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-   -   Honda Civic Hybrid (http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=121888)

Jimmy Snyder May24-06 10:08 AM

Honda Civic Hybrid
 
I just bought a 2004 HCH last night and will pick it up from the dealer tonight. Probably, when you figure all the energy flows during the production and useful life of the car, there isn't that much energy savings if any at all. However, at $3/gallon for gasoline, I figure it will take roughly three years to pay off the premium I paid over a Honda Civic without the Hybrid. So personally, I may save. I expect that the price of gas is unstable right now and will either go up or down from current levels. While down is obviously better, I may get a psychological boost if it goes up as then I will pay off the premium earlier.

In my opinion, this car is way cool. When you stop at a light, the gasoline engine conks out. When you put your foot on the pedal, the engine starts up again. I don't know if that really saves gas (apparently it doesn't for ordinary cars), but I figure it probably does, or they wouldn't have designed it that way.

DaveC426913 May24-06 10:57 AM

"When you put your foot on the pedal, the engine starts up again. I don't know if that really saves gas (apparently it doesn't for ordinary cars), but I figure it probably does, or they wouldn't have designed it that way."

Traditional IC engines require a lot of initial kick to get them running, they use MUCH more gas to start up than they do to run. Some say that when waiting idling for a few minutes, there is a threshold, below which you might as well just leave the engine on.


Also:
Don't buy a Hybrid car because you think it'll save you money. Buy a Hybrid car because you want to be an early adopter in a technology that promotes a cleaner world.

chroot May24-06 01:24 PM

You'd be much better off, both financially an in your pursuit of environmental friendliness, if you'd bought the normal Civic and spent the extra money on a decent bicycle. Most car trips in the US are under two miles; ride the bike instead. Use the car only when you have to.

Don't get me wrong... I'm all for hybrid technology and improvements in fuel efficiency. On the other hand, I'm amazed that the automotive industry has fleeced the American public into thinking that purchasing a hybrid car means you're being environmentally conscious. Now they've talked people into paying 20% more for cars that are 20% more efficient, and pat them on the back for being such wise consumers. American consumers are so attached to car culture that they're willing to pay exorbitant prices for "new technology" that barely even makes a dent in the problem.

The only real, meaningful solution to the pollution and energy problem in this country is to remove cars from the road. Ride a bike instead.

- Warren

Jimmy Snyder May24-06 01:29 PM

Quote:

Quote by chroot
Ride a bike instead.

I don't know about that. I've been told that the internal combustion engine is the most efficient and least polluting solution to the problem that it solves. Have I been misinformed?

chroot May24-06 01:32 PM

Quote:

Quote by jimmysnyder
I don't know about that. I've been told that the internal combustion engine is the most efficient and least polluting solution to the problem that it solves. Have I been misinformed?

What problem is it solving, exactly? And who told you it was the most efficient solution? All it's done is allow people to build their "American dream" houses 50 miles out in sprawling suburbia, then spend two hours a day in their cars, dumping carbon into the atmosphere.

Now there's a new fad: purchase a hybrid car, which is 20% more efficient. Sit in the same traffic for two hours every day, and dump out a still-obscene, but slightly smaller amount of carbon. Smile and pat yourself on the back for being so environmentally-conscious. :rolleyes:

- Warren

Jimmy Snyder May24-06 01:42 PM

Quote:

Quote by chroot
All it's done ...

It also feeds, clothes and houses 300,000,000 Americans. In India, they haven't mechanized yet and you see the result. More hunger and worse pollution.

DaveC426913 May24-06 01:43 PM

chroot, you make an excellent point. A hybrid car is lip service.


"...the internal combustion engine is the most efficient and least polluting solution to the problem that it solves..."
Sure, with this proviso tacked on: "...without actually giving up the right of every individual adult in the nation to drive a 2000lb hunk of steel to the corner store..."

Astronuc May24-06 01:45 PM

Quote:

Quote by jimmysnyder
I don't know about that. I've been told that the internal combustion engine is the most efficient and least polluting solution to the problem that it solves. Have I been misinformed?

I believe a bicycle, which has a mass of about 10-15 kg + a 70 kg rider is more efficient than using a car (and ICE) which moves 1000-1500 kg + the same 70 kg rider over the same distance, with more wind resistance. Of course, the car travels faster. However, the bicycle is much more efficient, and for short distances may be more practical.

chroot May24-06 01:46 PM

Quote:

Quote by jimmysnyder
It also feeds, clothes and houses 300,000,000 Americans. In India, they haven't mechanized yet and you see the result. More hunger and worse pollution.

