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Old 03-20-2007, 07:05 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ljmiii
Sadly, in only three short weeks the author's perspective is now more along the lines of "Student writer discovers failure to fact check can create instant fame (or was that infamy?)" He got caught relying on the report that CNW Marketing Research Inc put out in 2006 and spread like wildfire on the internet as 'Prius vs Hummer'.

Unfortunately for Mr. Demorro, the CNW Marketing report was debunked when it was found to contradict the results of automobile lifecycle environmental assessments of outfits like Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Argonne National Laboratory (U of Chicago's DOE lab).


All of which is not to say that I believe hybrids are the solution to every problem. As I've noted in other posts, if you live in the American Southwest (eg high speed, low traffic, high temps) a TDI is a much better choice.
Yes, I thought it was an interesting read. I had my doubts about the integrity of the article when I saw the publisher, but could not find anything disputing it as you did. The economics of environmentalism are sometimes clear as mud.I think Hybrid technology does have a bright future. I personally feel it is not quite there yet and that diesel is a better choice now, and for the foreseeable future. Early adopters such as you certainly aid in the development. I have been following your post and am quite interested in how the Hybrid holds up. I work with one Insight owner and one Prius owner. You are the first person I know of who is towing with one though. The torque characteristics of the system certainly are intriguing.
One of the Gentlemen in my office drives past that area of Ontario every summer and confirms it is eerily decimated...

Bill
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:32 AM   #44
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It seems to me that there is no single answer to America's, or the World's, energy problem. We have a variety of energy solutions at our disposal, but none of them is getting enough R&D to make any of them truly viable.

My oldest son is intrigued by fuel cells (he's about to turn 10, BTW) and I recently printed an article on their current status for him to read because he had so many questions for me that I just couldn't explain on his level. The article was by Bill Nye, the Science Guy, and did an excellent job. My son also doesn't understand why solar isn't the clear answer to our homes' energy needs...afterall, that's free energy, isn't it? He also wants to be the first to develop a solar electric passenger car. He doesn't think in terms of the consistency issues caused by weather and the need for energy by most people during hours when the sun isn't shining which leads us back to those batteries and the environmental issues they create.

Today we are taking delivery of an '07 Expedition for my wife. She really wanted to go green and first test drove a Hybrid Lexus RX 400h but didn't like it and felt the extra $4K wasn't worth the relatively small increase in MPG's (there is actually a decrease in highway MPG's because of the battery weight and virtually no use of the electric motor at highway speeds). My son was disappointed that she didn't get the hybrid. She next test drove a Volvo SUV and didn't like it either. It was hard to get into and out of because of the high step up and step over. The third row seat was too cramped to be usable and the cargo area behind it was too small for even groceries. The next vehicle she test drove was an Explorer. It drove the most like her current Expedition and she liked the way it handled better than the new Expedition, but she felt it wasn't worth the 1 MPH increase in city MPG's and 0 increase in highway MPG's to go with it over the Expedition.

The fully loaded Expedition Limited meets our family's needs better than the fully loaded Explorer Limited, cost approximately $3K more, and gets virtually the same MPG's so that is what she finally decided on. BTW, the Expedition gets the same MPG's as the Volvo and not that far from the highway mileage of the Lexus and runs virtually the same in price.

Moral of this story is that just because it is green(er), doesn't mean it is the best solution.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:58 AM   #45
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Prius Outdoes Hummer in Environmental Damage

Now here is something to think about.

"When you pool together all the combined energy it takes to drive and build a Toyota Prius, the flagship car of energy fanatics, it takes almost 50 percent more energy than a Hummer - the Prius’s arch nemesis."

Link to Article:
The Recorder


Feel free to pick it apart, it just something I ran across on another site. I like my F-150


Thanks Jim
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:40 AM   #46
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I've gone diesel...too bad Ford quit making the Expedition with a diesel engine. They have proposed a diesel/electric/fuel cell hybrid in a concept truck at a car show last year. Too bad we'll never see that one in the show rooms.

Several months ago I read about a process the Chinese came up with that recycles post consumer plastics into diesel and gasoline for less than $.50/gallon. The refinery is small enough to have a portable unit at every land fill. A British company owns the license to build the plants world wide. I'd love to see that come to fruition. Save precious landfill space and reduce dependence on foreign oil at the same time...double environmental whammy.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:24 AM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
Yes, I thought it was an interesting read. I had my doubts about the integrity of the article when I saw the publisher, but could not find anything disputing it as you did.
I also read Greenhybrid.com...it provided a variety of links to the articles and studies that debunked the CNW Marketing Research report (and later the Reporter article). I must confess that I only read the Carneige Mellon study, I didn't follow up the MIT and Argonne work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
I think Hybrid technology does have a bright future. I personally feel it is not quite there yet and that diesel is a better choice now, and for the foreseeable future.
It depends on where you live and how you drive. If you live in a congested city with a temperate climate (e.g. Tokyo, SF, NY) the hybrid wins hands down. If you live where speeds and temps are high (e.g. American Southwest) the diesel wins. If most of your driving is at low speeds for short distances in hot weather (e.g. retirement communties in Florida) an electric golf cart is the vehicle of choice.

