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Will Green Cars Be Exciting To Drive And Enjoyable To Own?

hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
edited January 9 in General
I don't know about you, but I'm apprehensive about the cars that Washington will require automakers to produce in the future. I'm concerned that mileage and emissions regulations may result in cars that are expensive to buy and, despite having great fuel economy, are expensive to own. For the auto industry, this could mean producing cars without the "gotta have it" factor that's critical for strong demand.

Hopefully, my concerns are misplaced, and the showrooms will be filled with very appealing cars cars, with outstanding fuel economy, that people are eager to buy.

Do you share my concerns, or do you have a "don't worry, be happy, everything will be all right" view of the automotive future?
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Comments

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Exciting to Drive - probably not so much.

    Enjoyable to Own - If you enjoy low fuel costs and the feeling that you are reducing your own carbon footprint, then yes.

    The era of moving away from a fleet of primarily fossil-fuel burning autos was inevitable. It has begun.

    Sooner the better if'n ya axe me.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,722
    In the upcoming brave new world of centralized power and diminishing expectations, cars won't be exciting. Not that they can't be - socalled "green" technology can be used for some performance. But the sheeple will be told to desire transportation pods and little else, and a lot of people are secretly itching to do whatever they are told.

    I think I'm going to convert my fintail to coal power to even things out a little :shades:
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,348
    Transportation pods? You been talking to lemko?
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    We have been, and are being, moved towards point A to point B transportation. Cars like the Prius are touted as the future and the government and media supports that contention. You simply can't get any more vanilla than a Prius, Civic Hybrid, Camry Hybrid. The very image looks vanilla if you just close your eyes. But that being said, it looks like that is where we are going and I don't think it is very high on societies worry list. People are more concerned with where they are or where they want to be than how they get there. It isn't going to get any better.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,722
    We do think alike in some ways....

    The future will likely bring us vehicles for the masses like Nanos, Wildfires, G-Wiz, etc, all with electric or other alternative power, all limited to an emasculated nanny-imposed speed, all tracked 24/7 by a massive group of public sector observers to make sure nobody is doing anything wrong. A Prius will seem like an S-class in comparison, and a Camry Hybrid will be like a Rolls. Globalization, oh yeah!
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    "You simply can't get any more vanilla than a Prius, Civic Hybrid, Camry Hybrid. The very image looks vanilla if you just close your eyes. But that being said, it looks like that is where we are going and I don't think it is very high on societies worry list."

    Maybe, but shouldn't the auto industry worry about this? People don't trade their refrigerators or furnaces for new ones until they break, but most people trade their cars more frequently than the life expectancy of the vehicles. This despite the fact that cars are less of a status symbol for most people than in the '50s and '60s. If people come to regard cars purely as transportation appliances, sales will slump even more than recently, and remain on a permanently lower plateau.

    Auto enthusiasts also have reason to be concerned with cars becoming appliance-like.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    The Japanese have designed a system that allows for bland people movers with restrictions that make the consumer replace their vehicle far more often than we do already. In fact sometimes the consumer drives their old car to the recycling lot and parks it for them. Does Toyota or Honda or Suzuki care? Nope. Does it effect Japanese car sales? Nope.

    Off topic but look at the American view of the future depicted in movies. There is no science to this but we see a future where everything is automated and the same or every thing is broken but the same.

    We in this forum are a percentage of a percentage point when it comes to caring about what we drive and why. In the 70s to early 80s one of the most popular vehicles on the road was the Mini-van. In the mid 80s to the late 90s the SUV ruled the road. There was a time when 50 percent of all new vehicles sold in the US were either SUVs or Pickup trucks. The ford F-series was the best selling vehicle in the world and it was just about exclusively sold in the US. They sold more F- series trucks than Toyota and Honda combined sold Camrys and Accords. None of them were drivers cars and yet that is what people bought. People movers sell because people are less concerned with how they get somewhere than they are about getting there. Otherwise how would anyone explain a ugly car like the Prius even selling in the US?

