Tag archives for cars

The effort to go green in building materials added to the challenges for the Loyola Marymount Senior Mechanical Engineers team at Shell Eco-marathon Americans 2013. Senior Van Weller explained that the team chose lightweight bamboo for the body of its gasoline-powered prototype vehicle, the Gen 5, and spiffed it up with gold paint. Unfortunately, the…

Students at Cicero-North Syracuse High School are demonstrating an innovation in flexible vehicle design with the hydrogen vehicles they built for Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013. The CNS Performance Engineering Team fashioned its hydrogen tank and fuel cell unit, shown in one of the photos above, as a modular, removable unit that can be moved back…

The ethanol mandate in gasoline is starting to sting.

We recently took a look at the new electric cars that are charging into the automotive market, despite the obstacles they still face in displacing the gasoline-powered vehicles that are still king of the road. One reader raised a simple, but excellent question, because it really is at the heart of why EVs are expected…

No less an authority than the International Energy Agency says the world could cut the fuel used for road transport in half over the next 40 years. The question is whether anyone is willing to do the work needed to get there. Fully one-fifth of all energy use worldwide is for transportation, and transportation is…

Even as cars become more efficient and fuels become cleaner, the sheer number of vehicles on the road and the distances we travel in them may overwhelm whatever gains the world achieves in fuel economy, according to a new report from the Worldwatch Institute. World production of passenger cars has rebounded from the dip seen…

Laurens van Mulukom, a mechanical engineering student at Hogeschool van Amsterdam, talked about why hydrogen is “one of the most innovative fuels to work with,” at Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2012 in Rotterdam. With this year’s competition that ended Saturday taking place on its home country’s soil, <a href=”http://www.h2a.nu/h2a-news/”>Team H2A</a> was proud to achieve a new…

One of the most unusual looking cars at this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Europe was testing out one of the oldest concepts for harnessing energy for motion: the Stirling heat engine. Team Schluckspecht from the University of Applied Sciences, of Offenburg, Germany, designed a vehicle that relied on external heating and cooling to drive pistons. The…

Many engineering students, like Matthias Jungbluth of Fachhochschule (The University of Applied Sciences) Trier  in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, are attracted to a project like Shell Eco-marathon by the hands-on experience involved in designing and building a fuel-efficient car. The Trier school’s team, called team ProTRon (a combination of the word “protype” and the abbreviation for the…

Students from the Warsaw University of Technology in Poland conduct some final technical tests on their vehicle at Shell Eco-marathon 2012 in Rotterdam. Cars in the fuel efficiency race need to pass a battery of safety tests, including on the fueling and exhaust systems, the braking and steering, and the solidity of the chassis. The…

Romain Lejas, of Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau, France, works on InfinitiX, the team’s entry in Shell Eco-marathon 2012 this week in Rotterdam. Last year, the team achieved 454 kilometers per liter (1,067 miles per gallon), and this year sought to reduce weight more. The car is entered in the “prototype” category—these don’t have to be…

Today’s modern, small-sized cars can go 20-25 kilometers (12-15 miles) on one liter of gasoline (petrol). Vehicles with a hundredfold greater efficiency will be seen at Shell Eco-marathon 2012 next week in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Like Formula 1 race cars, these vehicles will never run on roads, but participants in both competitions can tell you, there…

Natural Gas for Cars

Does it make climate sense to drive cars with natural gas? Our nation appears to be rapidly moving to a natural gas-powered economy. Advances in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling have made huge deposits of natural gas in shale and tight sands commercially viable. (See “Hydrofracturing: An Energy Revolution.”) Suddenly the United States is…

“This was a real year of firsts,” Dick Williams, president of Shell Windenergy, told the crowd of hundreds in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas Sunday evening, at the closing ceremony to the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2012. “This is the first year we had a flash mob come dance on our stage,”…

“We used bamboo because it is light, strong, and cheap,” explained Nadim Rabbani, 18, the student leader of the Westside Engineering and Geosciences Academy team at the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2012. Westside is a high school in Houston, Texas, site of this year’s annual competition, which has high school and college teams from the U.S.,…

Come along on a test drive of the Nissan Leaf. Ever wonder what one of those all-electric cars feels like when you’re behind the wheel? Well, here’s your chance. We’ll start by getting the lowdown on what it means to be a “zero-emission vehicle” from one of the Energy Department’s car specialists. We’ll kick the…

For decades, a number of environmentalists have been hoping the American love affair with the car would fade away.  A lot of people who’d like this to happen see hope in a survey by Zipcar, the car-sharing firm, which found that a majority of 25- to 34-year-olds say they’d rather drive less. There’s also a…