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-   -   Hybrid car with 80 miles per gallon (http://forums.macnn.com/89/macnn-lounge/266689/hybrid-car-80-miles-per-gallon/)

 
turtle777 Aug 15, 2005 03:53 PM
Hybrid car with 80 miles per gallon
Interesting read:

http://www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/08/15/h....ap/index.html

Seems to be an especially good solution for commuters that go around 3-40 miles per day.

-t
 
Eug Wanker Aug 15, 2005 03:57 PM
It's actually 80 miles per gallon-plus-electricity-from-the-wall-outlet
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 03:57 PM
Not really. If you consider the price of a prius ($$$$) plus all those batteries ($$$$) plus all the time he spent modding it, you'd save a ton more money if you just bought something like a used 1995 honda civic and drove it normally for a few years.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 03:58 PM
Ooohhh wow a range of 20 miles. Yay.
 
Chuckit Aug 15, 2005 04:00 PM
Prius is not all that expensive for a new car, is it? And you don't normally need that many batteries either, I think…
 
turtle777 Aug 15, 2005 04:01 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
It's actually 80 miles per gallon-plus-electricity-from-the-wall-outlet
...which is a quarter or so per charge. Nothing compared to $ 3.00 per gallon...

-t
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 04:04 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Chuckit
Prius is not all that expensive for a new car, is it? And you don't normally need that many batteries either, I think…
Read the article. This thread isn't about a norma prius. And yes, they are quite expensive. The demand is so high that the old ones are selling for more than they cost brand new, and the new ones have massive markups.
 
turtle777 Aug 15, 2005 04:05 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Not really. If you consider the price of a prius ($$$$) plus all those batteries ($$$$) plus all the time he spent modding it, you'd save a ton more money if you just bought something like a used 1995 honda civic and drove it normally for a few years.
Duh. This is NOT a finished product, but rather, a proof-of-concept.
It just means that in mass production, it is feasable and will at some point be chepaer than just gas.

Btw, Toyota just developed a 167 hp electro engine that produces over 330 Nm / 243 lb-ft, at RPMs betwwen 0-1500 :eek:
You'll have some mean acceleration with these babies...

-t
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 04:12 PM
>sigh<

K. Look. I'm a car freak. You aren't. Let's just assume that I know a bit more than you about this, k? The problem is that this is neither cost efficient NOR better for the environment. Why?

BATTERIES. Batteries are fairly expensive, they do NOT last all that long, and they are hazardous waste. It's actually MORE wasteful to have a factory (using energy the whole time it's running) to make batteries (using plastics, acids (purchased from another factory) and metal plates (refined by another company)) that need to be replaced every few years than it is to just drive a smaller car in the first place which only relies on a refinery that produces gasoline.

Building more **** isn't really the solution. So let's say we all had a car like this.... we'd all need to replace our batteries every 5-8 years. There'd be more power plants all over the landscape to keep up with the huge demand in electricity, there'd be huge landfills full of old batteries, and we'd be using tons of oil to produce new batteries and new cars in addition to the gasoline that these 'hybrid' cars need.

The fact is, battery technology hasn't made any real significant leaps in DECADES. Powerful electical motors are nothing new, electrical motors are known for having very high torque at very low RPMS, that's just an attribute of an electrical motor. The fact that you don't know any of this speaks volumes on your knowledge of this subject.

The problem is consumption and excessive wastes of natural resources. SUVs are a prime example. Do SUV owners offroad? Less than 5% do. Do they benefit from 4wd? Less than 5% do. Do they tow things? Less than 5% do. SUVs get awful MPG, spew emissions, aren't safe, and are annoying to have on the road. Instead of focusing on super efficient cars, we should focus on the media brainwashing all the dumbf*cks in america to have more efficient taste.
 
Paco500 Aug 15, 2005 04:13 PM
This may be based on location or it's urban legend. In the DC area, they are selling for sticker at most. And really, they aren't that expensive. A fully loaded one is very priced competitive with the Accord/Camry with a equivalent feature list. It's not Kia cheap, but it's not Lexus expensive.

Not to mention the big tax break if you buy it before the end of the year.



Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Read the article. This thread isn't about a norma prius. And yes, they are quite expensive. The demand is so high that the old ones are selling for more than they cost brand new, and the new ones have massive markups.
 
turtle777 Aug 15, 2005 04:23 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Powerful electical motors are nothing new, electrical motors are known for having very high torque at very low RPMS, that's just an attribute of an electrical motor. The fact that you don't know any of this speaks volumes on your knowledge of this subject.
And they have been used in hybrid cars ? Links, please ?

This is more than just an electro engine.

http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,504345,00.jpg

-t
 
Paco500 Aug 15, 2005 04:23 PM
And why do you do this? You are a smart guy who can make good points and valid arguments, but all but negate them when you insist on posting like a petulant, arrogant twit.

Granted, you were provoked, but answering with facts and logic alone would be some much more effective and enjoyable.

Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
>sigh<

K. Look. I'm a car freak. You aren't. Let's just assume that I know a bit more than you about this, k? The problem is that this is neither cost efficient NOR better for the environment. Why?
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 04:51 PM
Sorry Paco. You're right.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 04:53 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777
And they have been used in hybrid cars ? Links, please ?

This is more than just an electro engine.

http://www.spiegel.de/img/0,1020,504345,00.jpg

-t
I see a regular 4 cylinder hooked up to a generator/motor of some sort. This would explain the high torque. It really isn't all that 'new' or 'groundbreaking'.
 
turtle777 Aug 15, 2005 04:56 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
I see a regular 4 cylinder hooked up to a generator/motor of some sort. This would explain the high torque. It really isn't all that 'new' or 'groundbreaking'.
Not the single technology, but the usage in Hybrid cars is.

