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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 04-05-2011, 08:42 PM   #1
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DriveSmartBC - Eco Driving

I almost always check the price of gasoline when I pull onto the highway headed for work each day. An increase in the numbers usually brings a groan and starts me thinking about how to use less. The way I drive my little truck can have a significant influence on how much fuel it uses.

Everyone knows that the faster you go, the more fuel your vehicle uses. In general, the sweet spot seems to end at 90 km/h and climbs rapidly from there. So, cruising at 90 if the limit allows will make more efficient use of that fuel if you keep your speed steady at that rate.

To further increase efficiency, accelerate and decelerate smoothly and conservatively. To do this, you will have to watch the traffic around you and anticipate the traffic lights if there are any. Maintaining an adequate following distance will allow you to adjust as necessary without heavy braking.

Finally, keep your tires properly inflated and in good condition. Low inflation pressure by only 5 to 7 psi can cost you 10% in fuel consumption.

Hmm, doesn't this sound like a defensive driving lesson if you leave out the bit about fuel? Imagine, saving money and driving more safely. Sounds good to me!

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Old 04-06-2011, 07:22 PM   #2
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good post. i guess the problem with a lot of drivers is that they think "i need to get a more fuel efficient car", which isn't the problem. What they need to do is change their driving habits.
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Old 04-06-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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Finally, keep your tires properly inflated and in good condition. Low inflation pressure by only 5 to 7 psi can cost you 10% in fuel consumption.
This is the one thing that gets me with these "hypermiler" idiots - they crank up the pressure in their tires to reduce rolling resistance to gain an extra few percentage points in their mileage, apparently without realizing (or caring) that it will cause their tires to wear out faster... over the course of the shortened life of an $800 set of tires, they're probably going to save $200 worth of gas with this stunt.

And of course, resistance is the basis of steering, handling, and braking... too little of it, and you have none of the above. Is it really worth saving a few bucks in gas to make your car less safe on the road??
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:20 PM   #4
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I'm a great believer in driving a Hummer instead of a Prius because the Hummer has a smaller "carbon footprint".....really. Bring on the global warming...I'm tired of this winter stuff.

In a recent article, published by CNW Market Research, the vilified Hummer H2 was brought up on charges of being more environmentally friendly than the Toyota Prius Hybrid. In a comparison of fuel economy, there is no competition. The Prius gets anywhere from triple to quadruple the Hummer’s fuel economy. What the article investigates is the damage done to the environment over the span of the vehicles entire life, from the very beginning of construction to the eventual destruction. The Toyota Prius is powered by two engines: A conventional 76 hp gas powered engine, mated to a battery powered electric engine, rated at 67 hp. When driven, these two engines collaborate with one another in order to achieve maximum fuel economy and minimal emissions. One must know however, that these batteries must hold power by some means. This is where nickel comes in, and the article begins to make its case.

“The nickel for the battery, for instance, is mined in Sudbury, Ontario, and smelted at nearby Nickel Centre, just north of the province's massive Georgian Bay. Toyota buys about 1,000 tons of nickel from the facility each year, ships the nickel to Wales for refining, then to China, where it's manufactured into nickel foam, and then onto Toyota's battery plant in Japan. That alone creates a globe-trotting trail of carbon emissions that ought to seriously concern everyone involved in the fight against global warming. All told, the start-to-finish journey travels more than 10,000 miles - mostly by container ship, but also by diesel locomotive. But it's not just the clouds of greenhouse gases generated by all that smelting, refining, manufacturing and transporting that worries green activists. The 1,250-foot-tall smokestack that spews huge puffs of sulphur dioxide at the Sudbury mine and smelter operation has left a large swath of the surrounding area looking like a surrealistic scene from the depths of hell.” (Martin, CNW Market Research)

Not only does the Prius require nickel to be mined and smelted henceforth creating acid rain and environmental destruction, but it has to be transported 10,000 miles before it is even ready to be put to work in the actual automobile. The Prius’ energy-cost average, or more simply the cost to drive said vehicle for one mile, is a lofty $3.25. Compare that to the Hummer, which beats the Prius with an energy-cost average of $1.95 a mile. That’s 60% less per mile than a Toyota Prius. A contributing factor to this difference in price could be that the Toyota Prius has an engine life expectancy of only 100,000 miles, where as the H2’s engine is expected to run to 300,000 miles. Should the Prius, a vehicle that has to be shipped for 10,000 miles before construction even begins, really be seen as the most eco-friendly vehicle to drive? No.

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Old 04-06-2011, 09:26 PM   #5
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Lesson of the day: Cruise at 90km/h at all time (if the limit allows)

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Old 04-06-2011, 11:02 PM   #6
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Hmmm.... I recall the whole big "acid rain" thing from, what was it, the early 80s? Seems to me smelters got smacked down pretty hard on the SO2 emissions back then... somehow, I doubt acid rain has actually been an issue around Sudbury for at least a couple of decades... since long before these batteries started being produced. I doubt a full accounting of the numbers would support this guy's claims, anyway - he makes it sound as if Sudbury exists and operates for the sole purpose of creating nickel for Prius batteries, like nobody else in the world has any need for refined nickel.

When an article insists on trotting out such alarmist BS, it's hard to take any of the rest of it seriously...
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:43 PM   #7
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Zulu, the CNW article is a big steaming pile. It's already been thoroughly debunked. CNW is just a shill for GM. I can't believe that that article is still making it's rounds of misinformation.
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:19 PM   #8
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Skidmark, honestly I think these "green" driving initiatives are backfiring, especially the commercials.

I see too many people trying to save gas by accelerating slowly, which means less cars get through an intersection, and traffic gets worse. Worse traffic results in more gas burned, and higher chance of accidents which makes traffic even worse.

I think we should be encouraging good driving, not eco driving. Good driving will result in less traffic, and less fuel. I know your post outlines good driving, yet I fear the eco-hippies take it too far and out of context.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:26 PM   #9
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I fear the eco-hippies take it too far and out of context.
Yeah, like those guys who turn off their cars when cruising and turn it back on when they need to accelerate.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:51 PM   #10
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There is a difference between driving economically and hypermiling.

Hypermiling should be illegal. It holds up traffic and causes road rage.

Driving economically with reasonable common sense can still save you hundreds of dollars a year in gas. This is what I would call the median between hypermiling and jackrabbit driving.
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