I want to buy a new car

Stereodude

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A car 15 years newer out-performs a 2001 BMW by 1.4 seconds. That's advancement! lol As a huge sleeper it's a fun gag but the car looks so dull and boring.
The 2013-2015 was almost 2 seconds faster around their small track than the 2016, but had a much harsher suspension. The 2017 is rumored to be supercharged or have a supercharged option.
 

Handruin

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The 2013-2015 was almost 2 seconds faster around their small track than the 2016, but had a much harsher suspension. The 2017 is rumored to be supercharged or have a supercharged option.
I remember them making that point. That's a car with a confused marketplace. A family sedan with a super-firm suspension designed for track usage has a very odd market appeal. I can see why they lightened it up at the expense of a couple seconds to make it a more-enjoyable daily driver. I don't get what market they're targeting by putting a supercharger on the 2017. I realize they don't want to take market share from their more-premium Cadillac brand...so maybe that's their target is like a cheaper Cadillac with similar or more performance?
 

mubs

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Mine has 120k on it, and likely won't pass CA smog at this point.
???

My cars passed CA emissions at 50% more mileage when I lived in the US. Of course, that was long ago.

1985 Civic: traded in at 175k miles in 1994 because the emissions system was beginning to fail and I was warned it was not likely to pass the next year. Probably got bought in bulk with other cars and got shipped to Mexico.

1994 Camry V6: sold at 182k miles in 2006, was still passing emissions tests without a sweat.
 

LunarMist

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???

My cars passed CA emissions at 50% more mileage when I lived in the US. Of course, that was long ago.

1985 Civic: traded in at 175k miles in 1994 because the emissions system was beginning to fail and I was warned it was not likely to pass the next year. Probably got bought in bulk with other cars and got shipped to Mexico.

1994 Camry V6: sold at 182k miles in 2006, was still passing emissions tests without a sweat.
I would also wonder why the car did not pass. A lot of people have more than that. I know someone with a 2013 car that has 180K that was fine.
 

Will Rickards

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Batteries have their limitations but the oil companies spread a lot of FUD out of self-interest. Apparently you bought into it.
Jtr, respectfully, I don't think I bought into the FUD. I own an EV and have practical experience.

We basically agree on the range and trips. You're a bit more idealistic regarding the percentages.

The whole grid not up to it yet thing is more FUD.
I wasn't talking about the grid but the practical infrastructure. Chargers and the 60amp 220 lines needed.
The tesla supercharger network is nice... in CA. But there are lines. It does take time to charge. It is also tesla only.
The three competing EV charging plugs doesn't help either.

I don't live in NYC so I'll defer to your experience here. But let me relate a story about when I drove to NY to stay overnight on the intrepid.
The parking place offered electric charging but you couldn't sign up for it when you reserved online. They listed like a $4 price for it online. When you got there it was like $10. This isn't even worth it. $10 for 40 miles of range versus $10 for 4 gallons of gas which is 160 miles. For someone with a 200+ mile EV, it might be worth it. This trip is like 130 miles or so. If you didn't charge, round trip is 260 miles. This is a totally reasonable trip you'd expect to do in your car. Daily commutes are great but you actually go places on the weekend / vacation. Similar distance is travelling to the jersey shore for vacation. Your EV has to handle all of these. And without a place to charge even a tesla would have an issue. If the trip was done in the winter, you'd lose 20% of your range just heating the car. So it makes it worse. And usually you aren't just driving to the destination. You'll want to drive around there as well.

I'm just saying that once range gets to around 350 miles or so, the all EV argument will be much more compelling to me.
But in the meantime, the volt with about 90% EV use for daily commuting and the rest gas makes more sense.

The gas engine also helps in the winter, as it is much better/faster at heating the car than the electric heater.

Another benefit of the volt is you can charge it with a regular 110V outlet. This opens up a world of opportunity charging. I wouldn't be able to charge at work if this wasn't available.
 

jtr1962

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First, kudos on getting something which is at least partially EV, although I think Chevy could have done way better than a 40 mile electric only range, and even though I still think the concept of having a gas generator is a unnecessary kludge used to basically compensate for some horrible design decisions.