How many hybrid cars do you know with 167 hp ?
Toyota is even coming out with one that has 200 hp, this fall.

-t
 
sek929 Aug 15, 2005 04:57 PM
Ca$h is right folks. Batteries are not a good method of storing energy, I'll save you the reasons since Ca$h already got it right.

Storable fuel cells (hydrogen) producing electricity -> Coupled with poweful lowe end elec. motor -> Coupled with small efficent gasoline engine (maybe hydrogen as well, but not likely) = A far superior machine with less weight in batteries (The Prius's battery array takes up most of the floor under the car, I believe) and less harm to the enviorment.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 04:58 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by turtle777
Not the single technology, but the usage in Hybrid cars is.

How many hybrid cars do you know with 167 hp ?
Toyota is even coming out with one that has 200 hp, this fall.

-t
Hybrid technology could be applied to any gasoline engine. I really don't see how this is so incredible. I suppose if lamborghini just copied toyota's idea of what a hybrid should be, you'd be impressed?
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 04:59 PM
The best thing for the environment, really, is to not buy a new fancy better mpg car. It's to keep a car that was already produced on the road and in good running condition. A used car from the early 90s to the late 90s will net you pretty decent MPG, without all the waste associated with the production of a brand new vehicle.
 
sek929 Aug 15, 2005 05:02 PM
Even a small efficent diesel could power and electric motor with little exhaust.

Once a diesel is running at at a steady RPM (which is ideal for power production0 it uses little fuel and emits little pollution, as compared to traditional gas engines.
 
Fyre4ce Aug 15, 2005 06:43 PM
Like I said in the other thread about cars, there is not that much room for improvement in engine efficiency. A hybrid system makes the overall vehicle more efficient, and I actually have a more favorable opinion of them than Ca$h does, but they are not a long-term solution to the transportation problem.

Hybrids don't really make financial sense yet, even with gas closing in on $3/gal. A Prius is around $21,000, while a Civic or a Cobalt or a Corolla or something like is more like $15,000 and still gets 35+ mpg. Figure out your fuel savings per year and you'll find it takes decades to make up for the difference in price.

I think the best short-term solution is to discourage SUV's and recreational forms of gas consumption. Even a partially effective measure would save THOUSANDS of barrels of oil per day. It would make our petroleum reserves last longer, and bring down fuel prices for everyone.

EDIT: The guy who charges up his batteries on wall power is "cheating" in effect. I believe that it's probably cheaper to do it that way than to use only gas, but that power still comes from somewhere. If it's a coal-fired power plant, the envorinmental benefit is questionable at best. And, adding more batteries surely makes the vehicle get better mileage but at a big increase to cost and weight. Toyota engineers are smart and there's a reason they didn't put in more batteries to begin with.
 
ghporter Aug 15, 2005 06:49 PM
Both Toyota and Honda use very special electric motors. Honda's is VERY thin and still has some pretty heavy duty torque for an electric.

I wouldn't buy a hybrid for "financial sense" as much as for the contribution to cleaner air and lower heat polution in general-the income tax break is not a bad thing either. And they're nice cars! I'm looking at replacing my Civic Coupe with a Civic Hybrid Sedan in a few years.
 
Doofy Aug 15, 2005 06:51 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
I think the best short-term solution is to discourage SUV's and recreational forms of gas consumption. Even a partially effective measure would save THOUSANDS of barrels of oil per day.
How's about you guys just discover diesel?

Jeep XJ 2.5 TDi: 32 mpg.
Ford Focus 1.6 petrol: 32 mpg.
 
Eug Wanker Aug 15, 2005 06:53 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Not really. If you consider the price of a prius ($$$$) plus all those batteries ($$$$) plus all the time he spent modding it, you'd save a ton more money if you just bought something like a used 1995 honda civic and drove it normally for a few years.
In other words, you're saying if you buy a compact, it'd be cheaper than a mid-size hybrid.


Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
>sigh<

K. Look. I'm a car freak. You aren't. Let's just assume that I know a bit more than you about this, k?
Let's not.


Quote, Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
Hybrids don't really make financial sense yet, even with gas closing in on $3/gal. A Prius is around $21,000, while a Civic or a Cobalt or a Corolla or something like is more like $15,000 and still gets 35+ mpg. Figure out your fuel savings per year and you'll find it takes decades to make up for the difference in price.
In other words, you're saying if you buy a compact, it'd be cheaper than a mid-size hybrid.

The Prius, at least according to taxi companies in Victoria, is lower cost to maintain as well. (And don't forget about the tax breaks.)

But like I said, a Civic or Corolla are both much smaller than a Prius.

Quote, Originally Posted by Doofy
How's about you guys just discover diesel?

Jeep XJ 2.5 TDi: 32 mpg.
Ford Focus 1.6 petrol: 32 mpg.
diesel ≠ gasoline

Diesel has more energy per volume than gasoline. It also potentially puts out a lot more junk however.

Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Hybrid technology could be applied to any gasoline engine. I really don't see how this is so incredible. I suppose if lamborghini just copied toyota's idea of what a hybrid should be, you'd be impressed?
I would be. I don't thing Lamborghini is capable of creating anything close to Toyota's Volta. It does 0-60 in 4 seconds, but also gets 35 mpg on the highway.
 
ghporter Aug 15, 2005 07:05 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Doofy
How's about you guys just discover diesel?

Jeep XJ 2.5 TDi: 32 mpg.
Ford Focus 1.6 petrol: 32 mpg.
Diesels have a bad history of being and staying dirty and smelly, with low torque and NO acceleration. I remember test driving a Mercedes Turbo Diesel in the early 80s, and it almost killed me because it would NOT MOVE!

