Soccer Moms Rejoice! Hybrid Minivan on the Way.

For years, soccer moms have been clamoring for a hybrid minivan. After all, who is more sensitive to fuel economy and gas prices than the legions of heroic parents hauling kids and groceries throughout suburbia? Just when they seemed ready to give up hope, it appears that Chrysler, a leader in the minivan market, may deliver the goods by 2010.

The Windsor Star—not coincidentally the hometown paper of the site of one of Chrysler’s minivan plants—reports that the company has already decided to put a full-hybrid system in the Grand Caravan. The technology could lift city fuel economy into the mid-20 mpg range, and highway mileage into the 30s. A Chrysler spokesperson provides a non-denial denial about the hybrid minivan. “All our vehicles are under consideration” for new propulsion technologies, he said.

Toyota has had a hybrid version of its Estima minivan in Japan for several years, though the hybrid model was dropped in the van’s latest edition. Tens of thousands of consumers have petitioned Toyota to bring the hybrid minivan to the U.S., but the company has ignored the demands of all those parents and their pint-sized passengers.

The Chrysler minivan, a bread and butter vehicle for the company since 1984, has never been known as a paragon of advanced technology—other than cupholders and other consumer-pleasing tech like power side doors and Stow-and-Go seats. Adding a hybrid system makes sense for a family-oriented people-mover like the minivan. Chrysler has been losing market share in the shrinking minivan segment to Honda and Toyota in the middle and high end and Hyundai and Kia on the low end.

While Toyota has the technology well in hand—though not yet applied to their minivan—the unanswered question at Chrysler is what hybrid system they might use. The company is using the sophisticated two-mode hybrid system—developed by engineers from Daimler, BMW and GM—for the hybrid version of the Dodge Durango and Chrysler Aspen full-size SUVs. But it might be tempted to opt for something cheaper from a Chinese partner like Chery or Great Wall.

Another option is to drop a diesel engine in the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan. Chrysler already sells its European minivans with 2.8-liter diesels, although those engines are not emissions-compliant for the United States. Also, a diesel-minivan might not have the ring of green family-friendliness that a hybrid minivan would carry in suburbia.

With gas prices stretching family budgets to the limit—and nerves frayed from an ever-more frenzied schedule of practices, lessons, and errands—demands for relief are reaching a fever pitch. A Chrysler hybrid minivan may arrive just in the nick of time.


  • Den

    Diesel hybrid!

  • Boom Boom

    More smoke and mirrors from Chrysler. They don’t even have a prototype on the roads and they’re going to deploy it by 2010? I’ll believe it when I see it.

    That said, somebody needs to put a hybrid mini-van out on the market. It might be smarter to build a smaller mini-van as a hybrid, like the Mazda 5, but a hybrid people-mover is an open market.

  • Bryce

    mini vans are a dead market. Don’t waste your time auto makers. GM is dropping the Uplander. I don’t think Honda will have theirs much longer either. We will see what Toyota does.

  • Boom Boom

    GM dropping a POS like the uplander is hardly a sign of the times. That is more a sign of the poor sales at GM. Overall Mini-van sales are down, but that is because they’ve gotten big and gas-guzzling. Manufacturers are bringing over smaller mini-vans from Europe and if combined with hybrid engines, they might be able to fill the void of folks selling their SUVs but needing something with seating for more than 5.

  • HVA

    I replaced my minivan with Pilot, partly because kids are grown up and gas mileage was pretty similar to Grand Caravan I had. I still miss the comfort and space of minivan. What Chrysler needs to do is not falter from the plan and make appearance of minivans bit better.

  • Bryce

    This is so sad though. Mini-vans aren’t vuel efficient, and putting a hybrid drivetrain can only help that so much. Just get a Nissan Morano or a Ford Escape and you can have 20/28 mpg. Vans usually get in the teens. Moms don’t want to look like soccer moms anymore. It’s a bad image that they no longer enjoy.

  • Nozferatu

    How about these soccer moms walking and doing activities with their kids instead of driving them around endlessly in a freaking minivan?

    The family structure is the biggest problem in this country…or lack of it…not the minivan per say. Chrysler came out with an ad a while back showing a very bored family sitting around in their living room at home. THen, the surroundings began to change and next thing you know, they were in a Chrysler minivan…and now they were happy and together.

    What does that say? It says people here are truly pathetic…they need toys to occupy their empty, dumb minds so they feel good.

  • chukcha

    I wonder who thought of putting a 3.8L pushrod in a family vehicle like a minivan? Last time I checked, family vehicles almost never used for towing buses. That’s like installing a (1940s) tractor engine on a bicycle. :) I think 2.5L DOHC 16v is more than enough for a caravan.
    2.8L turbo diesel would be a perfect fit, but the public is [conveniently] brainwashed not to consider a diesel.
    I’m amazed at this whole engine super sizing thing… :)

  • chukcha

    RE: “It says people here are truly pathetic…they need toys to occupy their empty, dumb minds so they feel good.”