And for pulling heavy loads diesel wins everywhere. Hybrid-izing a dedicated tow vehicle is a waste (that is to say full Hybrid-izing...what GM offers on their trucks seems useful). The HiHy is great as my tow vehicle because the vast majority of my miles are done without towing.
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Old 03-21-2007, 11:49 AM   #48
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good thinking leo...

still i wish ford was making this puppy...

Ford Motor Company - Press Release - FORD F-250 SUPER CHIEF CONCEPT: A BOLD, AMERICAN FLEX FUEL PICKUP THAT DELIVERS TOMORROW'S FUEL TODAY

with hcci for the gasoline and bio/diesel (not etoh), recycled internally and hydrogen...

University of Michigan - Michigan Today

i'm ready for the space age in a big honk'n truck!

cheers
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Old 03-21-2007, 12:16 PM   #49
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Hello everyone,

I have myself posted about the hybrids poorer fuel economy and Ive been
involved with them in real world and technicians school as well .It opened
new insight to the good and the bad .The hybrid such as the highlander
really should not need a 3.3 v-6 as the standard highlander does ,but in fact
carrying all the extra weight of the motors (2 of them) as well as the gas v-6
adds a huge amount of extra weight .The battery packs have limited life
so thats a big increase of cost ,thousands of dollars YES thousands for
a new battery pack .You are still using gasoline most of the time as the
hybrid uses the gas engine almost continuousely as the battery has a 4
mile range only without the gas engine .Further ,when the battery pack is at 40% the gas engine has to run to charge them up .The idea is promising
but is not delivering the mileage or cost savings in the long run .The insight
gets 60 mpg they say ,but it has a 3 cylinder 1.0 litre engine and many other
aerodynamic improvements as well as LRR tires (low rolling resistence) to
improve mileage. By comparison the GEO metro gets 49 to 55 mpg on its 3
cylinder 1.0 (no hybrid stuff). So they can get the mileage without the extra stuff .Remember ,you are STILL using gasoline when driving a hybrid and NOT
saving lots of fuel .The hybrid to be effective needs a small efficeint gas engine ,like the insight .To ljmiii ,I commend you on your efforts to make the highlander work as a TV and going to the trouble to figure it all out IE: weights and loading and all ,good job on that .you obviuosely want it to prevail and work out .It is at its limit however and thats just the way it is.
Study of the drivetrain components and there strength ,bearing loading
and wear factors on these components should also be part of your quest
to tow with this vehical ,so you know its limitations . Again ,its not just about the torque of the electric motors that should be your only consideration ,
but how well it will hold up to the job .Say how much towing load can the
CVT stand before is done? Again ,I lay out these questions from a technicians
stand point ,knowing what loads and strengths components can sustain .
your towing within the tightest limits of this vehical ,and its important to
consider all of the factors involved .Again,your making it work ,but there are
considerations to remember .when the mileage of any hybrid improves over
20% of any equivelent gasoline powered vehical and does not require the gas engine to be in continuouse use ,I myself will give them another look ,
but for now ,they are not delivering the goods especially for 4 to 5000 dollars
over the base non hybrid models.

Scott
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:45 PM   #50
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ljmii, yes that is true, for mostly city driving a hybrid can be a winner. For the majority of Americans, that is unfortunately, not the case. Commute distances are increasing-too bad; working closer to home is one of the most efficient changes we can make. But the manner in which the majority of American is using hybrids is what has led to much of the disappointment with their mpg efficiency (or lack of it). So it's not that they cannot achieve great efficiency, they can, they just are being used in an inefficient manner.

I was fortunate to get a job close enough to home about 1 year ago, I ride my bike 10 months out of the year-now that is efficient and green!

As for some of the other comments; I don't believe your motivation was economic?
I believe it is more in the interest of the environment?
Unfortunately, they sometimes prove to be opposing goals. That is one of the points the "Recorder" study attempted to make.

Some of the Scandinavian countries have proven you can have both; read up on their use of wind power.

In either case, I am following your adventure, and wish you well. You are to be commended for going where no Streamer has gone before!

