From Giant to Economy Size - Couples Choosing

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
edited April 2014 in Ford
In today's economy many families are seeking to downsize from the SUV/Minivan to a more economical ride. Are you and your spouse/SO considering a smaller vehicle? What do you want? What does he/she want? And after the final decision, will you still be speaking to each other? :-)


  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    Mostly interested in a new body design Lincoln Town Car with the 5.4L engine followed by a 6 speed transmission weighing at least 4,000 pounds and able to transport 6 in comfort. MPG is not as important as comfort and safety.

    I refuse to be feared into such tin cans as the Pious from Toyota as they are not as comfortable and safe. Among our friends, only the Academia nuts are falling for the "Green" cars, but not the friends in the financial business i.e. stock brokers, small manufactuers, & profitable business owners. ;)
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Okay, that's you, but what about your spouse, assuming you have one? Has she expressed an interest in a smaller vehicle?
  • michaellnomichaellno Member Posts: 4,120
    In the (almost) 11 years my wife and I have been married, we've gone through some downsizing ....

    '98 Ford Expedition to
    '02 Ford Explorer to
    '04 Saturn VUE to
    '08 Saturn VUE

    The wife still likes the view from a vehicle that sits higher, so it's not likely that she'll ever go back to driving a 'regular' car. As our kids have gotten older we find that we don't need as much room for passengers and cargo.

    The new VUE gets about 19-21 MPG in a combination of city and semi-rural driving. On the highway we have gotten up to 24 MPG. This is the XR model with the 3.6L V6, 6-speed automatic and AWD (EPA estimates are 16 city and 22 hwy).

    As for me, I've stuck with cars for the most part:

    '98 VW New Beetle
    '03 Saturn L300
    '03 Ford Focus

    The Saturn is now my daily driver, but since I work from home 90% of the time, the Saturn doesn't get too many miles put on it -- about 4,000 since January. I've been getting 23-25 MPG from it.

    Since it's paid for, it doesn't make sense for me to downsize into something smaller or more fuel efficient.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    She continues to be content with the '95 T Bird I bought for her as it was what she wanted at the time. It is interesting to me that only a year earlier she wanted the new 94 Town Car. So, we bought that, but then she wanted the T Bird, so there you go.

    We are retired and she was a pharmacist who used to drive a Chevrolet Luv 4 speed stick shift to work. On weekends, it hauled her gardening needs. She prefers I make the transportation decisions & I prefer she make the dwelling choices.
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,323
    that with most couples, if they can afford it, it's probably best to just get two vehicles. That way each can get what they really want. My grandparents on my Mom's side of the family always had a car and a truck. Granddad would usually pick out the truck, and Grandmom would usually pick out the car, and they'd both be happy. On my Dad's side, they always made do with one car, but luckily their tastes were both similar. Plus, Granddad would usually get Grandmom whatever she wanted. Thankfully she didn't have extravagant tastes, or she could have bankrupted him!

    My Mom and stepdad bought an '08 Altima together a couple months ago, and the process got so long and dragged out that Mom was ready to strangle him. My stepdad is the type to research the hell out of something and second-guess himself every step of the way, whereas Mom just wants to buy the thing and be done with it. Well first they went back and forth between an Altima and an Accord, which took forever. Finally they decided on the Altima, but then my stepdad went into mental lockdown when it came to choosing between leather or cloth. They were all set to get the car one Saturday and my stepdad suddenly wanted to hold off and think it over some more. Mom was ready to kill him. My stepdad called me on the phone and asked my opinion. I think the model they got was a 2.5 SL...leather, sunroof, alloys, abs, etc. Pretty well loaded. They were getting it for something like $24K out the door. I told him I thought that was a steal at that price, and they finally broke down and got it.

    And now, that they have this nice new car? Well I have yet to see it. They still drive their old '99 Altima back and forth to work. Every time they've come up here, they'd always bring the old one. I think the '08 just sits, mostly. Great use of financial resources, there. :shades:
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    but what about your spouse, assuming you have one? Has she expressed an interest in a smaller vehicle?

    You must be kidding. My wife does not like being in anything smaller than her LS400. The Sequoia is just about right.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    "Buy her whatever she wants for in the long run it is much cheaper than a divorce".

    Will you be married for over 53 years? :):):)
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    We began looking back mid-winter. Really would have bought something by now, but got side tracked looking at houses as well. Figured we'll complete the house thingy first. We're not in a big hurry.

