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geeman
07-28-2006, 11:18 AM
After reading thru recent reports on the world oil situation,does anybody here have a realistic view on where we will be as far as transportation for the masses?Will the AVERAGE person be able to afford the upkeep on a vehicle and actually DRIVE it?What will this "crisis" if there is one do to our economy? What will happen to the already disavantaged people in this country ?Any realistic opinions here?Or do we simply decide that "the oil has always been there and will continue to be because we want it to?" Opinions?

Osborne Russell
07-28-2006, 11:30 AM
Survival of the fittest. Learn to profit from cockroaches.

Meerkat
07-28-2006, 01:27 PM
Get used to cars with 850cc engines. ;)

Stinkbug
07-28-2006, 01:39 PM
http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f256/peter21201/toiletbidet.jpg

jack grebe
07-28-2006, 01:55 PM
I'll be burning homemade biodiesel in my mercedes 300d:D

Bruce Hooke
07-28-2006, 01:58 PM
In five years I doubt we will see huge changes in the driving habits of Americans. Five years is a mighty short time horizon when it comes to things like this. Yes, if gas prices stay at this level we will see more people putting a priority on fuel economy, but there is no way our transportation system is going to get completely restructured in 5 years. Also, I think gas prices will have to rise quite a bit above where they are now to really get people to think in terms of getting rid of their car and, say, using public transportation.

Meerkat
07-28-2006, 02:06 PM
Bruce; I think you'll find that public transport ridership is up for commuting already. I'll bet there's a chart lurking aorund somewhere showing the % increase in ridership with $ increase in gas costs.

I don't think this means people are getting rid of their cars, just that they're going to be more of an evenings and weekends thing.

I'd bet that, where possible, telecommuting is up too and will continue to increase.

Bruce Hooke
07-28-2006, 02:23 PM
Yes, we are now and will continue to see more people using public transportation and telecommuting. My point is that if, say, in a given city, 20% of people are now using public transporatation regularly, we are not, in five years, going to have 50% of that city's population using public transportation. Among other things, it is very unlikely that the public transit system would have that sort of reserve capacity and also unlikely that it could be added in such a short period of time.

Major changes to how we get ourselves from one place to another are likely to involve a number of the following factors, all of which have pretty long time horizons before significant change can be implemented:

- Building significant new public transportation infrastructure.
- People moving to houses or apartments that are close enough to the public transit system to make effective use of it, which may also mean building higher density housing in those areas. Ditto for the businesses that people commute to.
- The car makers designed new, more efficient cars, and cars that run on biofuels. Yes, this is already underway, but most cars currently on the market are not super-efficient, and it takes quite a while to design new cars. An effective distrubution network for biofuels does not yet exist in most places.

If gas prices continue their current trend, there is likely to be some pain for lower income folks, and especially lower income folks who live in rural areas where public transportation is not a realistic option.

Lastly, I'd guess that the price of oil in five years will be as much a factor of the geopolitical situation in five years (which is a hard thing to predict) as it will the theoretically available supply of oil.

Meerkat
07-28-2006, 02:31 PM
I agree, assuming there is no sudden crash in the availability of oil (say, due to a successful terrorist attack on Saudi oil production).

Over the past 5 years, I've noticed a steady increase in the numbers of motorscooters on Seattle's streets; motorcycles too, but not, as far as I've noticed, as much as motorscooters. That's a trend I'd expect to see steady growth in. People want to go when they want to go, not when the bus comes and a motorscooter's operating costs on a monthly basis are not all that far off the cost of a monthly bus pass (~$42 in Seattle). I think we'll see more scoots than cycles because scoots are less intimidating to many.

Rick Starr
07-28-2006, 03:22 PM
In 5 years you'll be able to pick up a used suv for a song.

In 5 years we'll be just beginning to think like the europeans do w/r/t decentralization and working flexibly and efficiently.

I frankly don't get all the apocalyptic thinking in America about fuels since most of the world has been easily paying a LOT more for their fuels for a long time.

I suspect American industry will come through again after being pushed into a corner to develop efficient transportation, for a change.

