Money Drives Growing Hybrid Consideration

Consumers considering a hybrid vehicle are now a majority, according to a survey released today by JD Power and Associates. The number jumped to 62 percent this year, from an even 50 percent in the same survey last year. The reason? For 7 out of 10 respondents, it was “lower fuel costs” or “better fuel economy.” And what about “being better for the environment?” Just 16 percent said that was why they’d pick a hybrid.

The gradual but steady rise over the past several years likely reflects growing knowledge about what hybrids can and can’t do for mileage, along with revised calculations to reflect the recent run-up in retail gas prices.

Fully eight of the top 30 models in the Automotive Environmental Index were hybrids: four from Toyota and Lexus, two from Ford and Mercury, and one each from Honda and Nissan. That index combines EPA data on fuel economy, exhaust emissions, and greenhouse gases with customer feedback on initial vehicle quality and how real-world mileage varies from stated fuel economy.

The survey shows that the mileage reported by hybrid owners is now far more consistent with government figures. Earlier surveys of Prius owners showed them getting as low as 81 percent of the mileage shown on the new-car sticker, said Mike Marshall, Power’s director of automotive emerging technologies. “Hybrids are still below the EPA figures,” he told, “but they’re not at four fifths any longer.” The changes to the ratings for 2008 models reflect a downward revision by the Environmental Protection Agency, to reflect real usage patterns better.

In contrast to hybrids, consideration of flex-fuel and clean diesel vehicles fell. Flex-fuel dropped from 47 percent in 2007 to 43 percent, and clean diesel plummeted by almost a third, from 23 percent last year to just 16 percent this year. The survey was conducted in May and the first week of June, by which time diesel prices had soared far above their traditional parity with gasoline.

More than 4,000 consumers planning to buy a new vehicle within two years took part in the survey, formally known as the JD Power 2008 Alternative Powertrain Study. It’s the third such annual look at why consumers consider or reject vehicles with power sources other than strictly gasoline. The study dates back to 2005, when Marshall noticed in a different survey that consumer interest levels in hybrids and clean diesels was high enough to spawn a more detailed survey.

This year’s version of that earlier survey offered just a quick snapshot of consumers’ interest in hybrid powertrains. There, 72 percent of respondents said they were “definitely” or “probably” interested in a hybrid for their next vehicle, before they learned the price premium. Once they knew that figure—Power used a $5,000 premium—the “definitely/probably” group fell to 46 percent of the respondents. Of the 20 technologies, hybrids ranked fifth most popular before pricing, and eighth afterward.

The earlier study focused on the tradeoffs consumers make in selecting among new choices in communications, safety, and information technology features, said Marshall. He had put questions on both hybrids and clean-diesel technologies back into that survey, he told, to “see what they’d trade off when they had a limited amount to spend”—not to understand how consumers viewed hybrids in any detail.

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  • David

    Only 16% of respondents said they would pick a hybrid for the environmental benefit?! Tisk tisk. We need better values. Looks like hybrids’ success will depend on expensive gasoline unless and until people start valuing environmental protection more.

  • Anonymous

    At a academic presentation I attended last year in the Q&A part a automobile engineer scolded the audience in saying that hybrids were bought only bc of people wanting to reduce CO2.
    What a difference a year makes and the attitudes of the major automanufactures, & the American Public. Its not as easy to have the common stereotypes that people once had about hybrids. Maybe someday we can laugh at how big oil and their buddies got greedy and helped push us out of the oil economy that we are in now.

  • Ross2445

    Convenience and fuel savings are whats driving the demand for hybrids. Some people will get mad at me but I say whats wrong with that? If demand continues we will see more improvements and choices in this market.
    I agree that people should purchase hybrids bc/ envr. benefits but convenience and fuel savings have allowed the market to expand beyond niche consumption. Also I fear what Dave says about gas prices (if say they were $2.00-3.00gal. again)w/c reminds me of the need for real gov. reform in providing longterm energy strategies.

  • Bryce

    wow, what a concept, people making market decisions based on their personal economic situation and limitations. It’s like they were concerned about their money or something. Don’t say tisk tisk to them, they are smart consumers. Not everyone looking for a hatchback wants to shell out 20k-25k when they could get the same thing for 15k-20k. When u are a working class bloke, every penny counts.

  • Anonymous

    Why is everyone hatin’ on diesel?

  • Bryce

    diesel is awesome, anyone who hates on it doesn’t love the environment. rofl Let the the counter-posts ensue.

  • Jeff


    Your comments are a bit weak when looking at the hundreds of thousands of morons who spent way more money on their commuter SUVs then they ever would have if they cared about economics.

    “wow, what a concept, people making market decisions based on their personal economic situation and limitations. It’s like they were concerned about their money or something. Don’t say tisk tisk to them, they are smart consumers. Not everyone looking for a hatchback wants to shell out 20k-25k when they could get the same thing for 15k-20k. When u are a working class bloke, every penny counts.”

  • Shines

    I remember when cars were poluting with:
    Carbon Monoxide – a deadly poison
    Sulphur Dioxide – a deadly poison
    lead – a deadly poison

    Now the polution is Carbon Dioxide (true it is a poison that every human produces and exhales) a greenhouse gas.

    Sorry, but the cost of fuel is more important to me than CO2.

    And diesel is more expensive than regular…

  • Shines

    Actually, I am more concerned about our wealth being transferred to nations that harbor terrorists than I am global warming.
    Either way, I now pedal to work on a hybrid electric bicycle.

  • chukcha

    Most of the people who can afford to care about the environment have already bought hybrid vehicles. The rest are persuaded by exterior design of the vehicle, initial cost, quality and fuel savings. There is nothing new here. I think that most cars (in north America) are bought by women; therefore if the auto industry wants to sell more technologically superior hybrids they should consider putting less emphasis on technology and more on good ‘ol design. If they bring in the the European versions of the cars to North America (think Ford focus) and put a mild hybrid in… it’ll sell like hotcakes. In most cases, women don’t care about the technology inside the car. They want to look good in it. They want it to match their purse and shoes. Yes, it may be very annoying to a lot of techies (like myself), but I think it’s true.
    In addition, don’t forget that the majority of upper class customers couldn’t care less about the environment, because they can afford to buy gas even at $10/gal. The point is, stop saving on gas and start thinking about how to make more money.

