Flutterby™! : CARMA

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics


2002-05-31 02:14:25+00 by TC 15 comments

OK Danea(wife) & I decided to think about balancing our karma against owning our Expedition. We are looking at EVs but so far the choices are not great. The most promising so far is the Toyota EV RAV4. Can this erudite crowd enlighten me to the choices out there??

[ related topics: Todd Gemmell Consumerism and advertising Automobiles Cool Technology ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 03:29:03+00 by: Dori

We have a non-EV RAV4, and we're very happy with it. The EV version looks way coool.

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 03:53:34+00 by: TheSHAD0W

Buying an EV at this point of time is a huge hit on your karma, because when you add everything up you're causing more pollution than you're getting rid of. Maybe there's less pollution around your car, but there's lots more smoke coming out of power plants to make up for it. Get a gasoline burner.

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 04:11:59+00 by: ebradway

$42K for a RAV4?!?! Even if it ran on piss and poured patchouli out the tailpipe, you are better off driving a well-tuned 2-year old gas burner and donating the money to the Nature Conservancy.

Estimated 126 miles on a charge - I bet the estimate was based on driving the car empty and on a level surface. Try throwing your daughters (and YOU!) with skates, soccer balls, groceries, etc., and drive them around hilly San Fran. I'll bet you get closer to 50 miles on a charge - just far enough to get someplace interesting and then get stuck. And you can't walk to the gas station and get a gerry can filled with electrons...

I'm surprised Toyota didn't offer a hybrid version of the RAV4 too. Hybrids, from what I've seen, actually work as normal cars! Other options include: rescuing a 79 VW bus from the junk yard, getting it running/tuned well, and loving it (better than 20 mpg and much more cargo space - but the tuning is critical). Get a diesel Jetta or even a Mercedes, convert it to run on corn oil and distill your own fuels in your backyard. The exhaust smells like french fries!

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 12:40:02+00 by: meuon

I agree with the hybrid statement, a hybrid RAV or other SUV-ish would make sense, only a 126 mile range would let me coast into Atlanta or Nashville from here.. then what?

As for good karma cars, Dustin (who works with me) loves his Diesel (w/Turbo) VW that gets 40-50+mpg and the idea of any type of a hybrid makes sense. There are a few of the Toyota ones locally and the owners seem to like them.

My Ford Crew Cab F150 has the small (260-ish ci) V8 and gets 20-25mpg, not bad for a big vehicle and drives well.

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 12:47:31+00 by: petronius

"Even if it ran on piss and poured patchouli out the tailpipe....." Maybe not technically possible, but I'd surely like to see the commercials....

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 13:01:39+00 by: topspin

Stealing from the flutterbike, get a coupla these, some steel, a welder....

Okay... okay... perhaps a hybrid Civic? And when you're not using it, you can park it in the back of the Expedition.

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 15:21:18+00 by: Dan Lyke

The advantages of an electric car environment wise (assuming that all the lead is dealt with in a fairly safe way) are that you can treat the emissions in a single place. In the general population I think even though you get lower carbon dioxide efficiency you get much lower overall particulate and other pollution emissions. Of course if we had more solar or nuclear power you'd get lower CO2 emissions too, but that's not going to happen for at least another two and a half years...

I'm convinced hybrids are the way to go right now.

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 18:21:37+00 by: Jerry Kindall

What about a hybrid Ford Escape?

#Comment made: 2002-05-31 20:46:22+00 by: Diane Reese

I own a hybrid (Toyota Prius, 2001 model, delivered 10/2000, the 7th Prius delivered in Santa Clara County, currently with 31K miles) and am completely, totally, unreasonably happy with it. I love to drive it: it's peppy (a sports car it ain't, but that's not why I bought it), it looks cool, it's fun to surprise people at traffic lights in "stealth mode", and it's remarkably roomy inside and quite comfortable (my husband is 6'9", and I have 12.5 and 15 year old sons who are comfy in the back seat behind him). It's got a trunk that's sufficient for us, and the only exciting time I had with it was about a year ago when I ran it out of gas. It's got built-in smarts that start shutting down systems as it runs on the electric motor only and tries to give you the power to get to a gas station. I did, but it sure was an exciting half-hour. :-)

Now, granted, we don't need/want a truck or a huge amount of storage space, nor do we tow anything. But there are places that make add-on kits for Prii including trailer hitches, so maybe it has the oomph for it if needed? Or perhaps it's only good enough for those little mini-trailers. Regardless, it's not a need we have (we rent a big van when we need Big Space for a weekend or a trip), although it might be a determinant for someone else.

I'm available to talk your ear off about the thing, or to offer testdrives if you're in the South Bay; lemme know.

Diane, complete hybrid bigot

#Comment made: 2002-06-01 05:48:08+00 by: Pete

It ran for 30 minutes on pure battery power? How far?

#Comment made: 2002-06-01 06:04:09+00 by: greon

what Dan said.

gasoline burners do better on CO2 emissions, but emit vastly more NOX (becomes ozone) and unburned hydrocarbons --both big health problems.

#Comment made: 2002-06-01 23:21:39+00 by: Diane Reese

Pete, I'd been driving south to San Jose from SFO on 280 (if that means anything to you: I don't know if you're "local") when I ran out of gas and the systems started shutting down. Unfortunately, highway driving doesn't recharge the batteries, so they were a little low to start with. I had to drive a ways to the next highway exit then get to where I knew a gas station to be. I'd guess it was about 10 miles in all, and I wasn't going faster than about 7 MPH at the end there, but I did glide into the gas station without a push. (Couldn't put my hazard flashers on, though, 'cause I didn't have enough power, so I put the window down before those shut off and used hand signals liberally.)

#Comment made: 2002-07-30 10:47:10+00 by: TheSHAD0W [edit history]

Resurrecting this old topic, I thought y'all might want to read this before going ahead and buying an EV.

The article is on a URL that looks like it's going to expire, so I'm going to post the whole article and hide it in the edit history... If you're interested, the link's up above.


#Comment made: 2002-07-30 16:52:35+00 by: TC [edit history]

Wow Shadow. your full of coolness this morning. First thank you for remebering and thinking this thread and adding an addition kernal of knowledge. We decided that we are not quite ready for an EV ....actually reverse that. EVs are not quite far enough along for us but getting real close.

Second, resurecting old threads is very cool and hope others start this practice.

third, I think the ability to cache pages is something we should revisit. I am going to approach Dan after burning man with a wish list and see if I can add them without forking development.

#Comment made: 2002-08-01 11:43:37+00 by: Pete

This Tuesday I took a 200+ mile trip as a passenger in a Toyota Prius. It worked fine, was comfortable for my 6'1" height, and averaged about 45 mpg carrying three adults, with myself at 175 being the lightest.

I didn't really enjoy it though. It lacks the sense of intimacy that a good car will engender. And there was something odd about the completely symetrical dash with all instruments centralized. weird. The elevated seating (for a vehicle that size) echoed the sense of alienation, but this time from the road instead of the car. And it was kind of disconcerting when you go up a moderate hill and suddenly the car is 5 times louder from the previous highway-cruise noise level.

It worked, was physically comfortable, got good mileage, and did not make me want one at all.