Incredible efficiency and lower emissions – the genius of Jonathan Goodwin

“Johnathan Goodwin can get 100 mpg out of a Lincoln Continental, cut emissions by 80%, and double the horsepower. Does the car business have the guts to follow him?”

I had this article from FastCompany.com passed on from the Blogfather and it is still blowing my mind.

Jonathan Goodwin is a self-taught gear-head who is creating a stir in the automotive world by taking production cars, using almost exclusively parts that are widely available, and modifying these cars to create incredibly high efficiency vehicles that run on a variety of fuels (diesel, bio-diesel, hydrogen, recycled cooking oil, you name it).  Oh yeah, and all his mods also produce ridiculous improvements in horse-power!

Here are some excerpts from the article.

In reference to the H3 Hummer he is working on:

“Conservatively,” Goodwin muses, scratching his chin, “it’ll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You’ll be able to smoke the tires. And it’s going to be superefficient.”

He laughs. “Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!”

On the big three:

Goodwin is doing precisely what the big American automakers have always insisted is impossible. They have long argued that fuel-efficient and alternative-fuel cars are a hard sell because they’re too cramped and meek for our market…

Goodwin’s work proves that a counterattack is possible, and maybe easier than many of us imagined. If the dream is a big, badass ride that’s also clean, well, he’s there already. As he points out, his conversions consist almost entirely of taking stock GM parts and snapping them together in clever new ways. “They could do all this stuff if they wanted to,” he tells me, slapping on a visor and hunching over an arc welder. “The technology has been there forever. They make 90% of the components I use.” He doesn’t have an engineering degree; he didn’t even go to high school: “I’ve just been messing around and seeing what I can do.”

So the question is, does Goodwin’s work offer a way for the Big 3 to achieve remarkable improvements to their dismal fuel efficiency, compete with foreign automakers, and jump-start the shift away from non-renewable fossil fuels?

That all depends on the willingness of the Big 3 to move away from tired excuses and tired thinking.  Goodwin shows us that the technology already exists, the skills already exist, and the “bad-ass-ness” Americans seem to crave can co-exist.  The only question is, will the Big 3 adopt these ideas before it’s too late – for their companies, for Americans, and for the planet?

Oh, and a great video of one of his mods featured on Pimp My Ride destroying a Lamborghini:

And an interview with Jonathan Goodwin:

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14 responses to “Incredible efficiency and lower emissions – the genius of Jonathan Goodwin”

  1. jimsey says :

    maybe there still is hope for your 1977 plymouth fury…..

  2. Ben says :

    Buick Lucerne, perfect for getting 100 mpg on french fry oil!

  3. Travis says :

    That should make my Focus get about 300 mpg then!

  4. accident says :

    Hi,
    The topic you have chosen Is really amazing and yes! these things should be known to all the people who are interested in the automobiles.I am reading your posts since long …but this is really something exceptional . I like the way you are writing … Its really awesome ..I hope to see some new more and encouraging posts from you .
    Thanks .

  5. Jeff says :

    Why aren’t more people talking about this? If what you say is correct, where’s Detroit? Why is there not someone willing to invest some capitol in developing a mass produced vehicle with this kind of output?

  6. Denelle says :

    Wow! How much does it cost to convert a vehicle, and why isn’t Mr Goodwin getting $18 billion from the government for R&D?

  7. Ben says :

    Hey Denelle,

    Thanks for stopping by. That’s a great question…my guess it that the real cost is in labour and that’s why it hasn’t been picked up my big automotive manufacturers. Good ol’ Henry Ford got that assembly line thing down, and this would require changing the line.

    Ben

  8. Patrick says :

    Great that Jonathan is getting the fame he deserves. The girl in the interview is almost completely unbearable though.

  9. Moronic Hosts says :

    Interviewing JG in a busy bowling alley? What a joke. The guy has developed something amazing and he has to sit there with these two morons one-upping/jabbing each other. The hosts sound like 2 old fogies barking at each other. Unbearable.

  10. Gwenn says :

    It is ridiculous to assume that every person in the US and even worldwide will have the ways and means to purchase a new fuel efficient vehicle. What would we do with the millions of existing automobiles? Abandon them? The wise way would be to create a way to transform existing older cars and trucks to fuel efficiency. And this would have to be done so that most people can afford this option.

  11. liz says :

    I think the conversion to bio is huge. When do we start?, Also, I still believe in reigning in the power of unlimited resources of H. Show me a duel H-Bio disel conversion kit car engine then we are “Back to the Future” Wishing much sucess to his future in retooling mankind.

  12. jimsey says :

    But I need a nuclear reaction to generate the 1.21 gigawatts of electricity I need.

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