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Old 08-30-2012, 11:59 AM   #15
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I'm with you, Moparjohn! Not so much the power issue itself, but Choice! Somehow, I thought this was a free country, but DC (city elites) are trying to tell us how we can live and what we can do (or not do). City folks don't do much requiring power or trucks. Notice the commercial where the father is building his little girl a playhouse and RENTS a truck to bring the lumber home? This is where the DC elites would have us go.

However, some of us people in the less populated areas DO THINGS ourselves--as in camping, hauling tree prunings to the dump, hauling lumber for home projects, pulling Airstreams, hauling wood for heat, hunting, hiking, hauling furniture, hauling snow machines or water jets or boats, etc etc. How would it work if we had to rent a blooming truck for each trip? And how would a stinking Prius get me home on a snow-filled road in a blizzard? (Hint: it wouldn't.) I'm so tired of DC or other elites telling us how to live! I don't notice Gore or any other of these power-grabbing elites giving up his huge home or limos or sports cars or AC to save energy or pollution, so why should we be forced to give up what we like?

Sorry for the rant; I'm just afraid it's too late and we have already lost what makes life fun for us and lost our ability to make our own choices. Freon and light bulbs were the thin end of the wedge.

Vivian
So, the fact that Home Depot and Lowes offer rental trucks to meet a market demand for their customers who want to buy large things and drive smaller cars (or even giant truck-based SUVs with nice leather interiors and don't want drywall and fence posts inside) is the result of some government plot to take away your truck?

At the end you mentioned light bulbs, which is actually an even more spurious argument in the direction the rest of your post takes. The government actually got that one right, they didn't outlaw or mandate any particular technology, they just said "here's a baseline efficiency requirement in terms of lumens out per watts in, meet it any way you want to." NO ONE OUTLAWED INCANDESCENT BULBS. Manufacturers are already producing nice soft-white incandescents that meet the standard, as well as compact fluorescents and expensive LEDs.
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Old 08-30-2012, 12:50 PM   #16
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Wayward, while the manufacturers may have been researching various fuel saving technologies, they weren't adopting them a generation ago regardless of competition. Foreign companies did have more fuel efficient vehicles, but didn't have a large market share until well into the '80's and '90's—as much caused by reliability and by meeting a need for smaller vehicles. Gas was cheap and few people were asking for better fuel economy since the shockwaves years before by the oil embargo.

The manufacturers have fought every attempt to increase fuel economy over 4 decades—until recently. They may have had the technology, but they didn't do much to adopt it.

As others, we live in a rural area and we need a big pickup for actually picking up things. Some people buy them to feel cool or tough; we buy them to pick up things and to tow. Because of a back injury, it is difficult for me to get in and out of small cars. Even the 4Runner can be a struggle. We live in a state where snow has been known and there's nothing as good as a fairly big truck (or truck based SUV) to get us through bad storms. So we need (and like) our big vehicles.

If the manufacturers (and that includes Toyota which lately has been worse on mileage than the domestic companies) wanted to increase mileage they could have years ago. Toyota has a supercharger that can be combined with either V8 or their V6 and will increase mileage significantly. They do not promote it and almost keep it a secret for reasons beyond me. It costs too much too. Ford has done something similar with their EcoBoost and sold a lot of them.

Fuel prices do quickly change consumer habits. Every time the prices spike, sales of small cars and hybrids and electric cars spike too. Prices go down and people buy gas hogs. This happens over and over. Prices creep upward over a period of years and people get used to it—remember when people were predicting that $2 gas would mean people would stop buying big vehicles? The manufacturers learned to provide both gas guzzlers and economy vehicles to survive (except Chrysler which ended up foreign owned because they only had gas guzzlers). Fuel prices, because they fluctuate wildly, have not done much to encourage fuel economy.

After the '80's, the CAFE standards didn't change. The manufacturers opted to increase power instead of fuel economy. Hybrids did get a small portion of the market, but there were strange ones like the hybrid Highlander—it isn't very fuel efficient, but it has a lot of power with its 3 electric motors. It is very expensive toy rather than a practical choice.

The market has done little to change habits and only some outside force can cause fuel economy to rise.

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Old 08-30-2012, 05:17 PM   #17
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This morning's WSJ has an interesting piece on wether consumers will pay the $1800 - $3000 for this increase in mileage.

