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should the gov't bail out SUV owners?

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
tales of woe

The sale of new SUVs and pickup trucks has dropped precipitously in recent months amid soaring gas prices and a weakening economy: SUV sales for the month of April alone fell 32.3 percent from a year earlier and small car sales rose 18.6 percent. This fundamental shift comes against a backdrop of relentless gas increases, and growing concerns over the environment and US oil consumption, according to auto analysts and car dealers.

"The SUV craze was a bubble and now it is bursting," said George Hoffer, an economics professor at Virginia Commonwealth University whose research focuses on the automotive industry. "It's an irrational vehicle. It'll never come back."

With stocks of unwanted new SUVs and pickups piling up at dealerships across the country, automakers are offering unprecedented promotions. Incentives for large SUVs, including cash rebates, topped $4,000 in March, or more than double those offered in March 2002, according to Edmunds.com, which monitors the motor industry.

At the same time, consumers like Chrystall are flooding the market with used SUVs, trying to trade in hulking Hummers for compact Corollas, and getting thousands of dollars less than they would have just a few months ago. In April, the average used SUV took more than 66 days to sell, at a 20 percent discount from vehicle valuation books, such as Kelley Blue Book, compared to 48 days and a 7.8 percent discount a year earlier, reported CNW Marketing Research, an automotive marketing research company.

Some desperate car dealers and consumers, are willing to lose thousands of dollars just to get rid of their SUVs. Last July, 20-year-old Sannan Nizami, of Lowell, bought a 2007 Toyota 4Runner SUV for $32,000 when it cost about $65 to fill the tank. Six months later, as a gallon of gas soared to $3.50 and more, and tank refills climbed over $80, Nizami put the vehicle up for sale. He posted it online for $27,000 but received no responses for months.

Frustrated and unable to afford prices at the pump, Nizami last month turned over the Toyota to a dealer who only sells vehicles from private owners. Nizami is still paying the $450 loan but now is bumming rides to work with a cousin and worrying about making enough from the sale to cover the car loan.
there should be congressional hearings on predatory lenders like these. no one told them the costs of ownership would increase while the value decreased.

shameful
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
The Fed should bail them out since they dangled the carrot of subsidizing the SUV industry. We can't afford to have people carless in this society of minimal public transportation.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,445
3,369
Portland, OR
It's a bunch of crap. Any jackass that thought (or still thinks) gas prices will EVER go down is high.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
I'd rather that money go toward something more meaningful. Like subsidies for our terrible train system, or bike paths.
I'd rather that money go towards improving E85 distribution to get more stations offering it. Is there anyone we can invade for corn?
 

SPINTECK

Turbo Monkey
Oct 16, 2005
1,370
0
abc
The same gov't that is allowing the Fed to dilute our money's value while buying more oil for our reserves (instead of using the release and purchase of reserves to stabilize oil) is actually going to care about consumers who fell into the marketing trap of an SUV??

Why would they kill their own cash cow?? They know these people will be forced to drive these vehicles another year or so.

Gas should be capped for economic and social stability. Your kidding yourself if you think it is a capitalistic market. But like I say, what did people expect when they elected two oil barons to office??
 

-dustin

boring
Jun 10, 2002
7,162
1
austin
stopped by the Toyota dealership today on my way home. $4k rebates on Tacomas were being handed out like candy, while Priuses were unavailable.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
gas mileage plummets when E85 is used. it's offered out here and nobody uses it...
No it doesn't. It's the solution we've all been looking for. In fact, when you put a large load on the fuel during combustion -- like a Hummer or Suburban -- it becomes even more efficient.

Very large vehicles on E85 get upwards of 47mph, in the city! E85 and large vehicles are good for the environment, good for the economy and good for America!
 

SPINTECK

Turbo Monkey
Oct 16, 2005
1,370
0
abc
No it doesn't. It's the solution we've all been looking for. In fact, when you put a large load on the fuel during combustion -- like a Hummer or Suburban -- it becomes even more efficient.

