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'[OT] Car purchase'
2007\11\27@130248 by Mike Hord

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James, I already know what you'll say.

My fiance and I are looking at buying a car.  We both drive sub-optimal autos
(2003 Jetta GLI for me, 2005 Chevy Malibu for her) and we want to can them
both.  I bus it to work everyday day, and she drives 5 miles across town.  We
rarely take trips longer than 10 miles.

She owes more on her car than it's worth, but mine is paid off.  We want both
a fiscal and environmental sustainability upgrade here- meaning we want to
pay less for gas and car payment and insurance, AND we don't want to be
contributing to the worsening environmental situation.  We also don't want to
be stuck with a car that's going to require huge repair bills annually.

We're leaning towards a new or slightly used Prius or a new Yaris.  I hate the
idea of a new car because new cars are part of the problem- building a car
takes a lot of energy.  OTOH, if we keep the car for ten years, it makes
sense to get a new one.

At any rate, someone on this list has a resource that they can point me to
that will help me gauge the relative impact of these choices.  I'm totally lost.

Greenercars.org seems good to me, but they completely ignore the used
car option....

Mike H.

2007\11\27@131926 by Lucas Korytkowski

flavicon
face
Not true, you can order the ACEEE's Green Book that has car ratings for
years 1998 and 1999.  The online subscription gives you access to cars from
2000 through 2006.

The latest-and-greatest ratings are available for free on the site...


{Original Message removed}

2007\11\27@133354 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
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Consumers Reports has an online car buyer's kit that my wife and I used.
We decided on a Honda Fit. It should be here in a couple days.

Harold


> Not true, you can order the ACEEE's Green Book that has car ratings for
> years 1998 and 1999.  The online subscription gives you access to cars
> from
> 2000 through 2006.
>
> The latest-and-greatest ratings are available for free on the site...
>
>
> {Original Message removed}

2007\11\27@141932 by Richard Prosser

picon face
Mike,
We've just bought a secondhand Echo (same as the Yaris). Very happy with it
although I was a bit sorry to see my 12year old Justy depart. The new one
appears to be even more economical, is more comfortable and generates less
smoke! In the longer term, the VVT-i engines have a timing chain, rather
than a belt, so that's an expense I don't have to worry about down the line.
(The Justy had a belt but at >220000km it hadn't been changed either!)

I thought about a Prius but it was bigger than we need as a second car and I
was a bit worried about the battery condition of the older models in my
price range. Would have created some interest here at work however!  I'm not
sure on Toyota's policy on battery replacement and it appears that most of
the benifits of the hybrid depend on the sort of driving you do. I'm not
sure we would fit the optimum model.

RP

2007\11\27@142142 by Mike Hord

picon face
The ratings for the older cars may be available, but there's no "derating"
presented for new vs. used.

That's my biggest bugaboo- new or used?  Does it matter if I keep it for
10 years?

James is fond of saying that buying an older car that gets okay gas
mileage is better than buying a new hybrid.  But what about a used
hybrid?  And how used does it have to be?  Is a "used" car with 2000
miles a good option, or should I just buy new at that point?

It gives me a headache.

Mike H.

On Nov 27, 2007 12:14 PM, Lucas Korytkowski <spam_OUTlucasTakeThisOuTspamrosstech.ca> wrote:
> Not true, you can order the ACEEE's Green Book that has car ratings for
> years 1998 and 1999.  The online subscription gives you access to cars from
> 2000 through 2006.
>
> The latest-and-greatest ratings are available for free on the site...

2007\11\27@143452 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-11-27 at 12:02 -0600, Mike Hord wrote:
> James, I already know what you'll say.
>
> My fiance and I are looking at buying a car.  We both drive sub-optimal autos
> (2003 Jetta GLI for me, 2005 Chevy Malibu for her) and we want to can them
> both.  I bus it to work everyday day, and she drives 5 miles across town.  We
> rarely take trips longer than 10 miles.
>
> She owes more on her car than it's worth, but mine is paid off.  We want both
> a fiscal and environmental sustainability upgrade here- meaning we want to
> pay less for gas and car payment and insurance, AND we don't want to be
> contributing to the worsening environmental situation.  We also don't want to
> be stuck with a car that's going to require huge repair bills annually.
>
> We're leaning towards a new or slightly used Prius or a new Yaris.  I hate the

Given the choice I'd 100% go for the Yaris.

Yes, the Prius will have marginally better mileage in the city (but not
by much in real world driving), but people often forget that first the
amount of energy and resources used to build the Prius is quite high
(compared to a "regular" car like the Yaris). Second, those batteries
will someday either have to be replaced or the car thrown away, in
either case you've got some pretty ugly materials going in the trash.

But that's just me.

TTYL

2007\11\27@143709 by Jeff Findley

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I know this is all personal opinion, but I'll throw it out here anyway.

My wife's car is a 2004 Pontiac Vibe.  It's really a Toyota Matrix in terms
of all of the mechanicals, including most of the interior, except the radio.
On a fairly recent trip which required several hours of driving, it got 36
mpg (mostly highway).  We went with the Vibe over the Matrix because I get a
GM supplier discount, but no Toyota discount.  We wanted something big
enough to fit our three kids in the back, but most economy vehicles have
terribly small back seats.  The Vibe/Matrix have a fairly roomy back seat.
The back seats fold flat, so you can carry somewhat bulky items.  All Vibes
from that year came with a factory roof rack, which has come in handy a
couple of times.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\27@151826 by Herbert Graf
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On Tue, 2007-11-27 at 14:33 -0500, Jeff Findley wrote:
> I know this is all personal opinion, but I'll throw it out here anyway.
>
> My wife's car is a 2004 Pontiac Vibe.  It's really a Toyota Matrix in terms
> of all of the mechanicals, including most of the interior, except the radio.
> On a fairly recent trip which required several hours of driving, it got 36
> mpg (mostly highway).  We went with the Vibe over the Matrix because I get a
> GM supplier discount, but no Toyota discount.  We wanted something big
> enough to fit our three kids in the back, but most economy vehicles have
> terribly small back seats.  The Vibe/Matrix have a fairly roomy back seat.
> The back seats fold flat, so you can carry somewhat bulky items.  All Vibes
> from that year came with a factory roof rack, which has come in handy a
> couple of times.

I'll second the vote for the Vibe/Matrix. I went for the Matrix because
the options I wanted were more expensive on the Vibe (moonroof, ABS,
extended warranty).

The gas mileage has been phenomenal. In the summer I actually sometimes
reach the upper 5s (L/100kms), normally I manage ~6.2L/100km in the
summer and around 7L/100km in the winter.

For me the clutch/gear box feel on the Matrix/Vibe was the deciding
factor. Every other car I tried either had way too light a clutch (i.e.
the Mazda3), not enough power (i.e. the Dodge Caliber, the Matrix only
has 126hp, but it pulls like a vehicle with much more) or looseness in
the shifter (the Hyundai Elantra).

The utility is amazing. As you mention the rear seats fold down, in
addition the passenger seat also fold flat. I covered my front porch
with wood this summer (ugly concrete) and was able to carry the whole
load of lumber in the Matrix with room to spare (8' 2x4s not a problem
with the hatch closed).

For cases where I really need to carry something big (i.e. a front door
or full 4x8 sheet of whatever) my brother has a trailer.

It's funny, in Europe trailers are everywhere, you see Audi A2's with
trailer hitches and Subaru Justy's hauling trailers, yet here in North
America (except Quebec) there is this perception that to use a trailer
you need a truck or SUV...

TTYL

TTYL

2007\11\27@152204 by Mike Hord

picon face
The Matrix was on our list, but we're kind of shying away from it
because of price (a nicely equipped one isn't much cheaper than
a Prius and a stripped one isn't much more than a very well
equipped Yaris).  We don't need the extra room (yet).

I agree with the Prius battery disposal complaint, but I've heard
quite regularly of those going in excess of 300,000 km (or more)
with no trouble, which means that the amortization of that waste
becomes quite a bit less over time.  Also, they get recycled, so
that's something.

This is our primary car, so the size thing isn't much of an issue.
We'd rather be a bit too big than a bit too small, but not if it
means a disaster in gas mileage (or price).  Plus, 99% of our
driving is in-town, very stop-and-go (we live 10 blocks south
of downtown Minneapolis), so the regenerative braking in a
hybrid would likely pay HUGE dividends.

Mike H.

2007\11\27@154734 by Eoin Ross

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My guess is that its due to everyone wanting to do 70 MPH while towing, you just can't do that in a Justy without lumping in a load equaliser and anti-sway.

Anyone see that Tog Gear episode where they went on a caravaning holiday?

>>> .....mailinglist3KILLspamspam@spam@farcite.net 27 Nov 07 15:18:23 >>>
On Tue, 2007-11-27 at 14:33 -0500, Jeff Findley wrote:
<snip>
For cases where I really need to carry something big (i.e. a front door
or full 4x8 sheet of whatever) my brother has a trailer.

It's funny, in Europe trailers are everywhere, you see Audi A2's with
trailer hitches and Subaru Justy's hauling trailers, yet here in North
America (except Quebec) there is this perception that to use a trailer
you need a truck or SUV...

TTYL


2007\11\27@154951 by Jeff Findley

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"Mike Hord" <mike.hordspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote in message
news:.....88eca9220711271222r320b9e16r14706858626ccb02KILLspamspam.....mail.gmail.com...> > This is our primary car, so the size thing isn't much of an issue.
> We'd rather be a bit too big than a bit too small, but not if it
> means a disaster in gas mileage (or price).  Plus, 99% of our
> driving is in-town, very stop-and-go (we live 10 blocks south
> of downtown Minneapolis), so the regenerative braking in a
> hybrid would likely pay HUGE dividends.

Since size isn't much of an issue, I wouldn't worry about looking at
"bigger" vehicles like the Vibe/Matrix since bigger generally means worse
mileage.

I think you may be on the right track with the hybrid.  Stop and go driving
is definitely where a hybrid does better than a gasoline engine.  For
highway driving, I don't see much, if any, advantage to a hybrid.

If I were you, I'd try to find the details of the battery warranty, like
what applies, or doesn't, when you buy the car used.  Four cylinder Toyota
engines are pretty reliable, even when you buy them used.  But I've no idea
how reliable those battery packs are in a hybrid, especially if it's used.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\27@160648 by Jeff Findley

flavicon
face

"Eoin Ross" <EraseMEerossspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTchemstation.com> wrote in message
news:474C3BF9020000C000013E5Dspamspam_OUTgrpwise.chemstation.com...> > My guess is that its due to everyone wanting to do 70 MPH while towing,
> you just can't do that in a Justy without lumping in a load equaliser and
> anti-sway.

The trailers you rent at U-Haul usually have some absurd "speed limit"
printed on the trailer.  When the speed limit on many US highways is 70 MPH,
there are people pulling trailers doing 75+ MPH.

The only time I pulled one of these sorts of trailers, I used my Chevy G20
(3/4 ton) van.  It's got the 5.7L V8, so pulling a little U-Haul trailer was
nothing.  I keep the thing because it's paid off and was a gift to me.  It
comes in handy when I have to help someone move, since I can pull out the
middle and rear seats in about five minutes.

Of course, the mileage is *absolutely* horrible at a bit less than 14 mpg,
so we always take the Vibe when we can.

We had a Ford Escape for a while, but the V-6 was getting us about 18 mpg in
mixed city/highway and the automatic transmission kept acting up.  Ford does
make an Escape Hybrid, but I don't think the mileage is very good compared
to other hybrids.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\27@165451 by Herbert Graf

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On Tue, 2007-11-27 at 15:47 -0500, Eoin Ross wrote:
> My guess is that its due to everyone wanting to do 70 MPH while towing, you just can't do that in a Justy without lumping in a load equaliser and anti-sway.

I don't know what the tow rating is for a Justy, but I guarantee that
any car can do 70MPH as long as you stay within the tow rating.

My car has a tow rating of 1500lbs and has zero trouble getting to and
staying at 70MPH while towing. Going up hills I may have to drop a gear,
but that's about it.

I see so many people on the highway towing a small trailer with a Chevy
Suburban, and I'm sure most think they NEED such a monster vehicle for
their tiny trailer.

TTYL

2007\11\27@190826 by Tamas Rudnai

face picon face
Hi,

I do not know American cars but Japanese are definitely worth to buy. Here
in Ireland probably the most popular is the Nissan Micra - some people
swears that is better than Yaris. However, they say Toyota is the most
reliable, Nissan is just after that (but the price is much better for the
Nissan).

BTW I have an Opel Omega with BMW diesel engine - the engine is very
reliable, the rest are better not to talk about :-) But as experimented on
this car I could say the bigger the engine the longer it lasts. Also a
manual gearbox is cheaper to run and probably lasts longer than the
automatic one (at least mine is not on the top :-) )

Tamas



On Nov 27, 2007 6:02 PM, Mike Hord <@spam@mike.hordKILLspamspamgmail.com> wrote:

{Quote hidden}

> -

2007\11\27@205234 by Funny NYPD

picon face
Here in USA, Mitsubishi is the one every one try to avoid, Nissan seems got serious quality issue recently. Ford Explorer was good, and I was about to buy one.
On one trip in Canada in the winter, I saw one Explorer smoking and burning, and then I heard about the cruise switch firing story, so I turned to Chevy Tahoe, which is a great design.
Sorry Ford, I will wait another 10 years until your guys figured out why everything causes fires.

