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Life in the Green Lane (hybrids)
NY Times ^ | April 16, 2006 | JAMIE LINCOLN KITMAN

Posted on 04/16/2006 10:16:07 PM PDT by neverdem

IF you make your way over to the Javits Convention Center for the New York International Automobile Show — or if you've gone to any auto show in the last year or so — you'll know that hybrid cars are the hippest automotive fashion statement to come along in years. They've become synonymous with the worthy goal of reducing gasoline consumption and dependence on foreign oil and all that this means for a better environment and more stable geopolitics.

And yet like fat-free desserts, which sound healthy but can still make you fat, the hybrid car can make people feel as if they're doing something good, even when they're doing nothing special at all. As consumers and governments at every level climb onto the hybrid bandwagon, there is the very real danger of elevating the technology at the expense of the intended outcome — saving gas.

Few things these days say "environmentally aware consumer" so loudly as the fuel-sipping Toyota Prius. With its two power sources — one a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine, the other a battery-driven electric motor — the best-selling Prius (and other hybrids sold by Honda and Ford and due soon from several other car makers) can go further on a gallon and emit fewer pollutants in around-town use than most conventional automobiles because under certain circumstances they run on battery power and consume less fuel. For this reason, federal, state and local governments have been bending over backward to encourage the sale of hybrids, with a bewildering array of tax breaks, traffic lanes and parking spaces dedicated to hybrid owners.

But just because a car has so-called hybrid technology doesn't mean it's doing more to help the environment or to reduce the country's dependence on imported oil any more than a nonhybrid car. The truth is...

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Government; Japan; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia; US: Michigan
KEYWORDS: automobiles; bike; electric; electricvehicles; electricyouth; energy; engineering; engines; environment; gasoline; greens; hooligan; hooliganmc; hooligans; hooligansmc; hybridengines; hybrids; jamielincolnkitman; kitman; mc; motorcycle; motorcycles; oil; petroleum; science
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1 posted on 04/16/2006 10:16:12 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem
I was talking to physicist in California who told me there is a major problem with the way people are using hybrids - that they are using the brakes rather than letting the energy be reabsorbed and stored and that, he said defeats the whole purpose.
2 posted on 04/16/2006 10:20:28 PM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: neverdem
In other news:

Ghosn: Hybrids Could See Sales Slowdown (not meeting expectations)

3 posted on 04/16/2006 10:20:41 PM PDT by martin_fierro (< |:)~)
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To: gondramB

The real reason people buy them is not the mileage, its access to the carpool lanes and thereby save commute time. Many studies have shown, that in the long run the current hybrids cost more per mile to use.


4 posted on 04/16/2006 10:26:48 PM PDT by Starwolf
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Comment #5 Removed by Moderator

To: gondramB

If you wanna save on gas $$$, there are plenty of ways to do so starting with:

1. Purchase a simple compact car with manual transmission.

2. Drive the speed limit at a steady rate, and refrain from going over 65 MPH on the interstate.

3. Clean your fuel system regularly, and get brakes and tire pressure to standard.

4. Carpool if possible, and take turns with your driving shifts.

5. Ask yourself before leaving the house, "Is this trip (to the store, movie theater, office etc.) REALLY necessary?"

You don't need a hybrid to save money, just a little bit of discipline with maintenance and driving habits.


6 posted on 04/16/2006 10:30:16 PM PDT by Emmet Fitzhume ("Shining with brightness, Always on surveillance.")
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To: Starwolf

Absolutely.

A car is a complicated machine already.

A Hybrid is a complicated machine on steroids.


7 posted on 04/16/2006 10:33:12 PM PDT by Emmet Fitzhume ("Shining with brightness, Always on surveillance.")
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To: Emmet Fitzhume

A better option, perhaps, would be to buy a motorcycle.

Then you can stomp all but the fastest cars, use the HOV lane, and still get better gas mileage than even the most economically driven hybrid.


8 posted on 04/16/2006 10:34:37 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Emmet Fitzhume
"
You don't need a hybrid to save money, just a little bit of discipline with maintenance and driving habits."

