Tag archives for gasoline

A new type of race car debuts Monday in Las Vegas with the public unveiling of the Spark-Renault SRT_01E, a fully electric vehicle capable of reaching 150 miles (241 kilometers) per hour or more. The debut is a first glimpse of sorts at Formula E, an all-electric version of the hallowed Grand Prix racing circuit…

This week, the United States faces down the looming deadline for extending its debt ceiling, a line in the sand that economists say could have dire consequences for our nation’s and the world’s economy if the U.S. defaults on its credit obligations. With the federal government shut down for nearly two weeks on top of…

When President Obama unveiled his long-awaited climate change strategy this week, he never mentioned biofuels. (See “Obama Unveils Climate Strategy.”) But with nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions due to burning petroleum for transportation, a key and controversial question is what role plant-based alternatives can play in cutting the nation’s carbon emissions. As…

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…

In order to gain easy access to work on the engine between heats, students from Mater Dei High School of Evansville, Indiana, typically build their Shell Eco-marathon cars to open like unhinged clamshells. However, as coach Dan Ritter explains, duct tape works surprisingly well at holding everything together on the track. It seems to have…

Although the mileage turned in by the top performers in Shell Eco-marathon Americas may be eye-popping—typically about 2,000 miles per gallon (846 kilometers per liter)—the student competitors in the European edition of the competition achieve triple the fuel economy. (Last year’s European winner turned in a performance of 6,663.2 mpg (2,832.8 km/l). (See “French Teams…

Hoping for lower prices at the pump? Don’t hold your breath. Here’s why. During presidential election years, pretty much anything can become a political football. And so it‘s not surprising that with gasoline prices well above $3 a gallon, the cost of gasoline has become a topic on the stump. Mitt Romney and his fellow…

Change is hard in the world of energy, and nothing shows that more than attempts to change the deep roots of the vehicles Americans drive every day. Almost all the oil we use as a nation goes for transportation, with all the implications that brings in terms of dependence on foreign oil, gas prices that…

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…

In a city addicted to driving like São Paulo, a sudden shortage of fuel hits hard.  With a fleet of 6.6 million vehicles in January, and about 630 more hitting the streets each day, fuel was taken for granted in Brazil’s largest city and financial capital. Until one day last week, it was not. Now,…

A Return to $2 Gas?

It’s a new campaign pledge by Republican presidential hopeful Michelle Bachmann, but a close look at the history of U.S. gasoline prices indicates that turning the clock back to $2 gasoline would bring the nation back to some brief, and not- necessarily-prosperous eras. An interactive graphic developed by the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that…

The rhetoric about energy can get a little apocalyptic, and the latest debate over ethanol subsidies is no exception. According to the Iowa Corn Growers Association, going through with the Senate’s tentative moves to end ethanol subsidies last week would be a huge mistake. Here’s their forecast: “Cutting the legs out from under the corn…

One of the problems with the fuel alternative ethanol is it doesn’t pack as much energy density as gasoline—meaning fewer miles per gallon. But students from Virginia Tech University have proven that with the right technology—and that includes an electric motor—it’s possible to engineer a vehicle that will get the equivalent of 81.9 miles per…

Teams competing in the Shell* Eco-marathon Europe achieved new milestones in solar and hydrogen fuel cell efficiency Sunday. Italian team mecc-Sun traveled 688 miles (1,108 kilometers) on just 1 kilowatt hour of energy with its solar-powered car, while French team Polytech Nantes beat its own record by driving 366 miles (590 kilometers) per kilowatt hour…

Well, it had to happen: as oil prices edge up to $100 per barrel, members of Congress have started calling for the nation to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to hold prices down.  It’s not surprising. High oil prices cost votes. But believing the  petroleum reserve is actually going to solve our price problem…

The people who spend their lives buying and selling oil are making big bets that the price is going up, with a number of analysts predicting the return of $100 per barrel oil within months. This makes a lot of people nervous, for good reason. When oil gets expensive, life tends to get ugly. 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…