keesje
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Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:44 pm

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.

"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
geekydude
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Fri Dec 05, 2008 11:06 pm



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!
 
Dougloid
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:52 am



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.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:53 am

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.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
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RayChuang
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:32 pm

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.
 
Elite
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:34 pm



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.
 
cptkrell
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:57 pm

"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
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 3:38 pm



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.
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mham001
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:29 pm



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.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 4:54 pm

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]
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:07 pm



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.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:50 pm



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.
 
flexo
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 7:51 pm



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
 
Dougloid
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:16 pm



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.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
cptkrell
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:22 pm

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
 
flexo
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 8:51 pm



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).
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:52 pm

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]
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:08 pm



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
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:43 pm



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.
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:51 pm



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.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
PPVRA
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:21 am



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
 
cptkrell
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 12:45 am

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
 
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:14 am



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.
310, 319, 320, 321, 333, 343, 345, 346, 732, 735, 73G, 738, 744, 752, 762, 763, 77L, 77W, 788, AT4, AT7, BEH, CR2, CRA, CR9, DH1, DH3, DH4, E75, E90, E95, F28, F50, F100, Saab 340, YAK40
 
cptkrell
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:09 am

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
 
Dougloid
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:18 am



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.
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
Flighty
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 5:24 am



Quoting Geekydude (Reply 1):
So in this case if Obama et al step in and do something

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 same thing. There is no incentive to succeed. Instead there is an incentive to spend. That has nothing to do with solutions IMO. Just beat inefficient cars with a stick. Charge higher "fees" for gasoline and diesel. Other countries do this. It works.

But people would rather vote for "no tax" and "just spend." This seems predictable but its odds of success are slim. Why would people buy efficient cars when gas is $1.50? Has anyone thought about that?  Confused  Confused Oh whoops, I guess those research subsidies won't be doing anything, will they. The taxes will generate the exact same technology, and put it into real use. That's the adult solution. This candy for research dollars is kid's stuff.
 
geekydude
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 8:38 am



Quoting Flighty (Reply 25):
Oh whoops, I guess those research subsidies won't be doing anything, will they. The taxes will generate the exact same technology, and put it into real use. That's the adult solution. This candy for research dollars is kid's stuff.

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 anything significantly lower than that, would be political suicide. But one has to start from somewhere. Given that increasing fuel taxes is not likely to be feasible, funding more energy related research is at least better than nothing.
FLIB 152 'heavy' low approach...Caution wake turbulance!
 
flexo
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:30 am



Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 21):
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

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 smallest engine options in the US.
You should of course be free to buy a large engine if you so choose. But the big majority of people don't care enough about it to justify the big fuel expense and they should have other options as well.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 18):
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?

The base is 150 but point is well taken.
They used to offer smaller engines but I guess the last time I was looking into buying an Accord is longer ago than I thought...
 
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kc135topboom
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:40 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
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.

Then what?

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.

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 operates (the three main grids, east, west and Texas grids) around 95%-98%. That is why we have so many brown outs in the summer time. Where is the extra capacity coming from to charge your PHEV? BTW, the recharge (which takes up to 8 hours) is going to cost around $8-$10, or up to $300 per month just to charge the family car. The up to 50 mile range is really just a 20 mile range, round trip, due to lights, A/C, heater, radio, CD player, navigation systems, cell phone charger, etc. Most people have no idea how much electricity they take from their cars now. They will find out very quickly once it is all electric, and takes 8 hours to recharge.

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.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 
 
Elite
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:22 pm



Quoting Cptkrell (Reply 6):

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 support hundreds of thousands of other people.

In no way was I suggesting that someone cut funding for the Big 3, but my comment was to emphasize the fact that the Big 3 are so reliant on funding from the government that they cannot survive without it.
 
Alessandro
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:47 pm

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 the lack of studtires, something most people want here during winter.
Doug, I think the police can have use of the hybrid due to it being "stealth", not to make money from it.
From New Yorqatar to Califarbia...
 
