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Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA  
User currently offlineKeesje From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 4140 times:

Seems like a revolution is going on.

Bye bye V8s, SUV's, bully trucks & muscle cars.

It took some economic violence to get the message heard

Welcome to advanced common rail turbo diesels, hybrid and city cars.

It seems Obama's government will take action, the free market mechanism's failed.



159 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGeekydude From China, joined Apr 2004, 401 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 4107 times:



Quoting Keesje (Thread starter):
It seems Obama's government will take action, the free market mechanism's failed.

Buring gas has extra costs such as pollution and the costs the country has to incur protecting its oil interests. When you ignore those external costs, it's small wonder gas price in the US is cheap. Low gas prices have undoubtedly contributed to choice of cars American consumers bought in the past years.

Other countries have much higher taxes on gasoline mostly in an attempt to correct such price extortion due to the fact the free market cannot by itsself price in such external costs.

So in this case if Obama et al step in and do something, I don't think it's bad thing. Markets fail sometimes, and the government can do something to alleviate market failure. Believing that the free market is omnipotent is naive.



FLIB 152 'heavy' low approach...Caution wake turbulance!
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 4060 times:



Quoting Keesje (Thread starter):
Seems like a revolution is going on.

Bye bye V8s, SUV's, bully trucks & muscle cars.

It took some economic violence to get the message heard

Welcome to advanced common rail turbo diesels, hybrid and city cars.

It seems Obama's government will take action, the free market mechanism's failed.

I wouldn't say that Keez. You can put a hold on the order for 300 million hair shirts for a little while yet.

Half the bigass gashogs on the road here come from Germany and Japan. I was cruising by the auto dealer strip here this afternoon and the salesmen at the local Ford dealership were looking sort of glum but the line of gargantuan pickups and SUVs languishing on the lot at the Toyota dealership next door was pretty near as large as the one
at Ford. There are also a lot of Honda Ridgelines, Toyota Sequoias Nissan Armadas and Honda Pilots that nobody's buying. Good riddance to the entire breed.


Muscle cars are a niche market that'll always be around. Ditto sports cars. They're not transportation, they're for fun. The people who buy them don't care about the cost of fuel any more than your average Porsche pilot does.

Larger cars (Chevy Impala and Malibu, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus) are something of a necessity here because as you know long distances separate everything and public transport is vestigial. Comfort and endurance is needed. Likewise, at least here on the prairie a lot of people buy trucks because they need them on the farm. They're very useful if you have a need for the platform. I've got a small pickup and nearly bought an '85 Chevrolet 3/4 ton a couple weeks ago because they're so damn useful.

We've already got hybrids from the General, Toyota, Honda, and Ford but the word on the Accord hybrids tested by our police department was that the elevated price didn't make the kind of economic sense that buying Ford Tauruses for the detectives did. So there's a real cost/benefit analysis issue there, particularly if the objective is not to make a green fashion statement but to put a set of wheels under your ass. I do not think the Smart Car will be anything but a novelty, and the price spread between diesel fuel and pump gas is such that it wipes out any economic advantage that can be gained.

The next big revolution in that line will be plug-in hybrids that can go 50 miles without the gas engine ever firing up, and that's what the Volt is going to do.

In general though, I do agree that the wakeup gong has sounded loud and clear. Our next auto purchase will likely be rather small and efficient, either a Honda Fit or a Chevrolet HHR if I can convince the Dragon Lady to support the home team.


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19509 posts, RR: 58
Reply 3, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 4045 times:

Oh, I think that a condition of any Detroit bail-out should be a MINIMUM average fleet fuel economy of 40MPG by 2020.

Failure to meet the target results in a fine so large that all 3 go out of business.


User currently offlineRayChuang From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 8002 posts, RR: 5
Reply 4, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4030 times:

Actually, the tough exhaust emission control laws may result in not that many diesel-powered automobiles in the USA, due to the very high cost of cleaning up diesel exhaust emissions. Europe is starting to find out much to their horror that diesel particulates can be a serious health hazard and causes serious pollution problems in the Alpine valleys of Switzerland.

The next trend in environmentally friendly cars will be plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV's), which may start entering the market on a large scale by 2010. PHEV's allow for all-electric operation of the vehicle at ranges up to 80 km (50 miles), which means using essentially no motor fuel for the vast majority of commuters out there.


User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2796 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4029 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Failure to meet the target results in a fine so large that all 3 go out of business.

You don't need a fine. Just cut all aid to the Big 3 and they'll go out of business.


User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 4025 times:

"Just cut all aid to the big 3 and they'll go out of business."

Yeah, Elite, along with a zillion other businesses. Maybe even the business you might aspire to work for when you grow up and attempt to enter a productive job market yourself.

So many here on these threads seemingly can't recognise there is such a thing as unintended consequences. Just blind, or totally sucked in by the reliable 'reporting' from the media, or faith in the opinions chanted by our great political 'leadership'? Geeze...jack



all best; jack
User currently onlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 4017 times:



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
The next trend in environmentally friendly cars will be plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV's), which may start entering the market on a large scale by 2010. PHEV's allow for all-electric operation of the vehicle at ranges up to 80 km (50 miles), which means using essentially no motor fuel for the vast majority of commuters out there.

