If you’ve gotten used to your SUV but want to be good to the planet, don’t worry, big, bad motor vehicles don’t seem to be going anywhere; they’ll just be guzzling different types of fuel. After all, NextFest is an American show…
The future is now. Available today for around $23,000 and
up, the Saturn Vue Green Line delivers the highest highway mileage of any SUV.
Like other hybrid vehicles the Vue runs on regular gas and has a flexible
hybrid motor that provides additional power from the motor during acceleration.
Other energy saving features include engine shut-off at idle, fuel cut-off
during deceleration and energy capture through regenerative breaking.
Although the environmental benefits are debatable, E85 ethanol FlexFuel vehicles, such as the E85 Chevy Avalanche, are on the market today and are a good choice if you are a petroleum hater. E85 Ethanol FlexFuel is a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline typically produced domestically in the US from corn or other grain products.
Arguably the cleanest alternative fuel option, fuel cells convert hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, into electricity outputting water and heat. Sadly though it’s going to be several years before fuel cell vehicles will become a commercially viable option, and longer still for the proper infrastructure to be built to support them. None the less, GM is perusing the matter. Their “skateboard” chassis combines the fuel cell stack with by-wire systems which operate steering and breaking electronically, replacing mechanical gears. Concept fuel cell vehicles AUTOnomy, Hy-wire and Sequel were on display at NextFest.
To some trains might seem like a technology of yore. However, they are happily chugging along all over the world. And when braking, the 207-ton locomotive generates energy equivalent to the annual use of 160 households. The GE Hybrid Locomotive captures this power and saves it in a battery for later, reducing both emissions and fuel use significantly.
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