Diesels Get Top Rankings in Fuel Efficiency
Hybrid vehicles may get all the attention when it comes to fuel savings, but it turns out diesel cars are holding their own in government rankings. Advanced-technology diesel vehicles captured four of the top ten spots for the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the "2006 Fuel Economy Guide" produced jointly by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Volkswagen did particularly well in the rankings. The company's TDI versions of the New Beetle, Golf, and Jetta (both automatic and manual transmission versions) all made it into the top ten. Gasoline-electric hybrids took five of the top ten models in the list, with one gas-powered vehicle making the list.
The public is getting the message that diesel cars are fuel-efficient. J.D. Power and Associates expect that the marketshare for diesel-fueled vehicles will more than double from 3 percent in 2004 to 7.5 percent by 2012. Diesels have already seen a 56 percent market growth over the past five years.
Illinois Group Sending Discarded Electronics Products Back Into Use
Not all electronics products headed for landfills are useless. A 16,000-square-foot warehouse in Peoria is filled with discarded electronics products, many of which will get recycled back into use. A not-for-profit group, Recycling for Illinois, is using the warehouse to stem the flow of electronics products on their way to landfills.
The warehouse gets more than just TVs and PCs. Twenty three kidney dialysis machines ended up at the warehouse after the landfill turned them away. The warehouse staff will tear apart the machines to separate hazardous materials from those parts that can safely go into the landfill. A good portion of the products go back into use. The group has 20 to 25 volunteers who salvage usable PCs and TVs and resell the products to the public. The group prides itself on recycling 99 percent of its refuge back into use.
Americans Believe Japanese Best at Hybrids
Even as U.S. automakers are putting a greater emphasis on hybrid vehicles, the American consumer still believes the Japanese car makers are more committed to producing hybrids, according to a poll conducted by TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence. Toyota and Honda get top confidence in the poll. 41 percent of Americans believe Toyota is committed to making hybrids, while 40 percent believe the same about Honda. Only 14 percent of American consumers see Ford as committed to hybrids. GM and Chrysler received 13 percent and 8 percent respectively.
U.S. car makers have long resisted mass production of hybrids, saying the market is tiny. That is apparently about to change. More than half of U.S. car buyers (55 percent) say they are likely to consider a hybrid for their next vehicle purchase. The majority of Americans in the poll (56 percent) believe that hybrid cars are needed if the United States is to become less dependent on foreign oil, and 51 percent believe dependence on foreign oil is the biggest single threat to the U.S. economy.
SLIME BUSTER: Episode 6
New game, new questions. Test your knowledge of RoHS and environmental regulations that impact design engineers and save the world from the clutches of the evil Dr. Slime at http://rbi.ims.ca/4402-510.