I know they're better now, but a lot of people can't get that "city bus" image of diesels out of their minds.

The real way to go today seems to be biodiesel. Not only do these setups not smell bad, depending on where you get your used cooking oil, you could smell like french fries! Not for everyone, at least not yet, but it's a good start, uses very, very little petroleum (usually just for starting) and it's CLEAN! Actual distribution of finished biodiesel fuels is starting up soon.

I would like to see us get away from burning stuff to get around anyway. A straight electric system that's efficient and peppy (for safety as much as for convenience) would be a wonderful thing.

Of course getting away from burning stuff to make electricity is going to be a problem in some areas. Hydro is great-if you have access to the right geography. Geothermal has similar limitations.

Nuclear power is NOT THE DEVIL, but having the low bidder build a nuclear power plant is kind of like price shopping for your brain surgeon; not the smartest thing to do. Ever heard of Brown and Root (yes, the people with the U.S. Army contract to do whatever the Army wants in terms of support facilities for a bagjillion dollars)? They built the South Texas Nuclear Project plant. Think of Silkwood, The China Syndrome and some bad science fiction movies, and you'll have an idea of how well these boys did. I grew up just a few miles from the Enrico Fermi plant in Southern Michigan; I've seen properly built nuclear power plants, and the STNP was NOT one of them! Have the competition based on performance and reliability guarantees, and maybe they'd have a chance. Or get the U.S. Navy in on it; they've been running nuclear reactors for decades with a very good record.
 
Doofy Aug 15, 2005 07:22 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by ghporter
Diesels have a bad history of being and staying dirty and smelly, with low torque and NO acceleration. I remember test driving a Mercedes Turbo Diesel in the early 80s, and it almost killed me because it would NOT MOVE!
Yeah. That's history though. Of those two cars mentioned above, the Jeep is the fastest (and of course, we had Jenson Button copping a serious speeding ticket through France in a Beemer 330D - quicker than the 330i, IIRC).
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 07:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Fyre4ce
I think the best short-term solution is to discourage SUV's and recreational forms of gas consumption. Even a partially effective measure would save THOUSANDS of barrels of oil per day. It would make our petroleum reserves last longer, and bring down fuel prices for everyone.
Exactly. The people buying hybrids are NOT trading in their SUVs, in general... the SUV owners are sticking with their SUVs, since they're popular. Hybrids are a minority, and being purchased by somewhat intelligent people who used to drive another fairly efficient car, like a civic, accord, camry, etc.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 07:35 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by ghporter
Both Toyota and Honda use very special electric motors. Honda's is VERY thin and still has some pretty heavy duty torque for an electric.
Almost any electrical motor has a lot of torque. Again, this isn't anything new. Heck, some cordless drills could break your wrist if you aren't holding onto them tightly and you squeeze the trigger full blast.

Quote
I wouldn't buy a hybrid for "financial sense" as much as for the contribution to cleaner air and lower heat polution in general-the income tax break is not a bad thing either. And they're nice cars! I'm looking at replacing my Civic Coupe with a Civic Hybrid Sedan in a few years.
Again, you failed to read my post. Hybrids are NOT better for the environment than a small economy car that gets decent MPG. Hybrids need their batteries replaced every 5-8 years, which is expensive and very wasteful. On top of that, you have to maintain TWO systems instead of one. You still need to change oil, you still need to replace all the batteries. You're basically having twice as much maintenence, which isn't great for the environment. Throw in the fact that used batteries are rarely recycled, and how much work/resources it uses to even CREATE a new battery, and you have a vehicle that is better from an emissions standpoint, but NOT an improvement from a global standpoint.

As for hte civic hybrid.... smart car. I like how normal it looks...but again, the cost savings between a regular civic and a hybrid civic is going to take years to make up for in fuel savings. The only upside is the hybrid, if properly maintained, might hold it's resale value better.
 
ghporter Aug 15, 2005 07:49 PM
The key point I wanted to make about the motors is that, particularly in Honda's case, they "break the rules" on how to build a powerful, reliable electric motor. These things are THIN!!! About 4 inches thick and the size of a large flywheel from the pictures I've seen.

In terms of "less polution," when it comes down to local air, electric cars and hybrids DO INDEED produce less polution. There is far less tailpipe emission from any hybrid than a conventional car.

I think, though I'm not certain, that any U.S. based auto service center is required by law to recycle batteries. Every time I have a regular battery replaced, there's a mandatory $2-3 fee for properly disposing of the old one-and the ONLY way to properly dispose of the old one is to recycle it. And the number one source of lead-acid battery materials is from the battery recycling industry. What source says that used batteries-other than the ones Bubba dumps-are not recycled? Do a search on "lead-acid" and recycle and see how many hits you get-EVERY state has a law requiring that batteries be recycled.

Further, the only maintenance these motors are supposed to need is very similar to what you'd do for the rest of the vehicle, and a properly trained service tech-who uses the proper tech data-will take care of that without any hassle. I pay my dealer to maintain my car for two reasons: he has factory trained techs who have experience and all the tools and tech data needed to do anything that needs doing RIGHT-whereas I do not have either the time or the training to do most of the "upkeep" maintenance anymore. THAT is the difference in maintenance right there-and it's not really that expensive.

Further, both the Civic Hybrid and the Prius have held their resale values very well-even with the older Priuses getting close to that "you gotta replace the batteries" age. And Toyota is still not sure precisely when that is; their engineering data has a broad range, and one report I read on them said that they'd either last for three years or twelve...
 
Hugi Aug 15, 2005 08:28 PM
Here in Iceland we are being brainwashed to believe that Hydrogen is the miracle cure for everything energy related. Politicians love to spout that Iceland will be a "Hydrogen economy" in the next 10-20 years (since we can produce plenty of electricity, but have to import all oil).

