Category Archives: Hybrid / Electric

2012 Karma Fisker Eco Sport Static Front

2012 Fisker Karma gets EPA Certified at 52 MPG

 

2012 Karma Fisker Eco Sport Static Front

Fisker Automotive confirms that the 2012 Fisker Karma sedan has received emission certification and fuel economy ratings from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  As the first luxury sports sedan on the market with a range-extended electric powertrain, the Karma creates an alluring class of its own. It blends supercar performance and luxury with a tailpipe CO2 output that is comparable with today’s conventional compact hybrid cars.

The EPA – with its newly formulated methodology for rating electric vehicles – found that, when running in electric mode, the Fisker Karma sedan achieves the energy equivalent of 52 miles per gallon city/highway combined. The Karma sedan’s 52 MPGe is close to the Obama administration’s mandate of an industry average goal of 54.5 mpg by 2025, demonstrating that Fisker Automotive’s Electric Vehicle with extended range (EVer™) powertrain technology clearly represents the future for the automotive industry.

The Karma’s all-electric range was found to be 32 miles by the EPA under its test criteria. To put that figure in perspective, a Karma driver with a 40-mile commute who starts each day with a full battery charge will only need to visit the gas station about every 1,000 miles and would use just 9 gallons of gasoline per month.

Fisker’s own analysis suggests that many Karma drivers will actually experience a longer all‑electric range under most every day driving conditions. Research also reveals that more than half of American’s have a daily commute of less than 32 miles, a comfortable distance for the Karma to run in electric-only mode from a single charge. The EPA certification allows the company’s dealers to begin selling the car to customers immediately in most states.

“We are delighted to have EPA certification and fuel economy ratings that verify the Karma’s remarkable green credentials.” said Henrik Fisker, CEO and co-founder of Fisker Automotive.

“As with all electric vehicles, range varies greatly on the conditions of the road and how you drive the car. We firmly believe that most owners will get up to 50 miles of driving range on a single charge and will use our electric-only mode most of the time they drive the car, thereby running on zero emissions. Overall, we are very pleased with the results of EPA’s tests. The Karma is a groundbreaking product with a unique powertrain.”

Alternative Energy: Can The Horse Out Last The Car?

 

Horse-car-weathering-a-storm-on-the-jailoo-taken-from-inside-a-warm-yurt-2.jpg

For thousands of years the horse was mans’ predominant means of transportation. Even the combined onslaught of the train (The Iron Horse), the automobile (Horseless Carriage), and the motorcycle (The Steel Horse) took nearly fifty years to dethrone it as man’s favorite means of getting from point “A” to point “B”. Now in this era of rising fuel prices and environmental concerns, is it time we all considered riding the horse again? Is it the hybrid we have all been waiting for?

Occasionally, our work here at Motor City allows us to experience so incredible events: Historic races like the Walter Mitty & LeMans, driving schools, auctions, car shows, the SEMA Show… -But one of the most rewarding parts of the job is interacting with the next generation of automotive enthusiasts. So, we jumped on a chance recently to help students at Providence Christian Academy (a local private school that really invests in to the lives of their students), as they researched material  for their own alternative energy and transportation blogs.

Admittedly, the best student blogs were ones that didn’t need our help sorting through resources. We hope you enjoy this selection as much as we did:

A Battle of Horse Power: The Cars vs. The Horse

Do you ever wonder what would happen if we regressed to the olden days? What would our environment become if we began to rely on literal horsepower instead of pollution producing vehicles? Horses would certainly be an interesting alternative to the modern gas-guzzling car.

The cost of a horse is actually less than that of the average car. If you were to own a horse that was boarded at a nice barn that included all the care of the horse, feeding, mucking of the stalls, training and tack cleaning the annual cost would be around $12,000. However, if you were to do all the care that the horse requires at a rough board the price would drop considerably to $3,000 annually. These costs, sadly, do not include veterinarian care but the yearly routine that the horse requires can be only $200 to $300. This includes two annual vaccines, de-worming every six to eight weeks and teeth floating. Provided that your horse stays healthy the costs are not too bad, however, if your horse acquires a lame limb or colic (which are common in horses) the veterinarian cost can climb to $150 to $250 per visit. The farrier bill is anywhere from $100 to $400 annually, depending on the needs of the horse. Insurance adds another $150 per year for medical insurance and 4% of however much the horse is worth on mortality insurance. A horse eats 3% of it’s body weight per year, so you have to keep that in consideration as well.

car20emission.jpgCar ownership seems to have become a necessity to the American people but many have failed to realize the environmental destruction of the automobile and the overwhelming costs. Americans spent $1,132,824,000 on gas alone in 2006. Driving a car is the most air-polluting act an average citizen commits.

For the average American $14,000 is spent on gasoline alone in one year for a $4 gallon of gas. Add on another $2,500 or so annually for insurance, depending on the type of car. Annual finance charges and vehicle loans can cost $330, annual maintenance and repair around $650 and vehicle licenses and other fees can add another $420 a year.