I don't see how can that be evironmentally friendly.


User currently offlineMham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3605 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3998 times:



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):



Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
Actually, the tough exhaust emission control laws may result in not that many diesel-powered automobiles in the USA, due to the very high cost of cleaning up diesel exhaust emissions. Europe is starting to find out much to their horror that diesel particulates can be a serious health hazard and causes serious pollution problems in the Alpine valleys of Switzerland.

I heard a normally reliable car guy mention recently that California would be moving its regulations again and the diesels everybody thinks they will be getting soon won't be legal here again in a couple of years. I have searched Cal EPA and can't find anything about it. It would make sense though that CARB would move the goalposts just when they get something viable.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 9, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3988 times:

Quoting RayChuang (Reply 4):
The next trend in environmentally friendly cars will be plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV's), which may start entering the market on a large scale by 2010. PHEV's allow for all-electric operation of the vehicle at ranges up to 80 km (50 miles), which means using essentially no motor fuel for the vast majority of commuters out there.



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 7):
I don't see how can that be evironmentally friendly.

The thermodynamic efficiency of a large power plant is superior to the best internal combustion engines. Modern turbines are much better at converting combustion into mechanical work than piston engines. That means you get more power from the same unit of fuel. Even after transmission losses to get the power to individual vehicles, you still have a net gain in efficiency when you charge a PHEV from the grid. It's also easier to implement new efficiencies at a centralized generation facility than across a whole fleet of cars.

Toyota and Honda have demonstrated life-cycle environmental consciousness in manufacturing batteries and recycling them at end-of-life. And grid power pollutes less for a given quantity of energy. It's win, win.

Quoting Keesje (Thread starter):
Bye bye V8s, SUV's, bully trucks & muscle cars.

Tap the brakes on that:

http://www.autoblog.com/photos/top-t...t-selling-vehicles-nov-08/1200861/

Quoting Keesje (Thread starter):
It seems Obama's government will take action, the free market mechanism's failed.

It has done no such thing. When fuel prices increased, American drivers began buying more fuel efficient vehicles. That is the free market working! And now that fuel prices are going back down, Americans are buying the cars they actually want to drive now that they can afford them again. Who are you to say what type of vehicle someone else should drive?

The fact that oil bubble hit the Big 3 automakers so hard was due to a cascade of failures that began when Congress couldn't implement sensible energy or financial policies. Energy should be cheap and plentiful. The only failure here is one of political leadership.

[Edited 2008-12-06 08:56:09]

User currently onlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 3956 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):
The thermodynamic efficiency of a large power plant is superior to the best internal combustion engines. Modern turbines are much better at converting combustion into mechanical work than piston engines. That means you get more power from the same unit of fuel. Even after transmission losses to get the power to individual vehicles, you still have a net gain in efficiency when you charge a PHEV from the grid. It's also easier to implement new efficiencies at a centralized generation facility than across a whole fleet of cars.

Not really. The most modern power plants work with approximately 50% thermal efficiency. But how many of them are there? Most of today's powerplants work with roughly 35% efficiency. Add the 7.2 % average transmission losses. The charger, battery and electric drive isn't 100% efficient either. Don't forget that there are utilities that are powered from the engine and somehow are considered granted (included into the car's low thermal efficiency). These would suck on your battery too. Not everyone has California's happy weather, here you need to heat your car for six months a year. At last but definitely not at least, there is not enough power generated in North America to cover the increased demand.

Plug-in hybrids (and purely electric cars too) would make sense if new, large nuclear powerplants were built in the near future. Charging the batteries in times of low demand would help to solve the problems with power output regulation.


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 11, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3931 times:



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 10):

Not really. The most modern power plants work with approximately 50% thermal efficiency. But how many of them are there? Most of today's powerplants work with roughly 35% efficiency. Add the 7.2 % average transmission losses. The charger, battery and electric drive isn't 100% efficient either.

You haven't mentioned the efficiency of the IC engine. The average internal combustion engine is about 20% in ideal conditions, and we know that driving conditions usually aren't ideal.

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 10):
At last but definitely not at least, there is not enough power generated in North America to cover the increased demand.

This is a non-issue. The adoption of PHEVs will be gradual because they will be introduced in just a handful of models that will be built in low quantities. No one is suggesting that all vehicles will become PHEV in one model year. The U.S. is constantly adding generation capacity and will continue to do so in the future. That growth will simply occur faster as demand increases, unless of course we decide to tax and regulate a major source of energy into bankruptcy.


User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3930 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 2):
Larger cars (Chevy Impala and Malibu, Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Ford Taurus) are something of a necessity here because as you know long distances separate everything and public transport is vestigial.

You are absolutely right that comfort is needed on long distances, Dougloid. But the engine choices offered to the US consumers are ridiculous. I don't see why anyone in the states would need more than 90 hp in above mentioned cars.
The funny thing is that all these cars do have small engine options, just not in America because no one cares (or cared) about efficiency before.