    Life details
    2 young kids - 3 and 5 yo
    she works full time, teacher
    I stay home mostly with the 3 yo, work very part time
    currently have one car, 2000 Saturn LW2 wagon
    take regular road trips throughout the year to visit family, mine scattered around NC and hers in MD
    go tent camping 3 or 4 times every summer, often with large groups with lots of equipment and supplies, even just the four of us fill up the wagon
    my mom lives near us, she is getting older and doesn't like to drive much anymore, we are her taxi, she often tags along on trips
    there is a fair chance of another kid in the future
    often have a friend tagging along with our girls, guessing that will become more common
    eventually I'll most likely go back to work more full time

    It just screams minivan, huh? They really don't bother me so much, but she just does not like them. We did look at them, the Sienna and the Sedona were the favorites.My wife just could not get her heart into a box on wheels.

    I like SUV's. Love the space and utility, but don't like feeding them. She really does not like how they drive. The big just gets to her. Took an Acadia for a test. Her immediate reaction was, "It just feels so big." My heart sank.

    She does like wagons a lot, but there aren't any new that offer more than five seats. That's one of our deal breakers. So we moved on to mid CUV's.

    Drove a Veracruz. She liked it. I was impressed as well. It remains on our short list. A little more cargo capacity would be nice though. So next up was the Taurus X. Liked that on as well. Now money becomes an issue. North of $30k is right at the top of what we figure fits in the budget, but not real comfortable pushing the limit. Things get much more comfortable at mid 20's or so. Seems dealer inventories are heavy on the more optioned vehicles. Gizmos and gadgetry are not priorities for us. We're content with more basic.

    Go for a second look at something we initially wrote off, a Kia Rondo. One drive and my wife is hooked. It's roomy, drives the way she likes, and it just felt right to her. The top trim is quite comfortable and decently appointed. I'm wary of it for some irrational, image driven rationale, but it remains in contention.

    Waiting to closely check out the Journey and the Flex.

    Since we're not in a big hurry, we're also curious what may start to turn up used.

    We are still on speaking terms through it all. ;)
  • fezofezo Member Posts: 10,384
    We are still on speaking terms through it all.

    That would certainly help if you are thinking about a third kid....

    Other than the minivan phobia you're looking in the right places.

    Of course minivans were great by me until I became the primary driver on one of them. An SUV wouldn't cure that issue. I like cars - they are more responsive.
    2015 Mazda 6 Grand Touring, 2014 Mazda 3 Sport Hatchback, 1999 Mazda Miata 2004 Toyota Camry LE, 1999.
  • euphoniumeuphonium Member Posts: 3,425
    We are still on speaking terms through it all.

    That would certainly help if you are thinking about a third kid....

    Not when "actions speak louder than words". ;)
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    That would certainly help if you are thinking about a third kid....

    Kinda what I was thinking. :blush:

    Vans really don't bother me. My ego has survived a Saturn LW2, I figure it can take just about anything. She is insistent that she does not want one. I really did like that Sienna. Her best friend has one, so we'll keep working on it.

    I have a soft spot for two seat roadsters. My first car was a '72 MGB. Not exactly a very family friendly choice. :(

    She grew up with wagons, so she is comfortable with them. Even though the CUV craze is supposedly the alternative to the SUV craze, I look at most of them and see what the wagon has evolved into, they just got a little taller. The Journey looks promising, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that Chrysler's current state of affairs worries me.
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    Weeelllllllll, a little sweet talk doesn't hurt. And KarenS was interested in how the marital communications were holding up.

    beside, gotta figure there must be room in the buggy for all sorts of activities. Including a casual conversation of course. ;)
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Her immediate reaction was, "It just feels so big."

    My wife and I hit a big deer in Sun Valley Idaho with my 3/4 ton 4X4. It was not driveable so I traded it at the local Chevy dealer on a new 1998/99 Suburban. We test drove a Tahoe before deciding. We both liked driving the Suburban. From then on she drove the Suburban and I ended up with her little Camry. I hated driving it but what you do to please your better half. When we divorced I kept the Suburban as I had bought it in my name only. She was not pleased getting stuck with her little Camry. I did offer to buy her one of the first Prius that came into San Diego. She drove it and hated it. My wives have all liked bigger vehicles. I am the same. I would buy a small diesel car to run errands. None available so far. We may replace the LS400 with an E320 CDI, if it ever quits or needs major repair. It is 19 years old and runs great.
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    Oh I really like the GL320 CDI. I suspect she would like it too. Just a little out of reach right now. Were the budget different, I'd buy one in a second.
  • 1stpik1stpik Member Posts: 495
    Some of my neighbors are finally trying to down-size from their full-size SUVs to small cars. But they're hitting a wall when it comes to trading in their SUVs.

    Few dealers want them, and those that do are offering thousands below book value. So they're basically stuck with the gas guzzlers, and those $100 fill-ups.

    Even $4/gallon can't make 'em give away their Suburbans and pay full sticker for a Corolla. I don't blame them.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    My girlfriend and I drive similar size cars - my 1988 Buick Park Avenue and her 2005 Buick LaCrosse are roughly the same size with the same type of engine - the 3.8 V-6. Her LaCrosse may actually be a bit longer and heavier than the Park Ave. I doubt either one of us would want to go any smaller.

