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Old August 10th, 2008, 06:06 PM   #2721
ChrisZwolle
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20 mpg

That's nothing. I don't understand that most commuters drive on petrol. Diesel may be a bit more expensive, though, with the right car you have half the consumption you have with petrol, so that higher price is easily cheaper in the end.
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Old August 10th, 2008, 07:09 PM   #2722
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There's also no point driving an oversized vehicle with a ridiculously big displacement (>2L petrol) for your daily commute. Especially given the incredible inefficiency of petrol engines in the US.
When I was living there, I was driving a 3L V6 producing a mere 145HP (Ford Taurus GL). In Europe, a 1.6L engine would be enough for this power.
Even in the sport range, the 2L Megane coupé is more powerful (225hp/35MPG) than the 4L Mustang (210hp/15-26MPG), and a 2L is already overkill here.

Something that used to drive me nut is the casual "smaller cars are unsafe, I would easily CRUSH one with my F350 truck", "at least, with my Tahoe, whatever I hit, I win", "small cars look/are gay". It seemed pretty unfair and aggressive to me..

I had a light of hope when GM disclosed its Beat prototype for the US, but discarded it soon after...just like it did for the EV1.
Sometimes, the US feel pretty backward, they have the same technology level than Europe and Japan (or I assume they do), yet keep some very outdated technology mainstream.

Why ?

Last edited by Substructure; August 10th, 2008 at 07:23 PM. Reason: added MPG info
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Old August 10th, 2008, 10:08 PM   #2723
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There's also no point driving an oversized vehicle with a ridiculously big displacement (>2L petrol) for your daily commute. Especially given the incredible inefficiency of petrol engines in the US.
When I was living there, I was driving a 3L V6 producing a mere 145HP (Ford Taurus GL). In Europe, a 1.6L engine would be enough for this power.
Even in the sport range, the 2L Megane coupé is more powerful (225hp/35MPG) than the 4L Mustang (210hp/15-26MPG), and a 2L is already overkill here.

Something that used to drive me nut is the casual "smaller cars are unsafe, I would easily CRUSH one with my F350 truck", "at least, with my Tahoe, whatever I hit, I win", "small cars look/are gay". It seemed pretty unfair and aggressive to me..

I had a light of hope when GM disclosed its Beat prototype for the US, but discarded it soon after...just like it did for the EV1.
Sometimes, the US feel pretty backward, they have the same technology level than Europe and Japan (or I assume they do), yet keep some very outdated technology mainstream.

Why ?
Well Americans are generally very conservative people and they only see what's around them. Even in highway building, some technologies used in Europe for the past decade isn't going to be available here in the U.S. for at least another five years. The current American perspective of cars and displacements stems from the 1960s "Muscle Cars." Regular cars back then were built to be powerful and it wasn't hard to find a car with a a V8 that had a 6L displacement. Of course, as technology advanced, today you could build a 3L engine with the same power, maybe even a 2L.

However the perspective is still there and the American perspective is just as outdated as those engines themselves. Greater displacement=greater power. VW and BMW understands that. VW doesn't offer an engine smaller than a 2L in the U.S. and BMW doesn't offer anything smaller than a 3L, not even on the 1-series.

GM though has dropped plans for a V8 engine and is instead pursuing a direct injection V6 that gets just as much power and much better fuel economy. The Cadillac CTS for example, I don't think that will be available with a V8. Hopefully, that's a sign of change.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #2724
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Government enforcing rule that Mexican truckers speak English
Oh Really?



So the American truckers must speak spanish if they wanna go to Mexican Territory...

Protectionism....
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Old August 11th, 2008, 02:52 AM   #2725
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Thank goodness they widened 518 heading out of the airport, during the heavy construction, there was only one lane heading out to SR 518 causing a nightmare to get out of the airport. Sure looks like I-90 will need some fillings before the winter driving season.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 06:18 AM   #2726
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Oh Really?



So the American truckers must speak spanish if they wanna go to Mexican Territory...

Protectionism....
They should, but the UNION would probably be against it.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #2727
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$7/gallon gas would kill the economy, if things are bad enough at $4 its a loss $3 higher. Fact is in the US its spread out in most places, I need a car for everything basically, my suburb is somewhat dense too. For one I love how you bring up infrastructure, because one thing that really kills fuel economy is stop and go traffic from poorly timed lights. My car gets 17-19mpg in those conditions, but if I'm constantly moving it can get up to 32mpg at 47mph on flat surface. Either way my average mpg is lower because of poorly timed lights and poor planning, traffic, etc. We need more efficient infrastructure, fact is you get very bad mpg idling at traffic lights.

