The latest and greatest on the many ways to move around, from electric cars and hybrid vehicles to commuter and electric bikes.
The Volkswagen XL1 plug-in hybrid sports record-setting fuel efficiency and an innovative aerodynamic design.
One of our readers made a fiberglass and carbon fiber roof for his own home-built MAX high-mileage sports car, and here's how he did it.
The free CycleMap cycling app pinpoints the locations of nearly one million miles of bike paths around the world.
Traveling by train is becoming more convenient for bicyclists with the new Amtrak baggage car.
MAX won an award at the 2014 Maker Faire Bay Area for...gosh, we don't really know, but it was best in its class.
Millennial job hunters are seeking employment in cities with good public transit systems.
The United Kingdom is testing the power of green transportation with a fleet of all-electric buses running the same rigorous schedule as their diesel counterparts.
MAX is getting a garage mate. We're building a high-mileage pickup truck for those jobs that a sports car can't do, and this post outlines what we're starting with.
Magnolia Street in Fort Worth, Texas, is one real-world example where creating new bike lanes and providing a bicycle-friendly neighborhood can help the local economy.
Steve Heckeroth examines common misconceptions about sustainable transportation, and offers advice on how to make your commute more eco-friendly.
Biking and walking to work have significant health benefits, according to a new study. Pedestrians and cyclists have lower risk of diabetes and high blood pressure, and tend not to be overweight.
Raleigh is just one green city that has embraced hybrid technology to make their community more efficient and economical.
Learn about riding the rails with Amtrak on National Train Day this May.
Plan a route and get a group rolling for the third annual Bike to School Day.
California’s Kings Canyon school district recently debuted a new electric bus that will cut diesel emissions and help student health.
Go out for a spin this May during National Bike Month, and join the growing ranks of people who are discovering the benefits of bike commuting.
This is a modified version of a guest post written by Zach O’Connor, Communications and Publications Coordinator for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), for the "Building the U.S. Bicycle Route System" blog. In it Zach explains how his coworker’s bicycle commute from the suburbs to the heart of Washington, D.C., makes use of the District’s newly improved bicycle facilities.
For two weeks, I tested a hybrid vehicle. My family liked the car, I liked the car and without a doubt, the Ford C-MAX Energi is an amazing ride.
One of the best—albeit not the warmest—times to bicycle in Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks is during the month of April.
Short overnight trips are a great way to introduce your family to bicycle travel.
The average fuel economy of U.S. vehicle fleets is set to reach 54.5 mpg by 2025 thanks to the latest fuel-efficiency standards.
The Urb-E is a super-compact folding E-bike is perfect for short commutes and even on the subway, as this video interview shows.
Cycle Greater Yellowstone, an annual event tour launched in 2013, benefits the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.
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.
Looking for alternative transportation options? You can save money, reduce air pollution and get a great workout by participating in a bike-sharing program.
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.
Walking to school is becoming increasing popular among students and their parents, according to the National Center for Safe Routes to School. Biking to school also is showing strong support among forms of active transportation.
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.
John D. Ivanko discovered that those in the hospitality business on Mackinac Island showcase the best of the past, blending it perfectly with modern sensibilities and, by default of it being an island, an ecological awareness to protect and preserve exactly what the millions of visitors come to see and experience every year.
Members of Zipcar can now enroll in the car-sharing service on a monthly basis. Zipcar is one of the world's largest car-sharing companies, operating a global network of over 10,000 vehicles.
As soon as my wife, son and I stepped off the Shepler’s Ferry, one of only three ferry services to Mackinac Island, our connection to motorized transport ceased to exist. Since 1898, cars and nearly every other form of motorized, gas-guzzling transportation are illegal on this Michigan island.
Pledging to develop new infrastructure and expand incentives for plug-in electric vehicles, eight U.S. states are hoping the rest of the nation will follow suit.
There's been a "shocking" increase in the number of EV charging stations across the United States, and in a remarkably short period of time.
MAX doesn't have a front license plate, and here's why Jack would like to keep it that way.
The electric Tesla Model S was put to the test in a recent highway collision. Tesla's CEO offers his assessment of the resulting fire and the overall safety of his company's vehicle.
GasBuddy has ranked the best and worst vehicles of 2013 based on their cost per mile.
Technology similar to that used for tracking street use may be used to track pedestrians and keep them safe.
Sleek, Eco-Friendly Jetson Electric Bikes Now Offered Through Urban Outfitters
If MAX is a bit too Spartan for your tastes, here's a homebuilt high mileage sports car that's a bit more plush - a Mazda Miata with a Geo Metro engine - and it's coming to the Mother Earth News Fairs.
Weeks eight and nine of our cross country bicycle trip start in Brantford, Ont., and end in Bar Harbor, Maine.
Set up camp in a parking space, feed the meter, and create a mini-park on PARK(ing) Day this Sept. 20.
Send your children to school on foot or by bike on Oct. 9, 2013 to celebrate National Walk to School Day.
Celebrate the third annual National Plug In day on Sept. 29, 2013, and see what electric cars are all about.
From rolling hills to Roman ruins, these bike trails are well worth adding to your bucket list.
A new report from the League of American Bicyclists finds women cyclists now make up 60 percent of U.S. bike owners between the ages of 18 and 27.
Starting in North Branch, Minn. and ending in Brantford, Ontario, author Rick Stiles continues his cycling across the country — and the border.
The Trans-America trail cycle across America.
A study has shown that diesel vehicles experience better fuel efficiency, lower fuel costs and less depreciation of value than gasoline-powered vehicles.
We can cut projected U.S. oil use in half over the next 20 years and create more than 1 million jobs, reduce annual oil spending by $550 billion, and eliminate 2 billion metric tons of global warming emissions per year by 2035.
After being massively over-hyped and then written off as wishful thinking, electric vehicles (EVs) are now coming of age.
A searchable index for the MAX Updates posts, and a few more thoughts on the Progressive Automotive X Prize.
The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.
Use these bicycle-theft prevention tips to keep your ride safe from thieves.
A group of 22 students in the Netherlands has built an energy-positive family car that comfortably seats four passengers.
Electric car batteries are at risk of warming up too quickly in high temperatures. Here’s how to help EV batteries beat the heat.
The Solar Impulse has made history as the first solar-powered airplane to fly across the North American continent.
Put your bike to work by starting a bicycle business.
The automaker plans to add new DC quick-charging stations, capable of recharging to 80 percent in about 30 minutes, to dealerships across the country.
Instructional videos from the League of American Bicyclists provide basic bicycle safety tips.
Rick Stiles shares chronicles the first two weeks of his cross-country trip on a recumbent bicycle.
Beating top gas-powered bikes, an electric motorcycle transforms the future of racing by setting a surprising record.
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.
Reconstruction on U.S. 36, the highway linking Boulder to Denver, will transform transportation in Colorado and bring more reliable options to commuters.
This funky DIY bicycle helmet from Adafruit features colorful LED light strips to increase riders' visibility at night.
Innovative new strategies from automakers and tech companies hope to calm electric-vehicle drivers' fears of running out of fuel.
As more manufacturers introduce new electric vehicles to the market, prices go down and electric car sales go way, way up.
By analyzing park distribution in the biggest U.S. cities, studies show the long-term benefits — environmental and psychological — of having accessible parks in a city.
In less than a month, Citi Bike – New York’s public bicycle option – has taken the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn by storm. Unfortunately, the highly anticipated bike share program already has its share of haters.
Vespa USA highlights five decades of smart metro mobility, freedom and fun.
A bipartisan bill headed by Reps. Doris Matsui of California and David Joyce of Ohio aims to make American streets safer for cyclists, pedestrians and transit riders.
My friend Tom and I arrived in the USA on June 13th, ready to start the biggest cycle of our lives. It didn't start smoothly. We have completed 361 miles to date after 7 days of cycling, this is pretty much bang on schedule which is a good position to be in for the Trans-America cycling tour.
With an increased demand for bike-friendly services, lawmakers are pushing Amtrak to allow bicycles onboard trains.