    Nozferatu,
    This is incorrect conclusion. You can say that some of the people are dumb, mindless drones, but you can’t generalize and say that all people are the same. In all countries there is a bell curve of population and their “civilization” level. Some people are on the extreme edges, but most are average.
    People who invent a commercial like that are called “smart” people.
    People who do not need to create a commercial, because they are not in business are called “dumb” people.
    People who buy a car just because they believe a commercial are called “the middle class”.
    Now, look at the amount of commercials you see around you and ask yourself: “Where is YOUR commerical?…” :)))

  • Emmett

    This is great news! Recently I gave up my favorite care (i.e my Prius) for a conventional minivan to be able to hold 3 car seats.

    It is clear to me that we need a family friendly, eco friendly, mpg friendly vehicle.

  • VaPrius

    The market absolutely needs a hybrid (or even electric) minivan. There are too many people out there who need a little extra room too often. SUVs or anything like them are pure ego, and too wasteful on space.

  • John K.

    I always thought Honda was NUTS for not dropping their Accord hybrid engine-motor combo into their minivan years ago (since they both use the same engine).

    Whatever.

    Who says the Japanese never make mistakes?

  • Old Bald Guy

    If this is an article about a CHRYSLER minivan, why is the picture a FORD Windstar?

  • Armand

    CHUCKCHA…

    I’m afraid I disagree….if people were smart, we’d not be in the predicament we are in. Stupidity and greed have driven us to this point. When the people who make these commercials are 0.00001% of the population and they target the 99.9999% dumb ones, I’d say generalizations are warranted.

  • Bryce

    According to my math, and according to you, there are only 30 smart people in this country and probably a couple hundred in the world. : ) I don’t know how much stupidity is driving the world, but you could certainly make an argument for greed. It is not necessarily a bad thing. It is called a market economy and it is something the founding fathers would have been proud of. : )

    What predicament might u be referring to??? I would hate for you to generalize at all.

  • JohnM

    Minivans are the most fuel-efficient per usable space. My camry gets 30 mph on the highway, the minivan gets 26 mph. For that cost, I’d take the minivan on a family trip. A start-stop minivan with an electric A/C so it can stay on when the engine is stopped in itself would be great. In the school pick-up in Texas, there are lines of cars waiting for kids with the engine running and the A/C on because it’s 100 deg out.

  • Boom Boom

    Posts on this blog have certainly become tangential. We’re talking about minivans here people. Perhaps some folks need to find a philosophy forum or something….

    And a minivan is always going to be safer (more stable) and more efficient (lighter/aerodynamic) than an SUV with the same engine.

    Mazda 5 w/ 2.3 4Cyl: 21/27
    Mazda Tribute w/2.3 4cyl: 20/26

    Mazda 5 has more interior space, carries more people, and costs less. If Mazda put the hybrid drivetrain from the Tribute into the 5, I bet they’d sell out.

  • chukcha

    RE: “Perhaps some folks need to find a philosophy forum or something….”

    Good point, but if you want to understand why the car companies don’t produce what we want them to produce you need to understand their motives [business philosophy]. It’s not a requirement, but it might help you to convince them that your suggestions are valid.

  • corloc

    Too bad you got rid of your Prius, I’ve been useing three seats in mine for about 7 months now. Did a circle tour of Lake Michigan just fine. You can fit three car seats safely, and a lot of luggage to boot. I not sure it would work as well with older kids.

  • Bryce

    It would probably be fine corloc, just maybe not as roomy as three big teenagers might prefer, but they will get used to it if they want to go anywhere. : )

  • corloc

    Amen, Brother! Not sure the significant other would see it that way though.:^D

  • Bryce

    Ah yes, the better half. Well you can buy her/him a nice and shiny Vue plugin hybrid if they are really looking for efficiency/hauling/room in the back/power. I have heard claims of 70 mpg. ooo, tantalizing. : )

  • Daver101

    How are minivans a dead market? I have three kids, two of which are in car seats/boosters. Not alot of options to take them around town other than a minivan.

  • corloc

    I don’t think minivans are a dead market. I have a Toyota Sianna, and I use it as little as possible. For me bring loads of lumber or what ever. Also, towing family about occasionally. A hybrid one would be more than welcome, but is going to have to get better than 20 local 30 highway. I get close to hat with my Sianna now 24/27, but hopefully this stirs the market bit. Cheers to Chrysler for doing it.

  • Granny Gail

    I want a hybrid minivan or really practical and flexible hybrid wagon(like a matrix with vastly better visibility).

    SUV’s don’t get good enough mileage to be worth the extra cost and diminished cargo capacity compared to a minivan.

  • Bryce

    Just get a hybrid escape. Same thing, and now the escape is on car underpinnings giving it another boost in fuel economy. hybrid minivans will probably cost 30k+.