I'll believe it when I see it. I love to see advances in hybrid cars, though, it's very sensible technology and I think it does have a very bright future, once the prices for hybrids become reasonable.
 
The Godfather Aug 15, 2005 08:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by sek929
Even a small efficent diesel could power and electric motor with little exhaust.

Once a diesel is running at at a steady RPM (which is ideal for power production0 it uses little fuel and emits little pollution, as compared to traditional gas engines.
Be aware, however, that a 6-layered transformation of energy: fuel -> heat -> motion -> electricity -> chemical (battery) -> electricity -> motion might be less efficient than current hybrid models: traditional I.C.E., assisted by an electric motor during the worst conditions of I.C.E. operation.

Cash, you shouldn't knock out battery-carrying hybrids: it IS a revolutionary technology. You might as well criticize the Wright brothers for mounting an engine on a glider and making a plane. Inventions are often the combination of two common things to make something unprecedented. In the case of hybrids, the result is the first consumer car that delivers 60+MPG.

At least you should commend the hybrid pioneers for stepping in the right direction. You never know, maybe Toyota is developing biodegradable supercapacitors that will replace the chemical battery in hybrids.

Aw yeah. My next car will be a hybrid (finances will be more fit in 1 or 2 years). I would consider taking up a used 90's small car, but I don't have the mechanical know-how to repair everything that could go wrong in a 15-year old car. Plus, I want to support hybrids.
 
Eug Wanker Aug 15, 2005 10:08 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Again, you failed to read my post. Hybrids are NOT better for the environment than a small economy car that gets decent MPG. Hybrids need their batteries replaced every 5-8 years, which is expensive and very wasteful. On top of that, you have to maintain TWO systems instead of one. You still need to change oil, you still need to replace all the batteries. You're basically having twice as much maintenence, which isn't great for the environment. Throw in the fact that used batteries are rarely recycled, and how much work/resources it uses to even CREATE a new battery, and you have a vehicle that is better from an emissions standpoint, but NOT an improvement from a global standpoint.

As for hte civic hybrid.... smart car. I like how normal it looks...but again, the cost savings between a regular civic and a hybrid civic is going to take years to make up for in fuel savings. The only upside is the hybrid, if properly maintained, might hold it's resale value better.
Sorry, but you're talking based on supposition, not fact.

The Prius hybrid's batteries are warrantied for a full 8 years or 100000 miles, and are expected to last much longer than that. ie. They are designed to last essentially for the life of the car. Indeed, some Prius taxi drivers have over 200000 miles on their Prius batteries. (200000 miles for me would be well over 15 years. :p)

Furthermore, Prius taxis reportedly overall cost less to maintain than non-hybrid taxis of similar size. One example of why this is the case: The Prius's brakes have to be serviced much less often than most cars, because the Prius's regenerative engine braking reduces wear-and-tear on the brakes.
 
olePigeon Aug 15, 2005 10:24 PM
You could get a VW diesel and get 40 to 55 MPG, without losing all the getup and go. If you're really eco-conscience, you could convert it to biodiesel for pretty cheap and run of of vegetable oil. The only problem is getting the oil. Usually people get it from the fast food joints, but that can be pretty damn tedious.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 10:29 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Doofy
How's about you guys just discover diesel?

Jeep XJ 2.5 TDi: 32 mpg.
Ford Focus 1.6 petrol: 32 mpg.
Because diesels, although fuel efficient, are not very clean engines. They emit more greenhouse gases amongst other things. They're also crap in really cold weather.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 15, 2005 10:37 PM
I'm getting nagged repeatedly to go to bed. I'll be back tomorrow morning.
 
Eug Wanker Aug 15, 2005 10:42 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by olePigeon
You could get a VW diesel and get 40 to 55 MPG, without losing all the getup and go. If you're really eco-conscience, you could convert it to biodiesel for pretty cheap and run of of vegetable oil. The only problem is getting the oil. Usually people get it from the fast food joints, but that can be pretty damn tedious.
Again:

gasoline ≠ diesel
 
macmad Aug 16, 2005 04:01 AM
I believe they sold more diesel than benzin (gas) here in Germany for the first time last year. Diesel cars are very popular in Europe now. The only negative is the soot emissions, but manufacturers are begining to fit soot filters which make the emissions very clean.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 16, 2005 08:35 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
In other words, you're saying if you buy a compact, it'd be cheaper than a mid-size hybrid.
I'm saying it would be so much cheaper it doesn't make sense to buy a hybrid, and that a small fuel efficient car has a smaller impact on the environment than a new hybrid.

Quote
But like I said, a Civic or Corolla are both much smaller than a Prius.
Not really. In 2002, the Corolla was longer, had a longer wheelbase, had more legroom, more hip room, more shoulder room, more luggage space, and more head room. For 2004, the corolla is longer, taller, and wider in the seating areas. The prius is about half an inch bigger in terms of legroom and a few other specs, but it's not exactly a 'midsize' car. Just because it 'looks' bigger doesn't mean it's a midsize. It's still a small car.

Quote
I would be. I don't thing Lamborghini is capable of creating anything close to Toyota's Volta. It does 0-60 in 4 seconds, but also gets 35 mpg on the highway.
That's a concept car. Technically, almost any marque could probably do even better, but the problem is it uses exotic materials and cutting edge technologies, so it isn't exactly profitable, since nobody would buy it. Let's keep comparisons to real vehicles.

