Tag Archives: electric cars

Driving green for dummies: It’s easier and cheaper than you think

| ara@queenscourier.com

Green driving is easier and more important than many people think. It’s important because, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, highway vehicles account for 28 percent (1.5 billion tons) of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions each year.

The good news is that you don’t have to buy a new car or dramatically change your lifestyle to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. Just follow these easy steps:

* Upgrade lubricants. Next generation lubricants such as Royal Purple motor oil are formulated with unique advanced additive technologies that allow for longer intervals between changes. This means fewer oil changes which saves you time and money, and helps the environment. Additionally, Royal Purple motor oil has been reported to improve fuel economy by as much as 5 percent compared to ordinary lubricants. It’s also been reported to increase horsepower and torque, so you can switch to an environmentally friendly product without sacrificing performance.

* Take care of your tires. Underinflated and/or misaligned tires can increase fuel consumption by as much as 4 percent, according to the U. S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Making sure your tires are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure will maximize fuel economy and improve the safety and longevity of your tires.

* Replace a clogged air filter. If you have an older vehicle with a carbureted engine, replacing a clogged air filter can improve your fuel economy by up to 6 percent. Air filters keep impurities from damaging the interior of the engine, so replacing the dirty filter will save gas and protect your engine.

* Stay tuned. Keep your car in shape by following the manufacturer’s recommendations for maintenance. Fixing a vehicle in need of a tune-up can improve gas mileage by up to 4 percent.

* Recycle. If you do your own oil changes, find a place that will accept your used motor oil by visiting www.earth911.com.

Learn more at www.fueleconomy.gov.


More charging stations coming to Queens

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Liam La Guerre

In an effort to put a “charge” into fostering clean energy, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently awarded $4.4 million to 10 companies and municipalities to install 325 new electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations throughout the state.

Queens residents can expect some of these charging stations will be plugged into the borough as well.

“It is expected to add more than 100 electrified parking spaces in New York City,” said Kate Muller, a representative of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). “It is anticipated that some of these EV charging stations will be located in Queens.”

Muller added there are currently 15 EV sites in Queens, but NYSERDA doesn’t know where the new stations will be placed because the companies that received the grant money have not finalized the locations of the charging spaces.

Beam Charging LLC, which will be receiving $400,000, is planning to expand on its four Queens charging stations.

“More of them [electric vehicles] have been selling every day and the demand has been increasing every month. It’s the way of the future,” said Beam Charging president Joseph Turquie. “We’ll sprinkle some more in Queens with our other partners. Queens is a very important market to us.”

EVs provide a fuel-efficient alternative to gas and diesel-powered vehicles while helping reduce the dependence on fossil fuels, according to NYSERDA.

The governor said the initiative will ease the pressures of high prices at the pump and make electric vehicles more “affordable and convenient,” among other benefits.

“Creating an infrastructure to accommodate electric vehicles will create jobs and new economic development across the state, while reducing our carbon footprint and helping protect the environment,” Cuomo said.

The initiative also follows President Barack Obama’s plan to develop one million plug-in vehicles on the street nationwide by 2015.

In New York State, approximately 1,100 electric passenger vehicles have been registered since 2011, a Department of Motor Vehicles official said, adding that specific county breakdowns have not been recorded.

With the introduction of the new stations, local politicians expect the number of electric car drivers to improve.

“I think there is willingness for people to want to use it,” said Senator Michael Gianaris. “We need to establish the infrastructure to make using it convenient and that’s why making these charging stations will be beneficial.”