EcoChange.org is my effort to share what I continue to learn about sustainable companies, organizations, products, resources, and practices. I hope you find this site informative, practical, and useful. 95% of the revenue generated from this site is donated to Kiva.org. The remaining 5% is used to host this site on the internets!

-Ed

1.06.2012

Automotive


It takes less gasoline to restart your car than it does to let it idle for more than a minute... If all the cars on US roads had properly inflated tires, it would save an estimated 2 billion gallons of gasoline per year and improve your gas mileage 3-7%. University of Colorado Environmental Center 2003. Keep your tires inflated to the right pressure!
  1. Change your driving philosophy. Drive slower, coast often, accelerate slowly(no jackrabbit starts at traffic lights). Repeat the words, "After you" frequently to the other drivers in your mind.
  2. Speeding to get somewhere a few minutes faster is not worth the associated risks(safety, energy consumption, and money loss) when all you have to do is leave a few minutes earlier. Driving at 75mph will get you somewhere only ~10 minutes faster than if you were traveling at 65mph. Are you really that bad at managing your time? If you are, consider reading up on time management materials.
  3. Don't stay in the left lane. Travel along in the right lane.
    The left lane is the passing lane!
  4. What's the rush? The world only moves as fast as you make it move. Leave 5 minutes earlier and Slow down!
  5. Stop riding everyone's bumper. Give people some space. Its your fault & monetary expense if you slam into them for being the tailgater.
  6. "Should I ditch my old Toyota Corolla and buy a new Prius? Hybrids get better mileage, but it takes energy to build a new car, right?
    Right, but the green choice is still the Prius. Manufacturing accounts for ~10% of the energy consumed by an automobile during its lifecycle. Gas burned by the engine makes up almost everything else. So if a 1993 Corolla gets 27.5 miles and a Prius gets ~45-55mpg, you should earn back the energy "investment" that went into making the hybrid in about four years. Additionally, by purchasing a Prius, you help tilt the economies of scale in favor of hybrids. Toyota's hybrid technology is still relatively expensive, but production costs will come down as more Priuses are sold. A  nd the more Priuses that fill the roads, the more consumers will view them as a legitimate option for their next car, rather than just trendy eco-boxes for Hollywood do-gooders." (Wired, 05/06 p.151)

  7. Plug-in Electric Hybrid Cars are coming!!! (with gas backup engines!)
    Here is the list of upcoming vehicles and dates:
    GM
    Chevy Volt – Demo 2009, production November 2010
    Saturn Vue PHEV – 2010. Note: GM has discontinued the Saturn line and the Vue’s fate in unclear.
    Nissan
    EV – 2010

    Toyota
    Plug-in Hybrid Prius – Demo 2010, production 2011

    Chrysler
    PHEV – 2010
    EV Jeep – by 2013
    EV Minivan – by 2013
    EV Roadster – by 2013

    Ford
    Plug-in Hybrid Escape – 2012
    EV Magna – 2011

    BMW
    e-Mini – 2009

    Audi
    A1 Sportback PHEV – 2011

    Hyundai
    PHEV Sonata – 2013

    Volkswagen
    PHEV Golf – 2011

    Small Companies
    Tesla (now and 2011)
    Fisker (2009)
    BYD (2009)
    Bright Automotive (2012)
    Miles (2009)
    Aptera (2009)
    Persu Mobility (2011)
    Myers Motors (now)

    PHEV conversions
    A123/Hymotion
    Plug-in Conversions
    3-Prong Power

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