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Honda's new "Clean Diesel"

FCX Concept Car

FCX Fuel Cell Stack
Honda puts on display next generation clean diesel and fuel cell technology

Diesel engines for consumer vehicles in the United States in recent years have been relegated mainly to heavy-duty pickups along with the Jeep Liberty, Mercedes E-Class and a few VW models. The diesel engine just hasn't taken off here due to the relatively cheap unleaded fuel prices that Americans enjoyed. In Europe, however, diesel engines are found in 50% of new cars.

Honda has unveiled a new diesel drivetrain that it hopes to employ in its US passenger cars by 2009. It also says that the new engine passes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tier II Bin 5 emissions requirements. The key to Honda's diesel cleanliness is due to an innovative new catalytic converter that uses ammonia to convert nitrogen oxide into nitrogen. According to Honda's press release:

The new catalytic converter utilizes a two-layer structure: one layer adsorbs NOx from the exhaust gas and converts a portion of it into ammonia, while the other layer adsorbs the resulting ammonia, and uses it later in a reaction that converts the remaining NOx in the exhaust into nitrogen (N2). Ammonia is a highly effective reagent for reducing NOx into N2 in an oxygen-rich, lean-burn atmosphere. This ability to generate and store ammonia within the catalytic converter has enabled Honda to create a compact, lightweight NOx reduction system for diesel engines. The system also features enhanced NOx reduction performance at 200–300ºC, the main temperature range of diesel engines.

Honda also touted its next generation FCX concept fuel cell vehicle. The new fuel cell stack used in the FCX is 30% lighter and 20% smaller than the previous generation. Despite the reductions in size and weight, power is up by 14kW. The drive motor also saw its power output increase by 15kW and the overall drivetrain is nearly 400 pounds lighter than before.

With its hydrogen fuel cell and onboard lithium ion batteries, the FCX boasts an overall efficiency rating of 60% -- three times that of a conventional internal combustion engine, two times greater than a hybrid vehicle and 10% better than the previous generation FCX. When all is said and done, the new FCX boasts a range of 354 miles.

Honda has long been seen as a “green” company in the United States and its new engine technologies show that the company is poised to maintain that clean image.

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By d33pblue on 9/26/2006 11:00:25 AM , Rating: 4
Deep down I wish America would kick it into high gear on the design side of the automotive industry and work on things like new, fuel efficient technologies. Instead, they keep trying to sell us the same V8, gas guzzling SUVs with old, rehased technology.

I have to wonder whether:
1. The american automotive industry is really that clueless when it comes to designing alternative energy concepts.
2. They are as much in bed with the oil companies as some would like to believe.
3. They are just catering to the American mass market which says "bigger is better" and whose typical consumer wants to constantly compete with the Jones' next door by getting a bigger, and more expensive ride.

By retrospooty on 9/26/2006 11:20:02 AM , Rating: 3
2. They are as much in bed with the oil companies as some would like to believe.

The whole US ecomony including the govt. is in bed with oil companies. A major change won't happen until it makes the oil companies money... Meaning it will happen when THEY are fully invested in the new tech and will profit from it, so thay can continue their stragle hold on us. That will happen on thier schedule, after all, they own the country, not us.

By rushfan2006 on 9/26/2006 11:41:20 AM , Rating: 3
I'd say both your number 2 and even number 3 points hold some validity, but number 1 not at all.

The automakers, like any business in the corporate world especially, worship only one god and its name is "Money".

They create what they create because its what sells, people buy SUV's left and right anymore. Which I find all words of description beyond STUPID to me on why even half the people who buy SUV's really need them. Statistics and survey after survey have shown that MOST owners of SUVs just use them as normal duty off-roading, no towing, etc. Yet so many feel the need to get a gas guzzling 4x4 SuV....little is funnier in everyday life than seeing a 5 ft nothing petite woman with heels and a skirt trying to negotiate climbing into big old SUV; add even more comedy if they have the extra large tires on it.

As far as your number 1 point -- like another person posted about the push rod engine technology...actually we've come a very long way in efficiency engine design. I've owned a camaro with the LS1 in it...fantastic engine. If you don't think over 24 mpg fuel economy isn't impressive for 305 stock hp...then man I wonder if you know the history of cars at all.

By number999 on 9/26/2006 11:51:58 AM , Rating: 2
Deep down I wish America would kick it into high gear on the design side of the automotive industry and work ...

I wish that too. I've got this GM credit card with all these points and I hate GM cars. They just don't get it. I don't think that they learned anything from the '73 oil crises.

They helped create and market these overly powered vehicles because they have larger margins, then they use that as an excuse not to do anything because thats not what the market wants. Heck they helped create what the market wants. When was the last time you saw a commercial touting efficiency and smart design? Toyota came out one. Only scary thing is hybrid tech being used to just raise horsepower and american companies using that to sell their products ie. Ford and hybrid SUVs. Almost all car companies sell their cars by touting the car's power. What's at the end of every Mazda commercial? Zoom-Zoom.

Foreign based company's exist in countries where the price of gas is high because of government taxes. The gov'ts have decided to be push their economies to be less reliant on imported oil. The companies based there don't have the luxury of sitting on their collective butts. They can justify spending R&D in those areas of efficiency. I don't think American car companies are in bed with the oil companies but I do think they got lazy. American government policy would rather ensure the flow of oil and consumerism, rather than turn inward and get these companies to be competitve in the area of efficiency and rock the status-quo.

