Ford Escape Hybrid

Posted by mickung
Ford Escape Hybrid

Consider one simple fact: The Ford Escape Hybrid is the most efficient hybrids SUV on the market. The front-drive Escape Hybrid has government fuel economy ratings of 34 city/30 highway, while the AWD version offers 29 city/27 highway. What else do you need to know, except that the Ford Escape Hybrid offers plenty of space, comfort, and versatility?

Though the Ford Escape Hybrid Car touts new looks and an updated cabin, it still offers the same mechanics and powertrain as the previous model. Ford did not tinker with a winning formula. Power comes from a 2.3-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine and a pair of electric motors, which together output a net 155 horses. Performance-wise, the Escape Hybrid splits the difference between the slower standard four-cylinder Escape, and the more powerful V6 model.

Hybrid Vehicles

Drivers may also be a little disappointed with handling. The Ford Escape Hybrid’s extra 300 pounds of weight as compared to the regular gas-powered Escape, gives it a noticeable feeling of heaviness. Surprisingly, stability control is not available on this SUV. In addition, the Ford Escape Hybrid may not be the ideal choice if battling harsh weather and road conditions are your top priority. The all-wheel drive of the Ford Escape Hybrid does not possess the sure-footedness found on fully gas-powered vehicles, although the ride quality is more than adequate for both commuting and carting the family.

These pet peeves aside, the Ford Escape Hybrid is a capable, versatile, and efficient vehicle—perhaps the most realized expression so far of the combined benefits and capabilities of an SUV, and the fuel parsimony of a hybrid cars.


The early 1990s brought many surprises to the advanced technology vehicle field. During this time, the most notable vehicle introduction was that of the GM Impact electric car concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Shortly after GM’s top management announced that the concept would become a reality, there was a flurry of activity on many fronts to make this real. GM brought all its resources to bear, from its noted research and development labs to the varied talents of its extensive supplier network. GM’s newly acquired Hughes Aircraft division also provided substantial brainpower from the aircraft and aerospace industries. At the time Green Car editors closely followed this development program and drove the early test mules at GM’s Desert Proving Grounds. This article is reprinted just as it ran in Green Car Journal’s February 1992 issue to share our thoughts on GM’s unfolding electric car efforts.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 1992 In the two years since GM announced its intention to produce an EV based on the Impact electric vehicle prototype, the automaker has formed an electric vehicle marketing group and brought together an impressive pool of talent to focus on EV development. It has also brought to bear the full impact of its mid-'80s acquisition of high technology-laden Hughes Aircraft through wide-ranging technology transfers. And in an important strategic move, the automaker is using Hughes Systems Engineering and Program Management techniques to guide its complex future EV to market.

Specific component manufacturing sites have also been determined for the EV program. Named to date: Delco Remy Division (Muncie, Ind.) to build the batteries. GM Lansing Craft Centre (Lansing, Mich.) to assemble the vehicles. Delco Remy Plant 17 (Anderson, Ind.) to produce propulsion motors. And Hughes Power Control Systems (Torrance, Calif.) to design and manufacture power electronics and charging systems.

Green Car recently gathered first-hand knowledge of GM's electric vehicle progress at the automaker's Mesa, Ariz. proving grounds. Three electric test "mules", a specially outfitted Chevrolet Lumina APV van and two Geo Storms, were placed at our disposal. We were able to get a feel for off-the-line and passing performance and experience GM's developmental regenerative braking system. Importantly, this session also produced some hard numbers that allow an analysis of EV performance potential.

All three test vehicles were equipped with the componentry being developed for GM's coming Impact-style electric vehicle. Included: A pair of 57 hp (114 hp total) AC induction motors that drive the front wheels; dual MOSFET inverters; and a 42.5 amp-hour, 13.6 kWh battery pack with 32 series-wired 10V batteries.

