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Old 01-11-2010, 03:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
Team Metro
Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

MPGiata - '90 Mazda Miata
90 day: 52.07 mpg (US)

Winter beater Metro - '00 Chevrolet Metro
90 day: 61.98 mpg (US)

Fancy Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 58.72 mpg (US)

Even Fancier Metro - '14 Mitsubishi Mirage top spec
90 day: 70.75 mpg (US)
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GM Lab Eco Initiative: investigating the "bare necessity" car & truck

I cringe as I post this because I realize GM's "investigation" is as much (maybe/probably more) about marketing an image of themselves as it is about actual product development.

So, if somewhere, a marketer at GM just smiled, I apologize.

But I still found the idea interesting, so here it is.

GM has spent time studing what would constitute a "bare bones" car and truck, the goal being a low total cost of ownership (the implication that best fuel economy is not the be all / end all).

They suggest they're talking to US customers to find out what they want, but I think if they ever produce anything remotely like these, it will more likely be for the rapidly expanding Chinese and Indian markets, not North America.

Then again, if Tata makes good on its promise to bring a US-spec Nano over here, the big players had better have a "stripper" up their sleeves to compete.

Without further ado...


Bare Necessity Car

We knew from our research that people wanted an extremely efficient vehicle that was also low-cost and green. But what was really eye-opening to me was that people seemed to desire extreme efficiency even if it meant making small sacrifices/trade-offs. The idea of a back-to-basics, bare-necessity approach to designing a vehicle made sense.
So I had two questions:
How can we design an optimally efficient vehicle? I mean really, what does that even mean?
What are people willing to trade off for efficiency’s sake?

Read more:


Bare Necessity Truck

This project is a real challenge. The people I spoke with used their trucks for EVERYTHING!
We talked to truck owners who were taking personal responsibility for the environment. They were cleaning up city parks, converting their homes to solar power, taking on real projects to do their part. These projects demanded a truck. Their current trucks got less than 20 mpg. They wanted a better way to get the job done without burning so much fuel.

Read more: Bare Necessity Truck

Project MPGiata! Mods for getting 50+ MPG from a 1990 Miata
Honda mods: Ecomodding my $800 Honda Fit 5-speed beater
Mitsu mods: 70 MPG in my ecomodded, dirt cheap, 3-cylinder Mirage.
Ecodriving test: Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown

has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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