    Knowing this is what the public thinks about how they get places why should the auto manufacturers worry? To some it is depressing but it is more than likely a view of the future. Think with your head and not your heart and you will see the answer to the question in this forum. will enthusiasts be dissapointed? Sure but the public will never notice and the manufacturers are already impacted by the economy far more than all the enthusiasts in world could ever effect them. For a several billion dollar bailout they will make just what the government wants them to. Our new vehicles will be designed by committee and we will not be asked for our opinion.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I think I'm going to convert my fintail to coal power to even things out a little

    I'm thinking a coal fired steam car would be good to drive through the eco terrorist neighborhoods. Or maybe an old diesel Frito Lay box van painted with all kinds of epitaphs denouncing the brave new World CA is trying to force on the citizens.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    To the extent that your perception of the future is correct, car sales will remain at reduced levels, because many people who are traded their cars frequently - to impress neighbors and friends, to live large, or to feel good - will tend to keep them until they wear out. Sure, sales will improve when credit becomes more available, but the "gotta have it" factor is what really hypes demand.
  • I might be willing to at least test drive this one.

    image

    80 mph top speed, electronically-limited. 153 mile range and only 5 hours to charge back up. It will no doubt have the "quick re-chargers" popular with all-electric manufacturer's, that will enable 80% re-charges in only a half-hour(one of these will be a must for me, I would pay for one as an option if that's what it takes).

    The Pininfarina-Bollore LeBlue car, used as a test mule for the new B0 pictured here, is fitted out with the same lithium-polymer, steel-encased, battery system. It has gone 120,000 kilometers, needing no maintenance in that time frame, nor any repairs of any kind. Bollore of France has worked on that battery system for 15 years and has confidece that it's rock solid in delivering reliable performance.

    I'm more than mildy interested in this 4-seater. It has solar panels on the front grille and roof to soak up our Arizona sun and deliver the energy down to the powerpack to add more propulsion power.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    Interesting, but how much will it cost to buy and maintain, and how will it drive, are questions I'd like answered before I get too excited. Also, the 80 mph top speed wouldn't be a deal breaker for an urban runabout, IF the purpose of this limit is to extend the car's range per battery charge. If the purpose of the speed limitation is a "big brother" feature, however, it would be a major deterrent for me.
  • on top speed. I know the test mules similar powerpack is holding up well, no fires, loose wires, etc.

    For a price comparo, I had to really dig in to the internet system. I found an article on the LeBlue cars, the predessesor to the B-Zero. It was going to sell for $23,000USD. Obama is talking of a $7,500 rebate to Americans buying "green" cars.

    I would expect pricing to be around $24,000, give or take a peso or dollar or euro here or there. It's the $7,500 rebate that makes it all the more attractive to me. I read some reviews on the LeBlue's driveabilty.

    Quiet comes to mind the most, but, it is a small 4-seater and I would not expect much cushiness in it's ride. A tight package, it would handle something like a Smartcar, I would think. The lack of maintenance required for the LeBlue test mule is appealing and refreshing.

    I have given it much time and consideration. I must say, the small car offers so much that my critical eye is being held open by this car's possibilties much more so than it's potential liabilities.

    Pininfarina-Bollore is sending some B-Zero's over to three U.S. markets(one of them being Los Angeles)in 2009 and then the first main shipment is coming here in September of 2010. So this is not a concept, it's all for production, and the U.S. is an important part of the market strategy for them. I'm all eyes and ears, dudes.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I could get interested in a B-zero with $7500 tax credit. As long as it is not blocked with AMT or some other such glitch in the tax code. For me it would strictly be for running to the store, bank and errands. CA should wave the sales tax and make license fees small. Not likely they will do more than lip service. I don't think Ahnold is going to like people getting a free ride on the roads. Would be impossible to really tax unless they go to the tax by mile plan. I would rather have a small box van similar to the old style xB with electric drive.
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    Yeah, and my 1988 Buick Park Avenue would seem like a Ferrari compared to those dull transportation capsules. I will be holding onto my old cars indefinately.

    Of course, don't expect the globalist elite to be driving Nanos and Smarts, etc. They'll still be thundering across their privately-owned interstates and turnpikes in Hummers and Maybachs while flattening us peons in our eco-friendly loser cruisers. :mad:
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    I wouldn't go that far, but I will love to see the look on the eco-weenies faces when I rumble through their hermetically-sealed neighborhood in a massive 1958 Buick Limited.
  • umm...is it just me or does your above post not contradict totally the one by you just above it? :confuse:

    I am tired of being held hostage by people that don't like us and would rather screw us over by artificially inflating ghastly prices just because they can. I want off the ICE gravy-train drivetrain concept. It's just an idea and not a very viable one at that.

