Quantcast

The futility of the Prius and the end of the world as we know it

slyfink

Turbo Monkey
Sep 16, 2008
7,714
3,419
Ottawa, Canada
i'm getting close to 40, and still on vehicle #2.
46. on vehicle #2 (2013 Mazda CX-5 w 130,000 km). I think I average around 17,000km/yr.
again, why does this number matter as long as it’s still in service?
Because, as your post points out, there is still a lot of embedded carbon in the production of each automobile. If we could all refrain from continuously buying new vehicles, we'd save a lot of that embedded carbon.

that said, there's degrees of douchery. and I don't think, even with your impressive number of vehicles, that you approach that title. especially not with all your other efforts to reduce your carbon footprint.
Now this is no longer true I think we have a solid window out of this mess but it is fucking far from guaranteed.
As part of my job I get to see a lot of stuff that lots of really big corporations are doing that is really cool, I have hope, and I am increasingly convinced that the ‘it’s gonna take all of the above’ idea is absolutely correct in even more ways than it was originally intended. Industry has to (and is) decarbonising, governments are pushing to greater or lesser degrees, and individuals need to as well, including voting with their wallets and taking a bit of pain or even worse mild inconvenience.
We’ll need everyone doing everything. We’ll need all the different tech. We’ll need good luck and buy-in. We’ll need shit we’ve never done before. But it’s possible.

#StopBurningShit
:stupid:
also, have y'all seen this study:

As I understand it, unless we actually go back on any efforts to reduce emissions, they are suggesting the demand for oil is likely to peak fairly soon (by mid-2030's I think). That means other forms of energy will be replacing it. The early adopters and early producers of said technology stand to gain immensely.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
32,472
4,197
Because, as your post points out, there is still a lot of embedded carbon in the production of each automobile. If we could all refrain from continuously buying new vehicles, we'd save a lot of that embedded carbon.
There's a certain turnover each year as vehicles go out of service, thus there's a certain replacement need for new vehicles to keep balanced on net.

Anything that doesn't affect this overall net balance through early retirement of a car doesn't affect the overall carbon impact. Math seems clear to me. @Westy back me up here.
 
Oct 30, 2006
660
560
Corn Fields of Indiana
I’ve owned 8, that is including the vehicles that we currently own. My first car I still own, 91 Civic hatch
3 of the current vehicles are used for a specific use on my farm and are only driven 3,000 or less miles a year. That is where I really wish some electric options would become available. My semi and f-450 both serve a very important job, but also both consume large amounts of fuel.

We have a 25KW solar system to run the shop/home/grain storage. Since my heavy trucks are local (less than 50 mile trips), the ability to run fully electric on those would greatly impact my carbon footprint.

To ramble even further, electric heavy/farm equipment, needs to have much more attention. Large tractors during peak season are burning 4-500 gallons of fuel a day. This is absolutely absurd.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
46,241
11,804
Sleazattle
There's a certain turnover each year as vehicles go out of service, thus there's a certain replacement need for new vehicles to keep balanced on net.

Anything that doesn't affect this overall net balance through early retirement of a car doesn't affect the overall carbon impact. Math seems clear to me. @Westy back me up here.
Not sure what to back you up on. Assuming a replacement car is similarly efficient, keeping a car on the road longer is better for carbon emmissions, and it doesn't matter if that is an BEV or ICE. There is an optimization point somewhere if one is replacing an existing car with a more efficient one. In the example above if one owned an ICE Volvo xc40 with 20Ks on it, it would be better to continue to operate it to 200km before replacing it with a BEV than it would be to junk it and buy a new BEV.

Of course that is a simplified answer as anyone with a lower mileage car isn't going to junk it when they end their ownership but sell it into the used car market, of which the dynamics are going to be much harder to quantify.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,559
6,542
The old timey times
Replacement "need?'

