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The May Car Update (2008) Expand / Collapse
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Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2008 5:12 PM


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Post #507327
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 12:42 AM


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Nice car update Steve.

I have to say this, but you in America are so lucky, in Europe we pay 10$ per gallon of diesel which is 2.5 times higher


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Post #507452
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 4:17 AM
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We may pay more for fuel in Europe, but we don't have to drive as far. The Prius is doing 25000 miles in 14 months - that's about twice the average mileage for a family car in the UK. I have a family of 5 but we only do around 3000 miles per year! That's because we live and work in a small town were almost everything is within walking distance. My commute to work is a 5 minute cycle ride.

I've lived in Arizona, and it was impossible to live without driving long distances. Everything was so spaced out. If you really want to save the planet you need to greatly reduce the amount of driving you do, not just drive more efficiently.
Post #507527
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 6:26 AM
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100% Electric Vehicles are really not getting the attention they should.

Doing some research on the GM EV1 produces very compelling information. (And that was using old battery technology...today's batteries are even better.) The people who had those cars loved them. There are (or were) websites describing how people put solar shingles on their homes (those that live in generally sunny states) and generated enough electricity to charge their cars, run their home electricals and even have electricity left over to feed back into the grid. How do you beat that for efficiency?

I never see people discussing the longevity of electric cars. Do you realize that some of the electric motors are warranted for 1 Million Miles? Have you considered that there is very little to break down in a 100% electric car? No exhaust system, no cooling system, no spark plugs, etc. There is very little to break down. Low maintenance and long lasting parts is more efficient too.

The cost of batteries and replacing them is significantly less than the routine cost of gasoline or diesel.

But a 100% electric vehicle is disruptive technology. Consider all the industry built up around internal combustion vehicles. I can't help but think the automotive industry is having a strong influence on supressing 100% electric vehicle technology. (I never watched "Who Killed The Electric Car".) If/when electric vehicles go mainstream, that will be a major shift in industry as there will not be as many repairs needed. Sure, you still need brakes and tires, but not as many parts to be replaced.

Just a thought. The 100% electric Aptera would be a great thing.
Post #507612
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 6:27 AM


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Thanks Steve for allowing a little variety in the editorial section. We ll need a change of pace sometimes. Also, some very interesting links.

Based on what I've seen in the past, I'm guessing that you'll see some colorful replies.

I'll have to log on suggesting that although I love technology, and although I'd love to see us (the US) be less dependent on foreign oil, I'm not so sure that we're going to come up with any really economical alternatives to oil in the near future. When we let ourselves get frightened by all of the global warming hype, we wind up making corn into ethanol and starting riots in the third world countries where people have the silly notion that corn should be eaten and not burned. Electric? If you recall, we had a major power outage a few years back that knocked out a lot of the northeastern US and some of Canada. Reason? Our power grid system was (and still is) deficient. We're pulling the system down with our air conditioners - Do you know what would happen if we plugged in a few million electric cars? We could solve the problem by building more nuclear plants like France has. That would give us both the power for electric cars and hydrogen for fuel cells (a good use of nuclear stations during non-peak hours would be producing hydrogen). Unfortunately, we then get a whole new group of frightened activists. I'm afraid that oil is going to be around for a while. Conserve? Sure. Invest in alternatives? Sure. But let's still keep an open mind about drilling for our own oil and using proven technologies like nuclear before selling the farm over unproven future tech.



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Post #507614
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:18 AM
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Electric Cars. An interesting concept. I think they have their potential. The issue that needs to be recond with is where does the power come from. The only acceptable path is if the car is powered by alternative power in the end. Obviously you cannot make power out of power without losing some... ie: you can't use wind on a car to power the car completely. But with solar and wind and other technologies i would be very willing to have a vehicle that was electric. I refuse however to go electric if i have to plug it into the wall and only go 10 miles between charges. The great wisconsin winters are also hard on storage of electricity. All things to recon with. I hope someone is working towards this...

Ethanol vs biodiesel. Ethanol is a very lossy conversion. It takes far more fosill fuels to generate a gallon of Ethanol (in the us) than ethanol is worth. The other thing to remember is that if you run ethanol you will get far worse fuel economy. And it is heavily subsidised by the us government. Biodiesel on the other hand is not subsidized. Is only slightly more expensive and you keep the power ratios and efficiencies of diesel.

With the jetta... I have 65K on my 2006 Jetta TDI (Diesel). The true mileage has been averaged mid 40's however that includes towing a half ton, doing short, long and moderate trips, and always driving like i stole it. I have also gotten as high as 60MPG. based on my average, including an oil change and fuel filters every 10K miles i average approx 11-13 cents per mile. The comparative gas jetta (based on sticker mileage) would be running 14-16 cents per mile at current fuel prices. Given that for the first year and a half diesel was significantly cheaper than gas that means that the shift was more like 6 cents per mile compared to 10 -12 cents per mile.

People always laugh at me for the price of diesel but twice the mpg of most gassers i can't argue with the memorial day price of 4.79 per gallon of ULSD. Biodiesel is also a great use for waste oil from restaraunts.

There is a lot there. It is a stepping stone not an end. We need to force the government to give the diesel market the same rights as the gassers. Unfortunately they put their eggs in the ethanol basket.

ok pulled away... later.
Post #507655
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:25 AM
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Very cool article, except for the "I don't really like the Jetta" which you really didn't explain.

I love my wife's JETTA, it's a fun drive! The only inexplicable downside is the fact that it doesn't have a lever to recline the seat. My dad drove a Renault when we were growing up (another country) and it had the same wheel on the bottom side of the seat. Bizarre.
Post #507658
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:33 AM
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Making moonshine in your driveway to power a car looks interesting, although it may be tough to keep it from being consumed by people. Great update, I hope my next car is electric. Especially since I drive 10 minutes to and from work every day, and that's about it. My father drives his V8 pickup an hour each way but has noticed that as the price of gas has gone up, there are less cars on the road. I guess the demand for gasoline is at least somewhat elastic.
Post #507664
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:35 AM
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Someguy (5/28/2008)
I'm afraid that oil is going to be around for a while. Conserve? Sure. Invest in alternatives? Sure. But let's still keep an open mind about drilling for our own oil and using proven technologies like nuclear before selling the farm over unproven future tech.



I couldn't agree more Someguy!
Post #507666
Posted Wednesday, May 28, 2008 7:51 AM
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Good thing it was only a two strike because as we all know...three strikes and your out :D
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