Second, you do realize the Volt could have had probably 200 to 300 miles of range if they ditched the heavy gas engine and made it more aerodynamic? Yes, I agree range totally matters with EVs but why the f are we totally ignoring a path to get more range which is virtually free-namely making these vehicles as aerodynamic as possible, preferably like this? This vehicle uses less than 0.1 kW-hr to cover 1 km. If it had the same size battery as the Volt, it would have a range of close to 200 km. Ditch the engine and put in a bigger battery, you're easily up to 500 miles. So we can make EVs with better than your desired range of 350 miles right now. Other than Tesla, nobody is even attempting to make them. It may have to do with car makers wanting to get the life cycle out of all the tooling they spent on ICE vehicles. I understand this part from a business perspective, but this also means they're intentionally crippling any EVs they make, and/or grudgingly making them, so they don't get much market penetration. If we made EVs with 300+ mile range and they sold for the same price or less as ICE cars (which would be the case if they were mass-produced), almost nobody would want ICE vehicles any more.

Third, as for your trip to NYC, two things here to remember. One is that driving/parking in NYC is almost always an expensive hassle, even for the locals, and pretty much not worth it. Two is that we have great train service into the city for most of the day from many locations. Yes, the price for the charger was ridiculous, but charging infrastructure will get better as more people own EVs. That said, if you're coming into NYC, your best bet is to park outside the city at the rail station which is closest to the city along your route. Or it needn't even be the closest. When the traffic starts getting heavy, then it means you're close enough to the city that getting in any further by car will be a nightmare. So park near a train station, enjoy the 15 to 30 minute ride in (compared to probably an hour by car). That's the best way to get into the city. I'm about 10 miles from midtown. It pretty much always takes at least an hour to get into Manhattan by car from me, often longer, except maybe between 9 PM and 5 AM. Subway and bus usually takes about 40 minutes, and the bus is no speed demon. This is why relatively few people own cars or drive in NYC. It's not worth it. My travel times by bike, even in eastern Queens which has less congestion than Manhattan, usually rival typical auto travel times. Bottom line, unless you're bringing in more stuff than you can carry on a train, don't drive all the way in. Not worth the aggravation. NYC is easily the most unpleasant place to drive in the US, and possibly on the entire planet.

This will probably make the whole range thing entirely moot. It's already being tested in Formula E racing. Electric trains get their power on the fly, so why not cars?
 
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Stereodude

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JTR, it sounds like you should start your own electric car company since you know so much better than anyone else how to do it. I'm sure people would be tripping over themselves to buy whatever you come up with.
 

jtr1962

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JTR, it sounds like you should start your own electric car company since you know so much better than anyone else how to do it. I'm sure people would be tripping over themselves to buy whatever you come up with.
And you'll provide the financing I assume?

Tesla is already pretty much doing the same things I would do but they're only one company without the ability at present to produce the same number of vehicles as major auto manufacturers. China will probably be the first to mass market EVs. They have little choice with their pollution problems. When those get to our shore, they'll easily compete with ICE cars. The major automakers will regret basically surrendering the entire EV market to Tesla and China on account of having CEOs who still think it's 1965. My brother likes cars and he hasn't found anything inspiring coming from the major automakers in over a decade. He actually liked the EV1, which could have mainstreamed EVs two decades ago had GM not dropped the ball.
 

jtr1962

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You're the expert right? Why wouldn't VC money come flowing in once they see your great ideas and plans?
I'm quite sure all the major automakers would do exactly the same things I mentioned if they really wanted to mainstream EVs. They have plenty of people way smarter than either of us. For whatever reason they don't. The businessperson in me might say it's because they invested a lot in tooling for ICEs. The conspiracy theorist in me says the oil companies could be paying them to sabotage the concept of EVs by either not making them at all, or poorly implementing them so nobody will want them. In fact, there's probably some truth to this.

Note I'm mostly NOT blaming the American public here. Between the FUD spread about EVs, and the still fairly limited choices, I'm not surprised there hasn't been much market penetration. However, we can't keep what is arguably a better technology at bay forever. Suppose we had an active campaign by people heavily vested in light bulb manufacture to stop LEDs? It might succeed for a while, but eventually someone not vested in the status quo will put out a product which will sell the new technology. In this case we're talking about Tesla and the Chinese automakers.

I'm not interested at all in starting a car company. If I had to do something big, it would be to push both high-speed rail and conventional rail mass transit in this country. For all its advantages, an EV is still a car with all the downsides that implies, particularly in large cities. We need to offer people viable alternatives to driving, both for local and long distance travel. I think that's way more important than producing EVs. The EVs will come along without me just fine. Battery tech is practically there. We just need somebody bigger than Tesla to put all their expertise into mass producing EVs. No need for anything high end or sporty. Just make an EV equivalent of the basic transportation appliances most people buy, like say a Sonata or Focus, with 200+ mile range, for the same price or less, and people will flock to them in huge numbers. Most people are agnostic about how their vehicle is powered. If it goes as far as they usually go, it's fine. It the operating costs are lower, even better.
 

