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

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    The man himself did the spin Meister job on this one. Pretty far fetched story on the curved piece that could knock a hole through 1/4 inch plate. I don't think the steel plates on my landcruiser were that thick and I bounced over rocks and never tore a hole in them. But he is protecting his company. If the NHTSA was on the ball they would investigate something like that.

    I see ABC did their usual investigation and just repeated what Musk told them to say. It's his story and everyone is sticking to it. If they have recovered this curved piece of killer steel, it should be easy for the insurance company to determine if it was that or something else that caused the problem. I can't imagine the insurance company covering a $100k loss without getting another opinion on the cause.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,809
    edited October 2013
    Well, that may be better than their "old" usual investigation where they'd help the fire along with some extra gas (I know, that was NBC, but I wouldn't put it past the other channels). :shades:

    Been a few years since I've noticed an exploding laptop in the news. (theinquirer.net)

    This is an interesting blurb from MIT. Hard to believe that there's "one fire for every 1,738 cars on the road." Have to go check the expiration date on the little extinguisher in my storage box under the passenger seat.

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  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,809
    In your nice clean big honking F-150.

    "A half hour of yard work with a leaf blower is equivalent emissions-wise to driving the f-150 raptor full size pickup from northern Texas to Anchorage, Alaska or about 4,000 miles," said Kavanagh.

    Blower Pollution (WWLP)

    Just going to mulch my leaves (if they fall before the snow does) using my e-mower.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    We have an electric leaf blower. We blow off the patio occasionally. I hate all the dust they kick up. I guess that test pretty well shows where all the pollution in the USA comes from. Every yard service person I see has a couple hanging off their work rigs. And you can sometimes see them through the clouds of dust they are kicking up.

    I rake up my oak & Locust leaves and put them on the compost pile. The Euk leaves I haul to the dumpster. I Indiana the rake them into piles in the streets and the city picks them up. Never saw that before.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    knock a hole through 1/4 inch plate

    Who said they have 1/4" plate under the Tesla? This ain't a rally car...

    Keeping weight down is essential so there's no way they use that.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I compost, also.

    Lady next door uses 100 of those lawn and leaf bags since there's no curb side pickup. Yet taxes are ridiculously high here.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    Saw it in an article on the response from tesla that the object torn through the 1/4 plate used to protect the battery, so no Gary wasn't imagining it, is it true, who knows but it was apparently in the official response from tesla.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,028
    road debris cutting through 1/4 in. plate? Really? I rather doubt a small caliber bullet could do that.

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  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    I am not the one saying it, Elton Musk is ( or was). From Reuters:
    "(Reuters) - Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O), defended the safety performance of electric cars on Friday, three days after a battery fire in a Tesla Model S helped sparked a decline in the automaker's market value.

    "For consumers concerned about fire risk, there should be absolutely zero doubt that it is safer to power a car with a battery" than a conventional gas-powered vehicle, Musk said in a blog post on Tesla's website.

    Tesla shares fell more than 5 percent this week, the sharpest weekly decline since mid-August, after images and a video emerged Wednesday of a Model S on fire after an accident near Seattle Tuesday morning.

    The fire occurred after the driver struck a large metal object on the highway. The object punched a hole three inches in diameter through the quarter-inch armor plate protecting the battery pack with a peak force of about 25 tons, Musk said."

    Now is it true, I don't know, but neither Gary or I imagined it being said in the official response from Musk. Now is it misquoted who knows, I know I saw it in other reports besides the one I copied here, but as we know it seems reporters can be quite lazy nowadays and just copy and paste their articles, so the same mistake can be in several places.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    We here can only recite what we read, but just because Musk said something regarding the company in which he has 23% ownership doesn't make it so. I think the jury is still out regarding the sequence of events that caused that Tesla to catch on fire.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    Oh I agree, it is too soon to know what happened, I was just pointing out that it wasn't in Gary's imagination that 1/4 inch plate was mentioned in regards to the incident, I have no idea if it is really there, or what really happened except it appears metallic debris was hit and somehow started a fire ( which could also happen in an internal combustion car as well). No comment on the safety of the car, seems like it did its job, and so far this is an isolated incident, if it were to happen every time an accident occurred then there would be cause for concern, but certainly not now.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    We're on the same page.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,028
    If we read the report on the accident from the fire department, it's a bit more complicated than that. They had a lot of trouble putting out the fire, as they experienced what is called "thermal runaway" with lithium-ion batteries.

    The FD had to actually cut into the car while it was on fire, in order to suppress the burning batteries, using special chemicals. Water was of no use. Had an occupant been trapped in there, putting out the fire would have taken a long, long, time.

    There is in fact an investigation going on, to be completed in 2014, to determine the dangers of lithium-ion batteries as a potentially serious fire hazard due to overcharging, faulty manufacture or collision.

    Apparently the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in most hybrid electric cars (non plug-in) are not as susceptible to fire and explosion.

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  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    "Apparently the nickel-metal hydride batteries used in most hybrid electric cars (non plug-in) are not as susceptible to fire and explosion."

    That may be a major reason why Toyota stays with nickel based batteries (as far as I know) for the Prius. They also happen to be cheaper, but that's probably of lesser importance, considering the financial damage, and damage to the brand, that fires could cause.
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    They do use lithium ion batteries in the Prius line up elsewhere in the world, just not in North America.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,205
    Interesting! Do you know why there, but not here?
  • scwmcanscwmcan Niagara, CanadaPosts: 394
    Not sure, but I think cost and potential liability. They can charge more for the car elsewhere, and don't have a legal system that is as litigious in those places.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I was going to bring that up, too.