Dougloid
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:21 pm



Quoting Alessandro (Reply 30):
Doug, I think the police can have use of the hybrid due to it being "stealth", not to make money from it.

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 the incremental benefit in fuel economy did not justify the increased cost over the standard Ford Taurus that is used for non emergency work.

http://www.kcrg.com/news/local/3735776.html
If you believe in coincidence, you haven't looked close enough-Joe Leaphorn
 
keesje
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:30 pm

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 equivalent). It has 110 bhp & a filter to remove diesels fine dust. On cruise control it is very silent, has a nice glass roof and lots of other other nice to haves.



I could also have opted for a V6 version, but why would I ?

Wonder why cars like these are not available in the US?

OK its from France so would need rebranding  Wink
"Never mistake motion for action." Ernest Hemingway
 
Flighty
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:06 pm



Quoting Keesje (Reply 32):
OK its from France so would need rebranding

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 frankly, their cars were pieces of crap at that time. The 505 turbo was the most recent Peugeot here. There are probably 100 hard core Fraco Peugeot motorheads in the USA, running those 1980s imports. The rest are in the junkyard now. (I guess we could check our registration database  Smile )

But today, we are sad not to have Peugeot and Alfa, to name 2 excellent European brands. Citroen, less so but maybe.
 
WunalaYann
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Sun Dec 07, 2008 11:59 pm



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.

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.

These are very true words, although unfortunately not spoken enough.

Quoting Flighty (Reply 33):
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 frankly, their cars were pieces of crap at that time. The 505 turbo was the most recent Peugeot here. There are probably 100 hard core Fraco Peugeot motorheads in the USA, running those 1980s imports. The rest are in the junkyard now. (I guess we could check our registration database Smile )

But today, we are sad not to have Peugeot and Alfa, to name 2 excellent European brands. Citroen, less so but maybe.

Not all is rosy among French cars but I believe that the new Clio, C5, C4, 308 and 407 are actually pretty good cars. I am awaiting the new Mégane before making a pronouncement but I'd wager it will be better than the current one (and if only a tiny bit less ugly, that'd be great, thanks). The 207 is well built but just too heavy, which 1) causes fuel consumption/performance to deteriorate, and 2) judging by French car newspapers, causes the chassis to not be as sharp as would be expected from a Peugeot.

Anyway.

Quoting Dougloid (Reply 24):
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.

 checkmark  Anxiously expecting further development of these systems.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 18):
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.

10 seconds is an eternity?

More to the point, I think we will need to look at life cycle, not just for cars but for everything we consume. A normal car will consume more energy during its production than during its average life span (8-10 years). The problem is that new hybrid cars need even more tonne-equivalent-petrol to produce than standard cars due to the higher number of components.

It may be worthwhile to investigate possible benefits of re-engineering existing cars, pretty much like we do with aircraft. Overhauling the drivetrain, improving technology, etc.

I don't know, I am not an engineer but I would think that there could be substantial energy savings in reducing the number of new cars produced.

 Smile
 
Superfly
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:15 am

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 Fisher-Price looking plastic green, feel-good-politics eco cars.
Bring back the Concorde
 
mham001
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:30 am



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 34):
More to the point, I think we will need to look at life cycle, not just for cars but for everything we consume. A normal car will consume more energy during its production than during its average life span (8-10 years). The problem is that new hybrid cars need even more tonne-equivalent-petrol to produce than standard cars due to the higher number of components.

Excellent point and points out that somebody truly interested in being "green" would simply keep driving the car they have until there is a monumental change in efficiency.
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 12:32 am



Quoting Dougloid (Reply 2):
Half the bigass gashogs on the road here come from Germany and Japan.

Just catering to what the market was. The U.S. does love it's big gas-guzzlers. Always has.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 3):
Oh, I think that a condition of any Detroit bail-out should be a MINIMUM average fleet fuel economy of 40MPG by 2020.

By 2020? Hell, they should be able to get that in any car NOW. SUV's should average 25mpg, traucks 30mpg, and any passenger car 40mpg by 2015 at the latest.