  • Fraw

    My friend told me that Chrysler already admitted that it has a well-advanced program to bring electrically powered vehicles to market within five year. Sometimes, ironically speaking we tackled something about chrysler while we are at a nissan blog . So, the hHybrid minivans is in the works already huh.

  • Welfarbum

    “Just get a hybrid escape. Same thing, and now the escape is on car underpinnings giving it another boost in fuel economy. hybrid minivans will probably cost 30k+.”

    I’d buy the Ford Escape for my family in a second if it weren’t such a death mobile. Have a look at its rating at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety site. I wouldn’t want my family in it in a head on collision.

  • Armand

    BRYCE:

    YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS? What predicament? Are you sitting in some space station in high earth orbit or what? What planet are you on exactly?

    It astounds me that anyone living on this planet can’t see the current world affairs, the environmental crisis we are facing, the energy crisis we are facing, the starvation crisis we are we are facing…that you turn around and say what predicament. Absolutely f–king amazing.

    And greed is a good thing? Yes of course…if you are one of the lucky ones of this planet to have been born in the right country under the right circumstances.

    Greed has gotten the human race into insufferable wars, making people do incomprehensible acts, causing mass starvation in parts of the world when people like you probably throw away more food than 10 kids somewhere else eat in a week. What’s the matter? Don’t want to share? Gonna lose something? Gotta have it all for yourself?

    Yes indeed..alot of people do fall into that 99.9999% category.

  • TS

    Minivans may not be as fuel-efficient as a Prius, but they are all whole lot more fuel-efficient than a full size van. A 3.8L engine may not be needed for driving around the concrete jungle, but if you live in the mountains and you’re hauling around a bunch of kids and their equipment, or you’re a plumber with a van filled with tools and supplies, you’re going to appreciate the extra horses. The minivan market is far from dead. A more fuel-efficient Caravan, or Sienna will sell like hotcakes. I know I would buy one.

  • Bryce

    To Welfarbarum

    I havn’t seen the Escapes crash test ratings. If it is a death trap then you are absolutely right, any ammount of gas savings isn’t worth it. Sorry, I am not personally interested in the Escape so have never looked at the crash test ratings, otherwise I wouldn’t have recommended it to you. I think I will go check those out. Thanks. : )

    And to Noz my friend

    When I said what predicament, I wasn’t saying it sarcastically as if I believed the world was just this dandy place with no problems. I simply wanted you to specify what thing you were refering to in your previous post.

    And greed, or seeking to better your lot in life and of those close to you (family) is a natural human trait, which without, we wouldn’t be worth much cuz we would just bum around al day doing nothing really. Greed brought us things like…..uh….cars….hybrids…..PCs……TVs……and any other contraption in the world that you can imagine. These people don’t develop these technologies for free my friend. They are produced by either companies or individuals (where they usually sell them to companies that can better market them) that then sell them on the open market. Given competition, this system works beautifully. (ever heard of Wal-Mart…..a fine example of globalism and a free market economy) You know what else these wonderous technologies bring about……advanced agriculture with wihich to feed those masses that you speak of. The reason people are starving in Africa is because………there have been no investments into their agricultural sectors by their governements/private sector. The same problem used to exist in southeast asia and south america……and then they invested in their agricultural sector….and low and behold, no more starvation. The current rise in prices is about 70% transportation costs, which is a pain the whole world is feeling…..so don’t act like we are some awful people that take more than their fill. The people of the world need more themselves, not for us to use less. (though we could certainly go for some gas saving technology) This will be accomplished through a global economy. It will take a while, but you can already see fine results. (ie Japan, Korea, China…..and many more) All you use are generalizations backed up by diddely squat but your silly ramblings. When you can produce real numbers, and not oens made up….like 99.9999%, then maybe we can have a conversation. : )

    P.S. I rather enjoy leftovers and I am really not a wasteful person at all. I recycle and all of that. : )

  • Armand

    Yes indeed…greed has brought us endless wars, suffering, misery, hunger, pollution, deforestation, filthy oceans, etc etc etc…just so we can drive our cars, have our McMansions, and forget about what it took for us to do this. Greed indeed.

    No actually starvation in Africa occurs because countries like us don’t feel the need to help or share. We throw away more food than they can eat. South East Asia still suffers from hunger and starvation. It has nothing to do with infrastructure. That has been there for years.

    We DO need to use less. Now that China and India are using more oil, we are now asking them to use less? How pathetically hypocritical is that you think? Others using more and continuing to use more is the wrong answer I’m afraid.

    Bryce, I think your problem is that you need to go out and see first hand what this wonderful vision of globalism and this perfect system you speak of is doing the our planet, environment, and future. Currently, you’re sitting in your living room and not caring a bit about things. Go out to the middle of the Pacific ocean and take a look firsthand at the 15ft deep sludge of plastic soup stretching from Hawaii to off the coast of California…I’d say that’s a wonderful result of free market wouldn’t you?