Bill
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:08 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
I was fortunate to get a job close enough to home about 1 year ago, I ride my bike 10 months out of the year-now that is efficient and green!
That IS really fortunate! It was (unbelieveably) almost 20 years ago that I got to do the same thing. I loved it...brain and body were always ready for work when I got there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillTex
As for some of the other comments; I don't believe your motivation was economic? I believe it is more in the interest of the environment?
To a certain extent. I needed a vehicle that seated 7 and wanted one that was reasonably nimble and quick. And a long range between fillups was desired - gas is a lot cheaper 50mi from home. The HiHy just fit the bill better than anything else that was out there.

enjoy,
leo
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:09 PM   #52
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[quote=Blu_Hwy_Lady]Wow! BillTex that article was an eye-opener. I just don't understand why all the sides of a "solution" aren't presented. ...
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I have been following this thread, partly because we just bought a Toyota Highlander, gas V6, and partly because my TV is a diesel. I think the conclusions are helpful in the long run, for me. #1 I don't think I will use the Hylander to tow the Sovereign. #2 I am happy to be happy with my diesel at 17 mpg, towing or not towing. And can now feel a little less guilty(environmentally) for driving a big, honkin, diesel-truck. Maybe look into bio diesel, or that french fry oil conversion.
About "wild hogs." We saw that Monday night and now I want to move to Madrid. Looks like a great place to park under a cottonwood tree. Actually we are pretty close to that part of NM. Anybody know if there is an RV park there? I checked on the internet and found none, but a place with 30 galleries can't be devoid of opportunities for creative living.
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Old 03-22-2007, 02:02 AM   #53
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Billtex ,

I disagree with your point that Americans are using the hybrid wrong????
It needs to deliver what has been promised ,to blame the operator of it
or the environment it is used in makes no sense .We want fuel economy
thats true ,make the vehical so it CAN deliver it ,or whats the point really?
the toyota prius on a freeway drive (not traffic) does not do much better
than 30 mpg ,how great does that sound? My 76 toyota celica gave me
28 29 on the freeway from LA to SB CA all the time at 55 mph. I believe being economical should be the main issue ,if you think your helping the environment by driving a hybrid ,and it gets poorer mileage than its gas only
version ,and your burning gasoline ,its still polluting is it not ? the gas engine
is running most of the time ,you may not notice it as its quiet ,but it is .
Billtex ,the range on electric is 4 miles only ,then the gas burning polluting engine comes to life .If you want to be green ,be honest about it and quit
using gasoline ,diesel or any fossill fuel period ,don't fly on a jet or any thing that uses fuel that pollutes ,ride the bike ,or the segway or walk .Tell me
how the hybrid with its poor economy or gasoline burning engine is green in
any way ? the engine uses motor oil ,coolant is toxic ,the battery acid is deadly ,the electric motor system has its own cooling system that uses antifreeze to cool it .Its not enough to go on about how green and great hybrids are, get some real good knowledge of them ,unless you like spending 4000 to 5000 dollars more for one and get less gas mileage than a
gasoline only version .You guys want clean burning fuel ,PROPANE is the answer ,very clean burning fuel ,readily available everywhere.

Continue now with your regular conversation .

P.S. bilby05 stop with the guilty feelings, no reason to feel bad about your vehical ,use bio diesel if you want too

Scott
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:00 AM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottanlily
Billtex ,

I disagree with your point that Americans are using the hybrid wrong????
It needs to deliver what has been promised ,to blame the operator of it
or the environment it is used in makes no sense .We want fuel economy
thats true ,make the vehical so it CAN deliver it ,or whats the point really?
the toyota prius on a freeway drive (not traffic) does not do much better
than 30 mpg ,how great does that sound? My 76 toyota celica gave me
28 29 on the freeway from LA to SB CA all the time at 55 mph. I believe being economical should be the main issue ,if you think your helping the environment by driving a hybrid ,and it gets poorer mileage than its gas only
version ,and your burning gasoline ,its still polluting is it not ? the gas engine
is running most of the time ,you may not notice it as its quiet ,but it is .
Billtex ,the range on electric is 4 miles only ,then the gas burning polluting engine comes to life .If you want to be green ,be honest about it and quit
using gasoline ,diesel or any fossill fuel period ,don't fly on a jet or any thing that uses fuel that pollutes ,ride the bike ,or the segway or walk .Tell me
how the hybrid with its poor economy or gasoline burning engine is green in
any way ? the engine uses motor oil ,coolant is toxic ,the battery acid is deadly ,the electric motor system has its own cooling system that uses antifreeze to cool it .Its not enough to go on about how green and great hybrids are, get some real good knowledge of them ,unless you like spending 4000 to 5000 dollars more for one and get less gas mileage than a
gasoline only version .You guys want clean burning fuel ,PROPANE is the answer ,very clean burning fuel ,readily available everywhere.

Continue now with your regular conversation .

