Cutting Weight: How Much Gas Does it Save?

Traverse City, Michigan—The change in consumers’ car choices over the last few months has rocked every automaker, import as well as domestic. Toyota’s Bob Carter illustrated the change yesterday with a single, stark statistic: In May and June, more than 50 percent of the vehicles sold in the US were fitted with four-cylinder engines—for the first time in history, or at least since World War Two.

But lost amidst talk of hybrids, plug-in hybrids, full electric vehicles, and techniques like gasoline direct injection, is a simple fact of physics: The greater the weight, the more energy it takes to move.

Or put another way, cutting vehicle weight saves gas. And despite idealistic notions of an entire nation driving Honda Fits, it won’t happen—too many people really do need midsize, full-size, or truck-based vehicles.

So what’s the actual impact of cutting weight? On Tuesday, Michael Bull, director of technology at Novelis Corporation, presented data from two studies that quantified the fuel savings from a given weight reduction.

The first study, conducted by respected British design and consulting firm Ricardo, looked at the fuel savings in different vehicle classes from reducing weight by 10 percent—while keeping performance comparable. The study showed that a 10 percent weight reduction would cut fuel consumption 3 to 4 percent using the same engine. But the savings rose to 6 to 7 percent if the engine was downsized for the lighter weight—and those numbers stayed constant across most vehicle classes, and applied equally to gasoline and diesel engines.

Aluminum is the traditional way to cut weight from a metal body structure. For a midsize car, making “closure panels” (doors, hood, trunk) out of the lighter metal can save 140 pounds or about 4 percent. Substituting aluminum for major parts of the car’s “body in white,” or base structure, takes savings to 470 pounds, or 12 percent—and downsizing the drivetrain for the lower weight brings the total reduction to 17 or 18 percent. That improves fuel consumption by 11 or 12 percent.

A second study, from Ibis, then compared the cost-effectiveness of different tactics for reducing weight, comparing gasoline, diesel, and hybrid drivetrains in both steel and aluminum vehicles. With the steel vehicle as the baseline, increasing the aluminum content of the structure cost $44 per unit of mileage—but adding hybrid drive to the steel vehicle cost $259 per mileage unit, with a diesel engine coming in at $192. Combining an aluminum structure with the hybrid drive reduced the cost per mileage unit to $173, and it fell further to $104 with a diesel engine in the aluminum structure.

In other words, cutting weight may be a more cost-effective way to save fuel than adding hybrid-electric drive. In reality, new fuel-economy regulations and carbon constraints will most likely encourage automakers to combine several techniques in the same vehicle.

But it’s noteworthy that Ford—whose CEO formerly worked at Boeing, where every ounce mattered in its products—has cited weight reduction as one of its five core strategies for sustainability. Even more significant, last month Toray Industries, Nissan, and Honda agreed to work together on developing carbon fiber for auto bodies, with the goal of replacing most of the steel in a car body—for a projected weight savings of 40 percent.


  • PatrickPunch

    To really save fuel it will not be this or that or something else. It will be weight saving, low air resistance, right sizing (nearly no one needs a SUV), right powertrain AND right driving style.

    So Ford, GM and others consider a light weight and streamlined hybrid like the Prius (1300 kg and Cx 0.26). Push the hybrid technology further to become even more efficient. There is still some potential for improvement.

  • Armand

    “”Or put another way, cutting vehicle weight saves gas. And despite idealistic notions of an entire nation driving Honda Fits, it won’t happen—too many people really do need midsize, full-size, or truck-based vehicles.””

    Please tell me who these people are???

    Anyone who’s sat in a Fit and has half a brain will realize that have a child or two with a car the size of a Fit is plenty.

    Seems like parents these days get half their brains drained out when they have kids…they automatically think they need a freaking SUV that weights 4000lb+.

  • EuroJohn

    Saving weight huh..? Hey maybe the good start would be somehow motivating fat PEOPLE to lose weight? Knowing that increasinly many people in developed countries are FAT SLOBS, it does not much help if you reduce the car’s weight but put it right back on into the passenger(s), not does it?

    Taxing unhealthy food outlets to the point they would no longer be able to profit at the expense of people’s health would be a good point to start.

    Cars like the VolsWagen 1L (http://gas2.org/2008/03/12/the-worlds-most-fuel-efficient-car-285-mpg-not-a-hybrid/) should be the “normal” single/double occupant car, not the Honda Fit.

  • Noz

    God forbid you offer a socialist point of view in the good old FREE USA.

  • Cameron Baron

    Noz, I don’t believe anyone elected you arbiter of what constitutes comfortable… we come in all shapes and sizes. Anyone over 6’0 is going to be a little cramped in a fit. Besides… it can still only seat 4. A hybrid SUV can move 7,8 adults around in relative comfort.

    Another point. I can’t carry tools, or haul farm supplies around with a Fit. So when you say, “Please tell me who these people are” look no further.

  • Bryce

    Sadly Cameron…..Arbiters usually appoint themselves and are msot surely not elected…..lol. I can tell you who needs those trucks….all of my neighbors who haul hay for the cows milk that you drink!

    Lots of people use bigger vehicles for work. A Fit isn’t going to hold all the equipment for a plumber or an electrician. For those of us that actually leave the city though and go camping, it is kind of difficult to tow a trailer with a dozen canoes in it with a Fit or put a dozen 50 lbs. backpacks. Don’t generalize about other people because not all of us just live in a bubble as you may indeed do.

    Remember that 10% of 5000 lbs. vehicle is a lot more than in a 2500 lbs. vehicle so saving weight on these big vehicles is just as important in our ultimate goal of conserving fuel and energy. : ) Let’s all work together instead of bashing one another whether we drive a Fit or an F-350.

  • Armand

    Yes indeed…I see ALOT of those folks with hay in the back of their trucks on the 405 freeway during rush hour…I tell ya. (sarcasm off).

    I’m sorry but the majority of people DO NOT go camping…nor do they fit a dozen canoes in their cars…not do they carry 50lb backpacks.

    Funny enough….most people could do all those things with a Fit….how ironic.

  • RKRB

    Thanks for the article. It’s always good to see solid quantitative research rather than anecdotes or opinions.

    Here’s another possible solution for people who “need” a larger car. You can buy a good dependable used larger car for very little money these days and drive it only on the few occasions when you could use a larger car, while driving your smaller car when you don’t. We, too, occasionally “need” a 4WD car for the snow. Rather than buying a new large 4WD for those rare but necessary occasions, we kept our old Explorer when we bought a new hybrid three years ago (the Explorer was worth very little on a trade). We have only put a few hundred miles on the Explorer since then (and some of the miles have been put on by friends who occasionally borrow it to haul things — it’s much better to do this than to have them consider a larger car too).
    BTW we recently returned from Europe, and we saw many small cars which appeared to have families in them (the BBC did, however, report a family received a ticket after they put 20 people in a Volvo sedan, so this can be carried too far!).