Elapsed 0-60 mph (0-97 kph) test times of 12 seconds were attained by a Geo test mule. That's within 1 1/2 seconds of the 0-60 mph times attained by an internal combustion (IC) engine powered Storm, and about the same performance as some sport/utility vehicles. Data recorded by one onboard computer indicated an 8 kW power draw at 50 mph (80 kph), 13 kW at 60 mph (97 kph), and 21 kW at 70 mph (113 kph). The Storm's performance times are a full one-third slower than those projected for the Impact-style EV that GM will produce. But the Geos were handicapped with curb weights 610 lbs (277 kg) greater than the Impact prototype, and aerodynamics less favorable at 0.31 Cd vs. 0.19 Cd.

While the heavier Lumina APV was notably slower than the Storm mules, its taller gearing netted an 85 mph (137 kph) top speed, 10 mph (16 kph) faster than the Geos. The electric APV's overall performance and handling suggest the potential as a future fleet vehicle should GM decide to go this route. Certainly, APV styling is already in tune with the image of a future transport vehicle. GM sources advised Green Car that no plans are on the table at this time. In the interim, the APV serves as the perfect developmental vehicle since its cavernous interior allows straightforward testing of various battery configurations.

The only developmental glitch experienced during our testing was with one Storm's inverter, a problem that temporarily affected the synchronous operation of its front-drive motors. This was later remedied. The APV and second Storm did not experience a similar problem. GM Hughes Electronics is currently working on the program's second-generation inverter to make it a low-cost, reliable, and manufacturable unit for a production EV. "To develop the inverter, we have adopted an approach used with the Strategic Defense Initiative Project," shares James Abrahamson, Executive Vice President at Hughes Aircraft Co. "This approach is to work concurrently on several generations of technology at the same time... and the payoff is real." Improvements over the original prototype have found the total number of parts reduced by 85% and costs cut by 97%.

Test sessions like these are eye-opening. But they do leave certain important questions, most notably range, unanswered. When battery power is heavily tapped by quick off-the-line starts and relatively high speeds, range is greatly compromised. Physical laws dictate that an EV will go farther with gentle acceleration and moderate speeds. Unfortunately, not all motorists drive this way.

While this test session was not designed to establish range parameters, Green Car editors feel safe in concluding that a 120 mile jaunt was not in the cards for any of these vehicles on this test day. But the fact that these EVs did accelerate and handle well, and felt so conventionally car-like in many respects, make this a very important milestone for GM and its electric vehicle program.


Natural gas is becoming an increasingly popular alternative to gasoline and diesel in Europe. It’s less expensive than these conventional motor fuels and has lower carbon dioxide emissions. Also helping is the growing availability of natural gas, with nearly 800 compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling stations in Germany, 600 in Italy, 100 in Switzerland, and 90 in Austria.

Mercedes-Benz has joined in to lend its emphasis to the viability of natural gas vehicles with a bi-fuel engine option for the redesigned 2009 B-Class. The B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY joins B-Class models powered by 1.5- and 1.7-liter gasoline engines (B 150 and B 170), 1.8- and 2.0-liter diesel engines (B 180 CDI and B 200 CDI), and a turbocharged 2-liter gasoline engine (B 200 TURBO). All are four cylinder powerplants.

Identified by "NGT" – for Natural Gas Technology – on the tailgate, the B 170 NGT BlueEFFICIENCY Sport Tourer delivers an identical maximum output of 116 horsepower on either gasoline or natural gas. A driver selects the fuel using a button on the steering wheel. An electronic control unit switches fuel source instantaneously and seamlessly, even while driving.

Mercedes-Benz added four additional gas injectors on the underside of the intake manifold to handle natural gas. A close-coupled pressure governor with an electromagnetic shut-off valve regulates the supply of natural gas and maintains a constant gas pressure in the system.

In addition to the gasoline tank, there are five compressed natural gas tanks with a total capacity of 35.2 pounds, providing a range of over 180 miles. The B 170 NGT has a total range of over 620 miles on both fuels. The tanks are located in the rear and beneath the front passenger footwell. Trunk capacity is about 25 percent less that conventional models but still sufficient for carrying a family's luggage.