Cuba would like to have a word.

toshi's trickle down economics of car purchasing

It's okay man, you can just say "I like buying new cars". But don't try to make it some altruistic, environmentally sound practice because it's definitely not.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
32,472
4,197
Not sure what to back you up on. Assuming a replacement car is similarly efficient, keeping a car on the road longer is better for carbon emmissions, and it doesn't matter if that is an BEV or ICE. There is an optimization point somewhere if one is replacing an existing car with a more efficient one. In the example above if one owned an ICE Volvo xc40 with 20Ks on it, it would be better to continue to operate it to 200km before replacing it with a BEV than it would be to junk it and buy a new BEV.

Of course that is a simplified answer as anyone with a lower mileage car isn't going to junk it when they end their ownership but sell it into the used car market, of which the dynamics are going to be much harder to quantify.
My point is that the 20k mile old car won't be discarded. It'll still live out the rest of its useful life in someone else's hands. Selling it doesn't change the net-replacement-of-junked-cars math.
 

boogenman

Turbo Monkey
Nov 3, 2004
3,710
457
BUFFALO
200k seems to be a typical car lifespan but unsure if that is just "natural causes" or includes retirement via accident.
I had a 2004 Corolla that I dumped in 2018 with 198k on it. Everything worked on the car when I got rid of it, AC was cold, it drove straight and smooth at 80mph. The Western New York winters took the car from me, the body was going to hell. Without the rust belt I would still be driving that car. I paid $5,500 cash for the car in 2011 with 90k on it, damn I loved that car.
I have had 11 cars total but I also consider my wife's cars "mine" since they are in my name because she does not have a career yet.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,559
6,542
The old timey times
Toshi: Your reasoning is what contributes to saturation of the market of used cars, reduction in value, and hence less motivation/need to keep things running, IE more junk down the line.

Not to mention maintaining the 'need' to constantly be mining shit for the new stuff.

Cars are now mostly disposable compared to what they used to be. I can't even change the transmission fluid on my toyota without a proprietary pump that I can't buy. At a certain point it becomes cheaper to buy another vehicle than replace the things that need to be replaced. Simply because that's not the market model any more. That's lame.
 
Last edited:

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
46,241
11,804
Sleazattle
My point is that the 20k mile old car won't be discarded. It'll still live out the rest of its useful life in someone else's hands. Selling it doesn't change the net-replacement-of-junked-cars math.

It adds to the supply of the car market. If everyone with a 20K ICE car replaced their car, there would be glut of 20K ICE cars on the market. That may push older less efficient cars out of use, that could also inspire someone to buy a used luxury car vs buying a new leaf, some families would just end up with 4 cars instead of sharing 2. Some people would opt for available cheaper low mileage cars vs public transportation. It would never be a 1:1 FIFO replacement.

I am just going to throw this out there: rampant consumerism, even if "green", is not the solution.

going to say it again in bold for emphasis

rampant consumerism, even if "green", is not the solution

Edit: there are a few purchases that are the solution

1637169705338.png

1637169725374.png
 
Last edited:

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
73,671
15,189
media blackout
I am just going to throw this out there: rampant consumerism, even if "green", is not the solution.

going to say it again in bold for emphasis

rampant consumerism, even if "green", is not the solution
this. just buy less shit.

i wish i could still find the pic, but i once saw a billboard for a bank or something, and it just said "wanna learn to save money?" someone had spraypainted it with "stop buying shit"
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
57,088
7,360
In a van.... down by the river
It adds to the supply of the car market. If everyone with a 20K ICE car replaced their car, there would be glut of 20K ICE cars on the market. That may push older less efficient cars out of use, that could also inspire someone to buy a used luxury car vs buying a new leaf, some families would just end up with 4 cars instead of sharing 2. Some people would opt for available cheaper low mileage cars vs public transportation. It would never be a 1:1 FIFO replacement.

I am just going to throw this out there: rampant consumerism, even if "green", is not the solution.

going to say it again in bold for emphasis

rampant consumerism, even if "green", is not the solution

Edit: there are a few purchases that are the solution

View attachment 167561
View attachment 167562
And lest we forget:

1637170251875.png
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
32,472
4,197
It adds to the supply of the car market. If everyone with a 20K ICE car replaced their car, there would be glut of 20K ICE cars on the market. That may push older less efficient cars out of use, that could also inspire someone to buy a used luxury car vs buying a new leaf, some families would just end up with 4 cars instead of sharing 2. Some people would opt for available cheaper low mileage cars vs public transportation. It would never be a 1:1 FIFO replacement.