So, you might be wondering how a horse would fare on long distances compared to a car. Well obviously a car would go faster but a horse can travel up to around 100 miles a day. At a walk a horse travels 5 MPH, at a trot 8 to 10, at a canter anywhere from 10 to 17 but at a gallop a horse can travel from 30 to 60 MPH.  That way may be nowhere near the speeds of a car at long distances but consider the pollution that accompanies that speed. Air pollution is a serious thing. Local air pollution poisons humans because they are continually inhaling the contaminated air. Regionally there are airborne pathogens that can cause infections. Globally the pollution can change the atmosphere, oceanic biospheres and can affect the life on our planet.

A horse requires an acre and a half to two acres of land and a car only requires a garage but the feces of the horse can be used for fertilizer to produce the hay, grains, and grass that they need to survive. All in all a car may be easier to own and the cost for each may be similar but the environment would surely benefit from a little flash back.

Works Cited
1. www.fatknowledge.blogspot.com/2005/05horses-vs-cars.html
2. What it Costs to Own a Horse. Rebecca Sweat.www.petplace.com/horses/what-it-costs-to-own-a-horse/page1.aspx
3.www.google.org/-vehicle-calculator
4. Average Spending on Gas.www.articleclick.com/Article/Average-Spending-on-Gas/1019983
5. Cars, Trucks, Air Pollution and Health.www.nutramed.com/environment/cars.htm
Photo Credit: Travel Blog

Alternative Energy: Elephants as Transportation

 

An in depth look at Elephants as alternative transportation. MPG vs MPP (miles per pound of feed), how do elephants stack up? Are they more “fuel efficient” than the average family sedan, than a hybrid?

Occasionally, our work here at Motor City allows us to experience so incredible events: Historic races like the Walter Mitty & LeMans, driving schools, auctions, car shows, the SEMA Show… -But one of the most rewarding parts of the job is interacting with the next generation of automotive enthusiasts. So, we jumped on a chance recently to help students at Providence Christian Academy (a local private school that really invests in to the lives of their students), as they researched material  for their own alternative energy and transportation blogs.

Admittedly, the best student blogs were ones that didn’t need our help sorting through resources. We hope you enjoy this selection as much as we did:

Info about elephants:

Elephants are the largest animal on land. Depending on the species and their gender, they can weigh from 2 tons to 5 tons! Elephants eat 300-600 pounds of food each day. They spend around 16 hours a day finding the massive amount of food. From a single elephant, a calf can be born every 4-6 years. Elephants live about 70 years! So they have about 15 babies in their lifetime. According to Taylor, there are only 35,000-40,000 elephants left. Elephants are endangered!

Elephants as Transportation:

Elephants walk at about 4.5 mph. They can run at 15-20mph! Of course, they only run when really motivated. Elephants can walk 50 miles each day. They use no gasoline but they use a lot of veggies! They poop 125 pounds or more of their used food each day. Elephants can adapt to any habitat: “Forests, woodlands, grassy plains, savanna, swamps and deserts are some of the ecosystems where they easily survive,” says Girija Shindie.

Good Things About Using Elephants as Transportation:

Elephants would be awesome seed dispensers! Their poop has seeds in it and disperses seeds for more trees. Elephants are simple to ride, and more jobs would open up for animal trainers and poop cleaners.

Bad Things About Using Elephants as Transportation:

They eat a TON of food and they poop a LOT. If every family in America had an elephant, all the greenery would be eaten up. Elephants walk slowly, so many people would be aggravated that they can’t get where they want faster. An elephant might walk 50 miles each day and eat 300-600 pounds of food per day. So elephants go 0.16-0.08 miles per pound of food.

Summary:

Elephants are not efficient as transportation. They walk too slowly and eat too much. Riding an elephant around is an awesome idea. Nevertheless, Americans are too impatient, making the use of elephants as transportation close to impossible.

Works Cited:
     Taylor. “Elephants.” Web. 12 May 2011. <http://library.thinkquest.org/04oct/00450/elephant.htm>
     “How Much Poop Does an African Elephant Produce In a Day and Why Is Elephant Poop Useful?” Web. 12 May 2011. <http://www.bigsiteofamazingfacts.com/how-much-poop-does-an-african-elephant-produce-in-a-day-and-why-is-elephant-poop-useful>
     “USATODAY.com – All about Elephants, from Trunk to Tail.” News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World – USATODAY.com. 29 Oct. 2004. Web. 12 May 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/aprilholladay/2004-10-29-wonderquest_x.htm.
        “About Elephants.” Elephant Information Repository: Elephant Resources. Web. 15 May 2011. http://elephant.elehost.com/About_Elephants/about_elephants.htm.
     Shinde, Girija. “Elephants Habitat.” Buzzle Web Portal: Intelligent Life on the Web. Web. 13 May 2011. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/elephants-habitat.html.
     “Impact.” Elephant Information Repository: Elephant Resources. Web. 13 May 2011. http://elephant.elehost.com/About_Elephants/Impact/impact.html#impact.
     “San Diego Zoo Blogs » Blog Archive » How Far Do Elephants Walk in One Day?” San Diego Zoo Blogs. Web. 14 May 2011. http://blogarchives.sandiegozoo.org/blog/2008/07/14/how-far-do-elephants-walk-in-one-day/.
 Photo Credit: Travelpod