Well to round out the year, I’ve compiled a list of the 10 most popular posts Gas2 published in 2011. Did your favorite story make the cut?
To commemorate the 10 year anniversary of the Toyota Prius, Parlee Cycles has teamed up with Toyota to create a bicycle based on the Prius design. A fun project indeed, and one that does celebrate green fuel alternatives. But what really sets this bike apart is the use of a special neuron helmet created by DeepLocal that allows the rider of the Prius bike to shift gears with their mind.
The Chevy Volt has its supporters, and its detractors. You can famed car enthusiast and talk show host Jay Leno as an avid supporter. The late-night funnyman has wracked up a whooping 11,000 miles in his Chevy Volt in the past year, while using only 4.5 gallons of gas.
One (of many) complaints against electric cars is that they take too long to “fill up” with electrons. But a group of MIT students have developed a semi-solid electron-laden “fuel” that could completely change how we power EV’s.
Ford has already built the savior of the small truck market though, and it’s the new global Ford Ranger. This diesel pickup being marketed and sold in all the Blue Oval’s other markets (188 other countries in total) except America. Ford claims it is because the new Ranger is only 10% smaller than the F-150, and it doesn’t sell the F-150 anywhere else in the world. So what? This new Ranger has two diesel engine options; a 2.2 liter four-cylinder with 276 ft-lbs of torque, and a 3.2 five-cylinder with 346 ft-lbs of torque. For those keeping score at home, the bigger diesel engine is nearly as powerful as Ford’s much-touted EcoBoost V6, but with one less cylinder and, in all likelihood, much better gas mileage. That’s enough torque to tow a train. Why can’t we have that?
While 2011 marks the return of Fiat to America, the vanguard 500 already isn’t living up to the hype. The five-speed manual is rated at 30/38 MPG, while the six-speed automatic manages only a 27/34 rating.
Juhas Sipilä’s 1987 El Camino, affectionately dubbed “El Kamina” (The Stove), features a very steampunk-like woodgas generator taking up about half of the truckbed. El Kamina’s 400 Chevy engine can take the 4,400 pound truck about 125 miles on 175 pounds of biomass, or about 1.4 pounds of biomass-per-mile. The truck itself can carry enough fuel for around 800 total miles of travel.
To power any combustion engine you need fuel, air, and either compression or spark to cause an explosion that provides the moving power most of us rely on. The wave disk engine is no different, as it combines air, fuel, and compression to produce power. Developed by researchers at Michigan State University, this small engine could be up to 3.5 times more efficient than the piston-driven engines found in most cars.
Hoffman is making a strong case for recycled RV’s, who lovingly restored a 1970s Airstream towable … which looked like this when he found it.