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2010 head

The best car you can buy...

Well not really. The Volt is the best, but lets face it 100k for a car is a bit much for most folks. Anyway this new 3 wheeled car gets 60+mpg and is less than $14500. Also, you can drive in the HOV lanes in most states. (Washington for example.) EMC3 by ECO motor company

*edited to correct*
By Volt I actually meant Tesla. Silly me. The Volt is that POS by GM. GM can go die in a fire. They have the EV1 plans and aren't manufacturing them. I sincerely wish the government would have allowed them to go down the tubes. They don't deserve a bailout.
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MSRP on the Volt is expected to be ~$40k, not 100k. And that's before Federal tax credits.
Motorcycles have always gotten great gas mileage, and they run less than 10k. For how gas concious people seem to be these days you'd think there would be more motorcycles on the road. There's tons in other countries.
I know, when It was running (need some top end work) my CB-550K would get around 40 MPG.

But Motorcycles don't have that same Lefty Earth-saving cachet. Why try to save the earth if you can't make a STATEMENT about it?

(Mind you, I'm not an opponent of good alternate fuels transportation, but do it for good engineering and economic reasons, not fads and junk science.)

Also, there are too many stupid and scary drivers in Seattle for me to trust on a bike.
I would totally ride a motorcycle if it was safe. But people in Wa don't know how to drive. Hell in my CAR I nearly get killed at least once a year.

Hell, I used to ride so much, I even rode in the winter back east. But I'm afraid my skills have really atrophied, and I'm not confident in my bike. But I'd like to have another. There ARE some really nice scenic back roads in the eastern side of Snohomish County.
If you ask me, Obama should be bumping up the requirements in order to drive. People being unable to ride a motorcycle due to the lack of skilled drivers in a country is a problem. If we upped the requirements to drive and increased the penalties for these "secondary violations" like driving on a cell phone (secondary my fucking ass, they are the primary problem) then we would have better drivers, less accidents, more bikers and we would be able to build an infrastructure for auto-bahn's so we can get to a destination in less than 4 days.
More government is always a bad solution.

After all, if people were better drivers, municipalities would get far less revenue from speeding tickets etc.

(I was just out on the Olympic Peninsula for the last two days. They had "Enhanced Traffic Enforcement" on highway 101, which has all kinds of speed zones on it, and more state troopers than you've ever seen short of a jackknifed tractor trailer on I-5. They even had the gall to put up one of those roadside warning signs that said "Enhanced Traffic Patrols" "Have a nice day.")
Damn, that sucks. I love 101.... :( Now I have to drive like the rest of the people pulling trailers at 20 mph and never using the pull off lane. :(

Your right, more government is a bad thing, but if they give us autobahn's, I consider that a pretty damn good thing!
Personally, I can see that if they do, it'll be only for computer controlled cars, so you don't get to actually drive, and "For Energy Conservation" they'll bring back the 55 national speed limit.

Actually, that last one I'm really worried about. 55 is a bad speed for my car. It's a bit high in 4th gear, and below peak torque in 5th. 60 is REALLY comfortable.
That would suck for me as well. The insight gets killer gas mileage in the low 60s. Though I imagine 55 would be ok, why slow down needlessly?
Ask Jimmy Carter.
55..... *knock on wood*
Oh, and only tangentially related....

I get really peeved at people who think that the song "I can't drive 55" is about speeding.
I understand the fear of bikes in Seattle, I share it though I plan to attempt to brave it soon enough.

I'd say the fact that people don't look at bikes as "saving the planet" is simply because they often forget or don't realize that they are good on gas. A hybrid is a statement, but it's IMO, the wrong one. Most get shitty gas mileage in reality and making the batteries is terrible for the environment. Last I heard it was unknown if they were at ALL better for the environment.

SUV's are the problem, most of the rest of the cars out there provide IMO, perfectly acceptable MPG.
I am right there with you.

My Buell nearly gets 50 mpg and its a hell of alot of fun to ride. Of course the CO2 and NOx don't compare with a new car.

The Awesome thing is that people are already developing 100% electric bikes. Its for a race called the TTXGP. These bikes haul and are up there at super bike caliber. Racing technology often spills into advance automotive.


I really would like to buy a surplus BMW police bike that has a ton of miles and convert it to 100% electric.

I'm interested in the Volt but only if it's MSRP is $16K.
"...GM can go die in a fire..." I love that!
I've got a great idea for what to do with GM now that we ALL own it, have Obama appoint Elom Musk of Tesla Motors (the same guy who makes the Tesla Roadster) as the Trustee in charge of GM's Receivership, and lets see what he can do with this company!
He had one really great idea when he started this: "Give me all the design engineers, and managers, and others that the 'Big Three' had frustrated and driven out of the business!"
Apparently, he's done something right!
Throughout all of this bankrupcy, and receivership of GM, and Chrystler there has been one voice of laughter, and derision we can all hear resonating in the winds, that of Preston Tucker, the man who made a car 'too good' to be allowed to compete against them! I'm sure he's smiling now. Regrettably, his revenge has been 60 years too late.
Who am I talking about? Read:
And definately watch the movie: "Tucker, a man and his dream" 1988, starring Jeff Bridges.
Why is it that people in this country think electric cars are good for the environment? I really don't get it. We burn COAL to get a lot of our electricity. Burning coal is a hell of a lot worse for our environment than gasoline. And if we actually were successful at switching a significant percentage of our cars to electricity, the situation would be even worse. Now, if we would get off our asses and start building nuclear electricity plants, then this picture would be different, but as it stands now, electric cars are a problem, not a solution.