This weeks gas prices sampled from the cities listed: (sorry the formatting won't come thru)

City Effective Date Price in USD
Regular/Gallon
Nation City Price
UK TEESIDE $5.64
HONG KONG HONG KONG $5.62
UK MILFORD HAVEN $5.56
UK READING $5.56
UK NORWICH $5.54
GERMANY FRANKFURT $5.29
DENMARK COPENHAGEN $5.08
NORWAY STAVANGER $5.07
NORWAY OSLO $4.93
ITALY ROME $4.86
TURKEY ISTANBUL $4.85
PORTUGAL LISBON $4.80
KOREA SEOUL $4.71
SWITZERLAND GENEVA $4.56
KOREA KOJE/OKPO $4.53
AUSTRIA VIENNA $4.50
CROATIA ZAGREB $4.32
JAPAN TOKYO $3.84
AUSTRALIA SYDNEY $2.63
CAMBODIA PHNOM PENH $2.57
TAIWAN TAIPEI $2.47
GEORGIA TBILISI $2.31
LAOS VIENTIANE $1.66
THAILAND BANGKOK $1.60
CHINA TIANJIN $1.54
CHINA SHANGHAI $1.48
RUSSIA MOSCOW $1.45
KAZAKHSTAN ALMATY $1.36
KAZAKHSTAN ATYRAU $1.35
TAJIKISTAN DUSHANBE $1.32
AZERBAIJAN BAKU $1.15
VENEZUELA CARACAS $0.14

Keith Wilson
07-28-2006, 05:03 PM
I frankly don't get all the apocalyptic thinking in America about fuels since most of the world has been easily paying a LOT more for their fuels for a long time.I quite agree. Gas prices in real dollars are almost where they were in 1980, and we managed to survive that somehow. Still, if you're thinking of selling the SUV, best do it now. Some more data:

http://gmroper.mu.nu/archives/gas%20prices%20adjusted%20for%20inflation.png

PeterSibley
07-28-2006, 05:44 PM
Get used to cars with 850cc engines. ;)

I'm getting there ...mine's 1000cc :D

PeterSibley
07-28-2006, 05:48 PM
Seriously...If I was thinking of buying a new car ,I'd be buying something like a Citroen C4 hdi.It gets 70mpg on high way cycle and around 60 in town . (Imperial Gallons ...US ones are smaller aren't they ?)
Slow compared to a V8 (11 seconds 0 to 60 )but very comfortable and very well finished.

George Roberts
07-28-2006, 05:58 PM
A good portion of mass transit relies on oil for power. It is unlikely that the price of mass transit v. the price of driving will change enough to make a change.

Long trips by car or plane will have about the same price ratio as now.

Business milage will still be a profit center fpor small businesses. Personal milage will be less.

Nicholas Carey
07-28-2006, 07:10 PM
A good portion of mass transit relies on oil for power. It is unlikely that the price of mass transit v. the price of driving will change enough to make a change.Although, I'm sure price is a driver for some, what really drives the success and usage of [real] mass transit isn't price so much as convenience.

[and very few places in the US have real mass transit. Most places don't have grade-separated transit -- subways or trains -- that are throttled by surface traffic.

If you've ever spent any amount of time in a city with real, functional, effective, efficient mass transit (aka subway and trains) -- NYC, London, Paris, Moscow, Tokyo, etc. -- you find people use it because it's faster and easier than driving and [trying to] park. It may well be cheaper, too (ever notice the parking rates in Manhattan :eek:)

I used to know someone who lived about 40 km -- nearly 25 miles -- outside Paris. He commuted into the city each day for work on the RER (Réseau Express Régional aka commuter rail). That commute takes about 40 minutes at rush hour, door-to-door. A short walk to the station, read the paper on the train.

And the trains run every half hour -- not as frequently as they run closer into the city.

What would be the point of driving?

capt jake
07-28-2006, 07:17 PM
Seriously...If I was thinking of buying a new car ,I'd be buying something like a Citroen C4 hdi.It gets 70mpg on high way cycle and around 60 in town . (Imperial Gallons ...US ones are smaller aren't they ?)
Slow compared to a V8 (11 seconds 0 to 60 )but very comfortable and very well finished.
THAT is something that I would look at! :)

Nicholas Carey
07-28-2006, 07:48 PM
THAT [Citroen C4hdi] is something that I would look at! :) Here's the C4. Here's its fuel consumption ratings:

