Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge
MAX ran with the motorcycles in the Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge, with surprisingly high marks--127 miles per gallon. Surprising to the author, at least.
Renowned motorcycle inventor and longtime aerodynamics expert Craig Vetter stopped by the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office on his way home from his latest fuel economy challenge.
Do we have a national goal in America? Would this be a good one?
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
2011 Fuel Economy Contests in several locations in the U.S.
For the first time ever, Diesel motorcycles publicaly demonstrate their potential in real riding.
Energy goals for America
How much energy does it take to travel? Can we collect this from the vehicle while we are using it?
Learn more about the upcoming Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges.
How will we live with no gas at the pump and no power in the grid?
A question about our future.
At the Vetter Fuel Challenge in Ohio, vehicles powered by electricity, diesel and gasoline competed to see who would consume the least fuel in dollars and cents.
The T7 Series fuel economy is attributed to the design of the engine. With the SCR technology, the engine “breathes” clean air, instead of re-circulated exhaust gases, allowing the engine to simply do what it’s designed to do: produce maximum power.
Comparing today’s cars that get 40 mpg or better to the high-mpg cars of a few decades ago is neither an accurate nor fair comparison.
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
The Rally Green starting flag drops in Knoxville Iowa, Sunday August 15, beginning a cross country fuel economy rally ending in San Francisco the folowing Saturday. MAX will be there and going for the gold.
Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy Starts at $18,895; Goes on Sale in January
The clock is ticking and I've been taking some shortcuts on getting MAX ready for Rally Green ... and some have turned into long cuts. I need to work smarter, not faster.
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
An introduction to DraftSight, Dassault Systèmes' 2D CAD software. It's professional quality and it's free, and Jack is converting all the MAX fabrication drawings to DraftSight .dmg documents.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
How much power and performance does a car need for a guy to get a gal's attention? According to MAX fans, not very much.
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
MAX gets a temporary mash-up of old and new style body parts (the new nose is at the fiberglassers' having a mold made so we can make more of them) to get road-legal for a trip to Canada.
Some burglar wanted my Millermatic 180 more than I did, I guess. Here's why I liked it and why I'm going to get another one.
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
On a summertime cross country trip from Oregon to Ohio, I restricted MAX's radiator inlet air a little at a time, demonstrating that very little inlet area (28 square inches) provides sufficient air for cooling.
We're cleaning up the details on MAX. One of the finishing touches is clear streamlined headlight covers, and here's how I made them.
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
You can save gas and money by keeping your tires correctly inflated. And now a group of high school students has launched a project to encourage drivers to regularly check their tires.
We're looking at a handful of low cost improvements, and since MAX is undergoing repairs at the moment, this is a good time to make them.
Hybrid cars save fuel by shutting the engine off at idle (among other things). Does MAX burn enough fuel at idle to be worth the effort? Our honey bear can tell us.
Technology marches on. It comes at a price, but a FloScan fuel consumption and mileage meter could give me instant feedback on MAX's fuel efficiency.
MAX got a new set of high efficiency Goodyear tires, and a second set of wheels so we can do comparison testing. Will the difference be detectable to our low budget testing technology?
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
In the interest of making MAX a smidgeon safer, I've added side bumpers to the passenger compartment. Here's why I made them this way.
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
The tail end of MAX's bellypan (diffuser) gets tuft tested, and the attached video shows the results. This was the finishing touch that got MAX its 100 miles per gallon on the highway.
Jack has dismantled MAX's body and is making molds from the body parts, so other MAX-like car builders won't have to duplicate his work.
Jack took MAX to a local car show and found that even if they're not looking for high mileage, folks think MAX is cool.
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
Use a digital tire gauge and learn how to check tire pressure regularly to get better gas mileage. While other types of gauges exist, the digital tire pressure gauge is an accurate and simple way to keep your tires properly inflated. Read this digital tire gauge review to see what digital tire pressure checkers you can buy.
Volkswagon's high mileage (1 liter of fuel per 100 kilometers) car is getting closer to production. Expect to see 100 of these available to the public in 2013.
Researchers from the University of Michigan have developed a way to “pressure cook” algae to produce biocrude. The process shows promise in the development of green fuels.
San Francisco may become be the second city after Seattle to join a growing movement to divest from the companies driving the climate crisis.
Every natural environment is beautiful in ways we cannot imagine. We must preserve natural beauty for precisely that reason, because we could not conceive of natural beauty on our own without nature’s inspiration.
We are unique and brilliant creatures. Humanity has expanded into every corner of the planet. With our extraordinary tools, we are stronger and faster than any other species. And we are improving.
We could feed every hungry person tomorrow but we haven’t collectively decided to do so. In my beautiful vision, we would tolerate nothing less.
Applying human objectivity to the biggest, most intriguing and most definitively human problem, ever, is quite an endeavor.
