Motorcycles are no longer Kings of the MPG! - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 72 Old May 26th, 2006, 8:25 pm Thread Starter
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Cool Motorcycles are no longer Kings of the MPG!

Greetings,

In another thread, it was mentioned that we bikers were doing the world a service by using less fossil fuels. That got me to thinking. (I know, I know, but it only hurts a little... )

With hybrids now becoming more common and with motorcycles getting larger and more inefficient engines, it is no longer a "given" that a bike gets better milage than a car. We've seen certain not-to-be-spoken-aloud brands of motorcycles with 6 cylinders that get only 35 MPG. Lot's of cars do that or better these days.

So, when will the drive for better MPG start on the part of BMW and other (unmentionable) manufacturers? 45 MPG just isn't that spectacular anymore.
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post #2 of 72 Old May 26th, 2006, 9:49 pm
 
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Mpg

Short trip yesterday, 28 miles one way, 53.1 MPG. The Boss came out to look at the bike when I returned to the Office. He was impressed when I showed the MPG on the display.
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post #3 of 72 Old May 26th, 2006, 9:56 pm
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Fuel mileage

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbamford
Greetings,

In another thread, it was mentioned that we bikers were doing the world a service by using less fossil fuels. That got me to thinking. (I know, I know, but it only hurts a little... )

With hybrids now becoming more common and with motorcycles getting larger and more inefficient engines, it is no longer a "given" that a bike gets better milage than a car. We've seen certain not-to-be-spoken-aloud brands of motorcycles with 6 cylinders that get only 35 MPG. Lot's of cars do that or better these days.

So, when will the drive for better MPG start on the part of BMW and other (unmentionable) manufacturers? 45 MPG just isn't that spectacular anymore.
We have an 05 LT and consistantly get 55 mpg and up. We don't seem to travel as fast in Canada as a lot of U.S. riders. You have an incredible amount of freeways to travel on, at speeds upward of 70 mph (and even higher) whereas we have some freeways but mostly a large amount of paved secondary roads so our speeds are 60 on the freeways and 30 in the city. We do exceed the 60 mph limit but we can't go for 100's of miles on a freeway here.

Cheers, Bill
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post #4 of 72 Old May 26th, 2006, 11:01 pm
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Bear in mind that hybrids need electricity. How is electricity manufactured?
Well, there are river dams, windmills, and generators powered by... fossil fuel!!!

So why are hybrids believed to be so environmentally friendly?
Is it just good marketing form a government that did nothing to curb our oil appetite until we reached high prices...?

MPG is not the only thing to consider. The space occupied on the highway and in the city, as well as parking space is much smaller than any car, let alone SUVs. Also, what is the MPG of a hyrid stuck in traffic compared to that of a bike moving through?

Food for thought I guess... but I'll stick with motorcycle riding for the time being!

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post #5 of 72 Old May 26th, 2006, 11:11 pm
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Not to mention weight and the impacts to the road. You want excellent MPG? Ride a Rebel 250.



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post #6 of 72 Old May 26th, 2006, 11:15 pm
 
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Exclamation I totally disagree...

Shall we ignore ALL of the facts here? You're comparing motorcycles to hybrid cars? Why not compare ALL motorcycles to ALL cages? Wouldn't that be a more fair way to look at this? I HAVE to believe (off the top of my head) that ALL street motorcycles combined get at least a 40mpg average. MY two bikes both do better than that...and they are 1100 and 1200cc bikes! Sure the GoldWings gets less, but what about all the 250, 500, 600, and 750cc street bikes out there?! The average is most likely a LOT higher than 35mpg. And I haven't even mentioned SCOOTERS!

Now let's take ALL of those fuel-efficient SUVs out there. Expeditions, Escalades, Hummers, all getting WAY under 20mpg. In fact, most SUVs in general get less than 25mpg most of the time.

I'd still call motorcycles "King of the MPG", if you consider ALL of the facts.


HERE's a link that may interest you.


And here's a little section from that page...

TOTAL FUEL CONSUMPTION - 2003

Motorcycles 191 million gallons (50.1 avg mpg x 1,800 miles per year per motorcycle)
Passenger Cars 74,590 million gallons (22.3 avg mpg x 13,000 miles per year per car)
Light Truck/SUV 56,302 million gallons (17.7 avg mpg x 13,000 miles per year per Lt Trk / SUV)
US Dept of Transportation, Bureau of Travel Statistics
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post #7 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 1:56 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Shall we ignore ALL of the facts here? You're comparing motorcycles to hybrid cars? Why not compare ALL motorcycles to ALL cages? Wouldn't that be a more fair way to look at this?
Most of the time, one vehicle has one passenger. Yes there are exceptions. And for carrying one passenger, you don't need a monster truck, or even a light pickup. So comparing to ALL vehicles misses the point. If you compare to ALL vehicles, let's consider the other capabilities besides just MPG. Like payload. And lets compare ALL motorcycles, like the Boss Hoss with its 350 cu inch engine and that trophy bike with Viper V10 engine. Not a fair comparison? Agreed.