Hybrids have some built in disadvantages - like carrying around all those batteries and the extra heavy metals and energy used in construction.... but in principle I like the idea of recapturing my breaking energy. But I'm not gonna buy a new car to do that. I buy only used cars and save more energy by them not having to manufacture a new car than I would in the life of a hybrid.
9 posted on 04/16/2006 10:35:54 PM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: Spktyr

Not so sure about the mileage part. I have a liter bike and I run in the low 40s unless I decide I need to get some place in a hurry ;-)


10 posted on 04/16/2006 10:37:26 PM PDT by Starwolf
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To: Emmet Fitzhume
Yeah, people always want a more fuel efficient vehicle, but what they don't due is proper maintenance to their existing car. I ask "When was the last time you changed your fuel filter, air filter, pcv valve? Are you over a 100k miles? Then change your plugs and wires". Amazing how a mature or older car can run like new and get a drastic improvement in mpg.
11 posted on 04/16/2006 10:37:40 PM PDT by miliantnutcase
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To: Spktyr

Absolutely.

Problem is that Louisiana roads are a motorcyclist's worst nightmare.

I will get a motorcycle once I move outta here, though!

Good advice!


12 posted on 04/16/2006 10:37:57 PM PDT by Emmet Fitzhume ("Shining with brightness, Always on surveillance.")
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To: Starwolf

No need to worry. Hybrids in the real world seem to get 30-40mpg. Your liter bike should edge them nicely.


13 posted on 04/16/2006 10:39:51 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Emmet Fitzhume
"Absolutely.

Problem is that Louisiana roads are a motorcyclist's worst nightmare. "

Not just Louisiana - I have a cousin who lost his testicles when he hit a armadillo with his motorcycle. I'm sure the armadillo wasn't happy either.
14 posted on 04/16/2006 10:39:58 PM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: gondramB

Ouch.

My Uncle Allen calls them "donorcycles."

Your unfortunate cousin presents a convincing case.


15 posted on 04/16/2006 10:41:44 PM PDT by Emmet Fitzhume ("Shining with brightness, Always on surveillance.")
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Gonna keep repeating on these threads again and again:

We have the technology and capability to use surf-powered generators to seperate hydrogen from water, store the hydrogen and use it to fuel our vehicles. It would run just like the propane-powered cars do. We can do this RIGHT NOW! EVERY single enemy of America would implode immediately if we did this. WHY AREN'T WE AT LEAST TRYING?!?!


(I wonder if I can rig this into the biggest Lincoln I could find and drive it up to Boulder. Think the treehugging smelly hippie freakshows would have second thoughts about their hatred for American technology?

Probably not.)
16 posted on 04/16/2006 10:41:44 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (Roll your own cigarettes! You'll save $$$ and smoke less!(Magnetic bumper stickers-click my name)
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To: Emmet Fitzhume

As opposed to being roasted to a cinder when that 600V battery pack shorts out through the shattered chassis - and you.

The chances of being seriously injured when an accident happens is greater on a bike than in a small car - but, oddly enough, your chances of *surviving* a severe accident is better if you ride a bike than if you drive a small car (they don't have to cut you out of the wreckage - it's a scoop and run job).

Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and my shattered helmet still hangs on the wall - but I'm still here.


17 posted on 04/16/2006 10:45:21 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr

Well rock on!

Just be careful on the road!!!


18 posted on 04/16/2006 10:46:40 PM PDT by Emmet Fitzhume ("Shining with brightness, Always on surveillance.")
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To: Spktyr
And die.
19 posted on 04/16/2006 10:48:56 PM PDT by Fielding (Sans Dieu Rien)
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To: neverdem
I'm surprised this was published in the New York Times. The gist of the article is if you must have a hybrid car, keep it for in town use like you would with an electric car and use a conventional gas or diesel powered car on the highway. Most people would want to keep the hybrid car for every day excursions in the local area and save their gas or diesel engine car for the open road.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

20 posted on 04/16/2006 10:51:26 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: Fielding

You're more likely to die in a small car, especially in a totalled hybrid - the firemen don't want to touch the thing for fear they'll get electrocuted, and in the meantime, you bleed out. Same thing for truly small cars, like Geo Metros or Honda CRX HFs. Down here, they get so badly wadded that the occupants quite often bleed out before they can cut the wreckage apart to get to them.


With modern safety gear, the chances of motorcycle rider death have been greatly reduced.


