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El Scorcho

The Car You Won't Own

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I haven't posted in a while, but I had to share this.

The Car You Won't Own

Scott Adams - "The Dilbert Blog"

A group called the X Foundation is planning to award $10 million to anyone who can design a commercially viable car that can get 100 miles per gallon.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/02/business/02xprize.html

I don’t know exactly what “commercially viable” means in this context. I haven’t seen the rules. But something tells me that the winning car will weigh six pounds and seat one anorexic dwarf. If you put a grape in the trunk, the front wheels will come off the ground. And I have a bad feeling that there will be leg holes in the bottom of the car so you can hike the entire chassis up to your crotch and run.

Don’t get me wrong. I hope the contest is a big success, and I hope the winning auto is the size of a Suburban while still getting 100 mpg. But it won’t happen. Contestants will game the system. I predict that the winning car will eventually be totaled by a front-end collision with a bumble bee. The bee will suffer a sprain.

Every time I see a hybrid car on the road I experience a weird mixture of love and hate. I love the concept and how it’s good for the environment. I hate that the car company is punishing the well-meaning customer by making him ride in a car that shouts to the world “I HAVE NEVER HAD SEX AND I NEVER WILL!”

I realize that the shapes of hybrid car are based on aerodynamic efficiency. But I have to ask myself what percentage of the improved gas mileage is directly due to the car being shaped like a whale’s penis? Wouldn’t it make more sense to design the car to be 2% less energy efficient, 100% more attractive, and thereby sell 300% more of them? Are these car makers even trying?

I don’t know if economists have ever calculated the extra gas savings from hybrid cars that accrue from making it impossible for their owners to procreate, but the savings have to be huge. There’s no need for hybrid car owners to drive to dates, or to drive kids to soccer games. If you drive a hybrid, my friend, your genes are waving the white flag.

Yeah, yeah, I know that Leonardo DiCaprio drives a hybrid, and he’s sleeping with supermodels. But I guarantee that they make him wear condoms. Probably two or three at a time. And I’ve yet to see a paparazzi get a picture of both Leonardo AND a supermodel going on a date in a Prius. If a supermodel gets photographed in a Prius, her next assignment is pointing at rugs in the JC Penney catalog.

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. If the X Foundation contest ends up designing a car that gets 100 mpg, the car company that buys the patents will produce a car that looks like a cancerous spleen. And they’ll name it something like the Toyota Nonads.

God, I hope I’m wrong about this.

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Fun facts:

Prius drag coefficient = 0.29

1988 Regal Coupe's drag coefficient = 0.305

1995 Riviera drag coefficient = 0.32

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Fun facts:

Prius drag coefficient = 0.29

1988 Regal Coupe's drag coefficient = 0.305

1995 Riviera drag coefficient = 0.32

just curious, where do you find this info? Edited by loki
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I wouldnt buy a Hybrid. The battery replacement costs alone would be too much. Do you really save enough gas to make it worthwhile? Not to mention how do we dispose of all those batteries? Sounds like a short term fix to me.

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I wouldnt buy a Hybrid. The battery replacement costs alone would be too much. Do you really save enough gas to make it worthwhile? Not to mention how do we dispose of all those batteries? Sounds like a short term fix to me.

At this point it isn't even a fix, short-term or otherwise.

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You guys are SOOOOOOOOOOO lucky! At least you don't have to tolerate the Smart Cars everywhere. Every time I see the "proud" owner of Half-a-Car (as I call it) getting out of one, I make a point at sneering at them. I just can't help myself. These weenies woudn't have an original thought in their head, unless it was put there by CR! By a 4 cylinder Malibu and pocket the difference! The Prius is $14,000 more than a 4 cylinder Malibu (in this market). How many km would one have to travel to recoup that investment, even at the $1 a litre that we are paying these days?

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You guys are SOOOOOOOOOOO lucky! At least you don't have to tolerate the Smart Cars everywhere. Every time I see the "proud" owner of Half-a-Car (as I call it) getting out of one, I make a point at sneering at them. I just can't help myself. These weenies woudn't have an original thought in their head, unless it was put there by CR! By a 4 cylinder Malibu and pocket the difference! The Prius is $14,000 more than a 4 cylinder Malibu (in this market). How many km would one have to travel to recoup that investment, even at the $1 a litre that we are paying these days?

IMHO, the Smart car is a lot better than any hybrid.

There are no batteries to dispose of. There is no overly complicated drive system. Just good old fashioned engineering which makes for a very efficient car. How is the Smart worth sneering at?

Currently so much energy is put into creating the batteries for the hybrids that they actually use MORE energy over their expected life. I remember seeing a newspaper article recently comparing lifetime energy consumption between a Hummer H1 and a Prius, that had the Hummer coming out greener. Can someone confirm this one?

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IMHO, the Smart car is a lot better than any hybrid.

There are no batteries to dispose of. There is no overly complicated drive system. Just good old fashioned engineering which makes for a very efficient car. How is the Smart worth sneering at?

It is better than any Hybrid... but only if you are just someone interested in excellent fuel economy and to show everyone that, 'you care'. The more practical option is to buy a Honda Civic, pocket the difference, enjoy great fuel economy, AND have a real car.

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