Extreme Jubbling Video: Guy Driving Car Overloaded With Hay. Probably Can’t Hear Or See The Haters.

One of the comments about the video mentions that it’s Donald Trump’s hairpiece being delivered. That looks about right. [Buzzfeed]


Middle Tennessee State Creates $3000 Plug-In Hybrid Retrofit That’ll Work On Most Cars.

This reminds us of the Protean Drive™ System which would allow automakers to more easily manufacture and convert an existing car model into a hybrid vehicle. But the major difference with the system developed by Dr. Charles Perry and his team at Middle Tennessee State is that the plug-in hybrid functionality can be added to an existing vehicle. In their test, they used a 1994 Honda Accord station wagon. It’s a $3000 retrofit that could improve gas mileage by 50 – 100% and is aimed at “around town” drivers who only need to travel 35 miles or less. [Wired]


Fisker Karma Electric Vehicle On Fire.

This shouldn’t happen and unfortunately, it’ll probably play right into the hands of people opposed to Fisker, their Karma and all EVs. From Fisker:

“We have more than 1,000 Karmas on the road with a cumulative 2 million miles on them. There are more than 185,000 highway vehicle fires in the US every year. In an electric vehicle, immediate suspicion is focused on the battery and high voltage components. The location of the damage to the vehicle in this incident appears to rule out that suspicion. Fisker has not had any battery or high voltage fire incidents with any of its vehicles.”

This is the second Fisker Karma to catch fire and hopefully we won’t hear too many more of these stories. No person was hurt in either fire but the brand is getting fiskered and the vehicle is hearing its share of bad karma jokes (sorry!). [Wired]


Getting To Hybrid Faster With The In-Wheel Protean Drive™ System

Protean Drive System from Protean ElectricFor automakers, creating or converting an existing car model into a hybrid can be comparable to playing chess. Now Protean Electric wants to turn the process into checkers with their Protean Drive in-wheel drive system. It’s a genius idea that puts all the great features of an electric drive system and regenerative braking of a hybrid car in your car’s wheel well. From the Protean website:

“Protean Drive™ also has superior regenerative braking capabilities, which allow up to 85 percent of the available kinetic energy to be recovered during braking.”

Depending on the battery size, the Protean Drive™ system will extend a vehicle’s fuel economy by 30% while only adding 68 lbs per wheel and will deliver power more efficiently at the wheel instead of through the transmission.

In July 2012, Protean Electric received $84 million in funding that will be used to build a manufacturing plant in Liyang China. Their goal is to be ramped up and delivering product in volume by 2014. With the in-wheel Protean Drive™ system, going hybrid and reducing fuel consumption could be an option available for every new car. [Greentech Media]


Toyota Camatte EV Concept Car Is A Teaching Tool For Kids. Doesn’t Look Like Pokemon Character.

Toyota Camatte Daichi EVWe might’ve been onto something when we wrote about how electric vehicles in the Michelin Challenge Design looked like cartoon characters, specifically Pokemon, in an effort to attract future EV customers. Toyota is going a different route with their non-Pokemon-looking 3-seater Camatte Sora & Daichi EV concept cars that are designed for families and adjusts so that even the kids can drive it. For most DRIVERS, the main reservation against EV’s is that they have a limited range. However, our non-driving kids don’t know any differently and the opportunity to adjust, drive and recharge a Camatte EV could become part of their future driving expectation.

Toyota Camatte Sora EV

No word on the estimated release date or price of the Toyota Camatte EV’s but I’m now inspired to rent a golf cart in an effort to educate my kids on effective electric vehicle management. I’ll even sneak in 36 holes of golf in order to stretch and hopefully drain the batteries.

The Toyota Camatte EV’s will be on display at the 2012 International Tokyo Toy Show. At the show, the Camatte may come face to face with cartoon characters that inspire future electric vehicles. [Crave]


Decided What Car To Get By First Asking Ourselves, WWABD (What Would Andy Bernard Drive)? Got A Prius.

Andy Bernard - The OfficeAs of 3pm on Sunday April 15th, we became proud Toyota Prius owners. It sure is a nice ride and the user interface tells you more than everything you’d want to know about how your car is performing. The UI can be a bit overwhelming but it does help the driver adjust their technique to maximize fuel economy in real time. My kids sitting in the back calling us out every time we switched to using the gas engine wasn’t ordered but could be an option on future models.

Being a new Prius owner does come with responsibility.Pious - Toyota Prius vanity license One big one is that we will not put any smug, pro-Prius bumper stickers on our car. Our motivation to get the Toyota Prius wasn’t to be better than anyone; it was simply a decision borne out of cheapness. Compared to our 2002 Honda Odyssey, the Prius gets nearly 3 times the gas mileage and that’s basically all it took. And ours isn’t a plugin model so we won’t be attending any National Plug In Day events but then again, we wouldn’t go even if it was.

So thank you Andy Bernard, the Nard-Dog, for inspiring us to act. We un-piously love our Prius so much that we can’t wait to not drive it!