Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Spend $70,000. Save $500 a year -- Bad Car Math

The suckers are lining up. Sales of hybrid vehicles are running high. But it takes a consumer who flunked math to come out of the showroom with a smile and a new environmentally-correct vehicle.

Technical advances in manufacturing will undoubtedly lead to lower battery prices for electric and hybrid vehicles. But battery prices, and hence, the prices of environmentally-correct vehicles will always reflect the price of oil. In other words, high oil prices means high prices for these vehicles.

Thus, owners of these new vehicles getting 100 miles per gallon will have to drive at least 1,000,000 repair-free miles before they save a dime compared with their loutish friends getting 25 miles per gallon in their gasoline-powered vehicles that sell for a quarter of the price of these new sucker-mobiles.

Critics of gasoline-powered vehicles should begin to wonder about airplanes. There are NO battery-powered or hybrid airplanes coming. There is NO alternative for jet fuel. The entire aircraft industry depends on abundant and affordable oil for its existence.

The same is true for ships, trains and trucks. Long-distance haulers must have oil for fuel or they will fail. Of course simple-minded Obamians have other ideas, like re-writing the laws of physics, chemistry and economics to suit their mad political agenda. Fortunately, that won't work.

Lab drives car to 100 mpg

NREL makes tailpipe dream a reality with battery-boosted Prius

Monday, June 9, 2008

If a car that gets 100 miles per gallon of gasoline sounds like a driver's futile fantasy, think again.

Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden are testing a spruced-up Toyota Prius, a plug-in hybrid sedan complete with a solar panel attached to its oval roof and a bigger battery in the trunk to supply power in lieu of the gasoline-fueled engine.

The result: A spunky Prius that runs the initial 60 miles mostly on battery, adding up to a fuel mileage of 100 miles per gallon.

"The stored power in the battery does a great job of displacing petroleum," said Tony Markel, a senior engineer at NREL who has been working on the 2006 model Prius for the past two years. "For most people, their daily commute is about 30 miles, so this car would run virtually on battery and only need to be recharged at night."

Displacing petroleum is a desirable virtue today, as the nation battles global warming and skyrocketing fuel prices.

On Monday, Colorado's average price for regular, unleaded gasoline hit a record high at $3.943 a gallon, nearly 70 cents higher than the $3.258 a year earlier.

But the spruced-up Prius doesn't come cheap.

The lithium-ion battery, which can be recharged using a standard electrical outlet at home or even at the workplace, has a price tag of $40,000. And the solar panel on the roof cost $2,500.

All told, the car adds up to almost $70,000 - but as NREL says, it's only a unique research model at this point.

And if the car runs at more than 35 miles per hour, the gas engine comes to life to supply more power and consumption goes up.

Detroit automakers are interested in NREL's research, Markel said, adding that the goal is to bring down cost. Xcel Energy, Colorado's biggest utility, also is keen about vehicle-to-grid technology, which would have car batteries supply excess electricity during hours of peak demand.

Although NREL has yet to determine the experimental Prius' payoff time, it could improve with biofuels such as ethanol or biodiesel.

NREL says that light, plug-in hybrid vehicles could cut in half the demand for fuel, making it practical to use E-85 - a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline. Also, the fuel cost savings could amount to more than $500 per vehicle a year.

"I think high energy prices are here to stay, and to go even higher," said Bryant Gimlin, energy risk manager of Gray Oil & Gas, a diesel and gasoline wholesaler. "It will not only encourage new technologies such as plug-in hybrids but make them more price effective."

"But it will take a number of years to do that and make a serious dent on oil consumption," Gimlin added.


Blogger Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

LMBAO man u a fool

5:11 PM  
Blogger no_slappz said...

torrance, if you were offered a FREE Hummer or the opportunity to BUY a $70,000 hybrid, which vehicle would cost you less to own over its useful life?

11:25 PM  

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