    Go out and see the destruction of the Amazon..another wonderful result of progress isn’t it?

    And all these PC’s TV’s, etc….wonderful stuff that’s really dumbed down the general public who can’t stop texting each other like they are on crack. Excellent stuff!

    If you think I’m rambling, then educate yourself more about what’s going on around the globe…on this planet, to our environment. It’s quite evident you don’t have a clue other than what CNN Money is saying about your portfolio.

    If you have kids, I deeply feel sorry for them. You’re leaving them nothing and you can’t even muster up a genuine apology for that.

  • Bryce

    So I guess the fact that we are one of the largest exporters of grain crops doesn’t entail sharing? And besides Burma and North Korea……give me an example of southeast asian famine. I can pretty much think of none in south America. (North Korea and Burma’s hardships comes from there closed economies)

    As for you products of greed……war, and its subsequent results of suffering, misery, and hunger are an ever present theme in the human experience and will not ever be remedied unless we unite under one central authority or all die. As for polution, have u seen those movies of London in the 50′s. It was awful, but with regulation, it was cleaned up. Similar things have been done since then. Remember the Ozone hole. Remedied. Remember acid rain in the northwestern US. Remedied. A little regulation never hurt anyone and can make our world a much more pleasant place without turning it on its head. : )

    I find it disturbing that you use as your example of the horrible results of industry and globalism a blob of plastic when there are people who live in horrid and dangerous conditions in places like China. I guess that proves where your priorities lie. Globalism isn’t perfect and will take time for its fruits to reach those fine laborers around the world. Things have to get worse before they get better. Ever read the Jungle??? Things were pretty bad here stateside at the turn of the century, but hey, we regulated a few things and cleaned up our act a bit and things have greatly improved. Same will come to others. : )

    You do know growth rate exceeds cut rate here in the states right? (trees) Yes the forests are being cut down. They will be put back up back conservation efforts in the coming years. Even if every tree isn’t put back up, say for farming, (for all those starving people you were mentioning) Britain was covered in forests millenia ago (approximately 80%) but then was deforested by its inhabitants a few millenia ago to its current point. Seems like the Brits did well enough in the game of state on state competition, and the world didn’t end when their trees were cut down. I am all for saving trees, but honestly, don’t try to stop EVERYTHING. Some things are necesary and if managed properly for a sustainable resource, then everyone wins….including our precious environment. : )

    Again, you are generalizing saying we as humans are just these big bad destructive beasts. Show me some numbers. You really are just rambling. And I am afraid there is no “portfolio” to be managed since I am only a student at the moment, but those kids of mine in the future I am sure they will be thankful that the world did not revert itself back into the middle ages to project some false sense of “pristineness” upon nature as if it were never manipulated by humans before the last hundred years. Heres some facts for you, Indians managed the forests of North America by BURNING THEM EVERY FEW YEARS. Many forests in Africa are only kept alive by the management of its human occupants. Nature is not helpless and long ago adapted itself to us. (Of course we shouldn’t just destroy it all, I am just saying, you can’t realisically expect there to be a natural world without our own interactions.)

  • Armand

    “So I guess the fact that we are one of the largest exporters of grain crops doesn’t entail sharing? And besides Burma and North Korea……give me an example of southeast asian famine. I can pretty much think of none in south America. (North Korea and Burma’s hardships comes from there closed economies)”

    No it doesn’t…we export to people who GIVE US MONEY…nothing more. How’s that helping and sharing?

    Here are a few simple reads for you…I’m sure you won’t care or want to read or will criticize since your “sources are superior” to everyone elses…but whatever.

    http://www.awitness.org/journal/starvation_myths.html
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/1020-01.htm
    http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=4628103

    Interesting…all those Asian countries not having food crisis’ and people not starving…funny…that doesn’t seem to be the case…getting your news from Fox? Wouldn’t be surprised.

    “As for you products of greed……war, and its subsequent results of suffering, misery, and hunger are an ever present theme in the human experience and will not ever be remedied unless we unite under one central authority or all die. As for polution, have u seen those movies of London in the 50′s. It was awful, but with regulation, it was cleaned up. Similar things have been done since then. Remember the Ozone hole. Remedied. Remember acid rain in the northwestern US. Remedied. A little regulation never hurt anyone and can make our world a much more pleasant place without turning it on its head. : )”

    And who exactly is pusing for and overturning regulations constantly without us even knowing it? Hmmm? Santa Claus? Uhhh…no…it’s the same people who put billions of dollars in their pockets by selling substandard garbage and overweight pieces of crap….that’s who. How’s that make sense to you? The crook makes the locks on the house…ummm…yeah…that flies with me.

