Hydraulic transmission gives engines, wallets a break

Another day, another potential find to avoid the imminent fuel crisis. On the docket today is Ernie Brookins' hybrid drive system, which "captures, compresses, and stores wasted drive-train energy produced when a vehicle's engine is running." Ernie here has concocted a hydraulic transmission that can reportedly power vehicles without the engine running all of the time, and he expects the solution to save motorists around 50-percent in fuel costs. Better still, the contraption could theoretically work on nearly any vehicle -- from school buses to grain trucks to high-octane Power Wheel Jeeps. As these things seem to always go, the project has hit a roadblock without a source of funding, so if any VCs out there are looking for a somewhat solid place to shove $250,000, give this man a ring. [Warning: read link requires subscription]

[Thanks, Rachel]