Short term thinking at it's worse and a bitter pill for the future.

By number999 on 9/26/2006 12:06:22 PM , Rating: 2
Oh forgot to mention. I remember an article that quoted the CEO's of all the American car companies on their opinions of hybrid cars and energy efficiency. It was like if they didn't think of it, it wasn't worth it.

I have to admit they do pursue technology but the majority of it is used in the end to improve power, not efficiency. Or they research technology that seems forced by gov't rules all the while trying to squirm out of it. Look at the GM EV that was implemented and then literally scrapped in California in favor of hydrogen fuel cell research which has yet to yield any type of rollout comparable to the test rollout of the EV.

By shabodah on 9/26/2006 2:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
GM has done more fuel-cell research than all other companies combined and would most likely have it on the market today if it was not for the politics envolved. Also, the average employee at Toyota and Honda makes less than half of the average employee at Ford or GM. So, you can argue what is better for the consumer is better, but at some point you do have to acknowledge that sometimes the employee is important as well. There's gotta be a happy medium between the two.

By masher2 on 9/27/2006 9:56:35 AM , Rating: 3
> Foreign based company's exist in countries where the price of gas is high because of government taxes...The companies based there don't have the luxury of sitting on their collective butts...

Ooops, those "foreign companies" are the same ones selling cars here in the US. They make and sell pretty much the same vehicles around the world. They do sell more of the small, underpowered variety in Europe and less of the large SUVs...but they sell still them.

The real issue here is there really isn't any issue. In the absence of stifling government taxes, gas is both cheap and plentiful. Meaning there is little incentive for consumers to purchase those tiny, underpowered vehicles.

The SUV angle is also *heavily* overworked, as the real usage factor in the US isn't the cars we drive...but how far we choose to drive them. I know countless people who drive 100 or even 150 miles daily, just as part of their work commute. While on vacation earlier this month, I met a gentleman whose ONE-WAY commute to work was 110 miles. That's 1100 miles/week...without counting any trips at night or on the weekend.

Interestingly enough, this man was a director of a "green" company, which operates a carbon credit exchange bureau. I found that ironic, especially when I pointed out that my own SUV burns less gas than does the Civic Hybrid he drives to work.

By number999 on 9/27/2006 12:51:51 PM , Rating: 3
same ones selling cars here in the US

Yes but because of the home market which they dominate, these companies would more likely keep in mind local economic conditions and put r&d in those areas that would have the greatest returns for their areas. That doesn't mean they don't adapt to foreign conditions, look at all the Toyota SUVs, I wonder how many they sell in the Japan.

As for the price of gas. That is totally an artificially construct. Some of those taxes for instance go for road construction/maintenance although I bet it's used as a cash cow for most gov'ts, but shouldn't car users actually pay for things like this? The problem is that it is hard if not impossible to agree on the costs of gasoline consumption and who to hit the costs and who gets the money. It is tempting to divert it which is what happens to most governments.

Also, those "stifling" gov't taxes have social implications. Their governments have decided to be less reliant on imports, to be less vulnerable to foreign influences and to develop their countries their way. This has given them a competitive advantage as energy prices rise. As for gas being plentiful, if all those people consumed gas like the US, it wouldn't be. Wait until India and China modernize and we will see what the price of gas is.

but how far we choose to drive them

I admit that this is true but the percentage of SUV vehicles is much higher now, especially in the US. SUV's have less traditionally less stringent emission requirements and have worse milage than cars. How many people really require an SUV? Hybrids are not as good on the highway as they are in stop and go traffic.

As for the commute, that is the result on past stupid developement patterns and short sighted laws. We have urban sprawl all over the place. No money for public transportation means everyone needs a car, even in towns. Old rail suburbia has been replaced with car suburbia, nothing near where people actually live. Do people really have a choice in how far they drive? Do they really pay the costs of that extra long distance commute?

I'm not against growth and developement, but in biology what do you call uncontrolled growth and what does it eventually do.

By masher2 on 9/27/2006 1:36:52 PM , Rating: 3
> " these companies would more likely keep in mind local economic conditions and put r&d in those areas that would have the greatest returns for their areas."

I don't know where you're getting this concept of R&D being "local". If a company develops an innovation, they can use it globally. They don't need to perform separate R&D in each market. The highly-efficient diesel engines developed for Europe can be sold in America....if Americans wanted to buy them. You can't blame automakers for consumer buying habits.

> "Also, those "stifling" gov't taxes have social implications. Their governments have decided to be less reliant on imports...This has given them a competitive advantage as energy prices rise.

If you feel that any European nation with $6+ gasoline has a "competitive advantage" over the USA, you might want to revisit some economics statistics. Even with the massive rises in energy costs the past couple of years, the US economy is still booming.

In any case, your basic premise is incorrect. If the US raised taxes to European levels, our oil consumption would indeed drop. That would act to lower global oil prices...which would lead to a large decrease in DOMESTIC oil production. Nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela can sell oil at $5/barrel and still make a profit-- their lifting costs are negligible. But US Gulf of Mexico oil operations are only feasible when prices are high.

> "How many people really require an SUV?"

How many people "require" their own home? It'd sure save energy if we all lived in small apartments...hell, a family of six can easily survive in a two-room apartment.

