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The Water Fueled Car

The world energy crisis which first manifested itself in the 1970′s and resulted in huge increases in world oil prices continues to put a hole in our pockets. Since that time scientists have been looking for alternatives to prevent the ever decreasing world reserves being the causation of a global financial crisis.

Coupled with the economic concerns, recent concern over global warming and the environment have also contributed to opinion that we can not sustain our current reliance on fossil fuels. What are the alternatives though?

Surprisingly enough, a great deal of research has been put into the use of water as an energy source. The water powered car goes back as far as 1930′s and has recently come back into vogue in the search for alternative fuels.

Many would find the idea of a water powered car as ridiculous but there is a great amount of scientific research behind it. The general principle is that the water is subject to an electrical current, which causes splitting of the water atoms into Hydrogen and Oxygen, termed Brown’s Gas (after Yull Brown a scientist who conducted a lot of research in this field in the 1970′s), this gas is them combusted to produce energy. The following reactions show the process involved.

2H2O ‘ 2H2 + O2 [Electrolysis step] 2H2 + O2 ‘ 2H2O [Combustion step]

This technology is currently under many patents, including one owned by Hydrogen Technology Applications, who is reportedly in discussions with a major automotive manufacturer. Honda have also produced a “Hydrogen” concept car, which in fact runs on this technology and despite it’s naming, which is only due to the fact that it combusts hydrogen, essential runs on water.

Although we have not currently discovered an economical method to utilise the theory as it stand, many companies have already begun using hybrid technology, which involves supplementing a normal cars fuel supply with water, after installation of an electrolysis device on the fuel intake system. Despite how difficult this sound it is reportedly quite easy to convert your current auto to a water powered car.

As the search for alternatives continues slowly it is interesting as a bystander to observe the advances being utilised and ignored due to economic concerns. It will be very interesting to see what the future holds and what other current perceptions will be blown out of the water in the future.

Venturi Fetish Sports Car Review

Venturi or Automobiles Venturi achieved iconic status as a prime manufacturer of sports cars. At the height of its involvement in car racing, it competed toe to toe with Italy’s Ferrari, the French Bugatti and the German Porsche. These industry giants dominated the racing circuit in Europe. In fact, countless times have the Venturi shown superiority against its acknowledged rivals. But in 2001, Monegasque millionaire Gildo Pallanca Pastor bought the rights to the French Automobile Company and soon enough diverted focus to the production of eco-friendly, green cars.

Under new management, Venturi produced the world’s first ever two-seater electric sports car and aptly named it the Venturi Fetish, produced from its Monaco facility. It could have made a big splash over green car advocates but production has been limited to only 25 vehicles. Thus, worldwide only a select few can test the viability of the Venturi Fetish as a sports car, the rest will simply think of it as a concept car.

The Fetish has been designed to perform comparably with sports cars. Equipped with petrol-powered engines, its batteries can produce 250 horsepower (180kW) with acceleration gauged at 0-100kph (0-60mph) for just less than 5 seconds, according to a 2007 press review. Achieving a top speed of 160 kph (100mph) however falls way below its gas-powered counterparts. Nevertheless, this is already considered respectable since the Fetish runs on only on a single gear and is devoid of a need for a sophisticated transmission system. The torque runs constant at 200 Nm and translates this into a ratio of 9.58: 1.

One aspect that makes the car smart is its electric traction motor. The motor delivers constant Nm torque in all phases of the car’s speed spectrum, including the dead stop phase, unlike combustion engines where torque is delivered progressively and full power is only available at defined rpm ranges. The company specification has indicated Lithium-Ion accumulators as the battery pack and the car covers a maximum range of 250 kilometers on one full charge. Complete battery recharging can de done in an hour (under 30kW three phase) and 3 hours on a standard home outlet via its built-in charger.