The B-170 NGT achieves 32 mpg on premium gasoline as measured on the combined European driving cycle. According to Mercedes, the cost of running on natural gas is around 50 percent less than on gasoline.

Carbon dioxide emissions are some 20 percent lower than in the gasoline-powered B 170 at 135 gm/km, with NOx emissions 11 percent less. When calculated on a total lifecycle basis, carbon monoxide emissions are reduced by over 50 percent. While more CO2 is produced in manufacturing the more complex B 170 NGT, this is balanced out by the savings offered when running on natural gas after 10,730 miles. Germany’s TÜV Technical Inspection Authority has awarded a "Design For Environment" to the B 170 NGT, the first natural gas-powered car to receive the award.

Also new for the B-Class is an ECO start/stop function that’s optional on B 150 and B 170 BlueEFFICIENCY models. ECO automatically turns the engine off when the driver shifts to neutral at low speed while depressing the brake pedal. If the predetermined criteria for engine shut-down are met, a display on the instrument panel informs the driver. When the clutch is pressed or the brake pedal released, the engine starts almost noiselessly and in a fraction of a second. It doesn’t have regenerative braking. Mercedes-Benz says the belt driven starter-generator produces a fuel saving of up to nine percent.

The B-Class is available in Canada although only the B 200 and B 200 TURBO are now sold there. There are currently no plans to bring the B-Class to the U.S., although that’s a scenario we hope will change as the market for small cars – and of course natural gas-powered cars – increases in response to high gasoline prices and concerns about CO2 emissions.


5 Natural Gas Car Facts

Posted by mickung

What's the Status of Natural Gas Vehicles?
In years past, a number of auto manufacturers offered cars and light trucks that could operate on compressed natural gas (CNG). All automakers except Honda have left this market in the U.S., although companies like BAF Technologies do modify select existing models to run on gaseous fuels. This lack of CNG vehicles should change for the better since natural gas has so much going for it, especially in this age of rising gasoline and diesel prices and a growing dependence on imported oil. Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels, it’s found in abundance in the U.S., and it’s also significantly less expensive than gasoline.

Safe and Reliable
CNG is actually a safer fuel than gasoline. After all, natural gas is used in virtually every home. Unlike gasoline that can pool on the ground in the event of an accident or leak, CNG dissipates harmlessly into the air. With a very narrow range of flammability to be combustible and nearly twice the ignition temperature of gasoline, it’s also less likely to cause a fire. Because natural gas is such a clean burning fuel, carbon deposits in an engine are nil, reducing cylinder and ring wear so engine life can be much greater than when running on gasoline. Oil change and tune up intervals can also be extended.

Natural Gas is Growing in Popularity
Natural gas vehicles are growing in popularity. This has been driven in recent years by the medium- to-heavy duty market. Natural gas is now widely used in transit buses, school buses, refuse trucks, package delivery trucks, and vehicles used in ports. One thing these all have in common is that they can be refueled at a central location. This is not the case with cars and light trucks that travel where natural gas might be difficult to find. This could have contributed to the lack of interest in natural gas vehicles by general consumers in the past. In recent years, companies like Clean Energy have successfully driven natural gas vehicle use by building fueling stations and supplying natural gas under multi-year contracts to fleets at costs significantly less than the per-gallon cost of gasoline or diesel. Fleet use should lead to greater consumer use in the future.

Convenient At-Home Refueling
At present there are about 800 natural gas stations available nationwide, compared to 175,000 stations dispensing gasoline. Refueling at a fast-fill CNG station takes no longer than tanking up with gasoline. As the fueling infrastructure builds for CNG, the inconvenience of limited public fueling opportunities is softened by the availability of filling up at home. That’s because Honda offers the Phill home refueling appliance, which was developed in conjunction with its Canadian technology partner Fuelmaker and is now manufactured by that company. Phill can be installed in a garage or outside a home to allow refueling using a home's natural gas supply. The refueling appliance does require as much as 16 hours to fill an almost empty tank, although it’s likely that a natural gas vehicle refueled at home will rarely have an empty tank, and an overnight top-off will usually be sufficient for the daily commute. In many cases, vehicles fueled up at favorable natural gas home rates can operate as cheaply as the equivalent of $1.25 to $1.50 per gallon.