Very large vehicles on E85 get upwards of 47mph, in the city! E85 and large vehicles are good for the environment, good for the economy and good for America!
The only problem w/ethanol is the politics. The corn industry will get the rights to make the stuff, so all corn products will go up. I believe switch grass or sugar is much more efficient than corn at fermenting alcohol.

I personally like the idea of hydrogen. I believe they have found a way to store it so the entire resever doesn not explode.
 

Stray_cat

Monkey
Nov 13, 2007
460
0
Providence
The only problem w/ethanol is the politics. The corn industry will get the rights to make the stuff, so all corn products will go up. I believe switch grass or sugar is much more efficient than corn at fermenting alcohol.

A very true statment. We're just not a very big sugar cane producer, but we do have alot of corn...
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
The Everglades is perfect for making sugar cane. There's already an established industry, we just need to relax the environmental regulations a little so they can use the natural resources to the fullest.
 

woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,089
1
Sutton, MA
E85 and hydrogen are dead ends. It cost more energy to produce than you get out of them. Do some reasearch. It fires me up that so many people think these are viable energy options. I can barely type right now. The only reason they are even considered is because the oil companies can use their infrastucture to produce and distribute them. Electric is the ultimate solution but they will fight it to the death because they don't control the infrastructure (which is already in place).
 

woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,089
1
Sutton, MA

dante

Unabomber
Feb 13, 2004
8,814
8
looking for classic NE singletrack
No it doesn't. It's the solution we've all been looking for. In fact, when you put a large load on the fuel during combustion -- like a Hummer or Suburban -- it becomes even more efficient.

Very large vehicles on E85 get upwards of 47mph, in the city! E85 and large vehicles are good for the environment, good for the economy and good for America!
uhhhh. Hi N8!! now stop making up facts and give the computer back to LO...

contrary evidence...

edit: more from the government
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,027
3
Denver
E85 and hydrogen are dead ends. It cost more energy to produce than you get out of them. Do some reasearch. It fires me up that so many people think these are viable energy options. I can barely type right now. The only reason they are even considered is because the oil companies can use their infrastucture to produce and distribute them. Electric is the ultimate solution but they will fight it to the death because they don't control the infrastructure (which is already in place).
Electric creates an unstable and dangerous electro-magnetic force. They tried a localized experiment in Fiji by powering everything with electricity and it changed tidal forces in the immediate area... even pulled a fockin' whale to shore!

No, E85 is the only safe and realistic option. The return on investment might not be that great, but it's the safest route. Plus, we can just plant it everywhere.

There's a school near me that is using some dormant land to plant corn. The children go into the fields to collect it, so there's no pollution from the harvesting. So far, the Children of the Corn has collected enough fuel for the entire school district's buses for the entire year.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
30,445
3,369
Portland, OR
THERE IS NOTHING THAT WILL REPLACE OIL, INCLUDING OIL. E85 is an alternative, but not a replacement. Bio-Diesel is also an alternative, not a replacement.

The only thing we can do is reduce consumption and move to alternatives. E85, Bio-Fuels, Solar, other stuff. Our society (in the USA) was built around the concept of cheap energy and cheap energy is gone forever. Society will have to get off the tit and adjust.
 

ohio

The Fresno Kid
Nov 26, 2001
6,638
4
SF, CA
I stand by my claim that heavier displaced vehicles create more compression in the engine block and force E85 to more efficient levels.
I can't tell if this is trolling or not, but you haven't a clue what you're talking about.

Yes, high compression leads to higher efficiency. This is (largely) why Diesels are so efficient.

However, you don't create more compression by putting more load on an engine. Compression is defined by combustion chamber volume and piston stroke and is fixed by engine. Additionally, mid-displacement motorcycles currently have the highest compression ratios out there for conventional normally aspirated engines. Motorcycles are hardly high-load (see high horsepower/torque ratios).