Look, I'm not saying hybrids are a bad idea. They aren't. But I'm guessing that hybrids with their more complex regenerative braking systems, batteries, goofy transmissions, motors, and electrical systems will be much more of a PITA to take care of 5-10 years from now than a fairly simple honda civic or something. And again, the people BUYING hybrids aren't the problem. It's the dumbasses tooling around to and from work in their SUVs getting 8-15mpg that are hte problem. They're the ones wasting tons of resources. The people driving hybrids probably weren't driving Ford Excursions a couple years ago.
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 16, 2005 08:49 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by ghporter
I know they're better now, but a lot of people can't get that "city bus" image of diesels out of their minds.
They've come a long way since the diesels from the 70s and 80s. But they aren't perfect yet. Give them another 10 years and they'll be a more viable option.

Quote
The real way to go today seems to be biodiesel. Not only do these setups not smell bad, depending on where you get your used cooking oil, you could smell like french fries! Not for everyone, at least not yet, but it's a good start, uses very, very little petroleum (usually just for starting) and it's CLEAN! Actual distribution of finished biodiesel fuels is starting up soon.
I agree. I'm pretty excited about that too. If I lived out in the country and had a place to work on things, I'd definitely pick up a beater to convert to biodiesel. I know it requires some work to distil the fuel, but it'd be fairly exciting to drive to get groceries using WASTE as fuel. :)

Quote
I would like to see us get away from burning stuff to get around anyway. A straight electric system that's efficient and peppy (for safety as much as for convenience) would be a wonderful thing.
That sounds good in theory, but there's a lot of problems with it. Where do we make all the extra electrical energy? And more importantly... the BATTERY problem. Electric cars only make sense in about one situation: Old folks communities. Someplace where it's always warm, and they generally travel during the day for very short distance. Current battery technology hasn't had any significant leaps in a very long time, and the problem of mass marketable electric cars is they only work well in certain situations. Think of it this way: Let's say I wanted to go get groceries in January at 6:30pm. Okay, it's dark out, so I need to turn on hte headlights. It's snowy, so my wheels are slipping a little bit, and they're a tiny bit harder to turn. I turn on the radio. And then.... I turn on the HEATER. Wow. I now have a range of about 4-5 miles. Creating heat by using electricity is one of the most inefficient power sucking ways to do it. With internal combustion, on the other hand, the heat is basically 'free'. Not to mention far far far far superior range and possibilities for electrical accessories.

Quote
Of course getting away from burning stuff to make electricity is going to be a problem in some areas. Hydro is great-if you have access to the right geography. Geothermal has similar limitations.
The new issue of national geographic goes into detail about our options, and they left out geothermal completely. I don't really understand why. :\

Quote
Nuclear power is NOT THE DEVIL, but having the low bidder build a nuclear power plant is kind of like price shopping for your brain surgeon; not the smartest thing to do.
Agreed. I think they're a good idea, if built properly with a LOT of failsafes and computer controls. However, all of this is moot. I believe the future is going to be community based. With today's high speed connections and fairly powerful and plentiful computers, I think that the daily commute has the potential to almost VANISH. My wife is a copy editor. She drives 30 minutes to and from work each day. WHY?! THey could email her the documents, she could do them on the laptop wherever she pleased, and mail them back. Maybe go IN to work about once a week for meetings and brainstorms. I'm going to be in industrial design. Apart from meeting clients, why do I have to work AT the company? Why couldn't I produce things in my own studio? This goes for huge corporations too. Insurance companies, healthcare companies, etc. Almost any white collar job has the potential to be done IN HOME. Think of how much time/fuel we'd save. Think how less stressful it would be. Looking out the window and seeing 94 backed up constantly only strengthens my opinion that this is the way of the future.
 
jebjeb Aug 16, 2005 09:06 AM
I am a fan on the hybrid technologies coming out. However, in financial terms they are only good if you do high mileage.

Here are a few calculations I did when I was looking at buying a new car and was looking at a BMW 330i (petrol) or a 330d (diesel). Besides the extra torque and such I was looking into how much a diesel would save me per year as I wanted to save a bit of cash.

A manual 330i gets around 32 mpg. A manual 330d gets around 42 mpg. The diesels cost about £1000+ more than the equivalent spec petrol. Also, diesel fuel actually costs a bit more here than petrol. As I do low mileage (less than 10000 miles a year) the diesel was only going to save me about £250 per year! This would mean that I would have to own the car for four years before the increased fuel economy started helping my wallet.

Here are some rough calculations for costs based on the following parameters;

Petrol - $3.00 a gallon
Yearly Mileage A - 10000
Yearly Mileage B - 30000

Vehicle MPG / Yearly Cost A / Yearly Cost B
20 / $1500 / $4500
30 / $1000 / $3000
40 / $750 / $2250
50 / $600 / $1800
60 / $500 / $1500
70 / $430 / $1285
80 / $375 / $1125

So the difference in fuel costs between a vehicle which does 40 mpg and one that does 60 mpg for the lower mileage driver is quite small at only $250. However, for the higher mileage driver it is substantial with a saving of $750 per year.

So when looking at the pros and cons, besides the environmental benefits and such, one has to closely look at how much one can save in fuel costs when buying a efficient vehicle as they are not always as great as one may imagine.
 
Eug Wanker Aug 16, 2005 09:19 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Not really. In 2002, the Corolla was longer, had a longer wheelbase, had more legroom, more hip room, more shoulder room, more luggage space, and more head room. For 2004, the corolla is longer, taller, and wider in the seating areas. The prius is about half an inch bigger in terms of legroom and a few other specs, but it's not exactly a 'midsize' car. Just because it 'looks' bigger doesn't mean it's a midsize. It's still a small car.
It's clear now that you don't even bother to look these things up.

It is exactly a 'midsize' car. It is officially classified as a mid-size car. It's a smaller mid-size, but it's still a mid-size, and it has noticeably more room than Corolla. Yes, the Corolla is getting better, but it's still significantly smaller than the Prius.

