Tuesday, June 3, 2008

EcoGeeks get all the girls

Just in case you needed another reason to care about the environment: It turns out girls dig guys who dig environmental technology.

According to a study conducted by GM as part of this year's Challenge X competition:

  • Eighty percent of American car buyers would find someone with the latest fuel-efficient car more interesting to talk to at a party than someone with the latest sports car.
  • More than 4 out of 10 (45 percent) 18- to 43-year-olds say it's a fashion faux pas nowadays to have a car that's not green or environmentally friendly.

Little did we know we've been fashionable all along! (OK, maybe not me - I'm still tooling around in my old Sentra.) No one seems to have told 80 percent of America that it's actually greener to keep driving your current car than to invest in buying a new one.

Nonetheless, this study is good news. And when I buy my first new car (never!), I'll be sure to let everyone know how green it is.

GM's Challenge X is a yearly competition among college students to make GM vehicles more efficient. This year's competition had students from 17 universities "re-engineering" Chevy's Equinox to make it more efficient and reduce its greenhouse impact, while retaining consumer appeal.

Solutions the students put together included using alternative propulsion systems like fuel cells and hybrid technologies, and using alternative fuels like biodiesel and ethanol.

This year's winners are from Mississippi State. They increased the fuel economy of the Equinox by almost 40 percent with a hybrid-electric biodiesel engine.

Original here

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