    I'm talking down the road apiece. Way down dat road.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,722
    I just want to let off smoke like an old locomotive. Maybe give a few of the brave new worlders a massive heart attack from the mere sight of it.

    Even now it's not exactly a low emission vehicle...and it predates any idea of smog pumps or emissions controls so it's perfectly legal...I wonder how many Prius I cancel out each time I start it up :shades:
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,722
    They won't flatten us, they will have their own lanes, and when a globalized serf peon strays into a preferred citizen lane in his 40mph pod, a camera snaps a photo and then you go to jail. The Madoff Expressway.
  • fintail, you NW-stern-ers just amaze me.

    I should've known you would side with Mad-off and feel fine about severely affecting other people's things. New ideas bounce off you like wild, errant Kobe Bryant layins at crunch time.

    If an old person's foreign car with glazed-over, discolored, water-logged headlamp clusters is what turns you on, then you just have at them with much fervor. :shades:

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    I think most of the negatives you see with regard to government mandating what we drive. Is just that, Government control. There is going to be rebellion against the elitist hypocrites that control this nation. The do as I sayers, like Teddy and Bobby Jr. Yes we want alternatives, just not in my view. The current Congress is replete with just that kind of elitism that wants to put you and I in a Yugo and then jump into their stretch limo and cruise down the interstate sipping a martini. I have always wanted to save on fossil fuel. My 52 Studebaker V8 got consistent 22 MPG back in 1962. That company just like any other back then that was innovative, was crushed by the General. I would have bought a small PU if any offered in this country would get 35-40 MPG like the rest of the world has. This latest bunch of crap from CARB and Ahnold is just so much talk and power playing.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    More on the 1952 Studebaker gas mileage, which was really good:

    Gas mileage, as might be expected, was above average. In fact, in the 1951 Mobilgas Economy Run from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon, a Studebaker Champion, Commander V-8, and Land Cruiser V-8 -- all with overdrive -- finished first, second, and third in actual gas mileage to lead a field of 26 cars entered in "standard classifications."

    In 1952, the Economy Run traveled from Los Angeles to Sun Valley, Idaho. A Champion beat out all regular-sized cars, averaging 27.82 mpg, while a Commander V-8 came in second with 25.60 mpg.


    So if you only got 22 MPG, you musta been a leadfoot.

    But why are you bringing up the mileage you got in a car a generation ago, Gary? Whom or what exactly are you complaining about?

    Guvmint up to today has never mandated what we drive. Ever. No one in guvmint authoriTIE has ever said to anyone in the country, "YOU MUST BUY AND DRIVE THIS CAR."

    They have said, "The exhaust from this vehicle is not clean enough to meet our clean air standards."

    That's not mandating what you CAN drive. It's eliminating polluters from the road.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    The Japanese have designed a system that allows for bland people movers with restrictions that make the consumer replace their vehicle far more often than we do already. In fact sometimes the consumer drives their old car to the recycling lot and parks it for them. Does Toyota or Honda or Suzuki care? Nope. Does it effect Japanese car sales? Nope.

    Actually the emerging issue in the Japanese market the last 12-18 months is exactly this: Japanese car sales are in significant and continual decline, causing a great deal of concern at the tops of the Honda, Toyota, and other Japanese car companies.

    Why the decline? They feel it is because the younger generation just now heading into their 20s and early 30s is less excited about and less interested in cars that have become blander and blander (even among the wild entries in the Japanese home market). This combined with the increased awareness of how hard on the environment cars are has led to a state where younger folks often won't go to the trouble and expense of buying one. Certainly much of the Japanese population lives in large metro areas with excellent transit systems making the purchase of a car much less pressing for a much higher percentage of their population, but still the same thing could begin to happen here.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    In places with good transit systems, you can get away without a car altogether. There are a lot of people in NYC who've never owned cars because they never needed them. However, in places like Philly with mediocre transit systems, a car is necessary. My second job requires reliable transportation - that does NOT mean SEPTA!
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    In fact, in the 1951 Mobilgas Economy Run from Los Angeles to Grand Canyon, a Studebaker Champion, Commander V-8, and Land Cruiser V-8 -- all with overdrive -- finished first, second, and third in actual gas mileage to lead a field of 26 cars entered in "standard classifications."

