Buddy, Can You Spare a Barrel?
EPA’s Clean Diesel Engine Goes Commercial

Biodiesel Hybrid

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports on the San Diego State University team that is one of 15 finalists in a competition sponsored by GM and the Energy Department to create a green SUV.

[Professor Jim] Burns and his team already have built an alternative-fuel sports car that gets 80 miles per gallon and packs a 260-horsepower engine that does 0-to-60 mph in seven seconds.

It was the cherry-red concept car named the Enigma that got SDSU into the semifinals of this big-stakes game.

“We're the rebel,” Burns said. “We built a hot, fun, red sports car. That's the California in us. You have to build a car that's cool, or else nobody wants it.”

He said his team built the Enigma from the ground up, unlike one of his competitors in the GM Challenge, the University of California Davis, which retrofitted an off-the-assembly-line Ford with a more energy-efficient engine.

Most commercially available alternative-fuel cars run on electricity or a combination of electricity and standard oil-based gasoline. The SDSU Enigma runs on a hybrid of electricity and biodiesel fuel, which is distilled from a biological-based source such as soybeans synthesized into usable fuel. Burns said he wanted a better fuel source than petrochemicals, and all the environmental and political pitfalls that come with that.

That’s very enticing. Some of you have asked about diesel hybrids. This is taking it even further. I’ll see if I can find out more.

Comments

Aaron

260 horses and 80 mpg? Where can *I* get one? ;-)

To me, this seems the best, and only way to go to get the general SUV loving public to even consider something other than their gas guzzling behemouth.

Aaron

260 horses and 80 mpg? Where can *I* get one? ;-)

To me, this seems the best, and only way to go to get the general SUV loving public to even consider something other than their gas guzzling behemouth.

Jean-Pierre Abello

What an excellent idea! Now just add solar cells into the body of the car, that can recharge the batteries when it is parked idle under the sun, and the average gas mileage would improve dramatically as the car should be able to run on its batteries alone under common commuting conditions.

Natty

That is what I'm talking about! Now put some solar panals on your house and convert your hybrid to a plug-in. You can charge it with higher powered PV cells that you don't have to carry around and you could garage your car if you wanted. The the battery bank in the car can become a back-up power system for emergancies! Keep it coming.

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