Corolla passenger volume: 90.3 cubic feet
Prius passenger Volume: 96.2 cubic feet (+7%)

Corolla luggage capacity: 13.5 cubic feet
Prius luggage capacity: 16.1 cubic feet (+19%)

Corolla rear leg room: 35.4"
Prius rear leg room: 38.6" (+9% or 3.2")

Have you ever even sat in a Prius? Or better yet, have you ever sat in the back seat of a Prius?
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 16, 2005 09:29 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by ghporter
The key point I wanted to make about the motors is that, particularly in Honda's case, they "break the rules" on how to build a powerful, reliable electric motor. These things are THIN!!! About 4 inches thick and the size of a large flywheel from the pictures I've seen.
Have a link to a tech source claiming how groundbreaking they are? I've seen motors in all shapes and sizes, so I really don't get what the big deal is. Please enlighten me. :)

Quote
In terms of "less polution," when it comes down to local air, electric cars and hybrids DO INDEED produce less polution. There is far less tailpipe emission from any hybrid than a conventional car.
You're totally excluding the pollution created by the manufacture of batteries, disposal of batteries, recycling of batteries, more complex drivetrain, etc. The guy that this thread was originally about was plugging his car into the wall, which is most likely using a coal fired powerplant for it's energy, which also creates pollution.

Quote
I think, though I'm not certain, that any U.S. based auto service center is required by law to recycle batteries. Every time I have a regular battery replaced, there's a mandatory $2-3 fee for properly disposing of the old one-and the ONLY way to properly dispose of the old one is to recycle it. And the number one source of lead-acid battery materials is from the battery recycling industry. What source says that used batteries-other than the ones Bubba dumps-are not recycled? Do a search on "lead-acid" and recycle and see how many hits you get-EVERY state has a law requiring that batteries be recycled.
You're correct. Here's a cool website I found while finding information about the subject:

Seems that 99% of all lead acid batteries are recycled, bringing about 11.7 BILLION pounds of lead back into the market each year (keep in mind that lead is really really effing heavy, so it isn't as much as you'd think, but still a lot). Not sure on the source of that data, but that seems to be the consensus. Yes, it's a great thing they're recycling them.... HOWEVER... recycling is not FREE. Where does the acid go? It's 'nuetralized' using some bases until the PH is safe for disposal. Where's that come from? Where's all the shredded plastic go? Landfill. Where does all the new plastic for new batteries come from? Where does all the energy required to run all the machinery come from? My point isn't that hybrids are evil, it's that they use a LOT of resources themselves. Think if tomorrow, everyone somehow got a hybrid. In the whole world. Instead of an oil embargo, we'd probably have problems with battery disposal, production, and maybe we'd have a lead embargo, or lithium embargo. Who knows?! Again, the problem isn't internal combustion engines.... today's internal combustion engines can be EXTREMELY efficient, and they really don't pollute all that much.

Here's a few things to let soak into your brains:

2 stroke engines: Incredible power to weight ratios, but AWFUL emissions. I've read that running a properly tuned lawnmower (not even mentioning most lawn mowers that haven't had a new spark plug or carb adjustment in years) puts out MORE pollution in just ONE hour than EIGHT new cars running for over EIGHT hours each. I just googled, and came up with a fact even more incredible:

For example, a personal watercraft that uses a 70-horsepower, two-stroke outboard motor, emits the same amount of hydrocarbon pollution in one hour as the engine of a new car would if it were driven 8,000 kilometers.

2 strokes are used in ATVs, Jetskis, Boats, Lawnmowers, Tractors, Weedwackers, Chainsaws, etc etc etc. They're everywhere! And they pollute SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much more than cars it's not even in the same ballpark! Yes, the man has made some advances in getting rid of 2 strokes in the marine market, but I haven't seen **** in attempts to get rid of the rest of them.

Diesels: I'm not talking about the VWs. I'm talking about semis, buses, construction vehicles, etc. This large diesel vehicles make up about 5-10% of the traffic on our roads... yet they're responsible for OVER 25% of the pollution. When was the last time you heard anything about cleaner more efficient semis or buses?

SUVs I don't need to go into detail. H2s get about 6.8mpg. Navigators, Durangos, and Cherokees get about 12-15mpg. Excursions get about 10mpg. For what? Are they fast? Nope. Handle well? Nope. Safe? Nope. Good at offroading? Most of them aren't. Especially the luxurious ones that weigh so much, with sidesteps that reduce their ground clearance to something along the lines of a ford taurus.

What is my point? Instead of harping on cars and producing some complex pinnacles of technology for us to awe at our own achievement, why not take the easy route?! Why are we beating our heads against the wall and spending billions of dollars trying to improve something that's so clean and efficient already? Instead of passing more bills making cars more complex and expensive, how about INSTEAD we:

1. Push for getting rid of 2 strokes. Weedwackers, chainsaws, etc could all be electric. ATVs, Jetskis, and outboards could all be 4 strokes. Mercury has even done better: Instead of a normal four stroke, they're using Orbital's 'direct injection' technology, which makes the internal combustion engine SO clean that if you run one in Phoenix, the EXHAUST is cleaner than the air it's sucking in! :)

Read more:

http://www.orbeng.com/orbital/direct...dioverview.htm

2. Push for cleaner buses, semis and construction equipment. They're such a small number of vehicles, yet they pollute SO MUCH MORE than regular cars. Also, THINK RAIL. A train can be pulling 200X the cargo of a semi, it doesn't cause traffic jams, it requires a lot less maintenance, and only requires a couple people to operate.