I am just going to throw this out there: rampant consumerism, even if "green", is not the solution.
I agree with that last statement.

But I disagree with the assessment of the market. People aren't going to buy those lightly used cars unless

a) their car is end of life

or

b) they're going to sell their current, older-yet car to a third person, sending the cascade down the chain until it reaches someone retiring an end of life vehicle

Invoking transient price shocks a la dumping a tanker full of diamonds on the market isn't the point.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,559
6,542
The old timey times
It's really nice to see tesla, ford etc, offering electric crate motors

But large scale production of retrofit kits for some reason never enters the conversation. Instead it's always just 'entirely new shit'

We subsidize cars with dangerous steering wheels and self driving bullshit that runs over people and things, why not a way to clean up exisisting ICE cars? If only people got the same help from the US gov't as we gave the oil industry over the last 150 years.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
32,472
4,197
It's really nice to see tesla, ford etc, offering electric crate motors

But large scale production of retrofit kits for some reason never enters the conversation. Instead it's always just 'entirely new shit'

We subsidize cars with dangerous steering wheels and self driving bullshit that runs over people and things, why not a way to clean up exisisting ICE cars? If only people got the same help from the US gov't as we gave the oil industry over the last 150 years.
Where's there enough of a market for that? You'd need a tremendous base of the same product... like the F-150:


and that company, for having been daring enough to do the needful, is going to get their ass beat into the ground by the F-150 Lightning when that ships.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,559
6,542
The old timey times
Where's there enough of a market for that?
We can create a market for solar, wind, and electric cars but can't do what now?

Just like gov't subsidies made tesla and spacex, you can any damn market you want. It's just what's getting chosen to become a market.

"it's not that way now" is never a defensible stance when we're literally recreating the way energy is generated and used.

There was no "market" for electrifying homes at the turn of the last century.

We're subsidizing buying entirely new shit. We can subsidize retrofits. Even if it's not electric motors, just better ones. We're still working off of what's essentially 1980s fuel efficiency standards.


but yeah that xfleet deal looks like what I'm talking about. The fact that it's going to 'get its ass beat' is exactly the problem. It's a manipulated market, make no mistake. I'd really like the ability to do something like that with my gas pig 2500 that I use to haul sleds and a trailer.
 
Last edited:

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
32,472
4,197
Meh. Let gas get to $20/gallon and the chips will then fall as they may for retrofits and the like. That's just not an efficient way to convert fleets save for Mad Max (or Cuba) scenarios, imo.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,559
6,542
The old timey times
"chips fall where they may" LOL :rofl:

We don't actually live within a free market, ya know. It doesn't exist.

And yeah let 20 dollar gas fuck over everybody for a few years unnecessarily to get there. Brilliant. Not everyone is only mildly inconvenienced by expensive gas to get to work. That's basically the level of tone deaf as "let them eat cake"

That kind of short sightedness is what makes CA such a shit hole. Just charging more doesn't drive change. It drives poverty first while everyone with a big fat money buffer continues on unaffected.

I kept mentioning cuba because the 'market' there is to keep shit running. America has never done that with anything that's sold on a consumer level. Because preservation has never been the point. We can make durable goods, we just don't. And we're going to destroy our habitat because of it.
 
Last edited:

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
36,593
6,431
50+....

72 beetle...free
72 datsun 510 sw...traded beetle for it
80 vw rabbit
77 fj40
85 vw gti
92 jetta
89 vw gti...recycled from younger brother
93 vw passt wagon
85 jetta coupe
00 NB...free
07 honda pilot
14 jetta sw

landcruiser and passat wagon were the funnest to drive...

the engine from the 89 is still around on a engine stand in older brothers garage
 
Last edited:

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
73,671
15,189
media blackout
"chips fall where they may" LOL :rofl:

We don't actually live within a free market, ya know. It doesn't exist.