I'm not suggesting that trucks and industrial vehicles shouldn't be used. The internal combustion engine, as you have said, contributes significantly to everyone's quality of life via the shipment of goods.

Are you also suggesting that the personal automobile is somehow responsible for feeding and clothing Americans? Do you think Americans could not get to the grocery store and the clothing store without personal automobiles?

I am constantly amazed at the ridiculous rationalizations of people who are totally, completely mired in American car culture.

Yes, yes... we'd all starve to death and wear nothing but rags if we all didn't have our own Lexus SUVs.

- Warren

chroot May24-06 01:50 PM

Quote:

Quote by Astronuc
I believe a bicycle, which has a mass of about 10-15 kg + a 70 kg rider is more efficient than using a car (and ICE) which moves 1000-1500 kg + the same 70 kg rider over the same distance, with more wind resistance. Of course, the car travels faster. However, the bicycle is much more efficient, and for short distances may be more practical.

I burn 50 Calories per mile on my bicycle. That's an efficiency of well over 1000 miles / "gallon equivalent."

I'm not knocking the hybrid technology. I think it's great. At the same time, I think it's barely a dent in the problem. If people bought normal cars and drove them half as much (because they used bicycles or other means to get around for short trips), it'd have an enormously larger impact on the pollution and energy problems.

And, hell, they'd save tens of thousands of dollars a year, and weigh half as much as they do now.

- Warren

chroot May24-06 01:53 PM

Quote:

Quote by Astronuc
However, the bicycle...for short distances may be more practical.

And since the majority of American car trips are under two miles, using a bicycle for such short trips would constitute an enormous improvement in pollution, traffic, and many other problems.

And, truth be told, I can get through city traffic at least five times faster on a bike than in a car.

If only people would try it...

- Warren

Pengwuino May24-06 01:53 PM

Chroot, you may note that its not very easy for a 90 pound housewife to haul 30 pounds of groceries home to her family of 5. Getting rid of cars in this day and age is a rediculous idea. And I really have tremendous difficulty believing you can get anywhere 5x faster in a bike than a car. I personally could not think of any place where i can realistically get to faster in a bike. Going 50mph vs. 15mph on side streets only is no comparison. Where exactly do you live?

Astronuc May24-06 01:56 PM

In grad school, I lived about 2 miles from my office. It was faster to take the bicycle - where I could avoid the traffic, by-pass intersections, and get right to the door as opposed to parking in a parking lot which could take several minutes after which I'd still have to walk the equivalent of a football field. :rolleyes:

I am strongly consider a bicycle again, although I have to travel 6.5 miles oneway between office and home, and I usually transport laptop and books/reports/bag.

Pengwuino May24-06 01:58 PM

Where the hell do all you people live :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Im not within 2 miles of anything that i use regularly.

chroot May24-06 01:58 PM

Pengwuino,

How many housewives in this country weigh 90 pounds? :rofl:

The only reason why think getting rid of cars is a ridiculous idea is because [i]you are immersed in a culture which uses cars for everything[i] and you've never tried anything else.

Again, I'm not saying people shouldn't have cars. They have their purposes -- long trips, heavy cargo, etc. However, carrying small cargo on a bike is not hard. Riding two miles on a bike is not hard.

The majority of American car trips are under two miles, have one occupant (the driver), and no cargo. I will dig up the official NHTSA statistics if you'd like. Such trips can absolutely, without any reasonable counterargument, be done on a bicycle.

- Warren

chroot May24-06 02:01 PM

Quote:

Quote by Astronuc
I am strongly consider a bicycle again, although I have to travel 6.5 miles oneway between office and home, and I usually transport laptop and books/reports/bag.

Get a nice messenger bag! I suggest Chrome bags, from San Francisco. http://www.chromebags.com/ They're the favorites of messengers around here. I absolutely love mine. I can stuff 20 pounds in it and barely notice it on my lower back.

I say you should try the trip by bike. It'll only take you a half hour each way, you'll feel great, and you'll actually save more gas that jimmysynder ever will with his $35,000 hybrid car. :cool:

- Warren

chroot May24-06 02:01 PM

Quote:

Quote by Pengwuino
Im not within 2 miles of anything that i use regularly.

Then why the hell do you live there? That sounds like a stupid place to live. :rofl:

- Warren

dav2008 May24-06 02:03 PM

Chroot, for every mile that you ride your bicycle I'll drive three in my Hummer.


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