    “I find it disturbing that you use as your example of the horrible results of industry and globalism a blob of plastic when there are people who live in horrid and dangerous conditions in places like China. I guess that proves where your priorities lie. Globalism isn’t perfect and will take time for its fruits to reach those fine laborers around the world. Things have to get worse before they get better. Ever read the Jungle??? Things were pretty bad here stateside at the turn of the century, but hey, we regulated a few things and cleaned up our act a bit and things have greatly improved. Same will come to others. : )”

    I find it disturbing that you have no concept of cause and effect of pollution globally. It’s extremely evident now that you didn’t even know a thing about the plastic pollution issues in the ocean…oh yes…that big giant filter and life-giving force that you and millions of others depend on. I don’t think you are able to fully grasp how large of a problem it is. You have no understanding whatsoever about how the ecosystem is being destroyed, huge schools of fish, birds, and other important sea creatures are being wiped out that we do depend on for a healthy and food giving ecosystem because the plastics are killing them by the millions. Do you think coral is important? Do you have an idea what role coral plays at all? Or is it just a piece of “rock” out there that is irrelevant to you because I didn’t mention China?

    “You do know growth rate exceeds cut rate here in the states right? (trees) Yes the forests are being cut down. They will be put back up back conservation efforts in the coming years. Even if every tree isn’t put back up, say for farming, (for all those starving people you were mentioning) Britain was covered in forests millenia ago (approximately 80%) but then was deforested by its inhabitants a few millenia ago to its current point. Seems like the Brits did well enough in the game of state on state competition, and the world didn’t end when their trees were cut down. I am all for saving trees, but honestly, don’t try to stop EVERYTHING. Some things are necesary and if managed properly for a sustainable resource, then everyone wins….including our precious environment. : )”

    Big whoop that the rate of NEW trees is faster than cut trees. Do you even realize what damage it does to the ecosystem to cut down trees in a natural state? Do you think the effect of cutting trees is limited to simply cutting of the tree? Look at the number of species that have been destroyed in the process of clear cutting and replanting? Forgot to take that into consideration? Yeah…I think you did. Why? Because you can’t see beyond the dollar.

    Indeed…England was almost deforested back in 1350…what year are we now? So it roughly took about 3 to 4 centuries for the natural bioculture to return…and only because the idiots deforesting the land either were wiped out or were out of trees to deforest…a job well done in your book I’m sure.

    Learn a little more about deforestation and “great” of a global economic advance it is for all.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation

    “Again, you are generalizing saying we as humans are just these big bad destructive beasts. Show me some numbers. You really are just rambling. And I am afraid there is no “portfolio” to be managed since I am only a student at the moment, but those kids of mine in the future I am sure they will be thankful that the world did not revert itself back into the middle ages to project some false sense of “pristineness” upon nature as if it were never manipulated by humans before the last hundred years. Heres some facts for you, Indians managed the forests of North America by BURNING THEM EVERY FEW YEARS. Many forests in Africa are only kept alive by the management of its human occupants. Nature is not helpless and long ago adapted itself to us. (Of course we shouldn’t just destroy it all, I am just saying, you can’t realisically expect there to be a natural world without our own interactions.)”

    You really have no touch with reality if you think human beings have done more good than harm. You really don’t. There’s not much point going on with this debate because in your eyes, we’re doing OK. A rather prevalent but very clueless and oblivious viewpoint of the mass populous.

    No one said don’t interact with the surroundings you are in…but we don’t interact…we destroy. You want numbers? Do your research…you’re a student…you know how to do that. You obviously have access to a computer…learn something…perhaps when or if you have kids, they’ll actually be able to turn to you one day and say THANK YOU for not screwing things up.

  • Bryce

    lol

    I would love to elaborate, but I have to go weed the garden. We will finish this perhaps in a few hours. : )

  • Armand

    Just keep weeding your garden…seems to give you good insight into the world’s wonderful benefits of progress…I’m sure you are awed by the sight of your lawn growing faster due to Miracle Grow….

  • soccermom

    Wow, I’ll start by giving you this Noz – you clearly have done some research and have a lot of valuable information….that being said, let me just add one more thing. No one wants to listen to someone rant and rave. You have good information so find a decent way to present it instead of starting off your very first post by being in everyone’s face and calling us all idiots. Yeah, that really makes us want to see your point of view (and that’s sarcasm, just in case you weren’t sure)

    “How about these soccer moms walking and doing activities with their kids instead of driving them around endlessly in a freaking minivan?”

    As a stay at home mom who drives her kids to various activities (swimming lessons, dance class, SCHOOL (we’re out of district), etc) I take offense to this. Yes, I use my minivan to drive my kids (and carpool by taking the neighbor’s kids too). Are you suggesting that we stay home all day, every day? It’s a different world than it was when I was growing up. Car seats are mandatory now until kids are about 8 years old and kids under 12 aren’t supposed to ride in the front seat. So where would you suggest we put 4 children? Does it make more sense for my neighbor and I to both drive a car to the same place because neither one of us has enough room for 4 kids?

    “People here are truly pathetic…they need toys to occupy their empty, dumb minds so they feel good.”