Funny N.
New Bedford, MA
http://www.AuElectronics.selfip.com



{Original Message removed}

2007\11\28@032045 by Luis.Moreira

picon face
Hi Mike,
Between that Prius Crap and the Yaris, I would prefer the Yaris. I can
almost get the same economy on fuel from my VW Passat TDI as you can out
of that rubbish that is the Prius, and I do not have batteries to
dispose off.
In my opinion the Prius is not an environmentally friendly car at all is
just a marketing gimmick, and looking at it from an energy waste to
produce it I am sure it will be more than the Yaris.
Best regards
               Luis



{Original Message removed}

2007\11\28@035048 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>It's funny, in Europe trailers are everywhere, you
>see Audi A2's with trailer hitches

They are also useful for minimising damage in minor bumps, in NZ the last
company I worked for every company car came with a towbar (hitch) for this
reason.

2007\11\28@045507 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face
On Nov 28, 2007, at 12:20 AM, Luis Moreira wrote:

> that Prius Crap

I quite like my Prius.  I'm not sure I'd trust a used one,
depending on how the battery warranty carries over.

BillW

2007\11\28@050501 by Jim Franklin

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What scares me is when people buy a car to tow horsetrailers and horses...

The average UK trailer weighs in at about 800kg (empty) the average car can
tow about 950kg, that is not a lot of horse - and yet you see people towing
with 2 horses in the trailer.

We looked for a 4x4 (before we bought a truck to move our horses), and
amazingly most dealer garages dont know about the towing weights of their
vehicles. "yes sir, it will tow a horse trailer".
A Vauxhall Frontera 4x4 can tow LESS than my old Toyota Avensis family car!

We decided upon a Range Rover - which weighing in at 2,000kg itself - has a
towing limit of 3,300kg (and 8,000kg in an emergency at 18mph!!)
1 trailer @ 800kg + horse1 @ 750kg + horse2 @ 700kg = 2250kg - well within
the limits.

Anyway - we now bought a 7.5ton truck - and we are closer on the weight
limit than with the trailer - its amazing how much stuff you DO carry when
you CAN carry it. ;)

-Jim




On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 15:47:05 -0500, Eoin Ross wrote
{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\11\28@083409 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
Don't you mean they are also useful for transfering the energy of a
minor bump into the frame (past the bumper's crumple/crush zone) where
the damage will be invisible as well as putting the passengers at
slightly greater risk?

:-D

-Adam

On 11/28/07, Alan B. Pearce <RemoveMEA.B.PearceTakeThisOuTspamrl.ac.uk> wrote:
> >It's funny, in Europe trailers are everywhere, you
> >see Audi A2's with trailer hitches
>
> They are also useful for minimising damage in minor bumps, in NZ the last
> company I worked for every company car came with a towbar (hitch) for this
> reason.
>
> -

2007\11\28@090731 by Apptech

face
flavicon
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> Don't you mean they are also useful for transfering the
> energy of a
> minor bump into the frame

Frame ...
??
Bzzzt.
Does not compute.
Term missing from glossary.
Please re-enter.

> (past the bumper's crumple/crush zone) where
> the damage will be invisible

and not affect the handling enough to matter in many cases
thereby allowing max market resale value at minimum expense
when it is flicked on after a year or two.

I owned a Honda City which my son, through no fault of his
own, had shortened while waiting in a queue of traffic.

Handled amazingly well - every bit as good or better at
ear-oling through corners as it ever had been and far bettr
than most would credit to such a utilitarian beast. Only
cm's shorter than it had been. Only the drivers door would
open. Others overlapped to varying extents. Back was broken
inside rear so the rear boot floor sloped alarmingly.

He wrote off 3 of my cars and only one was solidly
attributable to him (according to the Police) but even that
was in doubt. Note - when the con rods slap on the bore you
should have stopped already ;-).



       Russell




       R

2007\11\28@091048 by Eoin Ross

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I run a Land Rover Discovery for towing, but I still keep to 55-60 MPH even though I could push it to 80 towing a Samurai 4x4. Its easier on fuel, don't have to worry about lane changes so much, and I have less distance to stop.

I see same thing in NZ with vehicles too small for what they pull. 30 foot twin axle caravans/campers behind a Ford Falcon/Ford Taurus size car. Crazy.

>>> spamBeGonejimfspamBeGonespamwebstudios.co.uk 28 Nov 07 05:04:49 >>>
What scares me is when people buy a car to tow horsetrailers and horses...

The average UK trailer weighs in at about 800kg (empty) the average car can
tow about 950kg, that is not a lot of horse - and yet you see people towing
with 2 horses in the trailer.

We looked for a 4x4 (before we bought a truck to move our horses), and
amazingly most dealer garages dont know about the towing weights of their
vehicles. "yes sir, it will tow a horse trailer".
A Vauxhall Frontera 4x4 can tow LESS than my old Toyota Avensis family car!

We decided upon a Range Rover - which weighing in at 2,000kg itself - has a
towing limit of 3,300kg (and 8,000kg in an emergency at 18mph!!)
1 trailer @ 800kg + horse1 @ 750kg + horse2 @ 700kg = 2250kg - well within
the limits.

Anyway - we now bought a 7.5ton truck - and we are closer on the weight
limit than with the trailer - its amazing how much stuff you DO carry when
you CAN carry it. ;)

-Jim




On Tue, 27 Nov 2007 15:47:05 -0500, Eoin Ross wrote
{Quote hidden}

> --

2007\11\28@115901 by alan smith

picon face
hmmm...so, factoring in a car payment on a "newer" car, even if used, plus insurance....is it better to drive something that is paid off and gets lower mileage? I think so....thats why I still drive my 3/4ton 4x4 each day. I go thru around $250/mo in fuel.  For about $5K, I can convert to dual fuel..natural gas, get the same mileage but pay around 75 cents per gallon (last I checked).  Its the 5K to come up with, and how long till it really gets paid for.  I've got 200K on the truck, and plan on keeping it for another 100K at least.
     
---------------------------------
Get easy, one-click access to your favorites.  Make Yahoo! your homepage.

2007\11\28@124312 by Martin

face
flavicon
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Where do you live? If you're in California I believe the state mandated
battery/electronics warranty on hybrids is 150,000 miles or 10 years,
though don't quote me. I just bought a new Honda Civic Hybrid. I'm sure
it wasn't the smartest idea to buy a new car, but that was my decision.
IIRC the HCH is a few thousand cheaper than the Prius but it also
doesn't have as many features in the electric drive system. In many
situations it gets the same mileage as a Prius, other situations it gets
much worse (stop and go in cold weather).
Used hybrids tend to get a premium over non-hybrids. This is bad for
you, good for the seller. There are many new diesels coming out next
year it will be interesting to see what comes of that.
-
MK

Mike Hord wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\11\28@135440 by Martin

face
flavicon
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I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city. Battery disposal
is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.
-
Martin K

Luis Moreira wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2007\11\28@141158 by David VanHorn

picon face
On Nov 28, 2007 1:31 PM, Martin <RemoveMEmartinspamTakeThisOuTnnytech.net> wrote:
> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
> Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city. Battery disposal
> is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.

My '87 ford escort wagon with every power gizmo they offered, and
throttle-body injection got a consistent 32mpg with air on, and a mix
of in-town and highway driving.
When going downhill, my add-on (zemco) engine computer showed fuel
consumption of 0 gal/hr if the grade was steep enough.
In the late 70's there were conventional engine cars with as much as 50mpg.

Why is it that now anything over 30 seems to be a big deal?

2007\11\28@143047 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-11-28 at 13:31 -0500, Martin wrote:
> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
> Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city.

I don't know about the Passat TDI, but small diesel engines can easily
beat the Prius in most driving situations except perhaps truly stop and
go traffic jam environments (where walking is faster; the question of
course then is why are you even bothering to drive?). The only problem?
These diesel cars don't exist in North America. Everywhere else in the
world, but not here.

> Battery disposal
> is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.

Hehe, sorry, but if you want to consider the actual impact of a vehicle
on our planet a recycled battery most definitely is worse then no
battery (recycling can take alot of energy). And lets not forget the
huge energy and resources needed to manufacture the batteries to start
with. Then the energy and resources to build the electric motors,
relevant hardware to connect it to the rest of the car, and the
electronics.

Hybrids look superb if you only consider emissions. But when you start
calculating the extra energy and resources used to add the hybrid
feature to the car things don't look quite a rosy anymore. Remember, a
hybrid car IS a regular car, with stuff added, that stuff added doesn't
come free from an environmental point of view.

It's so common in the "greening" world of today for people to only
consider a small subset of a product's impact on the environment.
Another thing that REALLY bugs me is CFLs. YES, they do require less
energy to run, but if you add up the energy needed to manufacture them
and dispose of them properly, are they REALLY that much better then a
glass bulb and filament?

TTYL

2007\11\28@144650 by Martin

face
flavicon
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Herbert Graf wrote:
> Hehe, sorry, but if you want to consider the actual impact of a vehicle
> on our planet a recycled battery most definitely is worse then no
> battery (recycling can take alot of energy). And lets not forget the
> huge energy and resources needed to manufacture the batteries to start
> with. Then the energy and resources to build the electric motors,
> relevant hardware to connect it to the rest of the car, and the
> electronics.
>
>  
I haven't added it up, have you? It's a moot point then. How can you say
that because it has more parts, it's energy efficiency is therefore
negated? It's a terrible claim to make without backing it up. Same with
your mention of CFLs.

From:
http://local-warming.blogspot.com/2007/08/mercury-compact-fluorescent-cfl-bulbs.html

"Ironically, coal fired power plants emit mercury, and using CFLs
reduces the amount of electricity used and therefore the amount of
mercury emitted. The Maryland Sierra Club calculated an estimate
<http://maryland.sierraclub.org/newsletter/archives/2007/07/a_012.asp>
of the amount of mercury emitted per kilowatt hour of electricity
production in Wisconsin and came up with .023mg/kWh. They then looked at
the average amount of mercury in a CFL and came up with 5.1mg. They
figured out that a 100 watt incandescent bulb over 10000 hours (replaced
10 times because it lasts 1000 hours) will cost $105.50 in electricity
and bulbs, and result in coal-fired plants emitting about 23 mg of
mercury and about 2,000 pounds of CO2, a greenhouse gas. Both
Incandescent and CFL bulbs also often contain lead solder, a powerful
toxin. A 100 watt equivalent CFL (23 watt) will cost about $25.50 in
bulbs and electricity, last 10,000 hours, emit about 5.2mg of mercury
(plus the 5.1mg stored in the bulb for a total of 10.3 mg) and emit 460
lbs of CO2. CFLs are cheaper. When coal-fired plants produce
electricity, CFLs are responsible for less mercury and much less carbon
dioxide emissions than incandescents. According to Earth911
<http://earth911.org/blog/2007/06/01/balancing-environmental-impact-household-lighting/>,
CFLs take five times the energy of incandescent bulbs to produce. CFLs
last ten times as long, so they use half the energy of incandescents in
production."

I really don't understand how people can claim that because new energy
saving technology has side effects, it must be worse than what it's
benefits are. Everything in our modern (or NOT so modern) society has
detrimental environmental effects. Maybe the solution is just not to
drive and to not turn any lights on in your house. I, for one, choose to
drive a car that pollutes LESS (mileage is generally related to this but
not always). I'd take public transit if I could. I'll either be driving
an electric Vectrix or a gas motorcycle next summer when I can.

-
Martin K

2007\11\28@144818 by Martin

face
flavicon
face
David VanHorn wrote:
> On Nov 28, 2007 1:31 PM, Martin <martinEraseMEspam.....nnytech.net> wrote:
>  
>> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
>> Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city. Battery disposal
>> is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.
>>    
>
> My '87 ford escort wagon with every power gizmo they offered, and
> throttle-body injection got a consistent 32mpg with air on, and a mix
> of in-town and highway driving.
> When going downhill, my add-on (zemco) engine computer showed fuel
> consumption of 0 gal/hr if the grade was steep enough.
> In the late 70's there were conventional engine cars with as much as 50mpg.
>
> Why is it that now anything over 30 seems to be a big deal?
>  

My HCH gets over 100MPG going downhill, what's your point?
My 1999 cavalier routinely got 35 MPG on the highway at 65+ MPH. My HCH
gets ~45 in the city and highway. Your 87 escort does not get 45 MPG in
the city. Over 30 is not a big deal, never really has been. Over 40 for
a normal sized car is a big deal.
-
Martin K

2007\11\28@150739 by David VanHorn

picon face
> My HCH gets over 100MPG going downhill, what's your point?
> My 1999 cavalier routinely got 35 MPG on the highway at 65+ MPH. My HCH
> gets ~45 in the city and highway. Your 87 escort does not get 45 MPG in
> the city. Over 30 is not a big deal, never really has been. Over 40 for
> a normal sized car is a big deal.

Well, if you listen to the ads here, anything over 30 is a big deal.
The prius is claimed to get 32 mpg.
All that complication, and in the end, the same at the gas pump as my
little four-banger wagon.

2007\11\28@151437 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-11-28 at 14:46 -0500, Martin wrote:
> I haven't added it up, have you?