    She has driven much smaller cars in the past: a 1986 Chevrolet Sprint and a 1991 Mercury Tracer but says she wouldn't feel safe in those kinds of cars these days. She also has absolutely no interest in a minivan or SUV. I also doubt very much she'd feel comfortable driving my 1989 Cadillac Brougham or even my 2007 Cadillac DTS Performance, but she did drive a 1966 Ford Galaxie 500 back in high school and I have pictures of her driving a recent model Mercury Grands Marquis.
  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    has been to simply expand the fleet; which has been aided by the addition of a teenage driver to the household. (aka.. we would have been expanding the fleet anyways, regardless of gas prices) Instead of using the guzzling minivan (20 MPG) as someone's daily driver, we just added a Nissan Altima (30 MPG averages) to the household..

    Of course, we made this call back in Jan. when a gas receipt showed gas at $2.84/gallon. Ah, those were the days! :P

    I'm glad we made that decision, though. Actually, given how few miles we've put on the minivan since we've gone from 3 to 4 cars, we may just continue to hold on to the van for the rare occasions when its needed and leave it parked in the driveway- afterall, the car's paid for, and insurance is not too expensive on it.

    So now, I'd say we're quite well hedged for high gas prices. For around town jaunts, we can choose from the Altima or the Civic (both averaging 30 MPG) and for longer highway trips we just take the Infiniti. (averaging 25-27 mpg, depending on driving conditions)

    But of course, when its time to replace the Infiniti (the mileage is piling on rather quickly for some reason) we're looking into a smaller, more efficient vehicle. Maybe not necessarily a hybrid, since the deals aren't there, but perhaps an extremely well equipped 4 cylinder Accord would fit the bill nicely.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Member Posts: 735
    We plan on buying a new car this Fall or after the first of the year if our 1993 Explorer last that long.

    We have been married for 32 years and she usually gets the car and I have a pick-up, so she picks what she wants. We are also the type of people that buy a car and drive it to the end. We purchased the Explorer new in the Summer of 1993 and it now has 200300+ miles on it and is in good condition.

    We had planned on getting a 2008 Taurus, but the wife really likes the Explorer for loading and unloading of groceries and whatever else she might haul and wants to stay with that type of vehicle.

    So with fuel prices on the rise along with everything else, she has put me in charge of finding a replacement that won’t kill us with long term operating cost and at present we have narrowed it to two choices.

    The 2009 Ford Escape or the 2009 VW Jetta Sports Wagon TDI. I really would like the Sports Wagon TDI just for the mileage alone, tough to beat 40 to 45 MPG with a diesel. We will have to see how VW markets this product and if they slap big premiums on the TDI. VW has also had in the past some problems with reliability (usually electrical and interior, drive train seems bullet proof) so the jury is still out for VW.

    The 2009 Ford Escape is suppose to be coming with a new and improved I-4 and a 3L V6 married to a 6 speed transmission that should greatly increase the mileage over the 2008’s
  • autoboy16autoboy16 Member Posts: 992
    those electrical problems in the vw's are pretty much gone since 2003+. The new jetta ranked quite well in reliability surveys.

    Don't forget about the Tiguan Suv that'll get the TDI engine next year too! Not 45mpg, but still it'll be good. The Sportwagon is a pretty solid car.

    I personally want a Jetta TDI! I have no problems getting an 06 with the 1.9l. Just that... YOU CAN"T FIND THEM!! There are two in my area. A red one selling for $29k and a silver one selling for $27k...

    Since I'm still not even of age to become married (17 until september), I don't have much to contribute. The GF has an 08 Yaris and I have a 95Accord v6 that'll likely be replaced with either a Jetta TDI or Jetta 2.5. IMO, there isn't any compact/midsize car that drives that solidly with as good crash scores as the Jetta with as many features for the money.

    Sure the mpg isn't the best (2.5 pre-08 19/28 post-08 21/29) but I just want better mpg than what I'm getting (16/22 which is slightly below revised EPA). and both Jettas gives me that :) . BTW the 2.0T is nice... but the insurance isn't... :sick:

  • suydamsuydam Member Posts: 4,676
    WE didn't really downsize but we did sell the Mazda6 wagon that we both loved because it really is not a very fuel efficient vehicle. We bought a used Pontiac Vibe. Still have the space and room for dogs but much better on gas! Not as much fun to drive but it's the around-town vehicle, and we still have our Nissan Maxima for fun and long trips. The difference in monthly gas costs is quite striking. I'm very happy that we made the switch (actually a year ago when gas prices began climbing).