New 4-Station QuadLink Kit maintains and desulfates up to four lead-acid batteries at a time.
Here’s what to look for when buying a used bike.
Learn how to choose a bike and about the types of bicycles offered.
The Chevy Spark and BMW i3 will be the first cars to benefit from a new charging system capable of powering electric vehicles up to 80 percent in 20 minutes.
Daedong Industrial, a global agricultural manufacturing company, celebrated its 66th anniversary in May 2012.
From bike baskets and panniers to rear racks made of milk crates, learn what type of bike storage works for your needs.
Our friend Pat Sweeney has built himself an Electric MAX - a DIY Locost with a DIY electric power plant.
A new tool released by the U.S. Department of Energy allows drivers to compare fuel costs of electric cars with those of gas-powered vehicles.
Missouri comes out on top with the 2013 Best Trails State Award, recognizing innovative and successful trail sharing efforts, programs and systems.
Checking out our bicycles, our gear and ourselves.
Visitors enjoyed hundreds of test drives of Ford hybrid and electric cars at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
The presence of bicycles on sidewalks has long been debated: Is it legal? Is it safer than the road? Shouldn’t children be able to ride on sidewalks?
A big crowd likes MAXine better than MAX, and I’ll see you soon, at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Wash.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will launch the city’s new bike share system – called “Divvy” – later this year, with the goal of expanding to 4,000 bikes at 400 neighborhood locations.
Driving patterns now closely resemble those from 1995, as young drivers are finding alternative forms of transportation.
Ride the Future Tour, a 43-day cross-country trip in electric vehicles, will start July 4 in South Carolina. Event organizers hope to build awareness for green transportation and break a few records along the way.
The number of bike commuters is on the rise everywhere in the United States, but especially in Bicycle Friendly Communities where it has increased an average of 80 percent.
These new vehicles may help the environment, but their soundless engines are a threat to the visually impaired, as well as pedestrians and bicyclists.
Rail-trail opponents object to public pathways on the grounds of public safety, but crime and antisocial behavior typically decline in areas with trails.
The United States has one of the lowest rates of active transportation in the world, leading to poor cardiovascular health and other diseases.
So, I separated my bicycle gear for the cross-country cycling trip into two piles: needed, and nice. The needed items came in at 43 pounds. I will be traveling through towns almost everyday so replenishing items like soap, insect repellant, sun tan lotion, first aid items, bicycle parts, and personal hygiene should be easy. With this in mind I drastically reduced the quantity and different types of consumables: 37.8 pounds.
Bicycling for transportation takes center stage during National Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Get onboard the teardrop camper revival by using these how-to videos to plan and build your own teardrop trailer.
American leaders are planning to launch a national summit recognizing the benefits of walking for health.
Tow a compact teardrop trailer to your favorite campsite for a frugal, yet stylish, getaway.
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.
Bike-share programs are now operated in more than 500 cities in 49 countries. Most cities are finding that bike sharing leads to better mobility and safer streets.
The Shooting Star State Rail-Trail in southern Minnesota has had a strong impact on the surrounding communities and is becoming a vital link between cities.
The all-new RZT S ZERO is available in select markets and will be headlining the Cub Cadet Test Drive Experience Tour.
Optimize your training routine for the best results.
Crossing flags could improve pedestrian safety and walkability in your city. Find out how to start a program in your own neighborhood.
The National Bike to School Day aims to promote safer routes to school, cleaner air and active transportation. Find out how to get involved in your community.
Thoughts and ideas about purchasing a recumbent bicycle for a cross country trip.
The American Heart Association aims to get people moving by organizing a National Walking Day. Follow some of these easy suggestions to participate in National Walking Day.
Swiss manufacturer Stromer has announced a sweepstakes to give away a new electric bicycle in the U.S.
Cuba's bike transformation was the result of a change in context induced by external forces. It was a disruptive event that forced them to adapt. Here in America, a land of such excess, no such sudden disruption looms (nor could it be predicted, I believe). Our transportation context is centered on the car. Our culture and economy are “driven” by the car. So, how do we create a culture of transportation that is dominated by bicycles?
Bike-share systems are popping up in cities across the Midwest as bike sharing becomes a more popular transportation option.
The growing bike boom may be more than just a fad. It may be a full-blown movement toward a more sustainable mode of transportation.
Why spend hundreds of dollars on a readymade bicycle cargo trailer when you can build one yourself? Portland Pedalworks keeps the project easy and inexpensive in this how-to video.
Walkable neighborhoods will help keep baby boomers active and healthy after retirement.
The new Ford EcoBoost engine coaxes more power from smaller engines using the newest green transportation technology.
Learn how to safely negotiate a turn in traffic for effective cycling within city limits.
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip
was easy. After I fully realized what my
mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
Most Americans use vehicles to travel less than three miles, a distance that can easily be walked. Choosing active transportation over vehicles can improve your health, decrease your spending and minimize all that time you spend at stop lights.
People are traveling fewer miles in vehicles, suggesting more compact communities whose residents choose walking over driving.
Inspired by classic race cars but grounded in frugality, MAX may be the world’s coolest DIY car that gets 100 miles per gallon.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has launched a new tool to help communities assess their readiness for plug-in electric vehicles.
As gas prices continue to rise, so does car sharing. Walk Score lists the top 10 car share cities in North America.
A Danish study has found that concentration improves among students who bicycle or walk to school.
Winter biking doesn't mean spending tons of money on new cold-weather gear. Adding a few essential items to your closet can help keep you warm during cold weather biking.
Car sharing is becoming more popular in the United States, and is a greener method of transportation.
The Union of Concerned Scientists explains how oil companies profit from your pain at the pump.
The first civilian-built MAXes are nearing completion, and here are a couple of them that are rolling under their own power.
Integrating cycling and public transit is an inexpensive and efficient way to travel longer distances.
The week-long STIHL Tour des Trees is an international cycling tour combining natural beauty, camaraderie and fundraising for the benefit of urban trees.
The League of American Bicyclists has compiled a database of state-specific highlights of traffic laws that affect bicyclists. Find out if you live in a bicycle friendly community.
Reports show green car sales were up in 2012 and are increasing rapidly.
Forget the pressure to become a racer — just enjoy cycling with a "sub-24-overnight," a relaxed approach to bike touring.
As the auto industry works to meet increased federal fuel efficiency standards, consumers benefit from more choices of electric and hybrid cars.
You've converted your truck to alcohol fuel. Now what? Go on a renewable fuel tour to promote it, of course!
The high cost of conventional petroleum fuels have led one Minnesota farming family to make their own alcohol fuel.
Triton College has installed electric car charging stations in an effort to promote greener lifestyles in the community.
How does your city rate for bikeability? Check the Bike Score website.
Car-free living is even more possible with the right bicycles designed to haul everything from groceries to children.
Good news for businesses! An Oregon report shows cyclists and walkers spend more than motorists.
Recent studies and stories from around the world indicate that bicycle travel of all kinds has increased in popularity. The Adventure Cycling Association lists nine new indicators that bike travel and tourism are booming.
Easily attach a pannier or even DIY, impromptu gear to haul everyday cargo with a clear environmental conscience.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) recently released an updated version of its Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities -- the go-to bicycle infrastructure guide for planners, engineers and contractors.
Feels like I'm finally getting the ball rolling on my DIY Plug-In Hybrid Truck Project. I got a chance to visit Hot Rod Jim, talk about drive shafts, and even got the bed off the truck!
Check out the 2012 Bicycle Travel Award winners selected by Adventure Cycling Association.
The second attempt at weatherproofing MAX involves a convertible top which flips open to get in or out of the cockpit. Not perfect, but not bad.
Schools and cities all around the U.S. are using abandoned rail corridors to encourage foot and bike transportation in their communities.
A former senatorial aide is promoting alcohol-powered cars by driving around Washington, DC in a vehicle he converted to alcohol fuel himself.
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.
As gas prices go up, more motorcycles appear on the roads. There's a strong belief among commuters that bikes are cheaper to own and operate. But which machine is really the winner in the battle of motorcycle vs. car?
