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



  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    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: 28,678
    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.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,914
    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)
  • 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.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,423
    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: 28,678
    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 senior analyst Michelle Krebs. n-32--in-October
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    "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: 5,423
    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.
  • Stever@EdmundsStever@Edmunds YooperlandPosts: 38,914
    edited November 2013
    Last trip to LA I rode in a C or two. The taxi drivers liked them fine but the consensus was that they weren't good highway runners. The wind would blow them around too much. Made good cabs though.

    My target is the 2015 revised flavor, assuming Fukushima Daiichi doesn't shut down the whole country before then.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    Fine for speeds under 45, probably. And you'll get amazing mileage in the city, but at the trade of a weird layout, materials of sketchy quality, and a numb driving experience. Fine for 90% of the population, of course.

    Revised flavor - wintergreen or imitation vanilla? ;)
  • "Fun" is subjective but primal fear when you hit a curve too fast on poofy tires and mattress-like suspension is generally a universal emotion. :)

    I may not know what a "fun car is, but I do know what an "un-fun" one is.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    Third Tesla Model S Fire In Past 5 Weeks Breaks Out After Accident (Updated – Collision With Tow Hitch)

    Having recently gone through two “fire incidents” after an accident in the past 5 weeks, a third fire Model S has caught fire under potentially a similar condition.

    And while the first two fires happened after the Tesla plug-in sedan had taken some serious damage, this Model S looks to have suffered less damage before the occurrence – although we would stress patience in jumping to any conclusions before an official investigation report has been released as this is BREAKING NEWS - that we will update as new information becomes available.

    UPDATE (Nov 7th 10:39 EST): The Tesla Model S in question reportedly struck a tow hitch on the road, and ”hit the undercarriage of the vehicle causing an electrical fire.” ccident/
  • My two cents? There is a design defect here. 3 fires with only 19,000 cars on the road is a lot. Might be time for a recall and more armor. Must be flimsy underneath---do you think a regular car could have its floorpan penetrated by running over a tow hitch?

    The only time I ever saw a modern car gets its floor punched, was by a driveshaft breaking--that's not just impact, that's horsepower driving it into the floor.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 32,887
    Don't tell that to the fanboys - they'll counter with someone's 2001 A8 catching fire last year.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,630
    edited November 2013
    Yeah, okay, but one has to compare the # of fires with the # of that model on the road.

    I'm also sure that insurance companies are going to take note of all this. If your Tesla ends up costing you 2X as much for insurance as a comparable Lexus, don't you think that pretty much negates the rationale for buying the Tesla?

    I know one might counter with "well, that doesn't stop Ferrari or Porsche owners"--but they are a different breed of buyer entirely. They are in for the total visceral experience---not for listening to the car go EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE all day long.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    I thought the Tesla would be whisper quiet out on the highway at 75 MPH. Less then 62 db at speed. Where you can hear the quiet passages in the 1812 Overture. Has anyone here ridden in one yet?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,630
    edited November 2013
    Nope but I've listened to them. They are pretty quiet (the newer ones). I had heard that the earlier S was a bit noisy. I'd love to drive one!

    I heard that Jay Leno bought a CD of engine sounds to play whenever he drives his Tesla.
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