  • Chris22

    I just want to through the idea out there that economics and safety should the biggest concerns. My finance`had an 07 Civic and I had a 99 Trans Am I was looking to trade in. I did all the comparisons in terms of fuel economy and looked at Hybrids. I decided that I wanted her to have a bigger car so I bought her a New Accord (V6). I understand it is more expensive but its Cylinder Mgmt system produces a respectable combined 25 MPG and gives her more control for merging and navigating on I95 (Which is where she does most of her driving).The Civic is nothing more than a sardine can. Better me than her in it if an accident were to occur. If I could have afforded two full size sedans I would have bought 2 new Accords. Bottom line, most of the new Hybrids and “Super Efficient” normal combustion engine cars are nothing but death traps. Safety and a secure feeling for the people I love followed by my pocket book will drive all of my future car purchases…CO2 be damned!

  • Bryce

    Jeff, I was referring to the people in the small car/hatchback market, but since u bring up hybrid vs truck SUV, a prius isn’t going to haul 6500 lbs. 8 passengers, or a boat. So there really isn’t a comparison. Those people don’t use that capacity everyday, usually only on those trips a few times a year. They payed that premium for the large engine and body chasis just for those times. And remember this is during a buck a gallon times. Besides, there were so many of these big vehicles on the market, tons of people just bought them used, cutting the price premium by a ton. Those big machines will last ages too. Finally, they were in style, just like priuses are today and 300s were last year. More market demand for u. : ) If someone is really looking for savings on car, from initial payment, to insurance, to maintenance, to gas costs, there best shot would be an Aveo, followed by a Fit, followed by the Yaris, according to edmunds. (maybe, don’t quite remember) That is the places of inexpensive cars……..Prius came in 20th.

  • Bryce

    safety too, that definetly is another reason to get maybe……a real car. : )

  • chukcha

    …”Bottom line, most of the new Hybrids and “Super Efficient” normal combustion engine cars are nothing but death traps”…
    I disagree with this. As I see it, all cars, (and trucks) are death traps if you are a bad (or unlucky) driver.
    I think buying a slightly bigger car with bigger engine is totally OK if you can afford it, but to think that you’re going to actually be safer in a slightly bigger car is a false sense of security. Which is OK too, if you can afford spending extra on a false sense of security. 🙂 Let’s just concentrate on the road and avoid speeding. Your safety is in your hands. The size of the car has little to do with safety. It’s a marketing gimmick that North American car companies love and people fall for it. Please don’t start giving me physics examples about big heavy objects sustain less damage than smaller objects during collision… The point is to avoid a collision. Be safe and take public transit more often. [because transit drivers are more experienced; not because a bus is just bigger!] 🙂

  • chuckcha

    “Either way, I now pedal to work on a hybrid electric bicycle.”

    In my opinion, almost all countries harbor terrorists. (Because it’s sometimes profitable to harbor them and then blame them for all your troubles and start a war… that the tax payers pay for… 🙂 There is nothing we can do to change that. Global warming on the other hand affects all of us and we can all contribute to reduce it. I love electric bicycles too btw. Thumbs up!

  • Chris22


    How has Global Warming affected any of us? …It hasn’t…And there is nothing we can do to dramatically affect the climate. Do what you feel is right, but that is the hight of arrogance to assume that we can ultimately control the climate of this planet.

  • sean

    Re safety vs size, F1 cars are only 600Kg and drivers can still walk away after an accident at 300km/h. Can you survive at that speed in a Tundra?

  • Bryce

    I am not going to sight any physics, even though that would pretty much settle it. I watched a brand new Nissan Altima hit a 10 year old Chevy Silverado last week. The Altima fell apart and the silverado didn’t have a scratch on it. The Silverado driver subsequently came out and checked how the Altima driver was doing. I like smaller cars, but u can’t tell me that they can really stand up to many of the other beasts on the road. U might survive I suppose, but that car will be totaled.

  • Bryce

    O, and chuckka, european countries often have home grown terrorist groups because the muslims that emigrate to there are often sidelined as lower class citizens. Here in the states, that problem pretty much doesn’t occur with our long history of immigration. There hasn’t been a homegrown terrorist attack based off of any fundamentalist religious group here, whereas Europe has had about 5 in the past 3 years, each killing scores of people. Please don’t say all countries. Some places bring people into the fold quite effectively and quite acceptingly. CAnada would be another one probably. And if u choose to argue with me, I have many first hand accounts from people to support it, so please, try it. : )

  • HVA

    I would think twice before I get any car smaller than Accord or Camry or similar size US cars like Malibu or Impala.
    Yes, driving carefully helps but when there are so many big vehicles on road, you want to be at least in that group.
    As far as gas mileage goes, it’s marginally higher in smaller cars.
    You can save gas by driving smartly, avoiding unnecessary trips.
    As fas CO2 goes, plant a tree in your back yard!

    “If I could have afforded two full size sedans I would have bought 2 new Accords. Bottom line, most of the new Hybrids and “Super Efficient” normal combustion engine cars are nothing but death traps. Safety and a secure feeling for the people I love followed by my pocket book will drive all of my future car purchases…CO2 be damned!”

  • Hal Howell

    Global warming is nothing but a hoax. I’m 58 and the fact is if you live in the southwest, it isn’t any hotter now than it was back in the ’50s/60’s. It gets hot in the summer and cold in the winter. Now, why drive a hybrid? Answer, it gets the best gas mileage. My Prius consistently gets 45 to 48 mpg by driving at a decent speed. If you need to haul a boat, etc then get a truck and deal with the price of gasoline. However, you can get a hybrid truck or one that turns off half the pistons when not needed. These save gas, and put the transmission into neutral at stop lights. Even that is supposed to save some gas.
    Diesels do get good mileage and have had some improvements but diesel is higher than gasoline so I don’t see much reason to go that route. Add to that, the price premium of a diesel engine and the results are not any better than a hybrid and may be worse.
    Fuel cell based vehicles are super expensive and hydrogen is going to cost about the same as gasoline, so there is very little advantage over current hybrids. Yes, they do have 0 emissions but the Prius is close enough to zero to be acceptable and is much cheaper to own and operate. When Honda’s Clarity ( a beautiful car) is finally available, the very few people allowed to LEASE it will pay $569 a month for 36 months and have to turn it back in. The car actually costs $100,000!!! So much for being an affordable alternative. Maybe it will be in 20-30 years but it won’t anytime soon. So, what about electric cars? I would love to be able to drive an all electric car. The ones you can buy, top out at 35mph and have a range of 20-30 miles. While the range would work, the speed I need is 55-70 mph. Also most of those cars that are available, look like clown cars from a twilight zone circus. Can’t anyone make a Yaris like plug-in electric car that gets at least 40 miles range, will go at least 80 mph for under $20,000, and seat at least 2 people??? The problem is that we’re expecting exotic solutions that cost an arm and a leg when we could probably get by with something a little less grandiose. I like the Tesla, its a beautiful car and I wish them well, but let’s face it not many are going to be able to shell out $100,000 for such a car. The masses need a car that costs less than $20,000 and will get them to work. And it can also look decent at the same time. My wife loves her Yaris liftback. It has the Beetle cuteness factor (her words). By the way, she routinely gets 34-35 mpg! Like it or not, we’re stuck with gasoline and ICE based vehicle for the near future. Hybrids make the most sense.

