Toyota Prius: only the 2nd greenest car in the US

honda civic gx

The legions of Toyota Prius fans will be disappointed to hear there is a car in the US that is greener than their own little eco-statement hybrid.

According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) who put out a list each year of the 12 greenest cars the Prius only comes in second!.

The winner: The Honda Civic GX which although it only gets 24mpg in the city is rated #1 due to being fueled by natural gas.

How many more years must we wait until the greenest car is one that is powered by a renewable resource instead of just swapping the juice from one kind of hole in the ground for another?

12 greenest cars at CNet

Angstrom G2 portable fuel cell

Angstrom G2 portable fuel cell

We are all waiting for the first fuel cell gadgets to come out but instead of a fuel cell powered phone or mini-pc the first fuel cell gadget many of us own will be something like the Angstrom G2 portable fuel cell.

It has 8 fuel cell modules that put out a total of 2W and it can be used to recharge any device that can be powered through USB.

No word on price but it is a safe bet to say we will see fuel cell rechargers like this sometime in 2009.

Angstrom G2 portable fuel cell via engadget

Fuel cell powered vacuum cleaner backpack

Fuel cell powered vacuum cleaner backpack

Here’s an interesting concept: a fuel cell powered vacuum cleaner backpack.

I like the idea as cleaning the house gets really annoying when you have to keep dragging the power cord from room to room plugging in unplugging ad-infinitum.

The backpack part of it is a bit weird though: a single shoulder strap holding up a rapidly spinning motor, ethanol fuel cells, and a pile of dirt sounds like a recipe for back pain.

Fuel cell powered vacuum cleaner backpack via trendsnow

NEC VersaPro VE – they say it’s Green, but we disagree

NEC VersaPro VE

NEC has announced a new VersaPro VE laptop that comes with an “Eco Button”.

Sounds great right? but what does it do?….. all it does is decrease energy consumption by 20% by reducing the CPU speed and screen brightness. Hello?? is that all. Isn’t that what automatic power management software does? they are replacing an automatic system that works effectively with a manual system.

If you want to consume 20% less power just buy a different laptop, one with a less powerful processor… if you want to have a powerful laptop but consume less power when you don’t need it then use the power management software properly…. if you really want to be green look for a laptop that maximizes the use of recycled materials and has a low power processor and small screen….. whatever you do just don’t buy the VersaPro VE with the eco button because you think you will be helping the environment.

The NEC VersaPro VE seems to be just another marketing ploy by a company pretending to be green in order to get your greenbacks.

Specs: 15.1″ 1280×800 lcd, 2Ghz Core 2 Duo T7250, 80GB HDD, 1GB RAM.

Price: Not known

Our interest level: Zero

NEC VersaPro VE via Akihibaranews

Lumeta Adhesive Solar Panels

Lumeta Adhesive Solar Panels

Solar panels that stick to your roof with adhesive? yep, that Lumeta Powerply from DRI Energy.

Each 8′ x 4′ panel puts out a peak power of 380w an weighs just 54lbs, so they can be fixed to many roofs without additional support or reinforcement. Of course that 380w output will be reduced depending on how much sun you get and if the panels are aligned directly towards the sun (i.e. not on a flat roof).

Here’s a video showing the installation of 6 panels (2.28Kw) in just over 30 minutes.

Lumeta solar panels (via digg)
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Volkswagon L1 Concept Car – 235mpg in 2010

Volkswagon L1 Concept Car - 230mpg

Volkswagon CEO Martin Winterkorn has confirmed that their L1 concept car will be turned into a production car that will be available for purchase in 2010.

The L1 is designed to go 100 kilometers on 1 liter of gas (which equates to 235 miles per gallon) but are they sacrificing too much in search of fuel economy?

The car is a two seater but not side by side – the passenger sits behind the driver, max speed is 75mph, there is no storage space, and there is no information about the safety of this tiny vehicle that could be crushed like a bug by 75% of the vehicles on the typical US highway.

Realistically this will only be usable for trips in cities and on the back roads, and for those kind of trips why not just forego the car and ride a bicycle instead, not only is it green but it’s healthy for you too.