  • Bunches McGuinty

    I am a mama of 3 kids…so I do need something bigger than a fit. We have an altima (1999, in good shape getting 33mpg hwy) and with the kids in the back and dh and me in the front two seats, its rather tight to say the least. NOT a situation for a trip more than the store and back. So we have a minivan.

    As a consumer, I’d love to see cars that comfortably fit 5 or more people, on a car chassie (like the van) that actually gets good milage. I don’t need 4wd, i don’t haul loads, and I don’t go off road. Maybe one day Toyota will bring the hybrid van to the US! (My 2000 Honda van gets about 24 hwy and well, alot less in the city. better than many SUV’s but still, not great by a long shot)

  • Armand

    RKBB:

    That’s my point…you hit it on the head.

    Your approach makes sense and is good for everyone IMO. Most people don’t drive these big cars because they need it…it’s because they want it. They want to feel taller, bigger, badder than the next person.

    And as both and you mentioned, people in Europe do just fine with small cars. As a matter of fact, I have many European friends here who have children…none of which drive SUVs. They prefer saloons and wagons over them. And they are just fine.

  • Tomak

    Go to Homedepot and buy a washing machine and put it on top to your Fit. ha ha Or how about this lets say you remodel your house how are you going to load all your boarding in a Fit. Have you ever moved in your life? Lets say you travel 1,000 miles to mamas house with 3 kids. If they sit and watch TV in the back for half the trip instead of driving you crazy all the time you would gladly take a SUV or Mini Van over a Fit. People like options get over it. What we need is more full hybrid SUV’s and sedans.

    Yes people buy cars to be “tougher”, also people buy luxury cars to express wealth. My point is yes people make choices that seem irrational but there is also real reasons why people choice different vehicles.

  • Mike123456

    Well, since you are American, maybe you should buy American! Saturn has the hybrid Vue that gets 30 HWY. get a life and start becoming a american and stop supporting foreign companies..

  • Bryce

    Noz……

    When I go in these trips, we use the big vehicles to haul the stuff and tow the trailers, but once we are home, we drive our little cars around. One of the guys has an old Honda Civic. Don’t you worry about us. We have been doing this for nearly a hundred years. (my old Boy Scout troop) We aren’t morons, we are smart consumers and we see 4 dollar gas, that little civic beckons to us. But when the stuff needs to get hauled, the Civic is put in the garage for the weekend while we tool around the desert or the mountians with equipment.

    You have never seen a plumber or an electrician Noz…….
    These people need a little something more substantial for work. There are millions of people out there providing services to you that you seem to have forgotten about. Think beyond your cubicle please Noz and take into account the caterers, plumbers, electricians, truckers, and everyone else that uses vehicles to provide services to YOU!

    I suppose some people will buy big vehicles to feel macho and big and tall…..but I am already big and tall and don’t really care what size of vehicle I drive. (I just drive a nice little sedan and I am 6’2″)

  • Dave99

    RKRB: “It’s always good to see solid quantitative research rather than anecdotes or opinions.”

    Thank you. On this topic, does anyone have the name of the research papers mentioned in this article?

    I agree that American’s will often consume more than necessary, although there are many blatant generalizations in many of the comments listed above.

  • RKRB

    You can rent legitimate major cargo hauling trucks or a large car for a few bucks an hour (plus gas). If you only really use a large truck or car a few days a year, or just want to drive one occasionally, you certainly don’t need to buy one for the rest of the time.

  • Armand

    So TOMAK..

    What are you saying?? That you need to BUY A $25 thousand dollar truck and pay $700-800 a month in insurance, maintenance, fuel, and payments??? JUST SO you can take a washing machine home every 7-10 years? Or a frig? Or a big screen TV???

    Regarding moving…when I move, I use my BRAIN. I hire people to help me OR RENT a stupid truck or van.

    Hmmmmm…laugh at yourself…because I usually pay $50 and have it delivered.

    What you say makes no sense whatsoever. What you are saying is the same as if I were to say I NEED to buy a sports car because every 5 years I go and take it to the track.

    Honestly it’s just plain retarded. Most of you can easily do with a vehicle with half the size, half the weight, and twice the efficiency….and you damned well know it.

  • Armand

    Bryce:

    You’ve mentioned those excuses before…but unfortunately the majority of people don’t have that lifestyle nor have those “needs.”

    I’m sorry the but general populous is neither made up of electricians NOR plumbers.

    Think a bit more realistically and come to any populated city to see what you are stating is out-right false. You’re making the minority a majority…and simply isn’t so.

  • Bryce

    I never said that everyone needs a vehicle larger than a Fit, I just said you should not be somehow criticizing everyone for using these vehicles who legitimately need them. Those guys who you hired….. they were driving bigger vehicles for their work, and there are millions of others using vehicles for work. Whether they be electricians or plumbers or even mailmen and police officers. They aren’t driving Priuses, they are Crown Victorias with V8 engines in them. When a hybrid run down criminals and haul your couch and what not to the next town, then I will be all for it, until then, please relax and don’t tell yourself that a little 1.5L engine is going to move the economy. (unless of course it is a pizza delivery guy…..that may work…lol)

    As for not visiting nature, that is kind of sad that you would take the time and money to get a hybrid or what have you to not even enjoy they environment you are saving. You are saying you have never gone out to the mountains or the local river or lake and taken it in??? You really just sit around in your little bubble of an apartment or gated community or whatever and suck polluted air all the time. What’s the point then. You might as well just get a truck or sports car and pollute all you want if you aren’t going to enjoy the beauties of nature.

    As for renting vehicles, you should tell me where you are getting these cheap rentals cuz I have never seen something that would be more economical then simply owning your own. Then again, myself and the people that I know go pretty regularly. Then again, there are probably thousands of people in my town alone that are involved in different Boy Scout troops that are very active that go camping and what not regularly. That isn’t even counting those people that simply go out with their families. O, and where are you getting your trucks? $900 a month? I could probably pick up a nice pickup truck for 300-400, insurance less that a hundred (no accidents and been with the company a long time) and a couple hundred for gas. That is 600…..700 absolute max, but only if I was only driving it. I wouldn’t do that though cuz I just drive my sedan around town. Even if the renting thing was slightly cheaper, you wouldn’t own anything tangible after doing that for years. We have had our Suburban for ten years and will probably have it for another ten more. It inly has 60,000 miles on it though. : ) People are smart consumers and we will be fine without your fine judgement Mr. Noz. Thx for the attempt though. lol

  • Armand

    “”I never said that everyone needs a vehicle larger than a Fit, I just said you should not be somehow criticizing everyone for using these vehicles who legitimately need them. Those guys who you hired….. they were driving bigger vehicles for their work, and there are millions of others using vehicles for work. Whether they be electricians or plumbers or even mailmen and police officers. They aren’t driving Priuses, they are Crown Victorias with V8 engines in them. When a hybrid run down criminals and haul your couch and what not to the next town, then I will be all for it, until then, please relax and don’t tell yourself that a little 1.5L engine is going to move the economy. (unless of course it is a pizza delivery guy…..that may work…lol)””

    I’m not criticizing people who NEED a particular vehicle. I’m criticizing people WHO THINK THEY NEED a particular vehicle….you can relate to that right?