Quoting Superfly (Reply 35):
There is no way I am going to buy one of these silly Fisher-Price looking plastic green, feel-good-politics eco cars.

Fine. You can go to the pump every week and fill 'er up, while I take one of those cars and fill 'em up every 2 to 3 weeks. And the price of gas is going to rise again. It's your money though, Larry.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24560
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:43 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 37):
Just catering to what the market was. The U.S. does love it's big gas-guzzlers. Always has.

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 slow been increasing this fall as gas starts getting cheap. Wonder what it will be when gas is back to $1 a gallon in February...

American's don't "learn" from the past. Gas reached highs like never before in 1981, American car companies switched to fuel efficient FWD cars, GM introduced the V-4-6-8, and Cadillac started selling diesel-powered Sevilles. We all know how long that lasted.

Fuel efficiency is about the last thing I look at when I purchase a car. I couldn't get care less how much or little gas it eats, but admittedly my driving habits are such that I only need to fill up my car 2 times a months, so the difference between paying $80 a month for gas or $160 a month isn't going to drive any purchase decisions for me. My next car will probably be diesel, but not because diesel is fuel efficient, but I like the way a diesel car drives and diesel is slowly becoming mainstream in the U.S. so there are finally options beyond the Jetta and E-Class. I would never drive a hybrid - I can't stand how they drive.
a.
 
Falcon84
Posts: 13775
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:55 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 38):
nd it will probably continue to do so, especially as gas keeps getting cheaper.

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. and if Detroit is smart, they won't go back to mass producing such vehicles. They should have learned their lession. The future is in fuel efficiency, not in gas guzzling.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24560
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:05 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 39):

It's getting cheaper for now. It's going to go back up

It took 22 years for gas to shoot back up the last time it sky-rocketed in the 1980s.

Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 39):
they won't go back to mass producing such vehicles.

They haven't stopped, nor will they stop. The "gas guzzlers" still comprise an important part of their business.

Detroit's problem isn't the gas-guzzlers, it's their lack of fuel-efficient cars that can be built profitably and that consumers like. Now, is the lack of that product a result of their focus on gas-guzzlers? Yes, it probably is, but gas guzzlers themselves were not the problem, IMO.
a.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:22 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 40):
The "gas guzzlers" still comprise an important part of their business.

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 equation. Now, if they want to go out of business, they should just keep producing them, shouldn't they?  Yeah sure
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24560
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:29 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 41):
They have to reinvent themselves, and in that reinvention, gas-guzzlers shouldn't even be a part of the equation. Now, if they want to go out of business, they should just keep producing them, shouldn't they?

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.

Toyota makes some very fuel inefficient trucks and pick-ups, as does Nissan. Both, however, have a balance of good product.

Ridiculously over-paid union workers doesn't help either, especially when their overpaying makes it impossible to competitively price cars, which is one reason why American cars have always lacked content compared to a similarly priced Japanese brand.

To think that American car companies are going to eliminate gas guzzlers entirely is laughable. They will certainly attempt to create more fuel efficient diesel and V8 gasoline power plants, but the fact remain that pick-ups are still a large, important product segment, with high profit margins.

Now the future of truck-based SUVs can come into question, because truck-based SUVs are easily replaceable by more fuel efficient, similarly sized car-based vehicles, as the Chevrolet Traverse which will eventually replace the Chevrolet Trailblazer. Though there are still a good amount of consumers - myself included - who prefer a truck-based vehicle over a car-based vehicle, so I the segment won't die completely, but it will definitely continue to shrink.
a.
 
WunalaYann
Posts: 2128
Joined: Mon Mar 07, 2005 12:55 am

RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:35 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 42):
Toyota makes some very fuel inefficient trucks and pick-ups, as does Nissan. Both, however, have a balance of good product.

Ridiculously over-paid union workers doesn't help either, especially when their overpaying makes it impossible to competitively price cars, which is one reason why American cars have always lacked content compared to a similarly priced Japanese brand.