How many people "require" a computer? Or a television? How many people really need to drive anywhere on the weekends? Forget going to a bar or movie...stay home and save energy. And vacations? Forget about it...those are nothing but waste.

In fact, why not pass a law, and forbid people to use energy on anything that isn't strictly required to keep them alive?

As for your focus on SUVs, you still haven't addressed the main point. It's not what you drive, but how much you drive it. A teenager driving his Civic mindlessly around a parking lot every Friday and Saturday night uses far more gas than my SUV does. Should we ban him doing that also? Hell, why not go back to gas rationing? Give everyone 10 gallons a go over that, you better start walking.

By number999 on 9/29/2006 2:33:54 PM , Rating: 3
R&D being "local"

The majority of their market and profits initially are local, the R&D spending will be centered around local conditions, not potential foreign markets. While the US produced inefficient cars did they sink a bundle to sell more efficient cars in Europe and Japan? Obviously not. When the 73 oil crises came, who started selling many cars in the US? Japan and Germany. Who's selling hybrids in today's high priced gasoline market? Japan.

Can the tech be transfered, of course, limited to market conditions. People don't buy diesels because of past perceptions and emmission standands which will be easier to met when the US produces cleaner diesel fuel and with new tech developed in those foreign countries.

European nation with $6+ gasoline has a "competitive advantage" over the USA

It has given their fuel efficient car companies a competitive advantage. There is a huge growth in the demand for fuel efficient vehicles which has caused the US manufacturers to reevaluate their positions. As for the booming US economy, I would like to point out the massive debt of recent years. Also it is a fallacy for you to try to use the total US economny when it was fairly obvious I was referring to the immediate sector that relied on gas like the automotive manufacturing sector.

US Gulf of Mexico oil operations are only feasible when prices are high

All operations are more profitable when the prices are high, but that doesn't mean production in the Gulf will go off. Many facilities in the Gulf were built when oil was way lower than today and would still be profitable even if the price went down. You're spinning a simplistic economic consequence way out of proportion.

Most production in Saudi Arabia for instance is heavy oil which america doesn't really refine for gasoline. As for the price of production in the gulf I have yet to find price per gallon for production, although I've seen recent unsubstaniated article that oil companies will not invest for production at $30/barrel or over. This is a substantial leeway compared to today's prices. Oil sands production and investment is skyrocketing in today's prices and it's way more expensive than the gulf. You think they would do it if the profit was marginal?

In any case a new equilibrium would be in place and yes it would have foreign oil but much less than today. Would domestic production go down, yes but probably not as much as you're making out.

An interesting point which has come up is the inacessibility of new oil. This makes new oil expensive as well as dangerous to get like Anwar. In a period where cheap oil is disappearing, keeping the status quo on it's use, is not that wise, especially since vehicles as durable goods take a long time to cycle through the market.

How many people "require"...

Why do you take something simple and take it to extremes. You're pushing something minor and making it draconian to make it seem unrealistic. It's a simple statement of fact, for what people use and how they use them, SUVs are simply overkill. Do you see me saying that according to you because of the added comfort and convience everyone should be driving RV's? I don't go to extremes and take things out of context maybe you should try it. Another point is, go on any road, take a look at the average vehicle occupancy and use. It doesn't take a genius.

not what you drive, but how much you drive

This is not entirely true. The mix of vehicles, especially in the US is more weighted towards SUVs and larger less efficient vehicles, this does affect things. As for the man who drove a hybrid, what would be the difference be if he drove an SUV, which I'm sure people who have the same commute as he does, do. A civic hybrid gets 48 MPG on the highway, an average SUV, 21. In other words, you do the math.

Also, in another post, you advocate letting sprawl happen. In that scenario you give no choice but increasing how much the person drives.

And you again go too far with your points. You again suggest making a mountain out of a mole hill with your teenager example and your suggestions for solutions, in which you try to ridicule my points by taking them to obviously stupid results. Did I actually say anything about this kid and what to do? If you look, you just ranted and put words in my mouth because I didn't really say anything yet on this subject. As for rationing, prices will do that later as it did this summer, stranding many short sighted SUV buyers.

By number999 on 10/1/2006 11:59:06 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to append some figures.

production at $30/barrel or over

Cost of production in the Alberta oil sands is around $30-35 dollars US a barrel. Quoted figures for oil sands production is 3 times as much as regular production. From these statements we can guess that production of gulf oil to be in the $20-30 range at it's worst, especially since this oil was exploited before the oil sands and was therefore cheaper.

Although not widely known, many saudi wells are pumping ever increasing amounts of salt water, which means that they are reaching the end of their useful lives. New techniques will extend that life and get more oil out but it doesn't mean that there is endless oil in them, it does mean that it will cost more to get that oil out.

By masher2 on 9/27/2006 1:48:45 PM , Rating: 2
> "No money for public transportation means everyone needs a car, even in towns"

This little cliche comes up so often, I want to address it separately. A rail or subway transportation system requires vast amounts of resources and energy to build, maintain, and operate. Its only feasible in areas of very high population density...which most of the US doesn't quality. You'll note that areas which DO have that density-- such as NYC, for one, have good public transportation.

Cumulatively, the US has spent over a trillion dollars on public transport in the past few decades. I don't call that "no money". The problem is, we're often trying to put public transport in where it doesn't make sense, out of either sheer corruption (transportation contractors make a bundle) or some misguided belief that it will help either the economy or the environment. In some US areas, its most, it is not.