$7 would kill the economy. That's true. But that's because our economy is so inefficient and addicted to cheap gas for living. And things are spread out, yes, but that's just another example of bad planning and inefficiency from the thought that oil would be cheap forever. With all the problems with oil, even if it goes down like it has, we can't guarantee that anymore. We need to find a way to eventually wean off oil, foreign or domestic. At least if gas prices were that high (the only good thing), people will figure out how fragile our way of life really is and how we need to find a way out of it.

As for the efficiency in infrastructure, that's another story entirely. The only way to finance the fixing of our roads to a decent and more manageable level (forget an excellent one) is going to cost a lot of money. Money that the government does not have. There are only two ways that can be used to finance it: Toll the hell out of the highways, or raise the fuel taxes. Tough medicine either way, but something needs to be done and the country will be better in the long run than continuing our current path.
Our infrastructure is going down the shitter.

To be honest, I'm kind of disappointed that this is not a major election issue.
Guess fixing highways isn't "sexy" enough.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 08:28 AM   #2728
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Thank goodness they widened 518 heading out of the airport, during the heavy construction, there was only one lane heading out to SR 518 causing a nightmare to get out of the airport. Sure looks like I-90 will need some fillings before the winter driving season.
Temporary fillings aren't gonna be worth it. Remember we got such a harsh winter season last year and our roads really took a beating. Once you fill those cracks, others are going to appear. It'll probably be better to replace the whole thing. Does anyone know which type of pavement withstands harsh weathers better?
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Old August 11th, 2008, 08:02 PM   #2729
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You don't see this everyday, do you?
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Old August 11th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #2730
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You don't see this everyday, do you?
NSA as in National Security Agency? haha
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Old August 12th, 2008, 05:15 AM   #2731
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In the US, I've noticed that cars can be incredibly unefficient, with some cars hardly doing better than 15MPG. Even now, this could bring tears to my eyes : http://gm-volt.com/2008/08/09/2009-c...ale-for-71685/

"This vehicle will get a remarkable 20 mpg hwy/21 mpg city using the 2-mode hybrid drivetrain."
Twenty mpg is quite good for vehicle that weighs almost three tons, is seventeen feet long, and has a V8. It gets better gas mileage than the comparable European or Japanese vehicles. Think of it as a bigger Prius. There is really nothing inefficient about it.

One has to look at the climate in which vehicles from the United States and Europe developed. In Europe gas is more expensive and things are generally closer together. In the United States, Canada, and Australia gas is less expensive and things are farther apart. Bigger vehicles are a growth of local conditions.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 07:35 AM   #2732
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Twenty mpg is quite good for vehicle that weighs almost three tons, is seventeen feet long, and has a V8. It gets better gas mileage than the comparable European or Japanese vehicles. Think of it as a bigger Prius. There is really nothing inefficient about it.

One has to look at the climate in which vehicles from the United States and Europe developed. In Europe gas is more expensive and things are generally closer together. In the United States, Canada, and Australia gas is less expensive and things are farther apart. Bigger vehicles are a growth of local conditions.
That's a great point, America was built around cheap gas and vehicular transportation. Europe was built around convenience where there is everything you need within walking distance.

A big problem in most of America is the population density. The population is so spread out that it becomes near impossible to implement public transportation. In Japan, if you build a bus or rail stop, chances are, many many people will be using it because population density is so high. In the U.S., you'd be lucky to see one person at a bus stop in suburban areas. That puts a strain on the highway and that's the cause of the massive concrete rivers running through our cities.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 10:22 AM   #2733
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Originally Posted by HAWC1506 View Post
Okay, here are some previews:
I-90
What is a "Cell phone lot"?

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Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
People could have adapted, but pressure from oil companies and car manufacturers has been tremendous. There is a lot of money to be made selling unefficient vehicles and technology.
Still, at least you guys had some good will with the EV1. A car that would have worked with some clean, affordable energy, 10 years ago
http://fr.youtube.com/watch?v=bsdUfAEIEos
Had this been pushed a little more (better batteries, range extender, public charging stations..) imagine where the technology would be now.
EV1 was everything, except "affordable". Market price would be pretty high.

