Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Nice Betty Makeover, Rich!

The Betty in me is feeling the love today!

I don't normally delve into the details of my love-life (you're welcome), but I've got cause for celebration.

My husband/professor/scientist/expert in the field of car safety design and biomechanics just gave his transportation choice a complete Betty makeover!

Unbeknownst to me, he polled his UVA Biomechanics class last week whether he should keep his Nissan Infiniti M45 Sports Edition or trade it in for a lower emissions, ultra fuel-efficient, "sensible" VW Jetta. Of course they all voted for the Infiniti, to which he replied, "Don't you guys know - My wife is Better World Betty!"

So he came in glowing last night, inviting me to come out to the driveway to see that he is now... ta da! Betty-compliant!

He weighed all the options (bike - we live in the County, hydrogen - the infrastructure in not there yet, hybrid - the Jetta has the price beat and the emissions, fuel-efficiency comparable)

A candy-white Jetta TDI Clean Diesel, VW's Green Car of the Year, sits in our driveway to replace the gas-guzzling, sporty number he had yesterday!

From the literature, the 2009 Jetta TDI is matching the fuel efficiency of the Toyota Prius (without the limited-battery-life issue), getting upwards of 50 mph on the highway.

And diesels are not what they use to be, air-breathing lovers. The Advanced Lean Burn Technology reburns particulates resulting in virtually no particulate emissions. The TDI Jetta meets the upgraded, stringent California emission standards.

Popular Mechanics had this to say: "...The Jetta will be using emission-cleansing technologies developed under the cooperative formed by Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen to make it 50-state legal...One of the biggest environmental hurdles facing diesels, along with particulate matter—by injecting a urea-based solution into the exhaust system upstream from the catalytic converter, where NOx is then converted into nitrogen and water. The Jetta will instead use a NOx-storage catalyst, which is basically a reservoir that temporarily holds the noxious emissions, like a particulate filter, until they can be burned off during one of the engine cycles."

And an ultra-cool bonus: we are eligible for a $1,300 tax credit! Which may help with the extra we'll be paying at the pump.

So if you see a handsome biomechanics engineer zipping around in his clean diesel Jetta, give him the thumbs up. What a Better World Baldwin!


1 comment:

Lostinus said...

Well, what is the emission cost of engineers using energivore computer chips, air conditioning, of the machines used to build this brand new gas-efficient model? What happened to the old Infinity M-whatever-number?
If you start internalizing all the energy cost in you gas mileage, the 50 mpg will go down significantly, and a 10 year old well maintained jetta might be even a better choice.
What is the highest energy cost: building a car or driving it?