Honda’s Civic GX
Unlike bi-fuel vehicles previously offered by other automakers that could run alternatively on natural gas or gasoline, Honda’s “dedicated” natural gas Civic GX – the industry’s cleanest internal combustion production vehicle – has an engine that’s optimized to run only on this alternative fuel. The Civic GX comes only as a four door sedan that looks identical to gasoline Civics. Its 113 horsepower four-cylinder engine produces about 27 hp less than the standard Civic engine but you really can’t feel the difference during normal driving. The equivalent of 8 gallons of natural gas fuel is stored in a 3600 psi pressurized fuel cylinder located at the forward part of the trunk. This tank, which is hidden behind a carpeted liner, does consume some trunk space but leaves quite adequate room for carrying groceries, gear, and luggage. The Civic GX has an EPA estimated 24 mpg city/36 mpg highway fuel rating, about the same as the gasoline Civic. Its real-world driving range is approximately 200 miles between fill-ups. At $25,225, the GX costs about $7,000 more than the gasoline powered LX model but presently qualifies for substantial federal tax credits and other incentives. At this time in California you can even obtain a decal that allows driving a Civic GX in HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle, or “carpool”) lanes even with only one person in the car. This is the same benefit enjoyed by qualified hybrid cars that were issued decals in the state, although no new hybrid decals are available since the maximum allocation of hybrid HOV decals has been reached.


Before gasoline-electric hybrids made headlines, the VW turbo direct injection (or TDI) diesel was the undisputed king of fuel economy. Even with competition like the Prius, Civic Hybrid, and Insight, TDI powered Volkswagens often delivered the highest real-world mileage available from the showroom floor. Now, with federally mandated ultra low sulfur ‘clean’ diesel fuel available in the U.S., Volkswagen is set to market the next generation of high-mileage diesel technology in all 50 states.

Later this year, VW will launch its cleanest diesel ever in the form of the Jetta SportWagen. The new four-cylinder 2.0-liter TDI engine meets the most stringent Tier II/ Bin 5 emissions standards, with tailpipe emissions on par with clean gasoline engines. Interestingly, these standards are tougher than their European counterpart, the Euro-5 emission standard. Volkswagen hasn’t officially announced fuel economy estimates, but inside sources indicate that mileage will be 12 percent better than the previous generation TDI. Even with the more aggressive 2008 EPA test procedures, that should mean real-world fuel economy in the low-to-mid 40 mpg range. Hyper-mileage enthusiasts may be able to coax well over 50 mpg from the new powertrain.

The new 16-valve 2.0-liter TDI produces 140 horsepower and importantly 235 lbs-ft of torque. That generous torque launches the Jetta with authority and delivers strong performance under load and on long grades. VW is meeting the strict 50-state emissions standards without the aid of urea injection. Instead, internal engine modifications include unique cylinder pressure sensors that allow a new type of individual cylinder pressure based combustion control. The high-pressure injection pump, common rail fuel supply, and high pressure injectors have also been optimized along with the addition of dual high and low pressure exhaust gas recirculation systems. Exhaust after-treatment includes an oxidation catalytic converter, particulate filter, and a NOx trap.

Perhaps most impressive is what you don’t get with the new TDI. Quiet and smooth, the latest TDI gives few cues that you are driving a diesel. In fact, while idling next to a four cylinder economy car, the TDI was noticeably quieter. And of course, there is no tell-tale sooty smoke or diesel odor.

The Jetta SportWagen is a landmark vehicle. As the first high-mileage clean diesel offered in the North American market, it will bring the long awaited promise of superior fuel economy and clean operation in a very versatile package. The 2.0-liter TDI will also be offered in the Jetta Sedan, and expect the Rabbit TDI to return soon. The verdict? We’ve seen the future of diesel and it is a very good one, indeed.