And yeah let 20 dollar gas fuck over everybody for a few years unnecessarily to get there. Brilliant. Not everyone is only mildly inconvenienced by expensive gas to get to work. That's basically the level of tone deaf as "let them eat cake"

That kind of short sightedness is what makes CA such a shit hole. Just charging more doesn't drive change. It drives poverty first while everyone with a big fat money buffer continues on unaffected.

I kept mentioning cuba because the 'market' there is to keep shit running. America has never done that with anything that's sold on a consumer level. Because preservation has never been the point. We can make durable goods, we just don't. And we're going to destroy our habitat because of it.
the chips fall where the chipholders want them to.
 

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
36,593
6,431
i forgot the 65 beetle....goes in there with the 92 jetta and the 93 passat wagon....

The 85 gti....89 gti....93 wagon and the 00 NB were all 200 mile cars....
 
Last edited:

boogenman

Turbo Monkey
Nov 3, 2004
3,710
457
BUFFALO
Cars are now mostly disposable compared to what they used to be. I can't even change the transmission fluid on my toyota without a proprietary pump that I can't buy. At a certain point it becomes cheaper to buy another vehicle than replace the things that need to be replaced. Simply because that's not the market model any more. That's lame.
Cars are 100% less disposable now than they used to be. I've been in the auto industry for 15 years. 15 years ago a 10 year old car with 100k on the clock was worth whatever scrap was at the time $250-$500. Even before the market went wackadoodle over the summer a 10 year old car with 200k on the clock was worth thousands of dollars and going to another owner not the junkyard. I posted earlier about my 14 year old Corolla with 198k and massive body rot, I sold that at auction for $1,500. In 2007 when we would see anything other than an Accord, Civic or Tacoma with 200k it was jaw dropping to see a car with mileage like that on the road.
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,559
6,542
The old timey times
Cars are 100% less disposable now than they used to be. I've been in the auto industry for 15 years. 15 years ago a 10 year old car with 100k on the clock was worth whatever scrap was at the time $250-$500. Even before the market went wackadoodle over the summer a 10 year old car with 200k on the clock was worth thousands of dollars and going to another owner not the junkyard. I posted earlier about my 14 year old Corolla with 198k and massive body rot, I sold that at auction for $1,500. In 2007 when we would see anything other than an Accord, Civic or Tacoma with 200k it was jaw dropping to see a car with mileage like that on the road.
You're confusing durable with repairable. Related, but I'm talking about repairable, primarily by the user.

And I'm definitely not talking about cars 10 years ago. More like 70, before the preponderance of blow mold plastic bullshit, that really is disposable.

Yeah we've improved motors to the point where they're not throwing rods as much any more but my main point was that even if they do, it's still cheaper to buy another car than fix lots of the time. It's less consumptive to fix the broken part, but no one does it because it's not financially incentivized. It's the reason I sold my first tacoma. It had a bunch of fucked up body work that ended up being more than the thing was worth, even though it was mechanically and structurally, completely sound. There was no reason to sell that car other than the fact that toyota or replacement plastic and pressed sheet steel bullshit costs so much. Replacement parts are astronomically more expensive than their relative cost on a complete vehicle. That's for a reason. As someone in the auto industry you know this.
 
Last edited:
Oct 30, 2006
660
560
Corn Fields of Indiana
Meh. Let gas get to $20/gallon and the chips will then fall as they may
wowzers. Granted I assume most comments here are somewhat tongue and cheek, but that’s pretty tone def to a greater issue.
While it’s fantastic that EVs and hybrids are starting to take off it still doesn’t address the issue of the vehicles that are burning the most fuel. The vast majority of the newer hybrid/EVs are being driven by folks that already were driving a more fuel efficient vehicle.
Americans have a stupid attraction to giant gas guzzlers. Oil companies and auto manufacturers alike have made a shit load off of marketing these good ol Mericans.
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
57,088
7,360
In a van.... down by the river
wowzers. Granted I assume most comments here are somewhat tongue and cheek, but that’s pretty tone def to a greater issue.
While it’s fantastic that EVs and hybrids are starting to take off it still doesn’t address the issue of the vehicles that are burning the most fuel. The vast majority of the newer hybrid/EVs are being driven by folks that already were driving a more fuel efficient vehicle.
Americans have a stupid attraction to giant gas guzzlers. Oil companies and auto manufacturers alike have made a shit load off of marketing these good ol Mericans.
Yeah - my point was that we need to use policy more to drive behavior. Warn everyone that we're *going* to do it, then gradually start doing it (increasing the gas tax) over a period of time that allow people to "adjust."