  • chukcha

    “Do what you feel is right, but that is the hight of arrogance to assume that we can ultimately control the climate of this planet.”

    I feel a strong, emotional rhetoric in your words and I’m not going to try to change your position, because there are emotions involved. I do not pretend to be an expert on meteorology, so I have to rely on specialists (that have facts) when I form my opinion. Please read this:

    before you declare that my position is arrogant, because it is the height of ignorance to say that we do not dramatically affect the climate.

    Check encyclopedia Britannica too just in case you don’t believe the sources in Wikipedia.

  • chukcha

    RE: I watched a brand new Nissan Altima hit a 10 year old Chevy Silverado last week…..

    I think you missed my point.
    I’m not arguing about physics. A fact is a fact. The question I was trying to raise is what got the Altima into a collision with old Chevy Silverado in the first place?
    My answer is: It was the driver.

    RE: U might survive I suppose, but that car will be totaled….
    Bryce, In short, I don’t care about a car.
    My rules are:
    First, avoid the accident if possible.
    Second, have good insurance coverage so that it takes care of the wrecked car.
    Third, get a lawyer and sue the insurance company if you’re injured.

    …About injury or death… your driving skills (reaction) and luck play as big a role as your car.
    There are more ways to get killed in an SUV/truck than in a smaller car.
    First, false sense of security. (Not wearing seat belts)
    Second, rollovers (sharp turn at 50 km/h (35 mi/h) in some SUVs is enough)
    Third, more chances you kill someone during a collision. (If its your fault, you go to jail and pay $$$)
    Forth, longer stopping distance (more weight).
    The list goes on…

  • Bryce

    True, that person in the Altima was either a moron or a brand new driver cuz they weren’t even going that fast and BAM, just rear-ended that truck. Driving skills probably is the biggest factor. I pretty much agree with u 110% : ) I would say driving, like life, is dangerous.

  • chukcha

    RE: “european countries often have home grown terrorist groups because the muslims that emigrate to there are often sidelined as lower class citizens. Here in the states, that problem pretty much doesn’t occur with our long history of immigration.”
    Before we go any further, I want to say upfront that I don’t have the exact statistics about the integration levels of immigrants in the US.
    First of all, when I speak of terrorists, I do not talk only about Muslims… or any other religious group. You don’t have to be religious to become a terrorist… A terrorist is simply a brainwashed idiot psychopath. Anyway…
    As far as I know, during the last 3 to 5 years in the US there were many terrorist acts committed by regular disgruntled factory employees and in some cases crazy students that were gunning down a lot of people in schools or work places. In addition to that, there was a deadly attack in LA airport on the passengers of EL AL (Israeli airlines). I don’t remember the details. You have to double check this. In short, there were many horrible terrorist acts that happened in the US and Canada during the last 3 to 5 years.

    If you want to test the level of integration just do the following:
    Go to a small town and find a couple of job ads for some normal office jobs (not McDonald’s).
    Call them and tell them that your name is Hasan Abdulla al-Tikriti.
    Record the number of job offers you get.
    (Don’t try it in the southern states… for personal safety reasons)
    You get my drift?

  • carLover

    This is good in connection with their plans of making our life simple and low-cost in terms of having our own cars. But it’s really a high maintenance and expensive when you’re planning to buy one. And Auto Repair and Maintenance is one of the factors that really affects or needed by our cars. Hope they can manufacture more and cheap hybrid cars.

  • carLover

    This is good in connection with their plans of making our life simple and low-cost in terms of having our own cars. But it’s really a high maintenance and expensive when you’re planning to buy one. And Auto Repair and Maintenance is one of the factors that really affects or needed by our cars. Hope they can manufacture more and cheap hybrid cars.

  • Bryce

    Well usually things like kids shooting other kids and other random violence are characterized as crimes where as terrorism usually has a political agenda behind it, such as the Basque movement in france and spain which targets things or political gains and gets its media attention by ending lives. It is not a Muslim group, but a group of “freedom fighters”…….as they might call themselves trying to get there own state or something silly like that.

    Anyways, I told u I had first hand accounts, so here we go.

    My friend Sherri (her full name is shidrok something or other, it is difficult for everyone to pronounce, so she usually goes by Sherri) who goes to UCSC emigrated from Iran. That is a bit of an understatement, cuz she actually fled about 4 years ago and sought amnesty at a UN mission in Turkey where tens of thousands of others were seeking asylum. (they claimed they were going on vacation) They waited there a whole year to be taken in. It is not that no one wanted to take them in, Norway and a few other countries in Europe hands out amnesties like they were hotcakes. The thing is, they are known to these people, and my friend Sherri’s family, as places that are not very accepting of immigrants, particularly those from the middle east. (U should ask a German sometime about what they think of the Turks. lol, u will be amazed.) So, 9 outa 10 of these people, as I am told by my friend Sherri, wait for one of 3 countries, Canada, Australia, and the USofA. (Australia surprised even me as I have heard they are kinda racist over there with the aborigines and all, but eh whatever) These people waited a whole year in these lame asylum camps even when there were half way decent western industrialized democratic states to go to. Instead they waited for the US, canada (american hat) and Australia. (which I will not even try to fathom, but whatever, again) The U.S. has been known for this fine integration and acceptance because, um, its been doing better than anyone else for, o hundreds of years. Sure we have had some bad history with some groups, Irish, Italians, and what not. Everyone was sidelined at one point or another, but we were taking them in when others wouldn’t/couldn’t. Even those who went to places like Norway and the like were again, 9 times outa 10, just there until they could get into the states. Again, this isn’t something I read somewhere, saw on TV, or made up, but a first hand account from a friend, so I feel pretty soid about the source. : ) Europe sucks at assimilation. It is understandable seeing as they don’t have that historical experience, but I would expect more from “refined” Europe. I ahve every confidence that they will improve, but it will take a long, painful, time span until they even come close to our skills in integration and acceptance. whew, that was alot of typing, I have one or 2 other examples, so go down to the next post cuz I am not sure how many words this thing can take before it dies on me. : )