And if you consider public transport being a panacea for all our problems, you might want to try living in a city where its the only option. I've lived in several cities which had it, including the one with probably the best system in the entire world-- Moscow. And still, people prefer cars. Ever try to carry a week's worth of groceries for four people through a subway? Then through a station transfer or two? Then to the bus transfer? And then from the bus stop to your home? It ain't fun....and its even less fun when you're bringing home a new TV or piece of furniture.

Do you think its any accident that the nation with the highest private vehicle is also the one with, by far, the largest GDP? Those values are intertwined far more than you think.

By number999 on 9/27/2006 11:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
A rail or subway transportation system requires vast amounts of resources and energy to build, maintain, and operate

And the roads and the cars that go on them don't.

I admit the payback is better with higher pop densities but the developement patterns that led to the low densities were allowed by law and taxation systems creating north american sprawl.

I don't think public transportation is a panacea but it's an important piece of the cure for modern life. I've had to take the subway and I've taken the commute from Queens to Manhatten and yes it's long and the waiting is inconveniant but have you ever lived through a transit strike in a major city? You think about the convience of the car, how about the inconvenience of the car. I live in one of N. America's worst traffic corridors with constant talk about lost revenues due to traffic and movement of goods. Stupid zoning puts business' and residential areas far away from each other.

As for carrying stuff, well many box stores have truck rentals or there are autoshare programs in many cities where you don't even have to own a car.

I really don't know how much GDP is affected by private vehicle ownership. I do know that the car assessory market is as big as the car market itself but then all the large scale industrial processes have large scale economic impacts. Could it be that the US's large GDP has allowed large a inefficient car fleet to be created, free loading future generations with it's consequences? Think about that.

By masher2 on 9/27/2006 11:19:28 PM , Rating: 2
> "And the roads and the cars that go on them don't[?]

Not nearly as much, no...except in the rare case of an extremely high population density, which lets your amortize more riders over less distance.

> "I've taken the commute from Queens to Manhatten and yes it's long and the waiting is inconveniant but have you ever lived through a transit strike in a major city?"

You make the opposite point of which you intend. Cars don't go on strike. Subway and bus drivers do. Yet another strike against public transport.

> "the developement patterns that led to the low densities were allowed by law and taxation systems creating north american sprawl."

Freedom allowed what you call "sprawl". With the advent of the industrial age, people moved to the cities...but most realized they really didn't like living in an anthill their entire lives. Freedom-- along with American prosperity-- has allowed many people to escape that, and live the life

You can call it sprawl if you wish, but I find it far superior to the alternative. 300 million people in the US, all crammed into tiny apartments in city centers, with the vast majority of the US totally uninhabited and undeveloped. I'll take the suburbs over that any day of the week, and twice on Sunday.

> "As for carrying stuff, well many box stores have truck rentals "

Renting a truck every week is not an economic method of getting the groceries home.

> "Stupid zoning puts business' and residential areas far away from each other. "

There isn't a single home in the nation that is more than a couple miles from commercial property. Zoning does tend to keep heavy industry away from most residential property. That's a good thing...which, had you ever lived next to a large manufacturing plant, I think you'd soon realize.

By number999 on 9/28/2006 9:23:55 PM , Rating: 2
And the roads and the cars that go on them don't[?]
--Not nearly as much, no

Roads cost millions of dollars per mile to construct. Thats a two lane road. A quoted figure is 6 million a mile in hawaii. Yah that's so much cheaper than public transportation which would displace the car the maybe the need for the road and the gas and the problems of getting that gas.

Cars don't go on strike. Subway and bus drivers do. Yet another strike against public transp

You miss my point. When they do go on strike maybe 1 or 2 days in 5 years, the roads become impassible to people and for deliveries. Even when public transportation is working, traffic probloms cost a lot of money. Building endlessly more roads in a simplistic effort to alleviate traffic hasn't solved it. Better urban planning combined with public transportion can help the situation.

Freedom allowed what you call "sprawl"

Why even bring the freedom rhetoric into this. Even as a homeowner you have limited freedoms in what you can do in different areas. Some areas won't even allow personal electrical work in your own home. There's your freedom. Stop the patriotic rhetoric and give a real arguement except the the fact that you like the way things are and don't want to change or you like defending the way things developed. And stop bringing American prosperity into it. The whys and hows of american prosperity are many, which you simplify, and they also have meriad problems, which you dismiss glibly.

Constrast the growth of Atlanta and Portland and land use studies.
As I said before, in biology what is uncontrolled growth and what does it usually led to.

rent a truck every week is not an economic method

Uh I said box stores for a TV and stuff, which a trunk rental is appropriate, especially since you aren't going into the moving business.

I think I mentioned also that that car share programs exist for many cities or does the small average US family size need an SUV for groceries or maybe they just want to raise that shooting obescity level. Or have the stuff delivered. Hey I recently bought a front load washer, guess what, I didn't have a truck and it got to me just fine.

which, had you ever lived next to a large manufacturing plant

Why not choose something equally obnoxious like a dump to try to make my point stupid or do you think I'm advocating locating factories and things like that next to residential areas like a checkerbox. Give someone else some credit for common sense. I'm talking intelligent design of residential, commercial, light business, office business and yes even industrial use and proper infrastructure to support these areas. And don't tell me this happens. I live in a city where where one suburb is completely residential with one hour-plus delay rush hour traffic in the morning and the evening and all studies point to this getting worse in the future. Nearby commercial property? Maybe a couple of stores dotting the place. That's it. This doesn't affect the quality of life or the economy of the city? Check the difference between Portland and Atlanta from the above link.

