Those who’ve tried The Blade say it works – though, so far, we’ve not met any of them. The purported fuel-conserving, emissions cleansing attachment for autos hit the market late last year amid kudos and celebrity endorsements (Sheryl Crow, Laura Dern and Ben Harper say it’s da bomb).
The simple tail-pipe attachment/filter is said to cut auto emissions by 57 percent, and greenhouse gases by six to 34 percent, depending on the model of your car. That makes the $200 price tag reasonable enough for the carbon-conscious.
But the fact that it can increase fuel economy up to five miles per gallon makes it attractive to just about every Joe and Jane Sixpack in the country.
While we haven’t yet tried one ourselves, the Austin, Texas-based maker Sabertec has enlisted people to sample the device in Los Angeles where it hosted “Drive the Change,” an event attended by Dern, Harper and others promoting the new technology in one of the most carbon-challenged cities in the country.
During the event, the makers asserted that “if all 12 million drivers in Los Angeles installed a Blade on their automobile, we’d reduce emissions…equal to removing six million (cars) off the road.”
Sabertec CEO Bill O’Brien’s claims are pretty impressive. The future will bear out whether they’re accurate. The Blade has been tested in several reputable labs, including California’s Automotive Testing and Development Services Inc., and has been certified by the California Air Resources Board. The Blade also has been approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Basically, the apparatus looks like a futuristic aluminum tube that fits onto your muffler (check out muffler and car specs here) and captures particulate matter via replaceable filters - which are $20 each, to be changed every 10,000 miles. Sabertec’s press folks say the attachment will pay for itself within three to four months. Also, the company’s website states that for many cars, particularly four cylinders, the installation is a do-it-yourself deal. Bigger engines may require a trip to the muffler shop, averaging about $50 for the fix.
If over the coming months the Blade proves to do what Sabertec claims it does, then any driver worth his wheels will go online and by one. However, given that it’s still a new technology with some pretty big claims, the jury’s still out. We’d like to see and hear more.
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