C4hdi 92. Urban Driving: 5.9L/100km (40mpg), Extra-urban driving: 4.1L/100km (57mpg), Combined driving: 4.7L/100km (50mpg)
C4hdr 110. Urban Driving: 6.0L/100km (39mpg), Extra-urban driving: 4.0L/100km (59mpg), Combined driving: 4.7L/100km (50mpg)
C4hdr 138. Urban Driving: 7.1L/100km (33mpg), Extra-urban driving: 4.5L/100km (52mpg), Combined driving: 5.4L/100km (44mpg)
http://www.citroen.com/NR/rdonlyres/0291C0D2-C78C-4172-9D42-88C0BD24EE71/36668/C4_3_480.jpg (http://www.citroen.com/CWW/en-US/RANGE/PrivateCars/C4_5p/default/)

But I like the Citroen C3 Pluriel:

http://www.citroen.com/NR/rdonlyres/F9CDAEF9-6F8D-4708-8C20-59783E0F4545/25577/0304515_482.jpg (http://www.citroen.com/CWW/en-US/RANGE/PrivateCars/C3Pluriel/default/)

capt jake
07-28-2006, 07:52 PM
Either one would do. I will be in the market for a replacement for the Geo Metro in the near future. :)

Are they available in the US, I think not??

A few months ago somebody here posted about the turbo diesel out of Germany that got nearly 130mpg. Was estimated to cost around $8500. Slick looking car, definitely one I would take a closer look at. :)

Meerkat
07-28-2006, 09:08 PM
From reviews I've read, the Honda Fit is probably the best out there, albeit a bit spendy (but less expensive, feature for feature and performance compared to the Toyota Yaris or the Nissan offering).

Suzuki's replacement for the Geo/Swift is the Aerio. Same price as the Honda. $15k.

capt jake
07-28-2006, 09:18 PM
WOW, a lot more than I expected! Pretty happy with my wifes Hyundia Sonata, I may look at the Accent also.

I searched for the thread with the diesel I mentioned, can't find it.

Bruce Hooke
07-28-2006, 09:59 PM
A good portion of mass transit relies on oil for power. It is unlikely that the price of mass transit v. the price of driving will change enough to make a change.

Trains are MUCH more efficient at moving weight around than cars are, so as gas gets more expensive the relative price of train travel should drop. Note that by train travel I am talking about light rail (subways and the like). Light rail is also the core of most of the truly effective public transit systems. Still, the first people to adopt train travel will be the people who already have a hard time affording a car, not to mention gas. And, of course, you have to live in a city with a subway system and both your house and work need to be close enough to the subway for it to be a viable solution.

brian.cunningham
07-28-2006, 11:36 PM
The alternates, battery, and bio fuel, will take over.

The Big 3 are all betting on hydrogen fuel cells

Electric was big for a while, I built an electric car in College.
http://www.bu.edu/bridge/archive/2000/04-14/photos/silber_bullet.jpg
http://collegepublisher.com/media/paper87/DFPArchive/graphics/fr042398.jpg

Has anyone seen the movie "Who killed the electric car?" yet?

http://www.torontoist.com/attachments/toronto_david/whokilledtheelectriccar.jpg

CNN on electric cars
http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/07/25/paul.commentary/index.html?section=cnn_topstories

But did car companies really want electric cars to succeed? The success of electric vehicles would have threatened the status quo and core business models of two of the world's biggest industries -- oil and automobile. It is more expedient for these companies to give lip service to hydrogen in an attempt to appear "green." But hydrogen is a technology that experts say is decades away.

Because the small print in California's mandate allowed for car companies to manufacture only as many cars as there was interest in them, the game became to pretend there was no interest. Virtually no advertising money was spent to let you know electric cars existed, and even if you did find out about them salespeople actively dissuaded you from getting one.

As with any new technology, an electric vehicle was more expensive than its gas counterpart. Also, the limited range scared off customers, even though the average American drives only 34 miles a day and every electric car could go at least twice that far on a full charge.

These cars had great potential, but no media covered their subsequent crushing. It is only with the release this summer of the documentary "Who Killed the Electric Car?" that the full story comes out. This film chronicles the rise and fall of the General Motors EV1, an electric car I leased on the day it was released in 1996. Zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, a top speed of 140 mph and a range of 120 miles. GM discontinued this car just a few years later. No car company today makes a mass-production electric vehicle.