Why is it unrealistic to believe we can agree that clean air and water are important and limited resources? How insane is it to think we could imagine a world of beauty and abundance? That’s what I’m going to aim for.
Steve explains how our pursuit of environmental sustainability can also drive us crazy if it's not put in the correct philosophical context.
Here's why a heat pump might be a good choice for your home.
Musician Ben Sollee has defined the pace and purpose of touring, ditching the van and taking the 2 Mile Challenge.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
Cam describes the benefits of writing this blog and his recent book.
Some of the difficulties we encounter in gardening at a high elevation
The challenges that we encounter trying to grow a garden at high latitude.
Here's a rundown of the many reasons behind the recent rise in the price of gas.
Last weekend more than 12,000 people flocked to Washington, D.C., for a three day demonstration to demand the creation of green jobs, cuts in the country’s greenhouse gas emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
350.org founder, Bill McKibben, asks college students across the nation to “Do The Math” on why climate change matters and urges them to demand divestment from fossil fuels on campus.
T. Boone Pickens is calling Americans to submit videos about the importance of independence from foreign oil. The contest ends Oct. 25, and the winning video will be sent to national political leaders.
Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake. Radiation levels are on the rise. The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?
Read about new legislation that would stop the government from funding the fossil fuel industry. Then, sign your name to the petition and make a difference.
Husqvarna has issued the Ethanol Challenge in order to provide the tools for consumers to gain awareness about ethanol.
Last year, more than 30,000 Americans participated in the National Bike Challenge and rode more than 12 million miles. This year, the League of American Bicyclists wants to know if riders are ready for a bigger challenge.
The X Prize Foundation recently announced the winner of their "What's Your Crazy Green Idea" competition.
New federal standards will dramatically increase fuel efficiency in cars and light-duty trucks by 2025.
Renowned inventor Craig Vetter discusses his history with aerodynamics and motorcycles, and his vision for doing more with less energy.
How a wood-fired hot tub allows us to live better on less energy.
MAX is well on its way to 100 mpg, if the lessons from these 100+ mpg motorcyles are any indication.
Step on the gas with a clear conscience: Use Clean Cities' vehicle comparison site to find the right light-duty model among alternative fuel vehicles, and green up your life in the fast lane.
American wealth and influence are often attributed to free enterprise and the personal liberty promised in the Constitution. While it’s true they've been conducive to economic success, we also had an enormous head start in the race to dominate the industrial revolution - with our sparsely populated continent packed with natural resources. The question is, how well will our free enterprise system work in a world with far fewer resources?
The low gas prices are something to celebrate in the short-run, but the cause is something that deserves a second, less optimistic outlook.
It turns out that there are a few bright spots amidst the recession — and it looks like less waste might be one of them.
The new economy promises an abundance of green jobs. Are you ready?
If you’re interested in a green career, here’s some helpful advice.
It took a long time to get into this mess. It will take a while to get out of it.
Are we spending too many resources to restore an economic system that was broken anyway? It's time for a new economy.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
A Louisiana State University forestry researcher is looking at a fast-growing plant called switchgrass as a potential biofuel feedstock. Using switchgrass biofuel is practical because the plant requires little fertilizer and can tolerate drought and floods.
You can run a truck on wood chips! No joke. Mother Earth News reported on this idea more than 25 years ago and the idea lives on. Using recycled water heaters, you can burn wood chips to power a truck, with little or no engine modifications required.
My MAX car got licensed with the local DOT to run on vegetable oil fuel and pay its proper taxes per gallon. Each state has its own rules; here's how we do it in Oregon.
The US Pro Cycle Challenge is a major cycling race that brings cyclists from all over the world including the recent winner of the Tour de France.
The Architecture 2030 Challenge for Products asks designers and builders to spec materials with lower carbon footprints.
Climate change is here to stay, with violent and unpredictable weather. This presents challenges to home gardeners, so is there a way to storm proof our gardens?
Fracking, buying American, GMOs and unplugging topped the green news this week.
Supply and demand have kept E85 gas prices low, and politics has played a role.
As America’s fuel use continues to decrease, proposed solutions such as the Keystone XL pipeline and food-to-fuel conversions may be unnecessary.
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
First in a series of blog posts which will cover conversion of lawnmowers and small engines from gasoline to propane.
This blog explains how the carbon cycle regulates atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide. The blog also discusses how the burning of fossil fuels has disrupted the carbon cycle which increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
In this posting we discuss the benefits of converting to renewable energy sources vs. the consequences of continuing to use fossil fuels.
In this posting we discuss how rock weathering controls the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. We also discuss why rock weathering can't remove the excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that was generated by our use of fossil fuels.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
We discuss the concept that carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels is partly responsible for the current atmospheric carbon overload. We also briefly discuss other human activities that contribute to the atmospheric carbon overload.
Wood gas, or wood gasification, is a decades-old renewable energy technology that converts chunks of firewood, wood chips or other cellulosic biomass to power vehicles.