India Translation Agency

Posted by mickung
India officially the Republic of is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by geographical area, the second most populous country, and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the west, and the Bay of Bengal on the east, India has a coastline of 7,517 kilometers (4,671 mi). It borders Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the north-east; and Bangladesh and Burma to the east. Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia are in India's vicinity in Indian Ocean.

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Exige 270E Tri-fuel is the next stage of Lotus Engineering’s long-term sustainable, synthetic alcohol research Lotus Engineering, the world renowned automotive consultancy division of Lotus, unveils its latest development towards carbon neutral road transport at the 78th Geneva International Motor Show. The Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel is the most powerful road version yet of the Exige (0-60 mph / 96 kph in 3.88 seconds, a top speed of 158 mph (255 km/h), 270 hp (201 kW / 273 PS at 8000 rpm) and it runs on any mixture of gasoline, bioethanol and methanol. Emerging technologies will allow alcohol fuels such as methanol, already a proven internal combustion fuel, to be made synthetically from CO2 extracted from the atmosphere.

An alcohol-based fuel derived renewably from atmospheric CO2 would allow society to transfer relatively easily to sustainable, carbon-neutral internal combustion. Lotus Engineering is researching the use of sustainable synthetic alcohols as potential future fuels, with technology available from Lotus for introduction in four to five years. However, the supply infrastructure investment from governments and fuel companies could take 15 to 20 years.

The Exige 270E Tri-fuel is part of Lotus’ research to understand the complex combustion process involved in running on mixtures of alcohol fuels and gasoline, which will be important for a successful transition from today’s fuels to the sustainable, synthetic fuels of the future.

This research is just one aspect of Lotus Engineering’s ground-breaking work on environmentally friendly vehicles. It is involved with a number of electric vehicle projects, has successfully integrated hybrid technologies into vehicles such as its EVE demonstrator, and recently announced results on a collaboration with Continental Division Powertrain on the Low CO2 downsized three-cylinder engine.

The research into sustainable alcohols is progressing at Lotus’ Hethel headquarters in Norfolk, UK and involves input from the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Alternative Fuel Symposium Series, the Low Carbon Vehicles Innovation Platform, developed by the Technology Strategy Board and direct discussions with the University of Sheffield.

Methanol (CH3OH) can be produced synthetically from CO2 and hydrogen. Ultimately, emerging processes to recover atmospheric CO2 will provide the required carbon that can entirely balance the CO2 emissions at the tailpipe that result from the internal combustion of synthetic methanol. The result is that a car running on synthetic methanol, such as the Exige 270E Tri-fuel would be environmentally neutral.

As well as being green, the great benefit of synthetic methanol is that it would use similar engines and fuel systems to those in current cars; and synthetic methanol can be stored, transported and retailed in much the same way as today’s liquid fuels such as gasoline and diesel.

Synthetic methanol also possesses properties better suited to internal combustion than today’s liquid fuels, giving improved performance and thermal efficiencies. And it is ideal for pressure-charging (turbocharging and supercharging) already being introduced by manufacturers to downsize engines in a bid to improve fuel consumption.

Lotus Engineering’s Lotus Exige 270E Tri-fuel technology demonstrator illustrates how easy it is for synthetic methanol to be embraced over time as a future fuel for road transport. The Exige 270E Trifuel, with its supercharged 2ZZ-GE VVTL-i engine, could be the forefather of a new generation of conventionally driven cars that have the potential to be environmentally-neutral. Mike Kimberley, Chief Executive Officer of Group Lotus plc, explains: “Lotus is a world-class leader in research into a variety of alternative fuels; each has its merits and challenges and some options could be more easily implemented than others. But while motorists want to be green, we do not want to change the culture of total freedom for the owners, who will have an extreme reluctance to spend more at the pump, or to sacrifice the performance of their cars


GM Volt to Cost About $35,000

Posted by mickung

The first Chevy Volt electric cars scheduled to reach showrooms in late 2010 will probably cost about $35,000 US in the United States, not the $30,000 US General Motors had hoped, the company says.