Nope.

> It's a moot point then.

Why is it a moot point? Just because I haven't done the math doesn't
mean it isn't important to at least CONSIDER factors a particular car
has on this planet beyond emissions.

> How can you say
> that because it has more parts, it's energy efficiency is therefore
> negated?

I never said that it was negated, only that it isn't as good as
emissions alone say it is.

> It's a terrible claim to make without backing it up. Same with
> your mention of CFLs.
>
> From:
> local-warming.blogspot.com/2007/08/mercury-compact-fluorescent-cfl-bulbs.html
>
> "Ironically, coal fired power plants emit mercury, and using CFLs
> reduces the amount of electricity used and therefore the amount of
> mercury emitted.

Again, another example of a limited view of benefits. Note I'm not
denying there are benefits, only that I become VERY sceptical when an
organization concentrates on only one tiny factor of a much larger
problem.

In this case they are only considering ONE "bad" thing, mercury. Second
they are only considering the energy needed during the use of the bulb
(and another nitpick is they are assuming the energy comes from coal,
depending where you are very little of your energy may come from coal).
There is zero mention of how much energy and "bad stuff" was needed to
make the CFL, nor the energy/bad stuff needed to properly dispose of the
bulb.

> I really don't understand how people can claim that because new energy
> saving technology has side effects, it must be worse than what it's
> benefits are.

I NEVER said that. I only raised the fact that pretty much every time
somebody claims something is "better" they always base the "better" on a
VERY small section of the impact that item has on our planet.

> Everything in our modern (or NOT so modern) society has
> detrimental environmental effects.

True. My problem with our society is the moment something seems to have
a small advantage it's blasted to the top of the "you should use this"
pile without a proper examination of the ACTUAL effects that item has on
the planet.

The Prius is a perfect example of this. The ONLY thing people latch on
to with the Prius (and other hybrid vehicles) is it's mileage (which
isn't even that good). They completely ignore other factors that COULD
make the Prius a WORSE choice for the planet. I'm NOT saying it IS
worse, I don't have the data, I just want to point out that just because
everybody SAYS it's better, basing their opinion only on emissions,
doesn't make it so.

Perhaps the most telling thing of this thread is how violently people
seem to respond when someone asks them to reconsider whether something
is actually as good for the planet as they think it is.

TTYL

2007\11\28@153927 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Perhaps the most telling thing of this thread is how violently people
> seem to respond when someone asks them to reconsider whether something
> is actually as good for the planet as they think it is.

We want an easy solution and there isn't one.

Part of the reason I'm even considering a Prius is the fact that the more
people buy them, the better the technology gets, and the closer to a
real solution it becomes.  But let's face it, TANSTAAFL.  As long as we
insist on driving, all this talk about batteries versus emissions versus
cost to manufacture is really deck chairs on the Titanic.

Mike H.

2007\11\28@154658 by Martin

face
flavicon
face
Herbert Graf wrote:
>
> Perhaps the most telling thing of this thread is how violently people
> seem to respond when someone asks them to reconsider whether something
> is actually as good for the planet as they think it is.
>
> TTYL
>  

I apologize, I was mainly set off by Luis's repeated comment of "that
prius crap" or some such. The Prius was the first popular hybrid car.
While I agree that it's benefits and consequences should be weighed, I
believe it is a step in the right direction: cars that pollute less and
use less fuel. It also makes people take an interest in cleaner
technology, which I think is considerable.
-
Martin K

2007\11\28@154702 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


>-----Original Message-----
>From: EraseMEpiclist-bouncesspammit.edu [RemoveMEpiclist-bouncesEraseMEspamEraseMEmit.edu] On
Behalf Of >Mike Hord
>Sent: 28 November 2007 20:39
>To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
>Subject: Re: [OT] Car purchase
>
>> Perhaps the most telling thing of this thread is how violently people
>> seem to respond when someone asks them to reconsider whether
something
>> is actually as good for the planet as they think it is.
>
>We want an easy solution and there isn't one.
>
>Part of the reason I'm even considering a Prius is the fact that the
more
>people buy them, the better the technology gets, and the closer to a
>real solution it becomes

Hybrids by their very nature will never be a real solution, they are a
temporary stop gap whilst technology works out how to remove the
infernal combustion engine for good.

Regards

Mike

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2007\11\28@155439 by Jeff Findley

flavicon
face

"David VanHorn" <RemoveMEmicrobrixspam_OUTspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote in message
news:RemoveME25b178740711281111p7bce8c7dha341d01965dc521bTakeThisOuTspamspammail.gmail.com...> > On Nov 28, 2007 1:31 PM, Martin <EraseMEmartinspamspamspamBeGonennytech.net> wrote:
>> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
>> Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city. Battery disposal
>> is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.
>
> My '87 ford escort wagon with every power gizmo they offered, and
> throttle-body injection got a consistent 32mpg with air on, and a mix
> of in-town and highway driving.
> When going downhill, my add-on (zemco) engine computer showed fuel
> consumption of 0 gal/hr if the grade was steep enough.
> In the late 70's there were conventional engine cars with as much as
> 50mpg.

My dad's 1980 VW Rabbit Diesel got about 50 mpg on the highway and a bit
less in the city.

> Why is it that now anything over 30 seems to be a big deal?

Because the mileage standards on cars have not increased in a long time and
before gas was over $3 a gallon in the US, most US consumers cared little
about mileage.  Now that gas is higher, some people are starting to care
more about mileage.  Still, big gas guzzling vehicles are a status symbol in
the US.  Driving a Hummer H2 shows you have the money to not care about gas
mileage.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein





2007\11\28@160014 by Jeff Findley

flavicon
face

"Herbert Graf" <RemoveMEmailinglist3KILLspamspamfarcite.net> wrote in message
news:1196278244.4147.16.camel@PD804...
> On Wed, 2007-11-28 at 13:31 -0500, Martin wrote:
>> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
>> Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city.
>
> I don't know about the Passat TDI, but small diesel engines can easily
> beat the Prius in most driving situations except perhaps truly stop and
> go traffic jam environments (where walking is faster; the question of
> course then is why are you even bothering to drive?). The only problem?
> These diesel cars don't exist in North America. Everywhere else in the
> world, but not here.

They used to, but there were very few models to chose from.  My dad's 1980
VW Rabbit Diesel got 45 to 50 mpg depending on the city/highway mix.  Most
of the diesel cars back then were imports.

The problem in the US was that, for a while, GM built a diesel engine that
would pretty much self destruct before 100k miles.  If I recall correctly,
it was a gas engine design converted to diesel, so it simply wasn't strong
enough to last and the mileage was still pretty terrible since they were put
into big GM cars.  That put a diesel == bad into many consumer's minds.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\28@160933 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
>> Battery disposal
>> is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.

> Hehe, sorry, but if you want to consider the actual impact
> of a vehicle
> on our planet a recycled battery most definitely is worse
> then no
> battery (recycling can take alot of energy). And lets not
> forget the
> huge energy and resources needed to manufacture the
> batteries to start
> with. Then the energy and resources to build the electric
> motors,
> relevant hardware to connect it to the rest of the car,
> and the
> electronics.

Arguably the cost of a recycled battery is a charge on the
use that the material is put to, not on the use that it WAS
put to previously. ie you assume that the disposed of item
has whatever value is placed on it when it enters the
recycling scheme - positive if the recycler pays you,
negative if they charge you and zero if they take it for
free. Then the recycling operation calculates its own costs.
As most originally high cost items, including batteries,
will actually be paid for by a commercial recycler, and that
would certainly include large batteries, then it seems
reasonable to assume a zero value or greater for such items.
And ecological and other costs are then borne by the
recycler who presumably finds it cheaper to source their
lead or cadmium or whatever from a pile of someone else's
junk than from a mine. So, arguably, and it is arguable, a
recycled battery is BETTER than no battery if the recycler
will pay you for it, as it represents a lower cost resource
than digging the material out of a hillside and processing
it.

I'm aware of the potential deficiencies in such an argument
but it seems an accurate enough one to take at a simplistic
level;.

A major problem with "market forces" arguments, which this
is one of, is that "the market" aka the invisible hand is a
thief or a naive taker (depending on one's altruistic
attitude). ie "the market" will acquire resource at the cost
that it can, not at the cost that it "should" if all factors
were considered "properly". "Should" has no meaning to 'the
hand' - it deals only with "can". Friends of the hand deride
'should' as attempts at nannying and at corruption of true
economic drive, and this may often enough be true, but
"should" also arises from the use of intelligent vision to
identify local and distant peaks in the cost benefit
continuum. The hand is a dumb brute that can only crawl the
local gradient in the same way that natural selection does,
and may find itself stalled on a local peak without
"realising" (as it has no brain" that true optimum, even by
its own blind rules, lies somewhere else if only something
were able to move it there. The 'valley" which the hand is
unable to crawl down into and cross to reach the higher
pastures elsewhere may be (and arguably usually is) caused
by it misvaluing resources that it has questionable rights
to.

This assessment is not an attempt to inject social
perspective per se but rather an attempt to understand
reality. If eg an action impacts air quality or the disposal
of 'divalent chromium, or lowers water table below the level
where permanent pollution of an island's water lens will
result (as per the misattributed example in "An inconvenient
truth"), or ...  and forces controlling "the market" have
not caught up with such issues, or do not detect the impact,
or the impact is not appreciated, then air or water or life
quality may be degraded until such issues are addressed. In
due course you end up with China or industrial Russia or, I
imagine, Pittsburgh, and people may then start to act. But
the true past costs are then being paid for by unrelated
future actions.

China is a good example, as I have just recently seen. What
was for certain a once beautiful landscape is broken and
battered beyond belief where-ever I looked. Throughout a 500
km train ride, and at every other point where I was able to
observe, visual evidence that the environment had been
horribly abused abounded. If they ever decide to "fix" this
the costs of the past will be visited on the products of the
future.

I didn't notice any identifiable Prius batteries lying
around.



           Russell

2007\11\28@161157 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
face
On Wed, 2007-11-28 at 15:46 -0500, Martin wrote:
> Herbert Graf wrote:
> >
> > Perhaps the most telling thing of this thread is how violently people
> > seem to respond when someone asks them to reconsider whether something
> > is actually as good for the planet as they think it is.
> >
> > TTYL
> >  
>
> I apologize, I was mainly set off by Luis's repeated comment of "that

No need, I see nothing wrong in being passionate about something, as
long as that passion is open to considering it might only be 98%
correct. :)

> prius crap" or some such. The Prius was the first popular hybrid car.
> While I agree that it's benefits and consequences should be weighed, I
> believe it is a step in the right direction: cars that pollute less and
> use less fuel.

The prius is most certainly not crap IMHO. It is a very good quality car
that holds it's value extremely well.

> It also makes people take an interest in cleaner
> technology, which I think is considerable.

No matter what the real story (benefit wise) is with the Prius, you are
absolutely correct that it's popularity is most certainly a good
influence on the public in general with regards to at causing people to
at least consider how they are impacting the planet.

I suppose my biggest problem isn't with the Prius, it's with the people
that are of the opinion that if you drive anything other then the Prius
you are destroying the planet, while they are the lone saviours of the
planet. There are people out there.

My car may not get the mileage of a Fit, Yaris, Versa or Prius, but it's
pretty damn close, and certainly light years better then the huge SUVs
and Trucks you see driving on our roads every day.

TTYL

2007\11\28@161406 by David VanHorn

picon face
> My dad's 1980 VW Rabbit Diesel got about 50 mpg on the highway and a bit
> less in the city.

I had a friend who had one of those, ran it on fuel that they pulled
for testing on 747s.
They couldn't put the fuel back in the system, and used to just dump it.
:)  50 mpg and $0/gal.

> > Why is it that now anything over 30 seems to be a big deal?
>
> Because the mileage standards on cars have not increased in a long time and
> before gas was over $3 a gallon in the US, most US consumers cared little
> about mileage.  Now that gas is higher, some people are starting to care
> more about mileage.  Still, big gas guzzling vehicles are a status symbol in
> the US.  Driving a Hummer H2 shows you have the money to not care about gas
> mileage.

I remember something gas powered from toyota(?) in the late 70's that
got 40+, and I seem to remember 50-ish highway.

For my money, disposable ceramic turbines with electric generators are
the way to go, the infernal contraption engine is a kludge.

2007\11\28@164245 by Eoin Ross

flavicon
face
We can't escape physics. Weight + Speed = Fuel.
People want to go faster, carry more (A/C, 20" Woofers, power windows, less road noise, comfy ride, etc)

Until its OK to drive a bicycle wheeled, carbon fibre frame and thin fish shaped shell, at 30 MPH with no accesssories, we won't see huge ( >60) MPG happening.

Extreme example but you get the idea.

Even a 250cc motorbike doesn't get what you think it would... about 70 mpg, 600cc around 40/45 mpg
http://www.totalmotorcycle.com/MotorcycleFuelEconomyGuide/

I looked into getting a bike but it'd only save about $800 a year @ $4 a gallon - without insurance and repairs factored in. On top of that I have enough issues with people trying put their wheels where mine are now.


