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

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    US Army's FED on Jay Leno's garage

    http://youtu.be/23x5ifyxxwI
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    One of the few vehicles I would venture into Los Angeles at night in. Be fun to go out crushin' Corollas in. :P
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Bet it could run on fry grease! Smells like french fries. :shades:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,417
    edited March 2013
    "Carmakers are going back to the drawing board in the hunt for fuel-saving technologies as hopes that electric vehicles will be the silver bullet for CO2 emissions look increasingly forlorn.

    There is a growing awareness that conventional hybrids and slow-selling battery cars simply won't be enough to meet rigid EU emissions limits."

    Carmakers think outside the box as electric dreams shatter (Reuters)

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Just what I have said since the industry settled on Lithium batteries. They have too many problems and too little gain over NiMH, which are too heavy to be practical. My guess is Nissan will end their Leaf program to coincide with the end of the Tax Credit welfare to the rich.

    If the automakers want to meet the goals, smaller diesel engines designed to run on any mixture of Biodiesel. Commercial truck stop near me has B99 and B20. That solves the CO2, CO and SoX emission levels for the future goals. Biodiesel the REAL sustainable alternative energy source, without all the environmental hazards from EV type vehicles.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Nissan may have shot themselves in the foot with a 38mpg Altima. That's going to grab more headlines than the Leaf ever will.

    CR got a real-world 31 mpg average, too.

    And it is a big, comfortable car, not an econobox.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,417
    There's a lot of life left in ICE.

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  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,150
    I heard Akerson in an interview on cNBC, IIRC, recently, and he mentioned that GM is working on natural gas power as the ultimate solution. I wasn't paying close attention to his talk because I was doing something else. With the supply of natural gas being large and being cheaper than before due to the business world drilling for supply instead of government, that may well be the future.

    Future or not, talk of natural gas engines has been around for decades. That is the more likely solution for us here in flyover country. Electric only vehicles might work in urban areas, but not in Celina, Ohio. The Volt is the ultimate solution, but the high cost of batteries makes it a pricey solution as was the Prius at first except for the tax rebate(s) available to push early buyers toward the Prius.

    Did anyone else hear the Akerson interview?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    My short use of the Altima in 2010 tells me it was a better car than the Accord I got stuck with. Unfortunately Budget sold the Altima in the short drive from the airport to the office. That is getting within challenging the hybrids in the class. I don't think the gas savings of a Camry Hybrid would justify the extra cost. Especially if you are mostly highway driving. Don't forget the Passat TDI that is doing well above EPA estimates on their site. Full sized sedans have good options.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    I think Natural Gas offers a good choice in buses, trucks and commuter vehicles. The Civic NG vehicle continues to be a good choice for business and commuters. Best vehicle to get in the HOV lane in CA. The tanks are big and take up much of the trunk. They have a life span that is about the same as the Prius battery. Very clean and much less complex than a hybrid. If you have access to CNG they would be a good commuter choice.
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,150
    >If you have access to CNG they would be a good commuter choice.

    I know that some fleets are using natural gas vehicles. I also see some truck stops are installing natural gas fueling locations. I picked up in one news article the stations have to be away from other fueling pumps. The one truck fueling station has the natural gas location 2-300 feet from their buildings and other pumps; the natural gas is located facing I-70, which is at the rear of the truckstop but is a great advertising location for their having CNG available.

    In the past, fuel cells were an area of research for autos for green solutions. I haven't seen much about that lately.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    The Honda Civic FCX was supposed to be a great car. Honda was going to lease 200 of them starting in 2008. A couple Hollywood wonks leased them with great fanfare. That is the last I have read about them. Much like battery technology. TOO EXPENSIVE with very expensive components.

    There were reports that previous generation fuel-cell cars from Honda cost more than $1 million to build in 2005. Some estimated that Honda had cut its production costs to between $120,000 and $140,000 per vehicle.


    According to wiki about 40 have been leased WW since 2008.

    I would say Fuel Cell vehicles are DOA. GM has closed several R&D locations.

    http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1082068_gm-moves-electric-fuel-cell-work-to-- michigan-from-ca-ny
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I'm more surprised that the Civic CNG never took off. With filling up at home you may never visit a gas station again, yet if you need to you can.