Even in a 90 hp car you can easily exceed 110mph which is way higher than any speed limit in the US


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3914 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):
The thermodynamic efficiency of a large power plant is superior to the best internal combustion engines. Modern turbines are much better at converting combustion into mechanical work than piston engines. That means you get more power from the same unit of fuel. Even after transmission losses to get the power to individual vehicles, you still have a net gain in efficiency when you charge a PHEV from the grid. It's also easier to implement new efficiencies at a centralized generation facility than across a whole fleet of cars.

Don't forget too that a significant part of that power comes from renewable and nonpolluting sources like wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and arguably nuclear. Centralizing the source of pollutants, running the source at best efficiency and applying advanced exhaust gas scrubbing technology makes for a cleaner environment and a lower CO2 load in the atmosphere. In addition the fuel's mostly domestically produced.

Quoting Flexo (Reply 12):
You are absolutely right that comfort is needed on long distances, Dougloid. But the engine choices offered to the US consumers are ridiculous. I don't see why anyone in the states would need more than 90 hp in above mentioned cars.
The funny thing is that all these cars do have small engine options, just not in America because no one cares (or cared) about efficiency before.

Even in a 90 hp car you can easily exceed 110mph which is way higher than any speed limit in the US

I think that's where technology like the Volt is going to come in. The engine that will be doing the generating is rather small and all the punch will come from the batteries.


User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 3910 times:

Flexo...yeah, you might eventually get up to 110mph in a 90hp car (what weight? what aero?), but I personally wouldn't want to have to buy a sun dial to time the acceleration. Remember acceleration is an additional safety factor. Mileage? The Impala that's been mentioned rates 32mpg w/standard 3.5 V6. Hell, I'd be more comfortable in that than a 31mpg Camry. And get better mileage, too.

regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineFlexo From St. Helena, joined Mar 2007, 406 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 3898 times:



Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 14):
Flexo...yeah, you might eventually get up to 110mph in a 90hp car (what weight? what aero?), but I personally wouldn't want to have to buy a sun dial to time the acceleration

Did you ever even try it? I used to drive a 90hp Escort here in Germany and 120mph on the Autobahn was no problem at all. Sundial? Not really.
It's of course not high performance but then again, why would you even need a car that goes faster than 90mph?

Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 14):
The Impala that's been mentioned rates 32mpg w/standard 3.5 V6

Imagine the mileage if it was a 1.8...
A 3.5 V6 is way too powerful an engine for that car (In a speed restricted country that is).


User currently onlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3884 times:

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 11):
You haven't mentioned the efficiency of the IC engine. The average internal combustion engine is about 20% in ideal conditions, and we know that driving conditions usually aren't ideal.

No. That's the efficiency of the whole car. The engine itself is in the thirties, modern direct injected turbo diesels are close to 40%. Of course, the hybrid or purely electric car has an advantage in recuperative electrodynamic braking.

[Edited 2008-12-06 15:33:42]

User currently onlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3874 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 13):
Don't forget too that a significant part of that power comes from renewable and nonpolluting sources like wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and arguably nuclear.

Again, not really. In 2006 49 % of all electricity generated in the USA came from coal fired power stations. Only 7% was generated by hydro sources. With 2.4% of other renewables, it's whopping 9.4 %. Only 19.4 % of all production was generated in nuclear power stations. I'd call this whatever but clean.

Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/bookshelf/bro...elecinfocard2006/elecinfocard.html

Just for comparison - here's the graph for Canada:

http://www.canren.gc.ca/tech_appl/index.asp?CaId=4


User currently offlineDfwRevolution From United States of America, joined Jan 2010, 968 posts, RR: 51
Reply 18, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3860 times:



Quoting Flexo (Reply 15):
A 3.5 V6 is way too powerful an engine for that car (In a speed restricted country that is).

Says who? Just because we have speed limits doesn't mean that we want to take an eternity to reach that speed limit. Maybe VW can take the lead here and stop selling the V6 Passat.

Quoting Flexo (Reply 15):
Imagine the mileage if it was a 1.8...

Just use variable cylinder management like Honda and others do. The V6 Accord also has a 3.5L engine, but it runs on the equivalent of 2.3L or even 1.75L of displacement when cruising.

Quoting Flexo (Reply 12):
You are absolutely right that comfort is needed on long distances, Dougloid. But the engine choices offered to the US consumers are ridiculous. I don't see why anyone in the states would need more than 90 hp in above mentioned cars.
The funny thing is that all these cars do have small engine options, just not in America because no one cares (or cared) about efficiency before.

Take a look at the cars equivalent in size to the ones Dougloid mentioned (Impala, Malibu, Accord, Camry, Taurus) that are sold in Europe. They all have more than 90 HP in their base engine. The base European Accord produces 154 HP. So do you want Americans to settle for less than our European counterparts?

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 16):
No. That's the efficiency of the whole car. The engine itself is in the thirties, modern direct injected turbo diesels are close to 40%.

35-40% would be about right for the theoretical thermodynamic cycle (Otto, Diesel, perhaps Atkins for hybrids) but does not account for realistic design considerations. When you account for the internal frictions and the need to run engine accessories like fans, fuel pumps, etc (not talking about cabin accessories like HVAC), you start going down. Account for driving conditions and frequent throttling and you lose more efficiency. Realistically, that puts you back to about 20% engine efficiency. The fuel-to-wheel efficiency lower still, but those factors (like transmission, rolling resistance, and drag) would effect PHEVs too.

