Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bring on the Electric Vehicles

I think it is time to have electric vehicles go mainstream. To save money on gas and reduce CO2 emmissions, there is no reason for you or I not to own an electric car or electric scooter. They are out there.

What prevents most people from buying an electric vehicle?

Cost? OK some can be expensive.

Range? On average, people work within 10 to 15 miles from their place of work. Most EVs have a range of 30 to 40 miles before needing a re-charge.

Well here is the low down on the what and how much. A list of who makes and sells electric vehicles. I'll also include prices and where they are available. Some may not be available yet in the US.
Vectrix makes high performance electric scooters that are designed to go on the freeway according to the manufacturer. The range is about 55 miles. I was unable to find the cost of their electric scooters. They are in production and selling world wide.

GEMGEM aka Global Electric Motorcar is a subsidiary of Chrysler Corporation. They sell 6 different models of their GEM line each with different available options. Their top speed is 25 MPH with a range of 30 miles. Prices range from $7,395 up to $14,180 for their 6-passenger GEM e6 model. The GEM is available in the US, Canada, most European countries and Southeast Asia.

Gizmo is made by Nevco. It is a single passenger vehicle designedGizmo for commuters traveling under 45 miles per trip. Its top speed is 45 MPH. The base price for the Gizmo is $12,000. The Gizmo has been in production since 2000 and sells in the US only, as far as I can find on their web site.

These look like they would be fun vehicles to drive. Pricing meets many a budget and make for a very viable product. I wonder how well these models would do in the cold of Upstate NY.

Stay tuned for another installement of Buying Electric Vehicles.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Average Gas Prices Broke $2

According to AAA, average gas prices across the US has broken the $2.oo barrier. Wow! If the price stay this way through next week the cost of our visit for our turkey dinner will be cheaper. Not a bad thing.

Just remember to keep up on the other car maintenance chores. Fuel efficiency should not take a back seat just because it is cheaper to gas up. If at all, taking the money you save and putting it toward that oil change you have been delaying would make great sense. How about a new air filter? Maybe some new tires? OK OK I think you get the drift.

I can't help but wonder how long these lower gas prices will last. It would be nice if it could last longer to affect our other living costs also. But I won't bank on that.

Monday, November 10, 2008

How Good or Pure is the Gas You Buy?

You always hear from some people that they are sold on their brand of gasoline. And that is all they will get for their vehicle. Some people just want to get the cheapest gas. Is there really a difference in gasoline quality from brand to brand. Aren't they all created equal?

I was just at my dealer for service and mentioned that I filled up on really cheap gas at BJs Whole Sale Club. Where upon I got an ear full on how watered down BJs gasoline is and the reason why it is so cheap.

I have a hunch that they may be correct on their assessment as I filled up my motorcycle with BJs gas. Ever since then I have been having trouble with cold starts. Coincidence? I was not getting the same results with the van. On average I was getting good mileage with BJs gas.

Now this car dealer claims to perform it's own independent testing of gasoline from different service stations in the area. They had these tests performed so that when a customer comes in with a fuel issue they can almost pinpoint it to where they last filled up their tank.

Of course, I was curious myself and asked about the other gas stations in the area. The other one that is not recommended is Delta Sonic due to its similar high water content. Mobil was not suggested as it contained a bunch of additives (cleaners). They did recommend getting gas at Citgo, Kwikfill or Sunoco. I forgot to ask about Hess as they are another big player in our area.

Now a good friend of mine swears by Shell gasoline. He claims to get the best mileage with it. Unfortunately Shell does not have any service stations in NY. My friend fills on shell before he crosses the NY border from Pennsylvania. He even fills up his portable gas tanks.

Now I'm not recommending any particular brand of gas, but when you are trying to figure out why your car is running rough or not getting the mileage you should, try a different brand of gas and see if you get better results.

If you have some independent results you want to share please comment. Thank you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote for Change, Vote for Saving Gas

This is just my reminder to cast your vote in these important elections.

A change of the guard. It could be a change for the environmental landscape.
  • More tax incentives for alternative fuel vehicles?
  • More Off-Shore drilling?
  • How about legislation to force automakers to increase the minimum fuel economy of all new cars?
  • Anything to help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Any of the above must be strongly considered by either candidate.
May the best one win.