Posts Tagged ‘economy’

Airplane beats Prius MPG

January 26, 2009
Over 50 MPG at 200 MPH!
Over 50 MPG at 200 MPH!

 

 At speeds close to 200 miles per hour this Aircraft gets over 50 miles per gallon. When Klaus Savier throttles back to extended range, he gets about 100 mpg. Not bad.

Economy like this could be easily achieved throughout our entire general aviation fleet.  But it will never happen.  FAA regulations governing the fleet, combined with the difficulty and cost involved in getting a pilot’s license, keep the total number of aircraft quite small.  Without a large volume of consumers or government assistance there just isn’t any money in it. 

And without profit, private industry won’t touch it.  Therefore, it is quite surprising to find a guy like Klaus Savier, owner of Light Speed Engineering.  

Through a labor of love, this aeronautical innovator, based out of Santa Paula Airport in Southern California, has been setting speed and efficiency records for over 20 years in his experimental airplane. The plane demonstrates technology products that could improve the reliability and efficiency of the entire GA fleet.

Although his airplane only carries 30 gallons of fuel, Savier has flown it nonstop from Southern California to Oshkosh, Wis. (1,751 miles) and nonstop from Southern California to Panama City, Fla. (1,956 miles).   

Beats the pants off a Prius!

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Update to the 2010 VW super efficient diesel that gets over 200 MPG

October 30, 2008

I found some more new pictures of the Volkswagen super diesel production model on Motor Authority:(http://www.motorauthority.com/vw-boss-confirms-1-liter-car-for-2010.html).

 It’s still going to be a two seat tandem and it’s still going to get 235 MPG but now it’s going to be a hybrid diesel. They don’t expect to sell too many so they are only making 1000 of them.

Since they are handmade in the prototype shop they expect the price to be fairly high at $31,400 to $47,100. But I suppose when people are paying $20,000 to $30,000 for a Harley Davidson motorcycle I suppose this isn’t too far out of line. The vehicle is so small that some are concerned that the car may not pass the safety tests required for on-road use. But since the vehicle has tandem seating, a slight redesign could make it into a three wheeler. By putting a single wheel in the rear it would become a motorcycle and not be required to be held to the same safety standards as an automobile.

Bush Signs Amtrak Funding and Rail Safety Bill

October 27, 2008

Last week Bush finally signed the Amtrak funding and rail safety bill after the tragic September 12, 2008 collision that killed 25 people in Los Angeles.  Bush had opposed the bill because it gave funding to Amtrak. But this time around he signed the bill without question.  This provides Federal funding for many projects including high speed rail in the Midwest.  If we finally get our butts in gear we can get this project done.  Our politicians have been talking about it, arguing and dragging their feet for years and haven’t done a thing.  High speed rail from Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison and onto Minneapolis would give people the option they deserve.  The last time I tried to catch the train from Milwaukee to Chicago I couldn’t even get a ticket.  I had to drive down through all the construction and it was horrible.  I was scared to death half the time and I got lost on the way back.  When I can get a ticket on the train it’s wonderful.  I sit back and read and study and it worked done.  When I get off I feel refreshed.  We need a safer alternative to driving our cars everywhere.  This not only saves fuel but also wear and tear on our vehicles.

We need to get on our politicians and ride them until they get this thing done.

How much does oil really cost?

October 22, 2008

I just read this old but good article and the comments today at http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/oil-gas-crude/461. His math maybe a little off but the government sites are kinda screwy and airlines.org numbers do not agree so I can see where he could go astray.  Check out these two:

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_cons_psup_dc_nus_mbbl_m.htm

http://www.airlines.org/economics/energy/MonthlyJetFuel.htm

Both sites claim the about the same month but the number are way different. The EIA site states that jet fuel is going at the rate of about 48 million barrels a month is July 2008. The airlines site states that they are going through 1.65 Billion gallons a month in August 2008? How can this be? It says gallons (bils for billions?) on top of the column. Even if they meant millions, 1.65 million and 47.76 million aren’t even close. Someone is screwing up here or am I reading something wrong?  According to what I can find on the government sites, they all seem to agree that we are pushing 21 million barrels a day into the US one way or another. To keep it simple let’s say we have a 30 day month. 21×30 is 630 and is fairly close to the monthly figures (a little high but I rounded up).