Also

There is a solution: The plug-in hybrid. This vehicle will run on pure electric power for up to 60 miles, and then automatically switch to gas (or a biofuel) if you drive farther. Because around 85 percent of Americans travel less than 50 miles a day, this means that most people who charge their cars at home each night would hardly ever dip into their car's gasoline tank.

geeman
07-29-2006, 12:05 AM
I saw predictions of up to $300 a barrel for oil in the not too distant future.My 1st post was based on a much higher price then the roughly $80 a barrel currently.Also,people forget its not just the price at the pump,what about flying,I cant see the airlines being able to keep ticket prices down with the higher fuel prices they'll have to pay.How much will the cost of food go up with the higher (much) cost of getting the food to market,etc.

Chris Coose
07-29-2006, 06:29 AM
How quickly we heard the voices of the beauty, saftey, luxury of SUV's go silent.
Americans are slow on the uptake. That is scary.

LeeG
07-29-2006, 07:04 AM
yep, those tv ads showing a family in the SUV screaming through a desert road with the drop down LCD tv screens playing a feature movie with mom and dad in the front seat. An off road living room 5' off the ground going 75mph on the highway. At $5gal gas that should change.

If Congress continues on the present path SUVs/Light trucks/cars will get a couple mpg more, Maybe the oil fields off Spanish Sahara and California will be drilled. Maybe oil companies and arms industries will find mutual ventures. Maybe Condi Rice is back to running Stanford.

Chris Coose
07-29-2006, 07:07 AM
yep, those tv ads showing a family in the SUV screaming through a desert road with the drop down LCD tv screens playing a feature movie with mom and dad in the front seat. An off road living room 5' off the ground going 75mph on the highway. At $5gal gas that should change.

If Congress continues on the present path SUVs/Light trucks/cars will get a couple mpg more, Maybe the oil fields off Spanish Sahara and California will be drilled. Maybe oil companies and arms industries will find mutual ventures. Maybe Condi Rice is back to running Stanford.

And we can be certain that Exxon shall take their first 1/2 year profits and invest them in a brilliant energy future instead of creating the new and improved American government bound to keep the profit in place.

Rancocas
07-29-2006, 07:48 AM
There is an elderly man in this county who says that he has the solution to high gasoline prices. He goes to town just once each month to do his shopping. He drives a buckboard wagon pulled by a matched pair of white mules.
I also doubt that the Amish are concerned about gas prices.

Sorry, but I think those Citreon cars are butt ugly.

I'm satisfied with our Honda Civic. It gets 30-35mpg around town.

George Jung
07-29-2006, 09:00 AM
I met a guy recently who has a 7 year old Honda Insight; he claims 65 mpg. I asked about battery life, as I'd heard you had to replace them after 5 years. He'd understood the same, but noted he's not had any problems, and when he asked at several Honda dealerships, was told that Honda has actually never had to replace the batteries in one of the insights - ever - anywhere! Its his impression they don't actually know the life expe ctancy of the batteries, rather interesting.
On ABC good morning (?) they had a blurb about the Smart cars; they're promoting how easy they are to park, as well as the economy. I'm expecting we're going to see them for sale in the USA a lot sooner than we had expected.
Just an aside - I drove my Subaru Legacy on a long trip last week; got 32 mpg! average; I drive, generally, 5 mph under the speed limit, increases economy by about 5 mpg average. I'm wondering if we'll see the speed limits dropped again, like in the 80's. You'd think more people would slow down just a bit, for this reason, but most still fly by me at 80 plus.
I like that Citreon - and I"d be interested in a turbo diesel. I'd considered a VW Jetta wagon TDI, but was put off by a reported drop in quality, and increased frequency of repairs. Today, it's hard not to get a Japanese car, for that reason (reliability). For the money, I'd be hard pressed not to get a Civic (30/40 mpg). I looked at a Fit; wasn't that impressed, preferred the Civic (wish it came in a wagon).

JimD
07-29-2006, 09:03 AM
Hard to say about five years from now but tomorow I expect to be another day older and deeper in debt. One could extrapolate from there.

S/V Laura Ellen
07-29-2006, 09:10 AM
Starting to see quite a few of the Smart cars around here (S.W. Ontario). At this time the only model available is the fortwo. These are two seaters, good for inner city commute.

