Green Test Drive: Toyota Highlander Hybrid

The Toyota Prius — for all its efficiency and gee-whiz gadgetry — is a two-bedroom condo kind of car. Not all families can live in a two-bedroom condo. Some families need room for mom and dad and Timmy and Sara and Ariel and Malcolm and Vic and grandma. Oh, and the dog. For those families, Toyota offers the Highlander Hybrid.

Detroit auto show…The audacity of hope

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

You’d expect Doug Fox, the cordial co-chair of the North American International Auto Show, which opens to the public on Saturday, to have some good spin on how this event would rise above the stench of economic panic in the Motor City, and the country.

Not only did he have the goods, by the end of the conversation, I was convinced that this is a pivotal, but not hopeless time for the car industry.

Audubon and Toyota team up to help restore habitats in NYC and Philadelphia

By Clint Williams
Green Right Now

Horseshoe crabs – believe it or not – scuttle about in Jamaica Bay, a 20,000-acre maze of marshland, islands and water that forms the southern boundary of Brooklyn. There would be more if they could find a place to breed.

Decades of debris have piled up on the bay’s beaches, blocking the path to egg-laying sites for the prehistoric-looking crabs. But things will soon get better for horseshoe crabs in New York City – and blue-winged warblers in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, and marbled godwits along the Mendocino Coast of northern California – because of TogetherGreen, an initiative of the National Audubon Society paid for by Toyota.

The program awarded TogetherGreen Conservation Innovation Grants totaling $1.4 million this fall. The grants, ranging from $5,000 to $68,000, will fund 41 projects in 24 states. As you might expect from Audubon, many of the funded projects benefit birds.

Eight Green Concept Cars To Tickle Your Imagination

By John Fadler and Keelan Tollefson

Pushed by the dwindling prospects for fossil fuels, the auto industry is undergoing changes not seen since the days of Henry Ford. Today’s innovators aren’t just looking to gear up production, they’re trying to dial back energy use, and that’s produced a bumper crop of wild and wacky (and some not so wacky) concept cars.

Here are eight of our favorites:

Air Car

It would cost less to manufacture (and buy), less to maintain, less to fuel and there would be no emissions. The makers of this car, Air Car Factories, are either on drugs or they’ve seized the Holy Grail. Their car would run on compressed air collected by see-saw devices on the road. Each car would be refueled through regenerative driving. The Barcelona-based company expects to begin with electric models, until testing is completed on the Air Car. A green dream? We hope it’s a reality.

Nike ONE

That’s right. This is a car designed by a shoe maker. It doesn’t much look like a shoe. More like…nothing you’ve seen before. The car is intended to be “athletic.” No joke. “An athlete training to drive the Nike ONE uses a physical resistance simulator, that mimics the vehicle’s controls, along with the digital simulation within GT4 to train their muscles and mind for specific tracks and competition scenarios,” explains Phil Frank, lead designer, who said his team was inspired by the principals of Nike founder Bill Bowerman. The long term plan is that any movement by the driver would be converted into electricity through nanotechnology using a “Spark Suit.” Frank calls it “the ultimate in convergent technologies.” We agree.