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Tag Archives: cars

Comparing cars to lightbulbs

I ran across the paper ‘Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings’. The authors conducted a survey to study how perceptions of energy use compares to the actual use of various appliances and transportation methods. For the appliances, they had people compare energy used to the power a 100 W lightbulb consumes in one hour. [...]

Driver’s ed

According to statistics cited by Sarah Meyer (of the Indiana BMV) in testimony before an Indiana General Assembly Committee, teens who have taken driver’s education classes are involved in more accidents that those who haven’t. Meyer did mention that the results could be skewed by the fact that teens who complete a formal driver’s education [...]

CO2 emissions and the new CAFE standard

I updated my simple fuel economy calculations with the new changes to the CAFE standard. Unlike yesterday’s post, this is a prediction of fuel economy for all cars and light trucks actually on the road, not just the CAFE standard for a particular year: The the definition of light truck in the CAFE standard includes [...]

New CAFE standard

New fuel economy standards have finally been issued. The long overdue update will rase the CAFE standards from their 1990 levels. This will be beneficial for the environment, health, national security, and will save car owners money: Together, EPA and NHTSA estimate that the average cost increase for a model year 2016 vehicle due to [...]

GM 512 hybrid

Since they are in the business of selling gasoline-powered automobiles, the manufacturers understandably are reluctant to come out and publicly announce the obvious solution to air-poisoning by the gasoline engine: Get rid of the gasoline engine. On the other hand, every member of the industry is actively engaged in trying to do just that. –W.E. [...]

Another better stoplight

A couple months ago I wrote about the four phase traffic signals I saw in Sweden and Denmark. These are better than the three phase lights we use in the United States. The improved lights help smooth the flow of traffic, improve safety, and save gas. Today I saw a post about a fancier version. [...]

A better stoplight

I was able to spend some time in Sweden and Denmark a while ago. Other than the fun of traveling, the trip was to look at the differences between Scandinavian countries and the United States. One of the first differences I noticed is that they use four phase traffic lights instead of the three phase [...]

Energy efficiency in China

This is from a month ago, but I think it needs to be fresh in everyone’s minds. New York Times: China Is Said to Plan Strict Gas Mileage Rules You should also read Thomas L. Friedman’s latest editorial. It is past time for Americans to get serious about energy efficiency.


The Fiat-Chrysler deal went through. I think this has the potential to improve the car selection available in the US. I was impressed by many of Fiat’s designs I saw last summer. I haven’t had a chance to drive or work on one yet, so I can’t be sure, but many Fiats look practical for [...]


In an unsurprising move, GM announced that they are killing Pontiac. I think it is amazing that Pontiac has survived this long. They produced very few good cars since the end of the muscle car era. For the past several decades, they have been known for poor designs that are ugly and hard to work [...]