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Ford's $2 million USD plug-in hybrid fuel cell vehicle

From top to bottom: fuel cell, hydrogen tank and li-ion battery pack
Edmunds gets a test drive in Ford's multi-million dollar concept

About a month ago, DailyTech first brought you a glimpse at Ford's Edge HySeries crossover utility vehicle (CUV). In its current form, the concept features a hydrogen fuel cell, a 336-volt lithium-ion battery pack and electric motors for propulsion. Ford can also adapt the chassis to accommodate gasoline-electric or diesel-electric hybrid powertrains.

The editors at Edmunds were recently given a chance to drive the $2 million USD Ford Edge HySeries concept vehicle. The 5,400 pound CUV is powered solely by electricity, so power delivery is turbine smooth and quiet. Edmunds likened its forward progress to that of a "horizontal elevator." And by using a hydrogen fuel cell, the Edge HySeries has no harmful emissions and only releases water vapor into the environment.

The Edge HySeries’ powertrain is mounted low in the chassis for better weight distribution. One electric motor is located at each axle while the fuel cell and batteries are located under the driver and passenger seat respectively. The 350-bar hydrogen fuel tank is mounted along the vehicle's centerline under the center console.

Since Edmunds was given the keys to a prototype vehicle, performance wasn't quite up to production levels. The vehicle was admittedly running at 50% of its potential, so acceleration was a bit on the slow side compared to its gasoline-engined counterpart – the additional 870 pounds of heft doesn’t help either. On the other hand, the vehicle was nearly silent under acceleration with just the hum of the fuel cell compressor penetrating the cabin.

With a fully topped off battery and a full hydrogen tank, the HySeries should offer a driving range of 225 miles and a combined city/highway rating of 41MPG. This is quite favorable to the newly revised 2008 EPA ratings for some of the most popular hybrid automobiles on the North American market. The Prius, Camry Hybrid and Civic Hybrid are rated at 46MPG, 34MPG and 42MPG combined respectively under the new EPA guidelines.

With North American vehicles coming up on the short end of the stick with regards to fuel efficiency, it's good to see car manufactures looking towards technology to improve fuel efficiency given America’s apprehension to diesel power in consumer automobiles. Multi-million dollar investments in test vehicles like Ford's Edge HySeries and GM's Volt and Sequel mean that we as consumers will reap the benefits in the near future.



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RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 12:05:37 PM , Rating: 2
> "When are you going to stop wheeling out that argument..."

I'll stop when it becomes untrue. Cars get better mileage than they did 40 years ago, yet we use far more gasoline. Why is that? Because every year, people drive more and more miles. In a decade, cars will be even more efficient...yet our gas consumption will be even higher.

> "And also, just think how much petrol would be used if all those people were commuting 150 miles a day in 4x4s!"

That's just the point. The people driving those huge distances are, for the most part, NOT using big 4X4s to do so. And thus, replacing those 4X4s with smaller vehicles isn't going to cut their gas consumption one bit.

> "what the hell is the point in a big 4x4 ..."

My SUV isn't a "4X4". As for what the "point" of one is, what's the point of a big house? What's the point of your own house at all...apartments are more energy-efficient. What's the point of being able to drive to a movie, concert, or a sports event? Far more energy-efficient to stay home and just watch TV. What's the point of eating meat? Far more energy efficient to just eat vegetables.

You're on a slippery slope here, when you decide what other people "need" and don't need. Fact is, none of need anything, other than a dry cave and a few roots and grubs. Want to return to that style of life?


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 12:51:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Cars get better mileage than they did 40 years ago, yet we use far more gasoline. Why is that? Because every year, people drive more and more miles.

Yes of course. It would have nothing to do with an exponential increase in the number of cars in service would it.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 1:22:26 PM , Rating: 3
Since the 1950s, gasoline consumption has risen much faster than has the US population. Sure, the population increase accounts for some of it. But the fact remains that people drive much further today then we did then.


By Spivonious on 2/26/2007 12:51:56 PM , Rating: 2
We use more gasoline because there are many more vehicles on the road, not because people are driving farther.

Just for the record, I fill up my 12 gallon tank about once every three weeks, so that comes to an average of 4 gallons/week.