GM has found it can’t re-engineer features such as windshield wipers and high-powered audio systems fast enough for the all-electric car, so it will be forced to put expensively redundant systems into the first-generation Volt.

The redundant systems will be eliminated later, probably in the second generation of the Volt, after engineers have had time to rework them for the new world of electric propulsion. “It’s starting to look like it’s going to be close to $35,000,” Dee Allen, a spokesman for GM, said of the first-generation Chevy Volt.

Presently the Chevy Volt team is ramping up battery tests and preparing to create the first functioning Volt prototype.
If you are a GM-Volt fan, please visit that has undergone a major redesign. I think you will find the new design better, more functional, and allow you to more easily access information. This is the place were you can find more information on the Volt. I would like to invite you to consider joining and participating in the GM-Volt forum.


Based on the i MiEV, the i MiEV SPORT enhances the “driving” image of Mitsubishi’s electric vehicles. The car features Mitsubishi Motors’ unique in-wheel motors in the front plus S-AWC (Super All Wheel Control) — the company’s vehicle dynamics control system - to achieve high maneuverability as well as high levels of both environmental and running performance.

The car brings a new closeness between people and cars; allowing them to become more a part of daily life.


The “fastback” exterior design expresses the quickness of the car with an appearance that is pleasing and lively. An efficient, environmentally friendly electric vehicle thanks to its compact size, it also possesses exceptionally fluid styling. A simplified interior styling creates a pleasant space, allowing occupants to feel at home. Geometry, metallic materials and body epitomize the futuristic electric vehicle. Interior lighting, too, has been carefully thought out, with the use of many blue LEDs suggestive of nature, creating a sophisticated, cutting-edge atmosphere.

The light green exterior marks another association with nature. The pearlescent paint, which shines when hit with direct light, brings feelings of advanced, futuristic technology and environmental peace of mind. The interior is sporty and dynamic as a result of the substantial use of mesh materials, while the space, with various natural elements, fosters feelings of both security and comfort.


Like the i MiEV, i Sport MiEV uses a rear-midship design in its layout. Making use of the relatively long wheelbase of this platform, a high-capacity lithium-ion battery is installed in the lowest area under the floor, and components including a motor and inverter are arranged beneath the luggage compartment. This layout provides optimal distribution of weight, front and rear, and a lower center of gravity for stability, sporty performance, and a spacious interior.

Body Structure

An aluminum space frame - a combination of aluminum extrusions and aluminum die casting - is light, rigid and strong; helping to improving performance by minimizing weight.

The optimum layout of structural members, including front-side and cross members, efficiently absorbs crash energy in the event of front-end or side collision. In a collision from the rear, EV components under the back seat and rear floor serve as a barrier to ensure the integrity of the passenger compartment. By making use of the rear-midship layout and utilizing Mitsubishi’s latest RISE (Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution) body, the concept realizes excellent occupant protection in collisions from any direction, even when colliding with a vehicle of different height or weight.


Chevrolet Volt Development

Posted by mickung

Engineers at GM’s battery test facilities have developed a new computer algorithm to accelerate durability testing of the advanced lithium-ion batteries needed to power the Chevrolet Volt for up to 40 miles (64 km) of electric-only driving. This advanced computer program duplicates real-life vehicle speed and cargo-carrying conditions, and compresses 10 years of comprehensive battery testing into the Volt’s brisk development schedule.

The battery cycling equipment is used around the clock in GM test facilities in Warren, Mich. and Mainz-Kastel, Germany. It charges and discharges power from the prototype batteries based on the Volt’s approximately 40-mile electric-only drive cycle. Results from this test data will help predict the long-term durability of the battery.

“Production timing of the Volt is directly related to our ability to predict how this battery will perform over the life of the vehicle. The challenge is predicting 10 years of battery life with just over two years of testing time,” said Frank Weber, global vehicle chief engineer, Chevrolet Volt and E-Flex systems. “The battery team is able to utilize human and technical resources around the globe to reduce testing time.”