As for the article’s content, I agree that it would be a nightmare to be weaned off oil overnight but it needs to be done soon. Look at what Brazil did with ethanol-they are way ahead of us. And how about all those high MPG diesels that are all over Europe? They are made buy our automakers over there so why do they never send them to or make them in the US? My 99 VW Beetle TDI gets close to 60 MPG city and highway right now and all I do to get better than EPA is to keep my tire pressure up, time stoplights, do the speed limit and coast down hills. The new Toyota Prius gets only 48 city, 45 highway (right off their website) but they can’t even run ethanol. You have to buy a kit for a grand (see: http://gas2.org/2008/08/12/flex-fuel-kits-convert-toyota-prius-to-e85-ethanol-for-less-than-1000. There are US brand cars that can do better than that over in Europe but not in the good ol USA.

And then there’s the hybrids (all the rage). When I bought the diesel I was wondering why anyone would buy a stupid hybrid (with an unproven track record) that you can’t even plug in at home, charge it up and drive it for peanuts. If I could have plugged it in I might have bought one. But noooooooo you have to buy a conversion kit for big $$$$$$ to enjoy the “plug in privilege.” What the heck were they thinking? And why did GM kill the electric car right when they were way ahead of everyone? By now the Volt would have been on the market for years. Why did they let Toyota and Honda get the jump on them? Why is GM they closing plants for good and not retooling them for small new generation hi-tech cars like Honda and Toyota are? Diesel engines are about 30% more efficient than gas engines right out of the box. My car goes faster, hauls more and has tons of space in it (and it doesn’t have tons of batteries to replace only God knows when). The new diesels are so clean they can even be sold in California. And then there’s the question of why not a plug in diesel hybrid?

All I hear or read about is subsidies for cars by way of roads, interchanges, parking lots, gas, and oil wars. Lots of people I know get injured or killed in them every year. Big Airline interests get the next big wad of bills. Why is it that nothing goes to passenger rail systems anywhere except California (and they are going bankrupt over this financial mess). I read that California is putting in a 220 MPH rail run from SF to LA. Why can’t I jump on a train and go from Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison and then to Minneapolis? Have to go to Europe for any high tech transportation. The US is dead last. More cars on the road seems like a bad idea to me. Anyone ever think about that nasty mass transportation thing? Eeewww I might actually have to stand near other people. That would suck. I guess we should just stick to what we do best and spend our money blowin up stuff-cool!

Anyway this post-  http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/oil-gas-crude/461 is interesting. I agree with the comments- this post needs to be freshened up a bit. I think I’ll just check all the facts and write a simplified version (heavy on the bullets points) and post it to my blog. This needs to be on peoples’ minds NOW!!!

Next I’ll attack McCain’s and Obama’s energy policies. I know “it’s the economy stupid” but in the long run oil (and deregulation) really got us into this mess in the first place. If we didn’t finance terrorists with our oil purchases we would probably have a lot more money to fight terror.

JCE

Is oil really $10 at the pump without govt help

October 21, 2008

 

cars wait for gas 1973

cars wait for gas 1973

I just read this article and the comments today at

 

http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/oil-gas-crude/461. His math is a little off but the government sites are kinda screwy so I can see where he could go astray.  Check out these two:

http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_cons_psup_dc_nus_mbbl_m.htm

http://www.airlines.org/economics/energy/MonthlyJetFuel.htm

Both sites claim the about the same month but the number are way different. The EIA site states that jet fuel is going at the rate of about 48 million barrels a month is July 2008. The airlines site states that they are going through 1.65 Billion gallons a month in August 2008? How can this be? It says gallons (bils) on top of the column. Even if they meant millions, 1.65 million and 47.76 million aren’t even close. Someone is screwing up here or am I reading something wrong?  According to what I can find on the government sites, they all seem to agree that we are pushing 21 million barrels a day into the US one way or another. To keep it simple let’s say we have a 30 day month. 21×30 is 630 and is fairly close to the monthly figures (a little high but I rounded up).

As for the article’s content, I agree that it would be a nightmare to be weaned off oil overnight but it needs to be done soon. Look at what Brazil did with ethanol-they are way ahead of us. And how about all those high MPG diesels that are all over Europe? They are made buy our automakers over there so why do they never send them to or make them in the US? My 99 VW Beetle TDI gets close to 60 MPG right now and all I do to get better than EPA is to keep my tire pressure up, time stoplights, do the speed limit and coast down hills. There are US brand cars that can do that over in Europe but not in the good ol USA.