By masher2 on 9/28/2006 9:54:13 PM , Rating: 2
> "Roads cost millions of dollars per mile to construct. Thats a two lane road...

Err, no. The US average for Interstate Highways (thats *two* two-lane highways) is just under $1M/mile. The CHEAPEST form of public transportation is light rail which averages around $25M/mile and can go much higher-- Seattle's light rail system is costing out at $180M/mile. Subway construction costs are far higher still...LA's subway is costing well over $1 BILLION/mile.

That's just construction cost...public transportation also has sky-high maintenance costs, far higher than a system of roads.

So yes, I'm correct...not that anyone with any common sense needed to be told that. We don't build public transport everywhere because it is incredibly, frighteningly expensive to do so. Not simply because we're "ignoring" the option.

> "When [public transport workers] do go on strike maybe 1 or 2 days in 5 years, the roads become impassible to people and for deliveries"

Simple solution-- avoid public transport entirely. Then we don't have the roads clogged during their ever-so-frequent strikes.

> "Why even bring the freedom rhetoric into this"

Because we live in America, where we value it.

> "Even as a homeowner you have limited freedoms "

So your position is, since we limit some freedoms, the government should be allowed to limit them all? You might want to rethink that philosophy.

> "Constrast the growth of Atlanta and Portland and land use studies."

Actually I live in Atlanta, and, compared to Portland, housing costs are far lower, real-estate taxes are lower, economic growth is higher, unemployment much lower...what other metrics do you want to compare? My 5500 s.f. home in Atlanta would probably cost $1.5M or more in Portland...and I'd be paying $2500/month just in real estate taxes, not to mention the jumbo mortgage. No thanks.

Here's a much better study, entitled "Did Portlands "Smart Growth" make it unaffordable?" It shows that, despite high unemployment and lack of growth, Portland's cost of living increased more than any other city in the US....even though its median wages were totally flat.

Portland over Atlanta? No thanks. Most people agree with me...which explains why people are pouring into Atlanta at an unprecedented rate, whereas Portland's growth rate is-- when birthrates are subtracted- actually negative.

By number999 on 9/29/2006 12:23:19 PM , Rating: 3
is just under $1M/mile

When you quote a figure like this why don't you say it is the average for a rural road in the middle of nowhere, not to mention it is in 1996 dollars? The link below also says it averages over a million in 1996, which today it would not. It should also be noted that the price of asphalt has also increased due to the price of oil in the last couple of months.

A better overview is here, from a university
where highways in New York are 333 million per mile or in boston where it was 1 billion per mile (probably the tunnel), to New Hampshire, 19 million per mile. All in 1996 US dollars. So much for that lowball figure you give.

Simple solution-- avoid public transport entirely. Then we don't have the roads clogged during their ever-so-frequent strikes

Your logic makes no sense then it would be like a strike all the time. Wall to wall traffic, frustration, and lost productivity due to traffic delays especially in this day of just in time production. Also considering the economic costs of building additional roads in urban centers. You think that it'll cost that lowball 1 million a mile, think again.

live in America, where we value it

It devalues the arguement and makes it political. It's not as if American's are not limited within the laws. You said before about factories not being located next to residential areas due to zoning, well doesn't that limit the freedom of the factory to locate where it wants?

And where did I say limit all freedoms? You are putting words in my mouth and taking my points out of context and putting your spin on them, as usual.

a better study, entitled "Did Portlands "Smart Growth" ...

Ah yes. A study with no bibliography like mine. At least mine showed the supporting documentation like Scientific American, which this so called site did not. Also, the Thoreau Institute, hah-hah, has a patently one sided agenda.
Frankly, I prefer this critique of the Thoreau Institute,

The Thoreau Institute is run by Randal O'Toole.
Some of these address Mr O'Toole and even have his responses as well as critiques of his responses. One has a bibliography of its own. As a controversial figure Mr. O'Toole is perfect, as an expert source, he is questionable to say the least. It is no surprise that he is an adjunct schoolar of the Cato Institute, which totally disagrees with mainstream environmental thinking. I actually agree with market driven solutions but only if the market puts proper valuation on things, which at presently they do not.

You have obviously made up your mind and your viewpoints are set in stone. Intellectual discourse cannot exist in such an environment. I think I've put enough out there for people to question and look around and it's enough for people to know where I'm coming from. With your talk of freedom and using O'Toole and his background, I think people can tell where you are coming from.

By exdeath on 9/26/2006 12:24:51 PM , Rating: 1
I enjoy 825 HP and 24 mpg and have no need or desire to buy a new car anytime soon.

Call me Mr. Jones then I guess.

By kilkennycat on 9/26/2006 12:48:20 PM , Rating: 2
"825HP and 24mpg"

Both at the very same time ? If so, in a vehicle weighing ~3000 pounds (say) you had better patent your design double-quick. A scaled variant would give 200HP at 96mpg....

By noxipoo on 9/26/2006 2:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
so then when are you enjoying 825HP? your original comment still makes it sound like you were saying them together regardless.

By exdeath on 9/26/2006 3:30:23 PM , Rating: 3
You do know that it is standard industry practice to quote both the maximum horsepower AND maximum MPG at the same time even though they are mutually exclusive right?