Some hybrids are getting 50+ MPG Highway and more than that City. And a couple bags of groceries goes in one of them far easier than a bike.

I like my bike, but good MPG is not the primary reason I ride one. And soon the MPG difference will disappear or even be reversed!

When the MPG advantage goes to cars, and protection and payload already goes to cars, and insurance, etc., well, I see problems for motorcycles coming soon.

Seems like the two biggest advantages of a motorcycle over a car are:
  1. Its FUN! Like driving a Mustang or a Viper. An expensive luxery...
  2. Its fuel efficient
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post #8 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 1:59 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little_jake
Short trip yesterday, 28 miles one way, 53.1 MPG. The Boss came out to look at the bike when I returned to the Office. He was impressed when I showed the MPG on the display.
Very nice! How's that compare to a hybrid getting 50+ MPG? Very slightly better. Was the boss impressed with the bike or the MPG?
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post #9 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 2:06 am
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbamford
Some hybrids are getting 50+ MPG Highway and more than that City. And a couple bags of groceries goes in one of them far easier than a bike.
It is my understanding that the current hybrids have a long way to go before they will give you 50+ MPG avg. with an even mix of highway and city driving.

Oh...and the Boss Hoss? There's like 12 of them on the road. Those won't affect the motorcycle's figures all that much.
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post #10 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 2:08 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Bear in mind that hybrids need electricity. How is electricity manufactured? Well, there are river dams, windmills, and generators powered by... fossil fuel!!!
Actually, the hybrid generates its own electricity and saves it. Most aren't plugged in. If you are thinking of pure electrics, then you have a better argument, although economies of scale still *may* make a difference. But I'm talking hybrids here, not pure electrics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
MPG is not the only thing to consider. The space occupied on the highway and in the city, as well as parking space is much smaller than any car, let alone SUVs.
Unless there is special parking reserved for bikes or if strangers are willing to share parking spaces (I'm not), then it is one vehicle per space. And that means a bike takes one space, like a car, or pickup or SUV. As for highway space, there is a minor savings, but I generally don't trust my fellow biker OR cager to drive sufficiently safely to get any closer than normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Also, what is the MPG of a hyrid stuck in traffic compared to that of a bike moving through?
Depends on the hybrid. Some automatically turn off the engine, thus saving gas. Does your bike do that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zippy_gg
Food for thought I guess... but I'll stick with motorcycle riding for the time being!
Me too, but it does deserve some thought.
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post #11 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 2:11 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
Not to mention weight and the impacts to the road. You want excellent MPG? Ride a Rebel 250.
Well, if you REALLY want MPG but don't want to supply your own power, its hard to beat a 50cc scooter!

That's fine if you live where it rarely rains, got no money, and never have to go on the highway. And 100+ MPG does give you bragging rights
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post #12 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 2:23 am Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
It is my understanding that the current hybrids have a long way to go before they will give you 50+ MPG avg. with an even mix of highway and city driving.
Not so far to go.

Here is an article about a Toyota Prius that ran 110 MPG. Granted, it was a contrived run, but still it was on an unmodified factory model...

Honda's Civic Hybrid is rated 47/48, which is pretty close right now.

There is some talk about how some of the ratings are grossly inflated, but that is just now. With motorcycle MPG going down, and hybrid's going up, they will soon (pick your favorite definition of "soon") cross. THAT is my concern.

Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Oh...and the Boss Hoss? There's like 12 of them on the road. Those won't affect the motorcycle's figures all that much.
True. My point is that you need to compare vehicles of comparible utility. If you throw in the SUV, you need to throw in its passenger and cargo carrying capacity. If the utility is primarily enjoyment, let's include Mustangs and Vipers.

Last edited by hbamford; May 27th, 2006 at 2:29 am.
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post #13 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 7:09 am
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Dirty Little Secret of the Hybrid

The minute you turn on the air conditioning, the benefit of a hybrid is lost. The engine kicks on when the air conditioner is turned on. You're better off finding a super-efficient gas engine car for several thousand $$$ less. Also, when you take into account the cost of disposal/recycling of the batteries used by hybrids, the net energy benefit of a hybrid is completely lost.

