# Honda Civic Hybrid

1. May 24, 2006

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. 2. May 24, 2006 ### DaveC426913 "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. 3. May 24, 2006 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 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 4. May 24, 2006 ### Jimmy Snyder 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? 5. May 24, 2006 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 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. - Warren Last edited: May 24, 2006 6. May 24, 2006 ### Jimmy Snyder 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. 7. May 24, 2006 ### DaveC426913 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..." 8. May 24, 2006 ### Astronuc Staff Emeritus 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. 9. May 24, 2006 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 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 10. May 24, 2006 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 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 11. May 24, 2006 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 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 12. May 24, 2006 ### Pengwuino 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? 13. May 24, 2006 ### Astronuc Staff Emeritus 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. 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. 14. May 24, 2006 ### Pengwuino Where the hell do all you people live :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Im not within 2 miles of anything that i use regularly. 15. May 24, 2006 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 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 you are immersed in a culture which uses cars for everything 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 16. May 24, 2006 ### chroot Staff Emeritus 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.

- Warren

17. May 24, 2006

### chroot

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

- Warren

18. May 24, 2006

### dav2008

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

19. May 24, 2006

### MrOrange99

I question the prices of the hybrids and if like gasoline prices, they are inflated.

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20. May 24, 2006

### Pengwuino

I must not get out enough because i can think of 1 place that i go at least once every 2 weeks that is within 2 miles and i usually go at roughly midnight so unless my bike has armor plating, im not going out in a bike around here. But seriously, i can say the same thing back at you. The only reason you think getting rid of cars is a ridiculous idea is becaues you are immersed in a biking mindset which uses bikes for everything and you've never had to try anything else. How many times have you tried to bring groceries to a family in a bike or gone on a date in a bike or taken a vacation on a bike. The idea that im wrong because i haven't tried it is a load. That's like if i said people can breathe using water if you're under 10,000 feet and you say you cant and my only response is "you only think that because you've never tried it"

21. May 24, 2006

Staff Emeritus
All you bicycle fanatics are OT. The question is CARS, and the alternative to what jimmysnyder bought is some other car. Lots of people want to use CARS and they have a right to do so without being hassled by True Believers.

I could equally claim that walking the average two miles is even better for you, but unfortunately my own average distance is more like five miles; my "green" neighbors have jiggered the zoning laws in our village so we won't have any of them nasty polluting stores around.

22. May 24, 2006

### Jimmy Snyder

Absolutely!

23. May 24, 2006

### Pengwuino

Hey im not the one who lives in the bay area :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:. I mean really, everytime i go to the bay area i can't help but notice how insanely crowded it is. Theres no freedom there. Walking around i felt like i was going to plow into a starbucks if i didnt keep my eyes on whats infront of me on the sidewalk.

24. May 24, 2006

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Have you ever... tried it?

Listen, on Friday evenings, I generally pass literally 600-800 cars (extrapolated from counts I've done while flying past them) in just over a three mile section of road near my work. In any kind of traffic situation where the road is more than 70% capacity, I will absolutely own you on a bike. No question.

Now, if you're using a ten lane superhighway in the middle of night with no traffic, of course you'll beat me. Duh!

Again, most trips in this country are less than two miles, and are entirely on surface streets. If you give me an urban surface street > 70% capacity (i.e. at rush hour), I will beat you on a bike every single time.

- Warren

25. May 24, 2006

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Give me a break, dude, are you nuts? I own a car -- an expensive one, too. I drove it to work every day for years and years. I grew up in a family with more cars than people. Then I discovered something different, and better. I have never suggested that people use bikes for everything, so stop putting words in my mouth. If you have a family of five and have to carry 100 lbs of groceries, by all means, use your car. On the other hand, most households in the country do not have children, and have far fewer than five members.

I have said, quite correctly, that the majority of American car trips could be done on a bicycle instead with very little inconvenience, and enormous gains in pollution and energy expenditure. Your arguments re: breathing underwater are moronic and irrelevant.

- Warren