Toyota Prius

The fuel of the future that is already in the past

My daughter is interested in future fuels.  Liquid hydrogen fuel is the one that she rates the most. The idea of running cars on water is one with unlimited potential. Our discussion reminded me of the fuel of the future when I was young. Back then everyone thought LPG was the clean fuel of the future. People converted their cars over as LPG was so much cheaper. More and more petrol stations started to supply it, yet today I rarely see an LPG-fuelled vehicle. What happened to LPG and why did it fail? Why is it that LPG is not only not the fuel of the future but is clearly a fuel of the past?

LPG-system-explained-alternative-fuels-new-plymouth

LPG-system-explained-alternative-fuels-new-plymouth

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If you agree with me that’s nice, but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo, look between the lines and do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.

You can follow me on Gab.ai 

To read my previous articles click on my name in blue.

Smug cars for Smug owners

http://youtu.be/jxBje9jSyIM

With petrol prices falling you’d think there would be a drop off in purchases of smug powered cars.

But it appears this isn’t the case, even though they are horrendously expensive.

It seems smug people still like buying smug cars.

People buy vehicles for all sorts of reasons. They buy because the vehicle meets their utility—a pickup truck for a handyman, a van for a big family, a Lincoln Town Car for a professional driver. Some make decisions based on fuel efficiency and low cost. But as is often the case with consumer products, many people make vehicle purchase decisions based on how the product makes them feel, or how it makes them look. In the U.S. in particular, the car you drive is a means of expressing your identity.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

James Delingpole on Smug Cars

James Delingpole hate Smart Cars (Smug Cars) and the Toyota Prius (Pious).

His column in the Daily Mail explains.

All right. I admit it, I’m prejudiced. I hate Smart cars.

I’ve loathed them ever since I glimpsed the first ones, crawling along the streets of London — from 0 to 60 in about half an hour — some time in the mid Noughties.

The Smart car was the brainchild of Nicolas Hayek, the man who invented Swatch watches. His idea was for a small, fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly car that would be easy to park in small, city spaces.

The Swatch company started working with car giants Daimler-Benz in 1995 and the first of the new cars was shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1997.

The car’s makers boast that their vehicles — from exterior to seats, even the car battery — are 98 per cent recyclable, and each car is classified as an Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).

They run on regular diesel or petrol, but are considered eco-friendly because they do around 70 miles to the gallon and their carbon emissions are low.

The truth, though, is that the Smart car — or Smug car, as it should really be known — masquerades as something modest, simple, practical and back-to-basics when, in fact, it’s just a poseur’s gimmick.

Driving a Smart car is the modern version of those horrid old back window stickers that used to say: ‘My other car is a Porsche.’

Except the difference is that if you have a Smart car, your other car probably is a Porsche.

Have a look at the price list and you’ll see what I mean.

These things aren’t manufactured for peanuts by some charming little yogurt-weaving collective in Wales.

They’re made in Germany by Daimler, with pricing to match.

Even the most basic, two-door model doesn’t leave you with much change out of £11,000. Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Gayer than Fossy’s Gay Ute

It takes a lot to find a ute gayer than Fossy’s gay ute, but the diminutive Simon Bridges has managed it, and worse splashed it all over social media.

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Yet another reason why your Prius is gay

Because the design is flawed and you can’t possibly get the manufacturers recommended mileage out of it.

When the computer generated vehicles were “driven” according to the real world driving data, the hybrids generated fuel savings of 48% in India and up to 55% in China, compared with around 40% in the US.

Why the discrepancy? At low speeds, such as found in many cities, the internal combustion engine is inefficient, and so in the hybrids the electric motor took over. Energy recovered through regenerative breaking – when the electric motor is allowed to run backwards as a generator when the car is slowing – was, as expected, the main reason why they hybrids were much more efficient.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Making gay electric cars even gayer

Just when you thought you couldn’t find a car any gayer than Fossy’s gay ute, the EU has decided to make gay electric cars even gayer…by forcing them to make brrrrm sounds.

Silent but potentially deadly electric cars will have to be fitted with artificial ‘sound generators’ so blind and partially sighted pedestrians can hear them coming, the European Parliament voted today.

It is part of new EU legislation which will also require conventional cars and lorries with petrol and diesel engines to make 25 per cent less noise.

The MEPs voted to introduce mandatory ‘acoustic vehicle alerting systems’ (AVAS) – sounding like a conventional engine – to all new electric and hybrid cars to protect vulnerable road users.