Several weeks ago, I was coasting into the carport and the camper tie down tab caught the corner of the building. The right side of the bed on my 2012 Chevy 2500HD was crumpled. Final cost was $2125 to replace the bed side sheet metal. When I asked why it couldn't be pounded out, I was told that the metal was a thinner gauge to make it lighter to help the mileage. Along those same lines, I removed the bumper tiedown for the camper from the '06 GMC and went to install it on the '12 Chevy only to find out that the bumper requires an extra brace due to the new lightweight rear bumper.

The '12 Chevy costs $10,000 more than the '06 GMC...both equally equipped. With a 3:73 rear gear and a 6 speed auto, this truck should get better mileage than the '06 with a 4:11 rear gear and a four speed. It doesn't!

While these moves to increase mileage might appeal to the tree huggers and pander to conservation voters, the unintended consequences hit a lot of us in the wallet.
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Old 08-30-2012, 06:13 PM   #18
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I had a 1979 honda Accord in college. 1989-1993 that got 32 mpg. And I even got it up to 100mph once. On the flat. (might have had a tail wind.)

Problem I see with Hybrids is: they are not cost effective or GREEN. Sorry but the extra you pay for a Hybrid $4000-$6000 is a lot of gas in my regular SUV vs. Hybrid SUV.. I did the math on the Toyota Highlander, with the miles I drive, It would take 6.5 years to recoup that cost over a regular Highlander. I would have well over 200,000 miles on it and had to replace the batteries at least once.. $$$$$$$ And probably traded it in on a new one before a recouped the cost...

The making of Batteries is devastating to the environment also. How is this green?

I'm for fuel efficient cars, Trucks, and SUV's but don't give me batteries!! give me something that will last... And that is really Green for the Environment.

They should be able to make my Sequoia get 30 mpg somehow... while not losing HP
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:18 PM   #19
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The observation is correct that vehicles are more fuel efficient, but your assumption as to why. is not necessarily correct. There is a reasonably sound argument that had the government left the competition of a free market to do this, it would have happened even sooner and even cheaper.

I can add some perspective to the "accepted wisdom", as an engineer who has worked on command and control software ranging from aerospace launch systems, to consumer vehicle electronics.

Everything "new" you see in vehicles today has been in an R&D "pipeline" for 10 years. Automotive engineers long ago realized that increasing displacement to increase power had practical limits in the consumer market.

For example in the 70's US R&D engineers in car companies and their suppliers were, as demanded by a competitive free market, working on technologies like multi valve cylinder heads, variable camshaft timing, electronic fuel injection, closed loop air/gas management, direct injection, electronic ignition control and a range of other highly competitive technologies to improve power, torque curves and drive-albility without brute force displacement increases.

As we see today in our contemporary engines, we of course knew that more efficient and controlled combustion delivers more power on the same amount of fuel, or the same amount of power on less fuel (better mileage). Smaller engines, more power, better fuel efficiency, lower emissions. This is just the basic stuff we all learn in engineering school. In the 70's there was a missing piece to bring it all together. We knew it, and were working on it.......

What changed the game in engine technology was microprocessors and Moore's Law, not the government. Engineers were anticipating digital engine management. The knee jerk regulations and mandates ordered by EPA bureaucrats and environmental activists in the 70's, sabotaged the US automotive R&D pipeline, because US engineers were forced to drop major technology investments, to go "bolt on" all sorts of garbage on US cars like EGRs. PCV, air injection etc. It was a terrible mistake which set the technology back by a decade or more, and gave the German and Japanese companies a huge advantage.

Had the US government not meddled in private industry, we would have better technology sooner and not have been playing catch-up.

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help"
Exactly what I would have said, but you said it better and beat me to it! Thank you! Those who think the "guvmint" has to force industry to do what is "right" don't understand two things: how a free market operates, and what a democracy means. In a free market, industry responds to what the consumer market wants and spends its money on. In a democracy, the majority vote determines the laws. No bunch of people in DC has any right to tell us how we "should" live, what are the "right" things to consume, etc. In a democracy, we, the people, determine individually how we want to live, and as those ways become noticeable to industry, they respond to that market. Or at least that's the way it is supposed to work before our wonderful, know-it-all guvmint got heavily involved and wasted billions and trillions of OUR $ taken unwillingly from OUR pockets on total losers of technology and industries. I just want to scream at the waste and the basic illegality of it all!! And even worse, I think it's too late to reverse this awful trend!!

