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Old 06-27-2012, 06:41 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
IMHO, an Escape or Fusion with the I-4 would be underpowered dawgs for freeway driving anywhere, so that's not a good argument. I don't have room in my life for a dedicated commute car - and I thnk that's not unusual. I believe Ford understands the American buyer and these cars hit the mark.
What Americans are interested in buying seems to change with the price of fuel.

I still work. And I commute about 1.5 hours per day. I don't really have time for a non-commuter car. I took a different approach. I knew I was going to be putting tons of miles on the car, parking it in spaces near other cars, and occasionally would have to park it outside in the sun. I bought a $4000 RAV4 which works for my mission - reasonable room for the family, can tow a small trailer, reasonable MPG (22-24), and good reliability. I've put 50k on it in the last 2-2.5 years. I've had to turn a wrench on it once or twice, but nothing major.

A hybrid or a TDI would both cost me less at the pump, but I believe that the total cost of ownership would be more. Besides, I don't worry about what happens to it while parked, if it's in a hail storm and destroyed it's not a terrible loss, and it costs less to insure.
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Old 06-27-2012, 07:10 AM   #128
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Just what we need - more voters who don't know History. ("Those who don't know their history are bound to repeat it")
But that way at least they are not learning the history being taught in colleges...... take that how you want....
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #129
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Just based on my informal, unscientific rendering of the data, I'd have to declare the economics of hybrid vs conventional to be a wash. You pay as you go, or you pay up front. No significant difference.

Same thing for the ecological factor. You put the exhaust pipe on the car, or move it to the power station, same thing. You kill your air with emissions, or somebody elses water with toxic runoff. No difference.

The difference lies in the philosophical or idelogical metrics. Do I want to give my money to car manufacturers, or fuel manufacturers? Do I think hybrids are a means to an energy independant end?

My original post in this thread was not really to rant about tree huggers, it was to rant about deceptive marketing claims about how much money you'll save and how much you'll help the environment by driving a hybrid. The two big reasons people are given to buy a new hybrid are mostly myth, though there ARE some good reasons to do so.
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Old 06-27-2012, 08:52 AM   #130
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Hybrids are all the way up to 2% of US autos and holding. I think that answers some of your questions.
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Old 06-27-2012, 09:49 AM   #131
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Your friends with their hybrid are similar to the push for ethanol in cars. It takes more energy to make and distribute the ethanol than it saves. The next big push coming will be natural gas. With the abundance of natural gas in the US and Canada, that may be a winner in the energy and environmental battles.[/QUOTE]

so when do we go to war with canada
if we fight wars for cheap imported petrol products i guess we have lost all recent wars.i remember in nam the antiwar unwashed hippie maggots claimed it was all about oil
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:55 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
IMHO, an Escape or Fusion with the I-4 would be underpowered dawgs for freeway driving anywhere, so that's not a good argument. I don't have room in my life for a dedicated commute car - and I thnk that's not unusual. I believe Ford understands the American buyer and these cars hit the mark.

Also like other commuter cars, the Prius is a compact car - comparing an SUV or midsized car like the Fusion to it is just unfair and mean to the little clown car

I won't argue about Gov't handouts meant to direct personal property purchases, that's why I did not mention it in my post (however, the Fed's and the People's Republic of California did give me an undisclosed perk for the hybrid purchases around April 15th). And, I agree that there's too much Gov't handout going on everywhere, but this is a "Tree Hugger Rant" so it's on-topic

My last word on the Prius - courtesy of Jay Leno:
“You got a speeding ticket in a Prius—what’s funnier than that?”
-and-
"We Americans want everyone to know about the good work we’re doing anonymously."

Read more: Jay Leno: Why American Cars Are Poised For A Comeback - Popular Mechanics
I've driven plenty of little under powered 4 cylinder cars in my time on freeways, mostly with the Chrysler name on them sadly (2.0L 4 cylinder Plymouth Acclaim anyone?.

The secret I learned driving those underpowered 4 cylinder cars is...













It's not a race.

AND...

I don't need to play "keep up" with the fools zig-zagging through the lanes doing 10-20 mph over the speed limit. I usually end up at the exact same place withing 1-2 minutes of them having gotten better fuel economy and experienced alot less stress.

I hear the repeated excuses people make for irresponsible driving "ya gotta keep up with the pace, even if it's over the limit" or "You'll get run over if ya do the speed limit!", over and over and I still laugh every time as people repeatedly try to justify driving irresponsibly.

Drive the limit, use your signals, leave space, turn off your phone, and turn yer flipping head every now and then so you can find the car in your blind spot before you try changing lanes .
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Old 06-27-2012, 02:03 PM   #133
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scarab0088 View Post
IMHO, an Escape or Fusion with the I-4 would be underpowered dawgs for freeway driving anywhere, so that's not a good argument. I don't have room in my life for a dedicated commute car - and I thnk that's not unusual. I believe Ford understands the American buyer and these cars hit the mark.
I can only assume that the mark must have moved since the new Escape no longer has a hybrid option nor a V-6 option, just the carryover 2.5L 4-cylinder and 2 options for 4-cylinder Ecoboost engines, a 1.6L and a 2.0L.

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Old 06-27-2012, 02:11 PM   #134
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I hear the repeated excuses people make for irresponsible driving "ya gotta keep up with the pace, even if it's over the limit" or "You'll get run over if ya do the speed limit!", over and over and I still laugh every time as people repeatedly try to justify driving irresponsibly.
You have to drive within your limits, both personal, and the limitations of the vehicle you are driving.

Within those constraints, the SAFEST speed to drive a car is along with 90% of other traffic around you, regardless of the limit. The fewer encounters you have with other vehicles (passing or being passed), the fewer opportunities you have for altercation. It's a simple numbers game.

