Categories
Biodiesel Cars

2CV

Not that this car will ever make it to the US, but take a look:

2vc.jpg

Apparently Citroen will release a successor to the classic 2CV. It looks great and will supposedly have an interesting sounding diesel hybrid drive train.

Categories
Cars

A commercial!

I’m not in the habit of linking to ads from my blog, but this one is pretty fun if you’re into car racing.

Categories
Cars

Carver

Check out this interesting three wheeled car, they have videos, a WordPress blog and bbPress forums.

Categories
Cars

Rinspeed concept car

rinspeed-exasis_450.jpg

AutoBlog: “Rinspeed seems to have a knack for coming up with wonderfully quirky answers to questions no one was really asking.”

Categories
Biodiesel Cars

Biodiesel progress report

After a couple of months and 1000 miles running my Landcruiser on biodiesel I have the following to report:

Pros:

  • Feels great to be driving on soybeans!
  • Getting gas at SFbiofuels has been easy (very nice people there too)
  • The car runs perfectly well and a little more quietly than on petrodiesel
  • No more puffs of black smoke when starting the car (it’s puffs of white smoke now)

Cons:

  • The exhaust smell takes a little getting used to (smells like a french fryer, which I guess is still better than regular exhaust)
  • 10% lower gas mileage

My next goal is to get my kids’ school to switch their 8 buses over to biodiesel (I’d love to hear from people who have done a similar project).

Categories
Biodiesel Cars

Switching to biodiesel, part IV

It’s taken me a while, but I have finally made my transition to biodiesel! In the last installment I talked about picking up my diesel Land Rover in Port Hueneme and then getting it ready for the road. Well, something came up while it was in the shop getting fixed up. I had originally been looking for a diesel Landcruiser as my biodiesel project car. After months of trying, I gave up and went for the Land Rover instead. Then while the Land Rover was in the shop, I found a great

landcruiser.JPG

Landcruiser – so now I have 2 biodiesel cars! I found the Landcruiser on eBay. It was listed by Chevrolake Motors in Canada, a car importer/exporter whose name I’d seen listed in the Landcruiser web forums as a reliable Landcruiser importer. I called them up and the car sounded promising, lots of miles (260,000!), but a straight, well maintained car with very little rust. So I headed up to Seattle to meet with Wayne Darby from Chevrolake. He picked me up at the airport and I liked the car immediately (Wayne too 🙂 ). I bought it on the spot and drove it back to San Francisco (Wayne was nice enough to let me borrow his dealer plates for the trip).

Categories
Biodiesel Cars

Switching to biodiesel, part III

I’ve gotten quite a few questions about my progress on getting my diesel Land Rover into the country and running on biodiesel. Well, some things have gone well and some haven’t :).

port_hueneme.jpgIn my last installment I described how I had found a diesel Land Rover from an outfit called UK LandRovers in, you guessed it, the UK. They shipped the car in early July and it arrived in Port Hueneme, just south of Santa Barbara about 5 weeks later. The UK LandRovers guys sent me all the necessary paperwork and I called the port people who recommended Soo Hoo Customs Broker to get the car through customs. The Soo Hoo people were super friendly and efficient and 10 days and $400 ($200 to Soo Hoo and $200 for import taxes) later, I got a call that my car was ready for pickup. I checked with the DMV and they said to just drive it home from the port and then bring it to the DMV to get plates (sounded surprisingly relaxed for a DMV).

Categories
Biodiesel Cars

Switching to biodiesel, part II

After deciding to give biodiesel a try, I had to get a diesel car. It’s not the easiest task in the world to find a good diesel in San Francisco. Because of current regulations, you can’t buy a new diesel in California. So cars like the Jeep Liberty CRD, or the various new diesel Volkswagen’s are out unless you can find a used one – check diesels on Craigslist to see what’s available, they tend to run in the $15-30k range. If you want to spend less (like I did), you can find used Mercedes diesels (check Craigslist again or eBay). There are lots of well preserved 80s models in the $5-10k range. All of the above will work with biodiesel with either no or minimal conversion (replacement of fuel lines might be required on older models). Finally, there are also some diesel pickups and SUVs that show up in those listings. I dismissed those because they are on the large/inconvenient side for San Francisco.