    Uhhh…yeah….1.5L engines work just fine for most of the rest of the world…seems to work for other law enforcement agencies, electricians, and plumbers. So what makes you so special Mr. Bryce? You just feel more entitled?

    Interesting….FedEx/UPS and host of other firms are now beginning to use hybrid trucks/vehicles….you know….those trucks that move around thousands of pounds of mail for YOU and ME everyday. Even heavy lift and farm equipment are beginning to use hybrid technology. So what you are saying is absolute rubbish…once again.

    “”As for not visiting nature, that is kind of sad that you would take the time and money to get a hybrid or what have you to not even enjoy they environment you are saving. You are saying you have never gone out to the mountains or the local river or lake and taken it in??? You really just sit around in your little bubble of an apartment or gated community or whatever and suck polluted air all the time. What’s the point then. You might as well just get a truck or sports car and pollute all you want if you aren’t going to enjoy the beauties of nature.””

    Ummmm…I never said that. You did. Are you reflecting your personal views on others now? Is that your new tactic somehow? But what I will say is that I also don’t think I need a 8 passenger SUV weighing 5000lbs do it in. Is that clear enough for you? I hope so because it ain’t gonna get any clearer and concise than that.

    “”As for renting vehicles, you should tell me where you are getting these cheap rentals cuz I have never seen something that would be more economical then simply owning your own. Then again, myself and the people that I know go pretty regularly. Then again, there are probably thousands of people in my town alone that are involved in different Boy Scout troops that are very active that go camping and what not regularly. That isn’t even counting those people that simply go out with their families. O, and where are you getting your trucks? $900 a month? I could probably pick up a nice pickup truck for 300-400, insurance less that a hundred (no accidents and been with the company a long time) and a couple hundred for gas. That is 600…..700 absolute max, but only if I was only driving it. I wouldn’t do that though cuz I just drive my sedan around town. Even if the renting thing was slightly cheaper, you wouldn’t own anything tangible after doing that for years. We have had our Suburban for ten years and will probably have it for another ten more. It inly has 60,000 miles on it though. : ) People are smart consumers and we will be fine without your fine judgement Mr. Noz. Thx for the attempt though. lol””

    Really? How is owning a car everyday cheaper than renting one a few times a year? Hmmm…warped logic and math to me. Maybe you have a new, modern way of interpreting numbers and what not….enlighten us.

    $600-700 a month huh? Hmmmm….I’ll just say I think you know better and are just acting ignorant. We have neighbors who drive around in a Ford Edge….their monthly fuel bill ALONE is $450 a month. That doesn’t account for their $650 a month payment, nor does it account for their insurance. So tell me what truck you can buy for $600-700 month. Please…again….enlighten us. Of course, if you drive about 2000 miles a year, then I’ll believe you…lol.

    Who cares if I don’t own anything after a few years? Somehow it doesn’t register that owning a vehicle ALWAYS has expenses…even if you pay it off.

    Unfortunately you are applying your very limited position to the general public when in fact the opposite is true. Most people DO NOT drive 60000 miles in 10 years….they drive way more than that…and they waste FAR MORE fuel and resources for far less efficient activities.

    So while I commute 20 miles round trip and hopefully am able to use a hybrid or electric car and not use a drop of fuel, I’ll think of you while you somehow justify your use of a huge vehicle to get loaf of bread and you can keep telling your kids how cool it is.

    Oh…and no problem about the attempt…it was my pleasure. Hope you can do better next time around.

  • Bryce

    hmm, like I have said in the last 3 posts, the big truck isn’t for getting bread, it is for the trips. The sedan is for the around town stuff. Can you read???

    Are you serious though, do you want your police force tooling around with a 1.5L under the hood. Do you even know what that means??? That means 100 HP. Probably a 2500 lbs. vehicle as well. Not something that is going to stop a bad guy in anything bigger when they are chasing or ramming or what have you.

    Again, like I said in the previous post of mine, I look forward to when most work vehicles can be equipped with hybrid/electric drivetrains and more power to those companies that are early movers and advancing the technology.

    I am starting to feel as if you are just arguing for arguments sake here. Maybe you just are not paying attention to what I am saying.

  • David

    Unreal. You see an empty pickup on the 405 and you think that’s all it’s used for. You think your observation of a few minutes on a weekday morning is the extent of the life of the person who’s decision you ridicule.

    Here’s an example of what you miss. My wife drives a Grand Caravan (2000). You are *most* likely to see her commuting back and forth to work – about 10 miles each way. What you DON’T see are all the times she hauled Girl Scouts on field trips. The number of camping trips she DID take. The vacations where we packed up the van because it was cheaper than 4 plane tickets (we have two daughters). The annual trips taking our older daughters (and her belongings/furniture) to and from college. I drive a Camry that has gotten over 30MPG on the highway – my commute is a lot longer than hers (about 30 miles now).

    That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who are as wasteful as you say. I know more than one person driving an SUV because they think they’re safer when, in fact, I won’t ride with them driving because they make the roads more dangerous (from their driving style, not just that they have an SUV)

  • azb

    I so agree with Noz – it is so dumb to have a huge vehicle so that you can haul large appliances home from the store. Hello. Most big box stores have vehicles that you can rent for a couple hours to do that.

  • RandalH

    Until we give up on the idea of suburbia, with its need to use a car for every daily task, Americans will think they need a large vehicle to move themselves, their families, and any stuff they have or will have from point A to point B. American parents are basically chauffeurs until their kids turn 16 and are able to finally become mobile and self sufficient. I lived in Europe for a while, and it’s striking how early kids are able to get themselves to their appointed tasks without the need for mom and dad to transport them. America was that way, too, until the advent of suburbia. That’s because we lived in towns that were walkable/bikeable and allowed mixed uses so that homes could be near schools, shopping, etc. Nothing will really change here until we decide to return to more traditional living arrangements and abandon the car culture.

