In 2013 LAcarGUY and Grades of Green through the Trash-Free Lunch Challenge and beckoned students from 16 different schools to try to reduce their waste while furthering education efforts. Since that challenge the winning school, Riviera Elementary, has been putting the prize money to good use making their school even more environmentally friendly. They also went on to have a contest of their own, which resulted in a very cool mural made from a unique material, that should be recycled far more often than it is. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Aw1Q99_lcc?start=2367&w=420&h=315]
About the Trash-Free Lunch Challenge In a partnership with Grades of Green, LAcarGUY started the Trash-Free Lunch Challenge to help reduce waste and teach students about eco-friendly habits. The contest was successful in educating students how to reduce their waste, reuse what they can, recycle everything else and finally to recover energy from unusable products. It also drastically reduced lunchtime waste, (by as much as 70% in some schools).
Riviera Elementary Efforts for a More Sustainable School After Allison Cohen, a parent of one of the children at Riviera Elementary, noticed just how much waste the school was producing at lunch time every day, she knew that something had to be done. She quickly formed “the Green Team” an organization of more than 35 different students to try and improve the health and sustainability of the school. Thanks to the Green Team as well as the prize money from the Trash-Free Lunch Challenge Riviera Elementary was able to pay to switch from Styrofoam trays to a compostable alternative at lunch time. They also setup permanent sorting stations for recyclables around the school collecting everything from typical recyclables, to compost, liquids and even unopened food. The simple sorting station was able to lower landfill trash from 12 bags a day down to two. Just these two actions should help Riviera remove a high amount of waste from their community and they set a good example for the rest of the community, and other schools to follow along with.
A Creative Reminder to Recycle The school also held a contest to see what classroom could collect the most bottle caps. By the end of the contest the school amassed more than 400 lbs. of material that would have ended up in a landfill. All of this was put to use to construct a mural to the school and to make a statement about recycling. Lexi Rampolla, a 5th grader at Riviera, came up with the design of the mural and students and adults came together to put the project together using paint, plywood, and hardware donated by a local Lowes. The finished product serves as an impressive reminder to avoid waste whenever possible. The mural was unveiled at a school-wide assembly and is now being displayed at the school to inspire students, staff members and visitors to be environmentally conscious, and should do so for years to come.
About Grades of Green Grades of Green is a non-profit focused on environmental education. Their mission is to teach students from kindergarten up through 12th grade about the importance of reducing waste and reusing materials whenever possible. Not only do they sponsor or put together competitions such as the Trash-Free Lunch Challenge, but they also take their time to educate children whenever they can. Their work is helping to build more environmentally-conscious citizens and a brighter future for our country.
By Zack McDonald from HybridCars.com
The Fisker Karma has faced some tough press lately, including a brief, misinformed outrage surrounding the fact that the car will be manufactured in Finland despite the Fisker’s receipt of a $529 million loan guarantee from the Department of Energy. As those who have followed the company over the years know, Fisker intended to build the Karma in Finland long before it received any federal loan guarantees, and still plans to manufacture its next vehicle at a factory in Delaware.
Recently though, the headlines have begun to tilt in the Karma’s favor. On Wednesday, it was announced that Automobile magazine had named the car “Design of the Year” for 2012, calling it “a beautiful and highly dramatic automobile, unlike anything else on the road today and yet very much like dozens of the most beloved sports cars of the past.”
The accolade underscores an important point about the Karma that tends to get lost in a flood of often politically-tinged reactions: the Karma is a $96,000 luxury sports sedan and as such, it deserves to be evaluated on different terms from the Chevy Volt or Toyota Prius Plug-in. Emissions-conscious purchasers of luxury performance vehicles haven’t traditionally had many offerings to choose from. The Karma gives this relatively untested market a new option, and according to Automobile magazine-and nearly everyone else who’s driven and reviewed the vehicle-it’s a pretty impressive one at that.
Over in Europe, the Karma got some more good news last week from independent fuel efficiency tests carried out by the German regulatory body Technischer Überwachungs Verein (TÜV). The results of those tests prove that the Fisker Karma is one of the most capable—at least among plug-in hybrid vehicles—electric-only-mode performers in the world. The TÜV’s thorough “real-world urban” tests show that the plug-in returned an impressive 51.6-mile range in electric-only mode. This figure beats the Karma’s official EPA rating by a substantial 19.6 miles.
Of the results, Henrik Fisker, chief executive officer of Fisker Automotive, stated, “We are delighted that the TÜV has confirmed that most owners will achieve a 50-mile range running purely on electric during their daily commute.”
The 2012 Fisker Karma is currently on sale in the US, though production volume is extremely limited and all Karmas to be sold in 2011 have already been spoken for. Come next year, Fisker aims to ramp up production and sell approximately 15,000 Karmas in the US and Europe.
Rather than build an entire new building for our new Fisker Santa Monica store, we took an existing building that was our former Lexus Santa Monica store, remodeled it to be as green as we can be, and will be selling the first truly Eco-conscious luxury car, the Fisker Karma. Let’s let Mike Sullivan tell you all about it.
As you may know, Toyota is growing its Prius family line of vehicles in hopes that a few variations on our most successful battery-powered recipe will offer buyers solutions that the conventional Prius simply couldn’t match. Have you been considering a Prius but felt that the standard vehicle would not accommodate your growing family? Or do you lead a more active lifestyle and require something that will easily carry all your gear without you having to master the art of packing? Well, do we have the vehicle for you.