  • Bryce

    Next example is a personal experience. I go to UC Berkeley, which is about an hours drive from my friends school of UCSC. As U walk around campus, U can at any given moment see a dozen little turbans bobbing through the sea of heads. U woudn’t think anything of it right. (I wouldn’t) Whenever u strike up a conversation with them though, u will find that many of them are from Turkey. Why are they from Turkey u say??? Well, at Turkish Universitys it is illegal to wear head turbans or face shawls and the like because it is seen as too fundamentalist and they want to portray themselves as secular as possible. Why might a largly muslim country controlled by a muslim party in their legislature make such a law. That is because they are trying to emulate Europe in secularism. (not to mention they would love to join the EU, but no one really wants them so they pull BS requirements on them so that they can join) So, my turkish friends have all come to American Universitys because our schools let them do whatever they want. Hell, a few years ago, a guy walked around naked toa ll of his classes for a year, why would we care about some turbans. Ok, next example on next post.

  • Bryce

    My final example, is not a first hand account as the last 2 were, but from a news article I read on either CNN or MSNBC…don’t quite remember which. So anyways, this lady from some place in the middle East is at Citizenship board meeting thing in France. She is denied, and she wants to know why. The French board says that despite her fine command of the French language a seemingly good integration and accpetance of French culture, her extremity of fundamentalist muslim religion would make it impossible for her to fully integrate into French society, so that she must remain a non-citizen. Did I mention she is married to a French citizen, has lived there for nearly a decade, and has 3 French children of her own. Her crime….wearing a Burqa. Her extreme dress as they would say makes her socially unacceptable. The same outfit I see at school all the time, makes her a non-citizen in another, supposedly advanced state. They further cited her being “too subservient to her husband.” She had said that she saw the man as the head of the household in whom she utmost confidence basically. I hear that from housewives all the time, so I don’t see how that is particularly radical.

    So anyways, all this bad blood betwen Europe and immigrants, particularly the Muslim ones, is why u see more HOME GROWN attacks there. They are treated as non-citizens, outsiders, and scum. My fingers are getting tired, do I really have to give u more examples?

  • chukcha

    You’re right about Europeans sucking at assimilation. That is partly the reason why the US (and Canada) was created.
    To relocate the religious minorities and to “cleanse” the “refined” European lands from a lot of immigrants and poor people. Hmm.. now that’s a sad idea I’ve never thought of before.

    In any case, I like the Sherri story. I heard a very similar story from a Kurdish friend of mine. But it’s only one or two or 5 stories. What about thousands of others like: Iraqis, Lebanese, Israeli Arabs, Russians, Ukrainians, Keniyans and many more that come to US? Do they like to live in US? Do they assimilate well? How well?
    For answers for all these questions we need to look up the official statistics.

  • chukcha

    Hmm, so the Muslim immigrants come here to be able to freely keep their culture and wear Burks to school? That’s totally fine….
    ….about Turks. As far as I know Turkey tried to become a fully secular country since the 1920s when Ataturk created the republic.
    They are NOT largely Muslim country. They are largely secular country. In some European countries (France), they have something called complete separation of church and state. That is, any demonstration of religious artifacts is strictly forbidden. So what?
    Anyway…… we’re off topic here…

  • Dom

    Hate on diesel if you want, but looks like VW won’t have any trouble selling their new clean and efficient Jetta TDI and Jetta SportsWagen TDI:

    Go diesel!!

  • Paul Rivers

    “If I could have afforded two full size sedans I would have bought 2 new Accords. Bottom line, most of the new Hybrids and “Super Efficient” normal combustion engine cars are nothing but death traps…”

    This is a silly attitude driven by marketing that’s convinced you that a “small” car is substantially smaller than a “midsize” car. However, if you look at the numbers, the difference in size is rather small:

    Honda Civic –
    177 inches

    Honda Accord (previous generation, when it was a midsize car not a large car):
    190 inches

    In other words, a midsize car is only actually 13 inches larger than a small car. That’s a 7.3% size difference. If you assume that’s half in the front and half in the back and that you only get hit on one end of the car, it means that the midsize sedan has 6.5 inches of extra crash protection over the small car. Roughly 4%. As you can see, the midsize car is most likely somewhat safer, but it’s certainly not the “huge” difference that you would imagine between a “small” car and a “midsize” car.

  • Shines

    My comment about our wealth going to countries that harbor terrorists was more about the transfer of wealth that is happening because the US is importing 70% of its oil from foreign nations.
    The US became the world’s greatest superpower because of our own supply of cheap oil. Now Other nations are buying up America. You might want to read this:

    Anyway, I think we need to move quickly away from an oil based economy more for economic reasons than environmental.

  • Bryce

    I found it quite coincidental the countries that U cited that may have disgruntled immigrants. As far as Iraqis, they would be new immigrant group, and don’t have very large numbers, but there are some. I think Phoenix, Arizona is beginning to form a kind of little Iraq with a it now being the second largest congregation of Iraqis stateside. The largest would be in Michigan if I recall correctly, but Phoenix is beginning to grow because Iraqis often ask for a place warm at immigration, so Phoenix is the new go to place for them. With that group established, these immigrants have all the benefits of peace and a steady job combined with neighbors that are culturally understanding.

    As for Russians/Ukrainians, my friend Irina Degtiar will serve as a fine example. She was born in the former Soviet Union. Her parents moved to the Ukraine shortly after for work. (which was still part of the old bloc then) The lived in Kiev and about around when the whole thing started collapsing, they left for the states. She visits Kiev periodically and I have asked her about it. In her own words, the Ukraine is only good for one thing, and that is Kiev Cake, which she says is quite delicious. Other than that she says, it is pretty much a useless god forsaken place about as awful as rotten milk. She has no fine reminiscent feelings for that hell hole. She is happy to be out.