We'd be a lot better off pursuing Hydrogen technologies (see the GM and BMW testbeds that have been running for nearly 10 years).


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post #14 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 8:04 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
You're better off finding a super-efficient gas engine car for several thousand $$$ less.
I believe Andy's diesel Volkswagen TDI gets around 50 mpg.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
We'd be a lot better off pursuing Hydrogen technologies (see the GM and BMW testbeds that have been running for nearly 10 years).
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post #15 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 8:06 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by messenger13
Motorcycles 191 million gallons (50.1 avg mpg x 1,800 miles per year per motorcycle)
1800 miles per year? Let's see, we did that in couple of days just going to CCR last year.



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post #16 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 8:13 am
 
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Originally Posted by grifscoots
1800 miles per year? Let's see, we did that in couple of days just going to CCR last year.
I guess you (and me?) ain't "average". Big shocker, I know.
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post #17 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 8:24 am
 
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I'm looking at the post times and just wondering, Joe did you stay up all night.

I'm not getting rid of the bike or scooter (400cc, 95mph, 65mpg) but I sure wished we would have kept our '03 Jetta TDI. I kept fuel volume for over 38,000 miles and it averaged 56.5mpg after factoring in odometer error. We did sell it to a guy in California, where they have to buy used ones, for $500 less than we payed. Thought I was making out at the time, hmmm.
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post #18 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 8:30 am
 
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The other factor with motorcycle consumption is the increase in engine size over the years, particulaly cruisers. Some of the older guys may remember when 500cc was a 'big' bike.
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post #19 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 9:10 am
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yup. I remember when a CB350 was the bike to have. Then came the 500..and 750 (drool) ..sigh...got to ride them but didn't own one.

Someday I'll pick up an Norton 850 Commando....my most desired bike.



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post #20 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 4:22 pm
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people, a little research!


06 Honda Civic 140hp 30 city 40 hwy
06 Honda Civic Hybrid 110hp 49 city 51 hwy
89 Honda Civic CRX HF 65hp 45 city 54 hwy
06 Acura TL 258hp 20 city 29 hwy

06 Toyota Prius 76hp 60 city 51 hwy
06 Toyota Highlander 155hp 22 city 27 city
06 Toyota Highlander 215hp 19 city 25 hwy
06 Toyota Highlander hybird 268hp 33 city 28 hwy

06 Volkswagen Jetta 150hp 22 city 30 hwy
06 Volkswagen Jetta Diesel turbo 100hp 36 city 42 hwy
06 Volkswagen Jetta Gas turbo 200hp 24 city 32 hwy


The Toytoa's are a little more efficient in the city than regular cars, but for the most part it is all about horsepower. The more horsepower you develop the more gas you will use. And while being GREEN, is an admirible goal, I don't see the point of hybrids. I forsee the polution issues of getting rid of massive amounts of large used batteries to of concern. We already have a worldwide issue with the amount of heavy metal poison in fish. And further more, why should I spend $4k to $10k more for a car that only gets a litte better gas mileage than the same regular car.

Remember, one of the big advertised selling point for the internal combustion engine was to end the biggest pollution issue of the time. People then did not forsee the problems that we have now, they just knew they were tired of stepping in horseshit.
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post #21 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 8:02 pm
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A couple more for you:

06 Honda Insight 73hp 60 city 66 hwy
07 Honda Fit 109hp 33 city 38 hwy
07 Toyota Yaris 106hp 34 city 40 hwy

Also - don't forget the EPA ratings on all these are significantly off from "real world" values in majority of cases.

We're talking closer to real-world when talking about our bikes.

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post #22 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 9:31 pm
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If you read the reports by the car magazine "experts", when driven daily in regular city/highway life, to work and back home, store, etc., the hybrids don't get anywhere close to the MPG posted by their manufacturers or the EPA in its computer cycle.

Back in the late sixties my Citroen 2CV got 50-51 MPG... But I rather get 44-47 MPG riding my 2001 LT.

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post #23 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 10:18 pm
 
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My 2000 LT did 60.29 miles per gallon today that was 2 up plus our Mini Schnauzer and all mountain riding
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post #24 of 72 Old May 27th, 2006, 11:16 pm
 
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My 2000 LT did 60.29 miles per gallon today that was 2 up plus our Mini Schnauzer and all mountain riding
Colorado doesn't count!