>>> microbrixSTOPspamspamspam_OUTgmail.com 28 Nov 07 14:11:56 >>>
On Nov 28, 2007 1:31 PM, Martin <spamBeGonemartinSTOPspamspamEraseMEnnytech.net> wrote:
> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
> Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city. Battery disposal
> is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.

My '87 ford escort wagon with every power gizmo they offered, and
throttle-body injection got a consistent 32mpg with air on, and a mix
of in-town and highway driving.
When going downhill, my add-on (zemco) engine computer showed fuel
consumption of 0 gal/hr if the grade was steep enough.
In the late 70's there were conventional engine cars with as much as 50mpg.

Why is it that now anything over 30 seems to be a big deal?



2007\11\28@172933 by Mike Hord

picon face
> >Part of the reason I'm even considering a Prius is the fact that the
> more
> >people buy them, the better the technology gets, and the closer to a
> >real solution it becomes
>
> Hybrids by their very nature will never be a real solution, they are a
> temporary stop gap whilst technology works out how to remove the
> infernal combustion engine for good.

My point exactly- I quit driving.  This whole thing came about because
of a desire to collapse our two cars into one, until such time as no cars
is a viable solution.

The "infernal" (I like that) combustion engine addiction is a tough one to
break.  The people who anger me the most are the ones who don't worry
about this, and who say "oh, we'll come up with a solution before peak oil.
Don't worry about it."

It strikes me a bit like saying "By the time smoking gives me cancer,
there will be a pill to cure it."  It's human nature: awful things ALWAYS
happen to somebody else.  It's not until YOUR nation grinds to a halt
without oil (ask Cuba) or YOUR lungs seize up with COPD that the true
impact of our decisions actually occurs to us.  Then it's too late.

Mike H.

2007\11\28@182822 by Paul Hutchinson

picon face
> -----Original Message-----
> From: KILLspampiclist-bouncesspamBeGonespammit.edu On Behalf Of David VanHorn
> Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 4:14 PM
>
<snip>
>
> I remember something gas powered from toyota(?) in the late 70's that
> got 40+, and I seem to remember 50-ish highway.

The 1982 Honda Civic got 41 mpg city and 55 mpg highway, the problem was
that by then the worst of the gas crisis in the US was over and gas prices
fell drastically up to 1986.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honda_Civic

The falling price of gasoline, especially when adjusted for inflation, was
the major market force preventing the introduction of more fuel efficient
cars in the US. When looked at using inflation adjusted dollars we still pay
less for gas in the US than we did in 1980.
http://www.randomuseless.info/gasprice/gasprice.html

Add on the exemption from fuel economy standards for trucks/SUV's and tax
exemptions for SUV's used for business and it's easy to see how the USA
ended up where we are. Someone I know wanted to buy an efficient Volvo wagon
for her work as a lawyer a few years ago. The tax incentives loophole made
the BMW SUV less expensive so that's what she bought. Although she is
groaning over gas prices now the financial calculations still show her
coming out ahead with the business use heavy SUV tax loophole.

Paul Hutch

>
> For my money, disposable ceramic turbines with electric generators are
> the way to go, the infernal contraption engine is a kludge.

2007\11\28@191018 by Dave Schmidt

flavicon
face
>
> The 1982 Honda Civic got 41 mpg city and 55 mpg highway, the problem was
> that by then the worst of the gas crisis in the US was over and gas prices
> fell drastically up to 1986
>  

My 1992 Geo Metro gets 48mpg on the freeway cruising at 75mph with
occasional runs up to 80MPH.  I can't seem to keep the speeds down so I
don't know how much better I could do (I drive pretty agressively).  Up
Conejo Grade it'll do 68MPH.  City mileage is ~ 41mpg.

315,000 miles on the original, unopened 3 cyl 1.0L engine and 5 speed
transmission.  Bought it for $2K in 1998 with 108Kmiles on the
odometer.  They've been making these since I think 1985 and with better
gas mileage back then (with carbs even).

It's a car that is alway made fun of but in reality they're zippy, have
lots of room inside (my road bike fits inside - with the wheel off.  
2x4x8's fit with the hatch closed) and fun to drive.

Don't know what I'll do when the engine is finally worn out.

Dave
(who's annoyed by all the Prius drivers doing less than the speed limit
on the freeways to save gas)

2007\11\28@193232 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Nov 28, 2007, at 1:13 PM, David VanHorn wrote:

> I remember something gas powered from toyota(?) in the late 70's that
> got 40+, and I seem to remember 50-ish highway.

Emissions equipment and fuel content has changed relatively
significantly since the 70s, hasn't it?  The LA basin isn't
brown any more, and you have things like California's complete
ban on diesel passenger cars...

Also, given the way efficiency standards work, it seems that
the horsepower of american cars creeps up at a given MPG level,
rather than MPG creeping up while horsepower remains constant.

BillW

2007\11\28@194726 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face


>>  The Prius was the first popular hybrid car.
>> While I agree that it's benefits and consequences should be  
>> weighed, I
>> believe it is a step in the right direction: cars that pollute  
>> less and
>> use less fuel.

Sigh.  Especially since so many other hybrid models seem to tack an
electric motor along side a V6 "performance" frame for what appears
to be a quite modest efficiency gain.  "Hybrid SUVs" BOASTING milage
of 28mpg.  Sigh.

I seem to average 50mpg in my prius, about twice what I got in my
last car (97 Saturn wagon), and pretty significantly over anything
I've ever gotten in my cars (76 (?) celica, 84 accord, 97 Saturn,
2007 prius, or the family mini-vans.)

BillW

2007\11\28@201730 by Goflo

picon face
> >>> EraseMEjimfspamEraseMEwebstudios.co.uk 28 Nov 07 05:04:49 >>>
> What scares me is when people buy a car to tow horsetrailers and horses...

I have a lot of neighbors in the business of towing horses
from here to there - Tried to collect hard data, as I suspect
the towed/ridden ratio is well North of 100:1

A scarred & suspicious lot, seemingly, whenever the
subject comes up. Not enough tax breaks for horsemanship,
I guess...

Jack

2007\11\29@022130 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> For my money, disposable ceramic turbines with electric
> generators are
> the way to go, the infernal contraption engine is a
> kludge.

The Stirling engine will save us all :-).

But it may be a while before they get it sorted.

AFAIR Philips estimated that full development to sort out
all the bugs would cost about ?10 billion? dollars.  And
have a payback period of about 4 months after that ;-)

James will now say, ...



       Russell

2007\11\29@025816 by Luis.Moreira

picon face
This is exactly my point.
A few years back we had on the UK a TV program where this stupid woman, apart from making families eat on candle light to save the planet, because you know that is really practical, came out with the Zero emissions hydrogen powered car. The Car was great, according to her, almost zero impact in the planet, the only emission was water, just perfect... Apart from the fact hydrogen to run the car had to be produced somehow, hand this thing was packed with exotic materials that energy wise were probably not cheap to produce, and most likely can not easily be recycled.
This people really annoy me because they give a false idea to the public, that instead of looking at their daily life and seeing where they can make a difference to the planet decide to try to by this sort of vehicle because like that they are doing their bit. To me this environmentalist rubbish will not save the planet, what will make an impact is money. I am investigating ways of being self sufficient with my energy needs, but is not because of the environment, I am doing it because it will save me money, will be an interesting project, and I am worried about the fact I can not live without energy and I can see that I will have to pay a premium for it in the future.
I want to insulate my house better and find alternative ways of heating it, but that is just because I now have a bigger house and I have a big heating bill, nothing to do with saving the planet.
People will be sensitive to saving money and will probably make some changes to their lifestyle in order to do so, but they have to be practical. As an example for me to get to work it use to take me 1.5 hours on my car, and cost me £13 a day on fuel. The car would bring me from the front of my house to the front of my office. I tried it by train, it took 3 hours, two train changes one bus trip and 10 minutes walk for the same thing. This trip cost £34. This is not practical.
I have done the best thing which was to move closer to work, but some people do not have that choice. Again I have done this not because of the environment but because of the wasted time in the car, fuel costs, car maintenance costs and my family life.
Best regards
               Luis  
 



{Original Message removed}

2007\11\29@040838 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I looked into getting a bike but it'd only save about $800 a
>year @ $4 a gallon - without insurance and repairs factored
>in. On top of that I have enough issues with people trying
>put their wheels where mine are now.

I was going to say, that the saving is without considering the increased
risk of coming off in a spectacular way that finishes using that mode of
transport (and potentially having "one last ride in a box"), but I think
that is what your saying in the last sentence.

One of my colleagues got real messed up when he ended up T-Boning a car at
around 30-40MPH when it pulled out in front of him on a narrow English
country lane. He was real lucky a police helicopter was available to take
him to hospital - there was no time to wait for the air ambulance. Now some
2 years later he is still going to hospital appointments about the metalwork
in his arm and leg.

2007\11\29@073037 by Tony Smith

picon face
> The Prius is a perfect example of this. The ONLY thing people
> latch on to with the Prius (and other hybrid vehicles) is
> it's mileage (which isn't even that good). They completely
> ignore other factors that COULD make the Prius a WORSE choice
> for the planet. I'm NOT saying it IS worse, I don't have the
> data, I just want to point out that just because everybody
> SAYS it's better, basing their opinion only on emissions,
> doesn't make it so.


That's an interesting point.  Dollar wise, buying a Prius makes little
sense.  Its high price and dubious resale value (ya mean it's need a new
battery?) would never be offset by the fuel you'd save.

However, I've heard that the maintenance costs are far lower, mainly due to
less moving parts overall.  Anyone got any hard numbers on that?  That could
make the Prius a better choice.

All electric would be great, since the only parts that wear out in a motor
are the bearings.  (The cynic in me suddenly sees great advances in brushed
motors.)

Given that only money will ever get people to leave the car at home (well,
plus a cheap alternative), the fact people buy the Prius at all shows
there's a long way to go.  Ok, there's the novelty & smug (South Park)
factor too, I guess.

In this entire thread I don't think anyone has said 'why not get a bike?',
be it motor, bicycle, or electric.

Tony

2007\11\29@085512 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
> In this entire thread I don't think anyone has said 'why not get a bike?',
> be it motor, bicycle, or electric.

Winter in pittsburgh..  Look at a topo map.

2007\11\29@110822 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2007-11-29 at 23:30 +1100, Tony Smith wrote:
> In this entire thread I don't think anyone has said 'why not get a bike?',
> be it motor, bicycle, or electric.

There was a mention that motorcycles don't necessarily get stellar
mileage either. They are good, certainly better then most cars, but not
super good (bike mileages I see are around 4.5-6L/100km, on the
highway).

That said, a bike is only an option for a VERY small subset of
commuters. For me a bike is mostly useless (from a commuting
standpoint).

First I live in a country where it gets bloody cold bloody quickly, so
for about 2/3s of the year it's just too dangerous to ride a bike
(unless I got snow tires with studs for the bike I suppose... :) ).

Second, I very often have to carry stuff with me to work and back, so
that would limit me to only a subset of the 1/3 year where the weather
would be cooperative.

My brother drives a bike, but for him it's mostly the "fun" factor, and
the lessening of depreciation of his car. Mileage wise he does do better
then his car (Mazda3 Sport), but not much better then my car.

TTYL

2007\11\29@112158 by Jeff Findley

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"William "Chops" Westfield" <@spam@westfw@spam@spamspam_OUTmac.com> wrote in message
news:spamBeGone48A34F5E-D63A-4DE0-BD68-07EF5ABA6A85spamKILLspammac.com...> > Also, given the way efficiency standards work, it seems that
> the horsepower of american cars creeps up at a given MPG level,
> rather than MPG creeping up while horsepower remains constant.

It's partly CAFE standards not changing with the evolving technology and
partly because when gas was relatively cheap, US consumers would rather have
the extra HP than higher efficiency.  But now that gas is over $3 a gallon,
we're starting to see the attitudes of some US consumers changing.  But I
doubt we'll ever change the attitude of many upper middle class and wealthy
Americans since owning a gas guzzling vehicle is a status symbol that says
"I have so much money, I don't even care about mpg".

I know our attitude changed when we got our (then new) 04 Pontiac Vibe.
It's a 30 to 36 mpg vehicle (our actual city/highway mileage) which replaced
an 02 Ford Escape which was a 17 to 23 mpg vehicle (again, our actual
city/highway mileage).  That was a huge improvement in mpg and didn't really
change the available interior space much.  We did lose the Escape's 4WD, but
we've not found that to be a problem in Cincinnati Ohio where they salt the
roads to death in the winter (there are already liquid salt stripes on the
highways, ready for any snow that might fall).

