the current standard that we have today.
How composite materials are used for energy conservation
Composite materials are mainly used in car bodies because they lower the overall weight of the vehicle which increases fuel efficiency. This also applies to electric and hybrid cars. Composites are also used for energy conservation because they aren’t difficult to make, are better than the materials which they are made of, and are energy efficient. Constant advances are made in this field, and we’re in for a bright, green future. Organizations like advanced composite materials Asia are constantly researching and developing this characteristic of composite material.
The conclusion is that composites are taking the world by storm – just look at how many sales Tesla Motors made with their vehicles. Of course, if it weren't for these electric modes of transportation, composites wouldn’t be as prevalent as they are now, but their popularity and efficiency will only keep growing. More and more cars will come up with this kind of composites, and we can say that it will change the automobile experience in near future.
In recent years, due to the global climate change, and the effect it has on our planet and society, ecotourism really took off. And one of the best places to experience the full potential of this sustainable branch of tourism is Africa. It may be the “cradle of society”, but, with more than three decades on the market, it can be said that Africa is also the cradle of ecotourism.
Led by South and Southeast Africa, this branch of tourism caters not only to its eco-friendly clientele, but also improves the local communities’ way of life, without harming the environment. So, with this amount of potential backing ecotourism, the safari experiences on offer in South and Southeast Africa, are definitely worth checking out.
A Real Safari Experience
Anyone who makes their next journey Southern Africa, needs to go on a safari. The savannah grassland covers almost one third of this part of Africa, and hosts an unmatched variety of mammal life on the planet. Ever since national policies changed in favor of conserving animals and their environment, guns were replaced by curious people who wish to experience nature at its best. Whether, you want to see the Big 5 in their full glory, or experience one of nature’s spectacles – the great migration, crisscrossing the terrain with a professional guide, without impacting your setting will be an experience of a lifetime
Due to its biodiversity this part of Africa is a photographer’s dream. Whatever your focus, whether you are into landscape or wildlife photography, or people, Southern and Southeast Africa has it all. If you are a fan of creatures, big and small, look no further than the animals of Kruger National Park. At its southern tip, it borders on Swaziland, and there are still Traditional Zulu villages. There you might immerse yourself in the culture of this amazing people, and take some spectacular snaps of their traditional dress. And for landscapes, a tour along the vast Zambezi river system, and the endless surrounding grasslands will give you color changes and hues during the evenings you won’t forget.
A Kids’ Dream-Come-True Adventure
With ecotourism, kids can also journey into safari adventure the, and experience the wildlife of Africa. A real dream come true when you are a child, they will see all their cherished animals in their natural habitat, but also have a chance to learn about environment conservation. Mind you, wildlife parks are free ranged, so you can provide them with interactive games, in-between sites, keeping their impatience down to a low. The people over at Poptropica suggest jungle based educational games can satisfy any child’s entertainment needs, so you can enjoy wildlife without all the racket.
Another interesting tour kids will enjoy are wildlife sanctuaries, where they can see and touch their favorite creature, and learn about the man-made dangers they face in the wild. And during the evening kids will be dazzled by native campsites, traditional dance around the fire, and sleeping under the stars of the savannah.
An Underwater Adventure
Africa is not all about the savannah, and an enticing experience awaits anyone who wants to dive into an adventure off the coast of Mozambique. Due to the Indian Ocean’s warm currents, this part of the ocean hosts a variety of Technicolor wildlife that will be a unique underwater dive. Numerous secluded islands off the coast, and coastal caves give welcome breaks to your scuba dives. Because tourism itself impacts the environment, tours are often changes so that it leaves room for natural recovery. This also provides another source of income to the local community, and has seen fishing villages in recent years turn to tourism and conservation of the underwater wildlife as a source of income.
This amazing experiences offer much more than a simple holiday. They become adventures of a life time, allowing you to immerse yourself in what Africa knows best, without damaging the environment, animals, or people, you find so spectacular.
What do the following have in common: hydrogen, electricity, biodiesel, natural gas, propane, compressed air? Yes, they are all types of energy, and as well as that, they can all be used as fuel for vehicles. Gone are the days when motorists had to choose between diesel and petroleum for fuelling their cars. We now live in an age where we can embrace a large number of greener alternatives which not only are far better for the environment, but can often be cheaper than the high-emission fuel sources of old.
For environmentally conscious motorists, there is a vast array of fuel options other than petrol and diesel. It’s simply a matter of deciding which one is best suited to you, based upon variances in cost, availability and environmental impact. If you own a large vehicle such as a truck or Jeep, for instance, an energy-dense fuel such as propane or liquefied natural gas is a great alternative to consider. Southside Motor Factors (www.smf.ie) created this infographic which explores the pros and cons of 10 of the leading car fuel alternatives to diesel and petroleum. Check it out below!
