WASHINGTON – Responding to one of the first major directives of the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today jointly established historic new federal rules that set the first-ever national greenhouse gas emissions standards and will significantly increase the fuel economy of all new passenger cars and light trucks sold in the United States. The rules could potentially save the average buyer of a 2016 model year car $3,000 over the life of the vehicle and, nationally, will conserve about 1.8 billion barrels of oil and reduce nearly a billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the lives of the vehicles covered.

This action is one important step in fulfilling the Obama Administration’s commitment to moving towards a clean energy, climate friendly economy.

“These historic new standards set ambitious, but achievable, fuel economy requirements for the automotive industry that will also encourage new and emerging technologies,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “We will be helping American motorists save money at the pump, while putting less pollution in the air.” (more…)

In 2004 the General Motors introduced the world’s first full sized hybrid pickups which were the ½ ton Silverado /Sierra. These hybrids did not use electric energy for propulsion like the successive models by GM. Then in 2005 the Opel Astra which was a diesel hybrid concept vehicle was introduced. Then came 2006 and the introduction of Saturn Vue Line which was the first passenger vehicle from GM is also a mild design

2008 Saturn Vue Red Line

Currently, the GM is offering two types of hybrid systems the first was used in the Saturn vue and Saturn astra which is called the BAS hybrid system which is a type of hybrid canceled in 2009. Then the GM together with BMW and Daimler AG co-developed a Two- Mode Hybrid which is currently used on the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC’s Yukon


Speed Trap

Virtual speed traps are the sneakiest of the bunch; they ticket you in an instant without the need for a police officer. No longer is it as easy as looking for the black and white at a predictable corner or turn. Today’s speed traps utilize machines to do the work for them. Red light cameras and speed cameras have enabled better speed controls on both city and highway roads and have made a positive overall change in people’s driving habits. For the driving enthusiast, however, one of these speed traps can be a real show stopper. That’s why radar detectors, specifically those with GPS-enabled technology, are so useful. Take a look at the features and benefits of these newest GPS detectors and see how they can benefit your overall driving experience. Here are the top 3 rated speed camera detectors.


It’s a familiar problem for most Northern California Residents. You’re driving on 680 near Martinez, and that steady wind tries to push you off the highway, or maybe it’s I5 near Weed, or one of the many other sections of freeway blessed with a strong cross wind. Not a major problem at first, but after a while that constant pull on your car just adds to the fatigue of an already long drive.

Well, Ford has come up with an answer to the problem. Starting with the 2008 Ford Escape, Ford has started adding EPS or Electric Power Steering to some of its vehicles.

What is EPS?
Instead of the usual complicated mix of hydraulic pumps, hoses, power steering fluids and drive belts that can require regular service and repair. EPS uses an electronic motor to assist in steering. (more…)

0 – 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and no emissions, that’s the new Tesla Roadster! Based on the Lotus chassis the Tesla with it’s impressive performance earns the right to be included with some of the top sports cars. With the new “Signature 100 Series” hot off the production line check out one of the first impressions with our Tesla Roadster review.

While not as quick to 60 mph (4 seconds) the Tango Commuter Car still earns the right to be put in the sports car performance category. Although when looking at it, that would not be your first impression. Don’t let the looks deceive you though, it uses many of the same safety innovations as race cars, including a stainless steel chassis with a chromium molybdenum roll cage.

Zero Pollution Motors Air Car
image source:

In a previous post I talked about the air car from Tata Motors. Since then other manufacturers are entering into the race to take the lead in this environmentally friendly from of transportation.

Zero Pollution Motors in cooperation with MDI group unveiled their new air car at the 2008 New York Auto show on March 20. They also entered a team to compete for the Automotive X Prize.

Zero Pollution Motors has plans of introducing a compressed air vehicle to the US market in the year 2010. This family sized vehicle will seat 6, have 4 doors, and will achieve over 100 MPGe (mpg equivalent) with the ability to go over 90 mph. One interesting point is the affordability of this vehicle, it is expected that it will cost around $18,000. An economy/utility model will be produced by MDI for sale in France and elsewhere 2009 at a price of beginning at around $5,000-$6,000 for the basic model.

History of the air car

Cell Phone Most of us have heard rumor of the new laws about cell phones and driving, but you might be surprised to find out how soon these laws will take place. The new laws take place July 1, 2008 and there will be NO grace period. If July 1st comes around and you violate the new laws, you can get fined.

This article is about some of the most asked questions about these two laws.

The first law applies to all drivers; it prohibits all drivers from using hand held telephones while driving. The second law differentiates minors from adults. If over you are over 18 you may use a hands-free device, but if you are under 18 you cannot use a cellular phone of any sort including using hands-free devices. (more…)

To make this clear, I’m talking about a car that runs on air, not a flying car. Either of which make an interesting story though. Indian automaker Tata Motors (stop snickering that’s their real name) is hoping to have a car that runs on compressed air in production by the year 2008. A US company Zero Pollution Motors plans on having an air car available in the US in 2010.

Tata Indica
Tata Indica
(1.4 L gas/diesel engine)

Tata motors, which is currently the world’s 18th largest automobile company is best known for it’s Tata Indica and what is currently considered the worlds cheapest car the Tata Nano (USD $2,500). They also have a new car in testing, the “Swift Dzire”.

While Tata has at this time has not announced plans to start marketing in the US, this technology shows promise as an oil alternative. At least for short commuting applications. Tata claims that their air car would have a top end of (more…)

Automotive Event Video Security Trailer

Here’s an interesting trailer developed by a local video surveillance company. It’s a mobile video security system that you can tow behind your car or truck and set up anywhere you would like to watch what’s going on.

In most cases contractors wanting to secure and monitor their jobsites use them, but I can see using these at any event where you might be leaving things out overnight that might be damaged. Some of the possible events might include Classic Car, boat or RV shows. Images taken from the security cameras are immediately uploaded onto the Internet where anyone with a pass code can login and make sure their baby is resting safely at the car show grounds.

With the 360deg motion detectors and PA warning system which warns “You have entered a secure area” when something gets too close, this might even help keep stray dogs from using your nice chrome wheels as a public bathroom. Might be worth asking the event coordinator about the next time you plan on leaving your car at a show.

Lately we have been hearing quite a bit about thinking green, buying vehicles that are better for the environment. Remember when everyone was so excited about hydrogen fuel cells and saying that they are the future of the automobile industry.

It seems like hybrid cars (cars that run on both gasoline and electricity) are the latest rage and hydrogen fuel cells have fallen into the background. Hydrogen fueled vehicles seemed so promising, so why did they loose the spot light? (more…)

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