    Brazilian taxis are mostly CNG now. Much cheaper to run.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    We have a lot of CNG buses and taxis in San Diego. Most of the CNG is private. Not sure if any are open for public dispensing. The requirements for home CNG are limited to the line coming into your home. If you have NG. Also tanks are certified for a given amount of years. Once that is reached your vehicle is basically unusable.

    The dilemma has surfaced primarily in California, where early adoption of NGVs in the 1990s was strongest and a mild climate has prompted a growing number of school buses, municipal trucks, and some light-duty vehicles outlasting their CNG cylinder's 15-year lifespan.

    "The challenge before us right now is how can we help fleets that have well-maintained 15-year-old CNG vehicles keep them on the road," said Yborra."


    http://www.government-fleet.com/channel/green-fleet/article/story/2010/05/what-h- appens-when-your-cng-tanks-expire/page/1.aspx
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Buy a new Honda Civic GX and get $3000 in CNG. At today's price that will take you about 70,000 miles. Not bad if it fits your needs.

    http://automobiles.honda.com/civic-natural-gas/?kwid=90548998&adgrpid=2197501254- &ef_id=ZilPBFQWt0YAAEaX:20130309163452:s
  • imidazol97imidazol97 Crossroads of America: I70 & I75Posts: 18,150
    edited March 2013
    >Once that is reached your vehicle is basically unusable.

    Well that would really be fitting in with the title of this topic: "Will Green Cars Be Exciting To Drive." Having a tank leak or blow up would really be exciting.

    Might not help with the "Enjoyable" in the title. :sick:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Aside from the Tesla and a few other $100,000 plus EVs, exciting does not apply. Unless of course you look at some of the Green cars in the past couple years.

    Audi A3 TDI is 2010 Green Car of the Year. Clean Diesel Reigns!

    Diesel is the only Green alternative that can give both excitement and ECO friendliness at a reasonable cost. And many of them are MADE IN THE USA.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,417
    2013 Tesla Model S: New Touchscreen Bug Surfaces

    I haven't checked Elon's blog to see if he's going to sue us or track the driver down to his house and repave his driveway or moan that the blog post is going to cost Tesla millions in stock loses. :D

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited March 2013
    This gas station a mile away has CNG. All the ones that fill propane tanks, basically. And it was $22 for a tank, not bad.

    I would have an issue at my beach property. No underground lines there, so I would have to find a refill station there.

    So you still have range anxiety, but it works well for fleets that take the same routes every day.

    Swapping a cylinder should not be too hard, and the metal can be recycled.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It is perfectly competent, but exciting? That may be overstating it a bit.

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2010-audi-a3-tdi-instrumented-test

    0-60 in 8.5 seconds lags well behind my minivan. $37 grand plus, too. The Civic CNG with Navi is $10k less, 13k if you add the $3000 credit for fuel.

    32 mpg observed is good in the hands of lead foots, I guess.

    Civic was even slower:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-honda-civic-natural-gas-test-review

    2013 model got much needed upgrades.

    The new A3 should be lighter and hopefully gets a boost in power as well.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    CNG and Propane are not related. Other than they can both be used as fuel. The pressure involved with CNG is much higher and more hazardous. That is why tank certification is required by law every 3 years.

    We used to have 2 CNG places in my area. They both quit selling. Only private sources now. We have propane sales at almost all gas stations around here. Lots of people set up PU trucks to use Propane and regular gas. Not at all like a CNG or LNG conversion.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,417
    Propane around here is expensive - more so that natural gas for sure.

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I would want a Phil station or whatever they call those.

    Would be nice to never visit a gas station with that vehicle...ever.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Last I read the company that makes PHIL is in bankruptcy. I am not sure I would want one in my garage. It does take several hours with one to fill the Civic tank. I think the EV charger is a safer option.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yeah, lots of pressure, but I'm sure there are safety measures built-in.

    There are 2 EV stations in my garage, and I also saw one at the Marriott last night where we had dinner. They are becoming common, at least here in the DC area.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 40,417
    I'm waiting for Elon to fire himself.

    Tesla Model X Launch Delayed Until Late 2014

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  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    He has way too much pride to wait for himself to fire himself, he would tell himself he quit well before that could ever happen. :D
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,964
    Anyone want to bet on how much he skimmed off on the deal? Thanks to Obama's GREEN AGENDA. That is the gubmint way, take the money and run.
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