    As for the Turkish state, indeed, they have been a secular state……supposedly. If u follow Turkish politics at all, you would know that a Muslim party has taken over the legislature. (democratically elected) Last time that happened though, the extremely secular military overthrew the government. So that will be interesting to watch. Anyways, the point is that even though it is “secular” the population is still very much muslim. They in turn elected someone who represented them most closely. (understandably so, not letting them wear burqas and turbans, lol) We here stateside do the same thing, I was watching this thing on CNN, and the whole program was devoted to how religious the candidates were. They all argued that they would bring faith and good judgement into the oval office. Hilarious. CHurch and state is kept up pretty well, but there are certain things that happen despite that. (sessions of the supreme court and congress are inagurated with a prayer from a minister/pastor/chaplain)

    As for Kenyans…….well, there is Obama. : )

  • Bryce

    O, and being able to wear whatever religious clothing u want is called……uh….freedom. I say that is what.

  • Dunk

    Environmentalists can go to hell… Gas prices need to come down and I don’t care who needs to die to make this happen

  • Old Man Crowder

    Oh, now THERE’S an intelligent comment.

    Hey Dunk: What if that someone was you?

  • Shines

    Hey Dunk – next time post something intelligent.

  • steved28


    For the extra money you paid for the V6 Camry, you porbably could have gotten an Altima Hybrid, which comes standard with traction control, ABS, 5 star side/front impact. And with the additoinal 40hp electric motor at 199ft/lbs of torque (over and above the 2.5L engine), it probably is just as quick as your V6. “Death trap?” I think not.

  • Bryce

    yea, I do like the Altima hybrid more than the Camry hybrid. It produce more horsepower and better fuel efficiency than the camry. Sounds like a good deal to me. : )

  • chukcha

    “O, and being able to wear whatever religious clothing u want is called……uh….freedom. I say that is what.”

    That’s right, it’s called freedom in the US.
    But France is not US.
    In France it’s called breaking the law.
    That woman wanted to get French citizenship while defiantly breaking the law and traditional views.
    That means that she was not assimilated at all.
    No wonder she didn’t get it.
    If you live in a country, you have to obey its laws and respect its traditions. If you don’t like it, go to a different country.

    As I see it, she wanted publicity to show the media how different the French are and maybe try to slowly change the law. You see, this is exactly what French don’t like. Some people in France [probably] don’t like the immigrants trying to change their law and traditions.

    How would you like someone to come to your house as a guest and then trying to rearrange your furniture while proclaiming that you have a bad taste in interior design? That’s what a lot of immigrants in France are trying to do. They are trying to change France by intimidation. That is not called freedom. It’s called intimidation. It’s gonna get ugly in there…

    If she wanted to wear the Burqa she should have applied for US citizenship; not French.
    It’s like someone applying for Iranian, or Saudi citizenship while defiantly coming in half naked with a bottle of scotch it their hand… 🙂 Bad idea.
    I think, in this case, that woman is wrong and the French are right.

  • reginab

    I think with fuel prices today everyone who’s not pooping money is considering a hybrid just to cut costs. At this rate, you’d no longer see gas guzzlers SUVs everyday, but Priuses and the like.

  • Bryce

    So you just compared Saudi rights and privelages to the freedoms that we enjoy here in the US. Wow, that is pretty amazing. What can be said to that. Do understand what you just said? Are u French or something? You think it is ok for the French to discriminate against this woman because of the clothes she wears……I guess I should be allowed to hold slaves and force black people to give up their seat on a bus and give them sub-par segregated facilities. I guess Rosa Parks was wrong to have fought an unjust law. I guess we should all just lay back and let Johnny Law ream us from behind.

    Maybe they are trying to change France, and the rest of Europe so that they ARE MORE ACCEPTING. What kind of Republic denies it’s citizens things as simple as freedom of religion. A pretty crappy one as far as I can tell.

    Really though, where are you from that gives you such a poor understanding of liberties and freedoms???

    Sorry to be so abrasive, but seriously…..comparing Saudi Arabia to the U.S. or, hell, even France, is pretty ridiculous. Apples and oranges my friend, Apples and Oranges.

  • Bryce

    here, u can read the article yourself.

  • chukcha


    Where in my posting am I comparing Saudi rights and privileges to US ? Maybe you are referring to the last paragraph?

    “It’s like someone applying for Iranian, or Saudi citizenship while defiantly coming in half naked with a bottle of scotch it their hand… 🙂 Bad idea.”

    Well, Bryce, read closely and you will find that the above written is NOT a comparison it is called an EXAMPLE by simile. It’s a theoretical example…. oh well you obviously didn’t get it.

    I understand what I said and if you carefully re-read my last comment you will understand it too.
    What I said is correct. There is no need to be angry. There is no apples or oranges here. (I’m from Ukraine btw….)
    I stand by the French decision in this matter because they are right. They have a right to defend the traditions and values of their country. Just like that woman has a right to defend her religious dress style. (she is in the wrong country to do it that’s all)

    RE: “You think it is ok for the French to discriminate against this woman because of the clothes she wears……I guess I should be allowed to hold slaves and force black people to give up their seat on a bus and give them sub-par segregated facilities.”

    …Now what the heck is that? What does Rosa Parks have to do with this case? Remember, we are talking about this particular case ONLY.
    The french are not discriminating against her they just want her to be assimilated properly. When she stops wearing her Burqa in public she will get her citizenship. She puts her RELIGION HIGHER THAN HER COUNTRY. (This is very, very bad in France.) That is why she doesn’t deserve to be a citizen of France.
    That woman is BRAKING THE LAW in France by wearing a [religious identification] Burqe! Do you understand that? This is not USA. This is France. A different country with different laws and different way of thinking! (Not everybody should think like you….)
    By wearing the Burqe she disrespects the law and traditions of France. She spits them in the face.
    She is attacking the French by forcing her traditions down their throat so to speak. They [the french] don’t like it. They have a right not to like it. It’s their country after all.
    That anti-religious law, by the way, is there for a reason. Read about it first before you criticize it.

    …I feel that you will not understand the meaning of what I wrote above. That’s OK. Life goes on.

