Any sizable decrease in demand will reduce the price of gasoline, even if it isn't apparent to those of us who don't make a study of it. It may mean that the price of gasoline will only go up 5% instead of 10% over the next few years, but lowering demand will impact gas prices. If the US was still using as much as we did 8 years ago the price of gas would be much higher than it is today.
And the pollution from building a battery one time is much less than the pollution of burning tank after tank after tank of gasoline, especially since the battery materials will be re-used and then recycled. It isn't even close, unless you use comparisons of the type that claim a HMMV is greener than a Prius.
Originally Posted by Draigflag
I wouldn't be sure about the price of gas coming down. Our goes up and down all the time but not by huge amounts. It is pretty cheap at the minute at just over $10 a gallon (UK gallon)
I wouldn't be so certain about the air being cleaner either. Hybrids and electric cars have huge batteries do they not? Have you seen the process involved in mining, distilling and processing all the chemicals and the effect it has on the surrounding climate? I'm guessing from the battery making process alone, it would take decades to break even with the carbon footprint!
My point was that people think switching to electric is greener, it may be, it may not be but it's just a different type of fuel. One could argue that electric is some cases is obtained through the burning of fossil fuel anyway, so as a direct comparitive, it may not be classed as cleaner, just different.
Gasoline going bad after a few months is rather exaggerated. Something with a carburetor might suffer after the fuel ages for 6 months or a year or something. You'll get a lot more time with a modern fuel-injected computer controlled engine that compensates for changes in fuel. In my experience, lawnmowers are very sensitive to fuel age though; old fuel that will run my carbureted car won't run a mower.
I know ethanol is the devil and such, but when you have old fuel that has some water in it the cure is ethanol. I don't think it'll be an issue.
Anyway, the proof is in the pudding, eh? Ziv's fuel gets pretty old. Any lameness, Ziv?
The Volt's computer is said to be programmed to start and run the gas engine every so often, even if it isn't strictly needed, just to make sure to use the gas in the fuel lines. Presumably that will keep the injectors and pumps from gumming up.
PnnyPnchr, as the HolyCow and Charon have pointed out, stale gas doesn't seem to be a problem. I use a gallon a month, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less, and it really hasn't been an issue. As Charon points out, the Volt is engineered to prevent problems from occurring due to the lack of gen-set use, so every 3 months or so the gen-set comes on automatically and runs until the gasoline engine is warmed up. It ran for around 10-12 minutes when it happened to me and it took around 0.2 gallons.
Some Volt owners don't use the gas gen-set much, and they keep the gas tank only a quarter full so the gas doesn't stay in the tank/sealed bladder as long.
Also, the Volt gen-set will run if the temperature goes below 15 degrees, so I figure I will continue using around a gallon a month as long as I have the Volt. So far I have had my Volt for 11 months and it has used 13 gallons of gas, 3 of which were used by the dealer before I got it. So in 11 months I have used around 10 gallons, which is kind of cool.
Criswell keeps their Volts with just 3 or 4 miles of range in the battery. When you test drive the car, they have you drive 3 miles down the road, turn around and start heading back to the dealer. When the gen-set kicks in most drivers don't notice it if they have the radio/stereo on. I think it is really noticeable but then I was waiting for it.
Thanks for the link, Sammy. That is a nice endorsement of Chevy, Dodge and Ford. Obviously, Honda and Toyota are viewed as being great value as used cars but it is cool to see some American cars in the top 5. The Volt has been winning JD Powers awards for 3 years now for dependability, so hopefully it will be in the running soon. Given the tax credit situation it probably won't though. If you run the depreciation study against MSRP the Volt will depreciate like crazy. If you run the study by the actual net price people paid, you will have people saying you gamed the numbers.
Anyway, cool link!
Originally Posted by SlamminSammy
Here's another similar study on reliability of car brands. It was inspired by the aforementioned Yahoo article.
I wouldn't be so certain about the air being cleaner either. Hybrids and electric cars have huge batteries do they not? Have you seen the process involved in mining, distilling and processing all the chemicals and the effect it has on the surrounding climate?
May I suggest googling tar sands or gulf of mexico oil spill to compare how wonderfully clean oil is these days. That is before transport, refining, transport, delivery etc. Many of the tankers circling the globe are getting through up to 200 tones (not gallons or litres) of fuel per day just to move the stuff from A to B.