    You don't always have to downsize to see fuel savings. Assuming you aren't driving a large hulking SUV to start with.
    '14 Buick Encore Convenience
    '17 Chevy Volt Premiere
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    the wife really likes the Explorer

    My brother in law just bought a used 2007 Explorer and traded in his 1996 Explorer. He is not happy with the mileage on the new one at all. Says the best he has gotten in 16 MPG. He used to get 20 MPG with the 1996 Explorer. They left this morning for Seattle so I should get the trip mileage with the non CA designer gas when they return. They both like the comfort and ease of getting in and out of the Explorers. I am hoping the VW Sportwagon is a comfortable vehicle.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,999
    I really really wanted the wife to get something smaller and more economical, but she just wouldn't go for it. We wound up going from our 18 mpg Pacifica (a lease, so no trading involved) to an XC90 getting about 21 mpg. So a slight bit better. No matter how hard I tried, she wouldn't hear of a station wagon. I had her leaning towards a V70, but after driving the XC90, she was hooked. And if we had gotten the V70, she would have been settling and I know she'd be hating it in no time.

    As for me, the only thing I liked about my Accord was the 27-28 mpg. I wound up with an AWD G35. I thought I'd be looking at 23-24 mpg, so not a big drop. So far its also been getting 21 mpg. Does that make me dislike it or think about trading AGAIN? Nope. It is what it is and I really like the car, which is more than I can say about the Honda. So it costs me more to fuel it. Oh well. That's the cost of enjoyment, I suppose.

    '94 Pajero 2.8TD, '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 MB Sprinter 2500 4x4 diesel, '97 Suzuki R Wagon, '92 325i, '97 Alto Works, '96 Opel Astra, TWO 4wd '97 Pajero Minis (1 turbo auto and 1 N/A manual); Wagoneer L on order; and in queue for Lucid Air Pure, Blazer EV, and Fisker Ocean.

  • raychuang00raychuang00 Member Posts: 541
    I think what we could see in the USA over the next 4-5 years is the proliferation of what Europeans call multi-activity vehicle here in the USA.

    That's why Honda is looking at selling the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) Stream model here in the USA, and the replacement for the Edix/FR-V model now in development could be sold here in the USA, too. Two good examples of this type of vehicle already on sale in the USA are the Mazda5 and the Kia Rondo.
  • flash11flash11 Member Posts: 98
    We have 2 vehicles and one son-5 years old.
    One is a 2005 Dodge Grand Caravan SXT and the other is a 1999 Mazda Protege LX.
    Both vehicles have worked out great. No issues. The Caravan is a dream to drive and love it except now the gas prices are biting a bit into our budget, not much for now though. The Mazda was a very practical economy car.
    We plan on buying a mid-sized hydrogen cell commuter car like the GM Chevy Equinox hydrogen cell car or a Chrysler Ecovoyager when they come out in 2011 to replace the van, and do not plan on considering any gas engine cars at all. We are fed up with the outrageous prices of gas lately and know it will get out of control and continuously raise.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I hope your current vehicle last a lot of years. Unless you are in LA or NY and have big bucks for a lease it will be MANY years before you see Fuel cell vehicles for sale. Here is one slight issue that you don't see much about.

    GM fuel-cell director Byron McCormick promises that the hydrogen-inhaling Equinox will behave much like a regular car. It will start up in sub-freezing temperatures (until now a technical hurdle for the water-generating powerplant) and get to 60 mph in about 12 seconds. However, the fuel cell's life expectancy is just 50,000 miles owing to corrosion issues inside the stack.

    They will be for wealthy folks that can give GM publicity.

    The Equinoxes will go to ordinary drivers, politicians and others who influence policy, celebrities and high-profile people whose opinions seem to count. And, by the way, to members of the media — who, not being included in the previous groups, presumably aren't ordinary, don't influence policy, don't offer opinions valued by others and aren't celebrities. Oh, well …

    Car companies still are developing the technology. At its current stage, it works pretty well but is so expensive that you'd have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy a fuel-cell vehicle. Even four years hence, when the first could be in ordinary auto showrooms, they'll still probably be prohibitive. Automakers will market them with subsidized leases instead of selling them outright.

    Better think about a plug in hybrid in 2011. Fuel cells are just plain expensive. As long as Platinum is over $2000 per oz it will remain expensive. Unless they can come up with a cheap substitute. They would have to have it now to consider marketing a fuel cell car in 2011. The Volt may be your best chance.
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    I think it is much more likely that we will see more hybrid technology or a few more diesels in family friendly vehicles long before fuel cell goes mainstream. I am also expecting we'll see a few more small people-haulers like the Mazda5 or Rondo in the US. Should be somewhat more affordable to most of us than fuel cell technology, at least in the near term.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    As long as Platinum is over $2000 per oz it will remain expensive. Unless they can come up with a cheap substitute.

