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Old 06-03-2009, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 10,735,593 times
Reputation: 4107

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Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW-type-gal View Post
I'd definitely agree that a single-car household is not going to choose an electric car. On the other hand, here is a study on car-owning by US households:

Study Finds Americans Own 2.28 Vehicles Per Household - AutoSpies Auto News

Average number of cars per US household: 2.28
% of households with 1 car - 34 %
% of households with 2 cars - 31%
% of households with 3+ cars - 35%
Weird, I know a good number that have a car per person...but didn't expect so many to have 3 or more (assuming not 16-18 year old in the household). I know we will probably get a greener car to replace my wife's when we need another car, who is more into it and has a 2006 civic now (35-40mpg)...but I don't think I will vote for a Honda again.

Mechanically the car itself is nice but the interior feels really cheap (and scratches easily), the car is so low we scrape over even moderate inclines (fortunately there is a metal piece under the front bumper), and the paint is crap (hers is covered in chips and scrapes, while my Toyota looks good as new). That's more annoyances with the car manufacturer then the technology though.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:19 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,760,276 times
Reputation: 4125
Personally, I do believe that series hybrids cause more damage to the world than regular engines. It makes zero sense to me why you would argue that building a car with TWO engines (and ALL the infrastructure, logistics, and work to make it happen) is any more better for the world than a regular diesel.

A WVO diesel is the best form of clean car in the world currently, end of discussion.

Biodiesel is on the horizon, but will need to be weened of its reliance on competing biomass for food.

Electric engines which form the core of series hybrids need nickel mined in Canada, shipped to Europe for refining, shipped to China or Japan for engineering, and then potentially to mexico or the USA for assembly. YOU CANNOT MAKE ANY ARGUMENT THAT ALL THAT SHIPPING IS ZERO DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT.
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Old 06-06-2009, 12:43 AM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,514,338 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by eskercurve View Post
Personally, I do believe that series hybrids cause more damage to the world than regular engines. It makes zero sense to me why you would argue that building a car with TWO engines (and ALL the infrastructure, logistics, and work to make it happen) is any more better for the world than a regular diesel.

A WVO diesel is the best form of clean car in the world currently, end of discussion.
That's not so practical though.

There isn't anything mutually exclusive between diesel and "hybrid." As I pointed out, the US already spent lots of tax money on hybrid diesel. The issue with diesel, or any gas, is that internal combustion engines are not that efficient. An electric motor is far more efficient in it's use of energy. In the long run that makes a difference.

I don't know if you looked, but the VW Jetta diesel still has a lower EPA mileage rating than most of the efficient hybrids on the market. Stop and go traffic kills mileage on any car, but electric is more optimized to deal with stop and go.

From what I recall, internal combustion engines peak out around 30%-40% efficient, that's the upper limit for the standard technology. Even the government site indicates in the real world it's probably less. (replace *** with "***" this site blocks the text)
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/***/atv.shtml (broken link)

Electric motors are around 80-90% efficient in converting input to mechanical motion. Here is a report showing actual in use measurements of electric motor efficiency. Even between 10 and 600 hp, the efficiency is 80-90+%
http://texasiof.ces.utexas.edu/texas.../rschiferl.pdf

Once the technology is more mainstream, the logistics of building will be improved, currently they are a fairly small segment of the cars built.

Last edited by f_m; 06-06-2009 at 01:20 AM..
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Old 06-06-2009, 01:11 AM
f_m
 
2,289 posts, read 7,514,338 times
Reputation: 869
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-310 View Post
The cost a a battery or two batteries that my diesel trucks use are significantly less and are good for five years or more. And you don't want to know how I dispose of them when dead.

And I live better than 50 miles from the nearest town. The nearest Toyota dealer that will accept those batteries is 500 miles away. The local dealer won't touch them. Because they don't sell them.
But just because it isn't useful for you doesn't mean it isn't suitable for other people. Most people wouldn't find a full size cargo van practical, but they're still useful for certain requirements.