And then there’s the hybrids (all the rage) When I bought the diesel I was wondering why anyone would buy a stupid hybrid (with an unproven track record) that you can’t plug in at home, charge it up and drive it for peanuts. If I could have plugged it in I might have bought one. But noooooooo you have to buy a conversion kit for big $$$$$$ to enjoy the “plug in privilege.” What the heck were they thinking? And why did GM kill the electric car right when they were way ahead of everyone? By now the Volt would have been on the market for years. Why did they let Toyota and Honda get the jump on them? Why is GM they closing plants for good and not retooling them for small new generation hi-tech cars like Honda and Toyota are? Diesel engines are about 30% more efficient than gas engines right out of the box. My car goes faster, hauls more and has tons of space in it (and it doesn’t have tons of batteries to replace only God knows when). The new diesels are so clean they can even be sold in California. And then there’s the question of why not a plug in diesel hybrid?

All I hear or read about is subsidies for cars by way of roads, interchanges, parking lots, gas, and oil wars. Lots of people I know get injured or killed in them every year. Big Airline interests get the next big wad of bills. Why is it that nothing goes to passenger rail systems anywhere except California (and they are going bankrupt over this financial mess). I read that California is putting in a 220 MPH rail run from SF to LA. Why can’t I jump on a train and go from Chicago to Milwaukee to Madison and then to Minneapolis? Have to go to Europe for any high tech transportation. The US is dead last. More cars on the road seems like a bad idea to me. Anyone ever think about that nasty mass transportation thing? Eeewww I might actually have to stand near other people. That would suck. I guess we should just stick to what we do best and spend our money blowin up stuff-cool!

Anyway this post-  http://www.energyandcapital.com/articles/oil-gas-crude/461 is interesting. I agree with the comments- this post needs to be freshened up a bit. I think I’ll just check all the facts and write a simplified version (heavy on the bullets points) and post it to my blog. This needs to be on peoples’ minds NOW!!!

Next I’ll attack McCain’s and Obama’s energy policies. I know “it’s the economy stupid” but in the long run oil (and deregulation) really got us into this mess in the first place. If we didn’t finance terrorists with our oil purchases we would probably have a lot more money to fight terror.

JCE

https://johnceberhardt.wordpress.com/

Is a wheel of fortune used to set fuel prices?

October 17, 2008

Well it could be yes and no.

John C. Eberhardt

John C. Eberhardt

 

 

 

 

I couldn’t really think of any good reason why diesel prices have been so much more than regular gasoline prices since diesel has always cost less than gas before 2004.  I did some research on this to see what was what and the government says it’s because worldwide demand is gone up.  However, worldwide demand for gasoline has gone up as well, hasn’t it? Do you think it may have been because many more people use gasoline and were crying and whining about the prices?  Diesel is primarily used for business purposes such as mass transportation and transportation of goods and services. Businesses can complain but are generally stuck paying the price however high it may go.  The result of higher diesel prices and lower gasoline prices was that people paid a little bit less at the pumps but paid more for their goods and services.  So in the long run everyone ended up paying for it in one way or another.

But according to our government the real reasons are explained in this nifty U.S. government approved brochure below:

“Why are diesel fuel prices higher than gasoline prices?

Historically, the average price of diesel fuel has been lower than the average price of gasoline. However, this is not always the case. In some winters where the demand for distillate heating oil is high, the price of diesel fuel has risen above the gasoline price. Since September 2004, the price of diesel fuel has been generally higher than the price of regular gasoline all year round for several reasons. Worldwide demand for diesel fuel and other distillate fuel oils has been increasing steadily, with strong demand in China, Europe, and the United States, putting more pressure on the tight global refining capacity.

In the United States, the transition to ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel has affected diesel fuel production and distribution costs. Also, the Federal excise tax on diesel fuel is 6 cents higher per gallon (24.4 cents per gallon) than the tax on gasoline.”

 Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/bookshelf/brochures/diesel/

   ——————————————————————————–

Ethanol plants go down the tubes

October 17, 2008
 
John C. Eberhardt

John C. Eberhardt

 

The housing bubble pops, investors stumble over each other trying to find another place to make money and end up buying commodities such as corn and oil. The result is that the prices skyrocket. And when oil prices went up so did gas prices. Then there were cries for domestic alternative fuels such as ethanol and then came the mandates and the subsidies. The mandates and subsidies came along inside the Energy Policy Act of 2005. That energy bill back in 2005 mandated that 4 billion gallons of renewable fuel (you guessed it, mostly corn-based ethanol) must be added to the United States’ gasoline supply in 2006. Then it mandated 4.7 billion gallons in 2007 and 7.5 billion in 2012. This is a huge increase in ethanol use but is still only a teaspoon full when compared to the 140 billion gallons of gas the U.S. burns every year.
 