When the forfour, four seater, becomes available the sales are likely to take off.

geeman
07-29-2006, 11:52 AM
We Do need the speed limits lowered across the board,people will have to learn to leave home earlier to get to work.Patience will have to be practiced,one of the lifestyle changes I think we will have to get used to .I drive home at midenite on a rural road with a speed limit of 55mph,motorcycles and cars go by me at over 80mph regularly.These are people that need to slow down anyway.Along this road people are surprised when they hit a bear,deer,wild boar.ALL over the country limits need to be lowered,as a 1st step.In this area we're seeing a slow down in tourisim this summer,and the ones that are coming dont seem to be spending as much as in past years.We have also noticed a definite increase in just plain attitude,they seem to be coming to town upset and they get worse as their "vacation" continues.Conversations are overheard where they discuss eating at cheaper resturants as opposed to the higher end resturants they usually use as part of their vacation experience.Its obvious that most simply cant afford to be here ,much less have money to spend when they get here.I think traveling is one of the lifestyle changes we'll have to get used to.The American public has always been used to doing pretty much as they pleased,major lifestyle changes wont come easily.It remains to be seen how the public will handle it.The old " the GOVT should Do something" aint gonna fix it this time.

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
07-29-2006, 11:54 AM
...
But I like the Citroen C3 Pluriel:

http://www.citroen.com/NR/rdonlyres/F9CDAEF9-6F8D-4708-8C20-59783E0F4545/25577/0304515_482.jpg (http://www.citroen.com/CWW/en-US/RANGE/PrivateCars/C3Pluriel/default/)

Guy across the road has one - he says it leaks when there's rain, which is a shame 'cos here in Wales - it rains quite often.

Does it ever rain in Seattle?

geeman
07-29-2006, 11:58 AM
The new fuel cars just around the bend,I dont know many people around here that can afford any sort of new car ,much less a car in these price ranges.These are the people I worry about,how will all these people support their families ? I'm very worried.Of course as tourisim drops ,,they probably wont have a job to go to anyway.

sdowney717
07-29-2006, 12:05 PM
http://www.hybridcars.com/plugin-hybrids.html

How would you like to run your car for less than $1 per gallon, with much lower emissions? Impossible?

Not according to Dr. Andy Frank, Professor of Engineering at the University of California at Davis and Felix Kramer of The California Cars Initiative (CalCars). Frank and Kramer are encouraging the development of the "gas-optional" or “plug-in” hybrid (PHEV), which yields dramatic gains in fuel economy.

Ironically, just when the American public is finally starting to understand that you don’t have to plug hybrid cars in, here comes the plug-in hybrid. With the plug-in hybrid, you still will not be required to plug the car in—but you’ll have the option. As a result, drivers will get all the benefits of an electric car, without the biggest drawback: limited range. You'll be able to go all-electric for the vast majority of your driving that takes place close to home. When the electric charge runs out, a downsized gas engine kicks in and your car drives like a regular hybrid.

Staying in Stealth Mode
Many hybrid car drivers enjoy keeping the car in all-electric “stealth” mode, when the car is in slow stop-and-go traffic. Plug-ins would extend the stealth mode for the lion’s share of our local driving.

The potential advantages are enormous. Consider:

* A hybrid gets about twice the fuel economy as a conventional car of the same size and capacity
* A plug-in hybrid will get about twice the fuel economy of a hybrid
* A plug-in hybrid, running on biofuel (e.g., 85 percent ethanol) could almost entirely eliminate its use of petroleum

sdowney717
07-29-2006, 12:06 PM
http://www.calcars.org/vehicles.html

How does this sound: 100+ MPG in a regular vehicle?

We can achieve that -- today -- with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV). A PHEV is essentially a regular hybrid with an extension cord. You can fill it up at the gas station, and you can plug it in to any 120-volt outlet. It's like having a second fuel tank that you always use first -- only you fill up at home, from a regular outlet, at an equivalent cost of under $1/gallon.

You don't have to plug it in. But when you do, your car essentially becomes an electric vehicle with a gas-tank backup. So you'll have a cleaner, cheaper, quieter car for your local travel, and the gas tank always there should you need to drive longer distances.

