Okkay, enviro-weenies, go buy this - Jay Maynard

> Recent entries
> Calendar view
> Friends page
> User info
> Jay's web page

Tuesday, 23 November 2004


Previous Entry Share Next Entry
1202 - Okkay, enviro-weenies, go buy this

For the past several years, DaimlerChrysler has built a car in France called the Smart Car. It's tiny - intentionally small enough to fit two in a standard parking space - and not very powerful. DaimlerChrysler has, wisely, decided not to sell it in the US, believing there's simply not much of a market for it.

A California (where else?) company, Zap Cars, didn't take no for an answer. It has now received EPA approval to import the cars into the US. They expect to sell about 15,000 of them - modified to meet US safety requirements - here. They'll be selling the high-performance version, with a turbocharged 3-cylinder, 700cc engine that produces 60 horsepower, and luxury interiors for between $15000 and $23000.

CNN test-drove one in New York earlier this year (although the one they tested was powered by a diesel that makes all of 41 horsepower). They were less than impressed.

Okkay, enviro-weenies who hate SUVs and think we should all be driving fuel-efficient cars. Put your money where your mouths are. Just let me drive what I want in peace.

current mood: [mood icon] quixotic

(99 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:josephgrossberg
Date: - 0000
(Link)
[User Picture]
From:foolscap001
Date: - 0000
(Link)
Every action has third-party effects if you look hard enough. At what point should the line be drawn?
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:wakkowarner
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:howardtayler
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:wakkowarner
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:tbonestg
Date: - 0000
(Link)
[User Picture]
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
Enh, driving a Ford Escort "emits greenhouse gases into an atmosphere that is shared with the other 6 billion inhabitants of the planet." If the green weenies seriously wanted to curtail greenhouse emissions, as opposed to just get off on being angry about something-or-other, they'd be pushing hard for nuclear power.

The issue with SUVs is that they're really trucks, but they're not licensed or regulated or taxed as trucks, and they're sold to people who really aren't qualified to handle driving a truck. People think they buy them 'cause they're safer, and they feel safer surrounded by all that volume, but they're really not. They're not safer because it's a lot harder to make a big box strong than it is to make a small box strong. The real reason people buy them it's because their purchasing is marketing-driving, and the automaker's marketing engine pushes them because they don't have to meet automobile emissions standards, so they require less R&D to develop.

I think they're dumb. The majority of them aren't used for any kind of sport or utility. But "they emit greenhouse gases" is not exactly a reason to come down on them, 'cause so does every other class of vehicle on the road. Hell, 18-wheelers haven't had their emissions standards updated in decades, and those put out all *kinds* of carcinogenic particulates, but oh well.

My thinking is that if something's as big as a truck, as heavy as a truck, and as tricky to maneuver as a truck, it's a truck, regardless of what the car industry chooses to call it. And if you have a particular set of regulations that apply to trucks, well, then it should apply to these.
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:howardtayler
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:wakkowarner
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:tbonestg
Date: - 0000
(Link)
[User Picture]
From:ginafae
Date: - 0000

I've got a Ford Escort.

(Link)
I drive it about 3 miles a day. I fill the tank about once a month, and only have to change out the oil about once a year, and only then out of "gosh, shouldn't I?" not due to meeting the mileage requirements.

Heck, we even live in a house close enough to the grocery store and my Judo Dojo that we are able to walk to both, and do. *Grin* I think I am doing quite well as far as being enviromentally sound. I don't need to buy, what my father would call "a death trap."
[User Picture]
From:tbonestg
Date: - 0000

Re: I've got a Ford Escort.

(Link)
A Ford Escort is "a death trap".
[User Picture]
From:angelwind
Date: - 0000
(Link)
Do we get to call you gun-psycho now if you're going to resort to that kind of name calling?
[User Picture]
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
I already put my money where my mouth is and bought a Focus. It gets 30mpg real-world and was the most fuel-efficient vehicle available within my price range. I already walk the talk, so don't think you can make any points like that against me.

The whole concept of "Just let me drive what I want in peace." when that statement includes the blanket right to just go buy something as polluting as you desire with no repercussions is a total violation of the social responsibility that environmentalists believe in. So your attempts to tell those who care about the environment what to do are, at best, laughable. At best.
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
Well, the most fuel-efficient Ford. Paul's real-world experience with his Corolla beats that mileage handily.