Mass transportation is on the rise in the U.S. Bus systems, light rail, commuter rail and heavy rail have all seen increases in ridership.
Using an MPG app may help reduce your consumption of gas, and make your commute and road trips more economical and green.
Did you know that the average American’s daily round-trip commute is less than 30 miles? With many electric vehicles having a range of more than 70 miles a charge, they are a reliable and comfortable way for Americans to get from point A to point B. For longer trips, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with a back-up internal combustion engine may be a good alternative. Both help reduce our dependence on foreign oil and contribute to a cleaner environment.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS is proud to announce we have won a prestigious publishing award for our Guide to Green Cars.
Chicago has decided to convert its entire garbage truck fleet to electric trucks from Motiv Power Systems, making it the first city in the U.S. to have a zero-emission fleet.
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.
Walking School Buses make a big impact by improving health, building community and filling in where school budgets fall short.
American Airlines is the greenest U.S. airline for the third consecutive year in Newsweek's Green Rankings List, an annual environmental ranking of the country's 500 largest publicly traded companies.
Watch this short video to hear how bicycle travel can save small town America.
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.
The film “Revenge of the Electric Car” is full of the ups and downs of the up-and-coming electric car industry.
Learn how to teach your kids to ride a bike. It's simple: Use a scooter.
Two grasses under consideration for biofuels in the United States are considered invasive species that may do more harm than good.
Learn the basics of bicycle commuting and how the average bicycle commuter is healthier, happier and more environmentally friendly than their gas-guzzling counterpart.
Build a bicycle cargo trailer and haul almost anything—furniture, boxes, even a barbecue grill—using pedal power.
MAX finally got a deer deflector, after three years of writing about how much it needs one. It'll give a bit of extra rollover protection, too.
Advocating for biking during election season can result in the government focusing on bikeability and walkability.
Ford delivered more than 900 test-drives of its 2013 electric and hybrid vehicles to visitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Bike-Free Day happens all over the world on Sept. 22. Grist is challenging the US to rise to the occasion and celebrate with the global community this Saturday.
One of the newest apps for green car owners is Cleaner and Greener Fuels, which locates refueling stations for alternative fuel vehicles.
New federal standards will dramatically increase fuel efficiency in cars and light-duty trucks by 2025.
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.
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.
Wood is a wonderful motor fuel! But how much do we need? Wayne tells us how efficient his truck really is on wood gas, and we take a look at how much we'd use if everyone decided to drive on wood.
Life with an EV 12,000 miles later.
Portland is the nation's most bike-friendly city, yet this Oregon community has had to deal with cycling disparities among its population. One nonprofit organization addressed this issue by developing new programs targeting low-income immigrant communities.
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.
Our research team's wood gas experiments have been so successful they've used their gas generator to run a wood powered truck.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
“A to B” magazine spotlights many facets of commuting by bike, including electric bikes, folding bikes, and all sorts of bicycling gear.
Our ambition to create a car that could achieve 100 mpg and be built for $10,000 is now reality!
Wayne you'd better slow down! The master of vehicle gasification is hard pressed to stay within the speed limit.
Hay season on the Keith farm means lots of work for the wood-powered truck! Check out these videos of Wayne's farming operation.
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.
What happens when you gather 100+ wood gassers in one place? They have a convention! The wood gas meetup in Argos Indiana was a blast, check out the photos!
Some states are doing away with laws that require motorcycle riders to drive helmetless. Are they brain-damaged already?
These days, there are several energy-efficient powertrains, but which automotive technology is most likely to replace the gas engine? Which will become your new ride?
Here's how Wayne Keith he shuts down the wood gasifier when he gets to where he's going.
Here's Wayne Keith lighting up his woodgas truck. He's driving on wood before he gets out of the driveway!
Need to haul a lot of people or stuff, preferably without burning a ton of fuel? Here are the best green large vehicles to consider.
2012 model year highlights from Volkswagen: the Golf TDI, Jetta TDI, Jetta SportWagen TDI and Passat TDI.
2012 model year highlights from Toyota: the Camry, Camry Hybrid, Prius, Prius C, Prius V, Prius Plug-In and Yaris.
2012 model year highlight from Tesla: the Model S.
2012 model year highlights from Subaru: the Impreza and Impreza Wagon.
2012 model year highlights from Smart: Smart ForTwo and Smart ForTwo Electric Drive.
2012 model year highlight from Scion: the iQ.
2012 model year highlights from Nissan: the Leaf and Versa.
2012 model year highlight from Mitsubishi: the Mitsubishi i.
2012 model year highlight from Mini: the Mini Cooper.
2012 model year highlight from Mazda: the Mazda 3 (with Skyactiv).
2012 model year highlight from Lincoln: the MKZ Hybrid.
2012 model year highlights from Lexus: the CT 200h and HS 250h.
2012 model year highlights from Kia: the Forte, Optima Hybrid, Rio and Soul.
2012 model year highlights from Hyundai: the Accent, Elantra, Sonata Hybrid and Veloster.
2012 model year highlights from Honda: the Civic, Civic Hybrid, Civic Natural Gas, CR-Z, FCX Clarity, Fit, Fit EV and Insight.
2012 model year highlights from Ford: the Fiesta, Focus, Focus Electric and Fusion Hybrid.
2012 model year highlight from Fisker: the Karma.
2012 model year highlight from Fiat: the Fiat 500.
2012 model year highlight from Coda.
So here's an idea - why not take existing technology and build a DIY diesel electric pickup truck? Is it even possible? I think it is, but I'll need your help!
2012 model year highlights from Buick: the LaCrosse and Regal.
2012 model year highlight from Audi: the A3 TDI.
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.
Learn more about the different types of biofuels, from the ethanol you’re already using to biodiesel from algae and other fuels of the future.
The new design of fuel economy labels can help you easily understand vehicles’ emissions, gas mileage and annual fuel costs, and how those metrics compare to the averages among the competition.
Alternative transportation magazine, A To B, is chock-full of innovative bicycle tecnology reviews and test drives for everything from folding bikes to E-motorcycles and all the accessories in between.
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader explains why she loves her Nissan Leaf in this electric car review.
A MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader reports on her green car, the Nissan Leaf.
Super-fuel-efficient, durable and long-lasting, hybrid and electric cars will save you a bundle on fuel — but can you recoup their initial higher cost? That’s the green car payback question we set out to answer.
You don’t have to buy a new car to save money on gasoline. Learn how to get the best mpg in your current car with these 12 fuel-efficient driving techniques.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers love their green rides. Here, they share their green car reports.
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.
The growing popularity of plug-in vehicles raises the question of whether our existing power grid can handle increasing electricity demands.
Wayne Keith and Chris Saenz have been making woodgas history. Follow their achievements via the Wood Gas Adventures blog!
Depending on the price of the car and the cost of gas, investing in a green car may pay off faster than you think. Check out this chart to find out the green car payback for several of today's leading models.
Welcome to a new era of high-mpg cars. It’s easier than ever to save money on gas and have fun while driving green.
With 54 great green cars that get 35 mpg or better, car buyers interested in fuel economy now have more options than ever.
Check out each major automaker’s top fuel-efficient cars, including their current cars with the best gas mileage and green car technology as well as their best fuel-efficient cars to come. You can see the cars of the future in the photos next to each automaker’s listing.
2012 model year highlights from Chevrolet: the Cruze, Sonic and Volt.
Check you vehicle owner’s manual for guidance on which types of biodiesel and biodiesel blends you can use in your car.
Learn how to calculate gas mileage and take the first step to saving money on gasoline. Don’t worry, the math is easier than you might think.
Although you might think warming up your car is best on a cold morning, doing so is a bad idea — and not just because it wastes gas.
Hybrid cars now have a 12-year history in the United States, but hybrid car battery replacements have been surprisingly unnecessary. Most of the hybrid cars on the road are still using their original battery packs — even many of the 300,000-mile Ford Escape Hybrids used as taxis in New York and San Francisco.
