Given the problems that are being caused by what could possibly be a runaway climate change event, fomented by none other than our own addiction to fossil fuels, it seems logical that we should be doing all that we can to reduce our consumption. Of course, the reason for reducing fossil fuel consumption has mainly to do with reducing carbon dioxide emissions, which occurs when fossil fuels are burned, but it goes further than that. One only has to mention the Exxon Valdez or Deepwater Horizon oil spills to know what we are referring to, pollution related to the extraction of fossil fuels.
Transportation and power production, the United States EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) estimates, accounts for about two-thirds of carbon dioxide emissions in the country. Other countries more or less follow the same pattern. Currently, the EPA is working on legislation that affects power production, and many countries are increasing their adoption of renewable energy to reduce their impact on the environment. To reduce emissions in the transportation sector, the EPA has set increasingly-strict carbon dioxide emissions limitations on vehicles. By 2025, the targeted carbon dioxide emissions of 163 g CO2/mi (grams of carbon dioxide per mile) could be achieved if the vehicle fleet fuel economy averages at least 54.5 mpg (miles per gallon). Continue reading “Stella: the Flagship for Solar Power Electric Vehicles” »
Regarding tires, there are at least a couple of things that we know for sure. First, they come in all sizes and types, depending on vehicle type, season, and traction requirements, to name a few. Second, tires don’t last forever, from as little as 20,000 miles to 80,000 miles, and will, sooner or later, require replacement.
When it comes time for replacement, there are typically two ways to go about it. One way is to simply ask your trusted technician for replacement tires, all-season tires for a 2005 Toyota RAV4, for example, and he’ll look up a list of tires that are designed to fit the vehicle. The only thing you, as a customer, might have to do is choose between brands and models. On the other hand, you could go out shopping for tires on your own, at which point it becomes a little more complicated.
Continue reading “Buying New Tires – How to Translate All Those Numbers” »
It used to be that buying an automobile boiled down to whether you wanted to drive a car with an automatic or manual transmission. Today, however, with dozens of automakers and technologies vying for our attention, our choice of automobile has become a little more complicated. They go beyond just gasoline or diesel engines and manual or automatic transmissions, but include new technologies, such as hybrid cars, electric cars, plug-in hybrid cars, even hydrogen cars.
Continue reading “Gas? Hybrid? Electric? Hydrogen? Which is the best for you?” »
Almost everywhere you go, cars are a pretty big thing. Cars enable us to move from place to place, whether for work, school, or play. Cars also enable us to carry things from place to place, such as moving to another town or country, or bringing back the day’s haul from the market. This convenience, however, comes with a complicated price.
Not only do you need to buy and insure the car, but you also have to refuel it. Depending on vehicle age, type, and condition, refueling can be an expensive proposition. For example, let’s compare a new Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle, which gets over 50 miles per gallon, with an older model Toyota HiLux, which may get less than 20 miles per gallon. Continue reading “Eco-Optimize Your Existing Car — Save Money and The Environment” »
Valentine’s Day has just passed, celebrated worldwide on February 14th. No doubt, whether you’re a husband, wife, boyfriend, girlfriend, or a single girl or guy, you might have some special plans for the day. Depending on where you are, however, Valentine’s Day traditions can vary and some very well may surprise you.
Continue reading “Celebrating Valentine’s Day in Japan? You might be in for a surprise.” »
The first production automobile, the Benz Patent Motorwagen, may have hit the road just shy of 130 years ago, but automakers are always looking toward the future, and we usually get to see their visions of the future at the auto shows. The North American International Auto Show, also known as the Detroit Auto Show, is one of the biggest, attracting automakers from around the world to show off their latest and greatest automobiles and technologies.
This year, at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show, things were no different, as automakers from all over the world revealing impressive, and not so impressive, concept cars, model updates, and new production models. Here, we’re taking a look at some of them.
Continue reading “Cars from the future: Recapping the Detroit Auto Show” »
There a number of terms floating about, such as “autonomous vehicles,” “driverless cars,” “self-driving cars,” or “robocars,” all of which refer to the same thing: vehicles that do not require the input of a human driver to take one or more passengers from their origin to their destination. The technology goes much further than perhaps the driverless monorail at Disneyland, because the monorail has no choices except for “stop” and “go.” Autonomous vehicles, on the other hand, “drive” on the same roads that their human counterparts do, which makes things a lot more complicated!
Still, given that autonomous vehicles fundamentally change the way we think about transportation, regulators are having a hard time figuring out exactly what to do with a vehicle that requires no driver input. The questions are many, and answers are slow in coming.
Continue reading “Driverless Deutschland: Germany gives the green light to self-driving cars” »
The week of January 11th, 2015 brought unprecedented rains to vast swaths of the African continent’s southern region. Among the hardest hit countries in the region was the landlocked nation of Malawi, where 178 people lost their lives and over 200,000 were displaced from their homes. Continue reading “BE FORWARD Responds to Malawi Flood Disaster” »
Make the right choice when deciding whether to ditch or keep your ride
The average age of vehicles on the road rises and falls, pretty much depending on the current economic situation. When times are good, people have more money, and their cars are younger. When times are bad, there isn’t as much money floating around, so people hang on to their cars longer.
Proper maintenance can go a long way toward keeping those older cars on the road longer, but major car repairs can quickly stack up and make us wonder, “Is ‘old reliable’ still reliable enough to repair?” and “When is it time to look for a new car, or at least a newer car?” We wish the answer was simple, but it turns out there are a lot of factors involved in making the decision to stick with what you already have, or spring for something newer.
Generally-speaking, you need to try and separate sentimental value from the monetary value of your car. In other words, how much is your car really worth? Also, how much would it cost to buy a new car or newer used car? That way, when you look at how much maintenance and car repairs cost, you can judge whether or not it’s worth your hard-earned money to: a) repair the car, or b) replace the car.
Continue reading “Replace or Repair? When to ditch your old car for a new ride” »
Is your motor oil going the extra mile for you?
When it comes to car maintenance, perhaps the most frequent thing we need to do is wash the carand change motor oil. Of course, less often, we also need to change the engine air filter, engine coolant, transmission fluid, brake pads, brake fluid, and tires, to name a few. Most older vehicles, as the age-old rule-of-thumb suggests, had their oil change every 3,000 miles or three months, whichever came first. Modern vehicles may stipulate, depending on usage, up to 10,000 miles between oil changes, thanks to modern engine manufacturing processes, as well as modern lubricant technology. The question is, is your motor oil doing all it should, or all it could? Are you ready for a different kind of oil change?
Continue reading “Synthetic Oil: get the most out of your engine” »