What Drives Us episode

#377 Tonka Toy Van Down By The River

30 Jul , 2020   Video

00:00 Intros

07:40 Hybrid Fleets Would Reduce Emissions Now

15:55 Electric Brands Introduces Module EV Bus

22:00 Tesla Willing to License Software and Technology

26:00 Hyundai Ramps up EV Production Plans

37:40 The Real Cost of “Public” Parking

43:15 Community Solar for Those Who Can’t Solar

49: 30 Fossil Fuel Companies Funding the Police

1:01:15 Shout-outs and Go Home

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What Drives Us episode

#370 AutoStupid

11 Jun , 2020   Video

  1. As though Sequester in Place wasn’t harming locally owned business enough, riots across the globe have indiscriminately crippled or fully shuttered small businesses. Please support your local businesses.
  2. A study (with a very small sample size using self-reporting) found that drivers with autonomous features tend to be less attentive and perform actions unrelated to driving.
  3. The Ford Escape Plug-in is expected to get 37 miles per charge before the ICE kicks in. It is expected to have a base MSRP of $5,000USD lower than the RAV4 Prime but, due to its smaller battery, will not qualify for higher incentived.
  4. Hyundai has reached a point where they are making great strides in market share for their EVs. Could this be their tipping point? Will we see even more Hyundai/Kia EVs and perhaps even a Genesis EV?
  5. Even with the drop in carbon emissions as a result of Sequester in Place, all major car manufacturers are expected to miss the Paris Agreement targets for emissions. As the targets and deadlines slip by, maintaining a habitable environment gets harder and harder.

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What Drives Us episode

#348 Dieselgate Saves VW

14 Jan , 2020   Video

This week:
1) States face roadblocks on path to lower tailpipe emissions.
2) BMW remains committed to ICE cars for at least 30 more years.
3) The Prius is no longer Toyota’s top-selling hybrid.
4) Sony shocks CES by unveiling a car.
5) The Fisker Ocean might actually be areal thing.
6) Tesla’s Gigafactory 4 has to tread lightly in the forest.

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audio only,What Drives Us episode

#342: Clean Coal Powered Station Wagons

30 Nov , 2019   Video

russell (and everyone)
Ford Mustang Mach-E debut https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsamid/2019/11/17/2021-ford-mustang-mach-ethe-pony-goes-electric/

VW May Toughen Up Production ID. Space Vizzion With Alltrack-Like Looks

Did they really think they could take sides and not encounter fallout? https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-emissions-california/california-to-stop-buying-gm-toyota-and-fiat-chrysler-vehicles-over-emissions-fight-idUSKBN1XS2B2

you guys are killing me
https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/13/jetpack-aviation-raises-2m-to-build-the-prototype-of-its-flying-motorcycle/ russell Lyft scaling back dubious scooter ops in six cities https://techcrunch.com/2019/11/14/lyft-is-ceasing-scooter-operations-in-six-cities-and-laying-off-20-employees/

Just plain get out of here https://www.theverge.com/2019/11/12/20961812/elon-musk-berlin-tesla-ceo-fourth-gigafactory-construction

Even if all these things are true, my guess is that people will hate them. http://theconversation.com/smart-tech-systems-cut-congestion-for-a-fraction-of-what-new-roads-cost-125718

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What Drives Us episode

#336 Hydrogen Double Take

5 Oct , 2019   Video

  1. Florida Power & Light committed to 1,000 new EV chargershttps://insideevs.com/news/373803/florida-1000-charging-points/
  2. From Yahoo! Finance: Solar and Wind are now Cheaper than Coal in Most of the World:https://finance.yahoo.com/news/solar-wind-now-cheaper-coal-210000650.html
  3. Truly a new take or just flogging an old trope one more time?https://www.thedrive.com/tech/26050/exclusive-toyota-hydrogen-boss-explains-how-fuel-cells-can-achieve-corolla-costs
  4. This is going to be fun: The 2nd Gen Mirai will be out in 2020.  They’re actually making a 2nd Gen:https://www.autoblog.com/2019/09/26/toyota-mirai-hydrogen-fuel-cell-car-second-generation/
  5. And speaking of Hydrogen:Engineers in Alberta think the’ve found a way for the oilseeds to produce clean fuel:https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/alberta-hydrogen-innovation-1.5290297
  6. Lane tape might be a cheap fix to help AV developmenthttps://www.on-sitemag.com/roads/marking-the-way-to-driverless-cars-ontarios-407-etr-3m-team-up-to-test-novel-road-tape/1003965295/
  7. Between 1990-2016, despite a sizable 35% increase in the overall fuel efficiency of our vehicle fleet, national emissions rose by 21%. Why? Because those improvements were accompanied by a 50% increase in driving.
  8. Some people love car dealers (service)

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Planning Trips

5 Sep , 2016  

I’m in the process of recording these articles in a series of videos.  Click the image to the left to watch them.  While there, be sure to subscribe to the channel.

