Archives for the Category: Going Green

2 Years Is A Long Time For Tesla To Fight Back

Posted by admin on January 15th, 2016 in Category Blog News, Going Green, Green Cars, Scrap Cars in the USA, Scrap Yard News, Uncategorized, World - Scrap News (no responses)

2015 was a busy year when it came to cars and 2016 and 2017 seem to be no different.

Faraday Future debuted a stunning electric vehicle concept at CES 2016 on Monday night. But Tesla can do a lot between now and 2018 (or thereabouts) when Faraday plans to bring out a real car.

Executives from Faraday Future, the Chinese billionaire-backed startup,were dropping buzzy-sounding ideas like Variable Platform Architecture, battery strings, and “aero-tunnels” Monday night. Jia Yueting, the billionaire founder and chief executive of LeTV — a Chinese media company with a market value of over ten billion dollars — is putting down some serious bucks. He’s one of the principals investing $1 billion in a 3 million square foot manufacturing facility on approximately 900 acres in North Las Vegas. The project would create 4,500 direct jobs on site.

But the first production vehicle won’t be here for “a couple of years,” as Nick Sampson, a senior vice president at Faraday and a former Tesla engineer, said on stage Monday night (to be fair, he used the word “only” when stating a couple of years and also had praise for Tesla: “Tesla and Elon Musk have created something we should all applaud them for”). The challenge is, in a couple of years, the Tesla Motors TSLA -2.38% Model X crossover will be a maturing platform and pouring out of Tesla factories.  And of course that’s when the mass-market $35,000 Model 3 should hit the streets. And, needless to say, Tesla will have new car and technology announcements over the next couple of years.

Faraday claims it’s going to move fast and be able to crank out everything from FFZero1-like cars to SUVs to “even a pickup truck” based on its Variable Platform Architecture (see video at bottom). The VPA includes a battery structure arranged into “strings” — adding or removing strings changes the battery capacity and allows FF to develop new wheelbases. VPA also allows modular motor and power train configurations, including layouts with up to 4 motors and two or all-wheel drive systems.

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Average Age Of US Cars Have Now Surpassed The Record

Posted by admin on July 29th, 2015 in Category Auto Industry, Blog News, Fun and Humor, Going Green, Green Cars, Scrap Cars in Canada, Scrap Cars in the USA, Scrap Yard News, Uncategorized, World - Scrap News (no responses)

The lifecycle of a car can depend on the maintenance as well as the family, s their a teenager who needs their own ride, or a family that needs more than one vehicle to drive to work. These factors can influence the amount of time a family keeps a car and the age of the car itself.

The average age of vehicles on the road in the U.S. is rising, even as consumers snap up more new ones — a paradox attributable to substantial increases in reliability.

The typical car on the road in the U.S. is a record-high 11.5 years old, according to a new IHS Automotive survey.

Yet Americans are buying cars at an annualized rate of more than 17 million vehicles, marking a high not seen since before the Great Recession. In fact, U.S. vehicle owners bought 42% more cars than they scrapped in 2014, according to IHS. The number of light vehicles registered in the U.S. hit an all-time high of 257.9 million units.

How are vehicles getting older, while Americans are buying newer cars, too?

Simple: They’re either keeping the old ones along with the new ones — know anyone who bought a new car and kept their old one in the driveway? — or the vehicle made its way into the used-car market, where someone else bought it..

“Vehicles are simply lasting longer than ever before,” Mark Seng, global aftermarket practice leader at IHS Automotive, told USA TODAY. “The consumer is hanging onto their vehicle longer than ever before.”

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Renting Out A House Sure, But Your New Car?

Posted by admin on June 20th, 2015 in Category Auto Industry, Blog News, Fun and Humor, Going Green, Green Cars, Scrap Cars in Canada, Scrap Cars in the USA, Scrap Yard News, Uncategorized, World - Scrap News (no responses)

In the past many people have rented out housing to young families and students as a way to invest. Recently there has been a suggestion to further this concept to renting out a vehicle that you have recently purchased.

Car manufacturers are desperately seeking new ways to increase sales, maximise financial returns and address the changing needs of new generations like the millennials, but urging people to rent our their own brand new cars stretches credulity and will fall on stony ground.

News this week that BMW’s Mini will offer buyers of its cars the chance to offset the purchase price by renting out their vehicles surely won’t find any takers. BMW itself has a similar scheme called DriveNow, which board member Peter Schwarzenbauer has said is based on the idea from accommodation sharing web site Airbnb. Ford and GM have also joined in.