Of course, I'd like to get rid of the 93 Chevy G20 Van since it only gets
about 14 mpg (city or highway).  While we're still making payments on the
Vibe, it doesn't make economic sense for us to replace the van.  The van is
paid off and worth next to nothing as a trade-in.  But once the Vibe is paid
off, you'd better believe we're going to be replacing the van.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\29@113311 by Martin Klingensmith

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Herbert Graf wrote:
{Quote hidden}

I intend to get a used motorcycle next summer. Here in New England, the
weather seems to be much like Old England. I've seen several people this
week driving motorcycles though. The weather is MUCH colder when you're
moving at any speed! It will be interesting to see if I can get used to
commuting on two wheels. I live in Boston. The traffic is interesting to
say the least.
-
Martin K

2007\11\29@113326 by Jeff Findley

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"Luis Moreira" <.....Luis.Moreiraspam_OUTspamjet.uk> wrote in message
news:TakeThisOuTD6F368154C2B1043938B495AE13F245B05338056.....spamTakeThisOuTntsrv-exch01.jetnet.jet.efda.org...> > This is exactly my point.
> A few years back we had on the UK a TV program where this
> stupid woman, apart from making families eat on candle light
> to save the planet, because you know that is really practical,
> came out with the Zero emissions hydrogen powered car. The Car
> was great, according to her, almost zero impact in the planet,
> the only emission was water, just perfect... Apart from the
> fact hydrogen to run the car had to be produced somehow, and

Today, the most economic way to produce hydrogen is to extract it from
petrolium products.  So, it would be good to ask, what happens to the carbon
from this industrial process?

Cracking water into H2 and O2 is pretty expensive, and the electricity has
to come from somewhere.  In the US, that electricity would likely come from
burning coal, oil, or natural gas, so you might as well use the more
efficient industiral process to extract the H2 directly from the fossil
fuels.

Hydrogen won't be an economically and environmentally friendly fuel for a
long time (i.e. until fossil fuels become so hideously expensive that US
power plants stop burning them).

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\29@115632 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2007-11-29 at 11:32 -0500, Martin Klingensmith wrote:
> I intend to get a used motorcycle next summer. Here in New England, the
> weather seems to be much like Old England. I've seen several people this
> week driving motorcycles though. The weather is MUCH colder when you're
> moving at any speed! It will be interesting to see if I can get used to
> commuting on two wheels. I live in Boston. The traffic is interesting to
> say the least.

Considering our weather my brother got gear that has heaters in the
jacket and the gloves. When plugged in he can ride at speed in the low
40s upper 30s and still be nice and toasty! :)

TTYL

2007\11\29@115737 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Today, the most economic way to produce hydrogen is to extract
>it from petrolium products.  So, it would be good to ask, what
>happens to the carbon from this industrial process?

Gets made in to plastic ... ??

2007\11\29@120213 by Herbert Graf

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On Thu, 2007-11-29 at 11:32 -0500, Jeff Findley wrote:
> Hydrogen won't be an economically and environmentally friendly fuel for a
> long time (i.e. until fossil fuels become so hideously expensive that US
> power plants stop burning them).

Or until you can come up with a way to extra hydrogen that is cheaper
then getting it from fossil fuels.

There has been some promising news with regards to using microorganisms
to do that work.

The obvious other option is some form of cold fusion being developed
since then the amount of hydrogen needed to produce the electricity to
extract more hydrogen would be very small... :)

TTYL

2007\11\29@131218 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > In this entire thread I don't think anyone has said 'why not get a
> > bike?', be it motor, bicycle, or electric.
>
> Winter in pittsburgh..  Look at a topo map.


Ok, you're excused.  Now the OP said they only did short trips...

Tony

2007\11\29@133438 by David VanHorn

picon face
Well, let's face it, people don't drive cars because they want to be evil.
They drive cars because they are the most practical alternative.

Rain, hail, snow, bugs, hot, cold, packages, groceries, dogs, kids, lumber...
A place to leave your stuff, kinda hard to leave your packages on the
bus while you run in somewhere for a few minutes.

Not that all this couldn't be solved, but whatever we do has to work
in the world we're living in.
Otherwise, we'd all be riding Segways.

:)

2007\11\29@142514 by Tony Smith

picon face
> > In this entire thread I don't think anyone has said 'why not get a
> > bike?', be it motor, bicycle, or electric.
>
> There was a mention that motorcycles don't necessarily get
> stellar mileage either. They are good, certainly better then
> most cars, but not super good (bike mileages I see are around
> 4.5-6L/100km, on the highway).
>
> That said, a bike is only an option for a VERY small subset
> of commuters. For me a bike is mostly useless (from a
> commuting standpoint).


I disagree with the 'very small subset' comment, and so would many Chinese,
as would many Europeans.

Yeah, some people have special needs, or can rustle up enough of them to
justify their car.  With fuel at $20 a gallon, I wonder if their needs will
still be so special.

There was a study done in Sydney a while back that showed for trips under
10km, the bicycle 'won'  (personally, I'd say motorcycles should have).
Sydney is fairly flat, but very spread out (50 sqr km?).  I'd say a fair
chunk of the 4,500,000 million people here are within 10km of work.

Electric bikes are become more common, and removes the 'arriving all sweaty
& puffed' negative.  I like the add-on kits, where the motor attaches to the
bottom bracket, and uses the lowest chainring (not quite sure of the
details).  Has a removeable battery pack to you can charge it at your desk.

Apparently my workplace does have showers etc, down on the mysterious
'Basement 3' level.  Mysterious because the lift only has B1.  Hmmm.  My
commute is about 15km, and I can do that in well under an hour, depending on
how many grid-locked buses I need to dodge.  Reminds me of the scene from
'Office Space'...

And when I was a boy, I rode my bike to school every day in the snow, uphill
both ways.  Ok, no snow, but it was below freezing.  And it WAS uphill both
ways.  And downhill, of course.

Tony

2007\11\29@144518 by Herbert Graf

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On Fri, 2007-11-30 at 06:24 +1100, Tony Smith wrote:
> > That said, a bike is only an option for a VERY small subset
> > of commuters. For me a bike is mostly useless (from a
> > commuting standpoint).
>
>
> I disagree with the 'very small subset' comment, and so would many Chinese,
> as would many Europeans.

Ahh, I should have limited my comment to North America. Yes, in many
other parts of the world a bike is more attractive because people just
don't commute very far.

In North America however, probably because cars and gas are cheap, it's
VERY common for commutes to be 1hour each way. My commute is actually on
average quite short, I only travel about 30 minutes one way to work
(55kms).

> Yeah, some people have special needs, or can rustle up enough of them to
> justify their car.  With fuel at $20 a gallon, I wonder if their needs will
> still be so special.
>
> There was a study done in Sydney a while back that showed for trips under
> 10km, the bicycle 'won'  (personally, I'd say motorcycles should have).
> Sydney is fairly flat, but very spread out (50 sqr km?).  I'd say a fair
> chunk of the 4,500,000 million people here are within 10km of work.

In North America that's quite rare. Of all the people I've worked with,
the closest anyone has been to work was about 16kms. Yes, in the
downtown cores there will be more people who live that close to work,
and for them public transit is a wonderful option. For the rest of us...

Heck, most of my relatives in Austria still go home for lunch every day,
they live that close to where they work...

TTYL

2007\11\29@150639 by Jeff Findley

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"Herbert Graf" <TakeThisOuTmailinglist3KILLspamspamspamfarcite.net> wrote in message
news:1196365515.4080.21.camel@PD804...
> In North America however, probably because cars and gas are cheap, it's
> VERY common for commutes to be 1hour each way. My commute is actually on
> average quite short, I only travel about 30 minutes one way to work
> (55kms).

Mine is similar.  Here in the Cincinnati Ohio area, the "good places" to
live are in a handful of places around the city suburbs, so a great many
people have similar commutes.  The actual Cincinnati Public schools aren't
very highly rated (according to test scores), so most white collar workers
live elsewhere.

In the US in general the quality of schools varies widely.  Here in Ohio, a
lot of their funding comes from local property taxes, so they seem to vary
*a lot* in this state.  So that's one reason why many people in the US have
long commutes.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\29@230126 by Nate Duehr

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On Nov 28, 2007, at 11:31 AM, Martin wrote:

> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
> Prius. Maybe on the highway. Not a chance in the city. Battery  
> disposal
> is a non-issue in the Prius. They get recycled.

Call shenanigans all you like:  My wife's Jetta TDI gets a consistent  
34 MPG in city and pushes 40 MPG on highway trips, no problem at all.

She has the automatic transmission, too.

It'll probably survive to well over 200,000 miles (No need to waste  
energy making another car), no batteries to deal with, and it'll run  
just as happily on biodiesel as it will on fossil diesel.

American's views of diesels are very primitive and don't take modern  
diesel innovations into account much at all.

From a pure handling and build-quality standpoint, it's also not beer-
can thin, it's bigger, more comfortable, and FAR better built than the  
Prius.  It handles like an Audi A4, and considering its ancestry, that  
makes a lot of sense.

--
Nate Duehr
.....natespamRemoveMEnatetech.com



2007\11\30@001958 by Mike Hord

picon face
> > > In this entire thread I don't think anyone has said 'why not get a
> > > bike?', be it motor, bicycle, or electric.
> >
> > Winter in pittsburgh..  Look at a topo map.
>
>
> Ok, you're excused.  Now the OP said they only did short trips...

That I did.  The car is less for me, and less for us, than it is for my
fiancee.  She drives about five-six miles to work, through town.

We live in Minneapolis; she works in Saint Paul.  She does run
errands and such for work, so she "needs" a car (as much as
anyone truly needs one).  Her 20-30 minute commute jumps to
70 minutes on the bus, which is somewhat unpalatable if it can
be avoided.  All in all, the standard excuses about not biking apply,
especially the one about living in Minneapolis.

I wore snowpants on the bus this morning, and home again in
the evening.  Otherwise the cold would be crippling- I can't imagine
it on any kind of unprotected vehicle.

I would say, however, that we're ideal candidates for a small
electric car.  If it had an 8-hour recharge time and a 90-100 mile
range it would completely cover 99% of our trips, and we could
rent a car for the other 1%.

Mike H.

2007\11\30@002042 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Nov 29, 2007, at 7:56 PM, Nate Duehr wrote:

>> I call shenanigans on your Passat TDI getting the same mileage as a
>> Prius.
>
> Call shenanigans all you like:  My wife's Jetta TDI gets a consistent
> 34 MPG in city and pushes 40 MPG on highway trips, no problem at all.

That's quite a bit less than I get on my Prius (48 to 52mpg, averaged
over about 400 miles worth of driving that combines the 20mile commute
to work (easy), home from work (usually congested), and very local
driving (1-5 miles to and from schools and shopping.)

Interestingly, it looks like I get about the SAME 50mpg for both
the local at highway driving.  The instances of 60mpg seem to happen
for stop-and-crawl congestion on the highway, and 35mph zones with
a mile or so between stoplights (my local trips are slower and have
more frequent stops.)

BillW

2007\11\30@002703 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On Nov 30, 2007 3:24 AM, Tony Smith <RemoveMEajsmithspamspamBeGonerivernet.com.au> wrote:
> I disagree with the 'very small subset' comment, and so would many Chinese,
> as would many Europeans.

The thing is that even in China, more and more people are buying
cars. Bicycles/Motorcycles are still popular but cars seems to be
the big thing in China now. When the living standards get
higher and higher, more and more Chinese will have a car,
taxing the already congested road and causing more and more
pollution.

Singapore is another example that people still want to buy cars
despite having a very good public transport system. People need
to pay about 2 to 3 times the price here comparted to USA to
buy a car (an average Nissan/Honda/Toyota/etc costs about
US$35,000-40,000 here due to high tax and COE). Still people want
to buy cars. Here even learning to drive cost US$2000-3000
depending on your lucks.

Reference: COE and etc in Singapore
http://www.expatsingapore.com/content/view/1152

Xiaofan

2007\11\30@024106 by Luis.Moreira

picon face
Hi actually get routinely 43.5MPG on mix driving no problem with my
Passat TDI.
On the motorway if I keep to 70 MPH and use my 6th gear, which sometimes
I forget I have, the average will push towards the 50MPG.
Is the brilliant thing about the new diesel technologies, I think the
Audi does even better.



{Original Message removed}

2007\11\30@035621 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>There was a study done in Sydney a while back that showed for trips
>under 10km, the bicycle 'won'  (personally, I'd say motorcycles
>should have). Sydney is fairly flat, but very spread out (50 sqr km?).
>I'd say a fair chunk of the 4,500,000 million people here are within
>10km of work.

My memories of Sydney, from around 1988, is that there is nowhere that one
could go very far without having to stop at traffic lights. Just no motorway
sections that one could get on to get out of the city. This would probably
help the bike fraternity.

2007\11\30@103445 by Jeff Findley

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"Mike Hord" <spamBeGonemike.hord@spam@spamspam_OUTgmail.com> wrote in message
news:TakeThisOuT88eca9220711292119q3a8cd0f9j2782a4317798eff8spamspammail.gmail.com...> > I would say, however, that we're ideal candidates for a small
> electric car.  If it had an 8-hour recharge time and a 90-100 mile
> range it would completely cover 99% of our trips, and we could
> rent a car for the other 1%.

Since she drives so few miles each day, what about waiting for one of the so
called plug-in hybrids?  With such a short commute to/from work, it might
run on completely on battery power for normal commutes.  But since it's also
a hybrid, you never have to worry about renting a car for longer trips.

I can't remember when the first plug-in hybrids are supposed to come out.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\30@103645 by Jeff Findley

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"Xiaofan Chen" <xiaofancEraseMEspamgmail.com> wrote in message
news:RemoveMEa276da400711292120q5cbfbc45nb63954a6d06a4c1aEraseMEspamspam_OUTmail.gmail.com...> > Singapore is another example that people still want to buy cars
> despite having a very good public transport system. People need
> to pay about 2 to 3 times the price here comparted to USA to
> buy a car (an average Nissan/Honda/Toyota/etc costs about
> US$35,000-40,000 here due to high tax and COE). Still people want
> to buy cars. Here even learning to drive cost US$2000-3000
> depending on your lucks.
>
> Reference: COE and etc in Singapore
>
http://www.expatsingapore.com/content/view/1152

That's capitalism at work.  The wealthy actually want to spend the money
they earn.