Testing the batteries in the laboratory provides a predictable environment to compare technologies under controllable situations. The batteries will soon be integrated into “mule,” or test, vehicles with other E-Flex system components for on-road tests.
“Extensive analysis in our battery labs is an important step in proving this technology. We expect to further validate these batteries when they are integrated into engineering development vehicles,” said Weber. “The conditions in a vehicle – where the battery is exposed to shaking, moisture and rapidly changing temperature conditions – are much more extreme than the controlled settings of the lab.”


Saab 9-X BioHybrid

Posted by mickung

Saab continues to lead Europe’s drive on the adoption of biofuels as they can make a significant contribution to reducing the CO2 impact of road transport, particularly in the short to medium term, as we continue to work on making hydrogen fuel cell and plug in electric technologies a realistic proposition for the mass market.

One of Saab’s clear messages at the Sexy Green Car Show is that more prominence must be given to the opportunities being generated by second generation biofuels. David Pugh, General Manager, Sales & Marketing Strategy, Saab Great Britain Ltd, is adamant: ‘We cannot give up the challenge of making biofuels a viable alternative to fossil fuels just because there is a whole lot of confusion around about the alleged conflicts with food production. For example, one of the main contributors to the increased demand for grain is not biofuels but an increased trend towards a more protein-rich diet in Asia.’

Saab believes that the move towards second generation biofuels should continue at full pace. These fuels can use, for example, waste by-products from agricultural production rather than the main crop. ‘Over 5 years, enough bioethanol could be produced from 50% of waste straw from UK cereal production to achieve 10% blending with all petrol supplied in the UK and sufficient to power an additional 10% of new car sales on E85 from domestic sources,’ said Pugh.

In the US, GM has formed a partnership with Coskata, a second generation biofuel provider. This partnership allows us to fully understand ethanol development and how to rapidly and efficiently expand production in a manner that maximises the environmental benefit. The Coskata process uses waste to create bioethanol, so arguments about land use change, food vs fuel, sustainability, etc., are irrelevant. The Coskata process uses less water per gallon of ethanol than current processes. For every unit of energy used, it creates up to 7.7 times that amount of energy and, on a well-to-wheel basis, compared to conventional petrol, the process reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 84%.
The 9-X BioHybrid

The 9-X BioHybrid’s expressive looks, responsible performance and high tech communications, wrapped in a sporty, fun-to-drive package reflect the uncompromising needs of today’s consumer. Incorporating Saab’s innovative BioPower technology, with an in-built solar cell and design features such as camera-enhanced mirrors, 3-D graphics cockpit and a 4-point seatbelt, the Saab 9-X BioHybrid is a true fusion of sexy design and responsible performance.

Optimised for E85 fuel, the Saab 9-X is intelligently powered: running on E85, the small 1.4 litre BioPower turbo engine generates an astonishing 200hp and 280Nm of torque, as well as reduced emissions compared to petrol. With a full flex-fuel capability, it is a rightsizing formula backed by GM’s next generation hybrid technology, combining electric power boost, regenerative braking, fuel cut-off and automatic engine re-start. On petrol, over the combined cycle, this means CO2 emissions of 117g/km and fuel consumption at 57.6mpg, while CO2 emissions on E85 are projected to be even lower, at just 105g/km. The 9-X BioHybrid also harnesses power from the sun. The solar cell in the glass roof uses this free energy by adding charge to the battery pack whether the vehicle is parked or being driven.


Look at the best hair styles

Posted by mickung

There are some hair styles that look just okay, and there are others that look great. See the best hair styles for each category of hair at the brand new

Categories include: Short hair styles, medium hair style, long hair styles, updo hair styles, wedding hair styles, updo hair styles, hair layers, hair bangs, bob hairstyles and mens hair styles.

See the top 3 winning looks and follow the links to large free online hair styles galleries.