    Ok enough about clush of cultures.
    Let’s talk diesel !
    I want a diesel car. I like diesels because you can run them on home made diesel (used/filtered veg. oil) It’s a lot cheaper than hybrid in the long run.

  • Bryce

    ukrainian, eh? Nothing useful or good but Kiev cake. Well, with sentiments like your over in Europe, it is no wonder all the muslims want to blow you up. Have fun in your ethnic civil war 50 years from now. It will have been of your own making. Actually…..don’t do that, cuz then we will have to come and clean it up….again. F**in NATO, why do we protect you people?

  • Bryce

    O, and Diesels are dirty and loud producing Sulfer and particulate matter. They are loud and clunky and the cost of the fuel just destroys any justification for the saving of money. Get a real car.

  • chukcha

    RE: “F**in NATO, why do we protect you people?”

    First of all, stop generalizing. I’m only one person and I express only my views.
    Second, you are not protecting nobody except your own national interests. US expands and builds
    military bases and networks of spyes in Ukraine (and other places) wich are used to keep an eye on us and Russia. For that, our government receives large bribes and calles it “aid”.
    Mind you I do not blame anyone, but the Ukrainian people for that. The people deserve the goverment that they currently have. (That can be said about the US too)

    In terms of other financial help and logistical help and support, it is true, the US government did help GREATLY several years ago. I’m not denying that and I’m greatfull for that. The US received a lot in return for that too. I bet your CNN whould never tell you what the US received in return for the aid.

    Third, don’t base your knowlege only on what CNN or other media tells you to think. You’ve never been to Ukraine and you can’t judge anything or anyone unless you come here and see for yourself. Just because one friend of yours told you something it doesn’t mean you know Ukraine. You are very closed minded and uneducated Bryce. I can’t belive UC Berkley keeps students like you. You can’t even DEBATE properly without resorting to gross generalizations and anger.

    RE: ” Actually…..don’t do that, cuz then we will have to come and clean it up….again”.

    Let me guess; you probably think US won the WWII, right? I thought so. Well, let me tell you something. The war started in 1940 and finished in 1945. The US only joined in 1944 when all the hard parts were over. The purpose of starting a western front was motivated by the fact that if they don’t, Russia would take over the whole Europe. That’s it. Clever isn’t it? Let the Russians and British, French, Poles and others do the dirty parts and then the US comes in in the last 1 year fights a little bit and then claims that they won the war! What a bunch of shit.
    And what do they do then? ha? They drop candy from the Airplane to feed the “poor” German population who started the war and was helping to murder over 50 milion people. Great. Thanks a lot America. You are very generous.
    Get some real education for G-d’s sake! I’m disappointed in US public school education program.
    USA never comes and “cleans” anything unless there is money to be made or people to be used. Wake up and smell the coffee… you create problems and then you leave. Look at Iraq, Afganistan.
    You’re not much different than Russia. You just have a different flag, but the core principles of foreign policy are the same.

    Have you tried a real Kiev cake? How do you know it’s good?
    I tried the famous US apple pie. I like it, but Kiev cake is way better; belive me. 🙂

  • Bryce

    yup, its true, we have got bases everywhere. It is called force projection. Basically to keep tabs on hotspots, make sure no more Kosovo like events take place. (and world wars, lol) O, and that “aid” comes in the form of military training and technology, not to mention investment into that shoddy economy over there. Ukraine is a pretty sad place. As all of their neighbors are getting richer, they are just staying poor. Sucks to be them, or have their government. They have a 3 percent growth rate among their neighbor nations with 9 and 10 percent growth rates. Not that hot at all. If the Ukraine was that great, why do all the young people go to Belarus for jobs…..uh, because they are pretty hard to come by in the Ukraine. Don’t say I don’t know anything about the Ukraine, because I know a pretty good ammount supported by first hand accounts and statistics. O, and by the way, Apple pie really isn’t even American. It is European. Apples didn’t even exist on the North American continent when the pilgrims first celebrated Thanksgiving. If you want a truly American desert, you should try Pecan pie or Pumpkin pie. Those ones actually came from here and is what the founders of this country actually ate. Sadly, I cannot say I have ever tried Kiev cake, but I have heard good things. I hope some day I will get to enjoy it.

    As far as WW2 goes, we were a little busy in the Pacific at the time. O, and we didn’t start the war, in fact, we were all for peace, Europeans F***ed that one up on their own. There own fault. O, and all those guns, tanks, planes, ammunition, and what not that we gave to the Allies, I guess that didn’t really help at all. And I guess destroying Germany’s infrastructure didn’t help either. You know what, I guess we should have slaughtered innocents and sent people to labor camps in a frozen wasteland just like the Russians did too. O, and as I recall, the Russians didn’t declare war on the Japs until 2 days before they surrendered just so they could seize parts of China to hand that subsequently over to Mao Zedong. Now, I in no way shape or form say we won it alone, that is why we were called the Allies. We all won it together. Each nation played an important role.

    Actually, we don’t clean up to make money, but to prevent money from being lost. Take Desert Storm for example. While the Europeans debated what action to take we bombed Iraq and retook Kuwait. We were the ones who released oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve so as to prevent gas prices from sky rocketing. (Now don’t confuse this with going into Iraq again currently, cuz that was a mistake)

    But on that note, if u look at the death tole, it is 3 soldiers for the past month. A year ago it around 130 a month. Last month it was 17. Looks like that was taken care of. Now Afghanistan is getting out of control. Surprise, they are going to start transferring units over there now. A marine brigade already deployed there last month. Business is being taken care of. Speaking of Afghanistan as well, what kind of response are the other NATO nations providing there. It is a joke. They send troops, but they can’t go into combat. When shit goes down in their countries, we send Rangers and Apache attack helicopters and stealth bombers. (ie balkans in the 90s) When we are attacked and they are obligated to help (through the agreement of NATO) they send that joke international force.

  • Bryce

    except of course for the Canadians, British, and Dutch…….they actually participate. (the Dutch are kinda lazy though, they just used unmanned aerial vehicles and blow up any suspected insurgent whereas half the time they were completely innocent……which makes people angry fast. I guess they try though, so that might be worth something) Georgia, which isn’t even a NATO country, participates more than half those other bozos.

  • Bryce

    O, and I do enjoy other sources of the news you know. msnbc is pretty nice, as is the guardian, and the economist. NYT and LAT also respectable publications. (New york times and Los Angeles Times) Do you have any recommendations for the news that you think may broaden my knowledge of the world and the issues and challenges facing it???

