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How Will Global Warming Concerns Change The Vehicles We Drive?



  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    I think that's the point, tpe.

    People don't willingly tax themselves, regardless of their aims. Grudgingly perhaps,yes, and in certain cases with recognition of immediate need.

    This is why an end-around that appears to tax someone else is more saleable.

    I don't disagree with anyone on the hypocrisy, but it is self-inflicted by the electorate, and I'm good with the intent, personally.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I like the way you phrased it as "appears to tax someone else". Because this proposal would have to ultimately increase the price of gas for the consumer.

    CA likes referendums. If they had one regarding whether or not fuel taxes should be raised I'm pretty confident it would fail. But I'll bet it would be a lot closer than some would have thought and definitely closer than it would have been 5 years ago. My point is that the idea might not be ripe yet but we're heading in that direction.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    "I'm actually considering trading DOWN from an Accord to a Civic for my next car, as the new Civic EX sedan is so nice, for less money. If the car were made noisier or less crashworthy to save weight, I would not consider it."

    I share your thoughts on the issue of whether the new Civic might be a reasonable substitution for the Accord. However, if you haven't driven the new Civic yet, you may want to compare road noise between the two models. I mention this to you because, after I accompanied my daughter on test drives of both the '06 Civic and Accord, we both noticed that the Accord's ride was quieter than the Civic's in terms of road noise. Of course, the Civic's other attributes may offset this relative disadvantage, but the Accord's greater sound insulation made it seem more luxurious, to us.

    As you know, a new generation Accord will be introduced this Fall, which adds complexity - and fun - to the car buying decision.

    A bit off subject, but I read that the '08 Focus will have improved sound insulation.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    had a fascinating show on tonight, called FutureCar, talking about the all the alt-fuel powertrains under development. Quite eye-opening. I cannot help but think all this R&D work that so many people are doing all over the planet will not come to naught. Many of these designs will come to the market, and I think they will find buyers too.

    I had no idea that at the last Paris auto show there was a fully functional solar powered city car that can go 30 mph and carry 3 passengers solely on solar power. They have 200 orders already - they are building them.

    They have prototype cars that run solely on compressed air, produce less emissions than what is in the ambient air, and cool the air before it comes out the tailpipe. Neat stuff.

    And then of course there's all the more conventional stuff -biodiesel, E85, etc. Safeway (a huge supermarket chain here in the west) opened its first biodiesel pump at one of its stores in Seattle today. It is a test program, but if it proves popular and sustainable marketwise, they plan to expand it to all their stores that sell gas.

    For some, global warming will seem serious enough that they will go for some of the more "far out" technologies described in the show. But even for the ones that don't, there will be very attractive choices along the way (I am sure biodiesel will be one) that don't exact a penalty in terms of cost or performance - those buyers can be globally conscious without giving anything up. :-)

    And then there will be those for whom nothing less than a 300-hp V-8 gas will do. For a decade or so, we can work towards eliminating that end of the market without disturbing those people much. After that, who knows...

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

  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I saw that show last night and I agree, it was very good/interesting. They did make a statement regarding bio-diesel that wasn't correct. They said that there were zero CO2 emmisions. Another somewhat ridiculous statement was when they were talking about solar cars and how their power didn't stack up too well compared to the average car that "uses" 300 hp. Well as we all know the average car does not have 300 hp and even those that do rarely use it.

    I missed the part on cars that run on compressed air. Where does the power come from to compress this air?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    How funny, you and I made note of the same two incorrect items! When he came out with his comment about how the average car has 300 hp today, I almost choked.

    Unfortunately, I had a call come in right at the moment that they began to explain the mechanics of the compressed-air vehicle, so I didn't get to hear about the power source for the compressor. But when the call was over they were saying something about how the powertrain provides enough flexibility that you could have a compressor in there, which makes me wonder the same thing as you, unless I misheard it.

    They already have taxi fleets using small numbers of the compressed-air cars. Many of these alt-powertrains provide absolutely fantastic savings in terms of fuel costs.

    An article in the paper this morning has a piece about Bio Oasis, the biodiesel fueling station in Berkeley. Apparently they have gone from 200 regulars to 1800 regulars monthly vs just one year ago. I do hope biodiesel takes off, and that the new diesel tech from the Germans, GM, and Honda makes diesel vehicles popular again. That's a great way to save gas and GHG emissions right away, with minimal "strangeness" for consumers to become accustomed to, and a fueling infrastructure that is well established for petroleum-based fuel, and is rapidly growing for biodiesel.