3. SUVS. Start telling people you dislike them. I've talked a few of my friends out of them. You can do the same. If we all do it, eventually the media might catch on and quit telling the Snoop crowd and the Beige Trophy-house crowd that driving around in vehicles of excesse consumption just ISN"T COOL. Being intelligent about the environment and responsible IS. SUVs are so horrid in comparison to cars, it's just mind boggling. "OOOO! OOO! I want a new ford escape SUV hybrid! It gets 30mpg!" WHAT IS TEH ****ING POINT!? 95% OF YOU NEVER GO OFFROAD IN THE FIRST PLACE! YOUR "NEEDS" WOULD BE FULFILLED BY A WAGON OR A MINIVAN! AND FRANKLY, 30MPG ISN"T THAT GREAT! If you had purchased said wagon, minivan or sedan in the first place you'd probably get EVEN BETTER mpg WITHOUT it even being a hybrid!

Quote
Further, the only maintenance these motors are supposed to need is very similar to what you'd do for the rest of the vehicle, and a properly trained service tech-who uses the proper tech data-will take care of that without any hassle.
We'll see. But I'm guessing the more complex braking system, drivetrain, engine, and electronics will mean more service. Only time will tell but I have history on my side.

Sorry for the short novel. I hope some of you read the whole thing, and I hope some of you absorb at least some of the information I've provided here. Vehicles are my primary obsession, so I know quite a bit.
 
Eug Wanker Aug 16, 2005 09:35 AM
Quote
But I'm guessing the more complex braking system, drivetrain, engine, and electronics will mean more service. Only time will tell but I have history on my side.
As I already mentioned in this thread, the few real-world studies of hybrid vehicles (by taxi companies) in terms of maintenance costs so far state that the Prius costs LESS to maintain than similarly sized non-hybrid vehicles.
 
JoshuaZ Aug 16, 2005 09:38 AM
I'm still waiting for the Japanese to make a car that turns into a flying robot. That way I can fly over busy roads. Or just smash cars.
 
stefls Aug 16, 2005 09:44 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
Because diesels, although fuel efficient, are not very clean engines. They emit more greenhouse gases amongst other things. They're also crap in really cold weather.
If you compare diesel to bezin engines, the first category emits less greenhouse gases (about 15% less) because they are more fuel efficient. About the other things, you are correct: emission of NOx and especially small particles is lately becoming a big issue. Current diesel cars emit 10 times as much NOx and about 7 times as much fine particles (data from the Dutch Ministry responsible for environmental issues, http://www.vrom.nl.) However, further development of diesel engine technology will probably bring diesel much closer to benzine engines. Much research will be done in the near future on the effects of very fine particles: to be continued.

I'm not quite sure if you have ever tried a relatively new diesel car, but these being crap in really cold weather seems a little bit exaggerated. But then, it doesn't really get that cold where I live ;).
 
Doofy Aug 16, 2005 09:44 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
3. SUVS. Start telling people you dislike them.
No. I like them.

Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
I've talked a few of my friends out of them. You can do the same.
I've talked to a few friends about them. I've shown them, for example, that their Ford Mondeo takes up more road space and uses more gas than my XJ.

Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
If we all do it, eventually the media might catch on and quit telling the Snoop crowd and the Beige Trophy-house crowd that driving around in vehicles of excesse consumption just ISN"T COOL. Being intelligent about the environment and responsible IS. SUVs are so horrid in comparison to cars, it's just mind boggling. "OOOO! OOO! I want a new ford escape SUV hybrid! It gets 30mpg!" WHAT IS TEH ****ING POINT!? 95% OF YOU NEVER GO OFFROAD IN THE FIRST PLACE! YOUR "NEEDS" WOULD BE FULFILLED BY A WAGON OR A MINIVAN! AND FRANKLY, 30MPG ISN"T THAT GREAT! If you had purchased said wagon, minivan or sedan in the first place you'd probably get EVEN BETTER mpg WITHOUT it even being a hybrid!
Needs? Needs? You're still in America, not some kind of Marxist hellhole, right?
Shall we talk about how your "needs" could be filled by driving something without AWD (i.e. less rolling resistance so higher mpg)... ...like a Focus or something?
Shall we talk about how your "needs" could be filled by driving something with a manual tranny (i.e. more efficient so higher mpg)?
 
Eug Wanker Aug 16, 2005 09:47 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
Corolla rear leg room: 35.4"
Prius rear leg room: 38.6" (+9% or 3.2")

Have you ever even sat in a Prius? Or better yet, have you ever sat in the back seat of a Prius?
Hmmm... I just looked up the Camry, and the Prius has more front and back leg room than even the Camry.

In other news...

Toyota's Fine-N Hybrid/Fuel Cell Concept Car

http://www.treehugger.com/files/toyota_fine_n.jpg
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 16, 2005 09:50 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by The Godfather
Be aware, however, that a 6-layered transformation of energy: fuel -> heat -> motion -> electricity -> chemical (battery) -> electricity -> motion might be less efficient than current hybrid models: traditional I.C.E., assisted by an electric motor during the worst conditions of I.C.E. operation.
True. Which is why I'm saying the total package of a cheap econbox will be better for the environment than today's hybrids.

Quote
Cash, you shouldn't knock out battery-carrying hybrids: it IS a revolutionary technology. You might as well criticize the Wright brothers for mounting an engine on a glider and making a plane. Inventions are often the combination of two common things to make something unprecedented. In the case of hybrids, the result is the first consumer car that delivers 60+MPG.
It isn't revolutionary. I remember being about 8 years old.... asking my dad why they don't just put generators on all 4 wheels of a car, so it could make energy while it's driving. "Because nothing is free. You have to make more power to spin them." Well what about just using them for braking then? Or when you're going downhill? "Then you'd need to store the energy for later, and batteries are heavy and don't last". Oh. (not word for word, but the basic jist of my hybrid 'idea')

Again, I don't get it. We should be cutting pollution where it's EASIEST to do so: 2 strokes, and diesels. We should be cutting consumption where it's EASIEST to do so: Instead of Semis, use the rail system. SUVs should be taxed up the ****ing ying yang, they should put in MASSIVE regulations against them until they're on par with regular cars*, and there should be special exceptions for 'work trucks', as in the type of vehicles farmers and business owners need. White collar business owners do NOT need an SUV for daily transportation.

