Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Will ethanol E85 catch on in the US? Will we Live Green and Go Yellow?

14647495152104

Comments

  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Toyota claimed they would sell 250k Prius in 2006.

    I wish that you'd reference your sources.

    Throughout much of 2005, the Prius was a car on waiting lists, which means that inventories would have been perhaps just a few days. Your own source indicated that Prius inventories are currently at 8 days.

    All of that means that Toyota would not have even had the capacity to deliver 250,000 to the US market during 2005. They would not have planned such a thing if they didn't have the factory capacity to build it.

    Unlike some of the Detroit automakers, TMC does an outstanding job of inventory management, so you can be assured that they would not have projected 250,000 units when they couldn't build anywhere near that amount.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    (didn't you firesale your 2005 VW diesel)?

    It was a hot seller for sure. Paid $26k and sold it 13 months later for $29k. I happen to buy just when the price of diesel went past gas prices. Being the knee jerk society that we are, people quit buying diesel cars in parts of the USA. Buy low and sell high. That has been my motto.

    the prices you are quoting for E85 are just false...I don't know what there is more to say about that. Please use facts

    I did not quote them. They are posted on a very PRO E85 website. Scan through this list. I am sure you will find something you like. None are priced to actually compete with unleaded regular, even with a 60 cent advantage it is still a loser fuel. E85 prices
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    I wish that you'd reference your sources.

    I did not say 2005. I was corrected. It was 250k Toyota hybrids for 2006. Not 250k Prius for 2006. So we have to see if they make their prediction. Toyota is currently holding back production on the Prius to use those parts for the very popular Camry Hybrid. Are you happy now?

    No one seems to know if Toyota will offer an E85 option on any of their hybrids. I thought you may know as you seem to be very pro TMC.
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    No one seems to know if Toyota will offer an E85 option on any of their hybrids. I thought you may know as you seem to be very pro TMC.

    I'm not "pro Toyota", but I recognize that it is an extremely well managed company that serves its markets very well. That being said, most of their products generally leave me flat, and I don't own one.

    As for E85, as I've noted, Toyota is smart to promote hybrids, and to not tout E85. Why would it do this today, when doing so would give credibility to GM, and when it isn't now selling these cars itself?

    The last thing TMC wants to do is to hand a competitive benefit to General Motors, which has recently gone on the offensive to tout E85 in an effort to make itself appear innovative and green. If GM wants to build a market for itself, Toyota is not going to bankroll it.

    And don't kid yourself, TMC is developing FFV vehicles. As noted by this article in Edmunds, Toyota will have FFV cars in Brazil next year and in the US in 2008. They'll market those cars here when they have them here, not two years in advance when Ford and GM would be the ones to benefit.
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    There will be diesels sold in America in 2007 -- DCX will be selling a diesel Jeep Grand Cherokee and Mercedes will continue to offer the diesel E Class sedan, at least.

    And actually, there is certainty that VW is extending the Jetta model run to the end of this year to push the TDI supply of 2006 models into next spring. Beyond that, there is speculation that the 2008 models might show up earlier than expected, so the unavailabilty gap could potentially be much smaller than we are currently anticipating. VWoA is going to take a major hit without the diesels, and with Wolfgang Bernard running VWAG, one would assume that he understands and places importance on the American market.

    This whole "Americans don't like diesels" argument is silly. When gas was less than $2 per gallon, nobody in this country thought twice about miles per gallon. Since $3 per is turning out to be more permanent seeming now, the sales of midsize SUV's have fallen off a very large cliff that threatens both Ford and GM. As a result, saying that higher gas prices are not going to modify behavior seems very specious to me. And finally, from what they have released, Honda seems very much on board (new engine plant, new V6 diesel engine for the Odyssey, Ridgeline, and Pilot, and US emissions certification for the I4 currently sold in Europe). Honda is as mainstream America as they get...and I'd expect sales to follow accordingly.

    A British car site has the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD getting 51% better combined mileage than the JGC V8...that's pretty compelling stuff, if you ask me. I know I'd bet that Americans aren't nearly as stupid and inclined to prejudge as other posters here do...

    Of course, if EPA certification turns out to be hard or if gas goes back down to under $2 per gallon, this situation changes...
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    A British car site has the Jeep Grand Cherokee CRD getting 51% better combined mileage than the JGC V8...that's pretty compelling stuff, if you ask me.

    It obviously hasn't been compelling to 97% of the American driving public. Diesels have always had these advantages, but it hasn't helped sales.

    You can call it "silly", but none of you have shared with us your great plan for getting Americans to change their habits. Had we had the internet during the seventies, I'm sure that we would have identical arguments on behalf of diesel, but those proved to be wrong, too.