    In the other camp, Toyota is said to be working on the 100-mpg Prius (with plug-in technology, of course). It would be nice to see them expand their hybrid offerings to more models before 2010, and to get rid of some of the least fuel-efficient engines in their line-up.

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

  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I like bio-diesel too. I seem to remember them stating in that show that bio-diesel has the potential to supply 15% of our fuel needs. IMO, a nice chunk and probably more realistic compared to what people think ethanol will accomplish.

    Do you know whether or not bio-diesel has been tried in a jet engine? Even if we someday transition to EVs we will still need fuel for our aircraft.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    again, but an article in the Contra Costa Times this AM reports that Lennar Homes is outfitting new developments in CA with solar roof panel systems. Two developments are in progress now. Estimated cost of the systems is between $12K-15K which, due to bulk purchasing, is below the roughly $20K it would cost to install individually.

    A little start-up funding from the electorate's tax pocket, and eventually the market takes over. It's good to be American. Better to be Californian... :shades:
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    A little start-up funding from the electorate's tax pocket, and eventually the market takes over

    I think the CA initiative to expand solar is primarily being funded by the utility companies. The rational is that they can avoid building new powerplants. Also, this solar energy will obviously be generated during the day, coinciding with peak consumption. This provides a degree of load leveling allowing the utilities to produce more efficiently, another cost savings from their perspective.

    I was reading about this initiative when it was first proposed. Apparently it got shot down in the state legislature because the electricians union wanted some provision that this work had to be done by them. Another example of a special interest trying to manipulate government. Arnold decided to take this proposal directly to the utilities, which allowed him to bypass part of the legislative process and bypass the electricians union. If that is in fact how it happened then good for him.
  • wale_bate1wale_bate1 Posts: 1,986
    True enough.

    I was thinking more about 2001 tax funding and 2000-02 grant monies. I can't remember if '96 included tax monies or not, but I seem to remember it did.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    SANTA ROSA, Calif. — A major downside to electric vehicles is that they need to be charged up, a process that takes several hours. But electric-car maker Zap has introduced new charging technology that it says reduces the time from "hours to minutes" and significantly extends daily driving range.

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Zap Releases Sketch of Attractive New 644-HP Electric Crossover SUV

    SANTA ROSA, Calif. — Take that, Chevy Volt and Tesla roadster. The wild and crazy guys at Zap, the California electric-car maker, issued a sketch on Monday of their idea of the perfect flagship electric vehicle — one that is engineered by Lotus.

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 8,031
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  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,254
    A jet engine should run on Biodiesel. Jet "A" is kerosene or number one diesel. Gelling would be the biggest problem as it is very cold at 30k plus feet in the air. I read a recent article that stated a cross country flight in a jet puts out about 5 tons of CO2 per seat. So every time you fly cross country you dump as much CO2 into the upper atmosphere as a Honda Civic will dump in a year.

    San Diego is making an effort to get the Marines to move their operations to the desert from Miramar Air Station. Two reasons: The new jet fighters coming online put out 4 times the NoX of the older ones and they would like to move San Diego International airport out of downtown San Diego.

    Biodiesel is still tough to find in San Diego. You can get Bio WIllie B20 at Pearson Ford. It was $3.39 last Monday when we were by there. I don't think you will see many stations until they open up the market for diesel cars to be sold.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    Will stringent new environmental standards for cars cause driveability problems and loss of performance reminiscent of the '70s?
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,600
    GM is now saying it will put the Chevy Volt into production
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Yep, thus they will have the first plug-in hybrid. ;)

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,993
    Automakers face biggest challenge in 16 years as Senate weighs whopping hike in efficiency rules.

  • oldfarmer50oldfarmer50 Posts: 10,966
    Just watch, those boobs will have us all driving electric cars with 0-60 times rated in days. Then they'll close down the power plants and make us push our cars up and down the street so we won't be obese.

    Invest in horses my friend, invest in horses.

    2015 Mustang GT, 2009 PT Cruiser, 2004 Chevy Van

  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Just watch, those boobs will have us all driving electric cars with 0-60 times rated in days

    Actually electric cars will be very fast. An electric motor is vastly superior to an ICE. EVs major shortcomings are cost and driving range.