By muffins on 10/16/2006 1:38:41 PM , Rating: 2
Deep down I wish America would kick it into high gear on the design side of the automotive industry and work on things like new, fuel efficient technologies.

so what about all those clean diesel engines that Daimler Chysler is putting out there? Or all the development in engines that run on ethanol(and already being used in nascar)?

Cool Car
By Novaoblivion on 9/26/2006 10:55:05 AM , Rating: 4
The FCX Concept car looks really cool too :)

RE: Cool Car
By FITCamaro on 9/26/2006 11:07:20 AM , Rating: 3
I'm not a fan. Not completely horrible though.

I'm all for green but I want performance too. If they can make a fuel cell or hydrogen car that can take me 200-300 miles and get me from 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds, I'm all for it.

I agree that people buy SUVs who don't need them but theres nothing wrong with the "old" pushrod designed engine. Look at motors like that of the Corvette. It makes 400 hp and gets the fuel economy of a lot of V6s out there(19/29). I've seen a guy slap a supercharger on an LS1 (base 350hp) and with tuning get 35 mpg highway. Its all about the tuning. Engines that utilize pushrods are far from obsolete. They might be old tech but newer is not always better.

RE: Cool Car
By TheFro on 9/26/2006 11:54:03 AM , Rating: 2
The corvette, unfortunately, is the only good example of an efficient push-rod application, and it's not all the engine. The vette has a very tall overdrive gear and a lot of the vette's body is fiberglass, which cuts down drastically on weight.

And while it's not a fuel-cell application, has an excellent appilcation of an EV that has the performance characteristics I just love (with a really high price tag I really hate).

RE: Cool Car
By exdeath on 9/26/2006 12:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
Right. Put that 'efficient' LS1 in a 5,000 lb truck with 4.10 'towing' gears and that 19/29 quickly becomes 11/13.

Corvette is ~3,200 lbs. I thought my Cobra was a pig at 3,700 lbs stock, but has anyone seen what current trucks and SUVs weigh and what the new cars coming out are? Most new performance cars (Shelby Cobra, Camaro, Challenger, Charger, etc) are 4,100+ lbs and alot of these big bad '300 HP' trucks that everyone is crazy about (like the Escalade) are pushing over 6,200 lbs :-0

RE: Cool Car
By exdeath on 9/26/2006 1:05:49 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention the aerodynamics and drag properties of the Corvettes body styling, the very reason my boxy by comparison Cobra wouldn't get 29 MPG even if it was the same weight and gearing.

RE: Cool Car
By s12033722 on 9/26/2006 8:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
The GTO also gets similar efficiency and uses the same engine. A lot of it is the engine... Also, as has been mentioned here a few times, supercharge that same LS2 and you can achieve stunning power and efficiency both.

RE: Cool Car
By exdeath on 9/26/2006 8:58:33 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget those 69 extra cubic inches. That is where the power is coming from. Displacement always wins.

Like I've said before though, given equal displacement, equal boost, etc. I'd bet a 4v engine will perform better than a 2v engine. Since there isn’t a 281ci LS1 and there isn’t a 350ci DOHC V8 engine, it’s not an easy comparison.

Why do LS1 guys talk about porting heads, etc? To improve air flow. That is one purpose of the OHV design is to increase the cross sectional valve area to allow greater air flow. (Another is to allow higher revs since OHV designs utilize greater total valve clearance with smaller and lighter valves that travel shorter distances)

I'm only trying to point out benefits of OHV designs, not start a debate on specific engines.

For the sake of ending such arguments, I’ll just argue that a 4v head on a LS1/LS2, pushrod or not, would make it perform better than itself, especially when under forced induction. There, I’ve made my point without furthering a Chevy vs Ford debate.

RE: Cool Car
By exdeath on 9/26/2006 1:31:05 PM , Rating: 2
Given equal money building both engines, and equal displacement, I believe you can always get more top end performance out of a OHV engine, because more valves = more cross sectional valve area = more breathing, and you can't really have 32 pushrods and rocker arms running on a single cam… at least nobody has tried or didn’t just go to OHV. You can get more total area out of 4 smaller valves than 2 bigger ones given the constraint of the combustion chamber diameter, and even if you had an oval combustion chamber, there is a limit to the reciprocating mass of a single valve.

The only downfall of an OHV engine is bottom end torque, since at a similar lower RPM with a similar displacement, the 2V pushrod engine will produce higher port velocities due to the smaller valve area given a fixed exhaust pressure.

However, combine an efficient twin screw super charger and a DOHC engine and you have some serious potential for obscene bottom and top end power, as the '03 Cobra has shown us all.

The biggest comparison I see is the LS1 vs. the MOD 4.6 and the LS1 guys are always saying “see we can get the same power and with old school pushrods” forgetting that the 50+ cubic inch displacement advantage is what is allowing for that.

I'm honestly curious if given equal displacement and tuning skills if both engine technologies could achieve the same numbers. I guess we would need a modular 5.8L to compete directly with the 5.7L LS1 (350 ci vs 351 ci) to know the real story.

