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Safety of Child Seats

I have just watched an interesting lecture by Steven Levitt about car safety for children in the 2-6 age range [1]. The evidence he presents shows that the benefits for children in that age range are at best insignificant and that in some corner cases (EG rear impacts) the child seat may give a worse […]

Car vs Public Transport to Save Money

I’ve just been considering when it’s best to drive and when it’s best to take public transport to save money. My old car (1999 VW Passat) uses 12.8L/100km which at $1.65 per liter means 21.1 cents per km on fuel. A new set of tires costs $900 and assuming that they last 20,000km will cost […]

The Cost of Owning a Car

There has been a lot of talk recently about the cost of petrol, Colin Charles is one of the few people to consider the issue of wages in this discussion [1]. Unfortunately almost no-one seems to consider the overall cost of running a vehicle.

While I can’t get the figures for Malaysia (I expect Colin […]

Perpetual Motion

It seems that many blog posts related to fuel use (such as my post from yesterday about record oil prices [1]) are getting adverts about perpetual motion [2]. Note that the common usage of the term “Perpetual Motion” does not actually require something to move. A battery that gives out electricity forever would be regarded […]

Record Oil Prices

MarketWatch reports that oil prices had the biggest daily gain on record, going up $11 in one day.

They claim that this is due to an impending Israeli attack on Iran and a weak US economy. $150 per barrel is the price that they predict for the 4th of July. That’s an interesting choice of […]

Car Sharing in Melbourne

Recently I noticed that some parking spots in the city area are reserved for car sharing. There seems to be two car sharing companies operating.

Flexicar [1] costs $50 to join, has a $10 per month membership fee (which includes one hour of driving at a value of $12), and costs $12 per hour or […]

A Bio-fuel Petrol Station

Today I happened to see a bio-fuel petrol station! I decided to check it out (even though I was traveling by tram in a part of town that I don’t normally visit so there was no possibility of any real purchase).

The station is Conservo [1]. Their main products are E10 petrol (10% Ethanol and […]

Vegie Cars

I’ve read a lot about running Diesel vehicles on plant oil, but one thing that was never clear was why some people claim that you need special chemical additives. … Their site is very interesting and has some good technical information, even if you never plan to drive a Diesel vehicle it’s worth reading if you are interested in cars. […]

A Better Design for Child Seats

The current method of carrying young children (less than 4-6 years old) in cars is to have a special car seat fitted in the back seat. This has several significant problems:

It takes significant space in the back seat. The child seat is going to add at least 10cm to the length required in the […]

The Silly BMW 745h

BMW has released a new prototype hydrogen powered car. The bmwworld.com web page about it claims the cruising range is 190 miles. Added to the 400-mile range of the normal fuel tank, the 745h can go 600 miles between fill-ups. The first issue is that 10 miles are not accounted for (maybe it finishes the […]