  • Bryce

    In those cities though my friend, people lived in apartments and were cramped into the urban environment that came to ridden with crime. Suburban sprawl is the result of a middle class attempting to enjoy their lives without living in dirty crime ridden areas. Besides if the commute is within thier means than it is their right to live wherever they want. I would love to live closer to cities, but they are usually crap holes anyways. So I will move there……but you first.

  • Armand

    YES BRYCE…I CAN READ…but it seems like you can’t comprehend…because what I said was YOU ARE NOT THE AVERAGE PERSON WHO USES THEIR TRUCK SO UNOFTEN….

    Do you understand???? Let me make it clear for you again…I said was YOU ARE NOT THE AVERAGE PERSON WHO USES THEIR TRUCK SO UNOFTEN.

    Again….DO YOU UNDERSTAND?

    I hope so….

    I am starting to feel that YOU are arguing for the sake of arguing and not listening to the words you say yourself.

  • Armand

    DAVID:

    I’m not sure what you find unbelievable. Most people do not have 4-5 kids and most people do not go camping every weekend…or haul furniture..or whatever. It’s just plain retarded for most people to have an SUV…..it’s as simple as that.

    I know that you know what I’m talking about.

  • Armand

    “”In those cities though my friend, people lived in apartments and were cramped into the urban environment that came to ridden with crime. Suburban sprawl is the result of a middle class attempting to enjoy their lives without living in dirty crime ridden areas. Besides if the commute is within thier means than it is their right to live wherever they want. I would love to live closer to cities, but they are usually crap holes anyways. So I will move there……but you first.””

    How ironic…everyone wants to live in a city now and all those very nice high rises made everywhere are attracting people by the droves.

    I feel sorry for people who think suburbia is the answer. All you did was run away.

  • DaveTex

    Noz,

    You sound like a guy long on idealism and short on experience! And you seem to really want to tell other people what they should drive. That just isn’t the way this country works.

    Those who decide to drive a gas hog will pay the price. Some are getting burned right now with $4 gas. Many are wising up and downsizing. They’ll catch on in time, they don’t need to be preached to about it.

    I’m another one of those folks that actually needs a couple of large vehicles – I raise cattle. A pickup and an Explorer work well for us, the pickup(F250) gets lousy mileage, but we’re careful about how we drive both vehicles and can squeeze 22mpg in all around driving (highway, small town, and dirt road) out of the Explorer.

    Our plan is to buy a new high mpg vehicle for travel- (VW Jetta TDI is the present leading candidate), but keep both older ones because they are needed. We’ve already drastically reduced the miles we put on the pickup, because a lot of the work that it used to do, we’ve found we can do in the Explorer.

  • Bryce

    Actually Mr. Noz, I don’t own a truck. lol If you had read a little closer you would have noticed that I was referencing neighbors and friends in my old Boy Scout troop. But I guess you were too angry in your response to be paying that much attention. : ) (I drive a 98′ Chrysler Concorde) So very silly…..lol.

    None of my neighbors have moved to the inner city. I don’t know anyone that has done that. Maybe that is just me, but a few dollars in gas are worth keeping one’s family safe. Maybe that is just me though. : ) Where are YOU living Mr. Noz? In the middle of Oakland…….I doubt it.

  • RandalH

    Bryce: I will admit that in the US, many urban areas are not what they could be. That is changing though, as suburbs are being abandoned in many areas while people move back into mixed use urban areas. By the way, you or your children have a higher likelihood of being killed in an automobile accident than by crime. Where do you think the chance of that automobile accident is highest? Your children also stand a higher chance of committing suicide in a suburb than in the city. Despite the hype, the suburbs are not particularly safe. In my own town, crime is increasingly more prevalent in the suburbs than in town.

  • Bryce

    where are your police? Three cop neighbors around me…..I guess that is an unfair advantage. Is the crime just crazy folks losing it or actual gang members. There is a stark difference.

    I am actually curious though about suicide rates in and out of urban areas that would be interesting to know. Is there a website you could refer me to so that I could investigate that. That would be something very interesting indeed to research.

    As for it being more likely to die in a car than in a crime……yea maybe, but you are more likely to die in a car crash than in a combat zone like Iraq and I think people are a little more scared of goin there than driving. Driving is a part of American life and don’t see that changing any time soon. People are often more scared of flying than driving even though it is damn near impossible that anything bad will happen in the air. People designate fear to things beyond their control. It is silly but we do it anyways. Don’t worry about it. When it is your time, it is your time.

  • Armand

    Listen…the bottom line is you either change the way you live and you accept it with grace or the world will change the way you live for you.

    If some of you want to maintain this wasteful lifestyle, then by all means do it…but do it in a way where the extra waste you produce ends up in your laps, in your kid’s laps, and then their kids. Not at my expense or my family’s expense.

    And what is this latest excuse and rebuttal every other joe wants to use when they are told what they are doing is wrong…this canned response of “what do you think you are to tell others what they can and cannot do?”

    Well…if that’s the case, then let’s look at it on a more global scale…who the hell do you Americans think you are telling others what they can and cannot do in their own countries half way around the world? You bunch can’t even take criticism on an individual level let alone a national level…so please…stop with the excuses.

    You all want less involvement by others and from the government but won’t lift a damned finger to be more individually responsible.

    DaveTex…we ALL PAY THE PRICE for others’ waste…it’s not limited to only the one person doing it. I simply cannot understand how you can’t see that what others do affects everyone. We do not live in a bubble. If fuel usage in China quadruples…do you think it’s not going to affect you here?

    I hope you right about people wising up…because time is definitely against us all. So I really don’t appreciate stupid wasteful people.

  • Armand

    I live near Hollywood/Pasadena Mr. Bryce…and I thoroughly enjoy it. Kids who grow up here nowadays are also blessed with seeing some culture, more life, etc….not just being isolated all day from reality. I’m sorry you think living in the suburbs is actually healthy for your kids.

    City living is now coming back because people are realizing how stupid it is to live 50 miles away from anything in a McMansion where the most exciting event is going to get ice cream at the local shopping center that looks like every other shopping center in America….boy that’s just so exciting!!! I can’t wait!