Shocked that nearly everything in their Dallas home was made overseas, a family starts over and furnishes their home only with items made in the USA. ABC News challenges everyone to take a pledge to purchase products made in America.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
Shopping and lack of shopping is a hot topic right now with the economy, but it's also a question of what your holidays are all about. What would your celebrations be like without (or without so many) presents?
Learn more about commons-based economy on May 7th, 2012, in London, sponsored by the School of Commoning.
The negative effects of the recession are painfully clear, but is there a silver lining hiding among the clouds? There's some evidence that the recession might means good news for the environment, and you might find it in your own home. Check it out, and let us know what you think.
Twenty-nine environmental groups created a plan for Obama's transition team, explaining what environmental issues need to be addressed in order to create a green economy.
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
Our expert explains what really happens when fuel additives are put in a gas tank, and how this may cause more harm than good. If you really want to increase your mpg, our expert has a few tips for that as well.
Diesel engines are engineered and built to be more robust due to the higher compression ratio in the combustion chamber and the high torque output they produce.
Tips on how to increase your car's fuel efficiency by checking the tire pressure.
The G-20 met in Pittsburgh this week to discuss global economic issues and agreed to eliminate fossil fuel subsides to combat gloabl climate change.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 100 percent of the electric generating capacity added in January was renewable.
Grasshopper announces a new online tool designed to calculate fuel costs and impacts of commercial mowing equipment.
An overview of groups, initiatives, planning certifications, and neighborhood developments that promote sustainable communities, including Transition initiatives, ecovillages, One Planet Communities, LEED for Neighborhood Development, and others.
One of the best ways to learn about green homes is to explore real-world examples--by touring homes or reading about them online. This article links to free online collections of case studies and in-depth profiles of green homes.
Peckham’s Village Bicycle Project donates used bicycles and parts to poor families in Africa, and the effects have been life-changing.
Climate Change is a real threat to the future of humankind, but within that threat is the seed of opportunity.
Environmental groups want supporters to write Congress to ensure that the new economic stimulus package includes green jobs.
Contact your senators now to encourage them to support the clean energy initiatives in the new stimulus package.
The EcoAire is designed to be installed in much the same fashion as a window air conditioner and just as easily.
A few simple steps to make sure your tractor is ready for spring.
See the power of gasification before we hit the road.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Pew Charitable Trusts study that finds that jobs in the clean energy sector are growing faster than jobs in the fossil fuel industry.
The "High Mileage Car Show" at the latest Mother Earth News Fair, and the pleasure of driving a fuel efficient car.
Whether you’re looking for a sporty two-seater, a large family vehicle, or a heavy-duty farm or work truck, here's how to find the best options for vehicles that use less fuel and save you money.
Mankind’s use of fossil fuels during the last 200 years has dumped millions of years of sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in the form of Carbon Dioxide. Since the beginning of the industrial revolution, 315 gigatons of carbon have been added to the atmosphere, leaving the carbon cycle 315 gigatons out of balance.
Hit the road, using wood for fuel! Chris Saenz takes a trip on wood gas power.
Ever wondered what its like to drive around using wood as fuel? Tag along with Chris as he fires up his wood gas truck.
A list of links to orgs, associations, websites, books, and other resources related to local economies, community resilience, green business, corporate social responsibility, green jobs, environmental and social entrepreneurship, and investment.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
The Farm Aid concert is a chance for us to shine a spotlight on these people who work every day to put good food on our tables.
Building a vibrant local community through local economics and rural culture.
Barter markets--great big swap meets where you can trade what you don't want for things that you do--have become commonplace in Spain and are spreading throughout Europe. This video shows why we may want to start those over here.
Lester Brown from the Earth Policy Institute held a teleconference on Dec. 11 to discuss the advantages of a green economy, for the environment and the U.S. work force.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
I was gratified when, two weeks ago, Consumer Reports announced that the Chevy Volt was the best-loved car in the world among people who drive one – for the second year in a row. I have never loved a car like I love this one. And I have loved some cars.
Explore how you can make your own home grown organic fuel to power your own transportation or electricity.
This posting will discuss how the buring of fossil fuels is putting strain on the ecosystem of the ocean.
This posting discusses the role of carbon dioxide emitted from the burning of fossil fuel in ocean acidification. We also discuss the potential effect ocean acidification will have on marine inhabitants.
This fall's Fuel for the Body T.O.U.R. ("Total Organic Understanding Ride") will educate the public on the benefits of living a green lifestyle that includes eating organic food and supporting local, organic farmers.
Propelling a vehicle with air or water is possible, but whether it’s practical is another story.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
This is a rundown of films that came out in the last few years. These films cover a wide range of environmental topics, from energy, climate, and fuel, to food, farming, and health. Many of the films have won awards or been critically acclaimed.
As modern farms increase production using monoculture crops, the nutritional value of the harvests diminishes, along with the economic stability and self-reliance of the farmers and their local communities.