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Anyone altering their driving habits due to outrageous gas prices?

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Old 12-20-2007, 04:03 PM   #331
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daleb,

My move to a Honda Fit was from old technology (gasoline combustion engine) to old technology. The fuel savings are due to the size and design of the auto rather than the introduction of new technology.

Two reasons that I stayed away from the current hybrids (gasoline & electric) is that they are still new technologies with no real track record, and the initial cost of the vehicle is much higher than a comparable gasoline powered auto.

If the batteries fail 8 years down the road and cost $5k to replace, this could very well eliminate any fuel savings by the owner. For example, assume my Fit gets 35 MPG and the hybrid gets 50 MPG. Assume I drive 12,000 miles per year and that gasoline costs $3.00. My hybrid fuel bill is $720, my Honda Fit fuel bill $1,028, a savings of $308 per year for the hybrid, or $2,464 over the 8 year period in my example above. And that doesn't factor in the extra $10-15k cost for the hybrid vehicle in the first place.

I may get some "hate mail" on this, but I think that there is a lot more "feel good" benefit to the hybrid owner than actual benefit to the environment. At the same time, we will eventually have to replace gasoline, so it is important to look at other options.
I won't give you any "hate mail" I understand your opinion but, I will correct a couple of highlighted examples above.

Total cost of replacement for the entire battery system electric power system on a Hybrid Civic is just over $1200 including labor and they are warrantied for 8 years 100,000 miles and Honda expects the system to last at least 10 years 150,000 miles.

And where your Fit (a wonderful car by the way) is around $14,585 to $15,400 depending on the trim level and transmission and since there is only a little over $600 mark-up from cost to MSRP.

The Honda Hybrid Civic is around
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Old 12-20-2007, 05:11 PM   #332
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I won't give you any "hate mail" I understand your opinion but, I will correct a couple of highlighted examples above.

Total cost of replacement for the entire battery system electric power system on a Hybrid Civic is just over $1200 including labor and they are warrantied for 8 years 100,000 miles and Honda expects the system to last at least 10 years 150,000 miles.

And where your Fit (a wonderful car by the way) is around $14,585 to $15,400 depending on the trim level and transmission and since there is only a little over $600 mark-up from cost to MSRP.
The Honda Civic Hybrid is $22,600 ($23,400 for one with NAV system) mark-up is around $1000 so it is around $7200 more expensive.

Using your estimate of gas mile for the Fit and the lower estimate for the Civic Hybrid of 46 mpg city/highway combined and using a gas mileage calculator on the Honda website and using $3.00 per gallon cost, you will save $1,147.14 per year if you drive 12,000 miles per year (low end of the yearly average of 12,000 to 15,000 miles per year).

Also you will get $2100 deduction off of your Federal taxes if you buy one also.

The cost of total replacement for the entire Hybrid's electric battery pack and power system including labor is just over $1200 but that will not be a problem because the warranty is for 8 years 80,000 miles, in fact Honda estimates it to last with no problem for 10 years 150,000 miles. You would probably be safe to own for 10 years and by that time you would conservatively save $11,471.40 in gas cost alone, probably a lot more because gas cost will go up and even if the battery electric system went totally bad even with it's cost subtracted you would still come out $10,271.40 ahead.

And remember Honda has had a Hybrid on the market in the US since 1992 (the Insight) and the system has been proven to be very reliable and economical to own and operate.

In summation the Fit saves you $7200 (maybe less) over the Hybrid Civic.

the Hybrid Civic saves you in 5 years $5735.70 in gas cost, $2100 tax deduction for a total of $7835.70 and if you keep it for 10 years even at the worst (the battery power system failing) you would save $12,371.40

I speak from experience we own a Honda Hybrid Civic (we get and average of 49 mpg).

I've also owned a Smart ForTwo coupe which got around 55 mpg (look at my avatar).

