Tech Feature Friday: Hyundai Veloster Turbo Eco Coach and Blue Max
You can compete against other Hyundai drivers or with yourself to try to achieve the best fuel economy.
More drivers these days are conscious of their fuel efficiency and are trying to squeeze every mile out of a tank of gas. Automakers are resorting to sophisticated technologies such as engine start-stop and electric power steering to help car owners save fuel, and they have all sorts of ways to show drivers their fuel economy in real time, using everything from bar graphs to virtual leaves that grow or die depending on how much dinosaur juice is being burned.
Some, like Hyundai, turn it into a game. The 2013 Veloster Turbo I recently drove had two fuel-economy-contest features: one that’s public and allows the owner to compete against other Hyundai drivers, and one that lets owner vie only with himself and his driving habits.
Eco Coach is part of Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics system, which requires a subscription after a trial period. With Eco Coach, a Hyundai driver with an active Blue Link account registers online and his fuel economy is uploaded to an owners-only website. This lets you compete against other owners. In addition to earning “stars” and getting tips on how to improve your fuel economy, you also get the satisfaction of knowing that you’ve saved fuel -- and money.
The other feature, called Blue Max, is a private competition only with yourself. It measures fuel economy in 10-minute increments, and the idea is for drivers to see if they can beat their highest score. I didn’t sign up for Eco Coach, and I have to admit that I failed miserably at besting my Blue Max score. While I’m sure that if I owned the car long term I would be more fuel-conservative, my excuse is that I was driving a Veloster Turbo.
I hope all you "green" enthusiasts realize that all these electronics are actually making your vehicle less efficient. If all of you "environmentalists" (as you think you are) weren't such hypocrites and TRULY wanted the most efficient vehicles possible, you wouldn't have, want, or care about all these gadgets in your cars; but since they (marketing) incorporate the word "green" into their titles, your tunnel-visioned, hypocritical minds actually believe that it really is saving the environment.
The fact that fuel prices are high has NOTHING to do with trying to get people off of fossil fuels for the sake of the environment. It's to make money. That's it. There’s “new” money to be made in the “green” movement, and by raising gas prices, more people are bailing out and buying hybrids. This is a fad, just like anything else. Fossil fuels aren't going away, there's no shortage, and they aren't destroying the environment the way the commercials tell you they are. Wait until they’ve made all the money they can on “green,” all the cash rebates are gone, electricity prices raise due to higher demand, and they tell us all to go back to fossil fuels. All they have to do is finally admit that the batteries from your dead hybrids are polluting the planet much worse than fossil fuels ever will and come up with a catchy new term for going back to gas. They could call it the “re-earthing” movement, advertise it like recycling, charge a "battery-guzzler" tax for buying hybrids, offer a rebate on gas vehicles, and all you hybrid people will jump right back on board with it, because the truth is, most people that buy a hybrid want to save money for themselves, rather than saving the environment. Others really do want (in some part) to "do their part" for the planet (on the taxpayers' dime with the rebates, of course)... and if someone tells them it’s “green,” they will follow blindly, without doing research and making their own decisions.
The "gas crisis" scare-tactic is a win-win for big business and the government. Assuming you're buying an EV for the environment, they have you with the "green" placebo. Assuming you're buying an EV for your own personal financial savings, they have you with cash-back incentives and tax savings. Almost EVERY SINGLE ad, commercial, and banner you see these days goes out of its way to tell you that whatever they're selling you is "green." An advertising slogan is one thing, but GOING OUT OF YOUR WAY to do something is a whole different breed of pretention. If something was truly environmentally friendly, it wouldn't need advertising and it wouldn't generate the government money. Think about it.
Being an environmentalist has nothing to do with using electricity over fuel. It's about picking up litter, not polluting the water, not cutting down trees, and being relatively self-sustaining. If you think you're being helpful to our planet by using electricty only, you are either an ENORMOUS hypocrite, ENORMOUSLY uneducated, ENORMOUSLY oblivious, or ENORMOUSLY manipulated. Do some research on how electric energy is produced, stored, utilized, and disposed of. You are all kidding yourselves if you think you're helping the environment with your hybrids and EVs. Sorry. I'll stick with gas, and leave my vehicles running in the driveway overnight before I buy into this fairy-tale.
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