Been on the hunt for an electric or hybrid minivan? The options are currently limited in the United States, but a wider selection of green minivan options should be on the market soon.
The age-old adage to ‘Know Thyself’ holds true in the quest for fuel-efficient cars. Here are some tips for buying a green car that’s right for you.
Electric car battery range is worse in cold weather: A drop of just 10 degrees could theoretically sap up to 50 percent of a battery’s charge.
Our Summer 2012 MOTHER EARTH NEWS Guide to Green Cars features the most up-to-date information about the world of fuel-efficient cars, including more than 50 car reviews, an update on biofuels, the truth about electric car safety, expert advice and much, much more.
Depending on the type of driving you do most, you may find that some clean diesel vehicles deliver better fuel economy than fuel-efficient gasoline vehicles and even hybrid vehicles. To see how clean diesel stacked up against gasoline and hybrid vehicles, automotive journalist Todd Kaho compared the diesel Volkswagen Jetta TDI with the Toyota Prius and the Ford Focus.
A leading automotive tech expert provides the basics about how hybrid cars work and tells how to choose the best hybrid vehicle for your driving needs.
Here are the best bets for driving and saving green: a great American invention (the Chevrolet Volt); the Prius (shrunken and stretched into the Prius C and Prius V); the most successful electric car to date (the Nissan Leaf); a clean diesel sedan fit for the whole family (the Volkswagen Passat TDI); and the least expensive electric car yet (the Mitsubishi i). These landmark vehicles are raising the bar for greener, more affordable transportation and will spark more innovation from the auto industry. Whether you own one of these cars now, later or never, you’ll benefit from their influence.
Despite rumors to the contrary, a Prius is still better for the Earth and has less embodied energy than a Hummer.
The electric vehicle challenge is part of a strategy to help reduce dependence on foreign oil.
Learn about electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars, and get information on charging an electric vehicle, lithium-ion batteries, how EVs work and the electric cars available.
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.
If you can recharge your cell phone, you can recharge the Toyota Prius Plug-in. We find it stylish, thrifty and so quiet we can sneak up on sheep.
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.
If you’ve been holding off on buying that nifty electric car because you’re worried about its safety, think again.
Supply and demand have kept E85 gas prices low, and politics has played a role.
Today’s full-size pickup trucks are more efficient than trucks of just a few years ago, but it’s still common for truck gas mileage to be in the mid-teens. The best overall full-size pickup fuel economy can be found on the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and GMC Sierra Hybrid.
If you need a new car — and want one that employs green vehicle technology or hybrid vehicle technology to save gas — there’s no major reason to wait.
How I traveled 500 miles in 24 miles (twice) in an electric vehicle.
Why pre-1960 race cars were more efficient than post-1960 race cars, and thus a better example for high efficiency highway cars.
Conversion kit install to convert a hybrid vehicle into a plug-in electric and improve your gas mileage by 25%.
To improve MAX's versatility, the passenger seat is removable, which converts MAX from a couple carrier to a cargo carrier.
Would you believe wood chunks can power a truck? Take a ride with Wayne Keith, who uses wood gas to fuel everything from daily driving to heavy-duty farm work to breaking speed records.
A video demonstration of MAX's windscreen, which deflects air around the driver's face with minimal aerodynamic drag.
David Borden, a long-term MOTHER EARTH NEWS reader and auto enthusiast, reports on the performance and comfort of the all-electric Nissan Leaf.
Right before the new millennium, automakers and vehicle technology innovators are looking to decrease emissions and bring new, greener cars to the masses. Originally published as "'Cell'ing New Fuel" in the August/September 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
MAX at its first autocross. Hey, it's a sports car, right?
There are small things that any city -- large, medium, or small -- can do to become more bike-travel friendly. Minneapolis is a great case study -- a place that many other communities can aspire to emulate.
A car's electrical consumption adds to its fuel consumption. For MAX, turning off the headlights improves fuel economy by roughly 4 mpg.
A couple of weeks ago, the Adventure Cycling blog called attention to the Roanoke Mountain Campground's threatened closure via the Blue Ridge Parkway's Draft Management Plan (DMP).
Building my own electric car seems to have caught the attention of the Media. As though getting on the front page of the County paper for a speeding ticket in my electric car wasn't notorious enough, now I'm getting calls from big-shot reporters!
Cam dressed up as a bunch of blueberries for our local parade, and spoke to a group of university students about peak oil. Never a dull moment....
A surprising benefit of MAX's streamlining is the increased luggage space.
In my 7,500-plus mile adventure in MAX this summer, one lesson really stands out: Haste Makes Waste.
Ford’s Focus Electric is now open for reservations and Chevrolet’s Spark EV will be available in limited markets in 2013.
The "High Mileage Car Show" at the latest Mother Earth News Fair, and the pleasure of driving a fuel efficient car.
Across the pond, engineer Martin Bacon and a team of volunteers have created a coffee-powered car that averaged 66.5 mph over two speed runs.
Caleb and Christian seize the opportunity of driving cross country in a 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid Prototype from the Flight 93 Memorial to Lawrence, Kansas.
Less than 3 cents a mile? The Vetter Fuel Economy Challenge proves that such fuel efficiency is possible. This year’s Vetter challenge saw two motorcycles that achieved better than 140 mpg, and four other vehicles that achieved 100 mpg or better. Is this the future of green transportation?
Pedal-powered transportation is an eco-friendly option that is taking hold in some U.S. cities. Pedal-powered vehicles — such as cargo trikes and pedicabs — can transport humans, food, packaged deliveries and more. Learn more about pedal power in this article.
For Bryan Welch, a prototype of Toyota's 2013 Prius Plug-In is a real life example of how gasoline electric hybrids have made major gains in efficiency over other conventional cars.
Keeping the project going is my goal.
MAX gets a lightweight belly pan under the engine, to further reduce aerodynamic drag.
Wayne Keith of Alabama sets a new world record for land speed via wood gas.
Every day, Wayne Keith proves that wood gas can be a practical, renewable and sustainable transportation solution. Certainly not for everybody, but certainly for anyone with moderate welding skills, a sustainable source of wood or other type of biomass, and a sawmill or access to a sawmill. I think there are many, many MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers who fit the previous description, just for starters.
Andrew Rumbold of Bucks County Freedom Fuel will present a workshop on making biodiesel at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Beyond its role as a cooking medium, vegetable oil is also a source of fuel. Vehicles run on diesel fuel can be converted to run on vegetable oil fuel — a chearper and more environmentally friendly way to travel. Find out here how to convert your diesel car or truck with a vegetable oil conversion kit. You'll also learn about sourcing either waste vegetable oil (WVO) or straight vegetable oil (SVO) to run your newly converted vehicle and get your engine running more sustainably.
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.
The time has finally arrived! Adventure Cycling Association's Underground Railroad Detroit Alternate, section 1, is ready to ride.
Dan Adams of Earthineer will present a workshop on building an electric car at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
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.
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.
Submit your best photos of biking and walking for a chance to win a free, 10-day bike trip to Italy!
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.
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.
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.
Spending a day having fun prospecting for gold, enjoying the outdoors, exploring a ghost town and the high mountains.
With its new EcoBoost engine technology and the rollout of the 2011 Focus Electric, Ford isn’t sitting and watching the green transportation revolution pass it by. Read more about some of the company’s latest developments.
Chevrolet dealers in all 50 states are now taking orders for the 2012 Chevrolet Volt electric car.
Recent reports have incorrectly stated that the 2012 RAV4 EV will only be marketed to fleet and car sharing programs. We’d like to set the record straight.
Nissan North America Inc. is expanding availability of the all-electric Nissan LEAF to U.S. consumers for the 2012 model year, with upgrades based on feedback thousands of Leaf owners.
Trojan Battery Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries, today announced expansion of its AGM product line for the renewable energy (RE) market space with the launch of the U1-AGMand 22-AGMmodels.
It is hard to believe but after more than 20 years of successful federal investment in biking and walking facilities, Congressional leaders are poised to eliminate dedicated funding for biking and walking.
