# Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-

1. Aug 6, 2009

### wolram

Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090804090944.htm

ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2009) — Despite major costs to taxpayers in the U.S. and Canada, government programs that offer rebates to hybrid vehicle buyers are failing to produce environmental benefits, a new UBC study says.

So is this another green con?

Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
2. Aug 6, 2009

3. Aug 6, 2009

### Chi Meson

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

The auto industry allies in Congress changed the requirement for the so-called "cash for clunkers" rebate. Initially the new car was supposed to have better fuel efficiency than the older car by 9 or 10 mpg (I've seen various numbers for this). Certain cars that were already considered efficient were not supposed to qualify for this prgram. These requirements were downgraded, allowing the mpg improvement to be as little as 2 mpg (some say).

This has been, in effect, nothing more than an auto industry stimulus. So, it's "weak coffee" but not exactly a con.

Edit addition: the paper thing... I keep telling my students that waste paper would better be burned in a proper "energy recovery" incinerator/generator. Plastic shopping bags, too.

4. Aug 6, 2009

### wolram

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

My dad composts some news papers, he says it gives a better potato crop.

5. Aug 6, 2009

### mgb_phys

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Paper recycling was never about the environment it was more about being relatively easy for people to do (paper is clean, easy to store and easy to identify)
And when people wanted their news delivered 24hours later on bits of tree it was profitable. But new paper comes from Swedish timber farms it isn't ripped from the Amazon. It's odd that scrapyards never managed the same green image.

The reason for storing the paper is that putting it in landfill is a lot more expensive - paper takes up a lot of space, doesn't crush and doesn't degrade.

Remember the article is from the Daily Fail, I didn't read to the end to discover how all this is caused by immigrants, what effect it has on house prices and how the death of Princes Di is involved.

6. Aug 6, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Some say? Not true.

http://www.cars.gov/faq [Broken]

The fact is the the average gain so far is about 10 mpg. That suggests a net gain for the GDP [reduced demand for imported oil] of about 2 billion dollars for every billion invested. See the cars program thread. https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=328229

Anyone who can do arithmetic knows that the early generation hybrids are a waste of money. The increased cost isn't even offset by the fuel savings when compared to standard fuel-efficient autos. One of my arguments related to the use of diesels and biodiesel fuel is that the Honda Civic diesel gets better mileage than the Honda Civic Hybrid.

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
7. Aug 6, 2009

### junglebeast

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Haha, that's funny..still, electric is the way of the future, and by supporting hybrids and electrics you are at least helping in the sense that you urge the auto industries to continue investing money to improve that technology

8. Aug 6, 2009

### Chi Meson

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Oh yeah? I saw it on the INTERWEB!
I'm looking into the new VW diesel Jetta. I had great results with a diesel Rabbit through the 80s.
My real question is, where the heck are the flywheel and pneumatic hybrids?

9. Aug 6, 2009

### mgb_phys

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Depends on how you use them, on a freeway a small VW diesel beats anything, but in stop-start around town traffic a hybrid is very good. There is a reason all taxi drivers have them - and it's not that they are all personal friends of David Suzuki.

Still the new rebate scheme is better than the last one that let realtors write off a $100,000 hummer as a working truck. Switzerland And France http://www.mdi.lu/ 10. Aug 6, 2009 ### Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements----- I don't think so; not yet. Imo, the greatest imperative is to implement the widespread use of biodiesel. Diesel cars are already a tried and true technology that is cost competitive with the conventional IC engine. The real solution in my lifetime, I believe, are alternative [carbon-neutral] fuels. Eventually we can go all electric, but there are far too many needs for conventional engines. Electric cars are just a luxury and a novelty at this point. Plug-in hybrids may play a role soon IF they can be made cost competitive. So far the GM Volt is a joke - essentially a$35,000 Corolla.

It is a simple matter of energy density.

The breakthroughs in fuel-producing algae and other organisms come almost every day. Also, Exxon just announced that after a two-year study, they are putting their money into algae.

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11. Aug 6, 2009

### junglebeast

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Regardless of what type of fuel you use, making it a hybrid increases your efficiency. there's no reason why you can't have hybrid biodiesel.

12. Aug 6, 2009

### mgb_phys

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

A diesel makes more sense for a hybrid for all the usual diesel reasons.
Plus the diesels main weakness of poor acceleration is helped by using the electric motor (which has max torque at zero revs = great acceleration).
It's also more efficient to stop and start a diesel engine. VW diesel golfs have had a system for a while where the engine shuts off when you stop in traffic and a flywheel is used to automatically restart the engine when you pull away again.

the main reasons current hybrids are gas/petrol is that you can't get diesel in all markets and they don't want to build two models of a small run car. And public response that (diesel = dirty) so a hybrid diesel would confuse tree huggers.

13. Aug 6, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Ford is supposed to be bringing a diesel hybrid to the market soon.

14. Aug 6, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

They can now. Since we adopted the use of ultra-low sulfur fuel, diesels now meet epa standards. Beyond that, biodiesel has no sulfur in it [beyond perhaps miniscule amounts]. But you are correct in that the public needs to be educated about clean diesel technologies. I had to get over than hump myself. My early impressions of diesel include one a friend had back in the late 70s - a smoke belching rattlebox Mercedes that could barely get up our driveway. Heck, even my old Datsun PU had no problem! But modern diesels are another story.

IIRC, they were shooting for something like 60 mpg for the Ford diesel hybrid.

Last edited: Aug 6, 2009
15. Aug 7, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Here is some information about the Ford diesel hybrid from a few years ago.

http://www.hybridcarrevolution.com/ford_reflex_diesel_hybrid_vehicle.htm [Broken]

http://www.gizmag.com/go/5005/

with image gallery
http://www.gizmag.com/pictures/gallery/5005_8010674343.jpg
http://www.gizmag.com/go/5005/gallery/

Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
16. Aug 7, 2009

### Chi Meson

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

You said it, and moments later I read a magazine ad for Exxon's algae development. A smiling Joe Weissman ("scientist" the caption says) sits next to some huge green spheres and the words "algae can create renewable energy while absorbing CO2."

The VW Polo right now gets 62 mpg; just diesel, not hybrid so without the expensive and questionably-green batteries. Not available in USA, yet, but supposed to be available 2011 (why not sooner? why not NOW?) I'll ride my bike till then, but at this point unless new information comes in, I'll be first in line for one. They also make another, smaller diesel, the Lupo, which is pushing 90 mpg. They have no intention of making this one available in US.

17. Aug 7, 2009

### mgb_phys

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Probably doesn't have enough cup holders

Ironically in europe diesel has the opposite image problem. It's seen as low power/performance - only driven by tree huggers and older people 'watching the pennies'.

18. Aug 7, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

How far do you commute? It must not be very far.

Anyway, I too have reservations about hybrids and anything dependent on battery technology. I am not convinced that there is anything green about batteries.

http://www.bovinebazaar.bizland.com/deisel.htm

19. Aug 7, 2009

### Ivan Seeking

Staff Emeritus
Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Diesel wins at Le Mans [June 2006]

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2006/6/20/212325/307

Last edited: Aug 7, 2009
20. Aug 7, 2009

### mgb_phys

Re: Hybrid rebates give scant improvements-----

Whats even funnier about the Audi diesel win is that it was almost a joke (well for Germans anyway)
The Audi R8 had won Le Mans so many times in a row and so easily that there was talk of introducing handicapping rules to let someone else win.
So they built a diesel version - which still won - as a sort of prank.