That and automobiles are just a very comfortable, individualistic way to
travel.  There is something nice about having your own car that you can
drive every day.

Jeff
--
A clever person solves a problem.
A wise person avoids it. -- Einstein



2007\11\30@114720 by Tony Smith

picon face
> >There was a study done in Sydney a while back that showed for trips
> >under 10km, the bicycle 'won'  (personally, I'd say
> motorcycles should
> >have). Sydney is fairly flat, but very spread out (50 sqr km?).
> >I'd say a fair chunk of the 4,500,000 million people here are within
> >10km of work.
>
> My memories of Sydney, from around 1988, is that there is
> nowhere that one could go very far without having to stop at
> traffic lights. Just no motorway sections that one could get
> on to get out of the city. This would probably help the bike
> fraternity.


Sydney isn't very pedestrian friendly, let alone offer concessions for
cyclists.  God help you if you're a woman with a pram or a skater.  Timely
article:
<www.smh.com.au/news/national/walkers-need-to-reclaim-the-streets/2007/11/30
/1196394622483.html>, probably recycled from 6 months ago & ad infinitum.
Yeah, reclaim the streets.  You'd need to get out of your car first.  Lol.

There are dedicated bike paths, but they're few & far between.  Typically
councils will denote a bike path by painting a bicycle picture on the side
of the road.  Sometimes you can see them if that parking spot is empty.

Typical of what Sydney does is to redesign payphones.  Most are now two
phones side by side, nice and wide so you can slap a big advertisement on
the back.  Now put them where pedestrians walk, and swing them around so
that people sitting in their cars can see the ads, and block most of the
walkway while doing it.  Retards ahoy, and praise the almighty dollar.

As a disclaimer, I don't own a car, and don't even have a drivers licence.
Got bikes though.  I grew up in Australia's petrolhead mecca Bathurst, home
of Mount Panorama, where being car-less is a mortal sin, and evidence of
someone being 'not quite right'.  I did the usual teenage thing of 'buying a
piece of junk and fixing it up' (Holden Torana, not XU1 of course), before I
decided it was a money sink and I had better things to do.  I've no idea
what ever happened to that car, and don't really care.

V8 Mecca: <en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Panorama_Circuit>,
<http://www.bathurstregion.com.au/mountpanorama/> &
<http://www.bathurst-nsw.com/MtPanorama.html>

Bathurst (a country town of ~35,000 people) expressed its love of
pedestrians by removing all of the pedestrian (zebra) crossings in its
shopping area, all while promoting tourism.  Presumably the tourists drive
around & around in circles unhindered by pesky shoppers for a while, then
leave.

A couple of anecdotes - One year the council decided to paint the name in
big letters across the hilltop.  Being methodical, the workers did 'Mount'
first, working backwards.  First the 'T', then 'N', then 'U', and got
halfway thru 'O' before knocking off for a smoko.  A friend regrets he
didn't have a camera handy.  No complaints, apparently.  A few years before
that the Count & Countess of Bathurst (how quaint!) paid a visit, and the
local newspaper made an unfortunate typo.  The 'o' went missing from Madams
title...  They recalled most copies, but not mine.

A trip to the supermarket today was an 8km round trip, and took about 25
minutes.  You're limited to what will fit in a backpack, but that's a
journey most would do by car.  (If I take the motor bike I can carry more).
Needless to say, I don't buy the 'I need a car' argument.  'I want a car' is
a sentiment I can accept better.

Tony

2007\11\30@123132 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 11/30/07, Tony Smith <@spam@ajsmithRemoveMEspamEraseMErivernet.com.au> wrote:
> ...  A few years before
> that the Count & Countess of Bathurst (how quaint!) paid a visit, and the
> local newspaper made an unfortunate typo.  The 'o' went missing from Madams
> title...  They recalled most copies, but not mine.

:-D

It's hard to believe that go through all the stages of writing,
editing, and printing before it was caught - makes me wonder if it was
not entirely accidental...

-Adam


--
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Moving in southeast Michigan? Buy my house: http://ubasics.com/house/

Interested in electronics? Check out the projects at http://ubasics.com

Building your own house? Check out http://ubasics.com/home/

2007\11\30@142652 by Herbert Graf

flavicon
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On Fri, 2007-11-30 at 10:18 -0500, Jeff Findley wrote:
> "Mike Hord" <EraseMEmike.hordspam@spam@gmail.com> wrote in message
> news:@spam@88eca9220711292119q3a8cd0f9j2782a4317798eff8spam_OUTspam.....mail.gmail.com...> > > I would say, however, that we're ideal candidates for a small
> > electric car.  If it had an 8-hour recharge time and a 90-100 mile
> > range it would completely cover 99% of our trips, and we could
> > rent a car for the other 1%.
>
> Since she drives so few miles each day, what about waiting for one of the so
> called plug-in hybrids?  With such a short commute to/from work, it might
> run on completely on battery power for normal commutes.  But since it's also
> a hybrid, you never have to worry about renting a car for longer trips.
>
> I can't remember when the first plug-in hybrids are supposed to come out.

I've never been much of a fan of "normal" hybrids, for the reasons I've
stated before. However, plug in hybrids certainly excite me. There are
companies that will "convert" a Prius or other hybrid to be plug in, but
it's pretty pricey.

That said, you basically get a car that most of the time doesn't even
need it's gas engine, yet if you DO want to travel farther you don't
have to wait 12 hours to continue your journey while your batteries
charge. The best of both worlds.

Personally, my ideal car would be the reverse: an electric car with say
a 200 mile range, but in the boot is a gas generator so that if you do
run out of battery the gas generator starts up and you can keep going.
You're mileage while on the generator will surely not be stellar, but
it's rare that you'll use it much (and if you do use it much a petrol
car would be a better choice).

If plug in hybrids, or even better the electric car I've described above
truly become affordable I will certainly consider them for my next
vehicle.

TTYL

2007\11\30@145143 by Harold Hallikainen

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> Personally, my ideal car would be the reverse: an electric car with say
> a 200 mile range, but in the boot is a gas generator so that if you do
> run out of battery the gas generator starts up and you can keep going.
> You're mileage while on the generator will surely not be stellar, but
> it's rare that you'll use it much (and if you do use it much a petrol
> car would be a better choice).
>

Of course, the gas generator would have to be about the size of a normal
car engine to produce enough power to keep the thing rolling at freeway
speeds (though it would not need the peak power capacity required for
acceleration since that could be handled by batteries). I once read of a
"pusher" project an electric car enthusiast did. He figured the gas to
mechanical to electricity to mechanical was too many conversions to be
efficient, so he made a trailer that was just gas to mechanical. When gas
power was needed, the trailer would push the electric car. The control
system was pretty interesting also.

Harold

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2007\11\30@173307 by Jake Anderson

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Harold Hallikainen wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Actually at "highway speeds" you only use about 10KW or so assuming your
vehicle is somewhat slippery. IE ditch the SUV. My missus has a 250cc
motor bike that will put out about 4x that without trying too hard. A
single cylinder turbo diesel would probably do the job and be very fuel
efficient to boot.

2007\11\30@190546 by James Newton

face picon face


-----Original Message-----
Apptech Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2007 22:17

{Quote hidden}

Groan? Sigh? *shakes head while walking away*?

--
James.

2007\11\30@191943 by James Newton

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VW's have a reputation of wiring and electrical failures that cast doubt on
the 200,000 mile life. Also, depending on the year and model, there are
serious brakeing system and transmission issues.
http://www.automotive.com/used-cars/recalls/01/volkswagen/index.html

VW's do NOT have a good reliability rating compared to other brands (e.g.
Honda / Toyota)
http://www.truedelta.com/results0907.php

IMHO the life of the car is more important than the mileage.

--
James

{Original Message removed}

2007\11\30@192158 by Harold Hallikainen

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>>
> Actually at "highway speeds" you only use about 10KW or so assuming your
> vehicle is somewhat slippery. IE ditch the SUV. My missus has a 250cc
> motor bike that will put out about 4x that without trying too hard. A
> single cylinder turbo diesel would probably do the job and be very fuel
> efficient to boot.

10kW is pretty good! We just got a Honda Fit. I'll do some mileage tests
on it next month when we drive half way across the US and back. 10kW is
only 13.4HP. Can we really make a car go 65MPH with 13.4HP?

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
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2007\11\30@193044 by Harold Hallikainen

face
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This transportation discussion reminds me of something my wife just heard
from her sister. As mentioned in a previous post, we just bought a Honda
Fit. We did have a car (actually two) before that, but did, and still do,
ride the bus to work for our 30 mile commute. My wife's sister's husband
(I can never figure out what various relations are called) had apparently
thought we did not have a car, since we ride the bus to work. When he
found out we DID have a car, he asked, "Then why do they ride the bus?" It
did not make sense to him for us to ride the bus when we had a car. It
DOES actually work out very well and is inexpensive ($30 per month for
each of us for a monthly pass). It does take about 15 minutes longer than
driving, but we don't have to hassle with traffic, parking, etc. We just
have this rather large limo (that holds 50) show up and give us a ride
home. During the ride, we have time to catch up on reading, visiting with
friends, etc.

Works well for us...

Harold


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FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\11\30@202013 by James Newton

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Hey Mike,

Yes, you do know what I'll say, but I wanted to chime in on a couple of
related points:

First, I'm really impressed with the way everyone has responded to this
thread. It's one of the better discussions we have had. The use of
references to back up statements of fact is just totally cool.

One thing that sort of surprises me is that no one presented total cost of
ownership and operation figures. In almost every case, sustainability =
frugality. If it costs less, it does less damage. There are exceptions, but
that is a very good rule of thumb.

Just to let you know, I just purchased a "new" car a bit ago after the head
gasket blew on my 91 Honda Civic. The engine is probably reparable in the
old car and I've put it "up on blocks" while I save my pennies for the
repair. I paid $4k for it with 139k miles and it now has 230k on it so that
is around 4 cents a mile. It got about 32mpg gas with gas at between $2 and
$3 per gallon during it's life, it cost me about 8 cents a mile to operate
gas wise... Add another few cents a mile for repairs and so on and the total
cost of ownership and operation is around 14 cents a mile. It's now worth
about $0 but with a rebuilt engine (cost $1k) it should be worth around
$1.5k or $2k. I won't bother to take that off the cost; $14 cents a mile is
darn good.

In the mean time my wife and I did a LOT of looking around and researching
cars and eventually settled on a 2001 Toyota Camery. It only gets about
27mpg, and it is sort of a boat. But with 90k miles on the odometer, I
expect to be driving it for a long time.  If it lives as well as the Civic,
it will die around 2017 at about 240k miles and having paid about $10k for
it and gotten 150k miles, it will have cost me 7 cents a mile to own. Given
the higher gas prices (I'm assuming it will average $5/gal over the next
several years) and lower mileage, with a few repairs, it will probably cost
20 cents a mile to operate. That totals out to 27 cents a mile, or about
double the cost of the Civic.

So why would I double my cost and therefore impact the planet twice as much
as I could have?

Because it has a much better crash rating than the Civic. And more than
60,000 people die on the US roads every year.
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/911.htm

"What price the crown of a king on his throne, when you're chained in the
dark all alone?" (Extra points for naming the song.)

And I still haven't managed to pull off being able to work from home or at
least very near home. If I do, the wife can drive it and we can sell her Van
(don't buy the '98 Odyssey! Any other year is fine.) and I will get a little
solar recharging electric NEV
http://www.sunvee.com/ or at least something small
http://techref.massmind.org/techref/other/cars.htm and stay away from the
freeways.

If I could have found a diesel with as good a reliability rating (the VW's
are NOT reliable) in our state, and a good crash test rating, I would have
gone with that and tried to do a veggie conversion. There are 24 small
restaurants in walking distance of my house. But I probably wouldn't have
actually done it, and I was concerned about other people beating me out for
the oil in the future. If I can find something interesting, I still might
trade in the Camery. I spend about $2500 on gas each year so that adds up to
a solid $12500 in just 5 years. I could invest $20k in a truck and break
even pretty quick if I felt better about scavenging oil. 11 mpg * $0 per gal
= donut cost of operation.

A Prius would have cost around 15 cents a mile to operate and something like
14 cents a mile to own. At 29 cents a mile it is actually worse, but that is
based on VERY rough numbers which are hard to smooth due to the newness of
the technology.

Has anyone else actually run the numbers? Did you come up with something
different?

--
James.






{Original Message removed}

2007\11\30@212834 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Dec 1, 2007 12:46 AM, Tony Smith <spamBeGoneajsmithEraseMEspamrivernet.com.au> wrote:

> As a disclaimer, I don't own a car, and don't even have a drivers licence.
> Got bikes though.  I grew up in Australia's petrolhead mecca Bathurst, home
> of Mount Panorama, where being car-less is a mortal sin, and evidence of
> someone being 'not quite right'.  I did the usual teenage thing of 'buying a
> piece of junk and fixing it up' (Holden Torana, not XU1 of course), before I
> decided it was a money sink and I had better things to do.  I've no idea
> what ever happened to that car, and don't really care.
>

It is lucky that you can ride a bike. I wish I could ride a bike to work
(it is really not far away) but it is not safe here to ride a bike at all
as the road is not friendly to cyclists here in Singapore.