Electrical motors do not suffer nearly as many losses when converting the stored electricity into mechanical work.


User currently onlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3856 times:



Quoting Flexo (Reply 15):
Imagine the mileage if it was a 1.8...
A 3.5 V6 is way too powerful an engine for that car (In a speed restricted country that is).

If the rest of the car would be the same, the fuel economy would be in the ballpark too. I love to compare different rental vehicles on "my test track". I drive from YXC to Creston, drive daily to work in Creston, do my test ride to the Kootenay lake ferry on HWY 3b, then back to YXC. I strive to be consistent while driving. The results are sometimes surprising - the 3.9 litre Buick Allure (Lacrosse for our friends down south) was slightly better on fuel than a 2.5 L Camry (both '06 and '07 models. The 0'7 even had an 5AT. Didn't help) . Cars comparable in size (Camry, G6, Impala, Allure) had very similar fuel efficiency regardless of the engine displacement - they all took roughly 9L/100 km (26 mpg). Surprisingly, the 2.0 litre Ford Focus Wagon was slightly worse (just under 10L/100 km).
Two vehicles were significantly worse - Ford Escape (SUV, go figure) and Pontiac Grand Prix (I really enjoyed the car, so I drove waaaay too fast). Both clocked in roughly at 11.5L/'100 km (20.5 mpg). The only car that was better was the Nissan Versa - 8L/100 km (29.4 mpg). However, it was small, underpowered - overall very bad ride.


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8956 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 3848 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 9):

The fact that oil bubble hit the Big 3 automakers so hard was due to a cascade of failures that began when Congress couldn't implement sensible energy or financial policies. Energy should be cheap and plentiful. The only failure here is one of political leadership.

Let's not forget that, if the Big 3 are failing because they failed to build economical vehicles, that is the free market at work again!



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 3844 times:

Flexo...geeze...yeah I tried it (driving in Germany - almost two years worth in an Opel that would be hard pressed to even merge with traffic) and I didn't like it. I'll vote for my choice of having a vote for my choice. Regards...jack


all best; jack
User currently onlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2603 posts, RR: 5
Reply 22, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 3820 times:



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 18):
35-40% would be about right for the theoretical thermodynamic cycle (Otto, Diesel, perhaps Atkins for hybrids) but does not account for realistic design considerations.

The theoretical efficiency of the diesel cycle is much higher than that - it's aroud 75%. The real life is obviously different.

Look, I know very well that the electic engine is the ideal machine to drive a vehicle. That's just a fact. However, I'm not convinced that these plug - in hybrids (and purely battery powered vehicles too) are the way to go. The road between the primary fuel and the wheel is just too long, therefore I don't consider the efficiency gain compared to and IC engine (especially compared to a modern diesel) worth the hassle. And with 70% of electric energy in the US coming from coal, oil and natural gas fired power stations (many of these are old, therefore less efficient) no one can seriously call this kind of drive clean.


User currently offlineCptkrell From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3220 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3807 times:

PPVRA; the market mix of economical vehicles via USA manufacturers is not currently what it should be, I'll admit, but your statement that bad fuel mileage is THE reason for our domestic auto mfgr crisis is simply naive on your part. There are plenty of USA good mileage cars.

Autos worldwide are in dire straits, even for those mfgrs with better econ. And as I said, there are multiples of vehicles from the various (USA) mfgrs that offer decent, even competitive fuel mileage.

"We" aren't in a different boat...ALL the car guys are screwed not only here but internationally. (NOV) BMW down 25%, Mercedes in W. Europe -25.2%, Mercedes in Germany -22.9%, in the US -29.5%, in Japan -46%, Toyota shutting mfgr asm for DEC + JAN in Kentucky, Alabama and California. The list goes on past GM, FoMoCo and Chrysler.

I have several different vehicles that probably wouldn't meet any of the hysterical hugger standards here on the forum, but they all serve my purposes for my wants and needs. My free market choice, and when my wants and needs run out or change, I'll look for a different supply of what I need then. Nobody has EVER forced me into any vehicle purchasing decision and I am 65+ years old. The USA cars offer some good mileage vehicles...I chose to buy my wife a 300C Hemi. Free market choice. Chrysler has some good mileage vehicles. It's not their fault I didn't buy one...it was MY/OUR choice. It was also my choice not to try to get her into some 40mpg shitbox.

If I lived in, say, Lady Lake, FL, or some other menopause manner retirement village, or if I was a barber or butcher (no offense intended) on some little 15-foot wide street in some little European community (like I used to), the thread-starter cute toy would be right cool. I might even buy one over perhaps a golf cart... But it wouldn't haul me a rick of firewood, tow my trailer w/ tractor, transport a bush hog, get the old lady to the bank before closing time and stop by the local steakhouse on the way back from our closest redneck town. My Silverado did. regards...jack



all best; jack
User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (5 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3797 times:



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 13):
I think that's where technology like the Volt is going to come in. The engine that will be doing the generating is rather small and all the punch will come from the batteries.



Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 17):
Again, not really. In 2006 49 % of all electricity generated in the USA came from coal fired power stations. Only 7% was generated by hydro sources. With 2.4% of other renewables, it's whopping 9.4 %. Only 19.4 % of all production was generated in nuclear power stations. I'd call this whatever but clean.

10 per cent is significant and if you add the 20 per cent from nuclear it's 30 per cent nonpolluting. We're planting a lot of wind farms in this part of the country. I'm not a fan of nuclear myself but it is a clean source of energy so far, and the track record's good here safety wise. It also looks from your chart that there's a certain amount of capacity that's idled here in the states. Small scale hydro was pretty big in this part of the world seventy years ago and it's making a comeback in some places.

The key point is that automobiles are diffuse sources of pollution, and it's a lot more efficiently managed when the generation plant can run at peak efficiency, batteries can be recharged at off hours, and better pollution controls are installed at the generation plant.

You folks do have a lot of hydro, but I do believe if memory serves me right that development of it has not been without controversy.


25 Flighty : Fuel taxes on gasoline and diesel (and Jet-A) would be a more much cheaper, and more effective option. Just handing out money for research is not the
26 Geekydude : If only people (including the politicians) could be more like adults, and face the program head on. Slapping on a 2-dollar-per-gallon tax, or even an
27 Flexo : I feel kind of funny even making this argument because I'm driving a V6 myself. I just think it's silly that many manufacturers don't offer their sma
28 KC135TopBoom : Then what? Hold on there, Cowboy. All you do with a PHEV is transfer the enegry required from gasoline to the electric grid, which in the US normally
29 Elite : No, I do realize that there are a lot of unintended consequences, as each of the big 3 employ hundreds of thousands of workers, and those workers sup
30 Alessandro : The smart has it´s limitations, the advantage is that you can park two in the same parking space as an ordinary car. Fueleconomy is good, downside is
31 Post contains links Dougloid : could be, Here's an article. It seems they bought 8 Accord hybrids. I have not yet found an article but the city unloaded them after a year because t
32 Post contains images Keesje : Just for all coments / insights. I just bought a roomy comfortable fast if needed (116 mph) car that does 5.4 l / 100 km average (don't know US equiva
33 Flighty : That car looks beautiful. Today's Peugeots are amazing cars. They WOULD sell here in the USA. We got a bad taste for Peugeot 20 years ago because fra
34 WunalaYann : These are very true words, although unfortunately not spoken enough. Not all is rosy among French cars but I believe that the new Clio, C5, C4, 308 a
35 Superfly : blah, blah, blah, I am hanging on to my Lincoln Town Car regardless of what the trendy is today. There is no way I am going to buy one of these silly
36 Mham001 : Excellent point and points out that somebody truly interested in being "green" would simply keep driving the car they have until there is a monumenta
37 Falcon84 : Just catering to what the market was. The U.S. does love it's big gas-guzzlers. Always has. By 2020? Hell, they should be able to get that in any car
38 MAH4546 : And it will probably continue to do so, especially as gas keeps getting cheaper. A look at recent sales data shows that demand for gas-guzzlers has s
39 Falcon84 : It's getting cheaper for now. It's going to go back up, of that I have no doubt. If some people want to have their gas-guzzlers, they can have 'em. a
40 MAH4546 : It took 22 years for gas to shoot back up the last time it sky-rocketed in the 1980s. They haven't stopped, nor will they stop. The "gas guzzlers" st
41 Falcon84 : Their business has hit a wall called reality. They have to reinvent themselves, and in that reinvention, gas-guzzlers shouldn't even be a part of the
42 MAH4546 : You ignored what I said. The problem was that American car companies had no balance. They focused entirely on the gas guzzlers, and ignored cars. Toy
43 WunalaYann : All my thoughts exactly. Very well said.
44 Falcon84 : That is the single-biggest problem the Big 3 face. It's one reason why union's are so in need of re-invention themselves. They've gone from being the
45 PPVRA : They are still one of the best selling cars. Sometimes they seem like truck companies only. Nothing wrong with that, but then they gotta decided whet
46 MAH4546 : IMO, there is no class of workers more ridiculously overpaid in the U.S. than U.S.-auto factory employees. It is also a huge problem with Volkswagen
47 AvObserver : I'm all for fuel efficient cars myself but I rail against socialism. In the wake of last year's oil price spike, a lot of consumers got the message a
48 DfwRevolution : You will not reach highway speeds in 10 seconds in a family sedan being pushed by 90 HP. For reference, the average family sedan sold with 160-170 HP
49 WunalaYann : 90 hp in a family sedan? How many of these in car dealerships these days? That's right, not exactly many, much less in the US. For your information,
50 Superfly : Very true. It's a shame that our own laws prevents Ford and GM from selling there most efficient cars here in the US. That wall has hit German and Ja
51 DocLightning : SUV's should be limited in production.
52 Mham001 : Who would determine how many SUV's America needs?
53 KC135TopBoom : Because it doesn't meet US safety and pollution standards, and it is UGLY. Falcon84, there are cars on the market today that get 40 mpg, if you want