You get upset when SUVs are lumped into the "fuel-waster" category. But how does this excuse lumping SUVs into the "short-distance" category? Both arguments are unrealistic.


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 1:11:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'll stop when it becomes untrue.

On average, I drive 280 miles per month when comes to commuting for work. For the sake of an easy number to work with we can say I drive 400 miles per month if you add on grocery shopping and other miscellaneous errands.

In the winter I average 42MPG and in the summer I average 52MPG. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say that for the year I get 45MPG. Again I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say a large SUV (H2 or Expedition which are very common around where I live) will average 15MPG for the year - even though it's closer to 10MPG.

So 400 miles every 4 weeks would be 5,200 miles per year. This is actually rather close to what I put on my vehicle annually. That would mean I'm using about 115.5 gallons of gas annually. If I owned one of the aforementioned SUVs, I would be using 346.6 gallons annually. If you were to consider an average number of annual miles per year, 15,000 miles, the numbers seem to make even more of a statement. For my car it's 333.3 gallons and the SUV uses 1,000 gallons. So if I drive 15,000 miles in my car I would still use less gas than the SUV driving 5,200 miles.

What's more important - what I drive or the number of miles I drive? So you can stop with your argument now, because it's untrue.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 1:41:41 PM , Rating: 3
> "So 400 miles every 4 weeks would be 5,200 miles per year..."

You're an exception then. The average household in 1994 drove 21,100 miles/year, with an average of 1.8 drivers/household, which works out to ~12,000 miles/year per driver.

Thats the average driver. There are plenty of people driving 50K+ miles per year. Some hit 100K miles annually...nearly ten TIMES the national aveage, and 20 times what you drive. See any cars 20 times more efficient than yours?

Replace every SUV on the road with a car getting the average mpg, and you'll cut national gasoline consumption by roughly 10%, assuming current SUV market penetration rates. That assumes that none of those drivers would use the gas savings to drive more, and that none of the trips made in those smaller vehicles would require a second trip as a result.

However, if everyone driving more than the national average of 12,000 miles/year just cut back their mileage to the average rate, we'd save nearly three TIMES as much fuel.

The problem isn't the people below average on MPG. Its those above average on total miles driven.


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 2:03:51 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Thats the average driver. There are plenty of people driving 50K+ miles per year. Some hit 100K miles annually

As I clearly demonstrated, the more miles you drive per year the more my car makes a difference and the more important your choice of automobile is. Unless you foresee a federal law requiring you work within X miles of your residence there isn't much that can be done about the miles people drive. And you know this and this is why I feel you are purposefully presenting a specious argument.
quote:
However, if everyone driving more than the national average of 12,000 miles/year just cut back their mileage to the average rate, we'd save nearly three TIMES as much fuel.

How about if everyone did that AND switched from a 15MPG SUV to a 45MPG hybrid? Even better wouldn't you say?
quote:
The problem isn't the people below average on MPG. Its those above average on total miles driven.

I would argue that both are problems and that those below average on MPG is the easier one to address.

It's very tempting to reduce myself to slinging insults and sarcasm, but you have not done that yourself so I refrain. So what I'd like to know is this - what is your agenda here? Do you have some sort of financial interest that makes anything eco-friendly a threat? Or do you simply enjoy taking up a position that goes against the grain? In other words you simply like to debate and whether or not your position is correct or incorrect is irrelevant.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 2:15:54 PM , Rating: 2
> "Unless you foresee a federal law requiring you work within X miles of your residence there isn't much that can be done about the miles people drive"

Sure there is...the old government standby of using taxes to compel behavior. Put a stiff federal tax on gasoline, and you'd see people driving a lot less.

But to justify that, first you have to prove there's a problem in the first place. The OP didn't even trot out the greenhouse gas argument...he simply used the self-centered position that people should drive less so HIS gas is cheaper. Which makes me rather doubt he'd be in favor of a stiff increase in federal gas taxes.


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 5:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Sure there is...the old government standby of using taxes to compel behavior. Put a stiff federal tax on gasoline, and you'd see people driving a lot less.

Hey I'm all for it. You?


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 5:42:47 PM , Rating: 2
> "Hey I'm all for it. You? ..."

It certainly makes more sense than a "gas guzzler" tax on a colleague's Ferrari 360, which guzzles about 10 gallons a month, on the rare occasions he drives it. If you're going to tax consumption, tax actual consumption, not potential.


