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High School Girl Converts Car to Biofuel Power

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Apr 17th, 2008 7:35pm

A high-school student in Honolulu, Hawaii -- Olivia Klein -- has decided to take on an ambitious junior year project. Inspired by being her school's delegate to the Hawaii 2050 Sustainability Summit, she decided to build a biofuel car for her independent project. It has been a great learning experience for Olivia. From not knowing much about car -- not to mention experience with cars being only 16 years old -- ...


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Biomimicry - Integrating Nature into Car Design

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Apr 16th, 2008 7:31pm

If you are a vehicle designer, vehicle engineer, or product designer of any stripe, the please please check out the field called "biomimicry." In my opinion, it is one of the coolest, most intuitive aspects of sustainability. I follow biomimicry for fun, because it is replete with cool stories about how nature has inspired various innovations. Imagine an exterior paint that cleans itself -- ...


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Demographics of Hybrid Vehicle Owners

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Apr 10th, 2008 10:15pm

According to a recent study by Acxiom, a business intelligence and data mining firm, North American hybrid vehicle owners are likely to be: higher income, live on the coast, and tech-savvy. OK, that seems quite obvious... With the average premium on a hybrid around $6000 (less after tax rebate if it applies), owning a hybrid is an environmental statement for folks with the cash to spare. Plus, with its different ...


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Electric motorbikes - where will they be marketable?

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Mar 19th, 2008 3:36pm

First, electric cars. Now electric scooters. Would this be another class of vehicle to go zero-emission soon? I sure hope so, for the millions of motorbikes that are polluting the air in developing countries. Here is a picture of Ho Chih Minh City in Vietnam during rush hour. I have tried crossing the street (there is no choice if you are a pedestrian there) and it is real scary. Here is a picture of ...


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Join GM LiveChat to talk green

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Mar 5th, 2008 9:32pm

Want to influence GM's direction? Join their conversations. The GMNext website is an intriguing and proactive effort by America's largest car company to engage its stakeholders. Using interactive media, GM is engaging in conversation with us. On Thursday, Feb 21 from 1-2pm EST, Wes Bolsen, VP at Coskata hosted a live chat on the company's partnership with GM. Coskata plans to produce ethanol for under ...


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Green Tires Reduce Rolling Resistance

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Mar 3rd, 2008 9:26pm

Car tires can play a role in improving our gas mileage – and regulators are starting to realize that. Tire makers are finding their industry being subjected to increasing regulations in reducing the rolling resistance of tires. One approach to achieve this is by reducing tire thread thickness to reduce rolling resistance. This regulatory approach will take some pressure off car manufacturers to shoulder ...


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Green vs. Safety New Trend of US Car Makers?

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Feb 21st, 2008 9:38am

Recently, a lot of talk about cars have been about the alternative green vehicles -- electric, hybrid, biodiesel, ethanol, biofuel, fuel cell. We are served with ads after ads of car companies out competing each other on being green. Even if you are not wondering when you can buy it and are enjoying the positive vibe of these feel good ads, you may be getting sick of them like me. However, perhaps we are ...


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Personal Rapid Transport – sky cars of the future

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Feb 12th, 2008 3:29pm

Here’s a fantastical idea. Imagine a public transport network that criss-crosses the sky on a monorail-like network, only that you have a personal vehicle, you don’t have a driver, and you don’t have to drive. It gets you straight to your destination without stopping. After you get off, it just goes back to the network. Sounds like science fiction? Guess again. SkyTran, a California company, ...


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How Good is Ethanol for the Environment?

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Dec 3rd, 2007 5:39am

Ethanol is all the rage in some circles now as an alternative fuel for our cars. Midwest America is especially enthusiastic about it because the agricultural economy can benefit from it. Brazil has successfully built a national industry based on sugarcane ethanol and biofuel cars. How good is ethanol really, for the environment? The hope is that ethanol can potentially produce many more benefits compared to ...


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Is a Hybrid or an SUV greener? Well, that depends...

Posted by AskPatty - Automotive Advice for Women at Oct 11th, 2007 10:20pm

This week I happened to chance upon two situations of people debating their relative environmental impacts, with each side thinking she is more eco-friendly. In both cases, one party owns a more efficient vehicle while the other insists she lives a lower impact lifestyle overall despite having a less efficient vehicle. So in this post, I will compare the vehicle usage patterns of two drivers – one a hybrid ...


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