ROAD TEST: 2013 Honda Civic Natural Gas

When looking at alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid, electric and diesel are the most common options based on sales and choice. One other fuel, compressed natural gas (CNG) doesn’t get much attention, probably because there is only one mass-produced CNG-fueled car on the market–the Honda Civic. So if Honda alone believes in this technology for passenger cars, what are they seeing that their competitors aren’t and what is the future for CNG?

Road Test: 2014 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Z71 Crew Cab

n the market for a truck? How about a really nice truck that seats five or six big adults very comfortably, comes ready to act as your office on wheels, can tow pretty much anything you have in mind and if necessary, can get you through the mud and muck over hill and dale? Or maybe you are looking to “feel like a man,” which is what the SoCal Chevrolet dealers radio commercial told me that driving the 2014 Silverado will do. Other commercials note that the Chevy pickup’s V8 gets better fuel economy than rival Ford’s V6. That must be some truck!

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars Go On Sale in 2014!

Electric cars running on hydrogen, creating their own electricity as they drive, are officially no longer the cars of the distant future. As Hyundai Motor America president and CEO John Frafcik said last week: “The future is much closer than you think.” Come spring, you can go to a select Southern California Hyundai dealer (one near the growing hydrogen station infrastructure), put down $2999 and drive away in a Tucson fuel cell car, a compact SUV with water as its only tailpipe emission, a 300-mile range on a tank of free (for the life of the $499/month loan) fuel, and free Concierge Service (like that offered with the Equus model). Honda and Toyota will soon follow with their own fuel cell models.

Cars & Technology of the Future

To sum up the day-long program and paraphrase the philosopher Heraclitus, the only thing constant about the future will be change. The 100-plus year-old auto industry is heading into uncharted territory as it grapples with change inside and out of the vehicle. Electronic technology promises to radically alter the interaction of the driver and vehicle, even as the propulsion technology and fuel shifts to new ground and, in some cases, necessitating new lifestyles. One thing is clear, “Future Cars, Future Technology” will be an ever-changing topic for years to come.

Suddenly, Hydrogen Cars Are Back

Many automakers consider fuel cell vehicles the most “elegant” solution to the challenge of replacing the internal combustion engine, which is why they’re banding together to make sure they come to market.

Company Turns Trees Into Gasoline Replacement

The goal is reducing petroleum use. ZeaChem gets California grant to produce ethanol to blend with gasoline from woody biomass and agricultural residue. They have a demonstration plant in Oregon producing ethanol from locally grown poplar trees.

Cruze Diesel – High MPG Without Battery

What is it about General Motors that their new vehicle introductions seems take two years? GM first announced that it would offer a diesel passenger car in fall of 2010, then tipped that it would show up in the Cruze in February of 2011. Last year GM took top-ranked American automotive journalists to Europe to […]

Think Keystone XL Pipeline Will Lower Gas Prices? Think Again

New report explains how the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline will actually increase domestic gasoline prices.

BP CEO Speech – Renewables to Grow Over 1,000% but Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Rise 28% by 2030

BP’s Energy Outlook 2030 projects that demand for energy will grow by around 40% over the next two decades. That’s like adding one more China and one more US to the world’s energy demand by 2030. Nearly all of that growth – 96% in fact – is expected to come from the emerging economies with more than half coming from China and India alone. By 2030, 30% of cars will be hybrids. Renewable energy will grow over 1,000%.

Electric Cars Compete with Natural Gas and Diesel for Green Car of the Year

On November 17 the 2012 Green Car of the Year® will be announced by Green Car Journal at the LA Auto Show. This year’s five finalists include the 2012 Ford Focus Electric, 2012 Mitsubishi i, 2012 Toyota Prius v, 2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas, and 2012 Volkswagen Passat TDI. I have been impressed with my test drives of these cars. All will be available for dealer sales by January 2, 2012.

Do Oil Companies Pay Their Fair Share?

$380 billion of wasteful government spending, subsidies, and loopholes is detailed in the new Green Scissors report. The amount is for 2012 to 2016. I’m not sure which is most surprising, the common sense distilled to 32-pages or the fact that the report is sponsored by both conservative and environmental groups. Green Scissors 2011 is published by four organizations: progressive environmental group Friends of the Earth, deficit hawk Taxpayers for Common Sense, consumer watchdog Public Citizen and free-market think tank The Heartland Institute.

Electric Trucks, Hybrid Diesel Cars, Alt Fuel Vehicles

By Tom Bartley. The Advanced Clean Transportation (ACT) EXPO, May 4-6, 2011, at the Long Beach Convention Center had 42 on display and 25 ride-n-drive alternative fuel vehicles running on natural gas, propane, biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity. This is the largest conference of its type in the US this year, taking over from the dropped […]

Diesel – Save Gas, Save The Planet Excerpt

Over half of all car sales in Europe use diesel engines not gasoline. Diesel fuel contains more energy per gallon than does gasoline. Diesel engines are far more efficient than gasoline. Should your next car be a hybrid or a diesel? The answer depends on the type of driving you do and if you want a car, truck, SUV, or minivan. Why not have the best of both with a hybrid diesel?

Smiles per Gallon – Save Gas, Save The Planet Excerpt

The Eubank family was interested in replacing one of their SUVs with a fuel-efficient car. A typical SUV in the United States produces about 12 tons of CO2 emissions per year; a fuel-efficient hybrid only one-third that amount. Safety and storage were major concerns in their decision. Without sacrificing safety or vehicle needs, the Eubanks now live in better harmony with their values about energy security and being environmentally friendly.

2,000 CNG Vehicles in AT&T Fleet

AT&T added the 2,000th compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle in its corporate vehicle fleet – a Ford E250 van deployed in San Leandro, California. This milestone is part of a $565 million planned investment to replace approximately 15,000 fleet vehicles with alternative-fuel models through 2018.

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