I couldn't believe the mileage I got up at those altitudes either. About 58mpg . . . and that was riding in triple digits a LOT.
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post #25 of 72 Old May 28th, 2006, 12:20 am
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I don't know about all those little cars and all. I drove my Chevy Avalanche a little over 600 miles today hauling a HONDA around and I got.... 19.9 MPG.... AVERAGE...

All those little cars when i take my family of 6 around town I'd have to take two cars and they still won't be more efficient than my one Land Rover Discovery at 17 MPG....

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post #26 of 72 Old May 28th, 2006, 9:13 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grifscoots
I believe Andy's diesel Volkswagen TDI gets around 50 mpg.
In *MY* opinion Hydrogen is not a sustainable way to go. WHY? Quite easy. Where do you get the Hydrogen from? Water? OK, and then you need some electricity, right? And that comes from?

Bottom line: The TOTAL energy consumption of a Hydrogen car doesn't look as good any more. I agree due to marketing pressure most likely the car manufacturers are going to develop Hydrogen cars, but speaking in global terms, in terms of global pollution, the Hydrogen car including all it's support industry doesn;t look as good as it seems.

Different thing: My personal pet peeve: Diesels: The current diesel technology is perfectly capable of putting a diesel engine into a MC, it just hasn't been done (yet). Diesels are the ONLY internal combustion engine that really CAN run on renewable energy sources (oil) which can be harvested from a number of different sources like beans, algea, ... And the best: The CO2 you produce out your tailpipe was taken out of the athmosphere by the plants before in got into your tank, and will be taken out again by the next crop.

I am a firm believer most of us will still in our lifespan see a MAJOR change to diesel technology because it is the only form of technology that is sustainable over the centuries, everything else will come to a screetching halt (Yes, we will see that one too)

EDIT: And yes it is true. The smaller Golf (100HP) get 45 in city traffic all day long, and if you are careful x-country can get 50mpg (if you can keep your right foot in check)
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post #27 of 72 Old May 28th, 2006, 5:34 pm
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I gon't think anyone has mentioned the secret, not talked about, cost of owning a hybrid. I was one of the 1st people in Northern California to own a Prius, and the one cost that no one thinks about is the $5,000 cost to replace the battery pack on a Prius. That little item definitely takes a bite out of the gas mileage figures when figured into the fuel costs. Gas is only one facit of the equation; don't forget battery replacement.

Yes, I did get 50 mpg around town, but freeway mileage at 65mph was about 40+mpg. Oh, by the way, no one in my area of California drives 65--Try 75-95 mph on Hwy 680 in Central Contra Costa County. At those speeds the Prius' mileage goes directly into the toilet, where my LT's miles never drops below 39-40 mpg.

Finally, you can't compare a "clown car" sized Prius to a K12LT. That's like comparing a Boeing 707 to a Cessna 172. I owned our Prius for a little over one year, and sold it when my Chiropractor advised that my back problems were getting worse with that car. If you want to compare a Prius to a comparable motorcycle/scooter, how about a Honda Pacific Coast, or BMW 650, or Suzuki Burgman or Vespa 200 or ????? I think a better comparison for the LT or Goldwing would be a Mustang or Corvette or Porche Boxster or ?????

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post #28 of 72 Old May 28th, 2006, 8:52 pm
 
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Ok, I have an '06 Prius, loaded except leather, I paid $26,800 just over two months ago. When I do my '06 taxes, I will receive a $3,250 Tax Credit so net cost of the Prius is $23,550.

I have an '05 LT, loaded that I paid $19,600 for and with add-on, I have about $22,000 in it. I get ~ 43 to 45 mpg and have a lot of fun!

So for an extra $1,350 I get 50+ MPG over my 96 mile daily round trip at 65 mph, I stay dry when it rains, it is IMHO, much more reliable technically and mechanically that the LT. My annual maint. expenses for many more miles driven will be far, far less for the Prius than the LT. The resale/trade-in value in of the Prius in the first 3 years will definitely exceed that of the LT. Bottom line, IMHO the Hybrid Prius is a far better or reliable more flexible investment than the LT. Also, besides myself, I can carry 3 additional passengers in relative comfort - even in the rain, sleet and snow - don't try it on the LT.

BOTTOM LINE: Ya can't compare a MC of any kind to a cage for overall, year around use. The '06 Prius is a great technologically, high milage, practical vehicle that makes me feel good when I drive it. The LT is a GREAT motorcycle that makes me feel good when I drive it also, but for different reasons. They both have their place but honestly, if I could only have one, it would be the Prius!