RE: If they care about economy...
By typo101 on 2/27/2007 7:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you're going to tax consumption, tax actual consumption, not potential.


great point. i posted so i can't mark this worth reading, so instead i'll quote you


RE: If they care about economy...
By Kuroyama on 2/26/2007 5:30:50 PM , Rating: 2
When someone drives more during rush hour then not only do they use more gas and drive up gas prices for everyone, but they also waste both their own time and the time for all the people who are stuck in traffic behind them. Putting peak hour tolls on the highway is probably a better solution to this problem than would be a gas tax, but whether it's tolls or a gas tax it still seems perfectly legitimate for government to try to compel the behavior of less driving in urban areas at peak hours.


RE: If they care about economy...
By FredEx on 2/27/2007 12:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You're an exception then. The average household in 1994 drove 21,100 miles/year, with an average of 1.8 drivers/household, which works out to ~12,000 miles/year per driver.


You are an exception also, saying you use only 5 gallons a week in an SUV. If you do in fact do as you say, you are very far from the norm. In order for you to be in the norm, using your own number for each person on average driving 12,000 miles a year and you using just 5 gallons of gas a week you'd have to be getting over 46 miles per gallon in your SUV to be an average driver. You ain't gettin' that, and I'd bet not even close to half that. You shoot yourself in the foot trying to use the arguments you use, they are highly flawed and 99.9% BS.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Merry on 2/26/2007 2:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'll stop when it becomes untrue. Cars get better mileage than they did 40 years ago, yet we use far more gasoline. Why is that? Because every year, people drive more and more miles. In a decade, cars will be even more efficient...yet our gas consumption will be even higher.

That may be something to do with there being a greater number of individuals driving. Just a thought.

The people driving those huge distances are, for the most part, NOT using big 4X4s to do so. And thus, replacing those 4X4s with smaller vehicles isn't going to cut their gas consumption one bit.

Thats laughable, really it is. You're trying to tell be that a guy in a Range Rover doing say 150miles a day swapping down to a smaller, more efficient car, doing exactly the same mileage will not reduce the petrol consumption? The same goes for any given daily mileage be it 5 or 500. Are you insane? do you really believe that?

My SUV isn't a "4X4"

Does it have 4 wheel drive? If it does then its a 4x4. If it doesn't its a waste of time, its just a huge estate car on stilts, but thats just my opinion. I don't buy into these trendy marketing names. A spade is a bloody spade to me. Unless you're trying to tell me you drive a Fiat Panda 4x4 or something.

You're on a slippery slope here, when you decide what other people "need" and don't need. Fact is, none of need anything, other than a dry cave and a few roots and grubs. Want to return to that style of life?

Now you're making up arguments to fill the page here, as this is not relevant to anything I said. I told you, I own a Landrover, I also own a Mini (which i mainly drive around my field like a loony)as well as my Punto. I like cars, i'm not going to start preaching to you about getting rid of your 'SUV' I'm just trying to point out the stupidity of your argument.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 2:36:52 PM , Rating: 2
> "That may be something to do with there being a greater number of individuals driving."

Read above. Gasoline consumption since 1950 has increased much faster than the rate of population increase. Our cars are much more efficient than they were in 1950 and yet, even accounting for the higher population, we still use more gas. Now, what does that tell you?

Replace every SUV on the road with a car, and you'd save roughly 10% of total gas consumption...then lose a big part of that, as people drove more with what they saved in gas money. But if every person who drove more than the national average reduced their mileage to that average figure, you'd save roughly 3 times as much gas overall.

As for your example of someone doing 150 mile daily commutes in a Range Rover, I strongly suspect you'd have a hard time finding anyone who does that. But I do know several people personally who do that in a small car.

> " If [an SUV doesn't have four-wheel drive] its a waste of time, its just a huge estate car on stilts..."

A very revealing opinion. Are you not aware that most SUVs sold (in America at least) are not four-wheel drive? Are you also going to trot out the old fallacy of "an SUV that never goes offroad is a waste of time"?


