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Hybrid Hype

Discussions of conventional and alternative energy production technologies.

Unread postby mgibbons19 » Thu 07 Jul 2005, 08:22:13

dub_scratch wrote:
mgibbons19 wrote:Sorry for the long post, but this is one of my pet issues, and both sides deserve a fair and respectful argument.


Don't be sorry, mgibbons19. That was a beautifully well put observation. Thanks for giving me hope that there are people who can see the forest beyond the trees.

I like to think it all in fun, but perhaps my vitriol reflects a bit of frustration with many Americans, especially intelligent well intentioned ones I run into. I cannot figure out how so many of these folks can go to Europe, to the amazing towns like Barcelona or Prague and see that urban life is so much better there and then come back here and insist on keeping this unproductive system of car dependence....

But we have this mess of a system and I guess we'll keep tinkering with it until the whole thing collapse and we have to start over.... I just wish that we as a society would realize this and decided instead to skip this last dreadful step, step back, take a good look, see that we don't need this, and get rid of it. I did and I absolutely have no need for anything like a biofuel car.


Indeed, I do fully 100% agree with you. From Kunstler and New Urbanist rants against Disneyworld "main streets" to my own town, wanting to widen every street around, speed up the crosstown, all while the city schools lose funding, the city loses population to the next suburb over, and they fight over where to get the several hundred million dollars to put a freeway link in to the capitol. Ppl just cannot connect the dots and it is a tremendous frustration.

Head, meet brick wall.
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Unread postby Kez » Thu 07 Jul 2005, 10:22:29

More efficient cars won't solve the problem. If kids growing up never have to carpool, walk, bike, and whatnot to get around, they will grow up as spoiled as everyone else. This means more cars will be on the road, each burning energy. The overall energy burned may go down, but the other costs render that pointless.

Meanwhile, roads will be increased and millions will be spent on them. In my area, they announced that they are $800 MILLION overbudget on 2 major roads. Think of all the gardens and bike-paths that could be built for what they are doing to just extend existing roads.

If cars get more efficient, it just means the continuance of one person - one car, and massive costs to build, repair, and maintain the roads.
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Unread postby bentstrider » Thu 07 Jul 2005, 16:25:24

Kez wrote:More efficient cars won't solve the problem. If kids growing up never have to carpool, walk, bike, and whatnot to get around, they will grow up as spoiled as everyone else. This means more cars will be on the road, each burning energy. The overall energy burned may go down, but the other costs render that pointless.

Meanwhile, roads will be increased and millions will be spent on them. In my area, they announced that they are $800 MILLION overbudget on 2 major roads. Think of all the gardens and bike-paths that could be built for what they are doing to just extend existing roads.

If cars get more efficient, it just means the continuance of one person - one car, and massive costs to build, repair, and maintain the roads.


More garden and bike paths would help make cycling and walking a helluva lot more enjoyable too.
I remember putting up a post where I ranted about riding into the wind.
Riding into the wind is especially painful if it's blowing on you faster than your bike is moving into it.
A tree shaded, cement'n'graded, bicycle/ped path would somewhat damper that problem.
But, it's always about catering to the cars.
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Zevon's paradox is bunk

Unread postby DoctorDoom » Thu 07 Jul 2005, 17:52:32

There's nothing to it. Economics 101 - if something costs less, demand goes up, if it costs more, demand goes down. Zevon's "paradox" says nothing more than the "cost less, demand up" part. What's relevant is to consider that in conjunction with the "cost more, demand down" part that we all know needs to happen as we go post-peak. Once that happens, technologies like hybrid cars will pull costs (per mile, not per gallon) in the opposite direction, thus allowing some level of the status quo for a while longer. The previous round of efficiency increases were indeed met with increased consumption because they happened pre-peak; with energy supplies abundant and greater efficiency in technology, both factors were pulling the supply/demand balance in the same direction (towards larger/heavier vehicles, long commutes, etc., etc.)
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Unread postby dub_scratch » Thu 07 Jul 2005, 20:04:14

JohnDenver wrote:
The_Toecutter wrote:To think we'd have to starve to continue our driving habits is ludicrous, but depending on how we approach the peak crisis and how much we reduce the amount of driving done and by eliminating an outright need for an automobile, we don't have to be faced with that option.


This is where your approach is all screwed up. Why are we going to reduce the amount of driving done, and design walkable living arrangements when we have all this wonderful technology like high-mileage vehicles and electric cars and hybrids?......

You have to get off the fence. You can't tout the wonders of efficient vehicles and the importance of car-free living at the same time. It's logically inconsistent.


