CAFE standards controlled by our Government? Can someone explain why?

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The EPA ratings are not he same as actual fuel economy. The EPA highway test is still stuck at 55 mph as a maximum speed and still includes some stop and go portions. For the Civic Hybrid Consumer Reports' overall fuel mileage was an impressive 37 mpg. They recorded 26 in the city, 47 on the highway and got 45 mpg on their 150 mile trip. For the regular Civic the results were 31 overall, 22 city, 40 highway, and 37 on the 150 mile trip. For the Camry hybrid, CR recorded 34 mpg overall, 28 city, 41 highway, and 37 on the 150 mile trip. Pretty impressive for such a large car. The conventional 4 cylinder automatic Camry got 24 overall, 16 city, 36 highway, and 29 on the 150 mile trip.
To be clear - I have nothing against hybrids. For some applications, it appears to be a great technology. Because of the nature of Japanese traffic, I can see why hybrids were developed their first and best. Lots of crawling along at low speeds with a lot of stop and go driving. However, given the way hybrids work, why would you expect a Civic hybrid to get significantly better gas mileage than a regular Civic on a long trip down I-95 for instance (assuming it wasn't during one of the frequent I-95 and stop and go wreck aftermaths)? The Civic hybrid has a smaller engine than the standard Civic (1.3L vs. 1.8L), so this might allow for slightly better highway cruising economy. It also might affect performance. For the regular Civic (manual transmission, 1.8L engine), the 0-60 was 8.6 seconds. For the hybrid, it was 11.7 sec. So clearly, the cars don't have equivalent performance. Too bad we don't have a 1.3L non-hybrid Civic for comparison. As for the Camry, the hybrid Camry had a 8.4 sec 0-60 time. The conventional 4 cylinder automatic Camry only managed a 9.6 sec 0-60 (the V-6 automatic could do 7.1 sec 0-60s, and the fuel mileage was only about 1 mpg worse). It is pretty obvious to me that Toyota knows more about hybrids than Honda.
But the real question is, will you save enough on the cost of gasoline to pay for the difference in initial cost? The Civic hybrid is at least $3000 more expensive than the EX Sedan, if you assume the CR average fuel economy is a good estimate of the real world, the math works out as follows:
Gas used in 150,000 miles, and cost assuming $3 gasoline - Hybrid Civic - 4054 gallons / $12,162 Regular Civic (manual transmission) - 4,839 gallons / $14, 516
You can spend $3000+ to save less than $1400. Of course if you keep the car longer, or gas prices continue to rise, the hybrid might make more sense, but then there is the question of maintenance costs, extra financing spent for the more expensive car, etc. I don't have a good feel for these factors.
Likewise for the Camry -
Gas used in 150,000, and cost assuming $3 gasoline
Hybrid Camry - 4,412 gallons, $13,235 Regular Camry (4 cylinder automatic) - 6250 gallons, $18,750
So a hybrid Camry could save you $5,525 compared to as conventional Camry. Of course to save this, you are going to spend $6000 or more initially. And again there are all the questions about relative maintenance costs, long term gas cost, financing charges, etc.
It is difficult for me to see the hybrids as a cost effective solution for most drivers. Of course if you do a lot of in-town driving, plan to keep the car for a very long time (and drive a lot of miles), and assume the maintenance cost aren't much different, you might decide the hybrid makes a good choice.
One thing for sure, Toyota has the best hybrids at this time.

Ed
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14,517 - 12,162 = 2345, I think.

And cost to the environment for all the gas, the batteries, recycling the batteries, the extra motors and electronics and resale cost and how long the life of the car will be.
My point was that hybrids get better mileage on the highway than similar cars without a hybrid system.
So there is a definite benefit to use a hybrid system in cars that run mostly on highways. However, I don't know if this benefit is worth the extra money or the environmental cost.
Jeff

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Isn't the point of all this to save the consumer money on gasoline while at the same time allowing them to have a comfortable ride in a car that will last some 7-12 years ?
If so, how does a Prius do?
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Bob Brown <.> wrote in wrote:

You'll never keep a Prius (or any hybrid) long enough, or drive it enough, to recoup the extra cost of the purchase.
Any "savings" come only if you disregard the premium you paid to be "green".
--
Tegger


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"Tegger" ...

