Green Update: Green Vehicle News, Some of It Important

November 8th, 2011

GM Permits Dealers to Sell Demo Volts
This will free up 2,300 cars, increasing sales inventory to about 4,100 (up from 1,800). Since GM has increased production capacity over the summer, you folks struggling to find an available Volt (yes, all five of you) can now find one. In fact, there has been some pent-up demand, but don’t hold your breath that GM will meet its 10,000-car target. So far, sales are 5,003 cars for 2011.

Volt Owner Talks Back to Fox News
For some conservatives, the Volt represents everything bad about green, and they love to slam it. Fox’s Neil Cavuto, however, took on a sharp, responsive Volt owner, and looked pretty ridiculous by contrast. “So when you are on the road, or you take a longer trip, where do you charge up?” Owner Eric Rotbard kept his cool throughout, explaining the technology and even laughing at Cavuto’s dumb jokes: “Does the car have a floor, or is it like a Flintstone thing?” Worth watching here.

Gas Pump Handles Are Just Filthy
In fact, they are the filthiest things the “average working American” encounters. So says Kimberly-Clark, whose people went around with swabs in six big cities, collecting samples from parking meters, vending machine buttons, escalator rails, and so forth. And they’re filthy because no one ever cleans them. The article calls Kimberly-Clark “a health care company.” Hmmm, I thought they just made Kleenex and Kotex.

Military Targets 25 Percent Renewable Energy by 2025
There’s been talk about the military’s going green, and it looks like this may happen. U.S. forces consume over 300,000 barrels of oil a day. Logistical problems are immense, particularly on the battlefield, where more than 3,000 people died protecting fuel convoys in Iraq from 2003 to 2007. Biofuel, nuclear, and hybrid options will eventually power aircraft, ships, and land vehicles. Cutting the immense dispersion of forces around the world would also be a good place to start.

World’s Smallest Production Car Comes Back

Two British businessmen are reviving and promoting the Peel P50 (right) and Trident, now with electric power, as one-passenger, three-wheeled city cars. You get one door, a fiberglass body, one headlight and a free life insurance policy. (No, not the latter.) The sardine can to end all sardine cans.

Pedestrians Hitting Windshields Can Get Seriously Hurt
In yet another study of the obvious, German researchers are using dummies and computers to figure out ways to improve the outcome for pedestrians whacked by cars, maybe even using such things as external air bags. What about cow-catchers, like the old locomotives had? Study the text in German here.

Toyota Wins 2011 Green Manufacturing Award
Finally, after floods, safety fiascos, fires and famine, Toyota gets a break. At least Toyota Motor Europe does, as it earned the Green Manufacturing Award for progress in making the production process environmentally sound “in every aspect of its operations.” The numbers were indeed impressive.

The best reason for buying fuel-efficient cars: to reduce contact with gas pump handles. Agree?

—jgoods

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  1. Jim Redd
    November 10th, 2011 at 13:23 | #1

    If there were a ‘like’ button on Randy’s comment I’d click it!

  2. Randy
    November 9th, 2011 at 18:22 | #2

    And they were coppertops, too.

  3. jgoods
    November 8th, 2011 at 18:50 | #3

    @ Randy
    The question of why those batteries died will continue to haunt me.

  4. Randy
    November 8th, 2011 at 18:42 | #4

    Well, GM hoped to produce 10,000 volts in a year compared to how many million cars produced worldwide? (in a still fairly down economy) Not even statistically significant. Don’t forget those government subsidies are only good for a year after start of production so when they go away, Volt sales should become as dead as the batteries in my wife’s vibrator.

  5. Jim Redd
    November 8th, 2011 at 13:12 | #5

    Or gas stations should so what grocery stores are doing: put out Lysol wipes so people can wipe them down before grabbing them.

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