Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Smart cars, smart students....

Daimler is finally making the Smart Car available in the US. These are absolutely tiny two-seaters popular in the UK, where you can buy them for about $10K. You've seen one, on TV in the Nintendo Wi ad, driven by two Japanese guys. The EPA rated mileage is 45 mpg highway, but UK Smart users routinely get 65-70 miles per Imperial gallon (an Imperial gallon is 121% of a US gallon). The company had a $99 down payment scheme, but ran out of cars!

Small sensation: America gets Smart
Andrew Clark in Detroit
The Guardian,
Tuesday January 15 2008

My parents have a Ford Ka four-seater, another great gas mileage vehicle not available in the US. My dad (whose memory is not the best), reckons he gets 65-70 mpg per Imperial gallon too. Shades of 1973, when the best Detroit could do for the US market in the face of the Arab oil embargo was the Gremlin! Or the Dodge Omni!

Students are back. Snow day yesterday, so false start, but we're off!

Current practical projects: bench-testing the wind turbine alternators, and then reassembling whichever of the two is most efficient to the tower and erecting the tower, switching out the light bulbs in the Sustainability House (and doing a KWH projection and writing about it for the Sustainability House Blog), and crunching wind assessment numbers.

Friends Camp is looking for a cost-benefit analysis (see earlier post), and Will Hafford, SGA President, will be asked to vote (Feb 29th) on a BOT motion authorizing $150,000 of loan money for renewable fuel heat plant for up to four or five existing buildings (again, see earlier post).

And we may soon be looking for a Composting Czar to supervise the Work Study compost crew.

There are others, but these are the biggies.

Any takers for these projects, see me.

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