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Drive the limit, use your signals, leave space, turn off your phone, and turn yer flipping head every now and then so you can find the car in your blind spot before you try changing lanes .
Words to live by (literally).
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:02 PM   #135
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Personally I want to like hybrids, but despite many of the interesting arguments in this thread, I am still not convinced.

1) While supporters claim that the batteries are fully recyclable (?)' the costs & environmental challenges of mining the rare earth metals, the extra weight, the miles of additional wiring & the electrical complexity does not add-up for me......when the mpg gains are often so minimal.

2) We're it not for the government subsidies and the "sexy" environmental cache of owning a hybrid....I think most of these models would be long gone. In fact, as the manufacturers are getting better and better with wringing improved mpg's out of existing technologies....they are starting to disappear.

3) So "why" do hybrids continue to exist? I think it's the CAFE laws which regulate/dictate the overall mpg requirements for the manufacturer's fleet. By 2016 cars need to improve their average efficiency by 37% ( from 27.5 to 37.8 mpg) and trucks need to improve by 23% ( from 23.5 to 28.8 mpg). So.........even if a hybrid doesn't make a lot of sense, the manufacturer will still make them solely to meet the CAFE requirements. Exclude hybrids from the mpg calculations and Betamax video recorders will be more common than a Prius!
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:59 PM   #136
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Since we are talking about fuel rather than tree huggers - I look at fuel as part of the entertainment expense. Presumably if you have a gas/diesel hog it is enjoyable to drive - thus entertainment expense. If it's a gas/diesel hog and not fun to drive you probably ought to get rid of it. Now as far as tree huggers (I leave out the Hybrid part of the subject of this thread) I live in Oregon where we used to have logging to support the local economy and now without the logging industry times are pretty tough - as they are in many other locations - but we think around here we'd still be working in the woods and not fighting poverty if it weren't for that little spotted owl and his (tree hugger) friends.
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Old 06-27-2012, 10:59 PM   #137
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Personally I want to like hybrids, but despite many of the interesting arguments in this thread, I am still not convinced.

1) While supporters claim that the batteries are fully recyclable (?)' the costs & environmental challenges of mining the rare earth metals, the extra weight, the miles of additional wiring & the electrical complexity does not add-up for me......when the mpg gains are often so minimal.

2) We're it not for the government subsidies and the "sexy" environmental cache of owning a hybrid....I think most of these models would be long gone. In fact, as the manufacturers are getting better and better with wringing improved mpg's out of existing technologies....they are starting to disappear.

3) So "why" do hybrids continue to exist? I think it's the CAFE laws which regulate/dictate the overall mpg requirements for the manufacturer's fleet. By 2016 cars need to improve their average efficiency by 37% ( from 27.5 to 37.8 mpg) and trucks need to improve by 23% ( from 23.5 to 28.8 mpg). So.........even if a hybrid doesn't make a lot of sense, the manufacturer will still make them solely to meet the CAFE requirements. Exclude hybrids from the mpg calculations and Betamax video recorders will be more common than a Prius!
This is an interesting and educational thread but I'm a bit confused by the above.

How is it that mpg gains can be so minimal and at the same time be the sole reason auto makers produce them to meet such aggressive standards?

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Old 06-28-2012, 12:08 AM   #138
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This is an interesting and educational thread but I'm a bit confused by the above.

How is it that mpg gains can be so minimal and at the same time be the sole reason auto makers produce them to meet such aggressive standards?

Rick
1) Minimal Gains- I guess what I was trying say (despite any extensive research on my part) is that the costs of producing a modern hybrid ( environmental, raw materials, etc) appears to be 20-30% more than it's non-hybrid sister, yet the mpg gains are rather disappointing. If hybrids were producing mpg's of "double" their non-hybrid sister, I would be more impressed and more ready to embrace the technology.

For example - the 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid is rated at a combined mpg of 44 & costs $24,200......while the normal gas Civic is rated at a combined mpg of 39 & costs $15,955.......,. Does the cost-benefit add-up?

But hey! I'm open to be proven all "wet" on this point.

2) CAFE Laws - I am also probably "wet" on this point as well.....but various manufacturers are at different points in the technology continuum and, no doubt, hybrids can provide a "bridge" if you need a few extra mpg's to meet regulatory requirements for your fleet. Hey, no one may pay the premium for the Civic Hybrid for an extra 5mpg, but Honda still picks-up the 5mpg, which my prove very important to their CAFE calculations?

I think (as someone has already noted) Ford may also be a good example. They embraced the hybrid technology as a "bridge", yet as their Eco-Boost technology is rapidly catching-up, they are finding the hybrid is no longer as attractive or NEEDED. I can't blame them, as someone else noted- hybrids as a percentage of market share are not growing or showing overwhelming consumer support.

However, as you point-out, the issue may not be one of excluding hybrids from CAFE calculations, but more one that they simply have yet to provide the necessary "serious" gains over current & developing "existing" technologies, particularly diesel and their time is "running-out"!

Regardless, I'd love to see hybrid technology as the "answer", but like solar & wind, I'm just not convinced these technologies are going to stand-up on their own (without subsidies or CAFE) or prove to be cost effective. I hate to see billions of $$$$$ wasted chasing a dream technology that just can't provide the quantum gains necessary to justify the expense in time & money.
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Old 06-28-2012, 05:56 AM   #139
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I recently read an article that said in the future to meet the CAFE standards (which I think will be dropped under the new administration as congress wasn't involved this last time.) that manufacturers would be selling you two vehicles when you bought for example, a new truck capable of towing, you would get a small tin can smaller than a Smart Car to get your average up.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:33 PM   #140
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. . . the CAFE standards (which I think will be dropped under the new administration . . .
Methinks you Tree Killers are counting your chickens before they hatch.
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