Heck, even the manufacturing processes for batteries are horrible for the environment.

We need to look at the full life cycle costs/benefits when evaluating technologies. Not some short-sighted MPG numbers which assume that gasoline burning is the only evil in the world.


I agree, if my electricity came from coal burning plants I wouldn't be nearly as excited about an electric car. But then again folks in those areas have no real good options. BioD I suppose would be their best option.

Re: Coal

Natural Gas is the best option for all of us, until we can get nuclear electricity online.

And the nations electricity is on a single grid. If you don't use your hydropower locally it can be used instead of firing a coal plant.

Re: Coal

Actually, there are significant losses the further you transmit electricity, although this can be mitigated by extremely high transmission voltages. (That was why Tesla's use of AC was better than Edison's DC grid, which could go maybe 12 blocks from a generating station). While in the Northwest we get a lot of power from Natural Gas and Hydro (Except the radical greenies want to blow up all the hydro dams for the Salmon.) The furthest any of it can be sold is northern California, and Idaho.

The one advantage of Coal generation over cars is that with the coal plants in one place, large scale scrubbing technology that couldn't possibly be made portable can be employed. From electrostatic particulate collection to what basically amounts to the world's biggest catalytic converter.

And when it comes to coal, we are basically the Saudi Arabia of Coal.

Re: Coal

But you miss my point. If Seattle sells their power to Idaho, and Idaho sells theirs to Montana, blah blah blah. It's one grid. You don't have to ship the electron from Seattle to the midwest. Everyone puts power on the grid, and everyone takes it off. There are meters between the utilities, when they run one way one company pays, when they run the other way the other company pays. The larger point is that you just can't say an electric car is better for the environment, given the mechanisms we use to generate electricity.

If you personally charge your car from your solar panels, and you generate a surplus of electricity, I'm STILL not convinced that your electric car is good for the environment. It takes a lot more energy to manufacture and maintain that car than a more conventional one. I think the studies are still out on whether the average driver makes up for that difference during the time they own the car. This is further hampered by the fact that this person has probably given up a car that had not yet been completely used up before switching to the fancy new electric car. Yet another impact on the environment that they are ignoring.

Your losses argument just makes it even MORE clear why electric cars aren't really the right answer. Every time we take the power through a transformer, run it down a wire, bring it back through a transformer, run a charger to charge a battery, bring the power back out of the battery to move a car, we lose power. The best of these transfers have efficiencies in the high 90% range. The worst (like charging batteries) have efficiencies much much lower. So, we would be a heck of a lot better off to burn the natural gas in the car, where we can get the most efficiency from the burn, rather than burn it at an even close-by electricity plant, and bring electricity to the car.

And the scrubber technology you describe is a valid argument for not burning coal in cars, but doesn't speak to burning things like natural gas which are relatively easy to clean-up. As is illustrated by the fact that many "clean" fleets (like city buses, and large corporate fleets) are already running on it.

Re: Coal

Ok that's it kids. All claims must now be backed up with links to credible reference materials.


Re: Coal

Now, if we could only convince Congress and the Media to apply that criteria!

Re: Coal

Heh I'm with you on that one at least. :)

Re: Coal

oops, missed that.

Of course, even Credible is in the eyes of the beholder. The Coal industry said it has clean power plants, and the anti-coal people say there's no such thing.

Re: Coal

Yes, well that's why they aren't credible. Too much vested interest.

Re: Coal

Actually, I was aware of the push and pull of power but I wasn't sure how to put in in there. I suppose the actual effect depends on where the energy consumption goes up and which types of plants have to increase their output to support it.

And I've made the argument about the inefficiencies of battery charging cycles too. (I think it cost me a job once. Wrong thing to do is discuss such things with an e-Car enthusiast....)

Aside from efficiency, there's also cost as a factor. Coal is easy to handle, you just dump it in a pile and bulldoze it in when you need it. Natural Gas has a much more expensive infrastructure to deal with, and is much more dangerous to transport (We've had some underground pipeline explosions around here.) If a trainload of Coal derails, you get a shovel. If a train of LNG tanks derails, you get an explosion.

I've heard the "Hummer has less lifetime environmental Impact than a Prius" discussion. It's interesting to think about. I haven't seen the numbers calculated independently.

Of course, now that Hummer has been sold to a Heavy Machinery company in Western China that's never made cars before.... well, who knows.... The birth of the <$15K Hummer? :-)