Reducing Gasoline Consumption

 

It makes economic, environmental and political sense.

 
Plug-In Hybrids Hybrid cars currently on the market use a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor. At low speeds the electric motor powers the car exclusively, and then it is recharged during the combustion of gasoline. A simple modification to the existing design (see http://www.calcars.org/vehicles.html)

can achieve even better emission standards and lower gas consumption. This involves plugging the car in at night. Of course, the strategy would only pay off on a global level if the production of electricity is in itself a "green process". Thus, such vehicles are only recommended where hydroelectricity, solar cells and wind power are available.

 

Carbon fiber cars could dramatically reduce gas consumption by decreasing a car's weight and therefore the work needed to move the vehicle. (see http://www.physorg.com/news11436.html

and http://www.chm.bris.ac.uk/webprojects2002/mjames/homepage.html)

According to tests, carbon fiber is at least equal to steel in strength, and cars from the new material have also passed crash tests. The goal is to cut the current $8 and $10 price of production  to half in order to make it competitively priced for consumers.

 

 

 
Public Transit  As people move into the suburbs, they often become multi-car families in the absence of  a public transit system. But when communities invest in an efficient commuter network, families save money and less NO2 and CO2 contaminate the atmosphere. People are beginning to recognize this truth. The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) announced recently that Americans took more trips(10.1 billion) on local public transportation in 2006 than in any of the previous 48 years. Furthermore, since 1996, public transportationís growth rate has outpaced the growth rate of the population and the growth rate of vehicle miles traveled on our nationís highways.