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From Giant to Economy Size - Couples Choosing



  • r34r34 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 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 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 San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    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 San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    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 Posts: 588
    Sometimes the economy size is the giant size.
  • flash11flash11 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 SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    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 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 San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    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 San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    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 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    ...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 San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    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 Posts: 23,040
    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 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 Posts: 588
    Actually, I was thinking it may even be more true in those cases than it appears at first.
  • flash11flash11 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 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 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 San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    '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.
  • lemkolemko Philadelphia, PAPosts: 15,294
    Heck, she could've even gone my route - buy a smaller hoopty for cash and keep the Escalade. Heck, that beater Park Ave has turned out to be one of the smartest purchases I made. I originally got it as a winter beater 3 years ago, but it's really come in handy in these days of psychopathic pump prices. I still drive my new DTS on nicer days and for special occassions.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Today's NY Times has an article about folks who live in the exurbs:

    NY Times Article

    This is the town my wife works in. What she's told me is that she knows of many families who are either:

    A) Trading in the truck or SUV for a smaller car
    B) Buying a smaller car and leaving the truck or SUV at home
    C) Swapping cars with the spouse so as to decrease fuel usage

    There are lots of ranches out there and they all seem to have large diesel tanks, so there are a lot of VW diesels being bought. Another popular model is the Suzuki SX4 - the small wagon that gets decent mileage but still has the AWD for those days when the weather gets really nasty.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    I read that article earlier this morning. Very interesting.
  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    B) Buying a smaller car and leaving the truck or SUV at home

    We had a discussion in another forum about a dealer who incorporated this reasoning in their advertising. Sounds odd at first, but if the numbers are there it can make a lot of sense. Certainly more sense than taking a big hit on trade when upside down.

    Beside, trucks and SUV's were originally conceived as special purpose vehicles. They just became popular general purpose vehicles.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    "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."

    OK, that covers this year. And then...?

    I do agree though that someone who could afford an Escalade should now be able to afford to just park it except for occasional duty and buy a small gas-sipper for daily tasks. As someone else stated, people seem to have forgotten that the very purpose of SUVs originally was special duty, not daily commuting and errands. I would think in the Escalade woman's case, it would pencil out to keep the Escalade in the driveway for the occasional trip to the mountains, and buy a small car for driving around town and stuff. And when I say pencil out, I mean within five years if she buys new, maybe 3-4 years if she buys used-but-young, she will break even on the gas savings alone vs the Guzzle-lade. Depends a lot on the number of miles she drives per year, of course. If she was"desperate", I am assuming that number is fairly high.

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

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    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???

    Did you believe him? Is it possible he is trying to drum up more Federal money from a Congress that make chimpanzees look like rocket scientists?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    Just keeping the big SUV and buying a small commuter makes the most sense to me. Most of these people owe as much or more on the SUV as it is now worth. So basically they add whatever negative amount is owed on the SUV to a new small car. That makes it more difficult to ever get ahead. It is just too bad that our schools have not taught people common sense economics instead of all the multi cultural BS they get. We are spawning generations of economic idiots. Many are already old enough to run for Congress and get elected.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    "a Congress that make chimpanzees look like rocket scientists"

    Hey, you can skip the snide remarks, sir. Equating the Congress of the United States of America to a bunch of chimpanzees is completely unfair..... to CHIMPS! Primates are sensitive, intelligent beings.

    "our schools have not taught people common sense economics. We are spawning generations of economic idiots."

    ... which makes it much easier for Congress to engage in the economic fraud it perpetrates on us. The latest is the $300 billion suckers bailout for people who bought houses with scam mortgages and now can't make the payments.

    You and I get to subsidize new loans for them so they can keep living better than we do. And the only "debate" is whether to set the loan limit at $600,000 or $700,000.

    The average homeowner in the United States has a $200,000 house. This, of course, begs the question of who is really getting bailed out?

    We'd all be better off with 435 chimps in the House and Senate. Aside from the predictable banana subsidies, they'd be much more fiscally responsible.
  • mattandimattandi Posts: 588
    Yes. When you bottom line it, all people want to do is ease the pressure on their monthly budget. If their choices pushed their budget to the limit in the first place, that wasn't the most wise decision. Assuming they really could afford the payment and the fuel costs 2 years ago, it makes a bunch of sense that they probably could afford to park the guzzler and buy a sipper. Obviously there are a bunch of folks realizing that the sipper fulfills the bulk of their transportation needs. It does depend on the specific numbers. The big hit doesn't do anything but make the bigger picture even worse. Sort of a missing the forest for the trees kind of thing.

    My dad has a diesel Excursion. He used to drive a bit more, but when I visited him a couple of weeks ago he mentioned that now it doesn't get driven unless there are more than 4 people who will ride. It had been driven about 100 miles in the last 2 months. He has another truck available for hauling purposes. He has a 300 he uses for most of his driving. He just bought a Prius for running around. He can pay cash for his cars and he can afford the gas, he just doesn't warm up to just throwing money away. Certainly not everyone will have the financial wherewithal to own a personal fleet of 4 or 5 cars. I just bet that there are a bunch who could swing two and come out ahead on a monthly basis.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,110
    If any chimps are watching Edmund's my apologies :D

    I am never surprised anymore what comes out of our Congress. The home mortgage bailout being no exception. I know 3 people personally that have lost their homes. One is related to my wife. They sat across from us at our table 3 years ago trying to get us involved in their scheme. Well it went sour and they are filing for bankruptcy. They are also camping in our home that we moved out of. We are not pushing it until the market turns around. I cannot see losing a lot of equity if we do not have to. My wife and I are both very frugal so buying a car just because the price of fuel goes up, makes no economic sense to either of us. I may buy a small diesel VW Sportwagon if we like them when they hit our shores.
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