But wait, there's more:

* If your driving is mostly local, you'd almost never need to gas-up.
* Lifetime service costs are lower for a vehicle that is mainly electric.
* A PHEV can provide power to an entire home in the case of an outage; A fleet of PHEVs could power critical systems during emergencies.

sdowney717
07-29-2006, 12:15 PM
Its going to be electrical generators ultimately fueling transporatation.
And to be totally non greenhouse emitting, non global warming for power generation in the amounts we need, the us must embrace nuclear power.

Even environmental trype say nuclear is the only workable choice
http://www.stockinterview.com/lovelock.html

Greenpeace founder says go nuclear power.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/14/AR2006041401209.html

How To Build 6,000 Nuclear Plants by 2050
http://www.larouchepub.com/other/2005/3225build_6000_nukes.html

brian.cunningham
07-29-2006, 03:29 PM
Electricity made at gen stations is a lot more efficient.

Solar cells once pefected, can be install on the roof of a home, used to charge the vehicle, when not at home it can be feed into the grid thus lessening the requirements of the generators.

There are other sources for electricity. Windmills for instance, but after having several put up in the state, they were taken down for because some did not like their look.

You can't have it all. That's what people need to get used to.

Meerkat
07-29-2006, 03:43 PM
Mercedes' Smart Cars make the Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Suzuki offerings look quite inexpensive in comparison. I've read that the for2 is ~$23,000! That's an awful lot of money for a little bit of car! Really love the idea though - emailed Mercedes several years about about when they'd be seen in the US and they said, more or less, no plans but keeping it in mind. I believe they go on sale in the US next year. ;)

The Chinese are apt to sneak in with inexpensive small cars.

America's angst over gas is more to do with an infrastructure geared to jumping in a car and travelling for every little thing. Things are close only if you can drive to them. The corner market is apt to make a comeback.

I think there will be a return of trains and boats for long distance travel. Air travel will become an expensive luxury reserved for the rich, business and emergencies.

brian.cunningham
07-29-2006, 05:17 PM
The airlines are $crewed. There was a recent article in Aviaion Week about the airlines looking into alternative fuel. Power by alcohol, they would need to be 15% larger. The planes would need to be redesigned to use liquid hydrogen, it can be storged in the wings.

Jet engines can run on diesel, so perhaps perhaps biofuel would work. And there's actually more BTU's in biodiesel than regular diesel.

Meerkat
07-29-2006, 05:26 PM
AF did a test some years ago of running jets on coal slurry. Intent was a long duration airborne ICBM launcher for the "midgetman".

Apparently it worked but the engines coked up something fierce.

willmarsh3
07-29-2006, 06:55 PM
There are other sources for electricity. Windmills for instance, but after having several put up in the state, they were taken down for because some did not like their look.



So someone didn't like the looks of windmills... Do they like the looks of this?

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/59/ShellMartinez.jpg/300px-ShellMartinez.jpg

Or they can watch one of these going up and down all day.

http://www.fotosearch.com/comp/corbis/DGT264/EIS0039.jpg

IMHO I think these are much uglier.

Nicholas Carey
07-29-2006, 07:08 PM
The Big 3 are all betting on hydrogen fuel cellsThe problem with hydrogen is that it is, for all intents and purposes a battery -- a storage system for energy. It's not a source of energy itself and never will be: it takes more energy to crack water into H and O than you get from burning the hydrogen.

No if you had a virtually unlimited source of clean electric power -- like a solar power satellite -- lasering energy down to a hyrdogen/oxygen generationn plant floating the in middle of the ocean, you'd be in high cotton.

I suspect that that's a ways off, though.

Nicholas Carey
07-29-2006, 07:12 PM
I met a guy recently who has a 7 year old Honda Insight; he claims 65 mpg. I asked about battery life, as I'd heard you had to replace them after 5 years. He'd understood the same, but noted he's not had any problems, and when he asked at several Honda dealerships, was told that Honda has actually never had to replace the batteries in one of the insights - ever - anywhere! Its his impression they don't actually know the life expe ctancy of the batteries, rather interesting.All the hybrid cars are engineering pilot projects. They need to get them on the road and being used In Real Life so they can learn how the technology will hold up. That's one of the reason the makers keep production throttled.

Nicholas Carey
07-29-2006, 07:14 PM
Guy across the road has one - he says it leaks when there's rain, which is a shame 'cos here in Wales - it rains quite often.