RE: If they care about economy...
By Merry on 2/26/2007 3:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
Read above. Gasoline consumption since 1950 has increased much faster than the rate of population increase. Our cars are much more efficient than they were in 1950 and yet, even accounting for the higher population, we still use more gas. Now, what does that tell you?
Replace every SUV on the road with a car, and you'd save roughly 10% of total gas consumption...then lose a big part of that, as people drove more with what they saved in gas money. But if every person who drove more than the national average reduced their mileage to that average figure, you'd save roughly 3 times as much gas overall.


I see no links to evidence. I'm sure you'll find some, though. You can make figures say anything.

As for your example of someone doing 150 mile daily commutes in a Range Rover, I strongly suspect you'd have a hard time finding anyone who does that. But I do know several people personally who do that in a small car.

*smacks forehead* You know I wonder why? Could it be something to so with petrol costing money? Look no matter how many miles you do a smaller car will (if it also has a smaller engine) use less petrol be it 5,500,5000 or 50000miles. People have to drive places, more so in the US because evidently its bigger. I'm sure you know the reasons for this much better than I do. As I pointed out earlier it is not hard to find a car that will do twice the mileage of an 'SUV', halving the cost of your petrol bill a week. This doesn't necessarily you'll instantly start driving more because most people wont. There are only so many hours in a day and i don't think people will suddenly think 'oh I've got a smaller car i'll get a job twice as far away as before!' because lets face it commuting is a bitch regardless of what you drive, as is getting up hideously early to do such a distance.

A very revealing opinion. Are you not aware that most SUVs sold (in America at least) are not four-wheel drive? Are you also going to trot out the old fallacy of "an SUV that never goes offroad is a waste of time"?

Yes, as a matter of fact I am. It renders them entirely useless. You could get a people carrier and it would be both safer, more practical and more economical. One of mates dad had a Peugeot 807 and regularly got 30mpg out of it, and it had 7 seats, of course it was a diesel. Failing that estate cars have the same sort of space inside, indeed some even have 7 seats too and deliver better mileage and handling (and more often than not safety). At the end of the day 'SUVS' are often more dangerous, especially the American ones (Ford Explorer euro ncap score anyone?), useless off road, useless performance wise and at the end of the day are just status symbols. A 4x4 that is actually used off road, on the other hand.....


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 3:26:03 PM , Rating: 1
> "I see no links to evidence. I'm sure you'll find some, though. You can make figures say anything."

Come, this is beneath you. I say nothing but simple truth. Per-capita miles driven has been increasing since the turn of the century. It still increases today...from 1988 to 1994, in fact, average miles/vehicle went up by over 1000 miles/year (Sources: http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/rtecs/chapter3.html) You may not like the figures, but their truth is inescapable.

> " People have to drive places..."

People do not "need" to live 50 or even 100 miles from where they work though, now do they? You are quick to claim no one needs a SUV...why do you hide from this truth?

> "You could get a people carrier and it would be both safer, more practical and more economical [than an SUV]..."

There are at least five reasons people buy SUVs even when they never intend to take them offroad. First, their towing capacity, which an estate car or minivan will never match. Second, their cargo capacity. A van might equal an SUV here...but the MPG differential between a van and a similar-sized 2WD SUV is pretty small. Third, the higher platform allows for better view and easier loading and unload of passengers. When you have small children in carseats, an SUV saves a great deal of back strain.

Fourth is safety. And before you trot out crash test results, you have to realize those tests are done against fixed barriers, which eliminates the mass differential-- the most important factor in a multicar crash.

The fifth reason is the simplest. Looks. And before you sneer at this, I suggest you think about how many times you've bought a car, clothes, or even a home without thinking at least marginally about its style and/or appearance.


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 4:22:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I say nothing but simple truth.

False. You say "it's not what people drive it's how many miles they drive". You say much more than "simple truth". You purposely ignore facts when it's convenient. I agree that miles driven is part of the equation, but what you drive is at the very least an equal part of the equation. And to me it's a larger part of the equation. I know it's not to you.

Every once in a while you come up with a good point worth considering, but for the most part you present arguments that are skewed or downright misleading. I don't believe this is out of ignorance either, rather it's similar to an accountant who "plays" with numbers to make the books read whatever he wants them to. I give you credit for going out and finding resources to back up whatever you like and sometimes ignoring information from those same links that directly contradict a good deal of your argument. I have a bit more going on in my life than to spend the day preparing a thesis as to why you're wrong. The only reason I spend as much time as I do on this silliness is that it turns my stomach to see you spreading a bunch of baloney.