21 posted on 04/16/2006 10:53:00 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: neverdem
Hybrid cars suck. They consume more energy to build than the average American auto burns from dust to dust. I can build a hybrid that will go 200 mph, but it will need new batteries after five miles. Snake oil.:)
22 posted on 04/16/2006 10:54:05 PM PDT by Fielding (Sans Dieu Rien)
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To: Fielding
I disagree. Hybrids are great in some driving situations; the fallacy is in generalizing their applicability in ALL situations.

(Denny Crane: "I Don't Want To Socialize With A Pinko Liberal Democrat Commie. Say What You Like About Republicans. We Stick To Our Convictions. Even When We Know We're Dead Wrong.")

23 posted on 04/16/2006 10:55:55 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives On In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem

What an enormous waste of money


24 posted on 04/16/2006 10:58:51 PM PDT by Porterville (I gave at the State Franchise Board; leave me alone you blood sucking liberal.)
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To: Spktyr
Ask your friendly insurance agent! Commuting on a bike (powered or pedaled) is Russian roulette>
25 posted on 04/16/2006 10:59:35 PM PDT by Fielding (Sans Dieu Rien)
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To: goldstategop
We can agree to disagree. :)
26 posted on 04/16/2006 11:02:03 PM PDT by Fielding (Sans Dieu Rien)
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To: Fielding

$250/yr, full coverage on a liter bike.

What does a Prius cost to insure per year, again?


27 posted on 04/16/2006 11:11:58 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: Spktyr
Ask about your life insurance policy. Most whole line and term policies have clauses that exclude foolish behavior... P.S. I have a vintage street motorcycle. 1974 Honda 360. I ride it twice a year maximum.
28 posted on 04/16/2006 11:18:17 PM PDT by Fielding (Sans Dieu Rien)
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To: Fielding

Mine doesn't preclude me from that - it does, however, not apply if I, say, ride without a helmet.


29 posted on 04/16/2006 11:47:37 PM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: neverdem

This is just an anecdotal story, believe it or not. My friend in SLC has a friend who runs his electric battery powered bike with a MEG(taps into space energy, supposedly 2/3rds of the universe)as a regenerator-on-the-fly. He doesn't pay anything for transportation fuel, how much with hybrids or whatnot, do you pay? Don't believe it? Ok, fine...and big oil...smiles...


30 posted on 04/16/2006 11:57:51 PM PDT by timer
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To: gondramB

<< ... a major problem with the way people are using hybrids - that they are using the brakes rather than letting the energy be reabsorbed and stored ... >>

An even bigger problem is that they are redundant.

Hybrids are a socialists' response to the absoluite absence of any demand worthy of the use of the word.

If folks really gave a darn about gas economy, Europe's incredibly energy-efficient 65MPG modern diesels would be the way to go. And they're WAY better looking.


31 posted on 04/17/2006 1:20:55 AM PDT by Brian Allen (How arrogant are we to believe our career political-power-lusting lumpen somehow superior to theirs?)
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To: Brian Allen

"Hybrids are a socialists' response to the absoluite absence of any demand worthy of the use of the word.

If folks really gave a darn about gas economy, Europe's incredibly energy-efficient 65MPG modern diesels would be the way to go. And they're WAY better looking."

Well, over the long run, recovering braking energy is a good idea.

But government subsidies to lower the price when the technology won't pay for itself is another sotry.


32 posted on 04/17/2006 2:22:06 AM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: Spktyr
A better option, perhaps, would be to buy a motorcycle.

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Welcome to West Ho Chi Minh City.

33 posted on 04/17/2006 3:26:44 AM PDT by WideGlide (That light at the end of the tunnel might be a muzzle flash.)
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To: neverdem

I thought I read the hybrid sales figures are declining this spring. They're a hokey, Rube Goldberg non-solution to the energy debate and pretty much the darling of the Leftists.


34 posted on 04/17/2006 4:38:29 AM PDT by RoadTest (The wicked love darkness; but God's people love the Light!)
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To: gondramB
"A physicist in California told me there is a major problem with the way people are using hybrid that they are using the brakes rather than letting the energy be reabsorbed"

I think the physicist is mistaken. Most hybrid vehicles have regenerative braking. Some of the braking energy is used to recharge the batteries. The brakes must be applied to enable the feature. However, the recharging feature is very inefficient, for various reasons, and only a fraction of the braking energy is actually restored to the batteries. If you simply coast down to stop, a hybrid technology vehicle has no inherent fuel saving advantages over a conventionally powered vehicle (unless the engine is shut down during the coast down).