It follows lobbying from British MEPs and campaign groups including Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars such as the all-electric BMWi3 or the Toyota Prius currently emit very little sound when running on electric power only.

Campaigners say this particularly dangerous for partially-sighted and blind pedestrians.

Earlier proposals from the European Commission called for the installation of an artificial sound system to be done on a voluntary basis only.   Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

More bad news for owners of electric cars

It is bad enough that they are gayer than Fossy’s gay ute, but now there is more evidence that electric cars suck.

The depreciate faster than even Eastern European vehicles.

Electric cars lose more money through depreciation than any other type of car, according to new research from car pricing expert CAP Automotive.

CAP analaysed the prices paid for used cars up until the end of October 2013, and the results make alarming reading for anyone that has bought an electric car.

According to CAP’s figures, when broken down into fuel types, electric cars were worth on average just 20.2 per cent of their list price after three years, compared with diesel and electric cars, which retained 44.7 per cent and 43.6 per cent respectively.

The figures don’t take into account the Government’s plug-in car grant of up to £5,000 towards the price of an electric car, or any discounts on list prices, but still suggest that there is a big difference between how much buyers are willing to pay for used electric cars compared with their conventionally fuelled counterparts.

Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius (below) depreciated more slowly than any other type of car, however, with a retained value of 45.3 per cent over the same period.    Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Riding in Luxury for the Workers Warrior

the tipline

Last night the MPs debunked from Wellington. Darien Fenton had a swipe at Trevor Mallard on the way out:

Then when she got to Auckland…instead of hopping in the the little gay Toyota Prius cabs that other Labour MPs take she hopped into the back seat of a shiny black S Class Mercedes Limousine.

Not the little Toyota’s for the former union official, no she must travel in luxury and style becoming a warrior of the workers.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

The rebound effect – Why buying a Prius is a waste of time

I always knew it was a fallacy that Prius cars were good for the environment:

But Owen notes improved efficiency doesn’t always translate to reduced energy use, thanks to something called the “rebound effect.” It’s pretty simple: as we become more efficient at using energy, we can save money — which then allows us to use more of that energy than we did before. Picture it this way: you trade in your gas-guzzling SUV for a new efficient hybrid, end up paying less per mile for gasoline, and use some of the savings to drive more than you did with the SUV. The efficiency has rebounded.

It’s not clear how big the rebound effect really is. Efficiency advocates say that the effect, when it exists, is limited. Amory Lovins, the head of the Rocky Mountain Institute and an efficiency evangelist, has written that “no matter how efficient your house or washing machine becomes, you won’t heat your house to sauna temperatures, or rewash clean clothes.” There’s a limit to how much more I would drive after buying a hybrid even as my gas bill shrinks.

But Owen argues that the rebound effect is much broader than a one-to-one relationship. I might drive a little bit more using the savings from my more efficient car, but I might also take the rest of those savings and spend it on something else — perhaps a vacation flight, or a new television. And nearly everything we buy and consume today requires energy, from appliances to holidays. Perhaps that’s the reason American electricity production grew 66% between 1984 and 2005 even as the economy overall became much more efficient. And things are likely to be even worse in a rapidly growing nation like China, where a lot of people are acquiring consumer goods and other luxuries for the first time. “Energy efficiency by itself is not a sufficient green strategy,” says Owen.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Why can’t we have these instead of Len’s train set?

If Auckland was the first city to have automated cars there would be huge prime mover advantage for technology companies in New Zealand as the inevitable global expansion occurs.

Google’s fleet of robotic Toyota Priuses has now logged more than 190,000 miles (about 300,000 kilometers), driving in city traffic, busy highways, and mountainous roads with only occasional human intervention. The project is still far from becoming commercially viable, but Google has set up a demonstration system on its campus, using driverless golf carts, which points to how the technology could change transportation even in the near future.

…Thrun and his Google colleagues, including co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, are convinced that smarter vehicles could help make transportation safer and more efficient: Cars would drive closer to each other, making better use of the 80 percent to 90 percent of empty space on roads, and also form speedy convoys on freeways. They would react faster than humans to avoid accidents, potentially saving thousands of lives. Making vehicles smarter will require lots of computing power and data, and that’s why it makes sense for Google to back the project…

Of course it would also necessitate faster data networks in and around the city benefitting us all as a side benefit.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.