Making a vehicle efficent

Amory B. Lovins of the Rocky Mountain Institute wrote an extensive article on how to make vehicles more fuel efficient through design, while still inexpensive to produce and purchase.
He starts by addressing the vehicle's weight, the major drag (pardon the pun) on a car's fuel efficiency. Use of lighter steel, polymer composites and carbon-fiber, he calculates, can dramatically increase a vehicle's fuel usage and efficiency.

He then moves on to propulsion systems. Interestingly, he sees fuel cells as the sensible system of the future and addresses the weight problem due to the tank and batteries associated with such a system. We found his idea of actually sending excess stored electricity from parked cars back into the electrical grid fascinating.

Finally, he addresses the issue of selling vehicles using "feebates" to encourage consumers to purchase efficient, better vehicles, instead of being driven to purchase them due to high fuel prices or CAFE regulations. We admit we were scratching our head over this one.

Full details can be found at the link. Comments are open for your opinions on Lovins' ideas.

[Source: Economic Perspectives via USINFO]

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