A Green Car for Every Driver

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Thread: A Green Car for Every Driver

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    A Green Car for Every Driver

    A Green Car for Every Driver
    Which fuel-efficient vehicle is right for you? That depends on how and where you drive.

    By Jessica L. Anderson

    Not long ago, carmakers were touting hydrogen as the silver bullet for energy independence and environmental redemption. But massive roadblocks to building the hydrogen highway forced automakers to follow detours to other green technologies. Just as no single solution will make manufacturers' fleets green, no single environmentally friendly car will work for everyone. Clean diesels are great for long-distance highway driving, but if you have a long commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic, hybrids get the nod. Electric cars (such as the Nissan Leaf, debuting in December) boast zero-emissions driving; but if you plan to travel more than 100 miles in a single stretch, you may end up stranded with a dead battery. Meanwhile, carmakers are tweaking gasoline engines to achieve better and better fuel economy.

    This kind of decision-making isn't new to Americans, notes John Voelcker, editor of the Green Car Reports. "We're the home of multicar households," says Voelcker. "We have bought different types of cars based on different uses for years. People will start to do that with powertrains -- they'll pick among the green cars based on what they're doing."

    In addition to how you'll use your car, there's a financial angle. Cost is the biggest constraint for buyers considering a green car. For 2010, the premium over a comparable gas-engine car ranges from $690 to $34,350 for hybrids, and from $1,500 to $4,525 for diesels. Over five years, you'll recoup a portion of the premium with savings at the pump. Tax incentives also help ease the sting of a higher price, but credits begin to phase out after an automaker sells 60,000 green vehicles. (Tax credits are no longer available for Ford, Honda, Lexus, Mercury and Toyota hybrids, and as of July, buyers of Audi and Volkswagen diesels are eligible for half of the tax credit.)

    New government mandates are pushing automakers further on fuel economy. The rules will require all the noncommercial vehicles they sell to average 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016. Cars will have to average 37.8 mpg, and light trucks and SUVs 28.8 mpg, versus 27.5 mpg and 23.5 mpg currently. As automakers scramble to meet the stricter standards, they'll pass much of the extra cost to you. According to the National Research Council, the latest fuel-economy measures will raise the average retail cost of midsize and large cars by $2,220 for gas-engine vehicles. Each vehicle's footprint (the area contained by its wheels) will determine its fuel-economy requirement, so U.S. highways won't be flooded with econoboxes.

    Article continues here with:

    Hybrids: Best for gridlock
    Diesels: Torqued up
    Electric: Unplug and go


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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by blue3231 View Post
    A Green Car for Every Driver
    Which fuel-efficient vehicle is right for you? That depends on how and where you drive.

    By Jessica L. Anderson

    ... Clean diesels are great for long-distance highway driving, but if you have a long commute in bumper-to-bumper traffic, hybrids get the nod. Electric cars (such as the Nissan Leaf, debuting in December) boast zero-emissions driving; but if you plan to travel more than 100 miles in a single stretch, you may end up stranded with a dead battery. Meanwhile, carmakers are tweaking gasoline engines to achieve better and better fuel economy.
    The first issue I have with this article is "zero-emissions driving" for plug-ins considering the fact that, in the US, electricity is 49% coalfired (at 33% efficiency) and about 20% NG (at 50% efficiency).

    The second is "in bumper-to-bumper traffic, hybrids get the nod".

    Has anyone ever heard of StopStart small displacement (SD) Euro type diesels?

    How about the 62.8 mpg(Imperial) urban [roughly 52 mpg(US) city] 1.6 Duratorq TDCi (109PS) 5 Door Saloon (ECO Start-Stop) diesel Focus?
    http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/sea...s.asp?id=25545

    There are several 60+ mpg(US) combined DRIVe StopStart SD diesels ... including the Volvo (Geely) C30, S40, and V50.

    New government mandates are pushing automakers further on fuel economy. The rules will require all the noncommercial vehicles they sell to average 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016. Cars will have to average 37.8 mpg, and light trucks and SUVs 28.8 mpg, versus 27.5 mpg and 23.5 mpg currently.
    I have a problem here also.

    That "average 34.1 miles per gallon by 2016" is "LIGHT VEHICLE" fleet CAFE value! That CAFE value is after adjustments like "credits" and "emissions swaps" that have no REAL effect on the fuel economy seen by the consumer.

    Reality, according to one of the EPA fuel economy specialist that I talked in June, is that the AVERAGE fuel economy seen of vehicle Monroney labels (what you see in the vechicle window on the dealer lot) in 2016 will be:

    . light passenger vehicles = less than 32 mpg combined

    . ALL light vehicles = less than 28 mpg combined

    That makes a VERY BIG DIFFERENCE!

    here with:

    Hybrids: Best for gridlock
    Diesels: Torqued up
    Electric: Unplug and go
    Here is the way I would rank the various technologies.

