Lean, Green, Driving Machines
Do you ever wonder what we will be driving in the future? What we will use to fuel our cars? Will we still be using gasoline or is there hope for something cheaper, better, and more environmentally friendly?
Yes! There are alternatives and today we can already use some of them. Electricity, solar energy, and even algae are just a few of the many options. The green doesn't just stop at the fuel tank either. Even the exteriors of vehicles are getting green makeovers. Take a look at my list below and see what I mean.
It looks like a long fancy black limo, and runs on electricity at speeds of up to 155mph. What is it? The Superbus. It is being developed at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands for public transport. The Superbus can easily switch between ordinary roads to built in supertracks. It is intended to provide door to door pick up and has an individual accessible door for every seat. These individual doors allow passengers to get in and out of the bus with ease since the bus isn't tall enough to stand in.
To be picked up, a passenger may text message the bus their location. The bus is also driven by a computer and has built in sensors to help it locate bumps and other things on the road. A working prototype will be available in 2008 at the Olympics in Beijing. The question is - will it work? I guess, we'll find out in a few years. Driving Green Here.
2. The Bombardier Embrio/2025
Is it a high tech unicycle or a sleek motorcycle with retractable tiny front wheels? You can call it a little bit of both. Powered by hydrogen fuel cells and made of recycled aluminum and polyethylene parts, the one-wheel motorcycle rides on one wheel once speeds reach 20km an hour. At rest or in case of trouble, the tiny front wheels drop back down.
How does the Bombardier Embrio stay balanced on one wheel? It stays balanced with something called gyroscope. It also comes with sensors, a high-performance braking system, active suspension, and night vision. Best of all, making a turn requires shifting body weight instead of steering. No special training is required, but the need for excitement and bravery is a must. Is there an age requirement to drive this thing? Driving Green Here.
3. The Moovie
The Moovie, an electric powered car, designed by André Costa, doesn't look like an ordinary car. Its round shape and large side sliding doors resemble the futuristic cars we sometimes see in the movies. It seats two people, drives on big wheels and has hollow rims.
The large wheels save energy because they don't require as much work to turn as small wheels require. Also, the rear-view mirrors neatly fold up away from the sliding doors. My only concern is the huge window that reaches from the front to the back of the car. Wouldn't it become extremely uncomfortable when the afternoon sun begins to shine through? Maybe the windows can be tinted. Despite the large window, this neat car design won first place in the third edition of the Peugeot Design Competition. Driving Green Here.
4. The Recy
It's called the Recy, is a Mercedes Benz and was designed to be an environmental conscious car. It truly is. How? Recy is powered by a four-cylinder Blu-Tec bio-diesel motor and is made of recycled parts: wood, alloys, glass and rubber. The only draw back to this green car is that it has no top. A missing top would fit right in a place like L.A., but around where I live, it rains quite a bit and a topless car just wouldn't survive.
Still the concept is good and very much needed in our society. By the way, after using it for five years, instead of adding it to the filled junkyards we have everywhere, Recy can be taken to a recycling center and be recycled again. How great is that? If you want a chance to look at it in person, you still have a few days before it is showcased on November 29 at the L.A. Auto show. Driving Green Here.
5. The Hummer O2
Another vehicle that will be showcased at the LA Auto show on November 29th
is the Hummer O2, designed by General Motors. If you're shocked at the idea of an eco friendly hummer, I can understand why. In most cases a Hummer is massive and requires a lot of gasoline to keep it going, but this new Hummer is different.
This Hummer is not a "gashog" like the other ones. Instead, it is environmentally friendly. How? The Hummer O2 is built to emit O2 instead of CO2 by using algae to convert CO2 into pure oxygen (in other words, cleaner air). Is it fun to drive? It is suppose to be. In addition, the Hummer O2, like the Recy, is also made of recycled parts. Ahhhh! Now we can breathe a little easier. Driving Green Here.
6. The Zap! Xebra Sedan
If all you need is a small, quiet errand city car that runs on 3 wheels, is spacious and sells for only $10,000, try the Zap Xebra Sedan. This golf cart like car is powered 100% by electricity. All it needs to get it going is an electrical socket to plug into and get it charged. The car can reach speeds up to 40 miles an hour. This may not be a great choice for you if you like fast cars and highways, but it will do just fine for a trip to the grocery store or any of those many errands you have to do.
If you like trucks more, you're in luck. Zap also has the Xebra PK truck. Turn it into a flat bed or keep it as is. If you are interested in a test drive, you will have the chance in November from the 18-26 at the San Francisco International Auto Show. Driving Green Here.
7. The Telsa Roadster
Like the Xebra Sedan, the Telsa Roadster by Tesla Motors, is powered 100% by electricity, but it looks a lot nicer and runs a lot faster. It is also cheaper to charge up and runs on 4 wheels instead of 3. What is the catch? It costs a whole lot more- $90,000 more.
If you are still intrigued, check out the close up sexy photos of the car on the website. You may also notice on the website that this car is so hot, it has already sold out. Don't worry though, if you want one, reservations can be made as the next bunch of Telsa Roadsters are built. In addition, the car can use solar power and a special adapter can be purchased if you need to charge up away from home. Driving Green Here.
The need to change what we drive and what we use to drive is here. With the concern of rising gasoline prices and pollution, driving green is here to stay. So whatever your reason may be for taking an interest in greener transportation: financial, environmental or trendsetter, it doesn't matter, as long as the end result is the same- you too, are driving green.
If you get the chance to see any of these vehicles in person, please let me know what you think in the comment section.
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