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Car Advice

2 For The Brew

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Gas vs Electric debates are boring. It's like gas grills vs. charcoal. After about five minutes you want to shoot yourself because the same arguments are repeated ad nauseum.

Anyway, went shopping with my mom for a new vehicle. Her 1996 Camry had just over 100,000 miles on it but she wanted a vehicle that was easier to enter and exit. She's 86 and my stepdad is 89 and they love Toyota, so she went with a 2016 RAV4 Limited. Tons of safety features, excellent visibility, easy to get in & out leather interior -- but the best part is the high front bumper with a sloping profile & four wheel drive so she can efficiently knock down pedestrians when she drives down the sidewalk in Bucks County. That high profile means rammed pedestrians & cyclists have at least a 50-50 shot.
 

inliner311

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Gas vs Electric debates are boring. It's like gas grills vs. charcoal. After about five minutes you want to shoot yourself because the same arguments are repeated ad nauseum.

Anyway, went shopping with my mom for a new vehicle. Her 1996 Camry had just over 100,000 miles on it but she wanted a vehicle that was easier to enter and exit. She's 86 and my stepdad is 89 and they love Toyota, so she went with a 2016 RAV4 Limited. Tons of safety features, excellent visibility, easy to get in & out leather interior -- but the best part is the high front bumper with a sloping profile & four wheel drive so she can efficiently knock down pedestrians when she drives down the sidewalk in Bucks County. That high profile means rammed pedestrians & cyclists have at least a 50-50 shot.
Four wheel drive and enough ground clearance is so nice when you want to be lazy and not want to shovel your driveway. It is a pain in the ass when you finally do hit the limitations of the ground clearance though. Trying to get a car to move when the wheels are hovering and the car is floating on top of completely packed down snow takes so much effort to get out.

Most times I just shovel the packed snow at the end of the driveway that is extra dense from the snow plow from the street and go on my way. Long periods of cold or a massive snow storm throws a wrench into that strategy.
 

Blink

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Four wheel drive and enough ground clearance is so nice when you want to be lazy and not want to shovel your driveway. It is a pain in the ass when you finally do hit the limitations of the ground clearance though. Trying to get a car to move when the wheels are hovering and the car is floating on top of completely packed down snow takes so much effort to get out.

Most times I just shovel the packed snow at the end of the driveway that is extra dense from the snow plow from the street and go on my way. Long periods of cold or a massive snow storm throws a wrench into that strategy.
I use my truck to pack that shit down behind my wife's RAV4. It looks redneck driving back and forth but I'm not about to shovel 4 feet of street in addition to my driveway.
 

KI4MVP

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Gas vs Electric debates are boring. It's like gas grills vs. charcoal. After about five minutes you want to shoot yourself because the same arguments are repeated ad nauseum.
I guess if you ignore the whole climate change issue. :(
 

inliner311

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I guess if you ignore the whole climate change issue. :(
Algae fuels could make gas cars net neutral in terms of CO2. It could also reduce CO2 in the atmosphere if a certain amount of the supply is kept in storage.

Also if we took all sewage and biogradable waste to turned it into natural gas, it would reduce the amount of methane that is leaking into the atmosphere and would create that same amount of CO2 that would naturally happen from it decomposing. Imagine all the biowaste that could be put together to create net neutral natural gas.

Either with electric or a biofuel, we will have to reduce CO2 in some other way. Planting billions of trees is the only good solution to that I've heard.
 

Lee

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Gas vs Electric debates are boring. It's like gas grills vs. charcoal. After about five minutes you want to shoot yourself because the same arguments are repeated ad nauseum.

Anyway, went shopping with my mom for a new vehicle. Her 1996 Camry had just over 100,000 miles on it but she wanted a vehicle that was easier to enter and exit. She's 86 and my stepdad is 89 and they love Toyota, so she went with a 2016 RAV4 Limited. Tons of safety features, excellent visibility, easy to get in & out leather interior -- but the best part is the high front bumper with a sloping profile & four wheel drive so she can efficiently knock down pedestrians when she drives down the sidewalk in Bucks County. That high profile means rammed pedestrians & cyclists have at least a 50-50 shot.
I like the RAV4 allot for what it is. Not sure I ever thought about the running down people aspect, but highly entertaining option on top of being a very solid and practical vehicle.
 

The Oi

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Why arent we using methane or corn
 

Blink

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Corn based ethanol is a political lobbyist sham. The amount of energy you get out of corn ethanol is barely more than what you put into it. Ethanol from sugar cane is far more efficient, but we can't grow that much cane in this country.