  • chukcha

    Well, that’s better. I can finally see you expressed your own thoughts (backed up by relevant facts) in your last comments. I appreciate that. It’s good to know that I’m talking to a sentient human being who can think independently from the official crap that is pushed through the media.
    …about Ukrainian economics… don’t be in a hurry to jump to conclusions about the overall quality of life of a country just by observing a very general % of growth factor. Ask yourself the following questions:
    —3% growth in what financial sector? Maybe the technology sector profits grew by 50% and farming fell by 47% and the total result is 3%? In short, be careful about those % figures. 3% of what and compared to what?
    –During what time period?
    –Where did you take this information from?
    Don’t forget that we are currently in a tough political struggle for influence between Russia who wants to crush our hopes of liberty and the west who is fighting for influence in the eastern Europe
    against Russia. We want a democratic self rule. Russia wants to dominate us and install a dictator, just like Putin. So, 3% growth
    in such conditions is still pretty good. Belarus is controlled by a very bad dictator, who kisses Putin’s ass. No wonder they are better off for now… we will see who is better off in the long run…
    Abraham Lincoln once said: “A nation that gives up a little bit of liberty to gain a little bit of security deserves neither and will lose both.” I’m wise enough to listen to Lincoln’s advice and accept it.
    Russia and Belarus and other puppet states gave up their liberty to enjoy security and better growth mainly due to cheap Russian oil. We’ll see how long they last before Russia sucks them dry with taxes and corruption. Anyway, enough economics. Let’s talk war strategies.
    Force projection is cool, but don’t kid yourself man, the US is not doing it to prevent future Kosovos or world wars. No one gives a damn about Kosovo, Afganistan, Israel, Ukraine or people in general. Force projection is a synonym of political influence. We all know that political power grows out of the barrel of a gun! It’s all about power and wealth man. Forget the fairy tales that your MSNBC feeds you about self righteous and ethical US army. They’ll whack anyone (with no second thought) just to maintain influence in a certain area for a certain amount of time so that they can extract some kind of profit. Political or economical that’s just details. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging them. In fact I support them wholeheartedly. Because if they don’t do it, Russia will and then we’re all F****d.

  • chukcha

    RE: “Do you have any recommendations for the news that you think may broaden my knowledge of the world and the issues and challenges facing it???”

    First and foremost forget about news. News are carefully orchestrated shows that give you only the information that you need to know. There is no such thing as independent news providers.
    With that in mind, BBC is not bad, but it’s owned (in large part) by Iranian investors, so they are biased heavily against Israel. Other than that they are not that bad.
    Talk to people online who live in places you want to know about. Chat with Arabs,Jews, Iranians, British…etc to find out what is really happening on the ground. Develop a network of friends online.

    –Read and study “Sun Tzu: the art of war”. (

    –Read and study “The prince” (

    –Read the 48 laws of power.

    After you read the suggestions above you will begin to think strategically, realistically and objectively.

  • chukcha

    Bryce, about diesel.
    Right now, diesel cars are the most economical ones. Here is why:
    Hybrids are good but they are $ way overpriced. ~$5000 over gasoline powered car.
    Plugin hybrids are awesome, but you can’t buy them yet. Plus they are going to be even more overpriced.
    Electric cars are the best there is, but again it’s $$$$.

    Diesel is more powerfull, durable and up to 30% more efficient than normal gasoline. It’s only ~$2000 more expencive, BUT you can make your own biodiesel fuel for 70 cent a gallon. That’s not bad at all.
    They are a little more noisy than gasoline, but you know what, for 70 cents a gallon I can live with that ! 🙂

  • Bryce

    Yea, I suppose Diesel isn’t half bad, but none are offered here state side. The only diesel you can find are in huge trucks. Cars? Forget about it, it seems that it will never happen here…..sadly.

    CIA world factbook keeps a pretty close record of just about everything on every country including population, economy, government, military capacity, and god knows what else. Google it.

    Don’t get me wrong, Belarus certainly isn’t the example to follow, but Ukraine should certainly start to try to bring in some investment, or atleast more than what they currently have. My heart does go out to them for trying to free themselves from any sort of oppression though. I was following those election results and it is terribly interesting over there. They seem to be so divided though. I am curious, is it a generational thing with the young wanting the west whereas there are some older ones nostalgic for “the good old days” or is it not generational at all and is pretty much too strong parties slugging it out until one no longer resists. At the moment, it seems that the western leaning bloc has the upper hand, but is that permanant??? I would ask my friend all this, but she doesn’t keep up with Ukrainian politics at all, sadly. : ( She only sees it at the surface level and hears things from her family, but I don’t think she has ever delved into the politics of it.

    O, and it is the CIA that does the whacking, not the Army.

    You can’t tell me though that no one here state side cares about Israel. Have you seen the ridiculous amount of weapons that are sold to them. Not only in quantity, but quality. No one in the region can touch their small force cuz it is basically a little American Military. They have all the same planes, the same anti-aircraft/missile systems, and a handful of other weapons systems. Before the Guld war, guess whose tankers we brought over here to train our guys in the Abrahms…….Israeli tankers. They are pretty much the best cuz they have to be given their surroundings.

    Balkans has 16,000 NATO troops, so there is atleast a presence there, which would make me think that they value it somewhat. Atleast in the sense that another episode like that would be REALLY embarassing to the Europeans.

    Afghanistan……we will have to see how that pans out. The administration dropped the ball when they shifted focus westwards on Iraq/Iran. Now that Iraq is cooling down though, a shift back is imminent and we shall see if the successes in Iraq can be duplicated in Afghanistan. (It is actually kind of funny when you see how commanders on the ground are no longer worried about whether the Iraqi army can hold its own against insurgents and the like, but whether the Iraqi Army will grow too confident and overthrow their civilian overseers, ie Maliki.) We will have to see how that whole stable state thing turns out, but that problem sounds better than the alternative, and maybe if Maliki really plays the current successes as something resultant of his actions, he end up as some sort of founding hero and not the moron who ruined the country as he was thought of last year. We will see.

    You seem to frame things in Russia influence vs. American influence, and seems you lean more towards American influence as a lesser evil. Do you do this because Russia is bouncing back a bit from their slump and they are trying to reassert themselves and you see the possibility of some surrounding countries being re-netted back into their sphere of influence where they will suffer again. I don’t know if you know, but is there any sentiment in the average Russian mind that some sort of American-Russian butting of heads is inevitable, even the right thing to do???

    I am curious, do you live in the Ukraine, somewhere in Eastern Europe, or Europe at all……or are u state side. Or am I wrong all together and you are in Brazil or something random like that. : )

  • chukcha

    Bryce, you’re right about the lack of diesel cars in US. I forgot that.
    I live in Canada now, but I’m originally from Kiev and I keep an eye on what’s going on there.
    Here in Canada, we have a little more diesel car offerings. Like: Jetta TDI, Passat TDI, Mersedes E320 CDI, M320 CDI, Jeep Grand Cherokee CDI, Jeep Liberty CDI, Hummer H2 Turbo diesel, Smart car. I think that’s it….
    About investments in Ukraine. There is a lot of investment going on, but Ukrainians them self say that the current level of corruption is where the problem is. You can invest all you want, but a lot of that investment moneys stay in the pockets of corrupt officials. So the system itself is very inefficient, due to lack of a strong leader. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of people in Kiev are very well off. I haven’t seen so many Mersedes S600 V12 and Rolls Roys’ on the streets of New York as there are in Kiev. It’s weird, but it’s true. People are loaded, but they are afraid. They know that things can change for the worst any minute.
    About generation gap… yea there is a big one. The “generation Y” (not all but many) are pretty much brought up as business people. They know what opportunity and liberty is and they are not afraid of change as “baby boomers”. The baby boomers are used to stagnant stability (centrally controlled economy) and they feel disoriented and confused by the free market. They are more than willing to give up liberty for stability and security. A lot of them just want to have enough to eat and drink and a place to live in and maybe play some domino in the evening. That’s it. Their brain was in prison for so long that that when the Iron curtain collapsed they became like zombies . They don’t know how to live in this world and they yearn for someone to command them and control them even if it means enslaving them again. It’s like that hostage/victim paradox. Given enough time the victims begin to care for their captors…
    In the Bible, Moses lead the Jews across the desert for 40 years before they settled in Israel. He did it on purpose, so that a generation of slaves would die off and a new generation of free men would grow up who will be capable to think for them self and govern their new country properly.
    This didn’t happen in USSR… so people are super confused and vulnerable.
    About America/Israel Inc.
    Look, as I see it, Israel is America’s private Island in a “sea of hostiles”. It’s a launch pad, military base, and a source of awesome military experience and brain power. Israel gets new weapons and protects their/US real estate and gets to live there too. It’s very simple. Israel serves as a highly trained security guard in that region. It makes business sense. Strategic alliance is a good thing.
    As a bonus America and Israel exchange scientific expertise and pick each others brains so to speak. It helps to advance global science and that’s cool. (By the way, Intel’s Pentium M and Core Duo processor in our computers is the work of Israeli engineers.)
    Yes, I lean to American side, because I like and trust America way more than I trust Russia.
    I terms of head butting…it’s a natural competitive reaction. Nothing new here. Let boys be boys as long as they don’t touch their nuclear toys! 🙂

  • Bryce

    I like that last nuclear toys bit, lol.

    Yea, it was either Truman or Ike that called Israel “our unsinkable aircraft carrier.” It is true.

    I think I did hear about the CHerokee possibly coming over here with Diesel. That should be interesting.

    Hopefully that whole generational gap thing will get resolved, though, the older ones are only getting older, so I suppose that may take care of itself.

    Well, given current circumstances, I bet the Russian old folks are plenty happy. A growing economy, a strong leader, hell, even renewed strategic nuclear patrols in the Arctic. lol, what’s not to love???

  • chukcha

    RE: “I bet the Russian old folks are plenty happy. A growing economy, a strong leader, hell, even renewed strategic nuclear patrols in the Arctic. lol, what’s not to love???”
    Well, that’s right. If you can kinda’ look through their eyes Russia is glorious.
    Now, how do you convince people like that in [our] reality they suck? You really can’t. Can you blame them? Yea, you can, I suppose, but remember, they were taught to suck from the moment they were born. We just have to wait for that generation to die off…
    You might ask how did I get so smart and see through all the crap? I’m really not that clever. I’m simply lucky that my parents were smart enough to get the hell out of there in 1990. I’m from generation X as well so that helps a little too. 🙂 BTW, I want to make a barcode type tatoo on my ass that says “MADE IN USSR”. It’s silly, but i still want to do it. 🙂
    Russia is not only a country; it is an enigma. It is a very beautifull place filled [mostly] by very educated and smart people. They are very unlucky though.
    For the last several hundred of years they were systematically abused both morally and phisically by their own government. They’re beaten to the point of submission and just don’t have the will power for change. Just like China btw…
    I hope they can continue to head butt with US. Last time they did, it brought an enormous benefit to the world. Think of Sputnik,Yury Gagarin, Armstrong, computers, MiR, International Space Station…etc. These [and much more] are the products of head butting between US and Russia.
    Who knows, maybe we’ll fly to Mars sooner [and faster] than we think. Thanks to that competition.

  • chukcha

    Take a look at this… watch the flash movie on the right.

  • Bryce

    Yes, I have heard they often pride themselves on the amount that they as a country can suffer… a near macho thing. To each their own I suppose. This flash thing is interesting, but very, very long, I am only a quarter o the way through. This is going to take a while.

  • Tim Schuett

    I believe the hybrid cars are the future. I live in the midwest and the full electric car is not an option. I cannot stop every 20-30 miles and charge my vehicle. Winter time will destroy the batteries. My thoughts are is that we add a solar panel to the top of the car. of course it will need to be cosmetically designed into the car. This charges the batteries on the go. This would make more sense for the all-electric car and the hybird. It gives you more range on a sunny day. It would also increase the mileage on the hybrid vehicles because the on-board charging system could shut down while the solar panel charged the batteries in the hybrid. We have to make a change.

  • Bryce

    A solar roof would only profide enough power to turn the air conditioning on. In interviews with GM and Toyota techies, they have said this. Sad but true. It would be cool though if it were all that simple. If u want a hybrid/electric car not limited by electric range, I would recommend a Prius or a chevy Volt which will be out in the next 24-30 months.

    lol, i was starting to think it was just Chuhkya and me on this thing anymore. 🙂

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