 

Then came the “chicken and the egg” problem. Now we’ll go back to the investors again. Ethanol was supposed to be an alternative fuel that could be produced by many sources including and mostly domestic corn. Investors again stumbled over each other investing in these ethanol plants. Almost overnight ethanol plants started popping up all over the United States and every one of them were designed to use corn. And everything seemed to be going great until the demand for corn went way up as it started to deplete the suppl

 
Just working for a living

y of corn used for our food and for feedstock. This caused the price of corn to rise even more. Once the price of corn went up, this drove the cost to produce ethanol to skyrocket. Then to make things worse, speculators again made a quick buck buying (even more) corn futures which then drove up the price of corn even more. Now the high corn prices, the credit crunch, falling oil prices and decrease consumer demand is causing the opposite to occur.
Just when you thought things were bad enough, another nail in their coffin came as now there were too many plants making too much ethanol. The oversupply of ethanol caused ethanol prices to fall sharply. Ethanol plants that were just finished being built and others that were just starting to be built went bankrupt. It seems like more of them go down every day. John McCain just announced in last night’s debates that he is planning to eliminate the import tariff of 54¢ per gallon on Brazil’s sugar and ethanol imports. And I quote from last night’s debate “”I would eliminate the tariff on imported sugar cane-based ethanol from Brazil.” I don’t know all the answers but I myself can’t really see how this can I help our domestic ethanol industry in any way at all. I think they should be some common ground here somewhere that we could get to. I can’t help but feel sorry for our alternative energy programs. What is going to happen next is anyone’s guess.

Source: http://genomicsgtl.energy.gov/biofuels/transportation.shtm
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Policy_Act_of_2005
Source: http://www.doi.gov/iepa/EnergyPolicyActof2005.pdf
Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/
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High speed rail in the Midwest

October 14, 2008
Amtrak Acela Express highspeed rail train

Amtrak Acela Express high speed rail train

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently published an article (1) about high speed rail in the Midwest. Because this is relevant to my interest in alternative energy and efficient mass transportation, it really piqued my interest. It is a little political but I was planning on posting an article about John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s energy policies any day now.

Here’s a quote from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s article:

“ Congress has shown that it’s wisely heeding the advice of a broad, bipartisan group of national transportation experts and officials, including state Secretary of Transportation Frank Busalacchi, who have spent the past few years examining the state of surface transportation in the United States at Congress’ direction.

Among their conclusions is that after a half-century of neglecting passenger rail in favor of roads and aviation, the federal government now must make a new, massive commitment to intercity rail travel.”

Just talking about high speed trains connecting the big cities in the Midwest is exciting. Currently the passenger rail trains and freight trains are the most efficient transportation method across land. They are also the least polluting. I have taken the train from Milwaukee to Chicago many times. The train station is located in a pretty questionable part of town. Parking your car is not easy and not safe. And once I arrived in Chicago I don’t know quite what to do once I get there. I walk to my destination, try to get on Chicago’s light rail system or hail a cab. The train itself doesn’t run that fast but it is a pleasure to sit back and read a book or work on my laptop. When I arrive in Chicago I feel rested and tranquil. These days however it is so busy you can’t even get a ticket.

Recently I was listening to Wisconsin Public Radio and their guest was Rick Harnish, executive director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association. He said the “in the past train routinely exceeded 100MPH”. And the new rail system will only be able to travel about 110 MPH. We haven’t really gone too far in 100 years. Why can’t we keep up with Spain or France or almost every other country overseas? How did we let our government allow big corporations (oil, automobiles, air, etc.) to destroy our rail infrastructure with lobbyist’s propaganda? It is no secret that automobiles are encouraged and subsidized with parking lots, federal and state road funds and until recently, cheap fuel. In addition, the airlines and automobile makers are given huge cheap loans, and breaks on almost everything. Now is the time to put it right.