Even so, if you feel you have a duty to use as little fuel as possible, don't you then have a duty to trade in your Focus on one of these?
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:tbonestg
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:justgoto
Date: - 0000

This is the part where I get to call you a dumbass.

(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000

Re: This is the part where I get to call you a dumbass.

(Link)
From:angelwind
Date: - 0000

Re: This is the part where I get to call you a dumbass.

(Link)
From:justgoto
Date: - 0000

Re: This is the part where I get to call you a dumbass.

(Link)
From:angelwind
Date: - 0000

Re: This is the part where I get to call you a dumbass.

(Link)
From:justgoto
Date: - 0000

Re: Wow, your "jokes" are recycled too.

(Link)
From:angelwind
Date: - 0000

Re: Wow, your "jokes" are recycled too.

(Link)
From:justgoto
Date: - 0000

Re: Yeah, I figured that's the only argument you got.

(Link)
From:angelwind
Date: - 0000

Re: Yeah, I figured that's the only argument you got.

(Link)
From:justgoto
Date: - 0000

Re: Do you like quoting my sentences in your subject line?

(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000

Re: This is the part where I get to call you a dumbass.

(Link)
From:justgoto
Date: - 0000

Re: which again, makes you a fucking retard

(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000

Re: which again, makes you a fucking retard

(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000

Re: which again, makes you a fucking retard

(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000

Re: which again, makes you a fucking retard

(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000

Re: which again, makes you a fucking retard

(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000

Re: which again, makes you a fucking retard

(Link)
[User Picture]
From:kelloggs2066
Date: - 0000

(Link)
Wow! That is one seriously ugly car.

It's a shame. The French came up with the Citroen DS. A classic. now they're reduced to this... :/
[User Picture]
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
When I was in the Netherlands in November 2001, I saw a bunch of the Smart Cars. They told me at the time that it was originally a joint venture between Daimler-Benz and Swatch. I'm not sure you can blame that one on the French.

They also told me that the Smart Car tends to wind up sitting on its rear door in the event of a collision, since the engine is below and behind the back seat.

Don't forget, also, that the same company that came up with the DS also came up with the 2CV, which is best described as a poor man's imitation VW Beetle. Yech.
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
But if what you drive has negative consequences for other people, it's not appropriate for you to demand that you be left in peace.

And yeah, I'd be happy to drive one of these. It costs a lot to fuel my car.
[User Picture]
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
Define "negative consequences."

My exhalations contain carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Attempts on anyone's part to regulate where and how I breathe will be met with a hail of gunfire.
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:tbonestg
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:vakkotaur
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:cyclometh
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:phanatic
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:angelwind
Date: - 0000
(Link)
[User Picture]
From:yakko
Date: - 0000
(Link)
It's an ugly car, and underpowered. I could get a Mini Cooper for less, and it'd be something I actually like.

I'll continue to despise bad driving habits (and try my best to NOT think every SUV driver is an arrogant moron; some actually do consider that there're others on the road), drive defensively, buy the car that's right for me and watch for something that'll use less gas in the meantime.

Cars are going to pollute, end of file. If I could live without a car, I'd do so.

Despite any claim of social responsibility, despite my hatred of most SUVs, in the end, the decision for a given person to drive an SUV is theirs alone. I have no say in it unless I directly pay for it.

Though I do think large SUVs should be regulated and taxed like trucks if they're going to get out of pollution controls like trucks. Car-based SUVs like the RX300 should keep being treated like cars.
[User Picture]
From:foolscap001
Date: - 0000
(Link)
Interestingly, the majority of pollutants from automobiles are from older cars. Buying an SUV may be a net improvement in pollution if the SUV replaces an older car.

"Although many people are concerned about the pollution released by sport utility vehicles, a single vintage Volkswagen bug puts out more pollutants than a huge fleet of SUVs." -- from the linked LA Times article
[User Picture]
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
This is certainly true, but saying "I'm doing well simply because I could have done worse" is not a morally strong argument. It's good for people to move from something more-polluting to something less-polluting... but you can't defend something that pollutes from the moral standpoint that it could simply pollute more.

There does need to be more advocacy regarding getting older vehicles off the highway, just as there needs to be more advocacy regarding getting people into vehicles that aren't excessively large for their needs. Both should be priorities.
From:foolscap001
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:jmaynard
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:tbonestg
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:kinkyturtle
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:tbonestg
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:shelbystripes
Date: - 0000
(Link)
From:angelwind
Date: - 0000
(Link)

> go to top
LiveJournal.com