P.S. bilby05 stop with the guilty feelings, no reason to feel bad about your vehical ,use bio diesel if you want too

Scott
No one said hybrids were being used wrong...just inefficiently. The hybrid cars original intent was for intercity commuting, at which they excel. This, actually, was the “promise” made by the companies marketing these cars, and is pretty much how they are used in other countries. Unfortunately, as stated previously, this is not how most American commute.
Any way, the point of my posting the link to the Recorder article was to demonstrate that our best efforts at environmentalism are not always as clear as we would like to think. Not criticize, or promote, any one technology. Until any of them are proven, both financially and environmentally, we need to keep experimenting and developing.

Gm did produce electric cars, and will again soon. This technology, again, would be best used intercity. Cylinder deactivation is another route to better efficiency. I am not really pro any of these options just yet, I think much of the alternative energy choices need to be further examined in depth before we commit whole scale. But it is important that we start exploring them now.

Some folks are willing to accept a financial sacrifice for the environmental incentive.
Other early adopters, such as ljmii, will certainly contribute to advancing the technology.
BTW; Segway uses environmentally unfriendly batteries also. (Wouldn’t it be easier, and better for you to just walk?)

Propane did experience dangerously low supply levels this past winter in New England, and does nothing to reduce our dependence on foreign energy. I used to heat my last home with propane. While it is clean burning, it is VERY expensive, and has a low flash point. I'll pass on that.

My personal take is we should promote use of bicycles, walking, and commuter rails. These are much more efficient and sustainable choices. We Americans are for too dependant on all types of motorized transportation. I am earning my carbon points by riding my bike and walking just about everywhere I can. This would be my chosen cause, rather than depending on any type of engine. We actually moved 5 years ago so we could live in a town where this is possible. By moving, and getting a job closer to home, I have saved 25k miles/year commuting versus my previous situation. Part of this is environmental, and a lot is for quality of life. Simplify, simplify.
I enjoy towing my AS with my diesel truck, and am not about to give up either, but the truck pretty much stays parked awaiting tow duty, or long trips.
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Old 03-22-2007, 09:29 AM   #55
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Talking hybrids

A really poor solution to a huge problem. It's my guess that H2 will be the next big fuel source in two formats, conventional internal combustion for RV's Trucks, the big stuff and fuel cells for people transporters.

Just consider the huge pollution caused from batteries! The manufacture and disposal of batteries is big problem. You hybrid folks are in for a big shock, pun intended, the first time you need to replace the batteries

Also, you efficiency boys may argue, each time you convert energy to a different form you consume energy in the conversion so converting gasoline to electrical energy is inefficient. Hybrids weigh much more than conventioal cars which is also ineffcient.

Now, I'm going to hop into my SUV and go get a fill up.
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Old 03-22-2007, 10:44 AM   #56
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Batteries, Sudbury, and the environment

I hate to hijack my own thread - and I never expected I would have to become an expert on this topic - but here goes.

According to consumer reports hybrid batteries have a mean life expectancy of 150,000 to 180,000 miles.(1) Of course some burn out earlier - that is what 'mean' means. In Japan every Toyota battery is directly recycled, in the US they try to do so but automobile disposal laws are less stringent.

Despite what the yammerhead at Greenpeace said (which got quoted by England's Mail, which got quoted by the student at the Recorder) the Superstack is not the cause of Sudbury's environmental problem - it is one of the solutions. Emissions of SO2, mercury, etc were atrociously high until the Canadian Gov't finally forced the closure of the worst smelters which were replaced by the superstack facility in 1972. The pollution continued at 'still way too high' until the Canadian Gov't forced further reductions around 1990. They have remained at that relatively low level ever since.(2) Sudbury has in fact been on the environmental rebound since it's low point of 1972. (3) Not that all is peaches and cream...just better from a horrible low.

You will note that the Prius entered production in 1997 - 7 years after the 1990 reforms and 25 years after the horror smelters were closed. A Prius uses about 200 pounds of nickel per vehicle or 30 million pounds for the 150,000 existing Prius. This compares with the Canadian nickel output since 1997 of over 3,800 million pounds (4) or in other words the Prius accounted for .789% of the total output. To say that the Prius is responsible for Sudbury's current state is absurd.

Lastly, so everyone compares apples to apples (except of course the folk at CNW research) the calculation of the envionmental impact over a car's lifetime from manufacture through use and disposal is standardized in ISO 14040. It is a bit full of 'happy talk', but if you like you can read a summary of Toyota's ISO 14040 report on the Prius (5).



(1) ConsumerReports.org - High cost of hybrid vehicles, sizing up the savings & costs 9/06

(2) Inco CC Smelter

(3) SpringerLink - Journal Article

(4) Total Canadian nickle number taken without further research - I'm not that masochistic.

(5) http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/k_forum/tenji/pdf/pgr_e.pdf
Be forwarned, though it is in English there are a few Kanji characters so Adobe will prompt you to download the japanese character set.
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