You don’t have to go too far to find the culprits in Wikipedia. Take a look at “The Great American Streetcar Scandal”.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_streetcar_conspiracy

“The Great American Streetcar Scandal is a conspiracy theory according to which streetcar systems throughout the United States were dismantled and replaced with buses in the mid-20th century as a result of illegal actions by a number of prominent companies, including National City Lines (NCL), a holding company owned in part by General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil of California and Phillips Petroleum.”

“On April 9, 1947, nine corporations and seven individuals (constituting officers and directors of certain of the corporate defendants) were indicted in the Federal District Court of Southern California on two counts under the U.S. Sherman Antitrust Act. The charges, in summary, were conspiracy to acquire control of a number of transit companies to form a transportation monopoly, and conspiring to monopolize sales of buses and supplies to companies owned by the City Lines.”

The result of the trial was a joke. In 1949, all the defendants were found guilty but only on the second count of “conspiring to monopolize the provision of parts and supplies to their subsidiary companies.” Here’s the punch line: “The companies were each fined $5,000, and the directors were each fined one dollar.” Wow I’ll bet that really hurt them. I’d never do it again if I were fined a whole dollar.

Wake up and smell the corruption. It’s been around for a long time.

Never write off any new propulsion technology and let’s get a little more creative while we’re at it. Who knows, maybe a high tech coal fired clean catalytic steam engine could make a comeback. While I agree this is farfetched, all options should be explored. Trains are simply more economical, safer and least polluting that anything currently out there. They can be powered by a wide variety of energy sources from electricity to clean diesel or biodiesel. Let’s get more right of ways back and lay more tracks. And while we’re at it, we should create more bike trails that actually could take us to work. How about an area for bikes on the train?

A while ago I had another idea that was a little strange but who knows. I was thinking about a special train car system that works similar to what a ferryboat uses. What if you drove your car up a ramp and drove right onto a train car and then rode it to another city? And when you got there you just drove down the ramp off the train car and continued to your destination just like a ferryboat.

John Eberhardt

“Crisis should not derail a great idea. High-speed Midwestern rail network makes eminent sense. Obama gets it; McCain doesn’t” By JERRY RESLER, Posted: Oct. 11, 2008, http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=804824

The future of the diesel car

October 11, 2008

10-10-2008

2010 VW super efficient diesel gets over 200 MPG

If you’re wondering why I began with diesels, it was the simple fact that I have a lot of experience with them.  After I had such good experience with my 1999 Volkswagen beetle, my wife and I purchased a 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI with an automatic and just recently we purchased a 1999 Volkswagen Jetta TDI with a standard transmission for my stepdaughter.

The second reason that I chose to speak about diesels first is because diesel engines are superior to gasoline engines in many ways. They have fewer moving parts and are much more efficient than gasoline engines. Diesel engines are also built with sturdier parts to withstand higher compression pistons that are used in the engine design. These facts enable the average diesel engine to last much longer than an average gasoline engine. Volkswagen’s diesel engine longevity is legendary.  Some members of the TDI club have over 500,000 miles on their engines.

According to Wikipedia “Diesel-powered cars generally have a better fuel economy than equivalent gasoline engines and produce less greenhouse gas emission. Their greater economy is due to the higher energy per-liter content of diesel fuel and the intrinsic efficiency of the diesel engine. While petrodiesel’s 15% higher density results in 15% higher greenhouse gas emissions per liter compared to gasoline,[6] the 20–40% better fuel economy achieved by modern diesel-engine automobiles offsets the higher-per-liter emissions of greenhouse gases, and produces 10-20 percent less GHG emissions than comparable gasoline vehicles. Biodiesel-powered diesel engines offer substantially improved emission reductions compared to petro-diesel or gasoline-powered engines, while retaining most of the fuel economy advantages over conventional gasoline-powered automobiles.”

In addition to greater efficiency, back in 2002, Volkswagen created an experimental car that got over 285 MPG. Volkswagen was shooting for the car to go 100 kilometers on one liter of diesel.   When tested however, it only took .89 liters to go 100 kilometers (or around 285 MPG).  Here’s the math:

3.78541178 liters is equal to one gallon, to go 100 kilometers and one kilometer equals 0.621371192 miles, 100KM would equal 62.1371192 miles (or 235.22 MPG).