54 AustrianZRH : Not having a car (you know, we have decent public transport over here ), I borrow my mother's when I need one. She drives a 1.6L Audi A4 with 101 HP.
55 Keesje : What a BS . This particular example has ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), ABS, ASR (traction control system), EBS, (emergency braking system, EBF
56 WildcatYXU : Gee, I don't know, we don't need acceleration over here either. Whenever I merge to the highway following somebody, I'm either forced to do so at 70
57 Mham001 : Yes, the statement is substantive. Different crash tests and some other more minor differences in safety regulation between NA, Europe and Asia is a
58 RayChuang : I think that the new Ford Fiesta when it finally arrives in the USA at the beginning of 2010 will be a hot seller. I believe Ford plans four variants
59 Post contains links PHLBOS : Have you even looked at the EPA ratings for many gasoline-powered cars presently offered before you typed the above-statement? Here's a list of the T
60 Dougloid : Yes and yes....I think. The article was in August 2006.
61 DocLightning : Exactamundo. Global warming and CO2 balance are the biggest threats to the continued survival of the human race. And cars are a big part of the probl
62 Alessandro : Nope, I don´t think anyone of above mentioned cars will be other than "greymarket" cars. Renault could enter the US market due to it´s ties with Ni
63 PHLBOS : You are aware that such a radical change would severely impact the much touted and bally-hooed Honda and Toyota brands as well. Last time I checked b
64 Aa757first : Exactly. How on Earth does Obama being elected have anything to do with the downturn of trucks and SUVs, which could be seen in the summer? What you
65 PPVRA : Yeah, particularly when you are talking older (prehistoric) models. Drove a Mercedes the other day, probably as old as me, with a 2.6l engine. God th
66 AvObserver : I'm one of the VERY few U.S. drivers who'd consider the Smart ForTwo pictured in Keesje's opening post but only because I've no immediate family and l
67 Superfly : ....and it suits your funky taste in vehicles. Didn't you own a AMC Pacer and Pontiac Aztec?
68 PPVRA : I've actually seen a Smart on the highway. I was passing it, and so was everyone else. I wouldn't drive it on the highway if I was her. Suburban driv
69 StasisLAX : For years now, the Big Three automakers have been unable to produce cars competitively, largely because they have to buy their employees’ and retir
70 Flighty : Alfa is coming back to the United States. 2010 I believe. French cars, probably never. The Japanese will jealously guard the compact car market in th
71 Superfly : Well said! All of this non-sense about being unreliable and gas-guzzler is just a bunch of foolishness and lies.
72 MAH4546 : Both Peugeot and Renault have expressed an interest in returning to the United States in the long term. I would not at all be surprised to see Renaul
73 AvObserver : I owned an AMC Gremlin and Pacer and considered an Aztek but didn't buy one, ending up the last time with a smaller Mazda Tribute. The Smart ForTwo w
74 Dougloid : This is the kind of story that gives present and past auto parts counter men nightmares. Where's the Edvard Munch Scream emoticon when you need it?
75 Superfly : Something Honda and Toyota doesn't want to admit but you can find a used late 1980s, early 1990s Honda Civic / CRX that gets roughly the same mileage
76 WunalaYann : This is 2008. Not 1978. Renault would simply source its parts from Nissan, since Nissan sources a lot of theirs from Renault. Kinda circular but you
77 Flighty : Those little cars were about what, 2000 pounds. Our safety standards went up.... they wouldn't pass impact regs anymore. I just looked it up... the 1
78 Superfly : AvObserver doesn't need any of that new-fangled safety stuff!
79 DocLightning : That's fine. Then don't bail out the Big 3. They wanna make all the SUV's they want, they wanna have a 30 MPG fleet average instead of 40? Go right a
80 BA : The fuel mileage numbers listed for the Jetta are for the diesel, not the gasoline. The gasoline Jetta barely reaches 30 on the highway.
81 Superfly : ...and it's a shame that it isn't available in California and other states that have signed on to our asinine environmental laws intended on saving t
82 Post contains links PHLBOS : I just ran a check on the below-website to confirm/verify. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/findacar.htm My bad. Nonetheless, the mileage ratings for t
83 Post contains links and images Superfly : ...and the sad thing is that thousands will buy this car thinking that they are buying a fuel efficient car that is good for the environment because
84 WildcatYXU : Well, it's only partly VW's fault. Let's look at the gasoline engine choices: Cheap and obsolete 2.5L IL5 - I remember this one from late 90-ties Sko
85 PHLBOS : Right off the bat, I know that the similar-sized Ford Focus gets better mileage ratings than the gasoline-powered Jetta... up to 35 mpg highway with
86 Superfly : You Canadians do a better job at researching your vehicles before you make your purchase. Hence that is why I notice a not of GM vehicles on the road
87 WunalaYann : Are you saying that trying to damage the environment a bit less is asinine? Considering it has been sitting atop European build quality rankings for
88 L410Turbolet : If anything, this shows what an overrated car Smart is. With only 2 seats and trunk where you can barely squeeze-in a grocery shopping for the weeken
89 WildcatYXU : I sit corrected. But it had some weird feature (like 5 valves per cylinder), hadn't it?
90 Superfly : You misunderstood me. I am all in favor of laws to protect the environment. Banning the sale of more efficient diesel engines in favor of less effici
