• Category Archives: Transport

    Algae reactor steals center stage in international air show

    algae-jet-fuel.jpg The search for a cheaper fuel has left most of the automobile industry in a tizzy; well it’s not just the automobiles that are looking for the holy grail of alternate fuel. Airline fares may be low but unless they find an alternative jet fuel it will be hard not to raise the airfares if they want to stay in the aviation game. The Farnborough International Air Show exhibit was part of a collaboration and ongoing relationship between the researchers and aviation giant Boeing. The show featured the latest in turbine technology for Jet fighters and commercial aircrafts.

    Posted in Transport on August 14, 2008
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    Thermal energy could power your cars air conditioning

    We already saw the cool jacket and the Dell XPS 710 H2C PC using thermal power to cool itself or power your mobile phone, well how about powering your car’s DVD player and GPS simply by using your car exhausts as the power source while you cruise the mean roads. An average SUV produces 15 kilowatts of energy in normal city driving, when cruising between 50 and 60 mph, the generator can produce about 800 watts of power, more than enough to provide power to most on board electronics and in some cases even the water pumps. Major auto companies are working on integrating the thermo electric system into new vehicles.

    Posted in Transport on August 13, 2008
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    Stricter EU regulations threaten European sports car manufacturers

    News is that the EU has proposed a 120-grams-per-km emissions standard by 2012. This new regulation could adversely affect the European carmakers, edging them towards closure. Big Daddies of the business like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, Aston Martin and Porsche, would find it very difficult to comply with this ruling. LeftLane cites this example: the feather-light and relatively fuel efficient Lotus Elise S emits 196 g/km, whereas the segment average is in the 200 to 500 g/km range. According to Reuters, since exotic sports car are driven very rarely, and their limited production numbers means they only account for 0.3 percent of EU total car emissions. Whatever the case looks like the sports car industry just got a heavy-duty jolt!

    Posted in Transport on August 7, 2008
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    Cash for ditching polluting cars in Britain

    Do you think Archie would trade his trusty old jalopy for new shiny wheels even if the government gave him £1,000 ($2,000)? Incentives and cash is what the British Government plans on offering its citizens to dump old fuel inefficient cars. Apparently a similar scheme is up in France and the Brits want experiment it on their public. Due to the increase vehicle excise duty for people owning cars bought between 2001 and 2006, the citizens have been criticizing the government. More than one million people will see their road tax double and offering people money to switch vehicles may be the right option.

    Posted in Transport on August 5, 2008
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    Tata Motors sets 12 month deadline for EV option

    Even thought it is busy in meeting its deadlines to get the world’s cheapest car into production, Tata is currently working on five prototypes of electric vehicles. The vehicle is supposed to be initially assembled in Norway. India’s only other electric car maker Reva has sold 2,500 units, including 1,000 in the UK, and is hiking capacity to 30,000 units by December from 6,000. Tata will use its Indica platform for the development of its electric car instead of the $2500 Nano.

    Posted in Transport on July 29, 2008
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    Emirates stops publishing in-flight magazines to save fuel

    emirates_airlines.jpgWhen you walk into any airline cabin today you are greeted by a pleasant hostess/host showing you your seat. Once that mystery is solved the next thing on your agenda is to find something to pass your time before the in-flight movie begins. That’s when we find the airline magazine filled with boring PR and insanely expensive perfume/gift catalogue, along with the in-flight entertainment guide. These magazines are usually thick and printed in high gloss sometimes scented paper. Well, step into the new Emirates Airbus 380 and you will be surprised to not find a magazine in the front shelf of your seat. The decision to ban all onboard paper will lighten the aircraft by a tone thereby reducing fuel expenses and saving the environment. The printed matter will be replaced by content shown on the aircraft’s seat-back TVs.

    Posted in Transport on July 29, 2008
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    Daimler EV Smart coming in 2010

    Daimler was not so forthcoming about their EV Smart till it didn’t pass around a hundred tests or so, and apparently since the car has done sufficiently well in those tests, the car will be on the roads by 2010. This tit-bit was announced by none other than the company CEO Dieter Zetsche. Hopefully this announcement has nothing to do with the fact that the Chevy Volt is scheduled to come out in 2010 as well. Little else is known, except that the company is undecided whether it wants to sell or lease the batteries. Leasing does lower the up-front cost, but continued cost of ownership may be an issue. Neither pricing nor US release has been indicated.

    Posted in Transport on July 25, 2008
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    Electric MINI Expected In US By Summer 2009

    At a recent presentation, MINI USA VP Jim McDowell clarified that there is no concrete news on the car’s US debut, except that will be in “regular customers hands” by the summer of 2009. Although he could not specify what type of battery that will be in the cars, he did say that MINI would make a further announcement later this year, probably at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Furthermore, it has not yet been finalized whether the cars will be leased or sold, or how many will be built.

    Posted in Transport on July 23, 2008
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    The Parajet Skycar redefines flying a car

    They say that the Parajet Skycar will be the world’s first carbon neutral flying car. But what piques my interest is that a Skycar Expedition team plans to fly/drive/whatever the vehicle from London to Timbouctou in 2009. Using a combination of flight and driving to combat the Saharan terrain will cover the 3000 miles journey. A cross between a dune buggy and a paraglide, the Parajet Skycar is a unique vehicle. A biodiesel-modified Yamaha R1 1000cc motorcycle engine powers it. The motor runs through a Continuously Variable Transmission either to power the rear wheels or to turn a large rear-facing propeller via a belt drive. In the Fly Mode, it takes off from a field or airstrip in less than 200 meters. In this mode the latest ram-air wing suspends it. Since the vehicle has no pitch control it will not stall or dive. It has a take-off speed of 60 kmph, a top speed of 110 kmph and a range of 300 km. Cruising altitude will be 2000 to 3000 ft with a maximum altitude of 15,000 ft. In the event of engine failure, the pilot simply glides to the nearest field or strip of land. The car carries a passenger and a pilot.

    Posted in Transport on July 17, 2008
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    Volkswagen developing the One-Litre car

    VW Green.jpg
    This car looks straight out of the movie Gattaca or a 1960’s retro machine; in fact it could be the answer to all our gas woes. Volkswagen is the latest company to join the 2010 alternate fuel car manufacturers list, with its One-Litre car. The tank holds just 1.4 gallons of diesel (6.5 litres) with the ability to cover 400miles nonstop; it holds two people one behind the other like a cockpit of a fighter jet. SO driving from London to Edinburgh without refueling and still have 70 miles worth of fuel to spare. At the average price of diesel of $11.95 a gallon, it would cost just $16.94 to fill up the One-Litre. The vehicle is shaped like a teardrop; it has tandem seats like a jet fighter with the passenger sitting behind the driver, a gull-wing door and sheathed wheels. Even its side mirrors have been thrown out, for the sake of aerodynamics in favor of on board cameras and LCDs to look behind. The car is offered in the default black shade, has a magnesium steering wheel to further reduce weight.

    Posted in Transport on July 14, 2008
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