I do have a driving license. My wife and I spent about US$4k+ on
the driving license tests. The reason for me is that I may need to
drive for oversea trip (Example: life is not easy in US without a car).
I do not have a car here as I really do not think it is a good idea
to have a car here in Singapore because of the high price and
excellent public transportation. But maybe that is because that I
do not have kids and maid. Many Singaporeans feel they need
to buy a car once they have kids and maid. Taxi is relatively
cheaper but so often you can not get them when you need them.

Xiaofan

2007\11\30@213148 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Dec 1, 2007 9:20 AM, James Newton <jamesnewtonspamBeGonespammassmind.org> wrote:
> Has anyone else actually run the numbers? Did you come up with something
> different?
>

Reference: COE and etc in Singapore
http://www.expatsingapore.com/content/view/1152

Here in Singapore you do not need to run the numbers. You lose when
you drive a car. Calling taxi everyday to work is normally cheaper
than buying a car.

Still people want to drive. Cost may not be the real issue here
as car is kind of lifestyle.

Xiaofan

2007\11\30@215024 by Jake Anderson

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I was doing some back of the envelope on a plug in hybrid car a few days
ago. Assuming you need about 15KW to cover you average daily drive
(about 1 hour on the highway so say about 100km range, at lower speeds
150 or so would be a likley figure). The best batteries at the moment
are lithium nano phosphate cells exemplified by the A123 companies M1
cells (as used by dewalt 36v power tools). Currently i can get those off
ebay for around $10 per cell, or $8 if i'm picky. That is by purchasing
pre-built DeWalt packs and splitting them for the cells. Each cell has a
voltage of 3.2 volts and will supply 2.2AH of current. Roughly speaking
7 watts per battery. Ergo you need about 2200 cells (this is on par with
the Tesla roadster which has a similar specced range so I feel I'm in
the ballpark). Assuming you can get the cells for $8 per cell thats
$17600 worth of batteries. On average an Australian will drive 25000KM
per year. Assuming the average car gets 8 liters per 100km traveled
(which is a fairly efficient car) they will use about 2000 liters of
fuel. At $1.50 per liter that is $3000 per year. Electricity cost here
is 14 cents per KWh peak and about 6c off peak. Therefore a 15KW charge
will cost you $2.1 (Plus a bit of margin). If we assume conservatively
you have used this to drive at 100KM/H for 1 HR it costs you $0.021 per
KM. Over a year that is $525 at peak rates. Charging off peak you get
$0.9 for a charge and $225 per year.

This is on batteries alone but they are the most expensive single
component and the most likely to need replacement.
Payback period charging at off peak rates is.
$3000 - $225 = $2775 per year that electric is cheaper.
$17600 / $2775 = 6.3 years.

Assuming you spend an additional $8000 on other gear for the car
(chargers, speed controllers, motors, new wiring, 12KW generator etc)
you still pay for the electric mods in 9 years on fuel savings alone. If
you factor in scheduled services, maintenance etc you shorten this
period by a decent amount.




James Newton wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}


'[OT] Car purchase'
2007\12\01@000142 by M. Adam Davis
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That's in the same ballpark as what I figure for my car, though a
contour gets worse gas mileage (22-23mpg) than what you've chosen.  If
a repair costs less than 10cents a mile, then I'll repair it - for
instance the transmiaaion needed to be rebuilt several years ago, cost
$2,000, and I expected I'd get at least 20k miles before another major
repair.  Replaced the shocks/struts awhile ago, and the tires now need
to be replaced.  Fortunately the Duratec engine is very long lasting,
so I figure I still have a ways to go.

So including original cost of the car (used), all the repairs and
maintenance I hover right around $0.10 per mile, and then gas varies
on top of that, right now about $0.13 per mile.

The largest cost, however, is insurance.  But that is largely a fixed
cost - in other words if I drive more then I pay less per mile.  Right
now I'm driving about 1,200 miles/month, and paying about $90 per
month (IIRC) so each mile is about $0.08 per mile.

Bringing my total car cost to about $0.30 per mile, or $4,000 per year.

A bicycle is _much_ cheaper, but on the other hand I value my time at
a significantly high value relative to these costs, and so saving 1-2
hours a day on transportation is worth the $4k per year.  Further, I
don't have the option of public transportation - about the best I
could do is car-pool, but it would again be a large waste of time, and
I'm willing to pay the cost for that time.

The best solution, of course, is to choose a job closer to me, even if
it pays a little less.  One with showers, or within walking distance.
Who is it on this list that walks to the house next door for work?  I
thnk I could handle that...

-Adam

On Nov 30, 2007 8:20 PM, James Newton <RemoveMEjamesnewton@spam@spamspamBeGonemassmind.org> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2007\12\01@012412 by William \Chops\ Westfield

face picon face

On Nov 30, 2007, at 6:28 PM, Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> but it is not safe here

My youngest daughter (who is 9) has been walking home from school.
It's less than a mile, along but not crossing a relatively busy
street. ...  People call the police: "there's this little girl
walking alone on this busy street..."  They've shown up once or
twice, and neighbors who know things are ok have intervened now
and then.  We DO think it's relatively safe; the last suspected
pedophile who tried the "have you seen my lost dog" ploy on some
local young teens turned out to in fact be looking for his lost
dog.  But other people's perceptions are ... interesting.

We hope she'll look less ... noteworthy, now that she's riding
a bike instead of walking.  (alas, this DOES involve crossing
the busy street if she wants to obey bike traffic rules.)

BillW

2007\12\01@062823 by Apptech

face
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> Just to let you know, I just purchased a "new" car a bit
> ago after the head
> gasket blew on my 91 Honda Civic.

My "main" car is an 89 Subaru Leone 'station Wagon'. 1800cc
(I think) opposed 4 boxer and PUSHRODS!
" could afford "better" but see very little point in buying
anything newer/flasher/dearer as long as this one serves me
as well as it does now..
MPG was good but got worse in recent times but a 2 screw
twiddle tuneup yesterday plus finding the fuel filter hidden
away at the back rear has hopefully partially fixed that.
The filter was so blocked that it was causing intermittent
starving that needed extra throttle on motorways. time to do
some mpg tests (l/100km if you wish) again.

The engine sounds horrific to me but my friendly visiting
mechanic says the engine sounds good so it may last a few
more years. Or die tomorrow. It has hydraulic self adjusting
pushrods (which never need adjusting and aid fuel economy)
and these initially have high clearances when it starts up
so it souns like it is running all its bigends when you
start it. As it cost me under $US1000 2 years ago I'm happy
with its value for money. It has no sex appeal whatsoever.
But, it has manually selectable 4WD and hi/low ratio. Also 4
headlights and 2 foglights which was probably meant to give
it sex appeal in 1989 but hasn't lasted the distance.

Part of my brain says (and I haven't done any figures on
this) that by driving a "junker", as long as the mpgs are
about as good as a newer car, I'm vastly reducing the
effective planetary resource load. I know people who discard
their cars at 3 years or less. That is far from writing them
off as there is a long food chain before the car is actually
discarded.

My other car is also 1989 and has alas been off the road for
about a year now. End of year's resolution (ha!) is to get
it back on road by Christmas. Little hope alas. In its long
gone day it (this identical model) was the world's fasted
production car bar none to 30 mph from a standing start.
(Faster than any Lotus, Ferrai, Lamboghini, Porsche, BMW,
... ). Few find this credible. AND its an automatic :-). AND
it's Japanese. What is it? (Clue - the reason that it beat
also these turbo-erised monsters off the line is that it's
Supercharged (ie NOT a turbo).


> "What price the crown of a king on his throne, when you're
> chained in the
> dark all alone?" (Extra points for naming the song.)

Extra points. What poem / story is it based on? By who?  (A
nasty little tale of the sort that made me wish that I'd
never read it. Offers very little that's edifying and
produces occasional horrid mental flashbacks years later).




       Russell


2007\12\01@145539 by Dario Greggio

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Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> It is lucky that you can ride a bike. I wish I could ride a bike to work
> (it is really not far away) but it is not safe here to ride a bike at all
> as the road is not friendly to cyclists here in Singapore.

I've started using bike for going to customers' some 4 years ago, after
a lot of time without riding a bicycle at all.

I use it when distance is not longer than some 7-10Km. I don't care
arriving there in shorts or sweaty - after all I'm just a computer guy :-))

It's not this simple to go by bicycle in Turin, Italy too... but worth to.

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\12\01@173221 by Funny NYPD

picon face
Do you ride a bike for soccer games?

Funny N.
New Bedford, MA
http://www.AuElectronics.selfip.com



{Original Message removed}

2007\12\02@031627 by Dario Greggio

face picon face
Funny NYPD wrote:

> Do you ride a bike for soccer games?

no, why... ? :)

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\12\02@090501 by Byron Jeff

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On Fri, Nov 30, 2007 at 10:21:38AM -0500, Jeff Findley wrote:
>
> "Xiaofan Chen" <.....xiaofanc@spam@spamEraseMEgmail.com> wrote in message
> news:.....a276da400711292120q5cbfbc45nb63954a6d06a4c1aRemoveMEspammail.gmail.com...> > > Singapore is another example that people still want to buy cars
> > despite having a very good public transport system.

[Snippage]

> That and automobiles are just a very comfortable, individualistic way to
> travel.  There is something nice about having your own car that you can
> drive every day.

That's what drives the desire for a car. With a car you can get to where
you need to be, in the timeframe you want to be there, without the hassle
of sharing space with anyone else. Of course there is the traffic issue
because since millions of folks each want to do this each morning/evening
the traffic is horrific.

I always thought a cool idea would be to have adhoc trains of personal
vehicles that travel together during rush hour. Then you get the advantages
of the personal vehicle along with some of the benefits of public
transportation. It could be sold with the three pronged attack of faster to
work/home, keep your personal space, and time to work or relax because
while you are attached to the adhoc train, you don't need to drive.

BAJ

2007\12\02@091740 by Funny NYPD

picon face
Just a thought, because I am a soccer fan.
Most of my soccer friends come from South America, a few from Europe. Soccer is so popular in England and Europe.

Funny N.
New Bedford, MA
http://www.AuElectronics.selfip.com



----- Original Message ----
From: Dario Greggio <.....adpm.toSTOPspamspam@spam@inwind.it>
To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public. <piclistEraseMEspam@spam@mit.edu>
Sent: Sunday, December 2, 2007 3:16:25 AM
Subject: Re: [OT] Car purchase

Funny NYPD wrote:

> Do you ride a bike for soccer games?

no, why... ? :)

--
Ciao, Dario

2007\12\02@125818 by Harold Hallikainen

face
flavicon
face

> I always thought a cool idea would be to have adhoc trains of personal
> vehicles that travel together during rush hour. Then you get the
> advantages
> of the personal vehicle along with some of the benefits of public
> transportation. It could be sold with the three pronged attack of faster
> to
> work/home, keep your personal space, and time to work or relax because
> while you are attached to the adhoc train, you don't need to drive.
>


This brings up a couple ideas I've had, both probably not original.

On the ad hoc train, once a car is on a freeway, a control system could
lock on to the car in front of it, adjusting speed and steering. The
driver would be free for other tasks until the desired offramp neared.

On commuter trains, a fair percentage of the total travel time is spent
stopped at intermediate stations letting passengers on and off the train.
Another approach would be for every station to have a car with passengers
loading it. As a train approached, the last car would disconnect and pull
in to the station while the rest of the train continued. The car that was
in the station picking up passengers would catch up with the train passing
by and hook up. Passengers wanting more distant stops would move from the
last car to another car. Passengers wanting the next stop would move into
the last car, which gets dropped off at the next stop.

Harold

--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\12\02@213542 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 12/2/07, Byron Jeff <RemoveMEbyronjeffspamspamBeGoneclayton.edu> wrote:
> I always thought a cool idea would be to have adhoc trains of personal
> vehicles that travel together during rush hour. Then you get the advantages
> of the personal vehicle along with some of the benefits of public
> transportation. It could be sold with the three pronged attack of faster to
> work/home, keep your personal space, and time to work or relax because
> while you are attached to the adhoc train, you don't need to drive.
>

This is  a nice idea but hard to achieve. A simple method will be
to have more car pool lanes. I think it can be rather effective,
especially in those congested loads. Car sharing schemers
should also be given some incentives.

The "easier" way is to let the oil price raise further (say let it
go up to US$300 to US$500 per barrel) so that alternative
energy becomes really attractive. But this is not so easy
after all...

Xiaofan (who uses public transportation if not in USA)

2007\12\03@050036 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>V8 Mecca: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Panorama_Circuit>,

Ahh, yes, fortunately we do get (very abbreviated) late night plays of the
V8 championship here in the UK. For the normal 3 race weekend, they cram it
into approximately an hour, for the 6 hours of Bathurst they do expand it
out to about 1 1/2 hours.

