Our Jeep Wrangler gas mileage improvement project is proceeding, albeit slowly. We headed out to SEMA last month to see what the aftermarket options exist to help squeak an extra mile or two out of a gallon of gas. Lo and behold, we quickly tripped into two very cool alternatives that offer a peek into a domestic energy-independent future.
One thing’s for sure. If you’re serious about improving the fuel economy of your Jeep and have serious money to spend the options are out there. The first article in this series mentioned the HPA Motorsports TDI diesel engine swap. We found another cool diesel swap option while scouring the aisles of SEMA’s off-road exhibit hall at the Bruiser Off-Road booth.
With just a few days until the 2011 SEMA show, a group of our esteemed elected officials have introduced “The Low Volume Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Act” (H.R. 3274) – a bipartisan bill that is intended to enable custom car manufacturers to build and market a range of specialty vehicles on a national level.
The bill was introduced by Congressman John Campbell (R-CA). It directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “establish a regulatory structure to facilitate the production of these cars.” Co-sponsors of the bill include Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL), Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL), Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).
How do you make a hybrid even more green? It’s simple … rip out the conventional gasoline tank and replace it with a compressed natural gas (CNG) delivery system. At SEMA 2009, Toyota took a step up from the CNG-converted Yaris shown at SEMA last year, with a CNG-converted Camry Hybrid prepared for the Surfrider Foundation.
Make no mistake about it. Propane-powered hot rods make a remarkable amount of sense. America needs to make an immediate and lasting dent in the amount of imported oil. Of all the alternate fuels, propane offers the most immediate avenue for acceptance. A national infrastructure already exists to for both consumer and commercial applications. Propane conversions on older vehicles needn’t be overly expensive nor difficult to accomplish. This nation has plenty of propane to meet demand and the fuel burns far more cleanly than conventional gasoline.
SEMA 2009 may have been one big blur, but it didn’t take long to find MPGomatic’s pick for car of the show. AMP=D’s ’33 Ford exemplifies the cutting-edge hot rod spirit. It took the AMP=D crew just four weeks to mate a UQM electric motor (pumping out 660 foot pounds of torque) with a set of custom A123 lithium battery packs and stuff it into a Factory Five ’33 kit.