Re: [OM] About nothing at all

Subject: Re: [OM] About nothing at all
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 8 May 2013 16:09:42 -0500
> I think we have the highest Prius/capita ratio around. The local wealthy
> Greenies rushed out and bought them as fast as they came off the line at

The Prius success is definitely a result of the "being seen as though
you really give a rip about the environment". We bought ours, though,
because it really was the best bang for the buck.

> much lower capital outlay and is way more practical. Consider the carbon
> footprint of buying a new vehicle, battery disposal etc. But the
> important thing, it makes a green statement.

The calculations are a bit tribal in nature. The anti-hybrid crowd
will identify all sorts of hidden costs buried in hybrid cars, but
fail to account for recycling or fail to account for the same hidden
costs in other cars. I ran the numbers for us and it worked and worked
very well. First of all, you have to use comparative cars, not some
shoebox on rollerskates. Then you also have to compare current tech
with current tech. Most cars now are starting to go electric in many
ways requiring those rare-earth magnets (which get recycled).

The Prius really is a nice collection of multiple technologies. The
actual cluster of gears that combines two electric motors/generators
with the gas engine is a bit of engineering genius. There really is
nothing else out there like it. Pure brilliance. I can deconstruct or
reverse-engineer just about anything, but that one took a lot of
puzzling to figure out. Turns out that the engineer that came up with
it took a long time to convince the other Toyota engineers how it
worked too. Simply brilliant. NOBODY else has anything like it. Other
things, like the coolant thermos, electric steering, electric
air-conditioning compressor, electric pump for the hydraulics, engine
cut-off when idling at a stoplight, etc., etc., etc., Tons of little
things. Toyota wisely stayed with NiMH cells, instead of stupidly
following the herd into Lithium cells which destroy themselves within
five years. (honestly, folks, you have to be pretty foolish to think
that Honda has FINALLY figured out how to keep batteries intact after
the third, fourth or fifth attempt). Toyota only uses about 60% of the
capacity of the cells to prevent premature destruction as well as
providing headroom for regenerative braking. Also, they gain maximum
life out of the cells by adjusting the peak point downward as the
cells age.

Just like old Beetles, the Prius is ending up as about the most
recycled car of all times. The finders fees for the electric motors
and generators and battery packs is indicative of the fact that none
of that is going to a landfill.

It's also a very well built car. Relatively comfortable (unless you
are 6'4" and in the driver's seat), safe and reliable. People who
destroy the batteries are typically hyper-milers. Another thing is the
brakes. If you drive somewhat gently, the brakes will last the life of
the car. Try THAT with anything other than a British automobile or a
Yugo which has a life shorter than a Twitter message. The Prius is not
an econobox. It isn't necessarily a premium car, but it definitely has
higher-end features and componentry. While ours was getting repaired
after being run over by a school bus (yes, a school bus drove over the
front end of our Prius), we had a Toyota Yaris and then a Toyota
Carolla. Both brand new and very well equipped cars. Neither one were
even remotely on the same level as the Prius. Lots of little things
make the Prius a pleasure to drive. (lot's of stupid things too, but
that's another story).

>From a cost perspective, we're averaging about $0.08 per mile in
gasoline costs, $0.01 in maintenance costs, and $0.075 per mile in
depreciation costs. So, not including license, insurance and other
stuff that varies from locality to locality, our costs are still under
$0.17 per mile. We had one minor repair and that's it. Yes,
depreciation for the car we bought (which was used) is ONLY 7.5 cents
per mile. Not shabby at all. I'm sure there are other hidden costs
that we'll never see, but there are hidden costs in any vehicle.

That's all.

Ken Norton
Options: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/listinfo/olympus
Archives: http://lists.thomasclausen.net/mailman/private/olympus/
Themed Olympus Photo Exhibition: http://www.tope.nl/

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>