And you still have chosen not to reveal what your true agenda is in this whole matter. Perhaps my guess regarding a financial interest was a little too close for comfort.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 4:55:14 PM , Rating: 1
> "You say "it's not what people drive it's how many miles they drive..."

No. I say that how much people drive is the most important factor in gasoline consumption. And it is-- by far. The average person in 1950 drove less than 3000 miles/year. Today, our cars are almost twice as efficient...but we drive four times as many miles.

> "I have a bit more going on in my life than to spend the day preparing a thesis as to why you're wrong..."

Ahh, the "I'm too busy to prove you wrong" story, eh?

> "And you still have chosen not to reveal what your true agenda is in this whole matter..."

Simply the desire to expose hypocrisy. It turns my stomach to have simple-minded people focus on symbols over substance. And that's exactly what the SUV is...a symbol, that lacks any real substance on the issue of gasoline consumption. Eliminate it totally, and in five years time, our usage would be higher than ever.


RE: If they care about economy...
By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 5:20:11 PM , Rating: 2
Well you may have quite an audience here who buy into your arguments. I am not among them. While not a professional in this field, you could say I have an interest in it and I try to keep myself informed and educated. As such I regularly spot holes in your arguments.

Rather than even refute the argument I made several posts ago, you simply steer in another direction figuring people will get distracted. Those who share your point of view will obviously go right along.

I think I've presented enough to illustrate how incomplete and myopic your argument is.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 5:48:15 PM , Rating: 1
> "I think I've presented enough to illustrate how incomplete and myopic your argument is..."

Sorry, but merely remarking that "I could prove you wrong if I had more time" doesn't cut it in place of data and hard facts. I've presented those facts. SUV's aren't the problem, they're merely a symbol for those unable to grasp the reality of a complex situation.

To repeat-- replacing every SUV on the road today would only save a few percent of our total gasoline usage. Given our current growth rate, within five years time, we'd be using more than ever.


RE: If they care about economy...
By typo101 on 2/27/2007 7:31:49 PM , Rating: 2
Man this thread has really taken off on a tangent. masher's original argument (which I agree with) really has less to do with types of cars and even fuel efficiency, and more to do with the suburban sprawl . These days people are moving away from their downtown workplace to live in a quaint suburb far away from the city (as masher also pointed out there are many reasons for this that I don't want to get into because that will probably spark another heated argument).

It is impossible to deny that more efficient cars would decrease fuel consumption, but focusing on efficiency is masking this continent's bigger problem -- the commute.

is masher being shortsighted or are you being fooled by marketing?


By RogueSpear on 2/26/2007 5:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Ahh, the "I'm too busy to prove you wrong" story, eh?

Seriously man, how much of my day am I supposed to spend on something like this? Perhaps if this thread weren't forgotten in the next 48 hours I could see getting a little more into it.

I'm not sure about you, but I work, have a family and all that stuff.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Kuroyama on 2/26/2007 5:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
Sure the amount of driving has gone up over the years. But are you suggesting that this is due to fuel economy being better? I doubt that fuel consumption plays more than a minor part in most people's decisions about how far to drive; most people decide what to do and only later whine about how much the gas for their mega-vehicle cost. If that is the case then improving fuel economy will certainly decrease gas consumption, at least relative to what would have been used without the improvements in fuel economy.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 5:54:00 PM , Rating: 1
> "Sure the amount of driving has gone up over the years..."

I'm glad you realize this...you seem to be in the minority here.

> "But are you suggesting that this is due to fuel economy being better?"

No, the vast majority of it is due to other factors. However, fuel economy and fuel costs do have a small impact on total miles driven. When gas prices increase, consumption decreases, and vice versa. People do adjust their driving patterns around their budget.