I agree. The very claim by some of the Greencar advocates that they are also in favor of reduced car dependency is a confused position. Some of the biggest car preservation advocates, such a Amery Lovins, spend way more time advocating fleet replacements than alternatives to driving. I think there's not a lot of sincerity by those who claim to advocate Greencars and reduced car dependence.

Both strategies are not complimentary. In fact they really are conflicting and contradictory by nature. If we as a nation were to embrace the idea of drastically reducing car use, then any new car technology or alternate fuel scheme would have no value. Marginalizing the car also marginalizes the promised benefits of the Greencar. In such a paradigm shift away from car dependency, there would be no need for any new car. The current fleet of cars, including the most inefficient SUVs, would do just fine and would not make much of a difference.

The two strategies are conflicting, but one truly is superior over the other if we as a society were to get a grip of this PO problem. Toecutter shows us how he is personally engaged in a technology that he says can free us from the dependence of oil. Of course, this will take time, research, investment, energy and a few lucky brakes for this to pay out. While he's waiting and working on it, I happen to be actively doing my own scheme, which blows the doors of any bio-hybrid-electric-hyper-ethanol he can throw at us. I reduced my milage from 14k a year to less than 1K by moving my job three blocks down the street. I also live in a town with many of the goods and services I need accessible on foot. The net effect is that I spend very little time traveling and I hardly ever get in a car to do it. This is the same strategy used to make computers faster but done on the urban format. It works exactly the same way.

Batteries not included (and not needed either).
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Unread postby The_Toecutter » Thu 07 Jul 2005, 21:06:22

This is where your approach is all screwed up. Why are we going to reduce the amount of driving done, and design walkable living arrangements when we have all this wonderful technology like high-mileage vehicles and electric cars and hybrids?


You've got the cause and effect backwards. Suburbia(in America) did not succeed so greatly because of the automobile, but the automobile succeeded so greatly because of suburbia and the fact that the mass transit was torn down making the car into a necessity. Look at Japan where you live. There are plenty of cars, but no where near as many as America and your cities do not cater to them exclusively as America's cities do. Miles driven is much less as well. They look like they could use some improvements, yes, but unlike America, a car is not a necessity where you live, and thus people have the choice of whether or not they want to do without a car. Just look at the number of on-road cars per capita of Japan and compare it to America. Even if you were to eliminate the fuel costs, cars do not come cheap. In America, people often spend 1/3 of their incomes just to keep their cars going, not because they want to, but because it's difficult to find a job within walking or biking distance and our stores and other places of interest like schools are so far spread apart.


You seem to be saying that we need some self-control, but how likely is that?


As likely as any semblence of modern society is to survive peak oil. Adaptation or death. No one individual person or nation can change this outcome, but it will take a coordinated effort among everyone. So far the odds aren't looking too cheery.

It's like switching from Marlboro to Marlboro Light. We'll just keep smoking and still die of cancer.


It would be more akin to removing the addictive nicotine from the cigarettes altogether and maybe smoking once or twice a month as a social custom, if the hypothetical person in question would choose to smoke at all. Perhaps kill the laws and regulations and grow their own tobacco and make their own cigarettes while they're at it.

You have to get off the fence. You can't tout the wonders of efficient vehicles and the importance of car-free living at the same time. It's logically inconsistent.


This statement can be true or false depending on the mindset of the person in it is directed at and whether the one asking the question understands that mindset. It's not black and white, or only one single solution. It is using multiple solutions at the same time and having them compliment each other, instead of simply choosing one or two and discounting the rest of them. If the solution to the peak oil problem is viewed as a black and white issue, sure, you will find it logically inconsistent!
The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the old growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder. ~Thomas Jefferson
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Unread postby The_Toecutter » Thu 07 Jul 2005, 21:13:52

Both strategies are not complimentary. In fact they really are conflicting and contradictory by nature. If we as a nation were to embrace the idea of drastically reducing car use, then any new car technology or alternate fuel scheme would have no value. Marginalizing the car also marginalizes the promised benefits of the Greencar. In such a paradigm shift away from car dependency, there would be no need for any new car.


Sure it would have value. Peak oil is going to make gasoline prices go up. Once the oil is used, it is used. No amount of cutting car use will replace it. How expensive is gasoline going to be 10 years post peak? 20 years? Aside from the 'greencar', no one would be able to afford to drive them except the super rich. The electric and biodiesel automobile provides an outlet for hobbyists, racers, motorsports enthusiasts, ect. to enjoy the technology and the entertainment opportunities it provides. Keeping the car affordable allows that to be an option for the lower middle class as well, but since the majority aren't racers or motorsports enthusiasts, the majority wouldn't see a reason to buy cars if they can ride their bike one or two blocks to the nearest train and hop on for a much cheaper cost per mile.