Also, ethanol does not work as well in cold weather. That's why they reduce the amount in gasoline during the winter. Brazil is in the sweet spot for ethanol. The US is not.
 

inliner311

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Corn based ethanol is a political lobbyist sham. The amount of energy you get out of corn ethanol is barely more than what you put into it. Ethanol from sugar cane is far more efficient, but we can't grow that much cane in this country.

Also, ethanol does not work as well in cold weather. That's why they reduce the amount in gasoline during the winter. Brazil is in the sweet spot for ethanol. The US is not.
Also gasoline engines could only take so much ethanol before you had to remap the ECU which some manufacturers started to put into newer cars. Some aftermarket tuners did ethanol tuning for certain cars but it wasn't anywhere close to widespread.

I wish algae biofuels would get the funding and push that ethanol did. I think it's way more viable and it can be added to the gasoline supply without any disruptions or changes for consumers.
 

CleveRocks

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Corn based ethanol is a political lobbyist sham. The amount of energy you get out of corn ethanol is barely more than what you put into it. Ethanol from sugar cane is far more efficient, but we can't grow that much cane in this country.

Also, ethanol does not work as well in cold weather. That's why they reduce the amount in gasoline during the winter. Brazil is in the sweet spot for ethanol. The US is not.
Last week I learned that 40% of field corn is converted to ethanol. Pretty astonishing actually. I was driving through Iowa/Nebraska and googled it..

I know there is a project to use another easier to grow plant, which can be converted to gasoline, and according to my sources is eight times more energy output to input than Ethanol. My understanding is that Ethanol is more energy in than out, but I have no real data.

Farmers in Iowa/Nebraska/Indiana are already in the energy business. They are supplying ethanol, but they are also building windmills like crazy over the fields. Its interesting because if they convert the corn fields to this new thing, its net energy positive. Essentially doing the same thing as coal, oil or gas, but skipping the whole 30 million year thing.

EDIT: I checked on the project. It was killed because they make more money in oil.. Algae Bio fuels are the new new thing, but its exxon so I expect the same result. Basically, as long as there is oil, they can make more money than they can with farm produced biofuels.
 
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The Oi

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I totally made that up.

I was literally making a dumbass fart joke.

Had no idea this was actually attempted.
 

inliner311

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.

EDIT: I checked on the project. It was killed because they make more money in oil.. Algae Bio fuels are the new new thing, but its exxon so I expect the same result. Basically, as long as there is oil, they can make more money than they can with farm produced biofuels.
I think consumers will demand biofuels over fossil fuels at some point and that's why the oil companies are investing in researching biofuels.

Also algae has alot of companies and universities researching it, not just Exxon. There are alot of different strains of algae and it's about finding the right ones for the right regions. For it to be scaled though, I think there will have to be alot of corporation on multiple levels of government since they need large water sources to do it. They can use sea water and/or sewage water but that needs to be pumped into the land they are going to use.

The land doesn't need to be farmable land either. They could do this out in the desert if they wanted to but they need to figure out how to make self contain systems so they aren't losing water.
 

inliner311

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I totally made that up.

I was literally making a dumbass fart joke.

Had no idea this was actually attempted.
Haha....you can even convert diesel engines to run on methane. In Australia people convert their trucks to run on propane because they have such large reserves of it. Basically anything that can run on propane can also be run on methane, which is basically what natural gas is.

I think even certain municipalities are converting their fleets over to natural gas because they realized they could cap off the sewer vents and use that methane that they were once venting off. They just have to compress it and pump it into their vehicles.

The more I dive into looking at green energy, the less I feel like the solution is just solar and wind with electric vehicles, heating, etc. There so much waste in our system that we could be using to make biogas/natural gas. Same goes for Algae and finding way of making it scalable with waste water or no farmable land. Solar and wind will have its place but I think biofuels will too. Biofuels will be less disruptive to the end user too. Maybe modification for some but mostly they can use the same cars, furnaces, hot water heaters, etc as they were before without changing anything.
 
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KI4MVP

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why biofuels instead of solar. I find it impossible to believe that growing algae, converting that into oil, refining that into gas, shipping that gas across the country, then burning it in cars that get 30ish MPG is going to be more efficient than turning sunlight directly into energy and using that as fuel with 103 eMPG. Something homeowners can do on their roof.

Global energy demand would be offset by solar production if even less than 1% of cropland were converted to an agrivoltaic system


Read that again - 1% of farmland is all that is needed for solar to generate all of the worlds energy needs while done in a way it can still be used for farming. But no, let's subsidize massive amounts of corn corn and convert into ethanol, which makes cars less efficient, instead of building out solar. Just so the oil industry remains viable.

China is positioning themselves to dominate the EV car industry because other than Tesla, the US car industry is doing nothing but token effort. While China is pouring tons of resources into it.



 

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