MAX got a smog test at an Oregon DEQ Vehicle Testing Station, and passed with high marks.
MAX got some new lager diameter wheels. They should do the job and the price was right, and as a bonus, they look terrific.
MAX has very low rolling resistance, as demonstrated by this three year old kid pushing it around the building.
In New York City, advocates unveil a bold vision to end the traffic violence.
Looking at all the wood powered cars
Recently my passion for pickles was reignited, burning green, burning bright, and leading me to think constantly about food, even as I'm thinking about bike touring. Pickles led to bread, stew, then fudge (the kind my grandma used to make)...
This week Adventure Cycling Association announced that our 2011 Build It. Bike It. Be a Part of It. campaign for the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) surpassed its $30,000 goal, raising over $31,000 for the project during National Bike Month!
For the first time ever, Diesel motorcycles publicaly demonstrate their potential in real riding.
New and improved fuel economy labels can help you make smarter decisions resulting in more savings and a lesser environmental impact when it comes to buying a car. Reprinted with permission from EERE Network News.
(Video) The U.S. Secretary of Transportation bikes to work at the behest of his bicycle commuting employees.
Learning from experience, I've put some impact-resistant structure on the back of MAX.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold talks with Jonathan Holloway about the Mitsubishi i, an all-electric car on display at the 2011 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Puyallup, Washington. Mitsubishi is one of the FAIR's main sponsors.
Bikes Make Life Better is the title of a new, fun video from the People for Bikes campaign.
By making a pattern and a mold, we can now reproduce rear fenders as needed.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
On Wednesday, Adventure Cycling Association announced that AASHTO is providing Adventure Cycling $5,000 to assist states with route selection and the technical aspects associated with the development of a U.S. Bicycle Route System.
The Volt is raising the bar for electric cars with its achievements in safety, overall value and design. And that’s all in addition to its stellar efficiency scores. Find out why the Chevy Volt was named 2011 Car of the Year by “Motor Trend.”
An innovative partnership of bicycle advocates and a bike-friendly attorney aims to reduce crashes in South Carolina.
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.
When it comes to saving money, being healthier and reducing your environmental impact, there’s a lot to be said for pedal power. So, for those short trips about town, why not hop on a bike? Learn more about the benefits of bicycling, how to find a bike that fits your needs, and what you need to know about bike gear and safety before you hit the road.
Are you up to the 2 Mile Challenge? Sign up and help replace 100,000 car trips with healthy, pollution-free bicycle travel!
Our 2011 Best Green Cars include two electric cars that will change the world (the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf), the hybrid car that has changed the world (the Toyota Prius), the affordable and high-mpg Ford Fiesta, the super-fun and adaptable Honda CR-Z, and the durable and fuel-efficient Volkswagen Jetta TDI. These landmark vehicles are raising the bar for greener transportation and sparking more innovation from the auto industry. Whether you own one of these cars now, later or never, they are going to transform our green car options — reducing pollution and helping us save money.
Adventure Cycling Association and the American Association of Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) today announced that AASHTO’s Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering has approved six new U.S. Bicycle Routes.
Back at the lab we are installing a new three inch line from the air dryers to the throttle body.
On Monday, May 2, Adventure Cycling Association kicked off its second annual grassroots fundraising effort to raise $30,000 to support ongoing coordination efforts for the emerging U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS).
Using MAX to test a tubing streamlining material, resulted in a significant reduction in drag.
Michael Paul Holmes of Paul and Sabrina's EV Stuff will present a workshop on electric vehicles at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Susie Stephens' memorial now grows in the city of her tragic death.
Save money and gas this Earth Day — and every day! — by using these five green driving tips from the Car Care Council.
Cam considers the environmental implications of different forms of transportation and urges people to stop flying!
The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) notes the environmental benefits of commuting and traveling on a motorcycle.
Inspiring video by two female bicycle travelers crossing borders, making friends, and documenting the human effort to keep the natural world connected despite our nation state boundaries.
See the power of gasification before we hit the road.
Ford focus electric offers eco-friendly features throughout the vehicle.
Yep, that's my boss with Lance Armstrong — and a half-million bike/ped friends — on the open streets of Los Angeles.
No one had ever attempted to set a land speed record for gasification vehicles so Beaver Energy was the first.
Engine efficiency depends on rpm (among other things) and slower isn't always better. More wisdom from the Honey Bear.
Known for their popular bike touring website, Pathlesspedaled.com, this spring Russ Roca and Laura Crawford are embarking on their next big bike touring adventure, aided by Amtrak, but otherwise astride two Brompton folding bicycles.
Explore how you can make your own home grown organic fuel to power your own transportation or electricity.
Join a free webinar about women and cycling this Wednesday!
30 states now working to establish official national bicycle routes, with more states interested — new online map and progress report document growing momentum
Award winners highlight the next generation of leaders in the bike/ped movement
A California couple is hitting the road in a greened-up Airstream to share and gather lessons on living sustainbly.
Even though it’s not a hybrid, the 2011 Chevy Cruze can squeeze an impressive number of miles out of a gallon of gas. Drivers can expect to get 36 mpg on the highway with the standard model, and 42 mpg highway with the Chevy Cruze Eco. The secret to the car’s outstanding gas mileage is its simple efficiency features.
A cheap plastic pin reveals allies on Capitol Hill.
Transportation rock stars, Janette Sadik-Khan and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, tell National Bike Summit attendees that local advocates are the real headliners in the bicycle movement.
With My Own Two Wheels is a new film about the bicycling experiences of five unrelated individuals across the globe.
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?
In the wake of a study that shows access to public transportation is crucial to lowering carbon footprint, the Smarter Cities Project names the top regions for smart transit.
Yes, you can power a car or truck on wood. Chip Beam thinks it won’t be long before we encounter a gas shortage and/or significantly more expensive gas. So what can be an alternative source of energy to power our vehicles? How about wood chips or pellets of plant matter? It may sound bizarre, but it really works. Here’s the first post in a new blog devoted to wood gasification for transportation.
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.
Looking for a greener car this year? The Honda Civic GX received the highest environmental ranking by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy for 2011. Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy.
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.
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.
A doctor, soldier, father and husband died tragically in a bicycle crash. Now, justice is being served as the driver faces a reckless homicide charge.
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.
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.
Complete streets policies are sweeping the nation, to the benefit of bicyclists, pedestrians and travelers of all ages.
Current Motor Company recently introduced a line of electric scooters that could take you where you need to go without using a single drop of gasoline. And with a potential $2,000 discount for new customers, the electric scooters could help your wallet while you help the environment.
Need new vacation ideas? Try a healthy, green travel alternative to the beach by taking a bicycle tour. Customize your bike trip with options ranging from self-guided, rails-to-trails cycle routes to fully-supported, guided bike tours. You won’t believe how new the world around you looks when you pedal through it until you try it for yourself!
2011 Fuel Economy Contests in several locations in the U.S.
Leaders from America Bikes impress top transportation official with compelling new data on job creation and popular demand for active street design.
The Marin County Bicycle Coalition won a major victory with the opening of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel — a world class facility that makes biking the quickest commuting option.
Energy goals for America
Are electric cars a cleaner option than gas-only cars? Some critics argue that electric cars just have “longer tailpipes,” but we’ve crunched the numbers to show that these vehicles produce less overall pollution than most other cars do. Find out how much greenhouse gas pollution an electric car would produce in your area, get details on new electric cars entering the market, and learn more about the bright future of electric vehicles.
MAX gets a low cost, high accuracy, and none too attractive fuel gauge. Two out of three ain't bad.
Mia Birk's new book weaves together personal and professional history to illustrate the transformative power of bicycling.
Walk this way, to support the revitalization of a pedestrian-friendly America.
Bicycling is arguably the healthiest, least expensive and most eco-friendly means of getting around. Whether you bike to work or are planning a weekend ride, here are practical tips to help you be prepared and thus enjoy the ride. Included are instructions for bike tire puncture repair and advice on properly securing your bike from potential thieves.
Thanks to local advocates, Santa came early for cyclists in the Steel City.
