Listen up, auto manufacturers. When the people start inventing better cars because you are not doing it, you lose cred. So get your gearheads in gear and follow step with the folks in this ABC piece on how to save money by reducing fuel use. For TreeHuggers that caught news but want to know a bit more, or who want to follow suit with the people shown in this video, check the hints over the fold.Fred Crane of Jacksonville demonstrates his invention, the "mileage master", which he wired under his own hood to turn off half the cylinders when the car is up to speed. This technology is available on a limited number of models, for example from
- General Motors: AFM (Active Fuel Management)
- DaimlerChrysler: MDS (Multiple Displacement System), and
- Honda: VCM (Variable Cylinder Management).
Gordon Blau notes that his garage smells like "stale chinese noodles", but that he saves "easily over $3000 a year" by collecting used vegetable oil from local restaurants and mixing it with diesel for his engine. As noted earlier in TreeHugger, US EPA has banned the use of vegetable oil as diesel, the tax guys hate veggie oil. Furthermore, it is not as easy as just funneling your leftover fryer grease into your car's tank--modifications are required or you will gum up the works. But anecdotal evidence suggests the demand is rising for vegetable oil fuel. It never fails: rising temperatures may not move people to action, but rising prices always will.