    LOL! Unlike the current Land Cruiser V-8, which wouldn't have a hope in heck of winning a competition of fuel economy, even among the worst guzzlers available new! :-P

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,168
    Well, the Landcruiser might win if the competitors were an M-1 tank and a Bradley armored vehicle.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    OK, among vehicles certified for passenger use on the street. ;-)

    In general, cars are already headed towards being merely A-to-B transports, with or without the green movement: witness the DOT's excitement over its plan to eventually robotize freeway traffic so that it can travel much closer to together at high speeds, reducing congestion. At that point, the "driver" won't be driving at all any more! Maybe we can start to call them "participants" instead. You will need a participant's license to get behind the wheel.

    Even the "exciting" cars of today leave the driver so removed from the drive that you wonder how they can be called "enthusiast cars". The ever-present march of increasing technology and computerization under the hood and inside the cabin ensures that "driving" as we know it will be all but dead and buried within the next 40 years. We don't need the greenies help to do that, and I say that as a "greenie" myself.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    So if you only got 22 MPG, you musta been a leadfoot.

    I was 19 and traveling 20 miles each way to work on the freeway. Most of the time speeding. They did not have points back then or I would have been in trouble. I got a 1955 Commander after that and it was not as good a mileage as the 1952 4 door Champion. My boss had a 1951 Studebaker Land Cruiser. He was still driving that car when I quit and took the job in Alaska in 1970.

    My point is good mileage has been around a long time. By contrast my 1947 Pontiac was lucky to get 9 MPG. So the Studebaker was a real money saver for me.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    "YOU MUST BUY AND DRIVE THIS CAR."

    What happens when they eliminate every car you would like to own using goofy science to pass laws? By saying what you cannot drive is narrowing the field as to what you can drive. The current trend with CARB is to narrow down our choices to a few they feel are adequate. Except for the very wealthy. If you can afford a Bentley it is OK to guzzle gas and spew lots of pollution. If you want a Toyota PU with a 4 cylinder diesel you have to install it yourself.

    I see this crazy move by CA as opening up the door for every kind of aftermarket you can imagine. Only a few eco nerds will bow down to the Prius or Insight push. CA should be able to put the final nail in the Domestic automaker's coffin with their lawsuits and mandates.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "What happens when they eliminate every car you would like to own using goofy science to pass laws?"

    Then you ADAPT and become a less-picky shopper.

    Hey, the era of wasteful fossil fuel vehicles will eventually end. People need to get their heads wrapped around it sooner than later.

    When green becomes the norm, then there will be only a very small portion of the populace who cannot find what they want in a car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    Hey, the era of wasteful fossil fuel vehicles will eventually end.

    Fine with me. Just give my a big roomy SUV that gets 40 MPG and I am a happy camper.

    Though maybe CA has a new way to eliminate cars. This is the kind of flawed science CA uses to force people to do as they see fit.

    Mandate could force gas stations out of business

    ARCADIA - Dozens, and potentially hundreds, of gas stations around California are choosing to shut down rather than comply with a state mandate that would require owners to purchase new equipment to reduce vapor emissions at the pump.

    The requirement, known as Phase II in the state's Enhanced Vapor Recovery Program, is set to go into effect in April. It requires gas station owners to individually purchase tens of thousands of dollars of equipment designed to prevent harmful vapors from escaping into the air when gasoline is pumped.

    Among them is George Fasching, who after 31 years of selling gasoline at Fasching's Car Wash in Arcadia, stopped in December.

    "I came to the decision that I was too small a volume operator to continue on with the expenses imposed by the bureaucracy of the state," Fasching said.

    April's requirements would have cost him $35,000, he said. Fasching used to sell the gasoline as a convenience for his car wash customers, and blames the new regulations for forcing him to stop.

    "It will have some effect on my business, but at least I have the relief that I don't have to deal with these people anymore," he said.

    As of the end of December 2008, the South Coast Air Quality Management District had heard back from 3,109 of its 4,500 sites about EVR Phase II.

    Seventy-six - or 2.4 percent - indicated they will be shutting down on April 1, 2009 rather than upgrade their sites, said Dimitri Stanich, public information officer for the California Air Resources Board.

    Some 1,400 of the SCAQMD's sites have not yet responded. About 12,000 dispensing facilities will be affected statewide.

    April's regulations promise to cut what are known as reactive organic gas emissions by 7 tons per day statewide, but opponents point to the fact that California produces 2,322 tons of such gases per day.


    http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_11563313
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