Tuesday, October 12, 2010

3 Good Stories I Read This Morning

So if you're writing about green machines, it's a good idea to start your day sifting through coverage. What I like about it is that I start linking the dots - recurring themes, different versions of the same stories, visual displays I would have missed elsewhere. It's kind of Green Car 101, or Green Cars for Dummies. Sometimes I can qualify for such ratings, and to prove my point...

Automakers are trying to stop an EPA ruling that would allow gasoline to contain 15% ethanol, up from 10% now. They're getting bi-partisan support, and their argument is that this could harm engine durability and have other bad effects. So here's my dummy issue: I always thought this EPA ruling only affected flex-fuel vehicles - those that are built to run on gasoline only, or a mix of gas and ethanol - E10, E85, etc. I seriously did not know that 10% of this nation's gasoline now consists of ethanol, and that could go up to 15% based on EPA rules. Duh!

If America wants to reduce its addiction to oil, you have to start looking far and wide - it's way more than what you pump into your gas tank. Asphalt, which covers all our roads, consists of lots of petroleum. According to Gas 2.0, researchers from Iowa State University have come up with a bio-oil made from corn stalks, wood waste, and other bio-mass that could one day replace oil in asphalt. Whoah!

When you hear the commonly used word EVs, your mind immediately pops over to Nissan LEAF, Chevy Volt (though yes this is a plug-in or extended range vehicle), or Tesla Roadster. The truth is there are a lot of motorbikes out there running on battery power. We got to check out the cool cycles that Brammo is selling over at AltCar Expo, and their Enertia and Empulse models made the top two listings of an article in earth2tech. The only well known name brands are the Smart E-Scooter and MINI Electric Scooter. It's a great market for start-ups to access and build high performance EVs. Cool!


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