So I back up what I preach, Hybrids are a very good start to saving fuel and oil usage by finding alternate ways of powering our vehicles.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:40 PM   #333
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But you live in Florida and your gas is treated differently that it is in the Northern States. You actually get better gas mileage. Come up North and you'll average 30MPG. Those who I know own the vehicle you drive tell me this is what they get. When I drive my V6 3.2L down to South Florida, my mileage goes up.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:29 PM   #334
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But you live in Florida and your gas is treated differently that it is in the Northern States. You actually get better gas mileage. Come up North and you'll average 30MPG. Those who I know own the vehicle you drive tell me this is what they get. When I drive my V6 3.2L down to South Florida, my mileage goes up.
Quality of gas is always going to play a huge role. This is why I think California's use of that 15% crap Cali RFG may not be providing the benefits they think it is. Whenever I fill up at a station that doesn't offer pure petrol and blends Ethanol, I always notice my mileage taking a significant dip. I think it is great that they feel they need to bow to the agricultural special interests, but what is the use of using a fuel blend that reduces polution, but increases fuel consumption? Isn't this essentially solving one problem by creating another?
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:19 PM   #335
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Quality of gas is always going to play a huge role. This is why I think California's use of that 15% crap Cali RFG may not be providing the benefits they think it is. Whenever I fill up at a station that doesn't offer pure petrol and blends Ethanol, I always notice my mileage taking a significant dip. I think it is great that they feel they need to bow to the agricultural special interests, but what is the use of using a fuel blend that reduces polution, but increases fuel consumption? Isn't this essentially solving one problem by creating another?
Does California use the 15% Ethanol mix, is that what you are referring to?

If that is the case then the reason you see the dip in gas mileage is because Ethanol has only 72% of the energy of 100% gasoline, it takes 1.5 gallons of Ethanol to go as far as 1 gallon of gasoline, that is why you see a drop in fuel economy when using it and if your car is not a FlexFuel car then you also see the same percentage of horsepower drop only FlexFuel designed cars get the same horsepower from E85 as gasoline.

And Ethanol will never replace gasoline, it would take every usable acre of farmland (right now they're using around 20%) in the US to produce enough Ethanol to replace gasoline and diesel for use in every vehicle we now drive and because the Ethanol plants now are using coal instead of natural gas to power the plants to produce Ethanol, they actually produce more greenhouse/ozone damaging particulates then the gasoline/diesel they would produce. And never mind the increased corn production alone and it's resulting increase in fertilizer, pesticides and water that is used to grow it would pollute the groundwater and continue to flow down river into the Gulf of Mexico where it is producing a growing dead zone (right now the size of New Jersey) where nothing can live, no fish, shrimp, mollusks , that will completely destroy the fishing industry along the Gulf of Mexico and cost it billions upon billions of lost revenue to the local economies.

Ethanol is a nice idea, but ultimately a failed theory/method to replace petroleum products to run our national economy and transportation needs.

It is just getting so much attention is because our political leaders see it as a great buzz word to help in their re-elections and they don't know anything about it other than that it makes them look motivated to protect the enviroment.
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Old 12-22-2007, 01:51 PM   #336
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Does California use the 15% Ethanol mix, is that what you are referring to?

If that is the case then the reason you see the dip in gas mileage is because Ethanol has only 72% of the energy of 100% gasoline, it takes 1.5 gallons of Ethanol to go as far as 1 gallon of gasoline, that is why you see a drop in fuel economy when using it and if your car is not a FlexFuel car then you also see the same percentage of horsepower drop only FlexFuel designed cars get the same horsepower from E85 as gasoline.

And Ethanol will never replace gasoline, it would take every usable acre of farmland (right now they're using around 20%) in the US to produce enough Ethanol to replace gasoline and diesel for use in every vehicle we now drive and because the Ethanol plants now are using coal instead of natural gas to power the plants to produce Ethanol, they actually produce more greenhouse/ozone damaging particulates then the gasoline/diesel they would produce. And never mind the increased corn production alone and it's resulting increase in fertilizer, pesticides and water that is used to grow it would pollute the groundwater and continue to flow down river into the Gulf of Mexico where it is producing a growing dead zone (right now the size of New Jersey) where nothing can live, no fish, shrimp, mollusks , that will completely destroy the fishing industry along the Gulf of Mexico and cost it billions upon billions of lost revenue to the local economies.

Ethanol is a nice idea, but ultimately a failed theory/method to replace petroleum products to run our national economy and transportation needs.