    Best for gridlock: StartStop SD diesels; Hybrids; and plug-ins

    Torqued up: Diesels (small displacement and otherwise); possibly some EV/Hybrids (design dependent)

    Over all fuel economy: SD diesel; EV/PHV (ALL ... are design dependent)

    Unplug and go: Why ... when the Eco StopStart diesel Focus has an 860 mile range in MIXED driving ... on a SINGLE 14 gallon tank of diesel?

    Just a different prespective ...
    Last edited by 44 mpg by 2010; 09-02-2010 at 05:36 PM.
    It is important what WE use as our "moral compass" and ...
    the "measuring stick" chosen for judging progress/success as well.


    44 mpg by 2010 ... 2013?

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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    When I see "green" I know a lot of stuff fit only for the mulch heap will follow.
    And that's the way it is.
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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by 44 mpg by 2010 View Post
    Has anyone ever heard of StopStart small displacement (SD) Euro type diesels?

    How about the 62.8 mpg(Imperial) urban [roughly 52 mpg(US) city] 1.6 Duratorq TDCi (109PS) 5 Door Saloon (ECO Start-Stop) diesel Focus?
    http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/sea...s.asp?id=25545

    There are several 60+ mpg(US) combined DRIVe StopStart SD diesels ... including the Volvo (Geely) C30, S40, and V50.


    Unplug and go: Why ... when the Eco StopStart diesel Focus has an 860 mile range in MIXED driving ... on a SINGLE 14 gallon tank of diesel?

    Just a different prespective ...
    Appreciate your comments but why do you only tout Ford small capacity diesels and ignore the small GM diesels available in Europe that offer similar or better economy? After all, this is a GM oriented site.
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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by tkr View Post
    appreciate your comments but why do you only tout ford small capacity diesels and ignore the small gm diesels available in europe that offer similar or better economy? After all, this is a gm oriented site.
    fordz rool!! :d
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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by 44 mpg by 2010 View Post
    The first issue I have with this article is "zero-emissions driving" for plug-ins considering the fact that, in the US, electricity is 49% coalfired (at 33% efficiency) and about 20% NG (at 50% efficiency).
    Coal 33% efficient? What was your powerplants built in the 1800's? Well that's still better than the 15% from and ICE is suppose.

    In my area (Ontario, Canada) only 18% of our power comes from coal or Natural Gas. Our coal fired plants (which will be phased out by 2014) are about 65% efficient. Our Natural Gas power plants are close to 80% efficient.

    Thankfully most industrilized countries in the world (unlike the US) do not use coal as their primary source of electricity. (Typically Hydroelectric and/or Nuclear)
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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by MechEng View Post
    Coal 33% efficient? What was your powerplants built in the 1800's? Well that's still better than the 15% from and ICE is suppose.

    In my area (Ontario, Canada) only 18% of our power comes from coal or Natural Gas. Our coal fired plants (which will be phased out by 2014) are about 65% efficient. Our Natural Gas power plants are close to 80% efficient.

    Thankfully most industrilized countries in the world (unlike the US) do not use coal as their primary source of electricity. (Typically Hydroelectric and/or Nuclear)
    Oh Puhh-leaze. Nuclear is not much cleaner than coal. Sure coal spews crap into the air, but that's why we have Trees and Algae. Nuclear makes some scrap Nuke crap that we have to bury. Trees don't absord Nuclear waste.
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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Who is 44 mpg by 2010 ?? Prius John or what ever his name is/was? I have been on here for a long time no and don't recognize the name.

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". by Confucius.
    If you don't build the first generation vehicle, then you can't get the improvements that will come with the second and third generation vehicles because you wouldn't ever have a "first" generation vehicle to start with. (same applies to the consumer, the leaders who buy the first gen products and pay the premium that is reduced over time with each generation).

    No ell electric of hybrid vehicle is perfect, and they may not be perfect for some time, but the Volt is the best compromise between all electric with short range/long recharge and pure internal combustion with short "recharges"/long range. Battery technology is no where near ideal for cars, they need to get smaller, lighter & provide longer range & quicker charges for us to truely have all electric fleets.
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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    There's no free lunch with powering motor vehicles. I wish folks would accept that and move on to something else.
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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    I agree with the notion that plug-in electic cars (mostly) = burning coal and natural gas. Makes no sense to me.

    The real long-term and sensible solution, as I see it, is for cars to have pretty much traditional internal combustion engines (including some VERY powerful V-8s) that burn ethanol made from things other than foodstuffs. Ethanol is an absolutely UNLIMITED fuel source, produced here, NOT imported from overseas. Anyone who has lived in the South knows how fast kudzu grows and how rampant it is. Experiments are underway to use that as a fuel. Eveything from grass clippings to cattails to organic garbage can be converted to methanol, ethanol, and biodiesel. Check out a great book called "Alcohol Can Be A Gas" by David Blume.

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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by TKR View Post
    Appreciate your comments but why do you only tout Ford small capacity diesels and ignore the small GM diesels available in Europe that offer similar or better economy? After all, this is a GM oriented site.
    Fair question. Not many strong offerings above 60 (Imperial) combined ... maybe the Astra ... IMO.