By nature of it's high-octane, ethanol does facilitate a higher compression ratio (which is why it's used as a racing fuel... "alcohol burners"), but that has nothing to do with vehicle size. In fact because larger vehicles tend to run lower compression engines for low maintenance and longevity, they specifically don't get the benefits of E85, only the drawback of lower energy density... from wikipedia:
"In one test, a Chevy Tahoe flex-fuel vehicle averaged 18 MPG [U.S. gallons] for gasoline, and 13 MPG for E85, or 28% fewer MPG than gasoline."
 

woodsguy

gets infinity MPG
Mar 18, 2007
1,089
1
Sutton, MA
-An acre of U.S. corn yields about 7,110 pounds of corn for processing into 328 gallons of ethanol. But planting, growing and harvesting that much corn requires about 140 gallons of fossil fuels and costs $347 per acre, according to Pimentel’s analysis. Thus, even before corn is converted to ethanol, the feedstock costs $1.05 per gallon of ethanol.

-The energy economics get worse at the processing plants, where the grain is crushed and fermented. As many as three distillation steps are needed to separate the 8 percent ethanol from the 92 percent water. Additional treatment and energy are required to produce the 99.8 percent pure ethanol for mixing with gasoline.

-Adding up the energy costs of corn production and its conversion to ethanol, 131,000 BTUs are needed to make 1 gallon of ethanol. One gallon of ethanol has an energy value of only 77,000 BTU. "Put another way", Pimentel says, "about 70 percent more energy is required to produce ethanol than the energy that actually is in ethanol. Every time you make 1 gallon of ethanol, there is a net energy loss of 54,000 BTU".

-Ethanol from corn costs about $1.74 per gallon to produce, compared with about 95 cents to produce a gallon of gasoline. "That helps explain why fossil fuels-not ethanol-are used to produce ethanol", Pimentel says. "The growers and processors can’t afford to burn ethanol to make ethanol. U.S. drivers couldn’t afford it, either, if it weren’t for government subsidies to artificially lower the price".

-Most economic analyses of corn-to-ethanol production overlook the costs of environmental damages, which Pimentel says should add another 23 cents per gallon. "Corn production in the U.S. erodes soil about 12 times faster than the soil can be reformed, and irrigating corn mines groundwater 25 percent faster than the natural recharge rate of ground water. The environmental system in which corn is being produced is being rapidly degraded. Corn should not be considered a renewable resource for ethanol energy production, especially when human food is being converted into ethanol".

-The approximately $1 billion a year in current federal and state subsidies (mainly to large corporations) for ethanol production are not the only costs to consumers, the Cornell scientist observes. Subsidized corn results in higher prices for meat, milk and eggs because about 70 percent of corn grain is fed to livestock and poultry in the United States. Increasing ethanol production would further inflate corn prices, Pimentel says, noting: "In addition to paying tax dollars for ethanol subsidies, consumers would be paying significantly higher food prices in the marketplace".

-Nickels and dimes aside, some drivers still would rather see their cars fueled by farms in the Midwest than by oil wells in the Middle East, Pimentel acknowledges, so he calculated the amount of corn needed to power an automobile:

-The average U.S. automobile, traveling 10,000 miles a year on pure ethanol (not a gasoline-ethanol mix) would need about 852 gallons of the corn-based fuel. This would take 11 acres to grow, based on net ethanol production. This is the same amount of cropland required to feed seven Americans.

-If all the automobiles in the United States were fueled with 100 percent ethanol, a total of about 97 percent of U.S. land area would be needed to grow the corn feedstock. Corn would cover nearly the total land area of the United States.
 

r464

Turbo Monkey
Oct 17, 2006
2,608
0
Earth
I laughed at SUV owners when gas prices were half of what they are now. Funny how long it takes people to learn.

The real answer is wind power...