By the same token, a car that get 40+ MPG, costs under $20k, and fits 4/5 passengers with various levels of cargo, is useful for many people. In fact the car was the number one selling car in Japan last month, no other hybrid has been number one, not even the Prius. It's a budget hybrid, but the people that get it value the fuel savings over the other features, which is why it isn't surprising it may seem cheaper than other cars in the price range.

It's eco-war! Honda Insight becomes Japan's first hybrid top seller as new Toyota Prius debuts next week - Open Road: A conversation about the cars and trucks we drive - USATODAY.com
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Old 06-28-2009, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Missouri Ozarks
2 posts, read 3,200 times
Reputation: 10
Hi, everyone. I stumbled on this thread looking for something else but need to comment about the Insight. I ordered an Insight in December, 1999. I live pretty far out in the sticks in the Missouri Ozarks and had taken a job 52 miles from my home and wanted a fuel efficient car. I was driving a 1983 Audi 4000 with 300,000 miles on it. It was and still is a great car but I didn't think it could possibly last long with this long commute. I spent a lot of time looking for a car locally that could get comparable gas mileage. No luck, not even close. I took delivery on the Insight in May 2000. We have put over 200,000 miles on the car. It's lifetime mpg is 67.8. That is a lot of trips of over 80mpg. The car handles well and when you need speed you slip it from 5th into 3rd put the pedal to metal and whiz by at 85mpg. Anyone who tells you an electric assist has no pep......well.

My home is pretty far back in the woods. We have a mile of private road which includes 2 very steep hills and two creek crossings. This car handles the back country very well.

My 2 complaints. The radio speakers are awful. When our 2 steep hills are very dry during the summer months, the electric assist kicks in going up the hill and the tires spin. It takes finesse to handle the assist, so I wish it could be turned off. The nickel metal hydride battery pack bit the dust in 2008. We bought a battery pack from someone who had a wrecked 2005 civic. We took the worn out battery pack to the Honda dealer (62 miles away) and they took it for recycling. We didn't find the dealer to be very supportive. They didn't seem to have the knowledge to work on the car. Fortunately, it has had almost no problems and we plan on driving it for many years to come. RW
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:37 PM
 
Location: UK
298 posts, read 913,484 times
Reputation: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-310 View Post

And the electric car is a joke................where does the power come to charge it?
Its a hybrid! It charges while driving, when you are coasting down a hill or when you brake. No need to plug it in anywhere.
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Old 06-29-2009, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Missouri Ozarks
2 posts, read 3,200 times
Reputation: 10
Yes Poopy00, the car charges by regenerative braking. When you brake and when you are coasting in gear. It also has an auto stop feature. When you stop the car at a stop sign or light it's engine shuts off to save gas. When you put the car in gear to go again, the car starts. It never needs to be plugged in. The dash has gages that tell you how many mpg you are making and also the state of charge in the battery pack. It is a lot of fun to drive. RW
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:41 PM
 
Location: UK
298 posts, read 913,484 times
Reputation: 109
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rootwad View Post
The dash has gages that tell you how many mpg you are making and also the state of charge in the battery pack. It is a lot of fun to drive. RW
I've had a Prius as a rental for the last week and i'm still obsessed at watching the mpg and the charging. I'm such a saddo.
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Old 06-30-2009, 03:49 PM
 
23,810 posts, read 11,833,733 times
Reputation: 10040
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poopy00 View Post
Its a hybrid! It charges while driving, when you are coasting down a hill or when you brake. No need to plug it in anywhere.
A pure electric car is what I was referring to. The Volt only goes 40 miles on a charge. That won't get me halfway to town where I live..................
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Old 06-30-2009, 04:10 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
4,085 posts, read 7,648,823 times
Reputation: 2646
Quote:
Originally Posted by T-310 View Post
Excellent, so if I buy one and it takes a 500 mile drive to recycle this battery, will you come and get it?
They have this thing called "shipping" which means that for a price someone will take something somewhere else for you. It is very "green" because they take things for lots of people at a time so many people can send things for much less cost, time, and pollution than if they each drove it there themselves.

It's not a new thing.
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