    > 70 mpg (Imperial) combined: Corsa 3 Door Hatchback Model Year 2010 1.3CDTi 16v 95PS diesel (might be a Fiesta diesel competitor? Maybe someone from the EU can say.)

    60 to 70 (Imperial) combined: 1.3CDTi 16v and 1.7CDTi 16v 110PS ecoFLEX diesels used in vehicles like Tigra, Agila, Astra, and Corsa

    All Vauxhalls (Opel-GM) ... no Chevys ... for details see
    http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/sea...lConSearch.asp
    It is important what WE use as our "moral compass" and ...
    the "measuring stick" chosen for judging progress/success as well.


    44 mpg by 2010 ... 2013?

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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by OLDSCHOOLGMFAN View Post
    There's no free lunch with powering motor vehicles. I wish folks would accept that and move on to something else.
    Bull.

    Yes there is no free lunch, however, the day we arn't trying to continully make more efficent ICE or any technology and at the same time try to kill pollution is the day in the engineering sense we are DEAD!

    I hate the debate as much as anyone here. It however is the good kick in the ass we need to get to it and make better machines.

    In the end, that is all we really need to do.

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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by 'Vette Dude View Post
    Oh Puhh-leaze. Nuclear is not much cleaner than coal. Sure coal spews crap into the air, but that's why we have Trees and Algae. Nuclear makes some scrap Nuke crap that we have to bury. Trees don't absord Nuclear waste.
    There are several less "intrusive" nuclear technologies currently being looked at ...

    Liquid Floride Thorium Reactor (LFTR) also called Molten Salt Reactor (MSR) = generates minimum radioactive waste ... not a breeder technology ... originally proposed as an "onboard" aircraft energy source in the 1950s.

    Polywell http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell

    To just name 2.
    It is important what WE use as our "moral compass" and ...
    the "measuring stick" chosen for judging progress/success as well.


    44 mpg by 2010 ... 2013?

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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by jbernie View Post
    Who is 44 mpg by 2010 ?? Prius John or what ever his name is/was? I have been on here for a long time no and don't recognize the name.

    "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". by Confucius.
    If you don't build the first generation vehicle, then you can't get the improvements that will come with the second and third generation vehicles because you wouldn't ever have a "first" generation vehicle to start with. (same applies to the consumer, the leaders who buy the first gen products and pay the premium that is reduced over time with each generation).

    No ell electric of hybrid vehicle is perfect, and they may not be perfect for some time, but the Volt is the best compromise between all electric with short range/long recharge and pure internal combustion with short "recharges"/long range. Battery technology is no where near ideal for cars, they need to get smaller, lighter & provide longer range & quicker charges for us to truely have all electric fleets.
    FIRST ... I do support the idea of the VOLT, EVs, and other ADVANCED technologies!

    As an electrical/electronics/systems technologist, I am VERY interested in EV and PHV designs and the data to characterrize their capabilities.

    And I agree that "WE have to build the first one before WE can improve it"!

    IF ... we look at small displacement (below 2 Liter) turbo diesels ... the same logic applies.

    But, in the case of this class of diesels, even though the US has neglect this technology since the mid 1980s ... the Euro OEMs have paid the price and aggressively advanced the technology for almost 30 YEARS!

    Why not take advantage of the significant advances in Euro type small displacement turbo diesel technologies reducing fuel consumption, emission (gasses, particulates, noise, and thermal) while increasing durability/reliability?

    A variation on the old cerial commercial ... "Miky" give it a try ... you might like it!"

    That does not take away the importance of plug-ins. However, small diesel technologies gives more advanced technologies a "little breathing room" to mature and become more reliable and cost effective.
    It is important what WE use as our "moral compass" and ...
    the "measuring stick" chosen for judging progress/success as well.


    44 mpg by 2010 ... 2013?

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    Re: A Green Car for Every Driver

    Quote Originally Posted by MechEng View Post
    Coal 33% efficient? What was your powerplants built in the 1800's? Well that's still better than the 15% from and ICE is suppose.

    In my area (Ontario, Canada) only 18% of our power comes from coal or Natural Gas. Our coal fired plants (which will be phased out by 2014) are about 65% efficient. Our Natural Gas power plants are close to 80% efficient.

    Thankfully most industrilized countries in the world (unlike the US) do not use coal as their primary source of electricity. (Typically Hydroelectric and/or Nuclear)
    I am embarrassed to say that the BEST coalfired efficiency WE have in the US is 36% and worst case is about 20%.

    For comparison China's newer coalfired power plants are said to be about 40% efficient. And every new plant requires the decomissioning of lowest efficiency plant(s) within the regional jurisdiction.

    Hopefully by 2012, WE will have one pilot coalfired plant operating at 50% efficiency.

    As far as the older more polluting coal plants are concerned there are two options ... clean them up ... or ... replace them with cleaner and more efficient power sources. Think jobs for the next 15 to 30 years!
    It is important what WE use as our "moral compass" and ...
    the "measuring stick" chosen for judging progress/success as well.


    44 mpg by 2010 ... 2013?

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