The current fleet of cars, including the most inefficient SUVs, would do just fine and would not make much of a difference.


Except for the fact that post peak, you may not be able to get fuel for them.
The unnecessary felling of a tree, perhaps the old growth of centuries, seems to me a crime little short of murder. ~Thomas Jefferson
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Unread postby deconstructionist » Thu 28 Jul 2005, 14:35:14

i agree that cars are a virus, and our society is infected well past the point of innoculation from this virus and we are not going to get rid of it. no, hybrid cars are not the answer. and no, GWB and SUVs are not the problem. the problem is the way we, as a global society, relate to the earth. we cannot exist without equilibrium, cars or none.

having said that--i am infected with this virus. the world i live in is organized around it... i take public transportation to work and i drive 2 miles each way to and from the commuter lot. 20 miles a week minimum driving. not too bad. however, i live in a community where it is near impossible to exist without a vehicle. and many of my friends live a good 45 minute (drive) away. i used to live in a city (brooklyn) but i hate city life, other than a good music scene and being able to walk or take public transport everywhere. but that's neither here nor there... i've made the decision to participate in mainstream society and not live in an urban center. i drive as little as possible, but if i'm going to have to drive a car to participate in society, i want to drive a hybrid car and pour some goddamned biodiesel into it!!!
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Classic Cars to Hybrids?

Unread postby greenergy » Thu 22 Feb 2007, 18:46:05

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Re: Classic Cars to Hybrids?

Unread postby I_Like_Plants » Fri 23 Feb 2007, 02:09:23

So.... you gonna buy that domain?
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Desperate Drivers Grasp at Hybrid Straws

Unread postby SolarDave » Wed 11 Jun 2008, 15:59:16

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2001 I wrote this little spoof on Hybrids, which were so new people were almost as gaga over them as they are today:

Hybridizer 2001 Kit (An April Fool's Joke)

Traffic to that page has typically been a trickle since then, with 3-5 access per day, mostly from Google searches.

Well, things have changed.

Today I have 70 hits to that page, and the daily traffic number is climbing dramatically.

To keep this topic on track for this forum, has anyone heard of a "real" Hybrid Kit? Do you think there will ever be one?

My opinion is that the entire vehicle must be properly engineered to effectively leverage Hybrid technology (for typical road cars and trucks, not for oddballs like Garbage trucks where a retrofit might make sense). What do y'all think? Should I have "patented" it? :lol:
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Re: Desperate Drivers Grasp at Hybrid Straws

Unread postby FoxV » Wed 11 Jun 2008, 17:42:41

too bad you didn't put an "order now" button to track how many people actually believe it
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Re: Desperate Drivers Grasp at Hybrid Straws

Unread postby yesplease » Wed 11 Jun 2008, 23:24:14

SolarDave wrote:My opinion is that the entire vehicle must be properly engineered to effectively leverage Hybrid technology (for typical road cars and trucks, not for oddballs like Garbage trucks where a retrofit might make sense). What do y'all think? Should I have "patented" it? :lol:
Any hybrid is going to be less efficient than a properly setup vehicle w/ a manual trans since cycling energy into/out of the battery pack hurts efficiency more than a driver who timed lights and the like would loose via the brakes. The best efficiency seen w/ a compact hybrid is more or less what a normal compact would see using similar driving style. So... A hybrid is only needed where the driver can't drive efficiently, be it by choice, experience, or conditions, like LA traffic.

For the most part, a hybrid system compared to alternatives, maybe something run through the belt system, would only be useful if the driver couldn't/didn't alter their driving style and spent most of their time in dense traffic. So yeah, barring specific conditions, a hybrid system needs to be optimized for use to be effective over the wide range of conditions seen when driving.
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Re: Desperate Drivers Grasp at Hybrid Straws

Unread postby mos6507 » Thu 12 Jun 2008, 02:49:24

There is more to a hybrid than regen. It also prevents the gas engine from operating at its least efficient RPM band. Hypermiling and hybrids are also not mutually exclusive. You can hypermile on a Prius and get close to 100MPG. Most people just don't have the discipline to hypermile. It just takes too much of your concentration. I'm turning my engine off at long signals and that alone is a pain, trying to measure how long the signal is going to last to see if I really saved any gas in the process.
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Lamborghini Gallardo Going Hybrid...WOW!! Check this out

Unread postby jesterx » Sun 09 Aug 2009, 22:02:20

Cool, Check this out Lamborghini Gallardo hybrid coming!!! Very Sexy!! Maybe these GM like companies need to rethink what they have been doing and make something more affordable.