    Talking about investing. I understand that bicycle manufacturers are doing well lately. I think bicycles would be very popular where I live if there was such a thing as a bike lane. Anyone who rides a bike in my area better have good medical insurance.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I would hope that some car company would adapt these methods, but it's unlikely to happen.

    Better Engine - Anyone want to build it for a car?

    Radical engine redesign would reduce pollution, oil consumption
    Researchers have created the first computational model to track engine performance from one combustion cycle to the next for a new type of engine that could dramatically reduce oil consumption and the emission of global warming pollutants.

    "We're talking about a major leap in engine technology that could be used in hybrid cars to make vehicles much more environmentally friendly and fuel stingy," said Gregory M. Shaver, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University.

    A key portion of his research, based at Purdue's Ray W. Herrick Laboratories, hinges on designing engines so that their intake and exhaust valves are no longer driven by mechanisms connected to the pistons. The innovation would be a departure from the way automotive engines have worked since they were commercialized more than a century ago.

    In today's internal combustion engines, the pistons turn a crankshaft, which is linked to a camshaft that opens and closes the valves, directing the flow of air and exhaust into and out of the cylinders. The new method would eliminate the mechanism linking the crankshaft to the camshaft, providing an independent control system for the valves.

    Because the valves' timing would no longer be restricted by the pistons' movement, they could be more finely tuned to allow more efficient combustion of diesel, gasoline and alternative fuels, such as ethanol and biodiesel, Shaver said.

    The concept, known as variable valve actuation, would enable significant improvements in conventional gasoline and diesel engines used in cars and trucks and for applications such as generators, he said. The technique also enables the introduction of an advanced method called homogeneous charge compression ignition, or HCCI, which would allow the United States to drastically reduce its dependence on foreign oil and the production of harmful exhaust emissions.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary says, "That list kind of squashes the myth that Honda & Toyota are the green car companies. Neither has a V6 that is PZEV. How is that possible? Why are they so slow to build a PZEV V6? BMW and GM both have several."

    Toyota and Honda are "so slow to build a V6 PZEV" because they already meet all the clean air regulations because of their hybrids and small car lineups. So they are not forced (like the other companies you mentioned) to clean up their V6 cars.

    The common thought among the carmakers (and I have researched this) is that "customers will not pay more for PZEV so why do it?" Unless government clean air regs FORCES them to do it, they will not voluntarily build PZEVs.

    GM and BMW have to do that to meet the clean air regs because they sell and produce so many large, more polluting vehicles and don't have a lot of hybrids or small cars to balance their pollution like Toy/Hon have.

    And NO - Toyota and Honda being "green car makers" is not a myth, but 100% reality.

    My proof? Glad you asked !!!

    Honda named Greenest by these guys

    And these guys too

    These fellows agree also

    Toyota seems to be a distant #2.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,254
    I would debate that Toyota is number 2. Is that in the world or just the USA?

    I am weary of pointing out Toyota's blatant disregard for emissions outside of a couple hybrids. It is like they are joining the AG team trying to buy their way to a carbon neutral status. It just does not work that way. When they pollute China to build their dirty batteries, they are not just polluting a defined area. It goes everywhere. IF GW is a man made threat, GHG emissions have to be addressed everywhere a company conducts business. The question has to be asked. Can every part of a hybrid be built in Japan or the USA. I don't think so. Check your battery packs and I venture to say they are made in China.
  • texasestexases Posts: 8,002
    Seems like that 5 tons number is off - according to British Airways, a 747 gets about 50 miles/gallon/passenger, so it should have about the same CO2 production as a Civic with one passenger.
  • m6vxm6vx Posts: 142
    a 747 gets about 50 miles/gallon/passenger

    That doesn't seem right.

    I guess we can rewrite that as 50 passenger-miles / gallon.

    I guess it kinda makes sense.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    Yeah. Now compare it to riding the Greyhound or taking the train...

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

  • euphoniumeuphonium Great Northwest, West of the Cascades.Posts: 3,425
    Our old Town Car gets 150 passenger miles / gallon. ;)
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    My Echo with only four seats gets 164 passenger miles/gallon. ;-)

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

  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    My Segway gets about 350 passenger/miles for the cost of a gallon of gas......does that count?

    It would definitely be "changing the vehicles we drive" if more people used Segways for their commutes.
This discussion has been closed.