When it came to designing the Prius V, Toyota’s designers wanted to make sure that the newcomer would still be instantly recognized as a member of the Prius dynasty. Up front, the vehicle wears both stylized head lamps and a rounded front fascia that’s remarkably similar to the 2011 Prius. It also worth noting that the front fenders and hood are completely new sheetmetal. Also, the headlight housing has been altered to incorporate a new ridge that reduces wind turbulence around the side view mirrors. As a result, the small change has a huge impact on interior noise.
From the side, the wagon-like presence of the Prius V is inescapable with its long roof, similarly lengthy rear doors, and an extended cargo area. The rear offers a fairly sizable hatch that terminates in a unique rear spoiler which serves an aerodynamic purpose. Toyota designers and engineers made an effort to decrease the vehicle’s coefficient of drag as much as possible to increase fuel efficiency. Enhancements include touches like protrusions from the front and rear bumper, specially designed side skirts and extensive underbody cladding that help the Prius V return its .29 coefficient of drag.
Engineers essentially stretched the Prius floorplan to give the Prius V an extra three inches of wheelbase and six inches of overall length. Combined with a taller roof, additional glass and large rear hatch, this newcomer weighs 3,274 lb. Opting to skip throwing extra horsepower to all that weight, engineers simply changed the axle ratio from 3.268:1 to 3.704:1. As a result, the Prius V feels just as adequate on the road as the third-generation Prius. The new gear ratio means that acceleration is perfectly acceptable for matching wits with traffic in town or on the highway with 0-60 mph sprints taking an estimated 10.4 seconds. A total of four drive modes are accessible via buttons mounted on the center console, including EV, Eco, Power, and Normal modes.
Under the hood, the same 2ZR-FXE 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine found in the base Prius supplies power in conjunction with a pair of liquid-cooled motor generators. Engineers designed the transaxle case in the Prius V with integrated water jackets for the first time to keep the motors at a steady temperature, thereby increasing longevity and performance at the same time. Combined output sits at 134 hp at 5,200 rpm and 105 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The exhaust recirculation system was also redesigned to decrease the drivetrain’s warm-up period, as a result, the Prius V can reach optimum operating temperature up to a minute sooner than vehicles equipped with the old system.
As most other automakers are flocking to lithium-ion batteries, Toyota has decided that there is no need to pursue the added cost of the technology for the Prius V. Instead, the hybrid wagon uses a modified version of the same nickel-metal hydride battery pack found in the third-gen Prius. Total output has been boosted slightly to 650 volts, and the more compact battery configuration keeps from impeding on interior room. Additionally, the battery pack’s cooling duct now draws ambient air from a hidden location under the second-row seats.
If you’re looking toward a small SUV, a crossover, or a wagon, the Prius V has all the functionality of those vehicles with the fuel economy and panache that only the Prius name can offer. With improved functionality, the Prius V can be the vehicle to accommodate a growing family with an active lifestyle. Contact us to book your test drive today and we will notify you as soon as the vehicle hits our showroom. Follow us on Twitter and join our Facebook community to keep up with the latest updates.
After several delays, production of the Fisker Karma finally began last week. Based in Orange County, California, Fisker builds the Karma at the Valmet Automotive plant in Finland, who also builds cars under contract for Porsche. Deliveries are expected within the next month which is fantastic news.
The Sustainable Business Council of Los Angeles (SBCLA), a non-profit organization which provides a professional networking and education forum for Southern California businesses and individuals working with sustainable products, services, and processes, hosted “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon.” The panel featured six key players in this fast-emerging and competitive industry who guided the audience through a topic that is especially integral to the fabric and future of Los Angeles.
The event took place on Thursday, September 30, 2010, from 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. at Valcucine’s showroom in Beverly Hills. The distinctive presentation reinforced SBCLA’s commitment to showcasing environmentally-conscious businesses, and spotlighted cutting-edge sustainability trends and best practices across a broad range of industry sectors.
Moderated by Plug In America’s (http://www.pluginamerica.org) VP, Paul Scott, who is also President of the Electric Vehicle Association of Southern California, “Electric Vehicle Roundtable and Drive-a-thon” presented: Laura Marion, CFO, Aptera; K. Forest Beanum, VP of Public Affairs & Communications, CODA Automotive; Richard Steinberg, Manager, Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy, BMW of North America, LLC; Eric Shieh, Account Executive, Coulomb Technologies and Mike Sullivan, Owner and President, LAcarGUY
This distinguished group of professionals—representing the cycle of invention to delivery and consumer use—addressed the value proposition of these businesses and California’s leading role in the sector’s growth.
-Why is the timing for electric vehicles more ideal now than when “Who Killed the Electric Car” was released in 2006? What has changed? Or has it?
-What are the sustainable aspects of the vehicle industry vs. other forms of mobility, especially in Los Angeles?
-What are the economic implications of millions of Californians switching from 60% foreign oil to 100% domestic renewable electricity?
-What plug-in vehicles are available today and what will be available in the near future? What are the predictions for the future of electric vehicle adoption?
The event was sponsored by Stonefield Josephson, Inc., LAcarGUY, Valcucine, “Dom,” Luna & Larry’s Organic Coconut Bliss, Summa Marketing Communications, New Belgium Brewing, Evenson Design Group and dubroWorks Public Relations/Marketing/ Project Management.