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Originally Posted by Substructure View Post
There's also no point driving an oversized vehicle with a ridiculously big displacement (>2L petrol) for your daily commute. Especially given the incredible inefficiency of petrol engines in the US.
When I was living there, I was driving a 3L V6 producing a mere 145HP (Ford Taurus GL). In Europe, a 1.6L engine would be enough for this power.
Even in the sport range, the 2L Megane coupé is more powerful (225hp/35MPG) than the 4L Mustang (210hp/15-26MPG), and a 2L is already overkill here.
There must be something wrong with US cars... my 2.2L petrol gives 36 mpg, my father's 1L Corsa gives 45 mpg, my friend's diesel Clio astonishing 52 mpg average!

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Originally Posted by OakRidge View Post
Twenty mpg is quite good for vehicle that weighs almost three tons, is seventeen feet long, and has a V8. It gets better gas mileage than the comparable European or Japanese vehicles. Think of it as a bigger Prius. There is really nothing inefficient about it.

One has to look at the climate in which vehicles from the United States and Europe developed. In Europe gas is more expensive and things are generally closer together. In the United States, Canada, and Australia gas is less expensive and things are farther apart. Bigger vehicles are a growth of local conditions.
Calculate the price per mile and you'll see that 20 mpg is terrible low. BTW What do you need such a heavy car for...?
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Old August 12th, 2008, 10:26 AM   #2734
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Twenty mpg is quite good for vehicle that weighs almost three tons, is seventeen feet long, and has a V8. It gets better gas mileage than the comparable European or Japanese vehicles. Think of it as a bigger Prius. There is really nothing inefficient about it.
They are only twice as fuel efficient as fullsize European trucks of 40 tons. Why the hell need a commuter car to be 3 tonnes?

Quote:
Europe was built around convenience where there is everything you need within walking distance.
Let's not exaggerate, In Europe, the car is also the most efficient mode of transport for nearly all trips. Only city-center to city-center is usually faster with the train. 90% of all trips in the Netherlands also does not include public transport, which is the same number as in the United States. Yes, more things are in walking distance, but nobody is gonna do groceries for three days walking. Private transport is just much more efficient, which is also why we take our bicycle so much.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 11:23 AM   #2735
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X236K : I was talking about affordable energy, not affordable cars. First series are always expensive before they get mainstream. Think of hybrid cars.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OakRidge
Twenty mpg is quite good for vehicle that weighs almost three tons, is seventeen feet long, and has a V8. It gets better gas mileage than the comparable European or Japanese vehicles. Think of it as a bigger Prius. There is really nothing inefficient about it.
A typical European truck like the Renault Magnum 440hp does 8.25MPG hauling 40t at 100km/h.

The Escalade does 12MPG at empty load, and the hybrid Escalade does 20MPG. Worse, it has a V8 engine.

It is only efficient by American standards.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #2736
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HAWC1506
America was built around cheap gas and vehicular transportation.
Do you mean this kind of urbanism ?

http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/data...n_near_CBD.jpg

http://www.islandia.is/lhm/images/parking-houston.jpg
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Old August 12th, 2008, 03:47 PM   #2737
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Well, space was never an issue in the United States, and especially not in Texas. In Europe, there probably would be the same amount of parking spaces, but underground or in parking garages. Why build an expensive parking garage if space is nothing to worry about? Well, Houston is not really an example that is the same as the rest in the US, since Houston is the only major city without zoning, and has been build very inefficient, in other words, the metropolitan area is almost twice as large as it needs to be. There are even farmland-style houses within Houston city proper with denser suburbs around that.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 03:52 PM   #2738
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That last pic seems photoshopped by the way, Google Earth shows way more highrises and far less parking blocks.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 04:19 PM   #2739
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I think it was rather taken 15-20 years ago, but whether it was or not, the density problem remains the same for this area.

Are you absolutely sure we have that much parking space in Europe?
I live in Lyon where the zoning laws are very conservative regarding the available parking space (a lot less space than necessary). Last year they demolished all the parking lots on the banks of the Rhone river to create a park along the river, and the parking lots were not replaced.
This is purposely done to discourage people from driving downtown, just like the car free streets. They built 4 subway lines, 5 tram lines, and put 4000 public bikes on the streets instead.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 04:29 PM   #2740
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Maybe not in downtown, but the average office/business park along a major highway or freeway. We also have very strict parking space figures, usually too low, resulting in sidewalks and grass full of parked cars...
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