May 2008

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Comments

Mike Johnston

Hmm, higher mileage, no girlfriend...sounds to me like a guy would be saving money twice.

Seriously, I don't know about your basic premise. The guy I know who drives a Prius (first one sold in the State of Wisconsin) has several kids and a charming, pretty, smart wife. I've never heard him complain about his sex life. If you're up on your Dr. Suess, the license plate on his Prius is LORAX. His wife's van, which they use when they go somewhere as a family or need more space, has the plate ONCELER.

It's the middle-aged guy in the red Corvette or Viper who's dissatisfied with his sex life.

Personally, I'm all for Hummers, vans, SUVs and Lincoln Navigators. The more of them there are, the more likely it is that the next non-oilman administration will pass a law mandating that no car sold can exceed 2,000 pounds and a 100-inch wheelbase. Then we'll really start saving gas.

--Blue Mikey

Qbert

"For me, it's the large Hummer and SUV's that scream, "I HAVE A REALLY SMALL PACKAGE THAT I'M HOPING TO DISTRACT PEOPLE FROM".

You seem oddly preoccupied with other men's crotches....

Doug

You need to get out on the road more often. The Honda Civic Hybrid looks perfectly norma, as does the Ford Blazer version.

George Gooney

How about infinite miles to the gallon? - A Ford Edge hydrogen/hybrid. Just drive around with a gallon of gas in the trunk for old times sake.

http://www.fordvehicles.com/crossovers/edge/?v=html

George Gooney

10 million wouldn't butter any car maker's bread.

It takes about 4-6 billion to create all the design and tooling for just one model of car.

talk about plain f..king stupid.

David Taylor

Note the wikipedia has a list of car drag coefficients.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drag_coefficient

Important to note is the 0.29 Cd {Honda CRX HF 1988}, which had an EPA mileage of

MPG (city) 50

MPG (highway) 56

MPG (combined) 52

It wasn't ugly. It's obvious that today's carmakers are not even trying hard.

Boris

Okay, I'm not missing the point. Humor, ark ark. But I'm trying to understand this. I looked at the Prius web page, and saw a car that looks pretty much like half the cars on the road. No, it's not some chick-magnet sports car, but it's no worse than any other small car. What am I missing?

RasmusA

Such a car is (hopefully) already on its way. I think expected release is in 2009.

http://www.loremo.com/index_en.php

The econo-version get ~150 miles to the gallon, the sporty-version get ~85. And unlike hybrids this actually seems quite affordable for everybody. Maintenance costs should be low as well.
So it only fits 4 people, but how often do you have more than 4 people in your car?

ND

Well, Scott, up here in Canada, and in Europe, we have the Smart4two, which is not a hybrid and gets 50 mpg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_(automobile)

Of course, it's not available in the U.S., because it doesn't appeal to a society comprised largely of self-centered, environmentally ignorant consumers. Besides, smart-ass, short-sighted rich folks who apparently need a big car to bolster their sense of self worth would only make fun of it anyway.

Joe W.

Scott, you're a color-blind cartoonist who draws about computer geeks and project management, why should we trust you to tell us what's cool?

Buckshot

People with heavy cars tend to work close to home. People with tiny cars tend to drive great distances. Each burns about the same number of gallons of fuel per day. The only diff: the tiny owners believe they are being more environmentally aware, and feel "better about themselves".

HALiverpool

Replace those batteries in a Hybrid with a flywheel then you've got something.

~Eric

It's funny.

The hybrid cars don't yell at me the way they do you.

For me, it's the large Hummer and SUV's that scream, "I HAVE A REALLY SMALL PACKAGE THAT I'M HOPING TO DISTRACT PEOPLE FROM".

Maybe I'm the only one that hears that.

Gametheory

In Europe, the sexiest car -Ferraris notwhistanding- is a 60 mpg, gasoline-powered 2-seater named "Smart".
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5217861/

Besides the milage and the sexiness factor (no kidding), the Smart has other positive points. For instance, did you ever saw a parking spot right in front of the theater that was 5 inches too small for your car, and after 45 additional minutes of looking for a spot went back home in desperation to watch a DVD? The Smart is so tiny that you can actually park it with the front towards the road.

On the negative side, if your family consists of more than a spouse, or if you need to often move anything larger than a purse, this may not be the ideal car. Also, despite surprisingly good safety standards, Smarts are in a bad position when they hit a bigger vehicle, which means anything arger than a bicycle (even some morotcycles are larger). Finally, the maker is not making much money on it, so it may follow the way of the Concorde...

buttbutt

Scott, the problem is self fulfilling. If the people in the Prius had (unprotected) sex and had kids, they wouldn't be able to fit everyone in the car (ok a buddy had three kids across the back of their that they got after the third kid) but they couldn't bring anything else with them. Needless to say their one of their other cars is a club-cab pickup (the other cars are more vintage gas guzzlers). Basically with sex, they wouldn't fit in the car and they have to get the suburban. Without sex, they fit.