It is just getting so much attention is because our political leaders see it as a great buzz word to help in their re-elections and they don't know anything about it other than that it makes them look motivated to protect the enviroment.
This is partially why I really with the US would be more willing to look at and invest in nuclear power. Yes there is the entire problem with waste disposal, but technology advancements are being made in storage technology. I think that we as a society could be in a pickle in the future if we are so unwilling to explore ALL options and thus choose to try to fixate on only a few that in themselves are unsustainable. Part of solving this problem is finding a way to get special interest influence out of Washington as politicians are always going to cater to groups that finance their political campaigns. The agricultural industry(especially in the cornbelt) has done a good job of brainwashing people into thinking that a solution is so simple, which as you say has made it easy for many politicians from heavily agricultural districts.
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Old 12-25-2007, 02:54 PM   #337
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But you live in Florida and your gas is treated differently that it is in the Northern States. You actually get better gas mileage. Come up North and you'll average 30MPG. Those who I know own the vehicle you drive tell me this is what they get. When I drive my V6 3.2L down to South Florida, my mileage goes up.
I assume you are referring to the Civic Hybrid's gas mileage, it has been up here in Kansas for 2 years with me while I'm getting treatment at VA spinal cord injury clinic and it is still getting the same gas mileage I listed above.

The very worst we have gotten is 45 mpg (49 is our normal average) and that was in extreme conditions (city and highway combined).

If you're referring to the smart ForTwo, it actually got no less then 47 mpg, loaded to the gills with luggage and two people and that was at averaging over 70 mph into a stiff wind on the interstate going from Wichita to Oklahoma City.

If your friends got only 30 mpg from either vehicle (which I seriously doubt) they must drive dragging a large boat anchor behind them.

I've heard all this C**P before and it is generally from people that don't know anything about the cars in question.

No offense to you!
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Old 02-28-2008, 12:24 PM   #338
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I get 32 hwy and 28 city from a 1985 accord...and am tickled with it seeing as I have less than $1000 in it total and have put 20k miles on it already. I have gotten 42mpg out of a 1983 civic, but after I put 160k on it the thing started smoking and I didn't have the $ to fix it...can't much complain though I had it for 4 years and sold it for more than I paid for it with 335k miles on it. (the clutch was out when I bought it)
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Old 03-10-2008, 08:16 AM   #339
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I get 100 MPGallon driving around town here...

I spend roughly $2.50 (0.8 gallon) for gas a week.

Outstanding for town !

I get nasty looks when i go to buy my gas too....

I don't worry about gas prices
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:54 AM   #340
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We laugh when a SUV passes us on the freeway doing 90. And we really get a giggle out of the 4 by pickups doing 90 that are four feet off the ground (pavement to door sill). Rented a Chrysler SUV a couple of months ago to go to So. Cal and I had to cruise at 65 with the air off just to get 15 mpg, about 13 at normal freeway speeds of 70-75. How can anyone put up with that??? Honestly though, I hate my Ford Ranger (second one) as it struggles to get 20 mpg. It is one of the green engines that was made to use ethanol when available, has no torque and guzzles gas. Shit, sounded like a good idea at the time.

We would love an affordable pure electric compact for toodling around town, but no one makes them. Don't see how a small electric with a 50-70 mile range should cost as much as a hybrid but apparently the car companies just won't make one for us. Really, 80 percent of our driving is in town and probably less tha 25 miles on any given day (less than 15 on most days).

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Old 03-10-2008, 05:18 PM   #341
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We laugh when a SUV passes us on the freeway doing 90. And we really get a giggle out of the 4 by pickups doing 90 that are four feet off the ground (pavement to door sill). Rented a Chrysler SUV a couple of months ago to go to So. Cal and I had to cruise at 65 with the air off just to get 15 mpg, about 13 at normal freeway speeds of 70-75. How can anyone put up with that??? Honestly though, I hate my Ford Ranger (second one) as it struggles to get 20 mpg. It is one of the green engines that was made to use ethanol when available, has no torque and guzzles gas. Shit, sounded like a good idea at the time.