New Cars

Posted by mickung

2008 Nissan Versa 1.8S Sedan - Short Take Road Test

New Cars

Nissan has a long and successful history of building great cheap cars. Case in point: the Sentra. Particularly in its first three generations (pre-1995 model year), it was a little compact that established Nissan as a company for people on a budget who didn't want to give up every semblance of fun.

This particular author, for instance, recalls terrorizing the streets of West L.A. in a gray '88 Sentra two-door throughout his college years. With its 70-hp, 1.6-liter four-banger, five-speed stick, and wobbly tires, it was no Corvette, but the indestructible stripper Sentra lived for high revs, yielded 35 mpg, and showed me, a muscle-car guy in high school, the indescribable joys of driving a fast cars.

Versa's Task: Fill the Shoes Sentra No Longer Fits

Alas, the Sentra has grown in size and price. Now in its sixth iteration, it is more than a foot longer than the original '82 model, and its $15,000 base price is several times higher. What's more, the Sentra's frisky personality seems to be in the rearview mirror (the $21,000 SE-R notwithstanding), which partly contributed to a dead-last ranking in our recent comparison of six economy sedans.
Perhaps more important—for Nissan anyway—the Sentra's growth spurt left the company without a car in the very market segment—i.e., the cheap car—on which the company relied so heavily two decades ago. Enter the Versa sedan, the original Sentra's successor for the future cars for other people.


Car Reviews

Posted by mickung

Last month, U.S. Jag dealers sold just over a thousand new cars, despite cut-rate financing. While the entire U.S. car market is going South, Jaguar's stuffy image is sending the venerable marque Hades-wise in a supersonic hand basket. The new XF midrange sedan is supposed to reverse these declining fortunes by burying memories of the bulbous, fusty, pudenda-fronted S-Type (not to mention the execrable X-Type). I grabbed an XF fresh off the transporter to see if Jag’s lobbing snowballs in Hell.

Let’s get this out of the way: the new XF’s design is a pale shadow of the C-XF concept’s drop dead gorgeous sheetmetal. We’re talking supermodel versus neighborhood bartender. The XF’s front end is a particularly boring transmogrification; it's a little weird and the snout’s portal smacks of Volvo’s blandest. The central bonnet creases are a particularly classless affectation. In fact, you could say the XF is nothing more than a Volvo in a slutty dress.

The back end almost saves the day; it looks like an Aston Martin. It's fantastic. But Ian Callum gets no props for designing the same car over (DB9) and over (V8 Vantage) and over (Jag XK coupe) and over (XF sedan). If Jaguar was going to show a scintilla of individuality, well, they could have hidden the door handles in the B- and C-pillars.

As for the XF’s interior, we've all seen the boring press pictures included here. The company’s PR photographer should be fired for not doing justice to this four-wheeled shrine to automotive luxury.

The XF’s interior’s fit, finish and materials are the best I’ve ever seen in a production car, without exception. If you're the type of person that appreciates exquisite detailing of a fine watch, you can do nothing but marvel at the XF’s cabin. The wood trim in my optionless "Luxury" trim model could have been fashioned by a bespoke furniture maker. The matte finish is both unique and stunning.

With summer almost here, do you find yourself thinking about a new hair style? There are a lot of popular hair cuts today that many are getting. The bob hair style, for example, has many different shapes and forms that can be seen among celebrities. Katie Holmes has the short version, while Gwyneth Paltrow and Paris Hilton are wearing the longer version.

The bob can be even all around or cut so that the hair in front is slightly longer than the back. Lots of texture and layers make the bob a great option for trendy hair.

Another great style today is the long curly hair style. Many women are getting hair extensions to create this beautiful style. Hair extensions let you have a long hair style in just a few hours--in case you aren't willing to wait years for your hair to grow out.

Whatever your desire, there are hair styles options for you today. From a simple change such as adding hair bangs, layers to getting hair extensions, you can get that new hair style quickly.

See our new feature on Hair Styles Makeovers for an amazing transformation of 3 clients hair styles.