July 17th, 2008
There’s plenty of different things you can look at if you’re trying to make a 100mpg, super-low-emissions passenger car - from alternative fuels like diesel, to hybrids, advanced engine technologies and even the replacement of the combustion engine altogether with battery-electrics. But Britain’s Axon Automotive has taken another direction altogether, and is achieving some pretty amazing results.
Axon has gone simply for an uncomplicated 500cc engine in a low-weight body, which replaces the traditional heavy steel or aluminium frame with recycled carbon fibre composites - as strong as steel but only around 40% as heavy. Extensive use of carbon materials through Axon’s cars makes a massive impact on the power-to-weight ratio, meaning they can get acceptable overall performance using a much smaller, lighter and more frugal engine. (more…)
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July 10th, 2008
You wouldn’t read about it… Lotus have gone for a different type of ‘green’ by announcing an ‘Eco Elise’ made largely out of hemp… No need to check your calendar, it’s not April 1. The theory behind this radical new approach is that Lotus feels too much “green” car technology is simply concentrating on CO2 emissions at the tailpipe, where the manufacturing processes and materials in many cars are just as environmentally damaging.
To that end, the company is presenting a more holistic environmental focus. The car will be efficient as well as quick due to its light weight and advanced engine technology, but the company has gone further by using completely renewable materials like hemp body panels, eco wool and sisal carpets, cleaner manufacturing technologies, water-based paints and locally-sourced components that reduce the carbon miles inherent in the manufacturing process. (more…)
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