RE: If they care about economy...
By evildorf on 2/26/2007 4:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
To be fair to the guy just above your reply masher2, I think he was wanting evidence to support your figures on switching SUVs to cars only saving 10% and the other bit about reducing miles driven saving a lot more. That per- capita-miles-driven has been increasing is probably not a surprise to him/her, and that item is the one addressed by your link.
Your link does, interestingly enough, say the following: "In addition, two segments of the light truck fleet--minivans and sport utility-vehicles--were driven more miles per year per vehicle than were passenger cars." So at least according to 1994 data (I suppose of questionable validity now that it's 2007) not only are people living farther from wherever it is they're trying to get to (work, etc.) they are driving less efficient vehicles in order to get there. Your personal driving habits aside (only burning 5 gallons a week in an SUV is an admirable feat), it seems that the idea that more efficient cars are driven proportionally more than SUVs/minivans holds little truth.
On the article itself, the vehicle looks good but I'm a bit leery on the whole fuel cell thing. For a big hydrogen supply, we'll need to split a lot of water, which requires a great deal of energy by itself. Though how this compares to the energy required to pump an equivalent amount of hydrocarbons out of the ground, I don't know. Also, the range of this vehicle isn't very impressive, and I think that's going to remain a problem until they get the hydrogen-to-storage medium mass ratio down.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 4:49:13 PM , Rating: 1
> "I think he was wanting evidence to support your figures on switching SUVs to cars only saving 10%"

All light trucks (which includes pickups, SUVs, and minivans) account for only 1/3 the miles travelled in the US. (data in the link above). SUVs account for roughly 1/3 of that. That's only an 11% savings, even if you swapped every SUV for a bicycle. Realistically, swapping an SUV for an car with equal passenger capacity, you'd save only about 3-4% of all national usage. So my original 10% figure was actually highly optimistic.

> "So...not only are people living farther from wherever it is they're trying to get to (work, etc.) they are driving less efficient vehicles in order to get there..."

False correlation. That data is by household, not individual. Larger households (especially those with many children) tend to drive more miles. Larger households are more likely to own an SUV or a minivan.


RE: If they care about economy...
By evildorf on 2/26/2007 8:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I agree with your estimate then. On the other point, technically it's per vehicle, not per household and I'd surmise that larger households also tend to have more vehicles...though that almost certainly doesn't scale linearly (people to vehicles). Anyway, my point was only that according to that study, SUVs/minivans are driven for more mileage, individually, than other (usually more fuel efficient) vehicles.
I think I recall you stating that most of the gas is being used by people commuting large distances in smaller cars. That statement is neither proven nor disproven by the study we've been discussing, though the fact that SUVs are driven for more miles appears to lean away from it. Was your statement an expectation or a quotation of fact? I don't mind being proven wrong, it's simply that my expectation is opposite of yours.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 8:49:22 PM , Rating: 1
> "I think I recall you stating that most of the gas is being used by people commuting large distances in smaller cars..."

That may be true, but its not quite what I'm saying. My point is really very simple, and just a statement of statistics. Vehicle mileage varies anywhere from around 10mpg (Hummer) up to 50mpg (Prius). Thats a 5:1 ratio.

Miles driven in the US, though varies from below 4K miles/year to over 100K miles/year. That's a ratio of over 25:1. A far broader bell curve, and therefore a much more significant variance.

The conclusion? Total gasoline consumption in the US is driven much less by people driving cars below average on efficiency, and much more by people driving more miles than the national average. It doesn't matter why they're driving, or what they're driving in...that half of the bell curve is the one with all the weight.

That same conclusion can be proven in a wholly different manner. Vehicle mileage has increased considerably since 1950. Yet, even allowing for population increases, our total gasoline consumption is up sharply. Why? Because more efficient cars don't have nearly the impact that total miles do...and our total miles keep going up and up.


RE: If they care about economy...
By bohhad on 2/26/2007 3:14:51 PM , Rating: 2
i have to agree with masher here. my suv is two wheel drive, 6 cylinder engine, with a manual tranny. it's not a waste just because it doesnt go offroad, the extra space inside is required for me. a four door car would not work for me, no matter how big. i just bought and brought home a 32 inch tube tv the other day in a snowstorm, it would not have fit in the trunk of my buddies' 4door.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Merry on 2/26/2007 3:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
i have to agree with masher here. my suv is two wheel drive, 6 cylinder engine, with a manual tranny. it's not a waste just because it doesnt go offroad, the extra space inside is required for me. a four door car would not work for me, no matter how big. i just bought and brought home a 32 inch tube tv the other day in a snowstorm, it would not have fit in the trunk of my buddies' 4door

Good, your car has a useful purpose. My point is that most of the other SUVs don't. Anyway this is only a personal opinion of mine, i'm not going to start banging on about all SUVs killing tiny fluffy wee kittens, I just personally cant see the point in big high cars that cant do offroading and such when there are so many better alternatives, in my opinion, though.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Spivonious on 2/26/2007 4:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
Totally agree with you Merry.