Does it ever rain in Seattle?No...never rains here in Seattle :D

[and what's a little algae and mold amongst friends, anyway? :D :D]

Meerkat
07-29-2006, 07:19 PM
I liked the looks of the C3 more than the C4.

Nanoose
07-29-2006, 07:20 PM
I'm excited about the potential with the hybrids, and even more excited that Smart is coming out with a totally electric engine option. The car is exactly the same, except for the engine. The gas fill location houses the plug in for charging (charges in 8-10 hrs). I hope the other car manufacturers step up to the plate with competitive models and that we'll see this alternative really take off.

Also, downtown Vancouver is undergoing a building boom - the condo developments have town centers offering shope, daycare, etc. and are close to mass transit lines. The model seems to be learning to live without a car at all (a recent interview on the CBC was of a local - Victoria - family of 4 doing just that. Very encouraging to hear.).

George Jung
07-29-2006, 08:00 PM
If I didn't have to have a car (emergency calls) I'd prefer to bicycle it; but I'm afraid I've failed to instill that sense in my kids; they'll go for a 4 mile run, come home, and drive the car 1 mile into downtown for groceries or an errand; but the oldest is starting to 'get it'; she has a cart for her bike, and is starting to utilize it. She's traveled a bit, too; Europe really uses alt. transportation (she said Amsterdam was amazing - bikes everywhere), so it's been an eyeopener. Imagine how it could transform life here.

geeman
07-30-2006, 10:46 AM
I think that most of the country has an unrealitistic attitude toward the countries/worlds situation.We go about our business pretending everythings fine on a daily basis.This "head in the sand" thinking will be our undoing in the long run.Of course we can continue to ignore reality,and then pretend total surprise when the blob hits the fan.Continue to wait for the "govt" to make it right,,,,,

ishmael
07-30-2006, 11:19 AM
I have a hard enough time with tomorrow. lol.

I will only add that if we want to continue this hydrocarbon economy the resource is there, within our own borders. There's a TON of oil around, and at these prices it's extractable.

Has anyone else noticed that this panic over oil has served the oil company profits? An innocent question? No, an accusation. I think "peak oil" is BS. Hm. It's to the advantage of the oil companies to spread rumors that we are running out of hydrocarbon energy. Did the stock of buggy whip manufacturers go through the roof as horse drawn carraiges were dying? Com'on, this is hinky as hell.

None of which a comment on trying for efficiency, and low emissions, and elegant solutions, but don't panic.

I'll make a bold statement based on intuition not statisitics. If we took what we've spent on the Iraq war over the last year and spent it on programs to extract oil from the Canadian oil sands, and US oil shales, we'd be energy independent in five years.

geeman
07-30-2006, 11:29 AM
The problem with what you suggest ISH is its govt money.Do we give that money to private companies to find/get the oil or does the govt go after it itself?The idea of govt giving money (and lots of it would be needed) to a private company for "research" or "drilling" wouldnt work.History has shown that money givin away that way winds up wasted and in the wrong hands.However if we didnt BUY that oil for a while (I'm talking about only this country here) the local oil co.s would feel a pinch and look for other avenues of profit.Maybe even research into other power sources.Thats NOT going to happen of course,our people would never band together that much until they were forced to.Oil co's are drivin by investor demand,they demand profit.if profit falls they either sell or the co would look for other revenue to cause investor profit.Aint gonna happen tho unless it is forced,and THAT Aint gonna happen.anytime soon.

ishmael
07-30-2006, 12:00 PM
Geeman,

Just to be clear, I'm radically anti-consumerist. I'd love to have a car that got fifty miles to the gallon, which Datsun made with the B -210 in 1976! I've gotta think we can do it better now.

If only it would tow my boat! lol.

A cooperation between government and industry could figure out how to extract the oil extant lickety-split. Five years, outside, and we'd be telling the Saudis and the Venzuelans to pound sand, so to speak. There are many multiples of the known easily pumpable reserves of oil in our oil shales, just waiting.

Convincing people that plentiful oil shouldn't mean idiot SUVs could happen, if we educated people to use this resource wisely. Appropriate taxes would help.

The purely market driven economy of the last two decades has encouraged people to be wasteful, but people are educable. I think.

geeman
07-30-2006, 11:51 PM
Ish,,I wish I had as much faith in people as you seem to have.