Schemes that allow people who don’t own cars to rent by the hour make much sense. This allows the young, who either can’t afford to own a new car, or don’t need one very often, to get wheels for specific jobs. It also allows makers of electric cars which nobody wants to buy, to get them off dealer lots and earn some money.

If it was a scheme that allowed, say, students to rent out their old clunkers to generate enough cash to pay for running costs and then some, it might make some sense. But is there anyone in the history of the world who bought a brand new car – whether it’s a little runabout or an expensive limousine, that would ever let a stranger drive off in it? The fact that they could afford a new car in the first place means the financial incentive just isn’t there.

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Classics of 2015 Already Predicted in Hagerty Hot List

Posted by admin on March 6th, 2015 in Category Auto Industry, Blog News, Fun and Humor, Going Green, Green Cars, Scrap Cars in Canada, Scrap Cars in the USA, Scrap Yard News, Uncategorized, World - Scrap News (no responses)

Here are cars that you can look forward to traveling with you through generation after generation.

Classic cars are made every year, and certain features make them to stand out from others. But what truly makes a car memorable and remarkable enough to stand out from others?

Hagerty Hotlist has truly begun to narrow down the possibilities.Now the predictions are never 100% accurate. But today’s generation will definitely enjoy the range and diversity of vehicles on the list, there’s something for every type of driver.

Want a taut Italian sports car? Try the Alfa Romeo 4C. Supercar performance straight out of Detroit (er, Bowling Green)?Corvette Z06. The perfect balance of practicality and hot-hatch fun? VW Golf R.

None of these are economy-car-cheap, but they all sticker at well below $100,000 (what you do with the options catalog is up to you). Park any one of these 10 cars in your garage, and we think you’ll be a happy customer.

And if it’s worth something in a quarter-century? Consider that a bonus.

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Could plunging oil prices be a problem for the auto industry?

Posted by admin on November 10th, 2014 in Category Auto Industry, Going Green (no responses)

While plunging oil prices are receiving a warm welcome by U.S. airlines, auto makers, and corn farmers, a persistent decline does carries risks for corporate America.

Crude oil prices have dropped about 25% in just over four months, hitting a three-year low of $77.19 a barrel on Tuesday on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, they nudged up to $78.65.

The plunge is causing pain in a U.S. oil patch that has expanded substantially in recent years, and figures to hurt manufacturers that supply the energy sector. But the oil slump also is shrinking fuel bills for transportation companies and for consumers, who are likely to spend at least some of the savings, giving a boost to the economy.

Perhaps the biggest direct beneficiary is the airline industry. Fuel is its No. 1 expense, costing U.S. carriers a combined $51 billion last year. Airlines for America, the industry’s leading trade group, estimates that every penny per gallon change up or down equates to $190 million in the U.S. industry’s annual fuel expense at current consumption rates.

Spot jet-fuel prices have slid about 16% from early September, which analysts said shaves about $5 billion off 2015 fuel-bill projections for the industry made before oil began its latest slide. In the near term, those savings “will go straight to the bottom line,” said Scott Kirby, president of American Airlines Group Inc., the largest U.S. carrier by traffic.

For similar reasons, express delivery companies FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. stand to benefit, as does the trucking industry—which carries 69% of all U.S. freight tonnage. For them, lower fuel costs are helping offset higher wages stemming from a driver shortage.

The express delivery companies generally pass on fuel savings to customers, but not immediately—which means those savings can show up in their bottom lines. “Certainly if prices stay as low as they are, that would be a benefit for the fourth quarter,” UPS Chief Financial Officer Kurt Kuehn said in an interview last month.

Cheaper oil also benefits farmers, and not only because they spend less on tractor fuel. If lower gasoline prices encourage Americans to pump more into their vehicles, that could stimulate demand for ethanol, a fuel additive whose production is one of the biggest users of U.S. corn.

Low gasoline prices also help U.S. auto makers by emboldening consumers to buy more pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles, which generally yield higher profits than small cars. Sales of Detroit-brand large SUVs such as General Motors Co. ’s Chevrolet Suburban are up 16% so far this year, and sales of big pickups like Ford Motor Co. ’s F-150 rose 9.5% in October.

But an oil-price slump can cut both ways for U.S. industry.

In the case of auto makers, the government requires them to boost the average fuel economy of their U.S. car and light trucks every year to achieve 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Hitting that target entails selling lots of small cars, electric vehicles, and larger vehicles made with costly lightweight materials and other fuel-saving hardware.

Ford executives warned last month that consumers, lulled by low pump prices, may not opt for vehicles that hold down greenhouse-gas emissions, sometimes with more costly technology. At GM, Chevy dealers have only 59 days’ supply of Suburbans on their lots, but are sitting on more than three months’ worth of unsold Sonic and Spark subcompacts and Volt plug-in hybrids, according to Autodata Corp.