Ah, who am I kidding... that's a fuckin' pipe dream. :D

because the average american is about as smart as a rutabaga.
Speaking of rutabaga - I need to pick up a few of those. My mum is coming into town for an extended T'giving holiday and she has expressed interest in making a bunch of pasties.

Mmmm... pasties. :drool:
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
46,241
11,804
Sleazattle
You're confusing durable with repairable. Related, but I'm talking about repairable, primarily by the user.

And I'm definitely not talking about cars 10 years ago. More like 70, before the preponderance of blow mold plastic bullshit, that really is disposable.

Yeah we've improved motors to the point where they're not throwing rods as much any more but my main point was that even if they do, it's still cheaper to buy another car than fix lots of the time. It's less consumptive to fix the broken part, but no one does it because it's not financially incentivized. It's the reason I sold my first tacoma. It had a bunch of fucked up body work that ended up being more than the thing was worth, even though it was mechanically and structurally, completely sound. There was no reason to sell that car other than the fact that toyota or replacement plastic and pressed sheet steel bullshit costs so much. Replacement parts are astronomically more expensive than their relative cost on a complete vehicle. That's for a reason. As someone in the auto industry you know this.

They can easily make a car that is easily home repairable today. Simple design, lots of room to work. And it would look and perform similarly to cars 70 years ago. Larger and heavier than cars today with less power and less efficiency.
 

jonKranked

Detective Dookie
Nov 10, 2005
73,671
15,189
media blackout
They can easily make a car that is easily home repairable today. Simple design, lots of room to work. And it would look and perform similarly to cars 70 years ago. Larger and heavier than cars today with less power and less efficiency.
That's bullshit and you know it.
 

iRider

Turbo Monkey
Apr 5, 2008
4,104
1,836
While it’s fantastic that EVs and hybrids are starting to take off it still doesn’t address the issue of the vehicles that are burning the most fuel. The vast majority of the newer hybrid/EVs are being driven by folks that already were driving a more fuel efficient vehicle.
Yeah, because they can afford them! My local town has implemented an environmental protection zone and gradually rules out access for older cars. If you live in town you have to upgrade to be able to get to your own property, but with the high car prices lower income families cannot afford this. They for sure cannot buy any of the current EVs, so they will have to settle for a smaller, used but more modern ICE car, which will need replacing in a couple of years again.
For me living out of town it is not a problem as I still can reach my place of employment (located outside the zone) and will just avoid downtown when my car is not allowed in there anymore from summer next year on. There would be the option to upgrade to a better fine particle filter (diesel engine) to make me legal again for a couple of years. However, with the current uncertainties on how long this investment will give me access and no financial incentives from the government (they hate all ICE cars) I probably will just say f*** it. Unfortunately it doesn't look like an EV with good range, good loading capacity and fairly affordable will see the light of day anytime soon.
A lot of my neighbors and colleagues living in the countryside or suburbs face similar challenges, but most agree that we just take our business elsewhere. If the city does not need our buying power, bye bye!
 

kidwoo

Artisanal Tweet Curator
Aug 25, 2003
30,559
6,542
The old timey times
They can easily make a car that is easily home repairable today. Simple design, lots of room to work. And it would look and perform similarly to cars 70 years ago. Larger and heavier than cars today with less power and less efficiency.
You kept typing for some reason.

I just want to point and laugh at the internals of all modern "bumpers" that were designed to not be bumped. It's total horseshit that with an additional 70 years of technology you have to build a Studebaker tip to tail just to make it something that is more modular and workable than the pressed steel soap bars sold as cars today.

Yeah I mean I can't think of a single thing that's improved either materials or process wise, or even operationally in 70 years :rofl:

gonna have to build it with an old hit and miss motor even! Real rubbah straight from the amazon!
 
Last edited: