fuel efficiency and free market

Discussion in 'Energy' started by jheadlee, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. jheadlee
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    jheadlee Rookie

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    I am a bit perplexed by a few things perhaps some of you on this forum can help me. Due to this fantastic new economy and it's amazing recovery I am forced to take a job that will involve a 119 mile roundtrip daily commute. Before anyone suggests that I relocate thanks to the housing market that is an impossibility for at least 5 years. Anyhow I digress, while researching fuel efficient cars available and their costs I found 20 vehicles that all get over 60 mpg, most were turbo diesels and all were available only in Europe, here in the US the best is 40 and that is a toyota prius. I would happily purchase a volkswagen polo TDI if only I could. Is there any sensible reason that anyone can explain to me why these automobiles are unavailable here in the USA, and why our own domestic manufactures cannot create a turbo diesel malibu or focus?

    Or is it at all possible or practical to have one of these European models shipped here or to buy one here?

    All comments are welcome and appreciated.
     
  2. Meister
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    Meister Platinum Member Supporting Member

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    I just find it amazing how many miles one has to drive to make up for the high cost of the vehicle, with the fuel milage saved.
    My advice for you is to buy a Toyota Camry with a 4 cylinder. It has enough engine to do anything a 6 cylinder has and gets about 35mph on the freeway.
     
  3. RGR
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    RGR VIP Member

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    It sounds as though A) you didn't understand this BEFORE you took the job, which was the correct point in time to think about it or B) thought you could absorb this type of commuting cost as part of what it costs to go to work.

    A) Americans don't like small cars much, B) fuel prices are higher in Europe and they demand real efficiency, versus what we get here in the US and C) we don't like diesels because domestic manufacturers gave them a bad reputation by building junk in the early 80's during the post global peak oil time period during the late 70's.

    Plus, a well built, small, efficient turbo diesel would last near forever, and you wouldn't ever want to go back and buy another car from the manufacturer. I hate to admit to it, but planned obselescence is part of this problem.

    Buy a Volt. Of the 60 miles getting to work, 40 could be on electric. Plug in at work. The first 40 miles returning home would be electric. The mileage when the Volt engine would run would be for approximately 40 miles, or 1 gallon of gasoline, give or take. Your effective gasoline fuel mileage for the daily commute would be 1 gallon of gas, and 120 miles, rendering a 120 mpg rating. Certainly beating out anything else burning a liquid fuel all the time, even turbo diesels.
     
  4. OohPooPahDoo
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    OohPooPahDoo Gold Member

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    You should bear in mind diesel costs more per gallon.

    Its also not as clean burning.

    Other than that I have no idea why diesel cars are less popular here.


    You should also consider that the total costs of operating the average vehicle is about 50 cents per mile. This includes not only gas, but maintenance, repairs, the cost of eventually replacing the vehicle, and insurance. So if you're making 119 mile round trip commute 50 weeks out of there year, that's going to cost you - in the long run - nearly 15k a year. So take 15k off your salary.

    If public transit is a possibility you should consider it - I'm guessing its not. In that case, I would consider finding someone you can car pool with. You could cut your costs in half, and half the time you were commuting you'd be free to snooze or read or whatever.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  5. peach174
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    peach174 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Get yourself a smart car.

    smart fortwo. green, high mpg micro cars. smart USA

    I have 3 friends who own them and they love it.
    They start a 15,000.00 and go up to 17,000.00
    I met a couple in Benson in the parking lot of our Wal Mart who was traveling through. They came from New Mexico and was going to see their kids in Calif. They love it too.

    I'm thinking about getting one.
     
  6. OohPooPahDoo
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    OohPooPahDoo Gold Member

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    You should consider that the worst drivers in the world drive SUVs when they hit your smart car.
     
  7. peach174
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    peach174 Gold Member Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    That was my first thought too.
    You didn't read about them;
    The protective "tridion safety cell," developed especially for the smart fortwo to help ensure crash compatibility with larger passenger cars.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  8. RGR
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    RGR VIP Member

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    I drive an SUV and am an excellent driver. Of course, should I make a mistake, my Hummer would undoubtedly crush a Smart car into something the size of a tin can without me noticing. Something about mass, and basic physics and whatnot. Still, SUV drivers aren't any worse than others, most Americans anyway aren't qualified to push a shopping cart, let alone guide a 2 ton missile along city streets.
     

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