91 Post contains links WunalaYann : No it does not. That was my point. Bringing on LPG engines would be much more environmentally efficient and cost-effective than Diesel. Typically, yo
92 Superfly : True but it would be nice to have a choice. Not to mention, diesels last longer, run longer. It's better bang for the buck. Some convert to Veggie-di
93 Keesje : No need to go to extremes, just less outrageously polluting / fuel inefficient cars. I found the heavy US cars not very roomy inside and not fast or a
94 Post contains links and images Superfly : Oh boy! Yep, we should all be driving cars like this. How about Europe stop sending their gas-guzzling SUV and sedans in the first place?
95 L410Turbolet : The high prices of gas/diesel have worked in Europe more than anything else. And if you need "media campaigns" to tell you what to do... then I can o
96 Superfly : Not to mention, Europe has much better public transportation systems in place. Most large European cities were fully developed hundreds of years befo
97 Cptkrell : OK; so is the major thrust seems to be if it's "bad" for the environment, just out tax it so nobody (or almost nobody) can afford it? Is THAT what you
98 WunalaYann : Considering pricing is one of the most (if not THE most) potent demand driver (one just needs to look at fuel consumption dropping when oil soared ab
99 Superfly : I agree. If I want to buy a fuel efficient Ford Fiesta diesel, I should have that right. If I want to buy a Toyota Century or a Zil 41047, I should h
100 BA : The 2009 Jetta TDI is available in all 50 states. It has a new engine and a very advanced exhaust system that meets the very high emission standards
101 WunalaYann : The mental image of you in a Zil is quite puzzling... How about a Hong Ki? Not exactly. You should be allowed to drive it, provided you paid for the
102 Superfly : Even after drinking lots of vodka? I got a photo of one driving down the street when I was in Moscow, Russia a few years ago. Damn that was a beautif
103 PHLBOS : I could not agree more. Not to mention the fact that the Smart certainly is NOT the car to take across either the 21-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunne
104 Flighty : Well, yes. If it is so environmentally harmful that it causes poverty, we should try to avoid environmental clean-up costs, or compensation payments
105 Post contains links and images WunalaYann : You urgently need: 1) A Google search crash course and, 2) A therapy to sort out your sexual insecurity. What you call harsh, scientists and economis
106 Geekydude : Oh, the good old Hongqi (pronounced Hong Chee, meaning Red Flag)! It's a rare sight; the new models are now basically slightly stretched and modified
107 KSYR : Sorry, but I'm keeping my gas-guzzling Chevy Tahoe. 11 MPG in the city, who cares; I love it. And yes, unlike many SUV drivers I do take mine off-road
108 Superfly : You urgently need to learn how to spell. I was just having some fun with your misspelling the first time around. That Hongqi looks cool. What was the
109 DocLightning : Superfly is many, many things. But he is not sexually insecure. He makes me look like Scarlett O'Hara in Amsterdam's Red Light District.
110 ACDC8 : Just reading a bit of this thread here, in regards to the VW Jettas, IIRC the only gasoline engine options for the Jetta/Rabbit (in North America) on
111 WunalaYann : Sorry but the mental image is a bit too much to bear. I am trying to picture Scarlett with handlebar Movember 'tash. Dear, that hurts. Wanna tell tha
112 Superfly : No one is freaking out. Just pointing something out. Make that every single US worker at this point. I thank my lucky stars. Come to think of it, you
113 Post contains links KC135TopBoom : Most cars built in Europe need extensive modifications to the body, doors, lights, engines, and electrical systems. They need things like additional
114 Cptkrell : TopBoom wrote: (Doran home-built) Uhhh...using a 20-year-old drivetrain and building it yourself for $5K? I don't think so regards...jack
115 Mham001 : That is an interesting thought but perhaps the buyer of the new car every few years should be paying more for all the environmental damage they creat
116 Superfly : Then again, keeping your car running isn't making a huge political statement with your wheels. Prius and Hummer drivers are really one of the same. T
117 WunalaYann : Sources? You work for them perhaps? Both these brands only produce vehicles that satisfy Euro 4 and above regulations, as well as NCCAP testings (and
118 Superfly : What about when buying the car used? How would you levy those charges? Would it be fair for a government to levy those fees every time the owners cha
119 Alessandro : Not true, the Euro NCAP tests are very similar to the US ones. Asian brands can be have limited imports due to the extra cost of converting a car fro
120 MAH4546 : No, they most likely will not. Most European cars can meet U.S. standards with minimal modification, and visa-versa. Car companies aren't the brighte
121 Post contains links Dougloid : For all you fans of real iron, there's the Chang Jiang motorcycle. http://www.chang-jiang.com/bmw/welcome.html
122 WunalaYann : Very good point. There is an interesting calculation of the residual production-generated emissions to make. Or, as you mentioned, the buyer of a sec
123 Post contains images Flighty : "We Hear you have Cadillac Style in USA... We have given this muc Presenting CHINA STYLE" Dong Tian 750 Second-hand buyers are in effect recycling an
124 Dougloid : That's right. Saving a serviceable vehicle from the wrecking yard and getting more life out of it is the greenest thing I know of. The pickup's got 3
