New to the forum

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by Ebeo1, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Ebeo1

    Ebeo1 Member

    I'd like to say I came about this web site from the Readers Digest article in this issue. I have always had a mind for fuel economy, and I knew that aggressive driving would sacrifice FE more than any other factor. I had no idea there was such a community out here I have learned a lot just reading over some of these threads.

    Currently the only car I have is a 68 mercury cougar, before any one gets all excited about that I plan on getting a second more fuel efficient car this summer. Which is one of my questions along with a few other myths or misconceptions I might have.

    1. What car would fit my criteria I'm looking to buy a car 10 years old and $3000 - $6000 range that would get ≥30 mpg? (I'm looking to save gas and money)

    2. What are peoples thoughts on motorcycles? If its true that 90% of driving is done by solo why not get the lightest frame and smallest engine?

    3. As far as hybrids go I have heard rumors of solar panel kits available. Is there kits out there you can purchase and install to charge the battery?

    4. Another hybrid question when you brake with a hybrid is there an electric generator assisting on the braking and recharging the battery? Or do the cars have conventional brakes?

    5. Last hybrid question why aren't there plugs on hybrids can't we just plug it in at night to charge the battery thus saving that much more gas?

    6. last question are there any real electric cars available to the public, I have seen security guards drive around in over sized golf carts but is there something available that can hit speeds needed for normal flow of traffic?
     
  2. atlaw4u

    atlaw4u Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the forum.

    I will let more experienced members address most of your questions but I will try to address 2 of them. First, a motorcycle is a good choice for an alternate more fuel efficient vehicle if your life style and location allows you to use it as a primary source of transportation.

    Second, there are many fuel efficient cars in your price range. You may want to take a look at the mileage logs on this forum to get an idea what members are achieving with different vehicles. A few good choices off the top of my head are the Hodnda Civic, Toyota Echo & Corolla, and the Geo Metro & Prizm. I'm sure you will get many valuable suggestions from fellow members.
     
  3. Chuck

    Chuck just the messenger

    Ebo1,

    Welcome to CleanMPG!

    On your next car, I'd check to see if it has an OBDII socket....that is what Mr GoodWrench uses to reset "Check Engine" when the gas cap is loose and truly serious issues...ScanGage uses the OBDII socket and you get the instant mpg while you drive and more. If it's a 96 or newer, you should be fine.

    A Civic VTEC would be a good choice, but not the only one.

    Actually, there are lots of things that could be done on a 68 Cougar to inprove the fuel economy....radial tires, adding electronic ignition, add a vaccum gage
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Ebeo1:

    ___Welcome to CleanMPG!

    ___Let us get you started with a link if I may.

    What if you can’t afford a “new” fuel efficient automobile?

    ___The older Civic’s certainly can provide great FE but they are usually beat to a living pulp and are not being given away. A used 00 – 03 Toyota Echo is a fuel miser and being newer and usually not beat, it may make for a better buy without the work.

    ___Motorcycles are great if you are over the safety aspect, year round use and you hold yourself to a 250. The 250’s appear to hold 80 + pretty easily but you start pushing into the 600’s and 55 + is pushing. You do not want to have an accident on one at any time because the results are catastrophic in many cases :(

    ___Solar for a std. hybrid is about as useless as it gets. On the vehicle itself, there isn’t enough power to run the A/C let alone drive around on EV. Tied into the home, a std. hybrids (Prius) pack is only large enough to take about 600kWh from the bottom to the top and a Prius or other hybrids will very rarely allow a fully drained pack when you arrive in the drive. A future PHEV on the other hand is an entirely different story wrt a home based PV system. The price however is prohibitive today :(

    ___Braking in a hybrid uses both. Electrical at first but if you have to really grab the binders; they will all transition to a full hydraulic like a non-hybrid. 99% of the time, you can bring a hybrid down to under 10 mph with full regen (supplying power to the pack) and the < 10 mph to a stop (generalizing depending on which hybrid here), the hydraulics take over. Brakes and their replacement is not a worry with a hybrid.

    ___PHEV’s (Plug-in hybrids) are currently conversions. The hybrids you may be somewhat familiar with today are not capable of that and as mentioned above, with the small packs, there is little reason to add a charger given the way a std. hybrid controls the packs SoC (State of Charge or pack power capacity at any given point in time).

    ___They are called NEV’s or neighborhood electric vehicles. They cost from about $10K on up, do not meet any of the std. safety requirements a car does and are run strictly off the batteries powered from an outlet out of your home. If you have only slow speeds to and from just about anywhere locally, an NEV certainly can work all the while emitting very little in terms of SMOG or GHG’s from the power plant they are supplied from.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  5. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    A point about "regenerative braking" (using the electric motor as a generator to slow the car down)--This process is very inefficient, and typically captures relatively little of the energy that was used to get up to the higher speed. I think the numbers are something like 10%?? So do not count on regen braking to do much for you.

    MCs are a great alternative, but are not feasible for me in my area. There are enough clueless or inattentive drivers around (including, far too often, me!) to make the lack of a metal cage around me worth the extra economy. Sure would be neat if I thought I could, though...

    Looks like your other questions have been answered pretty well. I'm a big Honda fan, myself (a double handfull of them in my family over the years; would be more if they didn't last so long! ;) ) so I would consider some form of Civic, probably a hatchback because I like the utility. (My CRX is like a Civic hatch with the rear seat section cut out of the car.)

    -soD
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Dave:

    ___Good point about not using regen when you do not have too. When you have to however, the conversion is about 30% and rising with each new generation.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne
     
  7. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    Wow, that's cool! I'm glad to hear they're getting more and more out of it.

    -soD
     
  8. Ebeo1

    Ebeo1 Member

    I have been keeping my eyes open and there is always new adds like this pooping up in my area I'm sure sooner or later I'll come across the one Im looking for. Would this car have the computer plug in that would bee needed for the SG.

    http://norfolk.craigslist.org/car/610650156.html

    I have seen a few truck owners here what trucks do people recommend that could get 30mpg? I should get something with some real utility compared to a car for carrying skis and stuff.

    The mercury is just a temporary thing for now I have looked into increasing fe for it but really its cheaper and easier to buy a second smaller car. If there is any one interested I have kept a record on it.

    I am interested in learning more about the NEV’s or neighborhood electric vehicles that were mentioned earlier where would I go (website) to look into them?
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2008
  9. Skwyre7

    Skwyre7 Well-Known Member

    The car you linked to would not have the OBDII port. Those were standard until 1996. If you're looking for a pick-up, any of the small trucks should work. The Ford Ranger is the choice of a few of us on here.
     

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