PS: I love my '05 Burgman 650 also but don't tell anyone! It also makes me happy when I ride it!!
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post #29 of 72 Old May 28th, 2006, 9:51 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jfredriksson
I gon't think anyone has mentioned the secret, not talked about, cost of owning a hybrid. I was one of the 1st people in Northern California to own a Prius, and the one cost that no one thinks about is the $5,000 cost to replace the battery pack on a Prius. That little item definitely takes a bite out of the gas mileage figures when figured into the fuel costs. Gas is only one facit of the equation; don't forget battery replacement...
When I asked our local Toyota dealership about the cost of replacing the battery system, he said "Oh, about $500." Yeah, right. Try 10 times that!

This IS the dirty little secret behind hybrids.

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post #30 of 72 Old May 28th, 2006, 9:58 pm
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300 Mpg

VW has done it. Met the challenge and went even better.

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post #31 of 72 Old May 28th, 2006, 10:34 pm
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When the Prius first came out some Los Angeles dealers were getting a $5,000 premium over sticker - anyone still experiencing that?

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post #32 of 72 Old May 29th, 2006, 6:50 am
 
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VW is definitely going in the right direction. If that 300mpg'er were available, it would be replacing my LT - as long ass it could be a convertible!
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post #33 of 72 Old May 29th, 2006, 11:58 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leckhart
VW is definitely going in the right direction. If that 300mpg'er were available, it would be replacing my LT - as long ass it could be a convertible!
I don't think they would bring it as a convertible, because that wouls completely ruin all the efforts they put in to make it fuel efficient.

Besides, did you read just HOW much power you'd have available? 8.5HP !

I guess IF they bring something similar to that they will at least double the engine output.
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post #34 of 72 Old May 29th, 2006, 2:58 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaklt
06 Honda Insight 73hp 60 city 66 hwy
07 Honda Fit 109hp 33 city 38 hwy
07 Toyota Yaris 106hp 34 city 40 hwy

Also - don't forget the EPA ratings on all these are significantly off from "real world" values in majority of cases.

We're talking closer to real-world when talking about our bikes.

Notice I threw in the mpg rating for an 06 Acura TL.. Mainly because I have an 04 TL.. the 270hp version not the new 258hp version.. I get better than the EPA rating of 20 city 29 Hwy.. I get 24 city, 31 hwy.. and average 26mpg day to day driving. Add a high intake air system and high volume exhaust and you increase both horsepower, and fuel ecnonomy (if you have the control to not constantly use all the horsepower).
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post #35 of 72 Old May 29th, 2006, 3:29 pm
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I prefer to "justify" my motorcycle addiction by regaling folks about the sights and smells that aren' available to people cooped up inside cages. Fuel efficiency just won't cut it as an arguement. Hey, my E 90 BMW cage gets 32 to 34 mpg on the big road at 75+ with two people and luggage.
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post #36 of 72 Old May 29th, 2006, 3:42 pm
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Is anyone here actually riding their bike for the MPG (I sure am not)?
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post #37 of 72 Old May 29th, 2006, 4:41 pm
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Considering my other vehicle gets maybe 14mpg - at best - you bet your bippy I do!

Fact that I not only enjoy riding it, but the reputation as the only BMW Motorcycle, radio dispatched IT sys admin in the county helps too. We're a class act all the way.

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post #38 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 1:14 pm
 
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Lightbulb misinformation about hybrids

This discussion is no different than others on the 'net. All kinds of incorrect info is being thrown around, from hybrids need electricity to battery replacement costs.

Current hybrids do not need any external charging.

All hybrid components are warranted for 8yrs/100000 miles, incl the battery, more in some states like MA.

Hybrids do not meet EPA mileage, but so do most other cars. Our Highlander Hy 4wd is returning 23+ mpg (EPA 31/27 city/hwy) in real world driving and we don't drive slow, but then my 04 maxima gives 21mpg in similar conditions (EPA 20/29 city/hyw). HH 4wd is quite fast for an SUV BTW (Lexus version is called 400h).

No sane person is paying any markup on hybrids anymore but the pushy Japanese car sales people keep trying.

Cost of hybrid battery-pack replacement is all bogus. Toyota claims to have not replaced any prius battery in US so far. Toyota believes that the battery-pack will last the lifetime of the car.

Hybrids do not have to run the engine all the time just because the airconditioning is on, I know this firsthand. There is enough power in the battery to move the car easily upto 15+ mph on flat surface for a couple of miles and aircon does not take nearly as much energy. Engine shuts down while coasting and stopped, aircon on not.