RE: Cool Car
By shabodah on 9/26/2006 2:48:46 PM , Rating: 2
You missing one key factor of the pushrod engine that is affecting the design of the vehicle and enables that lower drag-coefficent. Weight a MOD Ford v8, then weight the LS1, and compair. I sure have a copy and paste for the following:

The LS1 pushrod v8, is lighter, takes up less volume, costs less to produce, and is more efficient, than the Nissan 3.5L v6. And the Nissan has one up on the MOD Ford. Not too mention, if you are into modifying cars, you're more likely to do a head and cam swap on an engine that is easier to work on, lol.

RE: Cool Car
By exdeath on 9/26/2006 3:18:09 PM , Rating: 2
Got me there, these things are a pain in the ass to work on I'll give you that.

But I chose my car for the well known potential and after market. I may have to pull the tranny to install headers and jack the engine up to pull a valve cover, but in the end its easier to get 800+ HP out of a stock Terminator than any other modern performance car (LS1s would need a full bottom end build and engine pull to get the forged internals and lower CR, etc)

For the record I only care for the DOHC Cobra, I think the 260 HP out of the GT is laughable considering the 3.5L V6 in our Avalon can make around 280 HP.

No reason to go OHV really unless you go more than 2v and can move alot of air through it, otherwise you're defeating the primary purpose of OHV (more valves, more flow area) and the trade off (more weight, wider and taller long block, more parts) is wasted.

RE: Cool Car
By shabodah on 9/26/2006 5:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I can understand why you specifically like the Cobra engine, but it is the best case scenario for the modular Ford. If we use the Best case scenario for the current smallblock chevy, you get titanium rods, forged crank, titanium valves, and a dry sump. Regardless, there are many stock longblock LS1's out there putting out 1000+ hp, not that I'd recommend it without a rebuild myself. I'm surprised you're getting such good gas mileage out of your engine. That's been my biggest reason to stay away from Ford and Hyundai.

RE: Cool Car
By exdeath on 9/26/2006 6:08:54 PM , Rating: 2
Then again there are 8 second streetable Terminators out there running 1200+ HP with twin turbo; and while its not a stock engine anymore, its still only 281 ci vs 350 ci. Any 1000+ HP LS1 I know about is also running rebuilt internals and pro-charged, but is also stroked and bored as well.

So now we have two engines making 1000 HP, one is still 281 ci and the other is now 383 ci... The twin turbo 427ci LS1 Corvettes are in the 700 HP range last I checked ;)

Not trying to badmouth the LS1, just pointing out that OHV engines have their advantages. If they didn't they wouldn't be making them.

RE: Cool Car
By shabodah on 9/26/2006 10:02:48 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not arguing that OHC engines don't have their advantages. The 700 horse twin-turbo LS1's are the ones that pass emissions testing. They are making 1200-1400 on engines that are the stock 346 CI's and not having too much trouble with them. Sure, there are many people who are smart enough to put better internals in them and many people have bored and stroked the LS1, but most of them are NA style engines. There was a 01 Trans Am convertible in both Car Craft and Pontiac High Performance about 2 years ago running 8.9's with a completely stock block and huge Procharger as well.

Is this NEW diesel still sound really loud
By HakonPCA on 9/26/2006 12:37:16 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder how loud these new diesel engines are, older diesel engines were so loud you couldn't talk to the person next to you when accelerating

By ani4ani on 9/26/2006 1:03:07 PM , Rating: 2
Especially Honda diesel engines, current generation are very quiet. Above idle, you would not know you were driving anything but a petrol engine. 50%+ of Mercedes sold in Europe are diesel, and nearly the same for BMW; both regarded as luxury vehicles rather than "tractors" Many high revving petrol engines make far more noise under acceleration.

RE: Is this NEW diesel still sound really loud
By Hare on 9/26/2006 2:27:36 PM , Rating: 2
Most Americans have no idea what a real modern diesel sounds like (or how it behaves). Mostly because the diesel quality you have is crap. Try a modern european or japanese diesel and I can bet it will change your opinion about diesels. They are clean and quiet. Btw. I don't own a diesel. Straight 6-cyl BMW here.

By lemonadesoda on 9/26/2006 5:57:24 PM , Rating: 2
... I can tell you like cars, especially ones with good engines. I recommend your next car is a boxer 6, not a straight 6. You will be amazed at the difference and will kick yourself for not getting one earlier.

RE: Is this NEW diesel still sound really loud
By beemercer on 9/26/2006 3:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
Is that a bad thing, i've always loved the bus-like sound of my Duramax.

By thecoolnessrune on 9/26/2006 6:12:06 PM , Rating: 2
Amen brotha, Amen.. :P

By ElFenix on 9/27/2006 2:58:47 PM , Rating: 2
i think noisy diesels will continue to be in large work trucks, while quiet diesels will penetrate the car market pretty significantly. there is something about the loud diesel sound that makes you want to rip off your shirt and pound your chest.

By JeffDM on 9/26/2006 9:48:04 PM , Rating: 2
Newer diesel engine designs change the combustion pattern to get a lot quieter quieter, they don't sound much different from gasoline engines now. Before, diesels relied on detonation to operate, and that's where the noise came from. Newer injection methods use a more controlled burn by having a much, much smaller detonation and then pumping more fuel after detonation, in a measured manner, to control the burn.

Government CAUSED the low MPG's
By bldckstark on 9/26/2006 1:21:11 PM , Rating: 2
Keep in mind that any family with more than 2 kids that are under 40 pounds has to have a third row seat. Child seats won't fit three wide, so there are only two choices on what to buy. SUV or minivan.