    Nakajimakinzoku of Japan has developed a fuel cell that reduces platinum requirements by 99%

    And Daihatsu of Japan has developed a fuel cell that does not use platinumat all.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    From the link you gave us:

    Currently, Daihatsu uses about 100 grams of platinum per vehicle in its hydrogen-based fuel-cell vehicles under development.

    In todays market that is about $6609 worth of platinum per vehicle. It is no wonder the typical fuel cell vehicle in testing costs the mfg about $500,000. And only 13 places around LA to fuel up for less than 200 miles. They have a loooooonnnnng way to go with fuel cells.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    The operative word in that quote is currently. It will certainly be a great savings to them and their customers when they bring their new platinum free fuel cell to market.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    We spend a lot of time with the fuel cell issues. I agree that anyone bringing a cheap fuel cell stack to the market will be in control. The other part that may be as important is the hydrogen storage tank. At 10,000 PSI it is not something I would feel good about in a vulnerable location in the car. Think Hindenburg.
  • r34r34 Member Posts: 178
    I don't like big cars or SUVs. I want a big trunk so a wagon is my only choice.
    Sport wagon looks ok (not those station wagon from Saturn or Ford). Some got twin turbo V6 and a V8. That could be fun. I think I will probbaly get the V6 to save gas.
  • tidestertidester Member Posts: 10,059
    The other part that may be as important is the hydrogen storage tank.

    Maybe. There are a couple of issues with the storage tanks. One is that hydrogen gas has a tendency to make metals brittle and, in the extreme case, can lead to leakage and possible ignition. On the other hand, very high pressure is not necessarily required for storage. Modern storage uses a physical property called adsorption in which large quantities of hydrogen ahere to the surface of certain materials. Finely granulated materials can hold a lot of hydrogen.

    Unfortunately, the best adsorbing material for storing hydrogen is - you guessed it - platinum! :)

    Incidentally, I've seen tests (videos) of modern hydrogen storage tanks shot up with armor piercing rounds. Other than creating holes in the storage vessels, the incidents were quite uneventful, i.e. no Hindenburg!

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • flash11flash11 Member Posts: 98
    Thanks for the quote. Long statement here, please read...and reply back.
    Apparently when CNN interviewed the GM reps advertising the Chevy Equinox hydrogen cell car, GM stated it would cost $26,000 each and will be affordable for the common person, and that they will be available for purchase at the beginning of 2011, approximately 3 years from now.
    I was not aware that the platinum stack would have to be replaced so soon.
    I thought the weakest point of the car was the $4000 battery which would have to be replaced within 4 years. Apparently a $300,000 reward was put forth by Senator McCain today to find a better battery technology, perhaps one that would last longer and recharge sooner.
    The gas car will be a thing of the past within 50-100 years once every last drop of oil in the world has been sapped from the earth. We only have a limited supply and once China and India become fully industrialized with the billions of people populating those countries using Chery motor cars or the Tata Nano car all oil will be depleted and consumed at an astronomical rate. I feel if we do not do something quick with multiple types of technology say selling a combination of electric cars, hydrogen cars, hybrid cars with tiny engines (example the Chrysler concept car Jeep Renegade 1 L diesel/electric car or Ecovoyager hydrogen cell/electric car), if we don't try to do something, we will regress as a society and fall into ruin since this country is so large and relies heavily on the present automotive infrastructure. Besides all this new technology will bring new jobs to the US and its people as long as we pursue and embrace hydrogen, electric and alternative fuel technologies and energy production including solar. It has the added bonus of being very environmentally friendly as well, another salient point.
    So I am all for taking my chances with the hydrogen cell car that will be for sale in the US on a large scale in 3 years. An indication would be the Prius sales which are backlogged by several months.

    Shipping will cost so much since it hinges on oil prices, the US will have no choice but to make products here in the US. In a very strange way, the high oil prices may actually save some part of the economy here by preventing loss of jobs to China that rely on shipping to import foreign products. What do you think ?
    BTW, we own our cars presently, we have no debts save the mortgage on the house and for the moment, my wife and I work in the Pharmaceutical industry and seem to be lucky enough to keep our well paying jobs, for now at least.

    We are bracing for the worst though. That hydrogen cell car looks mighty tempting with hydrogen being sold at Shell at $2/gallon, especially with regular gas is going up to $7/gallon in 3 years(2011) or less. We just don't want to be victims to the oil companies,but rather be ahead of the game by investing into the future for our children's sake. Once Nanosolar produces solar panels that everyone can readily buy at 1/5 to 1/2 the present cost I will get a 5 KW/h grid tie in system just to offset electricity costs. I believe electricity will sky rocket in price as well once electric cars become popular in the near future. We will see, I am hoping for the best but expecting the worst. Too much is going on, especially the $8 trillion debt accrued by the US gov. over the military occupation of Iraq and other countries. It just seems too much for everyone to handle with massive layoffs going on as well.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    You did cover a lot of ground with your post. First McCain is Proposing $300,000,000 as in million dollars to be awarded to a company that comes up with a decent battery. It may be safe for a while. I looked and could not find anything about pricing on Anything but add-on fuel cells. The cheapest was to put fuel cells in your Hummer for $99,995. Every thing I have read is the cost is still in the $100s of 1000s to build the fuel cell cars.