  • Bryce

    rofl….poor Pasadena. Just kidding. Actually though my great grand father is one of the fellows who built that old bridge in Pasadena. My mother and father lived in Downy and Southgate back when those places weren’t crap holes. (not that they are worse than the inner city) My great grand mother worked at the LA mission when she was young. We have history in the area. Little do you realize though apparently, is that those areas were the suburbs not too long ago. They were nearly on the fringe of liveable areas with everything else beyond being citrus groves and dairies. Now however it is in the middle of suburbia. Now we are in Chino. I would have to say it is a pretty entertaining place though. 2nd largest painball field on earth (1st largest is in China I believe) 3 HUGE shopping malls within about 10 minutes (Montclair mall, Ontario Mills, Victoria Gardens) The second or third largest air museum in the states with all of its planes working and flying. (great air shows) Mount Baldy is about 30 minutes away to the north for some good hiking. (sadly had to turn down a friend to go hike it the other day cuz I was already going canoeing) Half a dozen bodies of water a hop skip and jump away for good times always. God knows what else, lol. What is in the inner city??? (hmm, well I have to admit I enjoy barbecuing at Laguna beach on occasion)

  • DaveTex

    “DaveTex…we ALL PAY THE PRICE for others’ waste…it’s not limited to only the one person doing it. I simply cannot understand how you can’t see that what others do affects everyone. We do not live in a bubble. If fuel usage in China quadruples…do you think it’s not going to affect you here?”

    Right you are, NOZ. But you’re getting all excited about it and trying to make others jump into “crisis mode” over it. There is no crisis. The market will take care of this. It always does. We’ll get more efficient cars, air conditioners, homes, industry, etc. The Chinese have already backed off their subsidies of oil. This will bring their usage down.

    And don’t give me that silly global warming/climate change BS! The data doesn’t back it up. Life goes on. Calm down.

    Patience, NOZ!!

  • Paul Beerkens

    How exactly is the market going to take care of this? It is cheaper (at least short term) to not be environmentally friendly which means greater profits and bigger bonuses for the CEOs. The only way to resolve this within the time we still have left is for the government to step in.

  • DaveTex

    “The only way to resolve this within the time we still have left”

    An absolutely incredible statement if I understand it correctly. Time we have left till…what? Till other energy sources are developed? That’s already well underway. Ethanol, biodiesel, nuclear, etc.

    Or till Al Gore makes all the money he can possible spend? I think he’s already done it, and I think you fell for it!

    Prices rise in times of high demand or low supply. The higher prices encourage people to develop alternatives. The alternatives add to the supply causing the price to drop till equilibrium is reached. And everyone lives happily ever after. The end.

  • Samie

    Nice to see you understand basic economics DaveTex, do you remember the part about negative externalities or hidden costs? by the way where did you come up with that name. I won’t say it…. But I will say Dave calling out Al Gore (anti Christ) tells me allot.

  • DaveTex

    Samie,

    I’m a simple guy. Say what you mean.

    My reason for mentioning AlGore is that he has received so much publicity (and money) pushing the global warming hoax. He is so obviously a hypocrite (huge energy wasting home, flitting about in private jets, etc.). If he believed what he says, he wouldn’t be wasting energy. It’s a scam. He didn’t get to be prez, so he latched on to an idea and sold it big time. I admit, I’m jealous I didn’t think of it. But I didn’t think people were that gullible. He did and he was right!

    Anyway, that’s why I brought up AlGore.

  • donb

    Noz,
    I’m one, especially considering I’ve been remodeling a 75 year old house the last two years.
    4′X8′ sheetrock panels, 96′ studs, bags of concrete, and 10′ sections of plumbing pipe… Where will you put them, if your Fit? Please, stop pretending that you have a clue about other’s needs. Give the world a break and get out of the gene pool.

  • Samie

    DaveTex
    You can believe that there is no global warming, or that we are in some sort of cycle whatever you like to believe its your opinion. But I wonder why not going to a more “green” economy is such a bad thing (set aside all the envr stuff), sure taxes and government spending for EV1, solar, ect.. would happen but how many billions do we throw away each year to protect and pump oil from foreign oil barrens that may not have our best interests in mind? The foreign oil economy we are in now is somewhat scary.
    So I would agree with pumping more oil domestically but we don’t have a large enough supply, even if we could drill anywhere w/ federal permits.
    Going back to economics we are continuing to use more and more foreign oil. Even under Regan, Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. Conservation of fuel as brought down the price yes but why keep getting stuck in having huge gas spikes. Competition is desperately needed like EV’s, and improvements in production of biodiesels.

    I struggle like others here in using my truck only for functional things but I know its not practical in the since of fuel costs (so thats why I also have a Chevy Cobalt). Sorry I’m not a socialist either demanding all people use smaller cars. What I believe like some others is that we can move towards a society that gets all the options we want as consumers also be able to purchase vehicles that don’t pollute that much and many won’t have to worry about choosing gas over groceries. So if Al Gore wants to parade around and talk about these things its all right be me.

  • Boom Boom

    I think that Honda must be pretty happy to have their Fit, rather than a Yaris/Cobalt/Rio/xD/etc. used as the poster boy for small, efficient vehicles. It even beat out the Prius, the standard bearer for fuel sippers, in number of times mentioned by belligerent folks on both sides.

    I’m just sad I didn’t get hear earlier to join in the “my lifestyle is better than yours” fight. $4 gas is curing the nation of our desire to drive excessively large cars. If you need it, you’ll find a way to pay for it (and probably just pass the cost on to the consumer). If you think it is cool, you find something else. The ol’ pocket book is far more influential than any argument about principles. (I’m also happy to see that the global-warming deniers are still hanging around a hybrid website. I just wish they’d stop using the state of Texas in their name, ’cause other folks have to live there and don’t want the whole &()*& state associated with their ilk. Bush never got 100% of the vote there.)

  • Bryce

    Wow, arguments in terms of economics and not random blathering. I am in heaven. : )

    Anyways, I agree the market is indeed destined to fix this, atleast here in the states. Albeit there will be some regulation, (none of this laize faire crap) but that is cool. So long as it isn’t so much that it actaully counteracts developments in the market, it will be all good. As for negative externalities…….the economics answer to that is a little tax on said negative thing…..which would probably be gas. Not too much of course, maybe a few more cents on the federal level and a few more from the states depending on their needs. (less for somewhere like Montana but more for somewhere like California for roads and appeasement of environmentalists…….ah….I love federalism….each region specialized into its own preferences….God bless America!)

    O hey DonB, I am pretty sure all that stuff for your house that you mentioned would snap the suspension on a little Fit…… lol.

    And yea, like I had been saying in previous posts, there is nothing wrong with a truck for its excellent utility and if you have extra money or a spouse that wants a car to run around town once in a while or whatever, getting another little car for non-work related type of things is an excellent option. (the Cobalt was a good choice Samie, according to the new ratings this coming year for 2009, the XFE Cobalt gets 37 MPG highway. If I am not incorrect, I think that makes it the most fuel efficient compact car in the U.S……unless of course you count the Prius)

  • DaveTex

    Samie,

    What you say makes sense to me. I think our difference would be that I am confident the market will work to solve our energy problems. You don’t sound quite as sure, or maybe just more impatient to see things looking better! I am not against “green”. It’s part of the solution!

