The Tesla Roadster may be the new hotness in green cars, but with the economy in the toilet, it’s unlikely that most average Americans will be able to go out and buy one anytime soon — the car runs at the bank-breaking price of $100,000. That’s why enviro tech company Sabertec has dreamed up the Blade, a handy (and cheap!) eco-friendly device that reduces carbon emissions by increasing gas mileage through better engine efficiency.

Despite the technological intricacies of the Blade, it’s actually just a simple looking cylindrical device that fits over your tail pipe. The blade increases fuel efficiency by decreasing the duration of “cold start” operations — that time where your vehicle emits the greatest amount of pollution — and increasing the volumetric efficiency—a fancy term that means the amount of air that an engine ingests relative to its theoretical maximum. The result is a carbon emissions reduction of up to 12 percent. The device’s filter also pull out particulate matter, little nasties that dirty air and water as well as your lungs.

For those of us who cringe at the thought of performing any mechanical labor on our cars, fear not: The Blade’s Web site has an easy-to-understand installation video that only runs about seven minutes. Or if you’re really opposed to car tinkering, simply bring the car to a shop and a mechanic will install it for you (for a fee, of course).

Here are some of the results on gas mileage increases that the Blade’s Web site touts:

  • 34% on 4-cylinder cars, e.g. Honda Civics, Toyota Corollas, Ford Focuses, etc.
  • 21% on light duty trucks and SUV’s, e.g. GMC 2500s, Chevy Avalanches, Range Rovers, etc.
  • 16% on dual exhaust 8-cylinder sedans, e.g. Lincoln Town Cars, Crown Victorias, etc.
  • 24% on 10 cylinder Box-style trucks, e.g. U-Haul moving trucks.
According to Sabertec, the Blade's laboratory fuel economy and emission testing were conducted by a California-based independent testing laboratory licensed by the California Air Resources Board. However, it’s important to note that fuel-saving devices similar to the Blade have not always lived up to their green claims. Check out this informative Popular Mechanics article to see what we mean.

If you really doubt the Blade’s claims to fame, we at MNN recommend cutting carbon emissions the old-fashioned way, no independent testing required. Try carpooling with someone to work, walking to the grocery store instead of driving, or even just avoiding car idling when you’re waiting in line at the drive thru. You’ll save money, gas and hey, maybe even the Earth.

Story by Jessica A. Knoblauch. This article originally appeared in Plenty in October 2008. The story was added to

Copyright Environ Press 2008