Friday Follies: Some odd, interesting and just plain weird auto items


By Jim Taylor, Editor MACS ACtion Magazine



If they get their way, which country would like to emerge as the leader in plug-in vehicles per capita in a few years? USA?—nope. Japan?—nice try, but no. China?—sorry, but thanks for playing.

   The Republic of Estonia has announced its plans to lead the world in that category and has begun by signing a deal with Mitsubishi Motors. The OEM will ship more than 500 of the company’s i-MiEVs into the European nation by early next year. To support the plan, the Estonian government will install roughly 250 charging stations throughout the country.

   Estonia’s population is nearly 1.5 million people, and the country is firmly set on developing one of the most modern vehicle charging systems in the world.



We’ve written before of Unintended Consequences, some even resulting from very well-thought-out plans. Several environmental and painfully-green websites and news services recently reported one occurrence in Europe that is raising eyebrows elsewhere.

   Green and fuel-efficient vehicles are quite popular in Sweden, and their government, like many others, offers a variety of incentives to encourage citizens to purchase such vehicles. Clean-diesel and alt-fuel vehicles have become quite popular and are selling briskly…conserve fuel and reduce tailpipe pollution, right? 

   Not so fast there, Svenska! Recent stats from a study done by the country’s transportation agency showed that emissions from the transport sector increased during the study period by over 100,000 tons. Turns out that even though the new cars emit less, the owners are driving them more. Researchers say that the improved fuel economy and reduced environmental impact are convincing drivers that they can travel more miles without doing damage, thus using more fuel and emitting more CO2.  Go figure.

Yeah, it sticks to the road, but…

You’ve seen those pre-production models done in brown clay that OEMs often trot out to make some styling point. They’re usually sculpted as a shape study or concept display. In one case this week, clay wasn’t the only material at hand.

Londoners were recently greeted by a full-size mock-up of GM’s upcoming Orlando MPV model sitting at the curb (or kerb) and made completely of Play-doh. GM said it was part of a guerrilla marketing campaign to raise awareness of the new vehicle as it nears its marketing launch.

 GM noted that it took eight modelers two weeks and 1.5 tonnes of  Play-doh to create. They also claim its the world’s largest Play-doh sculpture. No word yet if the new vehicle will be available in the model’s brilliant blue or if Smurfette is considering a purchase.

When having your mobile A/C system professionally serviced, insist on proper repair procedures and quality replacement parts. Insist on recovery and recycling so that refrigerant can be reused and not released into the atmosphere.

If you’re a service professional and not a MACS member yet, you should be, click here for more information.

You can E-mail us at or visit to find a Mobile Air Conditioning Society member repair shop in your area. Visit to find out more about your car’s mobile A/C and engine cooling system.

The 32nd annual Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Convention and Trade Show will take place January 18-20, 2012 at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.


About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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