    If the automakers agreed with you, they'd be doing a full push to put millions of diesels onto sales lots. At this point, they are treading forward very slowly, which tells you that they have a wait-and-see attitude about this mature technology with an image problem.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Posts: 263
    At this point, they are treading forward very slowly, which tells you that they have a wait-and-see attitude

    They've been taking a wait-and-see attitude for years now. Perhaps that's why both Ford and GM and so close to the precipice now. They will wait-and-see themselves straight into the abyss. Sometimes "wait-and-see" is just a euphemism for "ineptitude".
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > none of you have shared with us your great plan for getting Americans to change their habits

    That is the grim reality diesel supporters are very much in denial about. Even the domestic automakers aren't that stubborn. They recognize that lack of willingness to change... which is a strong reason for pushing ethanol.

    The switch to diesel won't gain the typical American driver all that much since the ones with automatic transmissions (which this population undeniably prefers) don't offer than big of a MPG gain, especially when dealing with daily stop & slow commute traffic. In fact, the benefit is pitiful compared to what a Prius using E10 (10% ethanol) delivers already. And the next generation is promising to deliver even higher efficiency.

    I've pushed them on many occasions, asking what the heck they intend to do to draw new interest for diesel. The response was the tranquil sound of crickets in a lonely field on a summer evening. In other words, nothing! They have no plan.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    asking what the heck they intend to do to draw new interest for diesel.

    You act like we have any say in what gets past the EPA. It takes on average a couple years to get any new design past the EPA and NHTSA. As was pointed out in an earlier post, mileage was of little concern when gas was $2 per gallon. Same goes for the Hybrids. People are getting used to $3 gas. I don't think you will see much of an upward trend in hybrids. The Camry hybrid is getting all the glory for right now. The Prius is a slow seller this year compared to last year. The only Toyota car selling better this year than last is the Corolla. That indicates some concern about fuel economy. IN fact all the top 5 selling cars are doing better this year than last. All except the Camry. The Prius is not in the top 25 for May. The VW Jetta is out selling Prius. Mostly due to the Very Popular Jetta Diesel.

    As far as FFVs I doubt anyone would pay a nickel more to get a FFV over a conventional. That is all politics as usual.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    Huh?

    What part of "your plan" don't you understand?

    Or is just making excuses it?

    JOHN
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    That is the grim reality diesel supporters are very much in denial about. Even the domestic automakers aren't that stubborn.

    Exactly. Diesel would not have saved GM and Ford from their current problems. After all, the successful automakers such as Toyota and Honda aren't selling them here, either, and those that do sell them sell very few.

    If the automakers wanted to sell diesels in the US, they would. These very same companies are selling diesels in other markets, so there is a reason why they don't bring them to the US...and no, it isn't because of CARB.

    They recognize that lack of willingness to change... which is a strong reason for pushing ethanol.

    That's where we differ. I don't see E85 making it either, unless there are subsidies, fuel tax adjustments and/or reductions in the cost of production that can make it cost effective.

    If the government mandated that all gas cars ran on E85, and then the price of the fuel was advantageous by whatever means, then consumers would use it. I doubt that would ever happen, but at least consumers could continue to buy cars that use gas, a fuel they obviously understand.

    I've pushed them on many occasions, asking what the heck they intend to do to draw new interest for diesel. The response was the tranquil sound of crickets in a lonely field on a summer evening. In other words, nothing! They have no plan.

    I think that it's silly to get wrapped up and absolutely devoted to a technology for its own sake. We need practical solutions, and practicality includes that people use it.

    Perhaps the changes need to be multi-pronged and incremental. If some combined use of ethanol in some cars, some degree of use of biodiesel in heavy trucks, some hybrids, and some drivers switching to more efficient cars led to an overall reduction in demand of perhaps 10-20%, that would actually have a significant impact. But again, I don't see the free market alone accomplishing this, I believe it will require additional incentives and mandates to make such a thing workable.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    and no, it isn't because of CARB.

    I beg to differ. You cannot buy a new diesel car in CA or any of the wannabe states. The same cars pass all the EPA emissions even with crappy diesel, but CARB started phasing diesel cars out in 2000. They were completely banned 1/1/2004. The only way you can get a diesel car in CA is to buy one with 7500 miles on it. So if that is not CARB I would like to know who you think is blocking the sale of diesel cars in CA. It sure is not the dealers. They would love to be able to sell to the largest car market on the planet. It was probably well placed campaign contributions by the likes of Toyota. Made it easier to unload the Prius on folks that would like to get more miles per gallon of fuel. I doubt the Prius and subsequent hybrids would have sold half as many vehicles if they had a diesel option to compete against.

    Hybrids don't sell well at all in the EU where you can get a decent diesel car.

    Maybe you have some documentation that says that CARB will allow new diesel cars to be sold after 2004 in CA. You seem to know so much about diesel sales. Your argument makes about as much sense as saying a kid does not like ice cream when none is available.

    My documentation shows you have no clue about the popularity of the diesel cars, if offered.

    US Sales of VW Diesel Cars Climbed Sharply in April
    8 May 2006
    Bloomberg. Sales of Volkswagen cars with diesel engines reached a record 22% of VW’s total sales last month. VW posted sales of 20,528 units of all vehicles in the US in April, an 11.2% increase from April 2005.