    Interesting….you realize that you first read this article on the Internet, right? And you’ve clearly been back to this page to check other people’s posts and add more and more of your own responses. Not to mention all the links you provided earlier to other information found on the Internet. How the heck would we even know what was going on over in Asia if not for our technology; computers, TV, phones, airplanes, etc. I’m guessing you didn’t row your little motorless boat over there to get all of your information. Technology can be a wonderful thing if someone takes the time and money to develop it. And you talk about someone who needs toys to occupy his mind so he can feel good….you seem to spend quite a bit of time on the Internet.

    See now I’m being pissy like you. You could have had a bunch of attentive listeners, but instead you chose to be a jerk about the way you shared your message. So good job, pat yourself on the back and realize that instead of helping us become more educated you instead pissed us off by telling us all that we’re bad mothers and idiots to boot.

  • Bryce

    I know better than to cross a mother. Long live the MiniVan market and may it flourish. (or God help us, this lady will bite my head off)

    *takes off appeasement cap*

    Well, I was going to address all those things you said, but then soccermom brought the smack down. I would just like to say that I indeed do what is happening to our environment and study it in school every semester. (I am thinking about a minor in environmental science) Your writings on how the world is ending though either means you have already given up or don’t really grasp the fullness of everything. I hope you use the knowledge that you have gained to perhaps do something, instead of yell at me and how awful I am. Go join the PeaceCorp or some NGO and give food to hungry Africans. (Maybe we will be free of your yelling and ramblings….then again……internet….EVERYWHERE!) lol

  • Armand

    Frankly, I don’t care if I piss people off…most parents actions are harming the ones they supposedly love so much….

    So being spiteful isn’t in your kids best interest…or yours for that matter.

    You may be a great mother…but you’re not leaving your kids much of anything as future generations go.

    In regards to knowing more…that’s great..that’s the point. But now that you know, you should change your ways. Now that you know what is and isn’t harmful, isn’t it prudent to do the right thing? Or should we all still live out in suburbs and live in McMansions?

    A perfect example of what I think is utterly retarded mentality is this…people think it’s absolutely necessary to have an 8 passenger, 6000lb vehicle just because they are going to have or already have children. Why can’t one have a more fuel efficient car? Does it have to be so big? Do you need to waste so much fuel to transport a child? I’m sure they’ll appreciate all that waste that has gone into raising them and what they are about to inherit from their parents because they want convenience and be damned with everything else.

    I don’t know if you are one of these folks or not. I would hope not and I give you props if you are indeed different. It’s tough being different and doing something not mainstream.

    But for most the truth hurts alot…they don’t want to feel any pain…that’s the American way.

  • Armand

    BRYCE:

    You just don’t seem to understand. This planet will exist with or without us…no secret there.

    But if WE as species want to continue to survive, we need to stop destroying our home. No ifs, ands or buts.

    We are making this planet uninhabitable for US. On a grander scale, we are irrelevant. Our existence means nothing. But on this puny global scale, it matters a great deal.

    I do alot. I am already an active member of several environmental groups and donate quite a bit of money to each of them. I walk just about everywhere and take the bus to work even though it takes me twice as long, etc.

    What angers me is how little other people care. Even parents don’t care. Not a single one family I’ve run into thus far would lift a finger or sacrifice a thing, even for their kids future, as far as I have seen. Not a single one. What does that tell you about the mentality of people here in general?

    What needs to happen IMO is people need to feel the brunt of their waste, their pollution, and so on. That’s the only way people will understand truly what an impact they have on their surroundings. People here take things too lightly. They haven’t felt the real effects of what is going on…being isolated gives a sense of everything is OK.

    Sorry…that ain’t so.

  • Bryce

    In your last paragraph you talked about how individuals should feel the effects of their pollution, and I assume you mean economically. In economic terms, this is called a negative externality. However, negative externalities are often taken care of by government taxes. For example, the gas tax or perhaps cigarette or alcohol taxes. Sometimes these are referred to as sin taxes. Something of a disincentive to do the activity coupled with revenues to pay for whatever bad things happen as a result.

    And families probably don’t seem too concerned cuz they are a little more focused on their economic bottom line. Getting food for their kids,clothing, and eventually hopefully putting them through college. Their priorities are elsewhere and the reason we have elected representatives is so that they can handle that for us.

    As for “land yachts” Most certainly they are not a requirement for our urban jungles and there indeed those who could do just as well as they do now with their beast cars with perhaps a van, or a sedan. Then again, there are those that use these vehicles every weekend to go visit nature in its fullest. Kindof ironic, but often in these ruffer environments, a more resilient vehicles coupled with towing capacity is the only way. As awesome as it would be, I have never seen a compact car that can tow a trailer full of canoes or full of gear to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas. As one who enjoys doing these things, and will be doing it next week actually, the utility of these vehicles for our circumstances is ideal and given the number of people we carry and the cargo we load up, we get a lot of bang for our buck. Noz…..when was the last time you visited nature??? Or are you just a city boy who has no idea what it is actually like in the real world outside the urban jungle???