Comparing cars, hybrids or otherwise, to motorcycles is pointless but motorcycle manufacturers certainly can pay more attention to the mileage in future.
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post #39 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 3:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mantan
Hybrids do not have to run the engine all the time just because the airconditioning is on, I know this firsthand. There is enough power in the battery to move the car easily upto 15+ mph on flat surface for a couple of miles and aircon does not take nearly as much energy. Engine shuts down while coasting and stopped, aircon on not.
I'd like to know which one then. Because of the 5 or so hybrids I looked at (Escape, Prius, Accord, Camry, and Civic) starts the gas motor when the air conditioning is used. I'm talking about using the AC, not the heater or just the vent -- the AIR CONDITIONING. When it's above 80 degrees in Dallas with 98 percent humidity driving around in what can be called a rolling terrarium, air conditioning is a necessity, and not a nicety. Once that engine is running, you're no better off than in the high MPG counterpart of the hybrid (i.e., Civic vs Civic Hybrid). Right now, a Jetta TDI is looking like a good alternative. So is the Escape I4. I can't even fit in a Civic, even though it's hilarious to watch me try.

In my research to replace my gas guzzler with something more economical and "greener", I started researching hybrids. All I found was the dirty little secret about Hybrids that nobody (especially the car dealers) want you to know. You start looking at the complete product lifecycle, doing a little math, understanding the limitations, and all you find is a new marketing ploy to exploit the "green guilt" that is being layed on the public by certain elements of the media.

Remember, even though some manufacturers warranty their batteries for up to 10 years, all those replaced ones, as well as the retired ones need to go somewhere. And recycling batteries is expensive and the components of modern batteries are highly toxic.

Hybrids are nice marketing hype for the greenies, but does it buy anything in terms of the environment or saving money on gas (compared to the price premium paid for a hybrid)? Nope. Take into account the TOTAL ENERGY COST for the product lifecycle, and you'll find that hybrids are no better than a gas guzzling SUV. Even if you calculate it out over a 5 year period (which most people don't even keep their cars that long) and count the dollar cost/energy savings/pollution cost, you're better off finding a traditional high MPG gas vehicle (like the Honda Civic). Hell, the government has to give you a $3500 tax credit before you come close to break even. So keep giving in to the marketing hype and the exploitation of your "green guilt".

Moving away from fossil fuels (and other carbon fuels) altogether is the only answer. Even E85 and biodiesel still churn out greenhouse gasses. Hydrogen is clean and in the long run is the best bet. It takes 10% of the energy to produce hydrogen than gasoline, diesel, or ethanol. If you get that energy (electricity) from clean renewable sources (like solar or wind), you cut the amount of pollution from coal or gas electric plants. Just imagine -- self-contained solar or wind powered hydrogen cracking stations.

What's missing is the delivery infrastructure. We just need to be willing to invest in building that infrastructure (the big cost). Whether it's an internal combustion engine running on hydrogen or a electric hydrogen fuel cell, it's got to be better than the carbon spewing alternatives. Hell, GM and BMW have over 2 million miles on their test fleet of hydrogen vehicles. BMW even has a speed record on hydrogen.

The economic pain point of $3.85/gallon is approaching again. That's the mark where people actually start changing their behavior and thinking about the problem. Maybe a sustained place at $5.00 a gallon is what this country needs to jumpstart programs that get us away from traditional energy sources like oil.

And while we're at it, nuclear reactor technology is completely different than it was 30 years ago. They are smaller, cleaner, and more efficient (as in much much less waste produced). We should be building these in places we'll never use for anything else (i.e., superfund sites on old military bases in the middle of nowhere). Hell, we already have coal fire plants and existing high-voltage lines in many of these forsaken places, what's the difference?

Aw fuck it. I'll just start riding the GT to work.


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post #40 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 4:27 pm
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Quote:
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The economic pain point of $3.85/gallon is approaching again. That's the mark where people actually start changing their behavior and thinking about the problem.
I think this is already happening here in Los Angeles. Memorial Day weekend traffic has traditionally been a real bear. However, this past weekend, the traffic was very light. Name brand premium gas prices range from $3.45 - $3.51 per gallon.

Not trying to sound elitist, but if current prices are weeding out those who can not afford to put gas in their car (which can also mean they may not be able to afford proper maintenance or insurance) then I'll gladly pay the higher prices to keep them off the road, or at least reduce the time that they are on the road.

It was nice to be able to drive 60 miles in 60 minutes during prime time - better gas mileage, too!

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post #41 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 4:44 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
Even E85 and biodiesel still churn out greenhouse gasses.
Wrong! Well, mostly wrong at least. E85 still creates green house gases since it is still based on (15%) oil. If you drive B100 and the whole trasnport chain does the same (which it could) You are NOT creating greenhouse gases, because the carbon you are burning has been taking from the environment by the plants in the first place.