Vivian.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:51 PM   #20
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So, the fact that Home Depot and Lowes offer rental trucks to meet a market demand for their customers who want to buy large things and drive smaller cars (or even giant truck-based SUVs with nice leather interiors and don't want drywall and fence posts inside) is the result of some government plot to take away your truck?

At the end you mentioned light bulbs, which is actually an even more spurious argument in the direction the rest of your post takes. The government actually got that one right, they didn't outlaw or mandate any particular technology, they just said "here's a baseline efficiency requirement in terms of lumens out per watts in, meet it any way you want to." NO ONE OUTLAWED INCANDESCENT BULBS. Manufacturers are already producing nice soft-white incandescents that meet the standard, as well as compact fluorescents and expensive LEDs.
No, it's not a govt plot that a market demand has been responded to by business in re truck rentals, but the direction is clear: for example, tax on diesel fuel is much higher than on gas although diesel is actually cheaper to produce than gas. The tax functions as an indirect way to "encourage" us to not use diesel pick- ups. In a more direct way, NY, i.e. Mayor Bloomberg, has made 16oz cokes illegal and is "encouraging" new mothers to breast feed by mandating removal of free samples of formula and requiring counseling for any mother who defies his "encouragement" by deciding to feed formula anyway.

And you are right: no one outlawed the sale of incandescent bulbs, although freon IS outlawed, it is just no longer feasible to make them. But what about the mercury/lead in the fluorescents and LEDs that will go into our landfills? How green and terrific is that?

What I rant about is the removal of our CHOICE, and the Big Brother Knows Best attitude of DC. Sorry if I came on too strong and offended, but I just feel so helpless as I see the juggernaut of Big Brother crunching on over our right to choose. Why is it not OK to choose to use an incandescent bulb or continue to use my rig's fridge that uses freon? Surely it is more "green" to continue to use something than throw it into the landfill (anti-green) and buy new (energy and materials used in manufacture are anti-green). OOOps, sorry, I'm ranting again.

Vivian
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:57 PM   #21
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Landshark, I think I love you, LOL. Buy you a beer!!MPJ
MPJ, we're inTX now instead of home in ID, but still too far to go for a beer, much as I would like to take you up on it! Drink a beer for me, and I'll drink one in your honor tonight! And remember, great minds think alike!

Vivian
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:58 PM   #22
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Physics

It's hard to cheat Newton.

You want a car that gets 100mpg? No problem. I can build you one. Really. It's a piece of cake. I'd use a 30hp diesel, it'd have three wheels (one in the back to drive and two in the front to steer) and it'd be a two seater, tandem configuration. All up weight would be about 1300lbs.

Would it meet CAFE crash standards? Heck no! Don't even think about running it into an F350 and surviving. But, it'd get great gas mileage.

Electronic Fuel Injection has done a lot for the internal combustion engine. Combine that with forced induction (aka super charging or turbo charging) and you've got a winner.

I recently test drove a Chevy Cruze Eco. I will probably buy it. It was a nice little car. Drove nicely, handled nicely, and they sticker it at 42mpg on the window. In talking with several folks that own one, they routinely get better than 47 mpg with them on level ground. But the car has thin sheet metal to get the weight down, active aerodynamics, and a tiny 1.4L 4-cylinder with a turbocharger. When you need the power, spool the turbo. When you cruise on flat ground, it's about the size of the motor in my Harley.

Just don't go head to head with an F350. Something's gotta give.

Why does a 2012 Dodge Challenger weigh 800lbs more than a 1970 Dodge Challenger? Primarily it's CAFE safety standards. I'd much rather be in a wreck in the new one than the old one.

Anyway, physics are physics.

Cheers,
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:14 PM   #23
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No, it's not a govt plot that a market demand has been responded to by business in re truck rentals, but the direction is clear: for example, tax on diesel fuel is much higher than on gas although diesel is actually cheaper to produce than gas. The tax functions as an indirect way to "encourage" us to not use diesel pick- ups.
So let's look at that. I averaged the 50-state numbers from gaspricewatch which they attribute to the American Petroleum Institute as of April 2012 and on average the total tax on gasoline is 46 cents/gallon, and on diesel it's 52.2 cents/gallon. In Texas it's about that same 6-cent spread between gasoline and diesel taxes, yet diesel costs 35 to 40 cents more per gallon than regular unleaded around here. Clearly that difference is not even mostly from tax. I'd also point out that less than half of the tax is federal, and the delta between gasoline and diesel in the federal excise tax is that same 6 cents per gallon.

