Fuel Efficient Vehicles Can Be Exciting

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 12:31 AM

A revolution is happening in the auto industry and it’s not coming from Detroit. Take John Wayland from Portland, Oregon, for example. He’s an unassuming guy who wanted to do something about his dependency on foreign oil. So, he converted his gutless, gasoline-powered, 1972 Datsun sedan into an all-electric vehicle that he likes to drag race at the Portland International Raceway. To everyone’s surprise, this converted 1972 Datsun, nicknamed the White Zombie, is fast – really fast – and can blow the tires off many a gas-guzzling muscle cars that come to challenge it, including a Corvette. Check out the video to see the White Zombie in action:


Now if clunker conversion isn’t your thing, and you’ve got some serious money to spend, check out the new $109,000 Roadster from Tesla Motors. This all-electric sports car has a 244 mile range on a single charge and can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. Jay Leno gives the car a test drive in the following video:


And if a 2-seater isn’t your thing, Tesla Motors will be releasing the all-electric 4-door Model S in late 2011 which has a 300 mile range and is said to compete with the 5 Series BMWs:


But if Hybrids are your thing, check out the sleek 2010 Fisker Karma 4-door sedan -- an eco-conscious hybrid that can run in "Stealth" mode -- under electric-only power -- and can travel 50 miles without using the engine. Carlos Lago from Motor Trend says that “to conserve energy, acceleration and top speed are limited (the latter to 95 mph). When shenanigans are desired, the driver can select "Sport" mode for the full array of power. Here, the Karma can accelerate from zero to 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 125 mph. All this while the car behaves like a normal hybrid vehicle complete with regenerative braking, and engine start/stop technology. Fisker estimates the total range at 300 miles."





Within the next 5 years, we are going to see some exciting hybrid and electric vehicles on our streets…and Portland is leading the way in preparation for their arrival with the installation of electric vehicle charging stations:

EV Charging Station Unveiled in Portland from Mayor Sam Adams on Vimeo.

Mayor Sam Adams unveils a new electric vehicle charging station and addresses San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in response to the electric vehicle grid race between the two cities.



To learn more about Plasmaboy and Electric Drag Racing, visit:
http://www.plasmaboyracing.com/whitezombie.php

Tesla Motors: Roadster and Model S:
http://www.teslamotors.com/

Motor Trend: Fisker Automotive; Karma Hybrid
http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/112_0812_2010_fisker_karma_first_look/index.html

Posted by Mark H. Baker

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