    I do think patience is important. How many people do you know who are planning to replace their Honda Civic with a Hummer? Not many, right? Almost everyone is going the other way. But that takes a lot of time. Most of us don’t replace our vehicles every year. By the time I buy a new vehicle, that VW TDI I think I want now, may be considered a gas hog! (well, diesel hog, but you know what I mean!) Leave the government out of it as much as possible. They will just “muck” it up and make it more expensive and less convenient.

    However, on global warming/climate change. Yes, I think we’ve been in a cycle – but that cycle seems to have turned down in the last year or two from data I’ve seen. Remember how small human input is in the environment compared with nature (natural cycles, volcanoes, earthquakes, etc.) I think there was probably an honest mistake years ago, when many people felt that temperatures were on a permanent increase and that people were causing it. Then others such as the infamous AlGore hitched themselves onto this movement for a profit motive. But I do believe the data has turned against them now. We’ll see how it plays out over the coming years.

  • Samie

    I have a little different view of the market (keeping this very simple) in that if demand keeps going down in say U.S. Europe, ect.. (wild care of course is the developing countries) due to alt. choices like plugins and EV’s and technology does not progress fast enough we may have a problem in that low or stable gas prices may incentive old consumer habits and the car companies would want to maximize profits by producing less fuel efficient vehicles. I hope this is just hypothetical. Which leads me to my main point there will be some hard choices by our elected leaders. Do you create taxes, regulations, subsidizes? Who for industry or consumers? Of course you see were I’m going w/ this I don’t believe we can ever create a switching point, (just from markets alone) if we don’t address some policy issues. While I don’t have the answers to these hopefully silly questions lets hope if markets do go that way, people like TexasDave are on board and don’t get sucked into the “No government policy is a good policy” and last hope people don’t want to return to the old H1 days.

  • Armand

    DaveTex,

    Global climate change is real. The data IS there. What you need to understand is yes…life goes on…but if we are so arrogant to think otherwise, it’ll easily go on without us.

    We live in a very fragile ecosystem where everyone so readily takes for granted. Small changes that the average person thinks is a complete joke, is an utter disaster to us.

    There is a crisis…it’s a crisis that affects us. It’s a crisis, that on a larger scale is pointless and irrelevant. But those minute changes we are so readily dismissing and snubbing our noses at will bite us badly.

    Forget global warming. That’s one of many problems we have. We are running out of fish, we are destroying our rainforests, we are polluting our waters. What does it take for people to accept that they need to be responsible for their actions?

    It’s unfortunate that people’s actions are so detached from their consequences. Just one day of having to deal with the waste we produce on an individual level will change your mind completely.

  • Armand

    “”Noz,
    I’m one, especially considering I’ve been remodeling a 75 year old house the last two years.
    4′X8′ sheetrock panels, 96′ studs, bags of concrete, and 10′ sections of plumbing pipe… Where will you put them, if your Fit? Please, stop pretending that you have a clue about other’s needs. Give the world a break and get out of the gene pool.””

    Rent a van for a few weeks and get over it.

  • Armand

    DaveTex…

    Samie is right….if the market was to correct itself, it would have done that back in 1973 during the first energy crisis. Instead, the market got worse. We use more fuel, more resources, create more pollution. Because it is cheaper.

    Until we accept that we are faced with a real global crisis, nothing will change in the name of the dollar. We could have done many things to make the quality of our lives better already. We chose not to because it’s cheaper to pollute and waste.

    What changes market forces is necessity….or the acceptance of necessity. Until then, nothing will change. Ethanol? That’s a joke. Ethanol only exists because various groups lobbied so hard they bought their way in. Self-interests…nothing more. It’s not a solution at all.

  • Shines

    Back in the olden days, before there were cars many people traveled in horse carriages. Some carriages were larger than others. Some folks could afford 4 horse carriages (and some even more) others had to get by with only one horse. At the time some folks (very few actually) complained that nobody needed a 4 horse carriage. There was plenty of room in a 1 horse. Because the 4 horses ate much more hay than the 1 horse that just increased the price of hay. The 4 horses ended up leaving more $#it in the streets and fouling the air with their “exhaust”. But soon enough horse drawn carriages were replaced by the horseless carriage which didn’t need any hay and left no mess in the streets. Soon oil fueled vehicles will be replaced by electric and the circle of life will continue… ;-P

  • DaveTex

    Noz,

    Get a grip! There is NO crisis! There is a problem (or problems).
    The market really will help solve it (them).

    In ’73, we had an artificial fuel shortage, that was cured when someone (insert your favorite villain) decided to reopen the oil tap.
    So we had cheap plentiful gas. That’s not likely to happen now. Global production of oil is pretty much flat out. It’s going to be very hard (expensive) to increase traditional oil production. BUT, we will soon have a few plug in hybrid vehicles that will be more efficient AND more importantly use some fuel from the electric grid rather than oil. And we already have ethanol (much more efficient means of producing ethanol are already underway). We have a little biodiesel. And if oil prices stay high, we will get oil from shale and tar sands, because the financial incentive will be there to make it worthwhile to produce. As supply increases, prices will drop.

    The earth has already survived a great deal of abuse from man. People have worked hard over the last 40 years to reduce and minimize that abuse (at least in W. Europe and the USA) and further significant damage to the environment seems to me to be very unlikely. I’m not worried about the sky falling! But this is NOT to say that we shouldn’t take reasonable measures to protect the environment. That is really already being done.

    Relax!

  • Bryce

    Well, ’73 was an artificial limiting of supply actually caused by inter-governmental politics not a limit of supply, which was pretty ample at the time. (governments caused the problems of the 70s, remember the inflation of the 70s and the recession of the 80s was caused by interest rates set by the federal reserve. 70s was mismanagement and 80s was correctional actions on the part of fed to fix inflation, which required a recession. ) The market is working currently to create great new options like plug in hybrids/electric cars and alternative fuels like ethanol and biodiesel. (I don’t mean to sound identical to the previous post, but it is true.)

    I guess in the Noz economy, no one buys anything and everything is rented. It would be like public bathrooms. rofl….sounds wonderful.

  • Armand

    BRYCE:

    Uhhh…that’s your take on what I said. Which is far from what I said. But what fun would it be if I didn’t let you be the spin doctor that you are.

    But let’s play in your world for a monent.

    OK….so I go boating once or twice a year. So I think I’ll buy a $20K boat with a $3K trailer and also buy a house to park the boat in when I’m not using it. Makes sense.

    I’ll buy an SUV that carries 8 passengers because I’ll probably go out with a group of people numbering more than 8 say probably no more than twice a year.

    Oh….and I’ll definitely need a truck for the times I go to Osh or Home Depot say about 4-5 times a year to buy wood and such stuff.

