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What is the GREENEST car out there?



  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    yes, I agree - I wasn't bashing VW's diesel, I was bashing VW, generally

    I am not an anti-diesel guy, provided the air emissions are acceptable. And I am not saying that VW's TDI emissions are NOT acceptable. I haven't analyzed it that much.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    the ashes to ashes study is the best effort thus far, that I know of

    I like the approach, though there are certainly valid criticisms of it, such as the one you mentioned.

    am not sure what the "best" way to do it is - mpg is clearly not the only relevant factor.

    we do need to keep in mind that air emissions may be a more critical factor for some (i.e. those that live in severely polluted air basins) than for others

    and you'll always have the debate from the guy who is anti-nuke that a car produced using nuclear energy (electricity from a nuke plant) is less "green" than one from a natural gas fired plant, for example

    I think using the 100k parameter is not a bad one. Am sure it could be improved, of course.

    as an aside, I do not "judge" anyone based on the car they drive. Even if you do judge people for anything, you have to keep in mind that the guy driving 90 miles/day in a Civic Hybrid is hurting the environment more than the women drving 5 miles/day in her Volvo XC90 getting 15 mpg and then hopping the local train.

    I get 22 mpg, but I also invested 20 grand in a solar array for my rooftop. Am I bad for the environment because I'm not getting 30 mpg? I'd feel a lot worse if I lived 45 miles from work getting 30 mpg than I do getting 22 mpg living 15 miles from work. My choice of where to live and work has enviro consequences. So it isn't JUST about your car's mpg.

    But we all know that.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    I assumed the SLK had nifty aluminum and other high-tech materials in it, to keep the weight down. Less so with the Crossfire.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "I assumed the SLK had nifty aluminum and other high-tech materials in it, to keep the weight down. Less so with the Crossfire."

    Could be--but i think the shell of the cars is steel in both cases, and it's pretty much just a reskin.

    Even so, three times?!?

    Agree with pretty much everything else. I don't drive to work at all, with gas usage being a big reason.
  • alp8alp8 Posts: 656
    nice work!!! (not driving to work)

    I bet your stress level is 50% of the average commuter, too

    yeah, 3X seems a bit much. It certainly makes you wonder about the analysis. I wonder if it's stupid stuff like the MB (DC) showrooms are all new and spiffy whereas the Chrysler showrooms are old
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    alp - Great post. This thread has been fascinating and good arguments have been made by all (except maybe that Toyota is somehow green). But THE key issue regarding preventing degradation of our air, water, health and climate is indeed miles driven.

    Current emissions conrol technology and advanced electric motors can reduce smog forming emissions, such as PM 10 (winter time smog), NOX and hydrocarbons (which combine to produce summer smog). There have been some advances in reducing these pollutants per mile but in contrast to gagrice's argument, very little has been done to reduce mobile source emissions when compared to nonmobile sources. That is, L.A. is cleaner due to crackdowns on factories, not cleaner cars. Cars pollute less today but more people are driving them more miles. (Ship pollution is indeed a huge problem but is still dwarfed by auto emissions.)

    Unfortunately climate change pollutants are produced even more lockstep with miles driven than smog. There is NO available affordable technology to reduce climate change pollutants per mile, except getting higher gas mileage. And of course, driving less.

    Walking, or taking a bus to work or car/van pooling will allow patriotic huge metal object loving americans to putter around the Church parking lot, the Wendy's and the Starbucks in their F-350s on weekends and be way greener than the Prius driver who commutes 70 miles roundtrip 200 days a year.

    Of course, many claim they don't have the option of such alternative transit but most really do. How many people really can't carpool? Even rural poor who have the least options can carpool.

    So the key is not subsidizing technology (even hybrid) even though there are worse things to spend taxes on. Instead the key is to stop subsidizing pollution by charging a use fee. You change the climate, you pay. You cause lung disease, you pay. You cause congestion and potholes, you pay. Again, the rural poor are screwed here but they could receive some kind of credit.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "That is, L.A. is cleaner due to crackdowns on factories, not cleaner cars."

    While i agree very very much with your post's sentiment, i wonder if you have a reference for this fact. It has been my understand that modern OBD cars are a minor source of smog-forming pollution nowadays. I could of course be wrong, and i would very much like to know...
  • edwardsfedwardsf Posts: 187
    I used to work for an air district in California and that is what our planners and scientists reported. My guess is that if you go to SCAQMD's website, there would be some info on this. However, it is not something they want to to admit as L.A. industry would cry foul and complain that they are carrying the burden of air quality regs. An L.A. Chamber of Commerce or even a city council person's site might have something. Indeed, why chamber of commerce types fight against gas fees - which would only hurt 3 Detroit based businesses and a thousand L.A. independent gas station owners - is beyond me.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    It's the old 80/20 rule, 80% of the pollution comes from 20% of the cars, most likely the older ones with fewer emissions controls.

    Some SULEVs and PZEVs are so clean they actually pollute less than the ambient air in a dirty metropolitan area. :surprise:

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Interesting that the natural gas Civic outscores the hybrid.

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "Even rural poor who have the least options can carpool. "

    Have you ever lived in a rural area? They work where they live (farming or ranching, in general). Why (and where) would they carpool? And when they do go to town, they need that big full sized pickup to haul back the supplies they need for the next couple of weeks - feed for the animals as well as people, plus the myriad other supplies needed for country life.

    When working on the ranch/farm, they use that same large pickup to perform their work (unless they use a tractor for some things).

    Besides, the population density is so low in rural areas that they have no pollution problems like we do in LA.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That Civic GX is the cleanest combustion engine in the vehicle world.

    It releases fewer hydrocarbon pollutants when driven from LA to Washington DC than is released by spilling a single teaspoon of gasoline on the ground.

    Read that again.

    'Tis true. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    The key is gasoline is highly polluting in and of itself. So anything that burns gasoline is going to have the potential to pollute. Natural gas is much cleaner to start with. The cleanest and greenest would still be an electric car powered by the sun or nuclear. I would include the wind generators. However the latest I read is they are chopping up migratory birds and may have the duck lovers cutting them down.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Very neat.

    Too bad my gas company is evil. I've had 4 incorrect bills in the last 9 months, still unresolved.

    I'd add a gas fireplace and expand gas usage if I felt like I could trust them at all. :sick:

This discussion has been closed.