 

VW concept 1 litre concept car exceeds 285 MPG

VW concept 1 litre concept car exceeds 285 MPG

 

 

 

Remember, this concept car was developed in way back in 2002 and it actually got better fuel economy, than anticipated scoring a sweet .89L/100km in VW testing or closer to 285 MPG. The production car due in 2010 is supposed to get more like the 235 MPG number.  I don’t know about you but I’d like to have one of those to go to works or just cruise around.

 

You can see details at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volkswagen_1-litre_car

and http://www.supercars.net/cars/1935.html You can see pictures of the production model at: 2002 VW 1 litre concept carhttp://gas2.org/2008/05/07/vw-confirms-1l-concept-will-become-reality-in-2010/

 

Alternatives in transportation today and the future, Part 2

October 9, 2008
Bright Blue New Beetle TDI

Bright Blue New Beetle TDI

After evaluating what was out there in the late 1990’s, (gas and diesels as hybrids and electrics were not even a choice) what I ended up doing was to buy a brand new Volkswagen New Beetle TDI (diesel) in February of 1999. The car was EPA rated 43/49 MPG and at the time diesel cost less than gas. It was the best choice at the time because it beat anything out there. Since I live in the upper Midwest, I had to read up about “gelling” fuel in winter because the temperature had dropped to below -25 degrees F and that is WITHOUT the “wind-chill” factored in. But this problem seemed to be conquered by the winter fuel additives.

The bug has plenty of power, hauls four passengers comfortably and it was the cheapest car that I could find to operate. There was a cost “penalty” for buying the diesel version car and at the time was about $650 over the equivalent model powered by gas. I don’t know what the cost difference is today but they are cleaner (they even pass the extremely strict California standards), faster and there is a $1300 tax credit available if you buy one today.

As for my own personal experience in my stock New Beetle (no modifications), on the hottest day in summer going 85 MPH down the highway with the air on full the worst I ever got was 43MPG (EPA nailed it for once and then some). On the other end, once I began to stick to the posted speed limits (this is a really hard one for me) started to anticipate and slow down for stoplights, coast down hills in neutral shut, park in parking spots that I can drive straight out of (backing up is a waste of fuel) and turn off the engine at long stoplights railroad crossings, etc. (don’t even think about going through the drive through anywhere), I have consistently gotten over 55 MPG. My best tanks are usually around the 57-62MPG range. Keep a vigilant eye on your tire pressure as well.

After joining the local TDI club (yes there are most certainly local TDI clubs in your area) in Madison, Wisconsin, I learned the many tips out there like the overflow tank tip. There is also a tremendous website called Fred’s TDI Page and the TDI Club.

Here is one of the tips that I learned almost immediately: I you own a classic car or remember the old cars, on a hot day the gas would expand and they would frequently start leaking gas out on the cap. The auto makers came up with an elegant solution; they installed an overflow tank. In my car it is 2.2 gallons. There is a little button is depressed when you put the gas cap on. Diesel doesn’t expand as much as gas so if you hold the little button down with the fuel nozzle, you can get an extra 2.2 gallon in your tank (you fool it into thinking the gas overflowed into it. Using this practice I’ve been able to get around 800 miles to a tank. Think about it, you even save fuel because you don’t go to the gas station as often. I would go two to three times more often with the Subaru that the bug replaced.

I had planned to experiment with alternative fuels but could not do anything until the generous 10 year/ 100,000 mile warranty ran out. I hit the 100K mark in August, 2005 so the warranty was up. After this, I started to use biodiesel and biodiesel blends with no problems whatsoever. And by the way, this car will also burn straight vegetable oil (or SVO). Yes it’s true and any oil will do; you can use straight corn oil, soybean oil or get some right from the fryers of your local fast food giants (McDonalds, Burger King, etc.). I like the concept but I’d have to buy a heater tank kit (Google it on the internet) that would take up most of my baggage compartment but you need it to make sure the oil is liquid before it reaches the fuel filter. These tank conversion kits are readily available and expensive but I think they would pay for themselves fairly fast if the fuel prices stay up there. In any case (or at least in my case), these kits are better suited to a larger vehicle like a diesel truck or SUV because I just can’t sacrifice the space in my Beetle. You just can’t put it in when you want to and take it out when you need the space. I think that a clever engineer could make tons of money creating an easily removable tank unit (I’ll have to start working on it).

Another alternative is to cook your own biodiesel (kind of like your own meth lab) there are plenty of websites out there that will step you through the process or sell you a do it yourself kit. Just Google biodiesel or shoot me an email (or comment).

See ya later

See ya later