    I almost forgot….I’ll need to buy a permanent dumping trailer and park it outside my huge suburban home (for 4 people…can’t have less than 1000 sqft per person for crying out loud!) so that I can throw away all the excess material I tear up during my 3-4 year renovations.

    Finally….I’ll try to move away as far as possible from everyone else so that I can maximize my commute everyday and isolate my family from everything else.

    Sounds good!

    ————————

    OK…regarding the 70′s energy crisis…man made or not….the results are the same.

  • Samie

    As supply increases, prices will drop not sure again what that means for the future of transpiration. Markets correct themselves lil more of a gray area then what you seem to be saying. Again GM is a car company they are capitalists so they will try to maximize profits by producing profitable Suvs and trucks if gas prices go down or are steady for long periods. Does that cause continued development of say hybrids or the much needed Volt if its more profitable to produce lets say a Hummer? It seems that you are happy if gasoline say is $2-3 gal, good for short-term cycles but in the long run not a good thing bc of what you discussed, volatility in the markets.
    I must admit Ethanol corn or cellulose not good for the future. We must get beyond that sorry. Yes Noz is right ethanol made from corn is a scam, in that energy produced between planting, harvest, and to produce ethanol it adds more CO2 into the atm. The funny part is that ethanol produces less energy then gasoline making consumers get less mpgs per tank. Ok sorry about the rant but its true. Battery and recapturing energy loss is way more important then try get ethanol into all cars.

  • DaveTex

    Samie,

    Not sure if your last post was directed at me, but you seem to be afraid that the market WILL work! Your fear is that it will be short term. It won’t be one smooth straight line, but it will work long term also.

    I don’t buy the argument that ethanol is bad. Corn ethanol may be a stopgap, but cellulosic ethanol should be an important part of the overall solution. Even corn ethanol helps lower the need for foreign oil. But ethanol is only part of the solution.

    But all you hybrid bigots seem to forget the HUGE energy losses in transmission lines (for plug ins). I don’t know the percentage loss per mile, but you don’t want to think about it – it’s BIG. And how many miles are you from the power plant? Then what percentage of energy do you lose charging the battery? Hybrids are another part of the solution, but not the whole answer.

  • Armand

    Transmission line losses are no worse than the pathetic losses in burning fuel….a mere 10-15% of the total energy in fuel is actually used to move the car. I can’t imagine things can be less efficient.

    The market will not work because greed and money will not allow it to work. Case in point. While GM is pitching their BS Volt here, they are still shoveling their worst polluters in China. No regard for the future….

    No one said hybrids are the end-all be-all of solutions. But they are probably the first time in the history of mankind that any initiative in transportation has been made significantly to change the ludicrous ways we are wasting probably one of the most important resources at our disposal.

    Simply burning up fossil fuels is as stupid as the plastic products that are used for 10 seconds and then thrown away.

    5 minutes on the sample table, forever in a land-fill (or should I say the huge 10ft thick soup of plastic stretching from Hawaii to California….do any of you even know this?).

  • DaveTex

    Noz,

    Why is burning fossil fuels “stupid”? Or am I just supposed to accept that as a given?

    I agree with you on the wasted plastics. But I thought we were recycling those things now.

    You seem to have more concern about these matters than anyone – even at this environmentally sensitive blog. Where do you get this great concern? I think quite a few people vaguely agree with some of your concerns, but you kind of take it to the max. Turning problems into crises, etc.

    Green is good. Just don’t get your panties in a wad about it.

  • Cameron Baron

    I don’t think the die hard ‘greenies’ have to worry too much about a drop on energy prices putting the brakes on clean energy and conservation developments. Crude Oil prices are coming down but they’re still much higher than 5 or 10 years ago. Me thinks it would take a dramatic and fairly sustained cheapening of gasoline to shake off the trend to smaller more efficient cars on the consumer side.

    Government has a role going forwards but I think it should involve tax credits for alternative energy (think solar and wind) verses higher gas taxes, for example (which disproportianately affect the poor).

    Comparing our situation with Europe is problematic from the standpoint of demographics and infrastructure. Europe is much more urbanized and family sizes are smaller (which parlty explain bikes and small cars). Europe also has a very robust rail system which makes vehicles even easier to ditch (go rail!). The citizens of most EU countries are heavily taxed and that has had an effect as well.

    The politicians and pontificating celebrities *cough* Richard Branson *cough* of course travel the world in style for meetings on the subject of climate change, ‘going green’, etc

    I sometimes wonder if all this stuff is about keeping us ‘regular’ folk sized down. Enjoying some aspects of life, indeed consuming is ever the cause for raised eye brows from many… many who consume much themselves *cough* Al Gore *cough*

    My old man used to always tell me, “Sometimes people get their own little slice of heaven… and they’ll be damned if anyone else gets theirs”

  • Bryce

    So you have no intention of owning a home Noz. You think a home to put your family in is some sort of frivolous endeavor in extravagance. hmm…….

    As for all the toys you talked about. If you have a craving to go boating, that’s your perogative. I would expect though, if you made the investment into all those toys, you would probably use it a little more often than once a year. The fellow on the other end of the block takes his boat out it seems every other damn day. In all seriousness though, he definetly makes sure he gets as much bang for his buck out of that thing. My next door neighbor uses the RV atleast, and I emphasize ATLEAST, twice a month, but often more. I don’t really know anyone with an RV/boat that don’t use it pretty regularly. (the Colorado River beckons…..lol) And like I said, my neighbors use their trucks every day for work, being hay haulers and all.

    I am still stuck on the fact that you think a home is a waste. Where do you live exactly? In a card board box I assume?

  • Need2Change

    I would love to buy a Honda Accord.

    I also want a 3,000 sq. ft. home!

    I also want to vacation in Europe.

    I want to buy clothes in an upscale store.

    Yes, I only need an Aveo.

    And I could live in a 1,000 sq. ft condo.

    And I could skip my vacation.

    And I could find clothes in a second hand store.

    In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with buying something more than you need.

    For example, there’ nothing wrong with buying a Honda Accord, even though over 95% all Accord buyers only need a Civic.

  • Old Man Crowder

    Wait a minute. I forget what the article was about.

  • Bryce

    We left whatever the article was about a long time ago……rofl.

  • Samie

    Wow good discussions but Dave lets remember how many miles and energy it takes fuel tankers to reach your nearest gas station I should not have to explain this but fuel is being burnt just to get you the fuel you need to drive your car which I see this is the same argument you made about line loss. (W/c we should be using DC instead) The great thing about electric vehicles is that you could have a home grid-free system like solar, or neighborhood substations w/c could provide power without much of line loss your talking about.