To think that American car companies are going to eliminate gas guzzlers entirely is laughable. They will certainly attempt to create more fuel efficient diesel and V8 gasoline power plants, but the fact remain that pick-ups are still a large, important product segment, with high profit margins.

All my thoughts exactly. Very well said.
 
Falcon84
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:37 am



Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 42):
Ridiculously over-paid union workers doesn't help either, especially when their overpaying makes it impossible to competitively price cars

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 force to protect workers from unsafe conditions, to a constant drumbeat for higher and higher wages-even when the higher wage is not deserved.
Work Right, Fly Hard
 
PPVRA
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:48 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 41):
gas-guzzlers shouldn't even be a part of the equation.

They are still one of the best selling cars.

Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 42):
The problem was that American car companies had no balance. They focused entirely on the gas guzzlers, and ignored cars.

Toyota makes some very fuel inefficient trucks and pick-ups, as does Nissan. Both, however, have a balance of good product.

Sometimes they seem like truck companies only. Nothing wrong with that, but then they gotta decided whether they want to focus on the car business or not, and if not, then drop it.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24560
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:49 am



Quoting Falcon84 (Reply 44):
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 force to protect workers from unsafe conditions, to a constant drumbeat for higher and higher wages-even when the higher wage is not deserved.

 checkmark 

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 in Germany that has seen them move a lot of production to Brazil, Mexico and Portugal and, soon, Tennessee.
a.
 
AvObserver
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 3:54 am



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

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 and started to buy accordingly. It's sad our domestic automakers were largely unprepared for it but they were building what until recently folks really wanted to buy. They weren't alone, either, with European carmakers and even Toyota building big SUVs and trucks. Yes, we need CAFE regs to keep making progress but totally regulating vehicle choice isn't the American way. Higher gas prices forced Americans to finally go smaller and the fear of them returning will keep most of them from going back to really big vehicles again. Some families do need those bigger vehicles although I agree muscle cars are frivolous. Because I know the U.S. won't produce enough of its own domestic oil as it should be doing, I'll select a smaller, much more fuel-efficient car the next time around but I don't agree everyone should be forced into that choice. If Obama has enough sense, he'll also accelerate U.S. oil production which will help keep prices down worldwide.
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:16 am



Quoting WunalaYann (Reply 34):
10 seconds is an eternity?

You will not reach highway speeds in 10 seconds in a family sedan being pushed by 90 HP.  no  For reference, the average family sedan sold with 160-170 HP in the 4-cylinder version takes anywhere from 8-10 seconds already. And the European versions of these autos ship with 150+ HP at base. Let's be realistic here.

I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm entering a freeway my goal is to be moving at the speed of the other traffic before it is necessary to merge. And I'd like to do that without hitting my redline before each shift. That's just a matter of safety.
 
WunalaYann
Posts: 2128
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RE: Energy Environmental Friendly Cars In The USA

Mon Dec 08, 2008 5:23 am



Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 48):
You will not reach highway speeds in 10 seconds in a family sedan being pushed by 90 HP.

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, my parents' car, a 1997 VW Passat 1.6l (yes, one point six litres), 101 hp (yes, a hundred and one HP) reaches 100 km/h in 12 seconds. Is 12 seconds an eternity, in all honesty?

And who said anything about 90 hp anyway? 150 is fine, no need to become all restrictive. But there is a difference between 150 and 270. Usually because the weight of the car increases significantly as well.

In order to make a valid point, you need to use realistic, representative hypotheses.

 Smile

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 48):
I don't know about everyone else, but when I'm entering a freeway my goal is to be moving at the speed of the other traffic before it is necessary to merge. And I'd like to do that without hitting my redline before each shift. That's just a matter of safety.

 checkmark  Yes. But you will not enter a freeway from standstill position anyway. You very, very, very rarely go from 0 to 65 mph to get on a freeway. You would typically be travelling at 40 and then accelerate on the ramp, correct?

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