    In April, the diesel versions accounted for 38% of 9,930 total Jetta purchases; 40% of 3,580 total New Beetle purchases


    http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/05/us_sales_of_vw_.html
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    In April, the diesel versions accounted for 38% of 9,930 total Jetta purchases; 40% of 3,580 total New Beetle purchases

    Did you bother crunching the numbers on this one? That works out to be about 5,200 diesels. (And the other story there is that the Beetle is no longer selling very well, in any form.)

    That is not a lot of diesel cars. Based upon those numbers, Toyota is selling more hybrids than VW is selling diesels. It's odd that you see the higher Toyota sales as some indication of failure, while you hail the lower VW sales figures as some sort of Second Coming.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > That's where we differ. I don't see E85 making it either

    You missed the "they" reference. I have never endorsed an ethanol-alone solution, nor sighted E85 as an appropriate today choice.

    E20 is what makes the most sense.

    JOHN
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    All VW TDI's present and future are mated to a DSG automatic, which uses two electronically controlled clutches and returns better efficiency than a manual. Getting a DSG Jetta TDI right now is very, very difficult...

    Imagine that! Technological advances increasing the potential acceptance of a product! I don't think certain forum members think that is ever possible.... :)
  • socala4socala4 Posts: 2,427
    Technological advances increasing the potential acceptance of a product! I don't think certain forum members think that is ever possible....

    So, let's say that the use of diesel cars in the US triples from its current level. That would mean that 91% of cars would be running on something other than diesel.

    Is this 9% market share for diesel the revolution that you are talking about? Or do you know something that the industry experts don't which is going to achieve this massive breakthrough that you believe is going to happen?

    I don't see anyone but for a few diesel diehards who are making these lofty predictions. Obviously, the automakers don't see it, either.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Obviously, the automakers don't see it, either.

    I think they do. Honda for example is working very hard to bring diesel to the USA. It is the only option that has gotten them accepted in the EU. They are not so blind, that they cannot see that 38% of the Jetta sales are diesel. VW USA sales are up and Honda and Toyota car sales are flat. Honda has not had great luck with hybrids. Even though Honda IMA is probably better for the long haul. The bottom line is whether you or the American driver accepts diesel or not, it is still the best fuel for conserving the world oil supply. Ethanol still requires massive amounts of fossil fuel to grow and process. The experts I find most knowledgeable say it is a negative gain of ethanol to fossil fuel used. The ethanol industry cannot keep up with the demand for ethanol as a replacement for MTBE. How would they jump up to producing enough corn for E20 or E85?

    Maybe the boat owners will file a class action suit against ADM & Verasun taking away all the fat profit they are making. Too bad they cannot sue Congressmen that vote for all the stupid mandates.

    Recently the Boat Owners Association of the United States issued a warning to owners of older, expensive boats, after numerous members reported ruined engines with “black gunk sludging their intake valves.” The culprit is E10 gasoline, the same thing we are now using in the Metroplex; it’s melting away parts of their fiberglass fuel tanks — and the resulting gunk is clogging their fuel filters and fuel lines and ultimately destroying some very expensive motors. That’s when it occurred to me: a whole lot of gas stations have fiberglass storage tanks.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > black gunk sludging their intake valves

    Ethanol is a natural cleanser. It will indeed dislodge junk that had already built up from from using dirty gas in the past.

    Once you get past that transission, the fuel lines remain clean... since the ethanol itself doesn't contain any sludge causing materials. It's just an alcohol. We've proven that here in Minnesota; every single gas vehicle has been using E10 since the 90's.

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > All VW TDI's present and future are mated to a DSG automatic, which uses two electronically controlled clutches and returns better efficiency than a manual.

    Tell that to the guy hear that has been arguing that increased complexity is a very bad thing.

    Then tell us where the real-world data is. Let's see actual numbers.

    JOHN
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Tell that to the guy hear that has been arguing that increased complexity is a very bad thing.

    I thought you kept up on this stuff. DSG is smaller and less complex than a conventional auto transmission. Much less complex than the HSD system Toyota designed for their throwaway hybrids.

    DSG transmissions, the development of which has spearheaded by Volkswagen, are cheaper to produce and offer the driver a choice between an automatic mode or a more engaging clutchless shifting mode. DSGs are also lighter and fit easily into spaces engineered for a common manual transmission.

    I would imagine the DSG in conjunction with the diesel engine is the reason that the Jetta is out selling the Prius this year. The Jetta, a wonderful Drivers car. With the TDI DSG options you get an honest 49 MPG. All that and a comparably equipped Prius is about $2000 more than the Jetta TDI with DSG. Oh that includes the most important option in the Jetta, XM sat radio. The Jetta does not need a back up camera, you can see out the back.

    Oh and did I forget to add Volkswagen is the world leader in Ethanol cars for those that want less efficiency.
This discussion has been closed.