I am a road-test editor by trade. Testing fuel-efficiency is a key part of my job. It seems odd that the EPA, NHTSA and CARB have teamed up on TAR, but that the DOE and USDA have been left out.
The Oak Ridge National Labs work on this topic is crucial. The world’s largest automobile manufacturers are all turning to highly-efficient downsized, down-speeded small displacement forced-induction engines. They produce more power with less weight.
Modern forced induction small-displacement engines LOVE high-octane low-carbon fuel. The most cost-effective way to achieve high-octane is with ethanol.
I have begun fuel efficiency testing with E15 fuel. My first E10 vs E15 test with a turbocharged 1.4-liter 2017 Hyundai Elantra Eco produced remarkable results:
I needed to rent a U-Haul box truck earlier this month and took the opportunity to shoot a video that demonstrates how reduce expenses. Needless to say, U-Haul trucks can be gas guzzling beasts (despite what their advertisements say). The video covers a a combination of fuel economy improvement techniques and other tactics. The truck shown in the video is a 10 foot GMC box truck.
I would have preferred to rent a high roof Ford Transit, but U-Haul only had standard roof versions on their lot. The Transit should be more fuel efficient than an old school box truck. Enterprise rents Transits, but none were available locally, so I was stuck with the little U-Haul Box truck.
I’ve been waiting to test Ethanol Free Gasoline (E0) for eons, but I could never find a local service station that carries it. Blame it on the lawmakers. As it turns out, New Jersey state law stipulates that all of the gas sold here must contain ten percent ethanol. Thankfully, ethanol-free gas is sold on the other side of the Delaware River, fifty odd miles from home. I took Slambo for a ride today, to fill up with E0 for the first time. I intend to test it over a number of tanks.
I spent the better part of three days at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit this past week. While I’ve been to NAIAS a number of times over the years, this was the first time I flew home knowing that I need to start doing things differently, ASAP. Although the price of gasoline may have plummeted, there’s still a mission (make that multiple missions) that must be accomplished. Gas will not stay this cheap forever.
Ford kindly flew me in with a crowd of “Digital Influencers” and I lived happily in the big blue snowglobe with my new comrades. Our agenda was non-stop, starting with a Sunday night visit to the historic Piquette Avenue Plant in Detroit, where the Model T was designed and built.
The recent drop in crude oil prices has driven the cost of gasoline down to remarkably low levels across America. It’s a whole new era, with our country suddenly awash in relatively cheap oil. This couldn’t come at a better time for many families, with all that newly liberated cash finding its way into the holiday gift budget. The piggy bank’s been fracked and we all need new jumbo flat screen TVs, the latest video games and fuzzy blankets.
So how low will gas prices go? What’s really driving the price drop? Is it simply all of the oil flowing from the Bakken Shale or is there more at play? Will OPEC’s gamble pay off? Are we on the right path to American Energy Independence? How does this drop compare to previous drops? (See: Historical Price of Gasoline in America).
I shot a little in-car stream of consciousness video while driving Slambo this week. Please take a gander and tell us what you think in the comments …