Monday, January 12, 2009

New Honda Insight: 63.4mpg!

Honda may not have been first to market with a modern hybrid electric vehicle, but the original Insight did beat the Toyota Prius to the US by a few months. As so many other companies have discovered over the years, being first doesn't necessarily guarantee success. You also need the right product for the market at the time. The original Insight had a lot of interesting technology, but it also suffered from some of the same limitations that doomed the EV1.

Still, the original Insight soldiered on from 1999 to 2006 with the Civic hybrid, using the same technology, joining it in 2002. As 2009 kicks off, Honda is launching a new hybrid-only model that revives the Insight name on an altogether more practical machine. This time Honda is aiming for real mass market appeal with a price the company hopes will make the new Insight "The Hybrid for Everyone." Honda invited us out to Arizona before Christmas to sample the new Insight and we can now tell you all about it. Read on to find out if Honda's Insight is on target.

Read and see more photos at autoblog.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Garage Invention Turns Restaurants Into Power Plants

A new garage-engineered generator burns the waste oil from restaurants' deep fryers to generate electricity and hot water. Put 80 gallons of grease into the Vegawatt each week, and its creators promise it will generate about 5 kilowatts of power.
That's about 10 percent of the total energy needs of Finz, a seafood restaurant in Dedham, Massachusetts, where the first Vegawatt is being tested. At New England electricity rates, the system offsets about $2.50 worth of electricity with each gallon of waste oil poured into it.
Vegawatt's founder and inventor, James Peret, estimates that restaurants purchasing the $22,000 machine will save about $1,000 per month in electricity costs, for a payback time of two years.

From Wired. Would you like power with those fries?