Friday, March 02, 2007

$300 Extra for an Eco-Friendly Car

Acting where the US auto industry has failed to, the Union for Concerned Scientists have unveiled a minivan design that confirms automakers can build vehicles that would meet or exceed global warming pollution standards adopted by California and 10 other states using existing technology - without placing huge costs on the consumer.

Dubbed the UCS Vanguard, their mini van would cut global warming pollution by more than 40 percent, with a cost increase of just $300. However, that extra cost would result in more than $1,300 in lifetime consumer savings, with a payback time of less than two years.

Specific design features include:
  • variable valve timing, currently used in most Toyota and Honda models as well as many Ford vehicles, which better controls the flow of air and fuel into the engine, leading to more efficient combustion and improved performance.

  • a six-cylinder engine that can deactivate two cylinders when it requires less power, a feature currently found in 20 vehicle models.

  • a "automatic manual" transmission that electronically adjusts its six gears to increase performance and efficiency.

  • stronger hoses and tighter connections in the air conditioning system reduce the amount of concentrated global warming pollutants, called hydrofluorocarbons, which leak into the air. The minivan also uses a less-polluting refrigerant.

  • capability to run on either pure gasoline or a mixture of gasoline and as much as 85-percent ethanol. Using 85-percent corn-based ethanol can reduce global warming pollution from 10 percent to 30 percent. Using "cellulosic" ethanol could cut global warming pollution by as much as 90 percent. There are currently 32 types of flex-fuel vehicles on the road.

Coming to an autoshow near you?


NewD@Y said...

hey, I see you are NDP and an environmentalist...I've been getting into a lot of arguments about the green do I show them that the NDP is better to vote for on this issue?

Odiyya said...

oops, looks like i'll need to disappoint you here. I am not NDP and would struggle to find any reason to vote for them. Particularly in light of comments here in BC this week from an NDP minister who wants to regulate the price of gasoline.

I can't think of a more anti environmental policy for a so called green leaning party to take.

I've voted green in the past consecutive elections, but strictly speaking am independent. time will tell where that vote will fall next federal election.

Saskboy said...

The minvan sounds pretty good.
NewDay, you're arguing a lost cause. The Greens have 13% like the NDP do, party due to the un-environmental policies NDP have backed. In SK, SaskPower [a crown corp] is the number 3 CO2 polluter in the country, and we have an NDP government (and have had since 1991). The NDP are no better than the Liberals on pollution action, when it comes to results.

Instead of trying to convince people the NDP can be trusted, perhaps it's time to accept defeat on that front, and start working with the Greens to strategically elect candidates until we can get the Liberals and Conservatives to support Proportional Representation?

southernontarioan said...

Quick question:

$300 more than what? I am trying to find a price. Are we talking $300 more than $20 000 or $300 more than $2 000?

Being from a background that has not benefited from having the luxury of buying new cars (ever), its all great and good that they can build eco-friendly cars but it will take at least half a decade before they start working their way down in some fashion to the middle class.

As well, although E85 and cellulosic ethanol hold great promise for GHG reductions... cellulosic ethanol is not in production and E85 is rather challenging to find still. More emphasis needs to be placed on building infrastructure in my humble opinion.

janfromthebruce said...

I am NDP and would struggle to find any reason to vote for the Greens, or from Saskboy, now here's a strategy, vote for the Libs cause they will put in pp. Really? which party has pp as their policy, well its not libs or cons so why should you vote for them. So odiyya, why are you a part of NDP bloggers if you are not NDP? don't they have green bloggers? And considering that in the last fed election, the NDP environmental policies were rated better than Greens by all the environmental groups nationally, including Ms. May's Sierra club, well I rest my case. And Saskboy is trying to get you to vote liberal so they don't actually bring in environmental anything, which is what happen under consecutive liberal govts.

Odiyya said...

i think you're being a bit sensitive jan. as i read saskboy said to vote green, not liberal (he criticized them), and as for voting ndp knock yourself out. I was just answering your question

Sunil S Chiplunkar said...

We need all the focus on reducing global warming today, on an emergency scale. It should become a mainstream movement in society and its organs (such as govts., and businesses). In Bangalore it is estimated that the months of April-May-June will see a three degree rise in max temperature this year (2007) compared to last year. This means that we can expect a lot of water problem. That is causing anxious moments to us in Bangalore.

We understand that the major cause of global warming is the massive deforestation. A global tree planting agenda is required - time is running out! - Sunil S Chiplunkar

WindWhisperer said...

The sooner they get that on the market the better. I wonder why there seems to be such a lag in promoting the new technologies beyond hybrid and prototype curiosity phase when there is so much information out there to drive consumers toward a better solution.

chalacuna said...

Global warning has been hitting countries across the globe. Wether we like it or not it is the reality that we are going to face.

But there is still hope, if we just make one step at a time to solve this problem.

Going for Hybrid and Biofuels could be a great factor in reducing pollutants.

For 100% emission free, Electric Cars is the ultimate solution. Lets go for green and help save the planet.