How many gallons of gas did you use on your last trip into the big city?
In this extended video road test, I took a 2013 Ford C-MAX Energi from Central New Jersey into mid-town Manhattan. I experimented with the Energi’s EV Now and EV Later modes to see how it reacted on backroads and Interstate highways, as well as in New York City traffic. The trip started with the battery showing 18 miles of charge. The fifty-odd mile route resulted in a 61 MPG result – easily the most fuel efficient trip I’ve ever taken into NYC.
The C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid has a pure electric range of approximately twenty-one miles when fully charged. While the stated EPA mile per gallon (MPG) estimates are 108 city / 92 highway – compared to 47 / 47 for the standard C-MAX – gas mileage results will always vary, depending on route and distance. 100+ MPGs will only be seen on shorter trips.
Hold onto your flat-brimmed hats. Rallycross is returning to Irwindale and it’s bringing Ken Block’s Gymkhana Grid along with it. ESPN has announced that this summer’s Global Rallycross X-Games events will be held at Irwindale Event Center, home of the very first offical Global Rallycross event back in 2011.
MPGomatic regulars know that we’ve been chasing the Rallycross story since the summer of 2010 when Rally America premiered the sport at New Jersey Motorsports Park with a three weekend series. Lots of water and money have flowed under the gap jump since that first season. Global Rallycross has grown into the antithesis of grass roots racing, with an international series that’s defied the expectations of many.
ESPN – together with the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG) and Irwindale Event Center – will present X Games Los Angeles 2013 on August 1 – 4, with more than 200 athletes in competition venues and event spaces in and around L.A. LIVE, STAPLES Center and – for the first time – Irwindale Speedway. ESPN and ABC will combine to offer 19 live hours of X Games Los Angeles 2013 original programming; WatchESPN will carry every event on ESPN networks; and an additional four-and-a-half hours of original content will be available across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox in the U.S.
The Accord first rolled off a boat onto American shores in 1976 and earned a reputation for overall value and good gas mileage. The Accord grew quickly in popularity to become one of America’s best-selling cars. Honda’s legendary reputation for providing exceptional quality at a reasonable price took it to the top of the charts. The Accord’s fuel economy ratings have consistently been in line with expectations for a mid-sized family sedan. But like its older (yet smaller) brother the Civic, it’s grown quite a bit in size and weight over the years. Just how big? The Marysville, Ohio-built Accord is now classified as a large sedan. Is today’s Civic really larger than those early Accords? Time to get out the tape measure …
Folks often ask me, “what’s the ‘greenest’ car?” This is one of my favorite questions, because it can spur deeper conversation. Some people are shocked when I reply that the ‘greenest’ car is a recycled car. “Wait a minute,” comes the typical response, “a used car … for real?”
They often expect that I would answer with “oh, a (insert the most common name here) hybrid or an electric car (like the one that’s caught the tech world’s fancy that real world folks can’t afford).” Truth be told, 40 mile per gallon (MPG) cars are nothing new. You can find a ten or fifteen year old Honda Civic HX or Volkswagen TDI on eBay that will get 40 MPG on the highway. The older VW Jetta, Golf, Passat, and Beetle TDIs can even run on 100 domestic renewable biodiesel. Vintage Mercedes-Benz diesels can run on biodiesel as well, and they can all be converted to run on recycled fryer grease. There are great bargains to be found on fuel-efficient Saturns, too …
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me an old fryer-grease-powered Mercedes-Benz. All my friends slobber over Teslas, I must make amends …
The Ain’t Fuelin’ project is radical in its simplicity. There are no batteries involved. The technological improvements aren’t glitzy. There’s little visible difference between a modified and unmodified vehicle … unless you know where to look. Most folks will never notice a bit of plastic protruding from a wheel well or a tire sidewall that differs from the original. Inquiring minds never think to check the dipstick in the quest to determine whether that fluid is conventional or synthetic. Folks never crawl under a car to gaze at its bellypan. A small aftermarket gauge nestled on the dashboard is easily overlooked by those more apt to be looking for a port to plug in their smartphone.
Improving fuel efficiency and reducing carbon emissions through mindful maintenance, simple bolt-ons and driving technique might not be glamorous or a flight of fancy, but it is common sense. If you could get better gas mileage and spend less at the service station every month, without making a major investment, why wouldn’t you do it? Continue reading →