*: SUVs and Trucks used to have the same regulations as cars. In the 60s, that changed thanks to America's frozen chicken production. [/QUOTE]
Click here if you want to know the whole story.

As for your comparison to the wright bros.... nope. In 1984 Honda produced the CRX, and with it's measly 1.3 liter engine recieved 55-67mpg, depending on how you drove it. The idea of a hybrid isn't NEW. Like I said, I thought of basically somethign the same thing when I was 8, back in 1988. The difference is we have the technology to build it now, so we are. It isn't revolutionary. I call it 'progress', MAYBE. Real progress, in my opinion, would be getting rid of SUVs, and producing SMALLER LIGHTER cars with efficient internal combustion engines. A small sized car like the CRX with today's technology could probably get over 80mpg, but alas... nobody can build something like that thanks to all the SUVs running around. It wouldn't be safe.

Quote
At least you should commend the hybrid pioneers for stepping in the right direction. You never know, maybe Toyota is developing biodegradable supercapacitors that will replace the chemical battery in hybrids.
I do. I think it's a STEP, but I'm not sure it's in the right direction. It's definitely progress, but again... instead of focusing on cars, we should be focusing on using rail, getting rid of all the SUVs, and having cleaner big diesel vehicles. Also, the demographic thats driving a Prius is NOT the demographic that was driving an SUV 4 years ago. Again, they're focusing the technology on something that's ALREADY PRETTY GREAT. Before the prius, these people were probably driving corollas, camrys, accords, civics, etc etc etc. All of those are pretty efficient cars. They should have used this technology where it would make the biggest impact: Trucks. Vans. Big cars.

Quote
Aw yeah. My next car will be a hybrid (finances will be more fit in 1 or 2 years). I would consider taking up a used 90's small car, but I don't have the mechanical know-how to repair everything that could go wrong in a 15-year old car. Plus, I want to support hybrids.
I respect your decision to try to make things better, but I'm not sure that's the way to do it. My wife's 89 Honda accord has 222,000 miles. It runs awesome. In the past 20k miles or so, we've had to replace the gas cap, and .... .. .. nothing. Oh wait, I did get an exhaust system put on it. Apparently honda only makes their exhaust systems last 220,000 miles or so. ;) But really, a decently maintained 90s car is going to hit very high mileages without much problem. My SVX has over 190,000 miles, and granted I've replaced a lot of stuff on it, but that's just because I'm anal.
 
jebjeb Aug 16, 2005 09:59 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by suvsr4terrorists
<Snip>

Sorry for the short novel. I hope some of you read the whole thing, and I hope some of you absorb at least some of the information I've provided here. Vehicles are my primary obsession, so I know quite a bit.
Nice bit of comment Rob.

Completely agree with the 2 stroke side of things. Stinkin', whiney, annoying things. Changes are happening as you mentioned with the marine side plus you will also find that most motorcycle sports have now transferred to 4 strokes. It is slowly happening and as out manufacturing techniques get better, the 2 stroke will die a horrible death as one of their main reasons for being was ease of manufacturing and maintenance.

As for pollution relating to the production of electricity for hybrids as well as the disposal issues, I don't think many would argue that these methods of production and disposal do not produce any pollution. However, I think it comes down to volumes. I don't know what they are and I am going to do a bit of research. I would guess though that the emissions on producing enough electricity to power a fully electric car for 100 miles is less than the whole of the pollution produced (including refining and burning within the engine, waste oil and other consumables) by a petrol car over 100 miles. I will try and back this up with some reputable figures.

I also agree that there is much energy used in the production of any type of vehicle. Not to be defeatist, but I don't think we are going to be able to stop people from buying new cars so all we can do is make the production of new vehicles more efficient and less polluting.

Don't dismiss what Eug has to say about the real world running costs of the hybrids. I would have guess that would be correct as even though there are more components in a hybrid, they should be better on brakes and such than a straight petrol. Some of this ease of maintenance that Eug mentions should also be attributed to other technology not solely related to the hybrid side though. The Prius uses a CVT (correct me if I am wrong - do they offer a manual version?) which have less maintenance requirements than a normal auto or manual box. Of course you can get CVT's in petrol cars as well. Still, I think that they would require less overall maintenance.

I shouldn't really be saying too much as I just took the C32 AMG on its first decent drive (a 500 mile round trip) and I only got 22 mpg! Mind you, my right foot was feeling pretty heavy this weekend ;)
 
suvsr4terrorists Aug 16, 2005 10:01 AM
Quote, Originally Posted by Eug Wanker
It's clear now that you don't even bother to look these things up.

It is exactly a 'midsize' car.
So that makes the corolla midsize too, right? I mean the corolla is longer, taller, and has wider seating areas. I looked everything up on edmunds, and apart from the rear legroom, it seems the corolla is basically identical or bigger. The bigger luggage area of the prius is due to it's 'wagon' design, not because it's a bigger car.

It's clear now that you really really want to believe that the prius is a much bigger car even though the facts say otherwise.
 
wdlove Aug 16, 2005 10:04 AM
Thanks to the continued hard work of independent inventor. Another guy working out of his garage. :thumbsup:
 
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