If Lambo are 'doing it' then i am guessing the insiders are working on something?

Link here http://bit.ly/34CDIl
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Re: Are hybrids all hype?

Unread postby timmac » Fri 05 Feb 2010, 22:49:14

They are all Hype...

VW sells cars that can get same mpg as a Prius, cheaper in cost, no range lost due to heat or a/c.
Hybrids need to do a lot better mpg before I will ever consider one, like around 90-100 mpg would be a great start..
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Re: Are hybrids all hype?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Mon 08 Feb 2010, 01:46:11

timmac wrote:They are all Hype...

VW sells cars that can get same mpg as a Prius, cheaper in cost, no range lost due to heat or a/c.
Hybrids need to do a lot better mpg before I will ever consider one, like around 90-100 mpg would be a great start..


In 2000-2003 there were 2 to 3 VW diesel's that got within a few MPG of a Prius.

As of 2010, a Prius is rated 16 mpg or almost 50% ahead of the highest rated VW's, per my searching the federal government DOT mpg website for the highest mileage cars. (www.fueleconomy.gov).

Do you have credible links to support your claim, or is this just typical doomer hyperbole?

I agree with the cheaper concept, and certainly cheap cars like a Yaris or a Corolla, etc. are viable alternatives to a Prius at less cost, especially if you drive a lot of highway miles. However, if you drive mostly short range / city miles as many folks do, it's kind of hard to beat a 50 mpg rating, even if you do have to run the heater sometimes.

(Unless you make your living by marketing outright lies to sell the Volt), discussions/claims of mpg anything around 100 for a viable passenger car at this point are just silly, IMO. (Maybe some day, but the laws of physics are distressingly persistent).
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Re: Are hybrids all hype?

Unread postby shortonsense » Mon 08 Feb 2010, 10:34:56

Outcast_Searcher wrote: However, if you drive mostly short range / city miles as many folks do, it's kind of hard to beat a 50 mpg rating, even if you do have to run the heater sometimes.


Unfortunately, there is a limit to even this. If you run a hybrid, such as the Prius or Escape or one of those which can literally turn off the engine yet still run down the road, this type of efficient behavior tends to happen once its warm. If your part of suburbia involves a distance of a mile or two to everything you need for weeks on end, the hybrid never warms up, never turns off its ICE, and you end up running the gas engine whether you like it or not, even worse when its cold. And the mileage suffers by as much as a 35% reduction over EPA figures.

Many people seem to define the large commuting distances of LA or Houston or Dallas/Fort Worth as suburbia, whereas there are large chunks of this country which suburbia is someone puddle jumping around, a mile here, a mile there, because they don't live in one of these megatroppolii and everything is quite close by.

The temperature and distance dependent mileage is tricky,an owner who wants it for efficiency even in the city needs to make sure their driving conditions can take advantage of the hybrid systems, otherwise a Corolla, Yaris, Civic might still be a better choice.
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Re

Unread postby Kerry30Oa » Fri 12 Feb 2010, 15:43:40

I realy like your supreme data! Can you write the term paper thesis for example? Because I do know that a good <a href="http://quality-papers.com/topics/sociology_essays">sociology essay</a> service can write essays of the best quality.
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Re: Are hybrids all hype?

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Fri 12 Feb 2010, 22:58:25

shortonsense wrote:
Outcast_Searcher wrote: However, if you drive mostly short range / city miles as many folks do, it's kind of hard to beat a 50 mpg rating, even if you do have to run the heater sometimes.


If your part of suburbia involves a distance of a mile or two to everything you need for weeks on end, the hybrid never warms up, never turns off its ICE, and you end up running the gas engine whether you like it or not, even worse when its cold. And the mileage suffers by as much as a 35% reduction over EPA figures.

The temperature and distance dependent mileage is tricky,an owner who wants it for efficiency even in the city needs to make sure their driving conditions can take advantage of the hybrid systems, otherwise a Corolla, Yaris, Civic might still be a better choice.


Thank you Short - that's a great point, which I hadn't fully considered. The vast majority of my trips ARE puddle-jumps of a mile or two, and a 35% degradation is really significant. Apparently I will need to do some research on that concept.

Now the only issue is safety -- a Yaris vs. an SUV hitting it in the side, for example (texting, cell phone usage, drunks, etc), gives me serious pause...
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