    Depending where you are and your state Solar could be worthwhile now. If you plan to own an EV and charge it to drive to work, solar will not benefit you much.

    hydrogen being sold at Shell at $2/gallon,

    Hydrogen is sold by the kilo. One kg is just about equivalent to a gallon of gas. Depending on how much you are buying it can cost from $1 to $20 per kilo. From what I have read there are about 13 places in LA that sell hydrogen. Not sure how many would fill a car with so little a tank.

    So here is the bottom line. You have fuel cells that are good for 50K miles before they need to be replaced. A Li-ion battery good for maybe 4 years and a high pressure (10,000 psi) tank that has a short useful life. A range in the best case of about 200 miles between finding a Hydrogen station. No facilities outside LA, NYC, DC and Chicago. That is your idea of a great car? Maybe in 20 years, not that it will make much difference to me at 85 years of age.

    you might want to add some links on where you see these wonderful solutions to our energy problems. Many are just scam artists wanting to reduce your ready cash, and put it in their pocket.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    For those of us that went to see all the wonderful demonstrations of the future back in the 1950s and 60s these fuel cells are not very impressive, I remember the turbine car from Chrysler that was going to eliminate the ICE as we know it. That was the early 1960s. So many of us that are more than 60 years old want to be shown the real deal. Not some idea that may never come to the show room. That is where the fuel cell cars are at present. They are just another idea that may or may not fly....

    For this skeptic, the only thing that offers a way to save on fossil fuel is the turbo diesel as offered by every maker on the planet. When we get to 100,000 gallons of algae biodiesel per acre we will have accomplished something worth talking about.
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    Sometimes the economy size is the giant size.
  • flash11flash11 Member Posts: 98
    Sure, here is the website I found my information, you will be quite surprised actually. See, see excellent video there
    CNN's Glenn Beck on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
    Source: CNN
    . I liked it so much I had to see it twice.:)
    and this:
    GM executive pushes for hydrogen infrastructure
    David Booth, Canwest News Service
    Published: Thursday, May 15, 2008
    At the recent National Hydrogen Association Conference in Sacramento, California, the General Motors vice-president for Research and Development challenged government and the oil industry to build 40 hydrogen refuelling stations in southern California to promote the further development of the "hydrogen infrastructure of automobiles."

    "While automakers continue to commit resources to the development of full-performance, affordable and durable fuel cell-electric vehicles, there appears to be comparatively little parallel investment and resource allocation for development and deployment of commercially ready retail hydrogen infrastructure," said Burns.

    He noted there was only one public hydrogen refuelling station in California, "yet our Equinox Fuel Cell vehicles are already in the hands of customers who are looking for a retail-like refuelling experience."

    While Burns calls this initial development a "tipping point" that could ultimately service as many as 10,000 hydrogen-fuelled fuel-cell powered vehicles, it is only the beginning of an America-wide infrastructure that will be required before the alternative fuel is widely adopted.

    As daunting as that may seem, Burns remains convinced that a "hydrogen highway" is attainable within the near future.

    According to Burns, "a network of just 12,000 hydrogen stations would put hydrogen within two miles (3.2 kilometres) of 70 per cent of the U.S. population," a far more attainable goal than replacing all of the estimated 170,000 gasoline stations currently operating in the United States.

    Even "if these stations cost $2 million each," says Burns, "the total cost of $24 billion is not overwhelming," considering the cumulative profits of the oil industry were $123 billion U.S. in 2007 alone.

    Burns also said the production of hydrogen should not be a problem for the future, since global production is slated to rise to 81 billion kilograms by 2011, half of which is used by oil refineries to remove sulphur from "dirty" crude.

    Not without irony, Burns notes that the hydrogen being used to refine oil into gasoline would be enough to fuel 135 million fuel-cell powered vehicles, which would significantly reduce the world's dependence on fossil fuels.

    Isn't it ironic that hydrogen is already produced and used by the oil refining industry to remove sulphur, and that this could easily be used for hydrogen cell fueling stations to power 135 million Hydogen cell cars.
    So any argument as to the cost of producing hydrogen is bogus since it is already being used to refine oil.
  • nippononlynippononly Member Posts: 12,555
    Yes, that's almost everything but cars and houses!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • jchan2jchan2 Member Posts: 4,956
    GM CEO Rick Wagoner on 60 Minutes back in 2003 claiming that hydrogen cars would be on the road within 5 years..

