Sure, these days everyone wants to win the MPG race. But it wasn't that long ago (yesterday? the day before?) that all that mattered to most automakers was having the most powerful engines under the hood. The prevailing mentality didn't stop some companies from emphasizing their high-miles vehicles, though, and Popular Mechanics thought a little trip down memory lane was in order for our $4/gallon
As our readers know, the biofuels field of investigation is huge and there are quite a number of upcoming technologies that can make the renewable fuel without competing with feedstocks. The most notable of these technologies use waste streams and often also require less water to make biofuel. Popular Mechanics lists seven of these new biofuel technologies and provides some numbers about how and when they will be available:
In a recent article in Popular Mechanics, editor Mike Allen declared himself a fan of ultracapacitors for hybrid cars. He explains how he visited Honda's development facilities 15 years ago and found himself testing a mild hybrid that used an ultracapacitor to store energy. However, we all know that current hybrids don't use ultracapacitors. Instead, they have powerful batteries, which have a higher power density and a price that is going down.
Popular Mechanics has issued a very interesting and in-depth article (read it here) about the upcoming diesel invasion that is arriving in the U.S. The headline quite summarizes the spirit of the article, which finds that diesels can outperform hybrids in terms of fuel economy and ease of use.
One of the teams entered in the Automotive X-Prize is from Cornell University and they have selected an unexpected car which they will use as their test platform. In order to meet the goal of 100 mpg gasoline equivalent, team members have decided to build a plug-in hybrid and have procured an old Geo Metro to use as their test mule. Members of the team are currently tearing down the car to analyze the mass