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What I rant about is the removal of our CHOICE, and the Big Brother Knows Best attitude of DC. Sorry if I came on too strong and offended, but I just feel so helpless as I see the juggernaut of Big Brother crunching on over our right to choose. Why is it not OK to choose to use an incandescent bulb or continue to use my rig's fridge that uses freon? Surely it is more "green" to continue to use something than throw it into the landfill (anti-green) and buy new (energy and materials used in manufacture are anti-green). OOOps, sorry, I'm ranting again.

Vivian
So we've established that incandescent bulbs are still available, and now they're less inefficient, but you feel someone's telling you it's not OK for you to choose one?

And if your fridge uses freon (it probably wasn't R12 in the first place, though I know other working fluids have been phased out since The Big One) and is still working, who's making you quit using it again? If it's not working, are you SURE you still want to use it?
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Old 08-31-2012, 04:16 PM   #24
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CAFE = Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. Nothing directly to do with safety.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:37 PM   #25
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At the risk of having this thread shut down (after all, I started it), I'd like to point out that this regulation was done by executive order with support from the EPA I believe that my original premise that this was done to pander to the environmental vote is supported by the above post.
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Old 08-31-2012, 09:40 PM   #26
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At the risk of having this thread shut down (after all, I started it), I'd like to point out that this regulation was done by executive order with support from the EPA I believe that my original premise that this was done to pander to the environmental vote is supported by the above post.
Amen brother.

Now let's talk mpg again. All I want is 28 mpg with my 5.7 litter v8. Is that to much to ask for.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:35 PM   #27
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So let's look at that. I averaged the 50-state numbers from gaspricewatch which they attribute to the American Petroleum Institute as of April 2012 and on average the total tax on gasoline is 46 cents/gallon, and on diesel it's 52.2 cents/gallon. In Texas it's about that same 6-cent spread between gasoline and diesel taxes, yet diesel costs 35 to 40 cents more per gallon than regular unleaded around here. Clearly that difference is not even mostly from tax. I'd also point out that less than half of the tax is federal, and the delta between gasoline and diesel in the federal excise tax is that same 6 cents per gallon.

OK, last post: dunno on this one, other than diesel IS cheaper to make than gas.

So we've established that incandescent bulbs are still available, and now they're less inefficient, but you feel someone's telling you it's not OK for you to choose one?

Actually no, incandescents are not still available because the last manufacturer closed shop. People have been talking about stockpiling them from stores who still had them.

And if your fridge uses freon (it probably wasn't R12 in the first place, though I know other working fluids have been phased out since The Big One) and is still working, who's making you quit using it again? If it's not working, are you SURE you still want to use it?
Freon has to be replenished from time to time due to leaks or whatever to keep the fridge working. The fridge is otherwise functioning, but needs more freon. Since freon is no longer available, the only solution is a new fridge, or at least a different fridge, that uses the new stuff. So a working, perfectly good fridge that only needs more freon is junked. Seems wasteful and definitely anti-green to me. Just sayin'. IMHO.

I'm done on this thread.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:08 PM   #28
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I can't resist, one last post and I'll quit because it has definitely gone beyond fact-vs-fiction into left-vs-right.

Incandescent doesn't mean 37-cent imported 60w soft-whites, it means any light bulb that produces light by heating something to a temperature high enough that it radiates light, as opposed to fluorescing or using some other process to generate light. There are still incandescent bulbs available at Home Depot, they're just not the ones you're looking for, and they're more efficient.

Finally, from some other things you've said, I think the truth about the price of diesel is going to stick in your craw. It's the free market that's causing that price difference, supply and demand. While there is less refining required to make diesel, refiners prefer different feed stock for the 2 products and they tailor their facilities for what they sell most of, and what they sell most of in the US is gasoline.

It's clear that facts aren't effective in this instance and I'm not going to talk politics, so I'm done.
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