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Can Detroit Produce?/EDIT

zogger (617870) writes | more than 5 years ago

User Journal 9

Edit: I screwed up, my apologies, this is not a plug-in or extended range, it only goes 1 mile on the battery, but it will go up to 47 MPH before engaging the gasoline engine. Sorry about the mistake, I found it corrected in some other news coverage of it I just read. I've adjusted this JE accordingly. It's a normal hybrid, albeit good mileage. Second generation plug in will be later I assume.

Edit: I screwed up, my apologies, this is not a plug-in or extended range, it only goes 1 mile on the battery, but it will go up to 47 MPH before engaging the gasoline engine. Sorry about the mistake, I found it corrected in some other news coverage of it I just read. I've adjusted this JE accordingly. It's a normal hybrid, albeit good mileage. Second generation plug in will be later I assume.

We'll see on build quality, but their new Fusion hybrid from Ford looks to be a winner. They are claiming number 2 position behind the Prius in mileage, in a larger car, and the ability to go EDIT ONE mile on battery alone at less than highway speeds, but still "around town" speeds, at under 30 grand. And they didn't even use lithium ion, just NiMH batteries. And Ford so far hasn't taken any bailout money. Now, what I want to know is when will we start seeing diesel electrics and not just gas electrics.

9 comments

Detroit? (1)

bhima (46039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26223669)

I know when you said "Detroit" you meant the US auto industry in general but it reminded me of something Paul Krugman said: That the centricity of Detroit in the Auto industry was probably coming to an end. Which, thinking about it, sounds like a good thing both Detroit and the industry in general.

I also wonder why diesel electric hybrids do not already exist... as far as I understand a smaller diesel is more suited for the task.

Re:Detroit? (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#26224257)

Part of the reason they don't is because most of the automotive engineers are building hybrids for acceleration rather than efficiency- and so are concentrating on rube-goldberg transmissions that can take input from two engines, rather than using the train locomotive method of using the liquid fuel IC for power generation, and the electric motor for traction.
 
This to me is a mistake in two ways- one it sacrifices some of the efficiency of a turbocharged IC running at constant RPM, the other is that it sacrifices some of the power by putting in a smaller electric engine.
 
The proper technology is 50 years old and still advancing, so why not use that?

Just one problem... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26224197)

Where am I going to get a loan for a $30k car?

Beyond the immediate concern, if gas stays at $1.50, why am I going to buy a $30k electric car?

I said it before and I'll say it again: the US companies are doomed until their executives start talking less about how their next model is going to be so totally awesome that everyone will rush out and buy one and more about how they are going to become flexible enough to deal with changes in customer demand. Making SUVs or trucks or hybrids or whatever are great when that is what people are buying, but when you keep making them long after your customers move on, that's what causes the problems.

I do have to admit, based on that review, if Ford is still here and gas goes back up I might give the Fusion a test drive in 2010.

2010 models... (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#26224645)

...go out on the lots in 2009. As to cheap fuel, can't say, they keep making noises about dropping production to get crude back up to between 75 and a hundred dollars a bbl. I know I am treating this as a short term anomaly. Sure as heck keeping our tanks and cans full though at these prices...

As to loans, hear ya, no way could I afford ANYTHING new, I struggle to keep the old junque running, that's expensive enough. We looked at a year old Yaris, couldn't even afford that, let alone any hybrid. We got enough rides now anyway kicking around, got it covered from good mileage-my diesel pickup- to serious beef and highway comfort with an old lincoln we got given for free. Mostly we drive a six cyclinder olds that gets around 25 mpg, which isn't that bad for a full size car with a roomy trunk.

Re:2010 models... (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 5 years ago | (#26225199)

2010 models go out on the lots in 2009

That doesn't mean I do ;)

I'll give it a year to see if there are any show stopping problems (bursts into flames, etc) then take a look around for one sitting around in a lot getting in the way of the 2011 model run. Might not get one exactly the way I want, but I can deal with neon pink trim for a few thousand bucks off.

one of my brothers does this (1)

zogger (617870) | more than 5 years ago | (#26225891)

He buys off lease, weird color trucks and cars. Typically gets a new car warranty with them, at many thousands off new price, then runs them into the ground. I've always bought mostly junkers then got them running and kept them for a long time. Closest to new I ever had was a really good shape early bronco, a 68 I bought in 71, it was the personal ride of the local ford dealership mechanic, so it was in great shape. I *think* IIRC it was around 1700 bucks, a considerable sum for me at that time..and unfortunately it still is ;( heheheh or should I say today HoHoHoHo!

Re:one of my brothers does this (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 4 years ago | (#26226951)

I've always bought mostly junkers then got them running and kept them for a long time

That's what my little brother did when he was in high school. He got all the mechanical skill I didn't (I can manage to keep the gas, oil and radiator tanks full of the correct fluids) so that kind of work makes more sense for him than for me. Of course, after graduating college, he ran out and bought himself a brand new mustang. I think he's still paying that off.

Re:Just one problem... (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 4 years ago | (#26226579)

I just checked with my bank, and they said they'd have no problem approving me for a fairly reasonable car loan (not $30K though, but I didn't ask) despite me having around $60-70K in negative equity at the moment (on the house.)

I'm not saying there are no problems with the car loan system at the moment, obviously that's untrue, but before assuming you can't get a loan, do ask. My bank isn't one of the large chains - that may have made a difference, or that may reflect that "even" small banks aren't finding it impossible to do this kind of thing.

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