125 Mham001 : Oh, you want to make it retroactive too. Why didn't you just say you want to tax the hell out of people for being? No its not quite that simple. Some
126 Superfly : Very true. It's also very frugal as well. You can't win with these folks. The ecofreaks are just paranoid schizophrenics that hate humans.
127 AvObserver : Right! Who wants to live forever, especially with the country going to Hell in a handbasket? HAH! Good analysis, for the most part. As I said earlier
128 Post contains links and images Keesje : Comfortable save and fast cars exist. Rreasonable compromises between totally overdone Hummers & anecdotical fuel nipping concept cars. Typical 4 cili
129 Post contains links Dougloid : Hummer's got the bad rap and the fuel economy sucks but it's no worse than a lot of others. Just in the interests of journalistic integrity and all,
130 PHLBOS : When most people hear the brand Hummer; they usually think of the larger H2 model; which is heavy enough to be exempted from having the EPA ratings p
131 Flighty : You could say police officers too, since it is their job to ruin some people's day. I agree about ecofreaks, the ignorant ones, but we would call the
132 Superfly : Don't they already pay at the pump? Poor fuel economy is enough to discourage these vehicles in the first place.
133 WildcatYXU : On the end of the day it all boils down to the old and very well known fact - one should use the right equipment for the mission. If you really think
134 MAH4546 : Yes, it is that simple, and that is because all major car companies design the majority of their vehicles to be globally compliant from day one. Woul
135 WunalaYann : Er, excuse me? Let us start again. You buy a new car. You pay for its emissions and the energy needed to build it. Still with me? Let us assume that
136 Superfly : WunalaYann: Oh boy, where do I begin? Typical of a French car but plenty of American cars go much, much longer. I know this because I own a 32 year ol
137 AvObserver : When fuel prices are high, yes but when they're down, not so much. I recall a lot of men and women from my healthclub memberships who bought big truc
138 Post contains links WunalaYann : Fodder to my cannon. If I buy your car after 5 years, I still have 15 years of emissions to offset for. You're way off it. The amount of emissions/en
139 Mham001 : You made the claim that those of us driving used cars now should pay some new tax. Rubbish. You apparently are trying to add a yearly tax for the ene
140 WildcatYXU : Why? Because your "environmental" tax has been paid in full when the car was purchased and undoubtedly has an influence on the car's resale value. Th
141 WunalaYann : Ok. Start from the start. We are not talking about taxing, we are talking about pricing. Big difference. Second, we are talking about consumption and
142 Superfly : Not rubbish at all. I was supporting your argument actually. Apparently not good enough. Even at the peak of the SUV craze, they were never more then
143 Cptkrell : WunalaDreaming...folks who can do - DO. Folks who can't do - teach and preach. Thanks anyway for your thoughts....jack
144 WunalaYann : Assuming this figure is correct, this is even worse than I thought. Thanks for giving me EVEN more fodder. Your point about Japanese and German car m
145 Superfly : Practice what you preach. OK. It doesn't matter that Mham001's reply was to you. This is a public forum and I have every right to comment just as any
146 WunalaYann : 1) YOU started it by calling me a people hater and an ecofreak. 2) The people on this forum who have met me and talked to me can tell you I live by m
147 WildcatYXU : I would really appreciate if you'd refrain from judging any of my abilities. And if you want dictate to others how to behave, feel free to create you
148 Superfly : Asking a question and answering it in the same sentence? Gee you are brilliant. Anyhow, you have derailed this thread to the point were it's not ever
149 Cptkrell : Wunala...only half-and-half sarcastistic; sort of like comparing a normally aspirated big block and a puffed small guy in the same weight class but wi
150 WunalaYann : Can you see a discrepancy between these two statements? Calling a constructed, fact-based post bullshit is not exactly the most shining display of re
151 Post contains links WunalaYann : I know. Or so says my mum. Just answer the question then. Nothing like hard facts. And to top it off. http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/emission
152 Superfly : I am afraid he is. Barbara Bush says the same to her son Dubya and we all know that ain't true.
153 Mham001 : I don't care if you call it Bridgette Bardot in a negligee, it still a tax. You sound just like the double-talking politicians here, "its not a tax,
154 WildcatYXU : Sorry Yann, the post was poorly constructed. Let's analyze it: Here it's OK. If I oversimplify it, I may say that the car's price consist of the manu
155 Superfly : Amen! Kudos to you WildcatYXU. You have waaaaaaaay more patience than me. This whole 'carbon footprint, carbon credits, Emissions Trading Scheme' and
156 Cptkrell : Wunala...I don't want to get into a pissing match w/you about all this. I am so impressed with your infinite knowledge of economics, industry, and soc
157 Post contains links WunalaYann : Until environmental "taxes" (which should be done away with, as I posted) begin to take into account the actual environmental burden, then no, the pr
158 Mham001 : Sensical would be a matter of opinion. I fail to see the sense of trying to tax people for the energy and resources used in the manufacture a 10 year
159 Post contains links WunalaYann : I am used to respectful and discerning posts from you, and I would be sad to see this change. Your point is taken, though. On topic, retroactive pric
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