Now as to solar or wind Hydrogen stations: a (relatively) simple calculation can tell you that this is NOT going to work. There is simply not enough wind or sun available. Besides if you really create enough energy it would be MUCH better to run on electricity in the first place because then you would have at least a better overall efficiency (But that is a completely different discussion)
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post #42 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 5:28 pm
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Wrong! Well, mostly wrong at least. E85 still creates green house gases since it is still based on (15%) oil. If you drive B100 and the whole trasnport chain does the same (which it could) You are NOT creating greenhouse gases, because the carbon you are burning has been taking from the environment by the plants in the first place.

Now as to solar or wind Hydrogen stations: a (relatively) simple calculation can tell you that this is NOT going to work. There is simply not enough wind or sun available. Besides if you really create enough energy it would be MUCH better to run on electricity in the first place because then you would have at least a better overall efficiency (But that is a completely different discussion)

The answer IS hydrogen,, and the source will be hydrogen producing algae farms. They are almost there already with hybrid algae research.

And I don't see where the carbon comes from making a difference, taking carbon from the ground and putting into the air has an effect. I mean, didn't all the carbon we are putting into the air by burning oil, come from prehistoric plants and animals to start with?
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post #43 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 6:57 pm
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Andy,

Burning of carbon-based fuels (which both BioDiesel and E85 are), will create CO and CO2 (both are greenhouse gasses). Burning of Hydrogen does not.


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post #44 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 6:58 pm
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The answer IS hydrogen,, and the source will be hydrogen producing algae farms. They are almost there already with hybrid algae research.
Right after I found the article on the solar and wind powered hydrogen producing stations, I found the algae article. Very interesting.


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post #45 of 72 Old May 30th, 2006, 7:46 pm
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Quote:
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Andy,

Burning of carbon-based fuels (which both BioDiesel and E85 are), will create CO and CO2 (both are greenhouse gasses). Burning of Hydrogen does not.
Correct (at least at the first glance). Yet, unless we find some very interesting way of producing MASSIVE amounts of Hydrogen from plants we are back to square one: Where does the hrdrogen come from?

Now, I can't say I can proove it, for that MY knowledge is not sifficient, but some plant guys whom I believe (HE knew what he was talking about) Told me that the whole process of making oil from plant, and burning the oil, and the plants then re-using the CO2 for making oil again is CO2 neutral, in fact has even a slightly negative tendency. (Since you cannot get all the carbon out of the plants)

Whereas the processes with Hydrogen are grossly energy intensive (the production of the Hydrogen) slightly dangerous (the storage of Hydrogen, since it even seeps through steel!!!) whereas veggie oil is relatively inert, right? Man, can you imagine a Hydrogen tanker has an accident? Just like gas tankers today have them every now and then? Those gas flames will look like a candle in comparison to what would be going on on the freeway with that tanker.

I am still a firm believer that the automotive industry is sustainable on a diesel(oil) based engine, but not on a hydrogen based engine (we are talking MASSIVE amounts of fuel)

When thinking about alternative energy sources one cannot just focus onto a single isolated problem, but keep the bigger picture in mind. Hydrogen is one of these technologies. Looking good at the first glance and when looked at without taking all the surrounding problems into account.

Even today B100 can be produced and sold at or arond $3/gal AND is a sustainable energy form. There is nothing that needs to be done to the distribution network, nothing that needs to be changed in the engine technology, is 100% CO2 neutral, ... Can the Hydrogen Technology say the same? I doubt it.

BUTT, each to his/her own.

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post #46 of 72 Old May 31st, 2006, 12:12 pm
 
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Quote:
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I'd like to know which one then. Because of the 5 or so hybrids I looked at (Escape, Prius, Accord, Camry, and Civic) starts the gas motor when the air conditioning is used. I'm talking about using the AC, not the heater or just the vent -- the AIR CONDITIONING.
Yes I am talking about air conditioning, not heating etc. I have only looked at Prius and Highlander Hybrids. Both can run air-con on the battery alone. You are confusing the starting on engine as one turns on the air-con with *engine will run all the time while aircon is on*. That is simply not true. It is true that the engine will not shut off as often with the air-con on as it would with the air-con off but don't take it to the extreme that air-con on == hybrid system N/A.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
Once that engine is running, you're no better off than in the high MPG counterpart of the hybrid (i.e., Civic vs Civic Hybrid).
Not true, for example, even at steady high speeds, the hybrid-system provides a lot of passing power for short bursts, that does save some gas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
Right now, a Jetta TDI is looking like a good alternative.
no disagreement there :-)