To the poster Merry quoted: I easily fit a 37-inch tube TV in the back of my 3-door hatchback. I wouldn't be so idiotic as to go out and buy a TV in a snowstorm. Having worked in retail before, I would despise the people who braved the 2-feet of snow on the road just to buy frivolous things. It's because of people like you that retail workers are forced to brave the dangerous roads instead of just closing the store.


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 4:57:22 PM , Rating: 1
> "I easily fit a 37-inch tube TV in the back of my 3-door hatchback..."

Try fitting that TV, a couple pieces of 10' moulding, three children and their soccer and baseball equipment in your three-door hatchback.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Kuroyama on 2/26/2007 5:41:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, it would be oh so hard to make an extra trip to get the TV and/or moulding. Why don't you just buy a semi and then you can carry around everything you could ever need in the back, so that you can save on a trip if you ever decide to buy a new living and bed room for your house, while carrying your kids, wife, and 4 best friends as well.

Anyways, it's hard to imagine anyone with three children coping with a three-door hatchback unless they're too poor to afford a mid-sized car, in which case this whole debate would be a moot point to them.


By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 5:59:25 PM , Rating: 2
> "Yeah, it would be oh so hard to make an extra trip to get the TV and/or moulding..."

Extra trips use extra gas, now don't they? And when those "extra trips" mean living your children waiting on the side of the road for you to come back for them, its certainly not a practical.

> "it's hard to imagine anyone with three children coping with a three-door hatchback unless they're too poor to afford a mid-sized car..."

Ah, but that midsized car can't carry that TV or moulding even without the kids in the back. The trunk isn't large enough. And you've obviously never tried to take three kids and their sports equipment in a mid-sized car. It doesn't fit, period...with or without a TV in the back.

And you're still ignoring the fact that extra space is only one of the many reasons people choose SUVs. I listed four more in the thread above. There's probably a few I didn't think of as well.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Merry on 2/26/2007 8:15:57 PM , Rating: 2
Try fitting that TV, a couple pieces of 10' moulding, three children and their soccer and baseball equipment in your three-door hatchback.

Tow bar and trailer... My Mini has one. You'd be surprised what it can pull! (referring back to one of your points earlier about SUVs and towing)

Are you trying to tell be that that load is normal too, incidentally? Seems a little bit excessive for an average trip. I know for a fact you can get three kids, football equipment and a large person complete with guitar in a Mini too, let alone the more spacious 3 door super minis of late.

(my apologies for the standard of English, its been a long day here at the University of Cardiff and I may have been drinking)


RE: If they care about economy...
By masher2 (blog) on 2/26/2007 8:58:16 PM , Rating: 1
> "Tow bar and trailer... My Mini has one. You'd be surprised what it can pull! (referring back to one of your points earlier about SUVs and towing)"

Mini Cooper? Towing Capacity: 1433 lbs. GM Denali? 10,000 lbs. Nissan Armada? 9,000 lbs. Dodge Ram 3500? 16,000 lbs.

If you're seriously trying to position a Mini Cooper as a solution for towing, you've lost all credibility.

> "Are you trying to tell be that that load is normal too, incidentally?"

You miss the point. If you have to haul that load only occasionally, you still need the vehicle. For most people, buying a dedicated smaller car just for commuting isn't an option. Though if you're commuting an ultra-long distance, then its cheaper to buy that extra car regardless, due to the gas savings...and in fact, most people who commute 100-200 miles/day DO use a dedicated car just for that, even if they drive an SUV nights and weekends.


RE: If they care about economy...
By rtrski on 2/26/2007 10:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you have to haul that load only occasionally, you still need the vehicle.


Actually, degenerating into the whole "I need to carry big loads" is pretty specious. Your prior arguments were well reasoned and backed by statistics - with this one you dropped off the deep end.