MAX gets a couple of cheap and easy thermoformed headlight protectors, to keep light from getting out and rocks from getting in.
Hybrid-Like Fuel Economy Starts at $18,895; Goes on Sale in January
Show your thanks for bicycle and pedestrian advocacy leaders by nominating someone you know for a national Advocacy Award.
Emmy-award winner, Dayton Duncan, likened trail advocates to John Muir at the American Trails National Symposium
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.
The defeat of Congressman Jim Oberstar wasn't just a blow to Minnesota. It was a loss for everyone who bikes and walks.
A treatise on the difference between a gasoline engine throttle and a diesel "throttle," what that means for MAX, and how the difference was overcome.
Take a break from your automobile in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own images, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
MOTHER EARTH NEWS managing editor John Rockhold picks the brains of his colleagues at Motorcycle Classics magazine (editor in chief Richard Backus and senior associate editor Landon Hall) about the new Honda CR-Z hybrid. Apologies for the wind noise!
Managing editor John Rockhold gets a Honda CR-Z hybrid on loan and has a hard time returning to his desk.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Transportation have proposed the first fuel-efficiency and CO2 emissions standards for trucks and buses, beginning with model year 2014.
An after-the-fact analysis of MAX's accident on the way to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Fair, and the dangers of "getthereitis."
Cam considers how peak oil will impact our love of travel.
Ian Klepetar has been living out of a tent — and building a business empire that benefits bicyclists.
Cam considers the effect of Peak Oil on our wandering ways....
The bike-ped movement is growing; meet one of the newest leaders advocating for pedestrians.
Bikes Belong needs your pledge to show the public, policymakers and the media that one million Americans want better policy and funding to promote bicycling.
Who the heck is Paul Goodman? The car-free visionary who inspired a new documentary and bicycle contest.
Jack McCornack tells the story of how he got lost in the Oregon outback and how MAX was damaged such that the DIY-, super-fuel-efficient car couldn't make it to the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Check out our photos of the new plug-in Prius at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
The 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR is over, the rain has arrived and the plug-in Prius is recharged.
How do you turn on a Prius? Is it a small, cramped car, or does it have room for the whole family? Answers to these questions and more when MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold takes a look inside a prototype plug-in hybrid Prius at the 20
Managing Editor John Rockhold gets to plug in a car for the first time.
The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy launches a national campaign aimed at the American Automobile Association.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Chip Beam of Beaver Energy to hear about Beam's latest exploits with wood gasification to power vehicles.
Short conversation about the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid that's on display at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
The 25 best fuel efficient cars list is in! Since 1984 the EPA has given cars a miles per gallon rating, updating the figures as they go, so you can compare miles per gallon from 1984 through 2010. In the thousands of vehicles on the market, these 25 regular gasoline or hybrids vehicles made our top 25 combined miles per gallon list.
How much energy does it take to travel? Can we collect this from the vehicle while we are using it?
So here you have it: MAX with a crumpled rear fender, crumpled trunk section, a turn signal bashed out, a door knocked loose, and a flat tire. It's fully reparable, but not today, and not in time to drive to the MEN Fair.
En route to the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, Jack listens all too well to GPS and ends up on dirt roads in the Oregon Outback.
The X Prize Foundation and Progressive Insurance have awarded three design teams a total of $10 million for their fuel-efficient vehicles.The vehicles were tested for energy efficiency, fuel economy and range. The Progressive Automotive X Prize has proven it’s possible to build a practical vehicle that seats four and achieves the energy equivalent of 102.5 miles per gallon of gasoline (MPGe).
World Car Free Day is an annual international event to raise awareness about alternative transportation. Every Sept. 22, cities and towns around the globe recognize the negative impacts of car pollution and encourage walking or biking as ways to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Canadian car manufacturers have developed an electric vehicle with a body made from hemp fiber.
MAX is getting prepped for paint, and all the essential bodywork is done for the new, streamlined roadster body.
A Colombian concept that reclaims the streets has found a home in dozens of cities across the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency want your help deciding between two new designs for car labels. The labels — for all types of vehicles, including electric powered vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and conventional gasoline-powered vehicles — will show energy consumption ratings, overall fuel economy, greenhouse gas emission ratings and more. Here’s how you can weigh in.
Craig Henderson and his Avion high mileage sports car went from Canada to Mexico at 119.1 MPG. He plans to produce Avion kits.
How will we live with no gas at the pump and no power in the grid?
Musician Ben Sollee has defined the pace and purpose of touring, ditching the van and taking the 2 Mile Challenge.
With the imminent arrival of electric cars from major automakers, such as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, best practices for electric car charging will no longer be a hypothetical discussion. Here are two ideas from a longtime electric car conversion expert: put the charging outlet on the car and/or use a 50-amp recreational vehicle (RV) outlet.
Nissan LEAFs Will Be Available in Select Markets Next Year – Extending Enterprise’s Commitment to Support Clean, New Technologies
MAX is back at the shop, awaiting diagnosis and correction of an overheating problem, plus some additional body work before its next venture.
As state transportation officials send billions back to Washington, advocates hope bicyclists and pedestrians aren't left holding the empty bag.
The ability to recharge via a standard home outlet for more all-electric operation is excellent, but what’s it like to drive a Plug-In Prius?
Jack missed Rally Green and MAX has a mysterious overheating problem.
Renowned inventor Craig Vetter discusses his history with aerodynamics and motorcycles, and his vision for doing more with less energy.
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
A people-powered revolution is afoot.
Two electric cars, the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf, will be released this year. Which would you buy?
I just came across these videos that show the wood gas Isuzu Trooper built by our friends at Beaver Energy in action and had to share them.
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.
TrikE, an electric-assisted human powered vehicle (HVP), provides weather protection and storage while maintaining all the benefits of a bicycle.
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.
A $5 billion per year tax credit for ethanol is about to expire. Is it time for the ethanol industry to grow up and stand on its own?
Results of the long-awaited cooling system test, which shows how little air MAX needs through the radiator.
Are you ready for some serious savings on gas? A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle is the logical next step for the millions of people who own hybrid cars, and for anyone who wants an extremely efficient mode of transportation. Plug-in hybrids combine the benefits of a pure electric vehicle and a hybrid electric vehicle. In this excerpt from the book “Build Your Own Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle,” you’ll find answers to your questions about energy savings, environmental benefits and safety concerns. Plus, you’ll get loads of statistics on these reliable, economical and environmentally friendly cars. Ready to hop into the driver’s seat?
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.
For those looking environmentally friendly car parts, Jamak offers a fully recyclable windshield wiper that’s made from non-petroleum-based silicon.
In partnership with the Department of Energy, Chevrolet offers free home charging stations to 4,400 owners of its newest electric car, the Volt.
American carmaker Fisker Automotive has received a coveted Stevie Award for business innovation from The 2010 American Business Awards program.
The Progressive Automotive X Prize, a competition for super fuel-efficient cars, is down to 15 vehicles after the Knockout Qualify Stage ended June 29. The car competition offers a $10 million prize for vehicles that reach super fuel efficiency and a goal of 100 MPGe.
Bicycle transportation is continuing to grow, and renowned environmentalist Lester R. Brown discusses how this is changing the way the world commutes. Bike travel is not only a healthier option, but it reduces carbon emissions and traffic congestion. The world is catching on, and bicycle production and sales have increased since the 1990s. The new laws coming with this surge call for bicycle-friendly communities and road systems.
The Fisker Karma plug-in hybrid electric car won't be for everyone, given its high price tag. But this sleek and cutting-edge electric car could break the mold for green cars and raise the bar for electric car technology and production.
The BP oil spill shocked the nation, but it’s not too late to take action. We want to know what you plan to change.
The all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z sport hybrid coupe will debut Aug. 24, 2010. Developed as a stylish, driver-focused vehicle with an emphasis on efficient performance, the all-new 2011 Honda CR-Z introduces a sleek two-passenger coupe design with quick, sporty handling to the gasoline-electric hybrid segment.