“It’s turning into a stampede away from fuel-efficiency,” says Mike Jackson, head of AutoNation Inc., the No. 1 auto dealership chain in the U.S.

Read the full story here.

Fun on Two Wheels

Posted by admin on May 9th, 2013 in Category Fun and Humor, Going Green (no responses)

Great article talks about transportation on two wheels!! Here’s an interesting thought: there are some 200 million motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, and trikes currently on the world’s roads. It’s definitely not hard to see why, especially in countries like India, China, and Africa, where they outnumber cars and trucks. It’s not hard to see why – motorcycles are affordable, efficient, and easy to repair.

Motorcycles also happen to be a whole heck of a lot of fun to ride – they’re nimble, quick, and without tons of metal and glass surrounding you, there’s an unmistakable sense of freedom. That same lack of protection can also make them quite unforgiving and dangerous.

Read the full article here.

Junkyard Poem!!

Posted by admin on October 1st, 2012 in Category Auto Industry, Fun and Humor, Going Green (no responses)

This is a first for me!  A published poem about a junkyard! For Hoppe, that means the poems in his newly released book Diamond Plate (Obsolete Press, $10.00) should appeal as much to the mechanics he grew up with in the Michigan Rust Belt as to his peers in the Austin poetry scene. Hoppe will read poems from Diamond Plate Wednesday at an Austin Community College event that is free and open to the public.

Having worked a bevy of blue collar jobs, actively participated in the punk poetry and ‘zine scene, converted to Buddhism, raised a son and joined the English faculty at Austin Community College, Hoppe gives off the impression of a man whose eclectic life has mellowed to a gentler rhythm.

The poem “Junkyard Thaw” does just that. “Today’s adventure / finds me at the junkyard / where icicles give car grilles / vicious fangs,” he writes, capturing the surreal beauty of abandoned car parts in a section of the book called “The Persistence of Machines.”

Read the full story here.

Students are Planting at Former Auto Salvage Yard

Posted by admin on May 1st, 2012 in Category Auto Industry, Fun and Humor, Going Green, Scrap Yard News (no responses)

Great little story out of Muncie on bringing fruitful land back from a former salvage yard!

Work has begun on a plan to re-vegetate Car Doctors, a former auto salvage yard on Burlington Drive adjacent to the Cardinal Greenway.

Revegatation is important in preventing erosion by water and wind and runoff of metal contaminants, and to alleviate unsightly conditions, says John Pichtel, a professor of natural resources and environmental management at Ball State University.

The project also will research the possibility of plants vacuuming up contaminants in the soil.

Mayor Dennis Tyler was on hand last week to thank Pichtel and his students for doing the project, which the city is helping to fund with $1,450.

The students are trying to “recolonize” the site by planting test plots of clover, rye grass, bluegrass and other plants, to determine which will grow best in the compacted, gavelly, infertile soil.

The project also will compare the ability of each type of plant to remove or stabilize soil contaminants.

The contaminants of concern include lead, arsenic, hydrocarbons and benzene. The site borders the White River as well as Cardinal Greenway. It also is the former site of bulk oil plants.

The students are using compost provided by Ball State in some test plots but not in others to determine if hauling in compost is worth the effort, Pichtel said. They also are studying the effects of amending the soil with mycorrhizal fungi, to see if it is better than compost in recolonizing the property.

Other vegetation to be planted at the site for testing includes, corn, wheat, soybeans and oats.

Eventually, Pichtel would like to recolonize the site with tallgrass prairie and a woodlot of oak, beech, birch and maple trees so it could become a recreational area with walking trails.

Read the full article here.

Most Green Car Engine

Posted by admin on January 1st, 2012 in Category Fun and Humor, Going Green (no responses)

This one is the most eco-frienldy car engine you will ever see!  An Australian wood sculptor has created an amazing wooden replica of the Ferrari 365GTB V12 engine and is now selling it on eBay for $6,000.

$10.4 Million Green Grant in Austin

Posted by admin on October 3rd, 2011 in Category Auto Industry, Going Green (no responses)

Go Texas!  While just a bit tardy to give the American economy of 2009 a jolt, a $10.4 million stimulus grant is just now being put to work getting Austin residents into electric cars at a steal.

Pecan Street, an environmental nonprofit based on the University of Texas campus, is using the grant to set up a kind of energy use laboratory in the recently developed mixed-use neighborhood where the Mueller Municipal Airport used to be, according to a story posted today by Texas Tribune.

Read the full article here.