Home Depot rents trucks (probably horrible fuel hogs, but so what) for $20/hour to haul loads home. I could rent one about 25-30 times a year and only then equal the extra gas costs to drive a less efficient vehicle all the time.

Tell me you really "need" to do it that frequently?? And no fair saying its your job or some such marlarky...especially since you already said you only drive like 5 miles a decade. ....

quote:
Mini Cooper? Towing Capacity: 1433 lbs. GM Denali? 10,000 lbs. Nissan Armada? 9,000 lbs. Dodge Ram 3500? 16,000 lbs.

If you're seriously trying to position a Mini Cooper as a solution for towing, you've lost all credibility.


Oh please....now you're just picking fights for the sake of it. His point was he *could* tow external loads if necessary because of something that wouldn't fit internally, even with a small economical car (of course up to a limit much less than that of a big truck or whatnot). Not that it was *better* at towing in either capacity or on a regular basis (frankly, regardless of the rated towing capacity of a Mini, I'd hate to do that to the transmission with any frequency, myself). For someone who posts as articulately as you can, pretending to misunderstand that is just being churlish.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Marlowe on 2/27/2007 12:35:23 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
And you've obviously never tried to take three kids and their sports equipment in a mid-sized car. It doesn't fit, period...with or without a TV in the back.
masher, what are you on about? You think having children is a new thing? Do you think we don't have children here in Europe? Face it, SUVs are a relatively new trend only existing for the last ten years or so. People did acctually have children before that you know. The children needed to be carried to their various sports events then also. Maby more then than now, if anything.

And about that towing craze of yours, you should really opt for a turbodiesel engine, not a gasoline one. They have a much higher tourqe rating. Like the VW 2.0 TDI in this one for example:
http://www.worldcarfans.com/news.cfm/newsID/206030... That would also consume under 6 liters per 100 km, wich google suggests is around 40 mpg.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Merry on 2/27/2007 11:00:42 AM , Rating: 2
Mini Cooper

1984 Mini Mayfair, so no. We used it to take assorted crap to the tip and such. Also to do the odd car boot sale.

If you're seriously trying to position a Mini Cooper as a solution for towing, you've lost all credibility.

No, but you can tow an average sized trailer with average things in. I'm not suggesting you go and tow a boat or a bloody caravan! The load in question was a 32"tv. That it could pull, easily. Also larger cars such as the Ford Mondeo could easily tow a small boat and definitely a caravan. How many people have these things too. They're really not all that common here (well boats aren't) You cant really justify a nations obsession with SUVs because I minority occasionally tow a boat. Anyways if you really must tow such a thing a lot a two wheel drive SUV isn't going to cut it, thus reinforcing the point I made earlier.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Hemipower on 2/27/2007 5:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
How much did you pay for your trailer, if you even own one. Where do you store it when not in use. and what do you do if it starts raining. Maybe you don't worry about rain but in miami it rains all the time and at times when you least expect it.

For the guy that rents the $20/hr home depot truck, you apperently don't pay per mile. I have rent u-hauls before and have to pay the daily rate along with $1.25 per mile, in my truck that does 15 miles per gallon that equates to $18.75 per gallon of gas. Along with paying for the miles I also have to return the truck with the same gas/diesel i got it with. So how much are you really saving, say you have to do this 6-8 per year and an average of 60 miles to and fro. Do this with my 15 mile per gallon truck and a 25 mile per gallon honda v-6, with an average of 12,000 miles per year and $2.50 per gallon of gas. I actually only have about 15,000 miles on my 2 1/2 year truck.

That is $1200 for the honda on gas and $2000 for the truck. That is an $800 dollar difference and 320 gallons a year difference. Now add the rented truck cost to the honda [60miles*1.25=$75=$20=95+10(gas)=105]*8=$840. It turns out about the same money spent on gas plus less time spent and more convenient to own a heavy gas sucker truck. Plus it looks nicer than the honda in my opinion and well worth the $800 difference.


RE: If they care about economy...
By Hemipower on 2/27/2007 5:12:47 PM , Rating: 2
It is because of the greedy store reps and store owners you have to go out and work in these conditions. If he feels like buying a tv in 2 feet of snow and making you cary it to his suv than it is his right, you can just quit. Besides is it worth the money they pay you to do this and fatten the pockets of these money grubers.


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