2007\12\03@050920 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>Personally, my ideal car would be the reverse: an electric car
>with say a 200 mile range, but in the boot is a gas generator
>so that if you do run out of battery the gas generator starts
>up and you can keep going.

I was thinking it should be on a trailer, so for normal motoring you are not
hauling the weight around, but hook it up for extended travel only.

2007\12\03@165051 by Nate Duehr

face
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James,

I really enjoyed your analysis.  I think where it falls apart for me is
in two places, and they're in the "fuzzy" stuff around the raw numbers
analysis.

1) The VW's may have some minor "reliability" problems, but they also
have an enormous warranty.  If a problem doesn't make the car
un-driveable, there's something to be said for just dropping it off,
getting a free loaner, and having it fixed in a day or so.  My wife's VW
has experienced four minor issues, and all have either been under
warranty or turned into a recall.  They're serious about fixing the
problems.

2) Driving enjoyment factor -- how to put a number on it?  I know we're
all engineering/techies here and want to quantify everything, but
there's something to be said for driving a vehicle that handles like
it's on rails, can drag me uphill on I-70 westbound out of Denver (above
6000' MSL) without losing any significant power (turbo-charged) and
generally is big enough for a big guy to be comfortable in.

Prius's are great, but uncomfortable (for me anyway), and the Toyota
Camry over-steers like an ocean liner and generally rides like it's on
marshmallows.

So -- how much one ENJOYs the operating the vehicle also factors in here
somehow.  Not sure how best to quantify it.  It also factors into how
well someone will take care of the vehicle, etc.  If you like the car,
sometimes the numbers don't matter.  (GRIN)

Nate

2007\12\03@170840 by Herbert Graf

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On Mon, 2007-12-03 at 14:52 -0700, Nate Duehr wrote:
> 1) The VW's may have some minor "reliability" problems, but they also
> have an enormous warranty.  If a problem doesn't make the car
> un-driveable, there's something to be said for just dropping it off,
> getting a free loaner, and having it fixed in a day or so.  My wife's VW
> has experienced four minor issues, and all have either been under
> warranty or turned into a recall.  They're serious about fixing the
> problems.

Generally VW problems pop up mostly after the warranty is done,
historically around the 5 year point and beyond. The TDI models usually
do much better then the petrol models.

Past models had very serious electrical issues. More important then just
the fact that there were electrical problems was the fact that
replacement parts are quite a bit more expensive then the equivalent
Toyota or GM part.

I was considering a Golf as my next vehicle. I called several
dealerships asking if they had one to test drive with a standard gear
box. None did. One suggested I buy the car and test drive it when
delivered!???! Another suggested I test drive a 2002 model they had on
the lot... Suffice it to say if that's how the sales people are I can't
imagine how the rest of the company would treat me.

> 2) Driving enjoyment factor -- how to put a number on it?  I know we're
> all engineering/techies here and want to quantify everything, but
> there's something to be said for driving a vehicle that handles like
> it's on rails, can drag me uphill on I-70 westbound out of Denver (above
> 6000' MSL) without losing any significant power (turbo-charged) and
> generally is big enough for a big guy to be comfortable in.

I used to agree with you. As a result I bought a 2001 Subaru Legacy.
Amazingly fun car to drive (almost as fun as the Impreza). Then the
repair bills started coming in (some due to actual failures, others due
to mechanics making mistakes).

In the end I got rid of it, at a great loss and bought a Toyota Matrix
with extended warranty. It certainly isn't as much fun to drive in the
snow as the Subaru was (although I can still have a good amount of fun),
but at least I don't have to budget $1000/month for repairs...

Still, no comparison to my brother's experience with his 2002 Subaru
Impreza, can anyone say blown engine at < 100000 miles?

TTYL

2007\12\03@191353 by James Newton

face picon face
techref.massmind.org/techref/idea/sanecar.htm

Just a regular car with a large spring steel "bumper" that loops out in
front of the car and is connected to hinges (vertical axis) at the left and
right. The average angle of the hinges controls the steering of the car. The
difference between the angles controls the speed (acceleration or
deceleration) so that when the spring loop is squeezed on the left and
right, the car accelerates and when it is compressed at the front, it
decelerates. Coupling the main spring to the controls with weaker or
stronger spring segments allows for more or less control by the driver over
the system.

Small roller blade type wheels on the sides of the loop keep it from wearing
as it follows a "curb" and could serve as electrical contact points for an
electrified road. Existing roadways would need additional "curbs" in between
lanes. This is much less costly than any other system I have seen, and could
be done over time in different areas. There would still be a cost, and on
street parking would be a problem.

Speed is proportional to the inverse of the distance between the curbs.
Maximum speed is maintained when the car is held to the narrowest path. The
car coasts when there is no contact left or right.

--
James.

{Original Message removed}

2007\12\03@202610 by Apptech

face
flavicon
face
> Small roller blade type wheels on the sides of the loop
> keep it from wearing
> as it follows a "curb" and could serve as electrical
> contact points for an
> electrified road.

Inductive power transfer !!!!
Better, cheaper, and faster :-)
(Perhaps).


   Russell

2007\12\03@222909 by James Newton

face picon face
The problem with VW warranty, and I agree they are great for that, is that
it runs out. Sustainability depends on driving every last bit of function
out of a car before it gets replaced.

At 46 and after seeing more than my share of wrecks, I'm pretty much over
the desire to enjoy driving... and when it pops up, I go to K1 speed and
drive kick ass little electric go karts that accelerate fast enough to knock
my head back.

But, ermm... I have to agree: my Camry is a pig.

--
James.

{Original Message removed}

2007\12\03@230603 by Harold Hallikainen

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On the bus ride home from work today, I was reading the November 5 issue
of Electronic Design. There's an interesting article on the driving range
of the Tesla electric car.

The article says in a city drive cycle of 252 miles, it took 30kWh per 100
miles to recharge the batteries. For city driving, I'd guess they averaged
about 35 miles per hour, so they took about 2.86 hours to consume 30kWh,
or were using about 10.5kW or 14HP.

For highway driving, they drove 236 miles with a recharge requirement of
32kWh per 100 miles. I'd guess they were doing 65MPH on the highway, so it
took 1.54 hours to go 100 miles and use that 32kWh. That's about 20.8kW or
28HP.

Is this a really low loss car, or can a typical car get highway speeds
with 28HP? If so, why do we have hundreds of HP in many cars?

I'd REALLY like to see a spreadsheet showing at several speeds what the
"power" (energy/time) of the fuel is, the power out of the engine, the
power hitting the wheels, power lost due to drag, power loss due to tire
rolling friction, and all other losses. Where is all this power going?

Harold


--
FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available!

2007\12\03@234107 by Dave Lagzdin

picon face
On 01/12/2007, Apptech <spamBeGoneapptechKILLspamspam@spam@paradise.net.nz> wrote:
>
>
> My other car is also 1989 and has alas been off the road for
> about a year now. End of year's resolution (ha!) is to get
> it back on road by Christmas. Little hope alas. In its long
> gone day it (this identical model) was the world's fasted
> production car bar none to 30 mph from a standing start.
> (Faster than any Lotus, Ferrai, Lamboghini, Porsche, BMW,
> ... ). Few find this credible. AND its an automatic :-). AND
> it's Japanese. What is it? (Clue - the reason that it beat
> also these turbo-erised monsters off the line is that it's
> Supercharged (ie NOT a turbo).



Well, mine makes this list, would yours?
http://www.autofacts.ca/classics/fast.htm
Mine probably weighs twice yours and has something in common with the model
T.
(I'll play this game too :)

2007\12\04@023407 by Jake Anderson

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Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> On the bus ride home from work today, I was reading the November 5 issue
> of Electronic Design. There's an interesting article on the driving range
> of the Tesla electric car.
>
> The article says in a city drive cycle of 252 miles, it took 30kWh per 100
> miles to recharge the batteries. For city driving, I'd guess they averaged
> about 35 miles per hour, so they took about 2.86 hours to consume 30kWh,
> or were using about 10.5kW or 14HP.
>
> For highway driving, they drove 236 miles with a recharge requirement of
> 32kWh per 100 miles. I'd guess they were doing 65MPH on the highway, so it
> took 1.54 hours to go 100 miles and use that 32kWh. That's about 20.8kW or
> 28HP.
>
> Is this a really low loss car, or can a typical car get highway speeds
> with 28HP? If so, why do we have hundreds of HP in many cars?
>
>  
I'd say the tesla is moderately slippery (ie better than a SUV) but
being a convertible they are liable to have lots of aerodynamic losses,
combined with its "sporty" nature its liable to have lots of down force
which wont help matters either. The only use you have for all that
horsepower is acceleration and towing heavy things (like your SUV) up
hills. For 99% of the time your foot is nowhere near the floor. All
those cubic inches are doing is wasting fuel pushing pistons up and down.

Keep in mind too electric and petrol horsepower are different. Petrol
engines are rated at their absolute maximum horsepower. Electric motors
are rated at their sustained output, and its not uncommon to drive an
electric motor to 5 times its rated power for short periods. IE a 15kw
motor is probably going to be fine putting out 80KW or so for a few seconds.
Put 4 of those in your car and you will have plenty of "go fast" ;->

If you want to be efficient then
http://www.seriouswheels.com/cars/top-vw-1-liter-car.htm is the way to go
its 3x more efficient than my other half's motorcycle. (thats 282 miles
per gallon for the imperials out there ;-.)
> I'd REALLY like to see a spreadsheet showing at several speeds what the
> "power" (energy/time) of the fuel is, the power out of the engine, the
> power hitting the wheels, power lost due to drag, power loss due to tire
> rolling friction, and all other losses. Where is all this power going?
>
> Harold
>
>
>  

2007\12\04@092555 by Mike Hord

picon face
> Is this a really low loss car, or can a typical car get highway speeds
> with 28HP? If so, why do we have hundreds of HP in many cars?

To go from 0-65mph in less than 90 seconds.

Cars are designed and built for the 1% sections of driving.  My Jetta
GLI has about a 5.5s 0-60.  Do I ever get to exercise that?  No,
because most stoplights are on 30-35mph roads.  Because I'm
rarely the first one in the line.  Because accelerating like that in a
highly urbanized area is dangerous (more to others than myself)
and irresponsible.  It can take corners like a beast, but that doesn't
come into play either, for the same reasons.

It's nice to know I can do that, but it would be nicer to not pay $0.20
per mile in gas.  It would be nicer still to know that polar bears will
exist when my grandchildren have children.

Mike H.

2007\12\04@115634 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face


> -----Original Message-----
> From: piclist-bouncesspam_OUTspam@spam@mit.edu [spamBeGonepiclist-bounces@spam@spammit.edu] On
Behalf
> Of Mike Hord
> Sent: 04 December 2007 14:26
> To: Microcontroller discussion list - Public.
> Subject: Re: Re: [OT] Car purchase
>
> > Is this a really low loss car, or can a typical car get highway
speeds
{Quote hidden}

$0.20
> per mile in gas.  It would be nicer still to know that polar bears
will
> exist when my grandchildren have children.

Out of interest why did you buy it if you feel the performance is
unusable and the mileage is poor?

Mike

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2007\12\04@131013 by Gacrowell

flavicon
face
A few months ago the guy who shares my office bought a new car for his
wife.  I don't recall what it was, but it cost about $28K.  This got me
thinking back, and after totaling up a list, I concluded that $30K was
about the total purchase price of all the cars I have bought in the past
(nearly) 40 years.

About one-third of that total was for one used minivan.  While I ran it
for over 100K, I later figured it was the worst miles/$ return of any
vehicle I'd had.  Everything else I've bought has been for $3K or less.

While I have paid more for maintenance and repairs, I've seldom had a
car payment (or insurance other than liability).  Of course I've never
gotten any resale value either, when I'm done with a car it usually goes
straight to the junkyard.

I figure it's transportation; I don't live in it more than a few minutes
a day.  (OTOH I've never had long commutes.)  However, I've also usually
had quite comfortable, reliable cars. (Hint, the last three cars I've
bought have been from friends mothers; granny cars, low mileage, not
abused, well maintained.)

Saving the planet by running old cars into the ground.

Gary



> {Original Message removed}

2007\12\04@150219 by Mike Hord

picon face
> > Cars are designed and built for the 1% sections of driving.  My Jetta
> > GLI has about a 5.5s 0-60.  Do I ever get to exercise that?  No,
> > because most stoplights are on 30-35mph roads.  Because I'm
> > rarely the first one in the line.  Because accelerating like that in a
> > highly urbanized area is dangerous (more to others than myself)
> > and irresponsible.  It can take corners like a beast, but that doesn't
> > come into play either, for the same reasons.

> Out of interest why did you buy it if you feel the performance is
> unusable and the mileage is poor?

Oh, I bought it for the performance, no mistaking that.  The mileage is
not THAT poor- at it's absolute worst it's better than most SUVs or
pickup trucks.  And it's fun on the few occasions I can squeeze some
of the performance out of it.  My experience with it has left me with
a few conclusions:

1.  A car with higher performance is a COMPLETE waste of money,
as you'll run into societal constraints before performance limits.
2.  It's not worth it.
3.  Unless you have a lot of money to waste, don't buy a car for
performance, as you'll probably end up frustrated most of the time
and want to sell it at a loss pretty quickly.

It's been fun, but my conscience is just too loud to ignore, now.

Mike H.

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