A primer on fiberglass mold making and molding fiberglass parts, using MAX's nose parts (hood and bubble) as examples.
Propelling a vehicle with air or water is possible, but whether it’s practical is another story.
With the Smart ForTwo electric drive, Smart is underlining its pioneering role on the road to attractive individual mobility with no local emissions in cities and urban areas.
There's a new automotive fuel efficiency contest coming up -- the Rally Green -- and now MAX has a tachometer, a digital wonder called a Tiny Tach.
Here are some ways to save on energy and money while keeping your home cool in extreme summer temperatures.
Electric car charging infrastructure will be launched in major urban areas nationwide. This is in part due to $15 million in stimulus money being set aside for the charging stations. Now we need to get the remaining $22 million in co-funding.
More progress on MAX's streamlined body, using a laser to make curved body parts fit on a flat frame.
A former Toyota car manufacturing plant in Fremont, California has been acquired by Tesla Motors, Inc. for production of their new electric-powered four-door sedan, the Model S.
In an agreement between environmental groups and the auto industry, President Obama passed a new emissions policy which would raise fuel efficiency standards for larger trucks, as well as encouraged support of cleaner vehicles.
Electric motorcycles offer clean, efficient and cost-effective transportation, and thanks to growing technology, there are a lot of fun bikes available today. This excerpt from Carl Vogel’s helpful book, Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle, will help you pick the perfect option.
MAX's bodywork continues, as Jack modifies the race car nose to fit over the Kubota engine.
We're modifying the Lola race car's nose to fit MAX's chassis. The first step is cutting the nose down the middle so we can move the fenders apart a few more inches, which will let us steer enough for parking and other normal street activities.
You can improve your car’s efficiency, save gas, and save money by following these basic and intermediate “hypermiling” tips. Originally published as "Every Gallon Counts: Save Gas With Hypermiling" in the June/July 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
MAX's classic race car skin remains a work in progress. Jack wants MAX to look Lola-esque, but not too Lola-esque.
You can build this small electric car for neighborhood travel.
This is a test short description.
Is MAX an actual modern-day vehicle, or just a high school shop class experiment? In this update, Jack answers sharp questions from an automotive engineer.
The new emissions standards are expected to conserve 1.8 billion barrels of oil during the lives of the vehicles covered.
At the time, it seemed like a clear car was a good idea.
A reader recently raised concerns that MAX is illegal in Uncle Sam's eyes. Here's the skinny.
For our 2010 Best Green Cars list, the spotlight shines on six reliable cars capable of 40 mpg or better. The winners are the Ford Fusion Hybrid, The Honda Civic Hybrid, the Honda Insight, the Toyota Prius, the Volkswagen Golf TDI and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI. Here’s more information about these six cars and all of our “best of” lists for great green vehicles, including “Best Green Trucks,” “Best Green Cars for Commuters” and “Best Green Cars If You Win the Lottery.”
The 2010 Best Green Cars list highlights six high MPG cars that will carry you 40 miles or farther on a gallon of gasoline.
Has Toyota’s recall of more than 8 million cars affected your faith in the automaker?
Automakers have been working hard to overcome a variety of technological issues that have prevented them from delivering affordable electric cars. Nissan is about to be first out of the gate with theirs. Originally published as "Nissan Leaf: The First Affordable Electric Car?" in the April/May 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
General Motors is making waves in the green vehicle industry. The company recently announced that they will invest $246 million in producing electric motors and components right here in the United States.
In which Jack departs a little from his fashion sense and MAX gets new racing seats. But not just any racing seats: safer seats with real head restraints.
Two Spoke, an online forum devoted to cycling, gives cyclists a place to discuss everything from commuting bikes to cycling apparel to cyclist rights. This interview with a Two Spoke site administrator discusses the forum and its role as a resource for cyclists.
Could MAX pass federal safety standards for mass-produced cars? Nope. Should that matter?
The Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize will host a series of competitions in Michigan this year to determine the winners of a $10 million purse for super fuel-efficient vehicles. A combination of on-track stages and lab tests will lead to a September awards ceremony in Washington, D.C.
Honda and Toyota introduced new hybrid vehicles at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The car show also featured the latest in electrified vehicles, including new entries from BMW, BYD Auto, Cadillac, Volkswagen and Volvo.
General Motors has manufactured the first battery pack for its Chevy Volt in Michigan, marking a milestone on the path to production of the extended-range electric vehicle later this year. Ford is also planning to manufacture electric vehicles in Michigan.
Do you see yourself in an electric car? Dan Chiras lists the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, and predicts the benefits will increase as the technology becomes more sophisticated.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras warns us that building nuclear power plants is not the solution to our current energy crisis.
Solar energy organization Show Me Solar comes highly recommended by renewable energy expert Dan Chiras for its 2010 list of workshops, webinars and other educational opportunities.
Gasoline prices and diesel prices are projected to rise in the coming months because of increased consumption. Find out the projected fuel cost averages for 2010 and 2011.
The U.S. car fleet has been steadily growing since 1950, but it decreased by 4 million cars in 2009. Find out what’s keeping cars off the road and why more people are giving up their personal vehicles.
The stylish new Sanyo eneloop bike features a partially-self-charging electric motor and can travel up to 40 miles on a single charge.
I hate to say it — because electric cars may be the salvation of transportation someday — but much of the current hype around electric cars is smoke and mirrors.
Together with their superior durability and fuel economy, clean diesel technology enables diesel cars to rival gas-electric hybrids as green cars.
It may not be the most powerful method of transportation, but the idea of using a wood gas generator to fuel a vehicle has been around since before World War II. You can do it if you have an older model truck, a ready supply of wood, and a little mechanical ingenuity. Originally published as "Use a Wood Gas Generator to Power Your Truck" in the February/March 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
They've left their noisy, balky, sooty ways far behind, but many clean diesel cars sold in Europe aren’t available in the United States. Originally published as "What Drives the Demand for Diesel?" in the February/March 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Dan Chiras asks why GM hasn't brought the EV1 back yet.
Taking a bus or a train can be a great green way to reach your vacation destination. We'd like to hear more about your bus or train travels and what you liked, or didn't like, about the experience. Share your story here!
The Environmental Protection Agency has decided to postpone approving any increase in the amount of ethanol allowed in gasoline until it can determine ethanol’s environmental impact. Find out why the Union of Concerned Scientists says the Environmental Protection Agency made the right call.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras talks about the future of fuel-efficient, diesel hybrid cars.
This potential body style looks hard to beat, in more ways than just physically. What do you think?
The new guide from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides estimated annual fuel costs for model year 2010 vehicles.
The sales history of the Toyota Prius illustrates an exciting phenomenon: When a new idea or a piece of technology ignites the human imagination, it can spread very rapidly.
Are gas guzzlers becoming popular again? Dan Chiras gives his outlook.
Jack explores how to test how body changes affect aerodynamics, and looks for inspiration from Wonder Woman.
Electric cars aren’t a pipedream or decades-away option for green transportation. In fact, it’s possible to convert a car to reliable, affordable electric power for the same cost or less than buying a gas car. Electric cars are more reliable and environmentally friendly than gas cars, even when recharged with conventional fossil fuel electricity. Imagine having a car that never needs gas. Imagine taking “charge” of where your car’s power comes from, even using renewable energy to create a totally zero emissions vehicle. Sound promising? Then check out this excerpt of Build Your Own Electric Vehicle, an expert and comprehensive resource for converting a gas car to electric power.
All computer data for MAX has been stolen. What next?
In the continuing pursuit of better aerodynamics, Jack takes a closer look at the design of MAX’s nose.
The U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announce details of a new fuel efficiency plan to save oil and reduce greenhouse gas emmissions.
We're excited for the second annual Escape from Berkeley rally. Last year, MAX won the inaugural event from Berkeley to Las Vegas. This year, it's a run for the Mexican border!
The Union of Concerned Scientists says the new proposed gas mileage standards will save drivers $26 billion and reduce oil imports by nearly as much as we currently import from Saudi Arabia.
