OT: Hybrid cars make no economical sense

Page 10 of 13  
snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

So buy an SUV, then. In my mind the risk of something like that happening is not great enough for me to buy a car that I don't like just so I can be "safe" (and said vehicle won't handle nearly as well as the cars I like, either...)
I think the stat is something like the average driver is involved in a serious "accident" once every six years, that is pathetic. Most drivers really shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel.
nate
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wrote:

Whoosh!
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So we should all drive armoured tanks that get 5 GALLONS to the mile instead?
My last 1976 Rabbit was rear ended at a stop light by a gal doing 60mph. It totalled the car, but my wife and I had zero injuries.
My best friend had a Rabbit also, and we got sandwiched between a van and a station wagon on a highway. Totalled the car again, but my friend and I walked away unhurt.
Would I survive a side impact? Probably not, but unless you're buying a tank or a $50K Lexus with full surround air bags, I doubt any car would do much better.
Personally, I'd rather "avoid" an accident than worry about "surviving" an accident. My little Rabbit is small, maneuverable, and has great visibility. By keeping my distance from other vehicles (i.e. not tailgating like the majority of the road rage nutcases out there) and looking before I pull out in traffic, I haven't been in an accident in 20+ years. Meanwhile I see SUV's crashing into things all the time because they can't see where they're going and don't handle worth a darn.
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

Hi, You wouldn't believe how many dumb/stupid drivers are on the road. We had smnow storm last night with temp. plunging down to -25C during the day. Look at these idiots specially in SUVs and 4x4s flying down the road. What's in their head? Most accidents are caused by bad drivers. Bad drivers generally don't look after their cars either.
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 19:33:14 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband

That response can only be characterized as idiotic.
A car does not have to be an armoured tank that gets 5 gallons to the mile in order to be safer than a 1976 VW by an order of magnitude.
How about a new VW? What's their current model that replaces the Rabbit? I can tell you without knowing anything about it, that it is a hell of a lot safer than anything made in 1976.
The newest cars with side curtain airbags are a lot safer than cars of just a few years ago that had only front airbags. Crash safety standards are MUCH higher now then they were in 1976. I'm not picking on just VW. ALL new cars are MUCH safer than ANY 1976 car.
We also now have thing like ABS brakes, anti rollover systems, Collision avoidance lights, better lights for seeing and being seen, and a host of other improvements.
Your 1976 VW doesn't handle worth crap compared to a modern VW. And it sure can't stop like one.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I don't need a car "safer" than an A1 chassis VW to be safe from all but the worst circumstances. I have logged many miles in two '84 model VWs (same basic chassis) and can tell you that they're perfectly adequate. I do not need ABS brakes or special electronic band-aids. E-code sealed beam replacements are far better than any lights sold as stock equipment on any car in the US. Handling is adequate stock and can easily and inexpensively be improved, as this chassis is a favorite of autocrossers and SCCA racers. Likewise with braking. As far as crash safety goes, I prefer to rely on handling, acceleration, braking, and most importantly perception to keep me from crashing than I do hundreds of pounds of extra weight in the form of airbags and crash beams.
So to those of you driving around in your unsafe old VW's, I will be more than happy to take them off your hands. I'll even pay real money for a pre-82 Scirocco if it's rust free and running.
nate
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wrote:

People like you make Darwin seem like even more of a genius.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

I don't get your point. My post was completely factual; the ONLY advantages that newer cars have over an A1 chassis VW are in *passive* safety devices which are rarely if ever used - and actually add weight, to the detriment of handling and economy.
The same argument could be made for any number of older cars with a decent enthusiast base, like old GM A-bodies (Chevelle/Cutlass/Skylark) or MoPar A-bodies (Dart/Valiant/Duster/Demon/early Barracuda) - suspension upgrades, disc brake swaps, lighting upgrades, etc. are all easy, and driving a car without all the extra weight and bloat that new cars have is rewarding and economical.
Personally I'd just love to have the time and money to do a franken-VW; take the best from the old and new. Maybe an '81 Scirocco with a 1.8T swap and a few well chosen suspension, brake, and wheel/tire upgrades. It'd be a far more fun to drive car than any new VW made.
Obviously you completely missed where I pointed out that A1 (and A2 as well) chassis VWs are like cockroaches at autocross and SCCA events. Surely if they were really unsafe...?
nate
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wrote:

Yes, we've established that pretty well.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Because you clearly know nothing about cars. I don't think there's any more that needs to be said.
nate
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wrote:

Bwhahahahahahahaha!!
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wrote:

See? Predictability thy name is Salty.
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wrote:

Oh, PLEASE! I used to autocross many years ago. Mostly in highly modified Fiat 600's. There was NOTHING safe about them.
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The point is that you did something SD doesn't agree with. This, by definition, makes you an idiot. His next couple of posts will be condescending, a sentence at most, and breathtakingly unresponsive.
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Well, it wouldn't be the first time I've said something idiotic, and it certainly won't be the last... :)

The point is my 32 year old car gets better fuel economy than most of the current vehicles on the road, is more reliable (fewer parts and technology to break), easy to fix when something does go wrong, and is inexpensive to operate.
Safety is certainly a big factor to consider in a car, but the vast majority of the time in a vehicle is spent driving, not crashing. How much does the vehicle cost to purchase and maintain? How much energy and materials go into the manufacture of the vehicle? What kind of fuel economy does it get? etc...
I mean, I could get shot in a drive-by shooting, but I don't put on a bulletproof vest everytime I go to town. Then again, I don't go to areas that are likely to increase my odds of being shot. I could rely on the technology of the vest for more safety, or I could use common sense to try and reduce my odds of it happening in the first place. In any case, there's no way to completely eliminate the risk. Similarly, improving your driving habits will do far more for safety than relying on technology to save you from yourself.

I haven't driven the newest VW's, but my wife owns a 1986 Jetta. It's 10 years newer, with more "safety" features, and weighs considerably more than my car does. She does get slightly better mileage with less emissions, but there's less visibility, has been less reliable, and doesn't even come close to the drivability of my old Rabbit.
My sister-in-law owns a 96 Jetta, and it's even heavier with additional safety features, and gets about the same mileage I do (less than my wife's 86 Jetta). The visibility and driveability is even less than my wife's car.

I'm not against technology improvements, but it's foolish to use technology to cover common sense.
ABS brakes are fine, but they make people overconfident. Simple physics will show my lighter car can stop faster than a heavier car. And with a little common sense, like not following so close or going too fast for conditions, braking shouldn't be a concern. I've been driving about 30 years and braking has never been an issue, even in the few accidents I've been involved in.
Anti-rollover systems may help, but the fact is those vehicles are top- heavy to start with. Again, people get overconfident and think those SUV's can handle like sports cars. I've seen enough SUV rollovers to know all the technology in the world won't prevent that.
I would argue the better lighting, as all of the newer vehicles I've driven are horrible to drive at night, compared to the simple 7" round lights on my Rabbit.
If a newer vehicle with all the safety features makes you feel safer, by all means drive one of those. But I personally don't like the disconnected feeling I have when driving newer vehicles. I just can't "feel" the road like I do in my Rabbit.
In any case, it's not so much a choice of the vehicle you drive, as the fact that fuel economy has not really improved in 30+ years. Watch any TV commercial and they're promoting how much power the car has, and are racing around at high speeds or driving trucks over mountains of boulders. It doesn't take that much power to get to work and back, and that style of driving negates ANY safety features the car may have.
Anthony
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Oh bother! Wind turbines almost never exceed 30% of their rated capacity and only work, obviously, when the wind blows. There are places in Texas where neighboring ranches have to take turns using their windmills 'cause there's not enough blow for two at the same time!
Solar power can't feed the grid because solar is horrendously expensive.
It would take a solar collection array of about 1200 square miles to provide power just for California.
Now the entire interstate highway system (55,000 miles x 60' wide) is less than 600 square miles of concrete. So it would take a construction project roughly twice the size of the highway system just to power California.
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You desperately need to get up to speed, and quit drinking Budweiser, bub! Oh and consider moving. Texas ain't the most progressive state in the union.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Thank goodness! We do have SOME Democrats, so we haven't reached perfection.
As for up-to-speed, how big a solar collection farm do YOU think is necessary to generate 50 Gw?
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Why don't we approach the problem like this. How many business and households equipped with solar panels would be the equivalent to save 50 GW. I don't think anyone is proposing 1200 square miles of solar panels.
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On Fri, 12 Dec 2008 15:40:31 -0800 (PST), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Oddly enough, Walmart has a program in which they are installing massive numbers of PV panels on top of their stores and warehouses. I guess they see an ROI of some kind.
No single solution has to be a complete solution. Every watt generated by PV is one watt that doesn't have to be generated some other way. To be sure, we can't solve the"real" problem by making more energy available.
When politicians talk about children being the future, what they really mean is future taxpayers. Nobody loves a Ponzi scheme more than governments. All governments of all types.
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