35 posted on 04/17/2006 4:58:13 AM PDT by norwaypinesavage
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To: norwaypinesavage

Hmmm sure does look like you are right with a quick search

http://auto.howstuffworks.com/hybrid-car3.htm


36 posted on 04/17/2006 5:08:22 AM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: RandallFlagg
Some 25yrs. or so ago I saw a show on NOVA. The title was 'The Invisible Flame." It was about using hydrogen for energy. They reported on a town (in Colorado I believe) that switched to hydrogen. Have you any recent info on this?
37 posted on 04/17/2006 5:16:51 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: timer


Bearden is a quack. He's been pushing that nonsense MEG for at least 15 years. Get the name of your friend of a friend. I'll pay him $10,000 tomorrow to prove his technology to me.


38 posted on 04/17/2006 5:23:13 AM PDT by Malsua
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To: Roccus

Nope. First I'd heard of this.


39 posted on 04/17/2006 5:46:22 AM PDT by RandallFlagg (Roll your own cigarettes! You'll save $$$ and smoke less!(Magnetic bumper stickers-click my name)
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Comment #40 Removed by Moderator

To: RandallFlagg

IIRC they also showed buses in the LA area running on hydrogen fuel cells. At the time I saw this I really believed we were on the brink of a fantastic energy revolution. I wonder what happened.


41 posted on 04/17/2006 5:51:10 AM PDT by Roccus
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To: Malsua

He's supposedly got patent number 6,362,718, so presumably someone could build a replica based on the information in the patent document.


42 posted on 04/17/2006 5:53:00 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: gondramB

SMUG alert.


43 posted on 04/17/2006 8:35:07 AM PDT by glorgau
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To: timer
OK, Tesla supposedly had the real deal using static electricity to power a car. Incidentally, it's also the mystery power plant in Atlas Shrugs.
I'd like to see the schematic of the wonderful device; please hook me up?
44 posted on 04/17/2006 8:39:11 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: mvpel

Here's a link:
http://patft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=1&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=6,362,718&OS=6,362,718&RS=6,362,718


45 posted on 04/17/2006 8:41:01 AM PDT by Lx (Do you like it, do you like it. Scott? I call it Mr. and Mrs. Tennerman chili.)
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To: glorgau

"SMUG alert."

Good episode.


46 posted on 04/17/2006 10:12:37 AM PDT by gondramB (Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's and unto God that which is God's.)
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To: Lx

I can tell you where to go on the pilgrimage to Salt Lake City, but first I need to know your bona-fides : age, sex, level of science education, electric car mechanical abilities, etc. This isn't for just anybody, you don't leave a loaded gun in a nursery for children to play with; just look at the abuse of credit cards(debt), translate that lack of restraint into giving everyone in the world whole atomic bombs worth of free energy(iran and kooks with nucs)and you see what I mean. Thus mail me via FR and I'll decide whether you merit it. It'll be either a wild goose chase or deadly serious new energy development, a matter of faith vs fear to you.


47 posted on 04/17/2006 1:01:58 PM PDT by timer
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To: Malsua

Ah yes, the fearful and un-believing.


48 posted on 04/17/2006 1:04:08 PM PDT by timer
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To: glorgau

Go-ood fer YOU!


49 posted on 04/17/2006 1:08:34 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (I like to make everyone's day a little more surreal)
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To: timer
Ah yes, the fearful and un-believing.

What YOU don't understand is that the investigative team I was part of in 1995 spent months looking into the MEG among other technologies. We did it for the TV show Encounters. There's nothing to it. Has nothing to do with fear. If it's such a hot technology, how come 11 years later, it's still not on the market? Oh, right, I forgot, he just needs a little more seed money. Bovine Juice.

I want "Kashmir Effect" devices, or even such things as the Lutect 2000 to work. Time and time again, it always comes down to "We just need some more money to go into manufacturing".

50 posted on 04/17/2006 1:32:30 PM PDT by Malsua
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