    We get NiMH, which are pretty harmless, you could bury them with soil to make a raised bed garden and grow fruit right on top of them.

    The Prius V in the US uses a bigger battery pack and loses the 3rd row option. In Europe it offers a 3rd row, allowed by the smaller Li-ion pack.

    Here we have more lawyers than sense, I imagine that's Toyota's thinking.

    If you think about it, though, a lead-acid battery is far more harmful than either. You have a li-ion battery in your phone, in your pocket.

    You shouldn't get near a lead-acid battery without gloves and eye protection.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,809
    "To demonstrate how far hydrogen cars have come since the early 2000s, Toyota gave test drives of a small, prototype sedan in Japan this past week. A similar vehicle with a different exterior will debut at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show. The car, which showed quick acceleration and sharp handling, will arrive in the U.S., Japan and Europe as early as next year as a 2015 model.

    Toyota’s 2015 model fuel cell car will have more than 500 kilometers (311 miles) of range per fueling, according to the company, a level matched only by Tesla’s $70,000 Model S among alternative-powered vehicles. Pricing hasn’t been announced, although U.S. Toyota executives have previously said it may cost about $50,000."

    Toyota shows hydrogen prototype in race toward fuel cells (Detroit News)

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,028
    Looks like that future scenario for around the year 2020--of a mixed-bag of alternative fuel vehicles including ICEs, diesels, hybrids, EVs and hydrogen cars--might be the real deal.

    I don't think gasoline cars are going away anytime soon, though, and I see a long hard road for EVs.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    edited October 2013
    I would put the Hydrogen cars in the same group as CNG & EV. Very limited market for at least another decade. Both hydrogen and CNG are fossil fueled. And most of the energy used in an EV is produced by fossil fuel. Which to me still means we should be using our fossil fuel in the most efficient manner that fits our transportation needs.

    When you factor in the concerns on gas fracking, IS Natural Gas used to produce CNG, electricity or Hydrogen better overall than refining oil into gas or diesel?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Hydrogen is hard to extract but it's abundant. It may carry the edge over the others because of the sustainability angle. Down the road, we could use solar power to extract it, even.

    That's looking (very) long term, though.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Hydrogen production is mostly from Natural Gas. Most is used in refining oil and fertilizer production. I don't think producing hydrogen from water electrolysis is very efficient use of electricity.

    My question would be how many miles can you drive a vehicle powered with hydrogen vs battery per KWH used. Of course we know that as expensive as Li-ion batteries are to produce, Hydrogen cells are far more expensive. Both used very expensive elements neither of which we produce in the USA.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    In 2013, yes. I'm talking long term, though. They'll figure out ways to squeeze hydrogen out of other sources sooner or later.

    Fuel tanks do have the advantage of taking whatever shape fits under the car, while hydrogen tanks need to take a certain form.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,809
    edited November 2013
    "Let's go to the scorecard: 3 million Priuses sold world-wide, with half of that in the U.S.

    You could have built a bridge to Tokyo with all the wood-head experts who predicted Prius battery failures would cost consumers thousands. Battery failure rates in Prius turned out to be practically nil.

    The Prius became politicized along the way, a dog-whistle phrase that meant liberal, lefty. But are we talking artsy-fartsy? Because there is no more rational car on Earth than the Prius. The Prius is an utter rebuke to emotionalisms such as performance and style. Doesn't that rather speak to an owner with practical cast of mind?

    ...Toyota long ago exhausted its manufacturers' allotment. That hasn't seemed to slow down sales.

    The enduring mystery of the Prius is how a car with quite modest driving satisfactions—in terms of acceleration, handling, cornering, ride compliance—can be such a winning automotive experience. These cars are, still, strangely fun to drive."

    Toyota's Prius: Performance Is All That Matters (Wall St. Journal)

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,028
    it's no mystery really. The Prius represents an excellent value for the money, in MPG, utility and reliability. There is nothing dollar for dollar that can match it much less beat it, in all 3.

    It's the same "mystery" as to why BMW is so successful. Nobody does it better.

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  • texasestexases Posts: 5,604
    Folks love to bash the Prius, and the owners in particular. Some oddballs, most just want to save gas.

    I get to make the most of my hybrid's performance every day. Nothing I could do with, say, a Mustang GT.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Chevy Volt sales down 32%, Ford C-Max down 21%.

    "We are seeing sluggish sales of some plug-in hybrids such as the Ford C-Max — down 21 percent — and Chevy Volt — down 32 percent. The most likely culprit responsible for the decline is gas prices and enticing traditional gas-powered vehicles that achieve 40 mpg plus. With fuel prices expected to fall further, the auto industry will be watching carefully to see if the pattern continues,” said Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs.

    http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20131101/AUTO01/311010108/1361/Volt-sales-dow- n-32--in-October
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,794
    "Fun" is subjective.

    My friend with a C won't be buying another C. It's fine in town, a pain on the highway. Oh, and the ICE has started intermittently crapping out. The price paid for mpgs I guess.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,604
    Buyers recognize that plug ins and pure EVs aren't anywhere near economic, unlike hybrids. But 'trust' the government to push them down our throats through rebates. That money would be much better spent getting many more hybrids on the road.
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