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
Remember, even though some manufacturers warranty their batteries for up to 10 years, all those replaced ones, as well as the retired ones need to go somewhere. And recycling batteries is expensive and the components of modern batteries are highly toxic.
The 8yr/100000 mile hybrid warranty is a federal requirement due to emissions, so all hybrids have that, some states, like MA, increase that to 150000 miles. Your concern about battery recycling is very valid, at least I for one was not under any "green illusion" before buying the HH.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eljeffe
Hybrids are nice marketing hype for the greenies, but does it buy anything in terms of the environment or saving money on gas (compared to the price premium paid for a hybrid)? Nope. Take into account the TOTAL ENERGY COST for the product lifecycle, and you'll find that hybrids are no better than a gas guzzling SUV.
Now this I diagreee with, esp. the gas guzzling SUV part. If you were to compare a hybrid vehicle with a similar sized vehicle with a small displacement, efficient engine, your point will be valid, but not with a gas guzzling SUV. Hybrid battery simply isn't toxic enough to cover that. Let's look at some real world data again

#1 Toyota Highlander I4 4wd (~160hp): real world combined city/hwy 20mpg
#2 Toyota Highlander V6 4wd (~218hp): real world combined city/hwy 18mpg
#3 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 4wd (~268hp): real world combined city/hwy 23mpg

Also keep in mind that the first 2 are LEV while #3 is SULEV *and* the third one is also the most powerfull of the three.

Now tell me exactly how the real world environmental impact over the product life-cycle of these 3 is the same and how #3 is no better than a gus guzzler like an H2. I believe that Hybrids are a good short-term solution to the environmental impact of burning fossil fuels and can infact save a bit of money over the long term if one is willing to keep them for 5+ yrs (I personally have never done that... 6 new cars in 13 yrs and 4 new bikes in 8 yrs so far). However, hybrids are not the only short-term sol available today, TDIs, if available in your state, are equally good.

BTW, I do agree with the rest of your points about fossil fuels. When it comes to energy, the emphasis should be on renewable with minimum emissions/waste. Think solar/wind power for elec/heating/cooling and hydrogen for mobility
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post #47 of 72 Old May 31st, 2006, 12:52 pm
 
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Now as to solar or wind Hydrogen stations: a (relatively) simple calculation can tell you that this is NOT going to work. There is simply not enough wind or sun available. Besides if you really create enough energy it would be MUCH better to run on electricity in the first place because then you would have at least a better overall efficiency (But that is a completely different discussion)
There is plenty of solar energy available, the problem is the current tech, that captures less than 20% of the solar energy. When the solar power generation reaches 35% or higher efficency, there will be plenty of power for all of the US from a few big solar farms, say somewhere in the death valley, plains of AZ etc. The regions closer to the poles will still have to rely on wind power.
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post #48 of 72 Old May 31st, 2006, 4:52 pm
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In the midst of all this talk about hybrids, I saw today on the news,, Toyta is recalling the Pirius cars on a non-hybrid related issue.. At the moment it is voluntary but all owners will be receiving letters.. It has to do with some part in the steering that could break and cause loss of control. There is now debate as to whether the general public with see the recall and not care that it is non hybrid related and cause hybrid sales problems.
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post #49 of 72 Old May 31st, 2006, 5:27 pm
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Question What about the batteries?

[QUOTE=hbamford]Actually, the hybrid generates its own electricity and saves it. Most aren't plugged in. If you are thinking of pure electrics, then you have a better argument, although economies of scale still *may* make a difference. But I'm talking hybrids here, not pure electrics.

I have a co-worker that gets better mpg with his VW diesel than my mother in laws Toyota Hybird... One thing that I can't seem to get a clear answer on is the thousand plus pounds of 45 volt batteries they use. The dealer told her they are only good for a few years before needing replacing. Can these even be recycled and at what expense?
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post #50 of 72 Old May 31st, 2006, 7:51 pm
 
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One thing that I can't seem to get a clear answer on is the thousand plus pounds of 45 volt batteries they use.
1000+ pounds of battries, WOW! who is feeding you this crap?

just to give you some real data, the hybrid battery pack in the Escape is basically 200 D batteries and they sure don't weigh 5lb each.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LTOehler
The dealer told her they are only good for a few years before needing replacing. Can these even be recycled and at what expense?
pls. read the earlier postings on this thread, many of the answers are there.
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