We would love an affordable pure electric compact for toodling around town, but no one makes them. Don't see how a small electric with a 50-70 mile range should cost as much as a hybrid but apparently the car companies just won't make one for us. Really, 80 percent of our driving is in town and probably less tha 25 miles on any given day (less than 15 on most days).

Ed
Just be patient as the laws of economics will eventually force firms to start producing plug in hybrids that can get upto 70mpg or so. We know that Toyota and especially GM have been working on plug in hybrids for a while now, and it is simply a matter of how much demand there is. Due to increased demand by the Indians and Chinese, as well as inelasticities in the supply able to be provided by our refineries, combined with the weakening dollar, gas prices are going to continue to skyrocket which will increase demand for vehicles like the types you are interested in. Your Ford Ranger isn't a bad choice, but i'm surprised Ford is still using those antique 3.0 litre OHV Vulcan V6's as those engines havn't really been updated since they came out in 1985/1986!!! If you don't mind going to a 4 cylinder, Ford's newer I4 powered Rangers are I believe the most fuel efficient pickup you can currently buy, and even then only gets fuel economy in the mid 20's at best.

Some people prefer SUV's, as everyone has different preferences in life. If we all wanted the same things in life, life would be very boring. You really can't avoid buying a gas guzzling SUV depending on what your needs might be. A newer Crossover might be able to haul 7 people, but it still won't be able to haul a big ass trailer or boat like a traditional SUV can. This is likely why Crossovers are getting popular, as it gives you the feel of an SUV, but with fuel economy closer to a car. I view SUV's as a superior commodity and prefer it, and yet am a realist. I bought my SUV that gets 10-12 mpg at best(400hp + 5000lbs), and use a Focus for my daily driving needs since I do drive 60-90 miles per day.

The reason why you get really bad gas mileage is because you live in California. That California RFG is really shitty stuff, and is a unique formulation to just California. That stuff is blended with 15% ethanol if i'm not mistaken, and is incredibly horrible stuff for performance and economy. If you were to go to somewhere like MI where you get pure petrol that is not blended with ethanol, you would likely get very good gas mileage. This is partially why E85 will likely not be the answer unless they can make it in enough volume without compromising our food supply.
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Old 03-12-2008, 09:25 AM   #342
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Solar and wind are a couple of technologies that have not had the sunlight shined on them enough. Solar makes some economic sense, especially in areas where it is expensive/hard/impossible to run a power line. Examples are the school flashers, remote areas and space. But solar is not a good trade off for petroleum generated energy. There was a study a few years ago that concluded that solar energy was a net negative to the planet in that it took more non-renewable energy to produce the equipment than it would save in the equipment's lifetime. This included the production of the equipment, delivery and installation - all of the energy consumed to install and keep in operation. The exception to this was the solar water heaters, since no electrical components are involved. Now today with advancements in battery technology and efficiencies of photo equipment it may have turned the corner, but it is almost impossible to get a solid report of the current status.

Wind on the other hand does not make economic sense in most areas of the planet where wind is in enough steady supply to power a farm. Coastal areas have the corrosive issues and desert areas have the dusty environments. This causes enormous maintenance costs that are never accounted for when building the farms. They have three wind farms on the big island of Hawaii, where incidentally just about every alternative energy scheme has been tried due to the National Energy Lab being located there. The first farm down at the South Point area is just about shutdown, if not completely shutdown. The last time I was there in 2006 there was not even one turbine running. They were building a new one up in the northern tip of the island near Hawi and should be in operation by now. The third one is in the Waimea area. The problem is after they are built there is not enough income to keep them in repair, so after using tax money to build them (or help) under the guise of research, when they fall into disrepair they are just shutdown. Here I agree with the people in Mass. that don't want the offshore farm.

Rather than sink a lot of money into solar and wind, I feel like other alternative energy sources are a much better bet.

For more information on the Hawaii National Energy Lab see: http://www.nelha.org/
Cars directly powered by solar don't seem likely, but you could use the panels at your home to charge up an electric car. I think solar generation of electricity has great potential, but it requires that people reconsider how they invest in their homes, the most promising use of solar is at the home site, I think. The cost of panels is coming down and their efficiency is greatly improved.