  • stephanie

    Toyota already has a hybrid in Japan and could probably get it over the US faster. I live in the suburbs and drive my kids everywhere and want a safe, spacious, yet eco-friendly mode of transportation.

    There’s a campaign to Toyota or Honda to bring their hybrid minivans to the US:
    http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/let-s-bring-hybrid-minivans-to-the-suburbs

  • Anonymous

    “In your last paragraph you talked about how individuals should feel the effects of their pollution, and I assume you mean economically. In economic terms, this is called a negative externality. However, negative externalities are often taken care of by government taxes. For example, the gas tax or perhaps cigarette or alcohol taxes. Sometimes these are referred to as sin taxes. Something of a disincentive to do the activity coupled with revenues to pay for whatever bad things happen as a result.

    And families probably don’t seem too concerned cuz they are a little more focused on their economic bottom line. Getting food for their kids,clothing, and eventually hopefully putting them through college. Their priorities are elsewhere and the reason we have elected representatives is so that they can handle that for us.”

    You can make excuses till Kingdon Come regarding how busy people are…blah blah blah. Ultimately we are responsible for our actions. No one else. WE elected these officials supposedly…and apparrently we are not doing a very good job of electing the right ones because they are doing nothing for us. If anything, life is getting harder, pollution is getting worse, things are getting more expensive…so who are you going to blame? Everyone but yourself? We are all part of the problem and solution…to think otherwise is a total cop out.

    “As for “land yachts” Most certainly they are not a requirement for our urban jungles and there indeed those who could do just as well as they do now with their beast cars with perhaps a van, or a sedan. Then again, there are those that use these vehicles every weekend to go visit nature in its fullest. Kindof ironic, but often in these ruffer environments, a more resilient vehicles coupled with towing capacity is the only way. As awesome as it would be, I have never seen a compact car that can tow a trailer full of canoes or full of gear to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevadas. As one who enjoys doing these things, and will be doing it next week actually, the utility of these vehicles for our circumstances is ideal and given the number of people we carry and the cargo we load up, we get a lot of bang for our buck. Noz…..when was the last time you visited nature??? Or are you just a city boy who has no idea what it is actually like in the real world outside the urban jungle???”

    Please tell me how many people you know who “use these vehicles to go visit nature in its fullest.” I do not know of anyone myself and I know alot of people. The most natural place they go with their vehicles is their front lawn if they have one.

    I’ve always said that it’s better to rent a vehicle to tow stuff than to buy one and use it everyday…it doesn’t make sense to do that. Most people fall into the category of going “camping” or whatever 2-3 times a month…yet they think it makes perfect sense to sit in traffic for 2-3 hours a day at 15 MPG with that same huge turd.

    I visit nature all the time…I’m a mountain biker..and I bike up to the mountain start point when I can or take my 4 cylinder car if I have to..along with 2 other friends and their mountain bikes. I guess I could get a Hummer to do that awfully tough job.

    I love the mountains…I visit them whenever I can…I walk wherever I can…I spend as much time I can around parks, trees, streams, etc when and if I can. I like the city but a place that has a natural integration of nature into it…like say Vancouver.

  • Bryce

    Actually, I know about a hundred individuals who go out doors regularly. (I just got my Eagle in a Boy Scout troop that is very active and goes on trips regularly) Given all the boys, their parents, and sometimes their younger siblings, I actually know a ton of people, probably more than a hundred actually. : ) On top of that, I just know a bunch of people that go out do out doors activities around my neighborhood…..so probably over 150 I would guesstimate.

    As for their activities, well, their activities involve hauling things a wee bit heavier than a few bikes. Say for the canoeing day trip we did last weekend. That require towing capacity to get the canoes (10 canoes) to the lake. The cars carrying the kids were mostly just cars, but the canoe trailer needed something a little more substantial, and the scoutmasters 90′s era civic just wouldn’t cut it….lol. Another example would be when we go to the desert. (SoCal) Though there are paved roads for about 90% of the way, that last little bit is just dirt, and soft silty dirt at that and often require 4 wheel drive and some serious torgue to get out of that stuff. (either that, or we push the car through the sand……which I have done before….and it isn’t fun.) Most of these trips last for atleast 3 days, but often as long as a week. (like the before mentioned backpacking trip that I will be taking this coming week) These aren’t silly nilly little day biking trips where you just glance at nature for a few hours and then get out of dodge, but serious IN NATURE endeavors that last much….much longer than a few hours. lol nature is more than a bike trail my friend. It is rivers and mountains and deserts where there are no people for 150 miles. How often do you stay in nature…longer than a few hours, and if you ever do that, is it actually a tough environment with no bathrooms/running water/food/anything really at all for a hundred miles around you?