Gametheory

In Europe, the sexiest car -Ferraris notwhistanding- is a 60 mpg, gasoline-powered 2-seater named "Smart".
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5217861/

Besides the milage and the sexiness factor (no kidding), the Smart has other positive points. For instance, did you ever saw a parking spot right in front of the theater that was 5 inches too small for your car, and after 45 additional minutes of looking for a spot went back home in desperation to watch a DVD? The Smart is so tiny that you can actually park it with the front towards the road.

On the negative side, if your family consists of more than a spouse, or if you need to often move anything larger than a purse, this may not be the ideal car. Also, despite surprisingly good safety standards, Smarts are in a bad position when they hit a bigger vehicle, which means anything arger than a bicycle (even some morotcycles are larger). Finally, the maker is not making much money on it, so it may follow the way of the Concorde...

Thmz

It's kind of funny how many people didn't get this post. Scott doesn't seem to be saying you have to buy a Hummer to get laid, more that most hybrids look like cars that would only be owned by losers. I guess some hybrid owners were offended..

Crazycowbob

Check out Tesla Motors Scott.
It's an electric that gets an equivilent of well over 100 miles per gallon in energy usage, and looks pretty darn sweet at that! (it's made by the lotus people :D)

Downside is the 4 hours to fully charge it, but it has a 250mile range per charge, so it'd be good for in town. Besides, who's driving their hybrid on trips? That sounds like an awfully uncomfortable ride...

Only other thing is price, last I checked it was sitting around $50,000, more than twice a hybrid's price. But considering how it looks (and how fast the thing is!) I can see how it could turn out to be a big hit.

texafornia

Scott, I think it's important to remember that the traffic jams that lead to cars idling and burning gas while going nowhere are largely due to the sheer size of the vehicles. Next time you are sitting in a jam, notice how every person is taking up about 200 square feet. Put those people on foot or on bikes and everybody could smoothly get through. So, the answer isn't just fuel efficiency, but it's also reducing the wasted space taken up by larger vehicles.

Ashwin R J

What the heck is the Ad in the side about ?.....Hoodia XPF... Is this some kinda April fool joke..... ok... ummm...sorry I have attention deficit disorder...Yah, what were we talking about ?....oh yes! ....fuel efficient cars.. 12 weeks is a lotta time to loose weight.... ok...sorry again....yah about the cars.... so we are supposed to care for the planet...hmmmm.... Does this work without dieting.... I sure love those chocolate frosted cream buns...

BobUK

JD you are missing a couple of startlingly obvious points.

First, the article does not say that palm oil is not viable as a biofuel, quite the opposite in fact. It says that the practices of draining peat bogs or clearing rainforest in order to grow palm trees is responsible for releasing more carbon than is saved by using palm oil as a fuel.

This is just like anything else consumers need to be aware of - for example, if you want to buy some fancy mahogany or teak furniture, does it come from a rainforest-friendly source?

Industry codes of conduct and best practices, consumer pressure, legislation - all these things can work to ensure the more ignorant or unscrupulous suppliers are squeezed out.

Secondly, you ask whether we really want to turn food into fuel. Do you eat that many food products with palm oil in? I doubt it. Maybe you use some shampoo or hand cream that contains it.

Either way, surely it is better to GROW fuel rather than spend millions looking for and extracting crude oil? The black stuff is going to run out in the foreseeable future. It is vital that we do as much as we can to encourage energy-efficiency and renewable energy technologies right now!

If we were to follow your rather short-sighted philosophy, possibly our children but certainly our grandchildren will be totally screwed. Is that what you want?

Gandalf

Scott, I can't see why you have to lower yourself and stoop to making your points via stereotypes, prejudice, and gross sweeping mischaracterizations.

Take my case, for example. I own a hybrid, and I've had sex.

Uh, unless, of course, you mean with *other* *people*...

You probably do, don't you?

Never mind.

YourMom

Tesla Motors, a PURE electric car the will beat any gasoline car that costs under $100,000.

http://www.teslamotors.com

135 mpg, 250 miles per charge, already on the market...

For someone that enjoys tennis you really should try and point out unmanly things ROFL.

Dave W.

Us married guys might be a market for these cars, we never have sex anyway. The ad slogan could be something like: might as well save money, you're never gonna have sex again anyway.

Paul

"I’m generally not one to subscribe to conspiracy theories. But I think it’s obvious that if the oil companies wanted the car companies to make fuel-efficient cars that also looked good, it would have happened by now."

I agree that there's always room for improvement for almost anything; but nobody really seems to understand how hydrocarbon engines work. They will never be able to make a homeopathic gasoline engine, where the fuel is basically water that sat next to a can of premium thirteen days ago and retains some magical memory of fuelness. And those of us who can afford it, like to own cars and trucks that have some degree of "balls" (or brass ovaries, whichever applies).

Here's a better idea: incentivise the use of smaller more efficient vehicles in large metropolitan areas. Make it worth my effort to drive a hybrid to the office everyday, but don't penalize me for wanting to haul my fishing boat to the lake with my 8 cylinder truck every other sunday.

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