The problem is that solar panels still require a large upfront investment by homeowners and money is tight right now. People see the wisdom of investing in multi pane windows, insulation packages, and energy efficient appliances but are not usually investing in solar panels. Here in "Sac o Tomatoes" (Sacramento) there are a couple of new housing projects that are 100% energy self sufficient, the price is higher than a regular home but not out of reach for a mid to high end home buyer. I think it is a bit of a stretch to think a home will never use the power mains and gas supplies, but the less used the better for everyone, well except PG&E.

I don't think solar has much use for energy producing companies, when we lived in Vegas there was a "showcase" solar energy plant in the city, but it was really just a gimmick. The idea of solar producing plants in the desert sounded good, and I think there is at least one, but energy producers need to supply electricity at night and in bad weather as well, too bad there is no technology for storing large amounts of electricity for solar energy producers. However, using solar panels on homes would allow conventional energy plants to be smaller as the peak summer demand for electricity would be lower.

Correct me if I am wrong, but sooooo far I have not heard the power companies weigh in on solar, not sure why. Also, won't the wide spread use of solar help reduce the high temperatures in cities compared to the countryside.

Whadda ya think?

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Old 03-12-2008, 09:32 AM   #343
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Hydrogen Fuel Cells . . . .

Let me ask the knowledgable posters here a question:

How do you seperate the Hydrogen from water?

It is my understanding that electricity is used - and lots of it. Are we once again moving a problem from the left pocket to the right pocket?

So in the future, cars will be powered by Hydrogen - and the electric plants will have a huge demand like they have never seen before, to make available the electricity to convert the water to Hydrogen - so once again - what powers the electric plants?

And yes, this thread has been very enjoyable and I too have learned a great deal about alternative energy sources.
Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the industry was looking at refining Hydrogen from fossil fuels? Hate to go political, but that would explain why the current oil based administration is touting the future of hydrogen powered cars, it keeps them in business.
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Old 03-12-2008, 11:45 AM   #344
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Correct me if I am wrong but I thought the industry was looking at refining Hydrogen from fossil fuels? Hate to go political, but that would explain why the current oil based administration is touting the future of hydrogen powered cars, it keeps them in business.
So much research needs to be done with obtaining hydrogen, but one way to obtain it is through the process of electrolysis by splitting the H and O atoms from water. The problem is that this is incredibly energy intensive. I believe there is another process that allows you to obtain hydrogen from coal, or some other source through some reaction. I'm not sure how you would "refine" hydrogen" from fossil fuels though. However, I thought that the current "oil" based administration was more interested in ethanol than hydrogen. Breakthroughs are being made in making ethanol from non food sources, and I believe there is even a link posted somewhere in one of these threads to a firm that will be able to make a large volume of ethanol from non food sources by 2011 from garbage and other organic waste.

Hydrogen is clearly going to be a long term research project, and we will need something to last us until we get there.
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Old 03-12-2008, 01:57 PM   #345
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So much research needs to be done with obtaining hydrogen, but one way to obtain it is through the process of electrolysis by splitting the H and O atoms from water. The problem is that this is incredibly energy intensive. I believe there is another process that allows you to obtain hydrogen from coal, or some other source through some reaction. I'm not sure how you would "refine" hydrogen" from fossil fuels though. However, I thought that the current "oil" based administration was more interested in ethanol than hydrogen. Breakthroughs are being made in making ethanol from non food sources, and I believe there is even a link posted somewhere in one of these threads to a firm that will be able to make a large volume of ethanol from non food sources by 2011 from garbage and other organic waste.

Hydrogen is clearly going to be a long term research project, and we will need something to last us until we get there.
on what I heard on a broadcast about global warming, forgot which one. Try googling the info, here is a 03 article that seems to agree with my perception:

http://www.mindfully.org/Energy/2003...Not17jul03.htm

I do think it is probably easier to get Hydrogen from oil than water, but could have that one wrong. Ethanol is a stop gap IMO. If we try to use too much then our farmland suffers from over use and can drive the price of grains up as well. If you have any information as to a plant currently extracting hydrogen from water for use in automobiles would be interested.

Ed

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