RE: Government CAUSED the low MPG's
By Hoser McMoose on 9/27/2006 5:34:08 PM , Rating: 2
Or something like the Mazda5. It is a tall car-based design with 3 rows of seats. A number of car makers in Europe have such designs, though Mazda is the only one I know of in North America. Ok, admittedly it doesn't get quite the fuel economy of the Mazda3 (2.3L version) that it's based on, 9.2 and 6.7L/100km (city and highway respectively) for the Mazda3 Sport with manual transmission vs. 10.6 and 8.0L/100 for the Mazda5. Still it's a lot better than most minivans and MUCH better than any SUV I've seen with 3 rows of seats.

Beside that, I would say that the market for families with 3+ children under 40 pounds can safely be called a "niche" market, probably well under 1% of car buyers. Most kids would be over 40 lbs once they are about 4 or 5 years old, so even for those families that do have 3 or more children, usually they aren't all within that age range. Of course, I would still probably be looking for something like the Mazda5 or a minivan if I had 3 kids, regardless of their age. Packing 3 young'uns + associated "stuff" (be it school stuff, sports gear or luggage for trips) is not my idea of a fun trip.

RE: Government CAUSED the low MPG's
By masher2 on 9/27/2006 6:57:19 PM , Rating: 2
> "Still it's a lot better than most minivans and MUCH better than any SUV I've seen with 3 rows of seats"

It also has a four-cylinder 150hp engine. Driving that while fully loaded is not exactly going to be peppy, and just isn't something most Americans want to do. Especially considering it only gets 21 mpg city, which really isn't much better than a small-to-midsize SUV.

> "Most kids would be over 40 lbs once they are about 4 or 5 years old..."

Over 40lb at age 4? That's a pretty hefty daughter rode a carseat until she was nearly 7.

You're Missing a Few Things...
By HeadGasket7 on 9/26/2006 1:24:47 PM , Rating: 2
We must remember that Honda is and pretty much always has been an engine company. Honda staff will tell anyone who asks that vehicles are simply a 'shell' in which Honda is able to sell their engines. This approach naturally lends itself to cutting-edge development.

Regarding auto-industry ties to big oil, not quite right. The US government is NOT protecting the oil companies themselves when determining incentives for development of alternative fuel vehicles. What they (US Gov't) are protecting is the gasoline tax revenue they lose if we all start using electric or hybrid vehicles.

Whoever commented about $$ being God has it right. This is the case with Honda, Toyota, VW, and all of the big-3. This article is great press for Honda, but if the market won't bear the price Honda needs to charge to be profitable, then this clean diesel car will never hit dealerships in large quantities.

Generally speaking, the sad fact right now is that the most fuel-efficient, low-emissions vehicles don't provide a tangible economic benefit to owners. They make you feel good inside, but the cost of ownership turns most people away no matter how much they claim to care for the environment. Likewise, the automakers themselves produce only enough hybrid vehicles to keep legislators off their backs - they (automakers) still make all their money on traditional petrol cars and if they had their way, would produce nothing else at this point.

RE: You're Missing a Few Things...
By splines on 9/26/2006 6:20:49 PM , Rating: 2
Australia's in much the same position as the US (long distances, historically big powerful sedans and utility vehicles), but the urban areas are having this massive shift towards 4cyl and diesel because of petrol prices. Even people in the rural areas are buying turbo diesel now, because it's cheaper on the whole.

So it can happen in a market usually devoted to BHP (or our metric KW), but there has to be a motivating factor.

RE: You're Missing a Few Things...
By Xenoid on 10/17/2006 1:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
Companies are going to have to sell these things at a loss until they became popular enough that enough people buy them.

I'm about to buy my first car. I want it to have a big engine. I don't want it to weight 3400lbs or guzzle fuel but it's going to have to in exchange for a V-8 and American (bad) design (88+ Cobra or GT).

You think I can afford a hybrid or turbo diesel? They both command premiums that most can't afford. A turbo-diesel VW is not cheap here.

And sorry I'm not a fan of the Geo Metro or other 100hp< vehicles because I like them big and it's just a thing I have. True I could make it work at 80hp, but then again I could survive just fine living in a cave with fire so why don't we all go back to those times too?

Round of applause, please
By lemonadesoda on 9/26/2006 6:00:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think it deserves saying: HONDA is making a good effort here. Nice car design (they've obviously fired the designers of their existing models), and great innovation.

RE: Round of applause, please
By INeedCache on 9/27/2006 4:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
That concept car looks way too much like a Chrysler for my taste.

RE: Round of applause, please
By lemonadesoda on 9/28/2006 5:37:37 PM , Rating: 2
I'm no Chrysler fanboy, but if they are selling then perhaps it's worth imitating (for local markets). There ain't no cars looking like this in Europe. I think its a big style step forward for mini-van/bus cars.

Clean diesel...
By RyanM on 9/26/2006 11:43:43 AM , Rating: 2
Should be the basis of every hybrid out there. It's a pity its not.

Let's see....

Hypothetical gas engine - 38 mpg
Equivilantly powered diesel - 50 mpg
Hybrid using gas engine (new EPA measurements) - 50mpg
Hybrid using diesel (new EPA) - 65+ mpg?

By Engine of End on 9/26/2006 12:25:26 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously, not one of these big automotive companies has looked into using gun engines.

By Quiksel on 9/26/06, Rating: -1
"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)
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