The Fetish is built lightweight, made entirely of carbon fiber that employed extensive use of available technologies, particularly from the aeronautics sector. It is completely controlled by microprocessors; the intention being to encourage satisfying drives while ensuring reliability and safety while on the road. To promote the viability of an electric car as a major mode of transport, the Venturi Fetish has embarked on a 2-year world trip. The result has been gratifying so far for this changed public perception over its system.

The design innovation expounded by Venturi shows that there is a better and exciting alternative to petrol powered cars. This suggests that the very essence of automobile tradition – rarity, character and passion are all embodied in this compact electric sports car. Some of it may have found expression in the smooth and delicately formed front wings, projecting brutish appeal and agility, contours that mimic ballet dancers in motion and a general feel and passion reminiscent of cars in the 1950s.

All – New X-Trail Unveiled At Geneva Auto Show

The ongoing Geneva Auto Show has seen the unveiling of many advanced vehicles. From concept to production cars, the event has seen them all. One of the production vehicles to have graced the event is the all-new X-Trail from Nissan.

The Asian brand has finally shown the European auto scene what they have developed to replace the previous generation of the X-Trail. It can be remembered that the first generation of X-Trail received a very warm acceptance from car buyers across the global market. Nissan is now hard pressed to come up with a new version of the X-Trail which will exhibit the characteristics of the old X-Trail and which also will add to the mix new features that will make the new Nissan X-Trail more convincing for car buyers to purchase.

To come up with an idea of what they need to do to the second generation of X-Trails, Nissan has conducted a survey among their customers and asked what areas and features of the X-Trail did they like. The result showed that the majority of Nissan X-Trail owners loved the vehicle for its practicality, design, ease of use, and, of course, driving performance.

Nissan’s Executive Vice President for Corporate Strategy and Product Planning, Carlos Tavares, emphasized on these attributes of the X-Trail in his speech at the unveiling of the vehicle. “Customers love X-Trail’s convenience, its practicality, its strong performance and off-road capability. When we planned the new X-Trail, we were determined to keep those X-Trail roots, but enhance the entire vehicle,” Tavares said.

It is apparent that Nissan has restyled the new generation X-Trail but it still retains the robust and strong shape that auto enthusiasts liked about the original X-Trail. The shoulder line, glasshouse, and the window lines are similar to the first generation X-Trail. The new generation of the vehicle looks good enough even without.

While there are design concepts copied from the original Nissan X-Trail, the newest version offers an improved interior comfort and a new kind of practicality for every driver or passenger. While the interior of the vehicle offers comfort and convenience, it also offers practicality. This is shown in the placement of the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel which makes it easily visible to the driver. While allowing that, the placement also provides ample room for the center console.

The versatility and practicality of the new generation Nissan X-Trail is evident in its trunk. When compared to the previously released X-Trail, the new generation sports 145 liters more of trunk space at 555 liters. The design of the trunk and the enlargement of the area behind the last row of seats allowed the integration of a sliding drawer under the trunk floor. The space underneath the floor gives the Nissan X-Trail owners extra luggage space and a place to stow away valuable items.

The versatility of the X-Trail is further exhibited in the drawer with its partition walls which can be positioned in various ways. But if the owner of the new X-Trail needs more luggage space without having to use the drawer underneath the floor, both the drawer and the floor can be taken out.

Since the Nissan X-Trail is made to handle not so ordinary road conditions, it is equipped with a four-wheel drive configuration. Nissan has introduced their all-wheel drive system ALL MODE for the first generation X-Trail. It is only logical that the new version of the vehicle should also have an improved version of the all-wheel drive system. The current version of the system is now called as the ALL MODE 4x4i.

Improvements over the previous version of the vehicle include the Downhill Drive Support (DDS), and Uphill Drive Support (UPS). The DDS is activated manually via a switch in the center console. This system maintains a speed of 7 km/h when going downhill. This means that the driver can concentrate solely on steering instead of having to worry about the speed of the vehicle. The UDS, on the other hand, is automatic in nature. The system kicks in when it detects more than a 10 percent incline. The system activates the brakes until the driver starts to move forward.