-Tony Schaefer

In another post, we discussed how to best handle your day-to-day commute by finding a mileage-friendly route, memorizing it, and documenting how well you do. This article will address how to handle those unexpected and irregular trips. For example, running errands on the weekends.

Combine Trips

This should be obvious but I’m just throwing it out there.

Quite possibly, the silliest thing you could do is to make a bunch of little errand runs throughout the day. As long as you’re out running errands, hit all your stops in one go. Seriously, there’s not much more to write about this except to make note that the order in which you combine all your trips is important. So with that…

Go to the Farthest Destination First

It seems like the easiest and best thing: go to the closest destination and progress out until you’re at the farthest destination and then head home. However, in terms of mileage, this is the worst possible way to approach the situation. Here is the underlying reason: cars get better mileage once they are warmed up. If you string together a bunch of short drives, the engine will never have an adequate chance to properly warm up. It will always be running in an inefficient warm-up mode.

By starting with the farthest destination, the engine will have that initial chance to get completely up to temperature and start running efficiently. Then, when you head to the second stop, the engine is starting from a warm condition and is more likely to return to optimal temperature before stopping again. The same goes for all subsequent stops. The point here is that you want to give your car at least one long drive to reach optimal temperature.

As with all things, there are exceptions. The above advice works great for non-perishable errands (crafts store, hardware store, library, etc.) However, if the farthest destination is the grocery store with frozen food, you might want to plan the route so you get there last before heading home. If the farthest destination is a restaurant of the theater, you’re going to want to end there.

Consider Taking a Roundabout Route

If you are out running errands, then you’re probably pretty familiar with the area within about 5 miles of your house. With this in mind, you should have a pretty good understanding of traffic fluctuations in relation to a place, time, and day of the week.

When provided the opportunity, take a more roundabout route if it means dodging traffic situations and stoplights. Keeping clear of traffic situations could mean better constant-speed driving as will dodging the stoplights and stop signs.

Did you know that UPS drivers are routed in such a way as to minimize their number of left turns?

UPS engineers found that left-hand turns were a major drag on efficiency. Turning against traffic resulted in long waits in left-hand turn lanes that wasted time and fuel, and it also led to a disproportionate number of accidents. From 2004 to 2012, the right turn rule combined with other improvements saved around 10 million gallons of gas and reduced emissions by the equivalent of taking 5,300 cars of the road for a year.

Think about that. Not only does turning right mean that you spend less time waiting for traffic to clear, it means that you do not cross lanes of traffic as much. Turning right is much safer than turning left.

One consideration that might be a bit of a stretch is that the less-than-direct route might have better roads. In other words, find a path that avoids crappy roads. No doubt you have noticed that your car rolls better and gets better overall mileage on freshly paved, smooth roads. If provided the opportunity, define your route based on traveling on the smoothest roads. Besides, driving on rough roads just plain stinks.

All these things, when put together, might provide a more fuel-efficient route than heading directly to the destinations without any forethought.

Run your Errands when it’s Warm Outside

This concept works in combination with driving to the farthest destination first. Driving when it’s warmer outside will help your engine warm because the air rushing past the engine will be warmer. In some geologies, the morning-to-afternoon temperature swing can be several degrees. You need a sweater in the morning but have stripped down to a T-shirt by mid-afternoon.

If you like to get up and out as early as possible, that’s fine; just as long as you know that you might be taking a hit to your mileage. If you can wait a few hours, when the outside temperature is higher, you will be rewarded with better mileage. In the meantime, find other things you can do perhaps around the house or whatever.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

This is a tried-and-true mainstay of hypermiling. When we feel rushed, we tend to make bad decisions, press a little harder on the pedal, and generally compromise the hard work we’ve done so far.

So here’s what you do: as long as you’re waiting for the temperature to go up, plan your trip so that you hit the farthest destination first. Once you’re done with that, figure out how long your entire trip will take and leave on time. So you see, a bunch of these concepts fit hand-in-hand.


Sometimes we have to make that one-off trip to the grocery store or hardware store or whatever. But when a series of errands require that you top at multiple destinations, taking a little time to plan it all out could reward you with improved overall mileage.

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