CarLeasingMadeSimple have recently created an infographic on the fight between hydrogen powered cars and battery electric vehicle for the right to power the cars of the future.
This infographic gives a rundown of all the facts surrounding this issue and also compares the Mirai to the Tesla X.
…but will ships really be emission-free in 5 years’ time?
The cruise industry will continue to play a leading role in the fight against climate change, but talk of fully eco-friendly ships being in operation within the next five years could be premature.
That’s the view of James Cole, Managing Director at cruise retailer Cruise118.com, who insists that cruise lines are setting a strong example by investing in eco-friendly measures. However, it’ll take time before completely emission-free ships are the norm.
His comments came shortly after designs for the world’s “greenest” cruise ship were unveiled at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP21) in Paris, which draws to a close this week (December 11th).
Created by Peace Boat, the ‘Ecoship Project’ will be a 55,000-ton cruise ship that is packed full of impressive eco-friendly technology and features. Aside from the hybrid engine, the vessel will also boast ten retractable solar-panelled sails and retractable wind generators.
The announcement has understandably created plenty of excitement, but while it’s encouraging to see the cruise industry flying the flag for energy-efficiency, James has warned that we shouldn’t get too carried away.
“By 2020 there will undoubtedly be more eco technology and focus within cruising but a fully eco ship is unrealistic,” he commented.
“Climate change is one of the most important issues facing the planet right now, and like other industries across the globe, cruise lines are doing their bit by investing in new technologies to make their ships as eco-friendly as possible.”
James also noted that while the number of travellers looking for “green cruises” is steadily increasing in the UK, international markets appear to be the driving force behind this trend at the moment.
“The ships aren't just becoming more innovative for passengers but for the environment as well, from new fuel technologies to solar panelling and increased efforts with recycling. The demand for eco-friendly cruises seems to be more international than in the UK market at present but it’s something that seems to be growing and ships are taking it more seriously, so I expect to see more efforts to make ships more eco-friendly in future,” he added.
The ultimate purpose of technological evolution seems to be aimed at de-evolution of mankind: with almost everything we need or want just a click away, all we need to do is sit down at the PC or grab our phone, browse the net and press the right button. Look at us: we sit in our offices all day until it is time for us to switch to sitting in transport on our way home, where we will probably sit some more in front of the telly or computer before we eventually go to bed. It is a small wonder we still have legs and muscles, considering we seldom get to use them now that sedentary lifestyle has become a norm in most developed countries.
Our bodies are not built to sit all day and all that chair time may be doing more harm than good: studies show that the number of diseases of affluence is on the rise across the globe, sedentary lifestyle and improper diet being the two most prominent causes of a range of conditions such as obesity, elevated blood pressure and heart disease. In other words, if you want to stay healthy, you should better get out of the car and hop onto a bike: besides keeping you fit, biking is also a cost-efficient, eco-friendly and time-saving mode of transport, which is why smart folks throughout the world are already switching to pedal power instead of petrol.
Cycling keeps you healthy and in shape
A person weighing around 160 pounds burns as many as 292 calories per hour of cycling at a leisurely pace, and the figures go up with increased cycling intensity and trail difficulty ratings. Biking helps you lose extra waistline inches, preserve optimal weight, build muscles, boost bone density, promote joint mobility and improve flexibility, coordination and posture while allowing you to de-stress and have fun at the same time.
Pedal power is reliable and eco-friendly
With dwindling resources and rapidly growing pollution, cycling is the cleanest mode of transport that will not fail you in case of fuel shortages. Bikes run on pedal power and emit no harmful greenhouse gases, and their production entails a minimal carbon footprint, so by switching to bike-borne trips, you will be doing a favor for both your shape and the planet.
Cycle your way out of traffic jams
Have you ever seen a cyclist caught in a traffic jam? Of course not: on a slim, light bike, you can easily get out of any traffic jam or road delay. Unlike engine powered four-wheelers, bikes can slip past long lines of parked vehicles, which can save you a lot of time in commute on a busy Monday morning. And as your boss is slowly losing his temper stuck behind the wheel in rush hour, you will already be home singing in the shower or relaxing with a glass of wine.
Bicycles go easy on your wallet
With a car as your ride, you are sentenced to a lifetime of repairs, component replacements, registration fees and petrol bills. Not so with the bike: the bicycle runs on sheer muscle power and has no complicated wiring or electronic components, so servicing costs will be minimal. Say Yes to bike-borne commute and haul in substantial gas savings – that is a major trump card to have up your sleeve with petrol prices soaring high.
Why waste a fortune on car repairs, registration and fuel if all you need is a bike and some some cycling gear? By switching from driving to biking, you will be doing a favor to your health, the planet and your finances. Plus, in case your stress level does occasionally hit the roof, you will have a convenient way to pedal it out of your system. Be smart – get a bike and watch your figure, expenses and wasted time trim down as you conquer the streets on your trusted two-wheeled steed.