    Well, here we are, and GM doesn't have the car as promised.. (Honda does though)

    As nice as hydrogen seems, it's definitely not going to be happening anytime soon; the most immediate solutions seem to be the plug in hybrids, and maybe switchgrass/cellulosic ethanol, although I'm not too up to date on the ethanol arena.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    So any argument as to the cost of producing hydrogen is bogus since it is already being used to refine oil.

    That is assumption based on a biased source of information. The use of hydrogen is well documented. From what I can find the bulk is used in fertilizer to grow corn for ethanol.

    The largest use of hydrogen in the world is to manufacture nitrogen fertilizer. Large-scale production of industrial nitrogen fertilizer consumes non-renewable natural gas or coal. One renewable alternative is to take the leaves, bark and other non-essential biomass and return it into the soil. Unfortunately, the bio-degradable carbon in the leaves and plant material breaks down and in three years is back in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.

    Q: What are the pros and cons of hydrogen?

    Pros: Hydrogen is an extremely clean fuel, producing few emissions when combusted directly or in combination with hydrocarbon fuels. When used in a fuel cell, the only byproducts are heat and water.

    Cons: Although hydrogen can be procured through electrolysis, it is most commonly separated by a reforming process that uses natural gas and other fossil fuels. Supplies of natural gas are becoming tighter, and coal, one of the most feasible hydrogen feedstocks, is a source of major pollution. The technology to produce, store, and transport hydrogen power at a reasonable cost is not yet in place and likely will not be for some time.

    Its just you and Ahnold running around in your hydrogen Hummers. It does have a nice ring to it... :shades: Please use links as I am tired of reading so much stuff to disprove your wild claims and assertions.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    Actually GM has as many fuel cell Equinox as Honda has their Fuel cell cars. I do agree with you that it is pie in the sky for the foreseeable future. Maybe around 2050.
  • lemkolemko Member Posts: 15,261
    ...the GM Fuel Cell Equinox at the GM Nationals in Carlisle this past weekend. It sounds like a gas oven when you start the ignition, but is silent running and puts out no visible emmisions.
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    I think the GM plan is to lease the Equinox FCEVs to select individuals for 3 months. That way more people will get a chance to see how the technology works. I don't think the price is anywhere near where it will have to be for selling them. Did they have any insight as to plans for the Equinox FCEV?
  • andre1969andre1969 Member Posts: 25,323
    Yes, that's almost everything but cars and houses!

    Well, if you measure by the square foot or by the pound, it might still play out in cars and houses. Especially now with fuel prices so high, economy cars are in demand and bigger cars are softening. So if you really NEED a bigger car, it could be a really good deal right now. Of course, once you buy it you still have to feed it, so that's going to cut into your savings.

    With houses, often much of the cost is tied up in the land, permits, etc, plus simply the cost to break ground, in new construction. It doesn't matter whether it's a 1000 square foot rambler, or a 2000 square foot colonial, the costs to run the water, sewer, and electric lines, and to break ground for the foundation, are going to be about the same. And that 2000 square foot house won't use twice the material. It's still only going to have one foundation, one kitchen, one HVAC system (unless you get dual zone, I guess), and one roof.

    As for existing construction, the main thing you're paying for is location. Doesn't matter how big it is, how nice it is, or how many bedrooms or bathrooms it has, if nobody wants to live there. Other factors will come into play, such as condition and age of the structure, but I don't think there's really a direct correlation between square footage and price. But again, when you buy that bigger house, you have a lot more to maintain. So it might look like a bargain when you first get into it, but later may find out you bit off more than you could chew.
  • rprossilrprossil Member Posts: 62
    It seems this discussion has derailed off the topic of downsizing vehicles into alterate fuels and technology after post #23 or so, or is it just me?
  • mattandimattandi Member Posts: 588
    Actually, I was thinking it may even be more true in those cases than it appears at first.
  • flash11flash11 Member Posts: 98
    That is assumption based on a biased source of information. The use of hydrogen is well documented. From what I can find the bulk is used in fertilizer to grow corn for ethanol.

    Please use links as I am tired of reading so much stuff to disprove your wild claims and assertions.

    But hydrogen is produced to refine oil as well. What did the GM exec say, that 135 million hydrogen cell cars could be fueled each day by the hydrogen the oil industry presently produces to refine oil???

    Also see this statement below:

    The most common method for the production of hydrogen today is through steam methane reformation,yes mentioned this earlier, you are correct. Additionally, nuclear energy* can produce high quality hydrogen in large quantities at a relatively low cost without any air emissions using conventional electrolysis, and hydrogen can be produced using anaerobic bacteria from waste water – a process that actually cleans the water while creating hydrogen for energy uses.
    We see everyday the tangible steps that are being taken to move toward a hydrogen-based economy, which will have a positive impact on the environment by cutting carbon emissions, reduce foreign energy imports and improve our national security.

