Greening your lifestyle is tricky, but greening your auto is downright complex. Should you switch to electric? Is a hybrid good enough? And just where can you get biodiesel these days? It’s enough to make even the eco-friendliest heads spin. But have no fear. Popular Science knows that switching from fossil fuels requires some ingenuity, and we’ve culled some tips to make the, uh, ride smoother.
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Run It on Batteries
Say good-bye to gas altogether by converting your ride to run entirely off a hoodful of rechargeable battery power. Many different car models can be modded-check out austinev.org for instructions, help finding parts, and listings of electric vehicles for sale.
Biodiesel not eco-friendly enough for you? Head to vegmyride.tv to learn how to modify your engine so that it runs purely on even cheaper and quieter-running recycled cooking oil. It´s easier, too: To fill up, just head to a fast-food joint when the fryers are being cleaned out.
Only Drive Virtually
The gearheads at realvirtualcar.blogspot.com hacked an old Renault and turned it into the ultimate driving simulator. The car´s original steering wheel and gauges all still function, but now they´re used to maneuver the driver through a virtual Nascar race.
Plug In Your Hybrid
Kick up that Prius to 100 mpg by skipping the gas tank for local driving. Calcars.org will show you how to load any hybrid with batteries and mod it to charge from a standard outlet. Keep your speed down to stay on electric, and over time you will defray much of the $5,000 cost of the project.
Make Your Own Gas
Run your diesel car on homemade biodiesel fuel, which is cleaner, less expensive and better for your engine than the stuff you buy at the pump. Go to biodieselcommunity.org to get the delicious recipe of cooking oil, drain cleaner and methanol.