I, for one, fully intend to get a couple of hundred thousand miles at least out of the Prius. Tomes (189K on the Sienna so far)
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200K miles on the Prius. What will your gasoline versus cost of vehicle be?
I'm asking if it makes any sense? People ONLY talk about MPG never discussing the premium for a Prius, or for that matter any 'new' car.
With interest, most people have no clue what the final price was on their new , now 5 years old, car.
0% interest or $1000 cash back: Most young, see:dumb, people see that $1,000 and grab it. Low interest would save you more than $1,000. AND if you need $1,000 that bad what in the hell are you doing buying a 'new' car?
Do you want an ounce of gold or a pound of aluminum? Gee, wonder which one the 20s crowd would pick...
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wrote:

This depends on the particular car or truck and the difference in the fuel used as well as the price of fuel. For most hybrids, it seems like it takes about 300,000 km or 200,000 mi to pay back the cost, without tax breaks, in the US.
Jeff

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wrote:

Not trying to be mean but I aint going to pay a penny more for anything just because it's 'green'. Other people can do that, those people with extra money I guess.
NOT YOU!
I'm speaking in general.
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Bob Brown <.> wrote in

If it costs more, it's not "green".
Being "green" means reducing the use of ALL resources, not just the ones you WANT to pay attention to.
--
Tegger


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Unfortunately, I have not seen any accounting of the use of other resources and the environmental costs of those resources that are used by hybrids.
Jeff

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The fact that the cars are expensive to buy (and that Toyota only breaks even on them if they disregard development costs) tells you that hybrids are wasteful of resources.
If a thing is relatively expensive, this can only mean one of two things: 1) profit margins are high, or 2) a tremendous amount of energy is going into the thing.
--
Tegger


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Maybe not. There are definitely places where a hybrid makes a lot of sense. It seems to me that any driving pattern that involves a lot of stop and go driving is potentially a good place for a hybrid. When we were in Victoria, BC two years ago, I was impressed that many of the taxis were Toyota Priuses. I don't think taxi companies would buy vehicles that were not economically attractive.
I wonder if there is an application for true diesel/electric or gas/electric vehicle that operates more like modern locomotives. It seems to me that once you buy into including a generator and motor set in a car, you might as well go one step further and eliminate the conventional drive train. You could still include batteries to provide "surge" power for qucik acceleration.

Don't forget government policies as an influence. Do you think hybrids would have gotten a foothold in the US if it wasn't for the early tax rebates and CAFE rules? The Prius must have a significant positive impact on Toyota's CAFE numbers.
And if people always bought cars for strictly sensible reasons, there would be no Lincoln, Cadillac, Lexus, Aura, Infiniti, etc....
Ed
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Yet, even without the Prius and other hybrids, Toyotas are quire fuel efficent compared to the offerings of American car makers. I doubt the impact made any real difference in how Toytota would have done business with regard to regulations about CAFE if it did not have the hybrids.

Not to mentions, far fewer trucks and SUVs.
And, actually, fewer total vehicles.
Jeff

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Unless they were getting subsidies from the government, which is just another form of waste. Or if there are regulations limiting the types of cars that may be used for taxi service.
And even if hybrids did work for taxis, how many ordinary people drive the sort of mileage covered by taxis? High mileage within a short span of time is the only way you'll ever recover the excess cost of a hybrid.
Problem is, used cars (specifically ex-cop cars) come on the market far too cheaply to make hybrids even remotely an option for the low-margin taxi business.

I'm sure it does. But that's not the same thing as conserving resouces.

Of course. That's my whole point. Hybrids do not conserve resources, they just provide a feel-good hit for those that get off on such things.
--
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3) or, A lot of labor goes into making it.
What is a tremendous amount of energy? Decreasing the energy requirements of a vehicle from 33 mpg to 40 mpg will decrease the use of energy over 100,000 mi from 3000 gal to 2500 gal, a savings of 500 gal of fuel. 500 gal of gasoline is a lot of energy.
Jeff

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#3 is the same as #2. It doesn't matter where the energy comes from (human, machine, etc), just that it be expended.

Yes, but money is the product of energy. Paying too much money and not being able to recover it means wasted energy.
Unless you drive like a city taxicab, it'll take 15 years to recoup the cost of a hybrid. This is true whether you're given somebody else's money as a subsidy, or you pay for it yourself.
--
Tegger


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I disagree. It takes a lot of labor to write a computer program, but not all that much energy to make it compared to the costs of the human labor.

It's actually, more closely related to resources, energy being an important one.

Depends on the price of gas. In addition, it depends on the benefits of decreasing green-house gases, too.
As I said, we don't know the accounting as far as the environment is concerned, but I don't think for a second that this is the same as the money accounting.
Jeff

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It is energy regardless. The time it took to make that computer program is gone forever. You cannot re-use that same time to produce anything else of value.
--
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That's the first time I have ever heard of time being called energy.
They are not the same thing.
Jeff

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In message

The Prius is "green" because by paying extra for it, you have less money with which to buy other goods and services, thus reducing productivity, employment, and all those other things that liberals hate.
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