    While each form of alternative technologies is explored, each has its own benefits and drawbacks. However, hydrogen holds the most promise because using certain hydrogen technologies will either cut or virtually eliminate emissions.

    To learn more about how hydrogen is generated, electrolysis and hydrogen technologies in use, please visit the National Hydrogen Association link title, the premier source for information about hydrogen and hydrogen technologies.

    The hydrogen extracted from a gallon of water using a hydrogen generator could drive a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle as far as gasoline vehicles travel today on a gallon of gasoline. I wonder how efficient it is to produce hydrogen versus gasoline today. Is it cheaper or more expensive? And the end result, will a hydrogen cell car be more efficient than a gas car if you look at the total process to produce hydrogen versus gas? What does it cost to produce a Kg of hydrogen versus a gallon equivalent of gas? I bet the figures will be surprising. Couple that with a green efficient electricity producing plant like a solar/wind plant, it may be viable. And the kicker, no emissions from a FCEV car, but lots of CO2 from a regular gas car, hmm, seems to be a compelling argument for hydrogen to me. I wonder how that solar/wind power plant will do in Germany.
  • flash11flash11 Member Posts: 98
    TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp said on Friday it has developed an advanced fuel-cell vehicle that can run for 830 km (516 miles) on a single tank of hydrogen and in temperatures as low as 30 degrees Celsius below freezing (-22 F).

    The zero-emission FCHV-adv will be leased to government agencies, among other possible users, in Japan starting later this year, a spokeswoman said.

    The new version of the fuel-cell car, which runs on hydrogen and emits only water, increased fuel efficiency by 25 percent with an improved fuel cell unit and other changes to its brake system and elsewhere.

    Combined with a slightly bigger fuel tank and a doubling of the maximum storage pressure, the FCHV-adv extended the cruising range from the previous FCHV's 330 km (205 miles), Toyota said in a statement. It has a maximum speed of 155 km per hour (97 mph).

    Fuel-cell vehicles are widely considered the ultimate longer-term alternative to today's conventional cars as they run on an inexhaustible and cheaper source of fuel -- hydrogen -- have no harmful tail-pipe emissions, and do not compromise driving performance. The main hurdles for their proliferation are a lack of fuelling stations and the high cost of development.

    Toyota and domestic rival Honda Motor Co became the world's first two automakers to put a fuel-cell vehicle on the road in December 2002, and have since been in a tight race to prepare them for mass-commercialization.

    Honda's latest FCX Clarity, a sporty-looking fuel-cell sedan, can run 620 km (385 miles) on a single fuelling as measured under Japan's fuel efficiency test method. It can go as fast as 160 km per hour (99 mph), uses a lithium-ion battery and can withstand temperatures from -30 to 95 degrees Celsius (-22F to 203F).

    Honda plans to begin leasing the car in the United States starting next month and in Japan later this year. It is targeting lease sales of about 200 FCX Clarity cars in the first three years in the two countries combined.

    Toyota's FCHV-adv, which uses a nickel-metal hydride battery, will be showcased as a test-ride vehicle at the Group of Eight rich nations' summit in Toyako, northern Japan, next month. It will also provide more than 70 hybrid cars and hydrogen-fuelled buses for use by summit participants.
  • 1stpik1stpik Member Posts: 495
    I don't think as many people are downsizing now as would LIKE to downsize, because they're upside-down in their SUVs. Even if they've owned them for a while, dealers are offering peanuts for gas guzzler trade-ins.

    In another forum, a Honda salesman posted a story about a lady who wanted to trade in her Cadillac Escalade 2 months ago. She wanted a smaller car, but refused what she thought was a low-ball offer on her SUV.

    Six weeks later, she returned. Same Caddy, same idea to downsize, only this time a little more desperate with gas at $4. The dealer offered her $6,000 less than the previous amount!

    She didn't accept that, either. According to the dealer, she just left shaking her head. Talk about 'woulda/coulda/shoulda!'
  • gagricegagrice Member Posts: 31,450
    'She didn't accept that, either. According to the dealer, she just left shaking her head. Talk about 'woulda/coulda/shoulda!

    A couple things. If she could afford an Escalade, she should be able to just buy a small commuter car if needed. Taking a big hit on an SUV as a trade-in on a small car when gas is expensive falls in the category of STUPID. If you take even a $4000 below BB hit you could buy 1000 gallons of gas which should be a years worth even with an Escalade. If you buy an Escalade to commute a long distance to work you got rocks for brains to start with. I would have bought a year old Escalade when I got this Sequoia. My wife hates the looks. I don't like the new style, only the 2006 and older in white diamond color. Nice cars.

    For those people that are upside down in a big rig. Bite the bullet and buy the gas or just park it and ride the bus.
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