    As for ethanol I still say no. Again less energy is produced then gasoline think of combustion rates. I will say we still need fuels for diesel for the simple reasons of torque for semis and work trucks. But it seems technology for batteries and again trying to capture energy lost is far more important then corn or any other ethanol based products.

  • Shines

    I still think a 4 horse carriage is overkill.

  • Cameron Baron

    Well you know if you could buy a 4 horse carriage, California would require dealers to provide a ‘carbon score’ on it :p

    Horse farts > CO2

  • Armand

    Samie,

    Interesting comment regarding the need for diesels for torque in semis, etc…

    Keep in mind that electric motors are far more efficient than any IC engine at the operating regimes most of the semi engines work in….electric motors have maximum torque from 0 RPM….and maintain most of that torque up to about 1500 RPM or so.

  • DaveTex

    Samie,

    Excellent point about burning fuel to get tank trucks to local service station. I don’t know what the comparative losses are, but I remember reading long ago that line losses were very high, and I suspect higher than moving fuel in a tank truck, but just a guess.

    There’s a big difference in corn based ethanol and cellulosic ethanol. Some claim corn based eth. is an energy loser overall. Other sources say that’s just not true, but all seem to agree that the cellulosic process is dramatically more efficient making ethanol a very worthwhile fuel. Also, even more efficient processes for producing ethanol are on the way.

    The fact that ethanol contains less energy per gallon really doesn’t matter (except that it limits range per tank full to maybe 70% of a similar gasoline setup). The key is $$ per mile and ethanol can be competitive there. It also helps our economy, means we buy less oil from people who want to kill us, etc.

    And for you wild eyed greenies, I believe ethanol burns cleaner.

  • Bryce

    Of course it burns cleaner, it is just burning stuff that woul ahve deteriorated anyways as opposed to something that was dug up out of the ground that was hidden away for eons and then burned into our air. People always seem to forget about this.

  • DaveTex

    Bryce,

    Yeah, but…

    As I understand it, petroleum is that same grass which we would make ethanol from, which in the case of oil, died eons ago and has been compacted, liquified and who knows what else. So why is oil worse than ethanol???

  • Bryce

    Because it has not been in the biosphere and the carbon sequestered to make whatever plant matter used to make ethanol was. The hydrocarbons of ethanol are sucked out of the air while the hydrocarbons of oil are sucked from the ground. Ethanol is akin to recycling carbon while oil is just like injecting more and more into the system. In that way, ethanol is a net zero polluter because all the things being shot out the tail pipe were already in the air anyways. That’s how CO2 levels in our atmosphere have gone from 280 parts per million to 380 parts per million in a few decades. This lowers the quality of air we breathe, lowers the ratio of oxygen in our atmosphere, and (if you believe in climate change) affects our environment in unforseeable ways.

  • DaveTex

    Bryce,

    Thanks for the good explanation! But, the oil carbon was in the atmosphere at one point… just a long time ago. And I believe in climate change, and rechange, and rechange,..etc.

  • Bryce

    yea, but it wasn’t all in the air at the same time. ancient ice cores have shown cyclical motions in the CO2 concentration in or atmosphere, but the numbers never exceeded 300 parts per million. Now we have an atmospheric concentration at 380 parts per million, the greatest concentration in millions of years of history. I am not particularly scared of climate change. Most climate models now show north America actually benefiting with greater rainfall and what not. I am more worried about regions like Africa where an already dry climate is getting dryer everyday. The conflicts that will come out of that place I almost guarantee will drag us into that crap hole. You know how involved we are in the middle east???? We get 20% of our oil from that region. Do you know how much we get from Africa (and mostly concentrated in the western and some inland regions) 24%!!! The DoD (department of defense) has just designated a regional command of Africa. (AFRICOM) This place is a powder keg and we are about to jump headlong into it. Climate change will just exacerbate an already tense region. You know the whole Darfur thing. That conflict has been exacerbated by a conflict over limited drinking from the only lake in the region. Formerly (before it literally dried up into nothingness permanently) it was one of the largest lakes in the world on which millions of people relied on. This is only the beginning. Go read the report on climate change by the DoD. There is a scary future that they paint for you there.

  • Valerie

    Hi Dave99, I work on behalf of the Aluminum Association and we commissioned the two studies mentioned in the article above. The title of the Ricardo study is:

    “Impact of Vehicle Weight Reduction on Fuel Economy for Various Vehicle Architectures”

    and the title of the IBIS powertrain study is:

    “Aluminum Vehicle Structure: Manufacturing and Lifecycle Cost Analysis; Hybrid Drive and Diesel Fuel Vehicles”.

    Here’s the URL for the IBIS powertrain study:

    < http://www.autoaluminum.org/downloads/IBIS-Powertrain-Study.pdf >

    If you need additional information on the Ricardo study please feel free to follow up with me. Thanks for your interest.

  • sasquatch

    why can’t the car co’s just put the $ they are investing in hybrid research straight into lighter materials… no research needed (which the gov’t would then penalize with tax!) and give that $ straight to the customer. they could even surcharge to offset the price some. Same principal applies to the wars we’re fighting to get more oil, dump that $ into renewables- we’ll cut the USA’s consumption in half! Logic… must be over rated. Oh well.

  • Anonymous

    Really I traded in my Lexus LS 400 for Honda fit, and I have more headroom in my Honda fit then I did in my Lexus, And I’m 6 foot 4. secondly I can easily put in 8 foot two by fours in the Honda fit, which I never could in my Lexus. thirdly, I average 36 miles a gallon. which, I didn’t get my Lexus. and lastly, I have more fun driving my Honda fit than I had ever gotten in my Lexus. If I would’ve known I had this much fun in the Honda. I would’ve bought one year sooner.

  • Bryce

    Lexus = Toyota….except maybe a little better. You should expect no excitement in one of those.

  • jenifer

    I have 4 children. I drive a minivan- but minivan/suv is a required vehicle when you are hauling a minimum of 6 people around.

  • Betsy Ross

    It’s nice of you Socialists to tell me what I need. I feel like I need my SUV to haul my many yards of cloth and sewing supplies but I suppose you are the smart ones.

    Since we are on the subject no-one needs to go 100 miles an hour, or even 90 or 80 so lets “fix” all cars to not go over 70. Hey.. no-one needs to take off fast, it wastes fuel and that affects everyone.. 0 to 60 in ten minutes is more fuel efficient. For that matter have you even gotten this trip approved by the Government? I mean a Sunday afternoon drive is certainly not necessary and wasteful.

    Lets put the Government in charge of our thermostat in out homes too.

  • Betsy Ross

    Hey Sasquatch,

    Dumping money into solar really works right? HA now we have Solyndra to show us how that works.

  • austin

    i love this website

  • tapra2