  • Armand

    I’m not saying you shouldn’t use a vehicle such as an SUV for its intended purpose….to haul and carry heavy loads.

    But to do it once a month or even every two weeks and then use it to sit on the 405 with a cell phone glued to one’s head is absolutely retarded IMO…same goes for carrying a kid around to and from school in such a ridiculously large vehicle.

    I go camping probably about 1-2 times a year…the rest of the time we either one day trips or 1/2 day hikes/biking trips. Either way, we carry alot of equipment and have about 4 people going sometimes with bikes, extra gear, supplies, etc…and an SUV is not needed. If we can do without it, others can to. When I need an SUV, I rent one. It’s as simple as that.

  • Bryce

    Exactly….YOU don’t need one, but a boy scout troop hauling 10 canoes and whatever else……they just might. Like I said before, the scoutmasters old Civic just wouldn’t cut it. So someone else drove the big SIlverado towing the trailer and everyone else was in a focus, Civic, and an Impala. Trust us, we have been doing this for a long time. (80 year old boy scout troop)

    By the way, cell phones being used in cars is illegal in this state now. (California)

    Are we qualified to use the Silverado in your eyes now??? lol

  • Armand

    Ummmm…let’s see….you’re using the example of a scoutmaster hauling 10 canoes on a boy scout trip as an excuse for people who sit in traffic with their SUV’s for 2-3 hours a day as being OK? Or a parent having to have that LandRover to drop his or her kid off because it’s just absolutely necessary?

    LOL.

  • Bryce

    I didn’t say that, I just said WE needed it. You always seem to argue that these vehicles have no use, which I have clearly stated, they have their purposes. Besides, all of my neighbors haul hay and what not, so when they aren’t hauling toys, or boys, they are working.

  • Philippe

    SUV will never be as flexible as a minivan period. With young kids, sliding doors are a bless and cargo area too. You can’t get that from a SUV. So yes, I would really consider buying an American minivan (Chrysler) if they had an hybrid system. My current Sienna is not really fuel efficient city wise (16liters/100kM) and I would love to jump on a hybrid since I a m doing mostly city travel.

  • rwcole

    As fuel costs increase- buyers will shift to lighter hybrid vehicles..

    A small hybrid mini van weighing 3,000 pounds would be the perfect compromise of fuel economy, comfort, and hauling ability.

    They don’t need to be seven passenger.

    A six passenger van (seating three abreast in front in a pinch) would be fine for most people.

  • mochamom100

    Walking your kids everywhere is extremely unrealistic for most Americans, especially those of us who live in the north and endure long winters, lots of snow and ice. If you have a newborn and an older child to take to violin lessons 5 miles away, trekking in the snow is a stupid idea. Driving kids around in a minivan does, in fact, enrich their lives by allowing them to take music classes, learn to ice skate or swim, have a playdate with a friend. Almost every mother I know has to drive their kids around to BRING them to sources of enrichment that simply may not be available at home. Kids can learn plenty at home, but the reality is that kids are active. And they should be! And not all of us live within walking distance of extra curricular activities. Carpooling is VERY eco-friendly and often requires a minivan. Also, moms want safe transport during long winters, so a minivan is the perfect solution.

    There’s a campaign to get MORE automakers to make hybrid minivans.
    http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/let-s-bring-hybrid-minivans-to-the-suburbs

  • Anonymous

    Hey Noz. The only parents needing to apologize seem to be yours. Aside from that, 6 to 8 people in the worst minivan get better mileage than a hipster dork in a Prius. Getta life.

  • Bryce

    hmm, that is true anonymous

  • ChuckK

    I own a 92 Plymouth Grand Voyager with 214,000 miles on it and still going. This minivan has served me well transporting up to 7 passengers at a time when needed. I also have removed all but the two front seats and used this minivan as a cargo van or for camping and/or towing my small fishing boat. Two people can sleep overnight inside with the back seats removed. I get 26 mpg on the highway and 21 mpg in the city. Not bad!!

    Soon, I will have to replace this vehicle, and, with higher gas prices dwindling supplies, and a need to reduce carbon emissions, I am very interested in purchasing a similiar minivan, but with better gas mileage! The hybrid minivan seems like the answer! My wife and I have already replaced our mid-sized sedan with a Prius several years ago and love it! A hybrid minivan is next on the shopping list!!!! I am willing to wait a couple of years for one to appear in the USA. I would hope that Dodge/Chrysler can do it first, but, if not, I will consider buying an imported model.

  • ChuckK

    I just turned my 92 Plymouth Grand Voyager in the “Cash for Clunkers” program for a 2010 Prius for my wife to drive. We gave our 2007 Prius to our daughter. So now, I need a replacement van that I can sleep in, tow my 15′ aluminum fishing boat and also gets good gas mileage. I am very excited that Dodge has decided to put a hybrid grand minivan on the market. If the price is reasonable, I will definitely buy one, and I am sure a lot of soccer moms (and dads) will too!