How often, if ever, do you check your the gas mileage of your car or truck? Did you know it's super simple to calculate mpg, and observing it over time can help you improve your gas mileage and save money?
The numbers are in on Cash for Clunkers, and the program brought about even greater gains in fuel economy than it set out to. Find out which vehicles were the top trade-ins, which vehicles were the top purchased with program rebates, and how the program affected car companies.
MAX needs an aerodynamic and easy-to-assemble roof. Plus it needs to look cool, be cheap, cost little, have a simple design and be reliable. No problem, right? So, do you have any ideas?
Progress continues on MAX, the home-built, 100-mpg car (prospectively) that you’ll be able to make for $10,000.
MAX Puts the “Ex” in X Prize
You can receive a tax credit if you commute to work by bicycle.
As figures roll in showing the federal Car Allowance Rebate System’s effect on July vehicle sales, the program also gets a hurried funding boost so Americans can continue cashing in their clunkers for cars that are more fuel-efficient.
Everyone should have a 100-mpg car, and know how to drive a manual transmission. MAX comes to the rescue on both ends.
Share your thoughts about using a bicycle to get around town and your tips for less experienced bikers.
The federal "Cash for Clunkers" program took effect on July 24. The program will remove an estimated 250,000 inefficient cars from the road. Through the program, people who trade in their cars for more fuel-efficient ones will be eligible to receive a federal tax credit.
Perhaps if we had just listened to the deer all along, we never would've ended up in this gas guzzling mess.
With the UCS green travel guide, you can leave a smaller environmental footprint getting from point A to point B.
What kind of car would you get with the Car Allowance Rebate System, which gives consumers up to $4,500 to trade in old, inefficient vehicles?
Considering deer, it’s time for a roll bar.
The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded $8 billion in loans to car companies as part of the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program. This is the first such award granted by the program, and the money will help automakers Ford, Nissan and Tesla produce more fuel-efficient cars.
In the pursuit of 100 mpg, cardboard is a nice medium for conceptualizing design features, but it has its limitations.
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.
Two seasoned gearheads weigh in on the benefits (or lack thereof) of converting a V8 engine to run only on four cylinders.
General Motors vice chairman Bob Lutz recently discussed the price of the highly anticipated Chevrolet Volt. What do you think?
In a groundbreaking revision, President Barack Obama has increased fuel economy standards for the automobile industry, requiring an average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon for model year 2016.
Thoughts on the potentially fuzzy math of mpg calculations.
President Obama unveiled a strategic plan last week for developing a high-speed rail network in the United States, which could potentially cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions by 6 billion pounds per year.
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.
One would think a car wouldn't need a mechanical inspection at 5,000 miles. But when you're building a 100-mpg car from scratch, and the builder is meticulous, it's wise to look for problems even when there are no signs of problems.
If you’re tired of using fossil fuels to run the lawn mower, but aren’t quite ready to fence the sheep in the front yard, take a look at electric riding mowers. Soon, both zero-turn and rear-wheel drive models will be available.
The 2010 Honda Insight has the lowest price among hybrid vehicles available in the United States and sports an exciting array of fuel economy features.
The Model S all-electric sedan will cost about $50,000 less than the automaker’s earlier car, the Tesla Roadster, thanks in part to a federal tax credit for battery-powered vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has set the combined fuel economy standard for the 2011 model year at 27.3 miles per gallon, an increase of two miles per gallon. The new standards take effect May 29, and are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 8.3 million metric tons.
MAX needs 25 percent more horsepower to get from zero to 60 mph in less than 18 seconds. Got any suggestions?
Two new government projects to develop electric vehicles will advance the United States’ economic recovery, energy security and environmental sustainability.
Should our tax dollars keep Chrysler and General Motors alive?
The EPA is evaluating the impact higher blends of ethanol in regular gasoline would have on engine performance and air emissions.
MAX is well on its way to 100 mpg, if the lessons from these 100+ mpg motorcyles are any indication.
Buses, subways and other modes of mass transit saw an increase in ridership in 2008, as U.S. residents logged billions fewer miles on vehicles than they did in 2007.
The automaker has launched the sale of two hybrid mid-size sedans, and customers who buy one of the vehicles soon may qualify for a $3,400 tax credit.
Ford has started production of its new EcoBoost engine, and General Motors and Honda are readying plants for fuel-efficient engine production.
The launch of the 2010 Honda Insight marks the return of North America's first commercial hybrid gas/electric car, but with improved technology and performance. Originally published as "Honda’s New Hybrid: 40+ MPG for Less Than $20K" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
The Wike Softie is a bike trailer-stroller suitable for pavement, gravel roads, or forest trails, and is a great way to take the smallest family members along on bicycle rides. Originally published as "Wike: Best Bicycle Trailer-stroller Combo" in the April/May 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
MAX's aerodynamic makeover is underway with a new fender design.
General Motors and Chrysler are preparing to submit restructuring plans to Congress in the hope of receiving billions of additional dollars in federal aid. Experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists say the two automakers should instead follow Ford’s lead and focus on improving the fuel efficiency of their vehicles.
Cities testing the Chevy Volt are getting help from General Motors to become “plug-in ready,” which includes installing public and workplace charging systems and adjusting city codes to permit vehicle charging.
The United States has the largest automobile fleet in the world — three cars for every four people — and is near the bottom of the pack in the use of fuel-efficient vehicles. A national network of high-speed rail trains would reduce the air pollution caused by the nation’s automobile fleet while also eliminating travel time and saving commuters money.
The American Petroleum Institute reports that demand for crude oil in the United States dropped by 1.2 million barrels per day in 2008. The nation’s production of petroleum also dropped in 2008, reaching its lowest level since 1946.
From the Science Channel, watch the Brink TV show's spotlight on MAX and its victory in the Escape from Berkeley race.
Sequestered indoors, Jack goes to work on streamlining MAX's body.
The president calls for higher fuel economy standards and pushes the EPA to revisit California's request to set stricter regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
President Barack Obama signed an executive order to help reduce automobile gas emissions in the United States. This is the first of many steps that the Obama administration plans to make to improve global warming.
Large automakers can show off their high-efficiency vehicles in a new division of the Automotive X Prize, which was formerly only for teams working on developmental vehicles.
Though many automakers are focused on increasing mpg with electric vehicles, some companies are looking to advancements in gasoline and diesel engine technology to achieve better gas mileage.
Both Honda and Toyota revealed updated versions of their hybrid vehicles at the North American International Auto Show. The new generations of the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius are roomier, more powerful, and still maintain high fuel-efficiency ratings.
Our friends over at Utne Reader spotted
Could MAX be the perfect car for driver's ed?
At the famous auto show in Detroit, large automakers and small startup companies alike showcased electric vehicles.
A new bill will give drivers money to buy newer, more fuel-efficient cars when they scrap their older, less fuel-efficient ones.
South Korea’s LG Chem will produce the batteries for General Motors Corp.’s upcoming plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevy Volt. GM will build the battery packs itself in the United States at a manufacturing plant that will be constructed in Michigan. GM's most recent unveiling, a concept plug-in called the Cadillac Converj, shows the automaker plans to extend its use of hybrid technology.
The U.S. Department of Energy is offering as much as $200 million for the development of biorefinieries, which can produce several biofuels and may also be able to produce bio-based chemicals, heat and power.
The Army gets greener by switching 4,000 gas engine vehicles to electic vehicles starting Monday.
Here's a 12-step process to green transportation bliss.
With the current economy in a ... shall we say, precarious ... state, everyone could stand to save a few bucks. For commuters, carpooling and car-share programs are a great solution. You can reduce your gas and auto maintenance bills, plus get to know some new buddies.
Using straight vegetable oil for fuel, Jack McCornack and MAX took first prize in the Escape from Berkeley alternative fuels road rally. Originally published as "MAX Wins 800-mile Race, without Gas" in the February/March 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Jack gets a wallop of motivation for a fully enclosed cabin, and looks ahead to a future with inquisitive grandchildren.
MAX turns heads and makes an impression at The EG, aka the Entertainment Gathering.