LunarMist

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I'm quite sure all the major automakers would do exactly the same things I mentioned if they really wanted to mainstream EVs. They have plenty of people way smarter than either of us. For whatever reason they don't. The businessperson in me might say it's because they invested a lot in tooling for ICEs. The conspiracy theorist in me says the oil companies could be paying them to sabotage the concept of EVs by either not making them at all, or poorly implementing them so nobody will want them. In fact, there's probably some truth to this.

Note I'm mostly NOT blaming the American public here. Between the FUD spread about EVs, and the still fairly limited choices, I'm not surprised there hasn't been much market penetration. However, we can't keep what is arguably a better technology at bay forever. Suppose we had an active campaign by people heavily vested in light bulb manufacture to stop LEDs? It might succeed for a while, but eventually someone not vested in the status quo will put out a product which will sell the new technology. In this case we're talking about Tesla and the Chinese automakers.

I'm not interested at all in starting a car company. If I had to do something big, it would be to push both high-speed rail and conventional rail mass transit in this country. For all its advantages, an EV is still a car with all the downsides that implies, particularly in large cities. We need to offer people viable alternatives to driving, both for local and long distance travel. I think that's way more important than producing EVs. The EVs will come along without me just fine. Battery tech is practically there. We just need somebody bigger than Tesla to put all their expertise into mass producing EVs. No need for anything high end or sporty. Just make an EV equivalent of the basic transportation appliances most people buy, like say a Sonata or Focus, with 200+ mile range, for the same price or less, and people will flock to them in huge numbers. Most people are agnostic about how their vehicle is powered. If it goes as far as they usually go, it's fine. It the operating costs are lower, even better.
You are still missing the point that gas is cheap and all the other things needed for electric just don't make it very economical compared to the hassle. I think there was something in another thread about the established car companies waiting to jump into electrics when the time was right. You are some years ahead of the times.
 

jtr1962

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You are still missing the point that gas is cheap and all the other things needed for electric just don't make it very economical compared to the hassle. I think there was something in another thread about the established car companies waiting to jump into electrics when the time was right. You are some years ahead of the times.
Gas is only cheap in the very near term. It's already started ticking up and it's almost a given we'll eventually have carbon taxes which make it even higher. I don't understand why people in this country fail to grasp the concept of historical trends. We react to short-term blips as if they're permanent. Gas has only been cheap for a year and change, and yet the people who are buying huge vehicles seemingly forgot we were pushing $5 a gallon only a few short years ago. The long term trend for oil prices is up. The only open question is how fast will they eventually rise. I know I'm going to see dumbfounded people who bought an SUV complaining about high gas prices when they happen. Why can't these people remember things which happened more than a few years ago? I still remember the oil price shocks and gas lines in the 1970s like it was yesterday. I'm still surprised those didn't lull this country out of its complacency. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Relying on gas is bad for business, also. Those price swings play havoc with the economy. I expect businesses to adopt EVs before individuals but it still seems like it's not happening fast enough. The fleet vehicles in a place like NYC should already be all electric. The lower operating costs more than offset any higher purchase prices. City driving is tailor made for EVs also. Your range actually goes up at typical urban driving speeds.
 
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It is entirely possible that gas prices end up going down and staying down. All that is required is for demand to shrink a bit. EVs are still selling even though gas prices are low. The most difficult industry to substitute gas is aviation, IMO.
 

LunarMist

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Gas is only cheap in the very near term. It's already started ticking up and it's almost a given we'll eventually have carbon taxes which make it even higher. I don't understand why people in this country fail to grasp the concept of historical trends. We react to short-term blips as if they're permanent. Gas has only been cheap for a year and change, and yet the people who are buying huge vehicles seemingly forgot we were pushing $5 a gallon only a few short years ago. The long term trend for oil prices is up. The only open question is how fast will they eventually rise. I know I'm going to see dumbfounded people who bought an SUV complaining about high gas prices when they happen. Why can't these people remember things which happened more than a few years ago? I still remember the oil price shocks and gas lines in the 1970s like it was yesterday. I'm still surprised those didn't lull this country out of its complacency. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

Relying on gas is bad for business, also. Those price swings play havoc with the economy. I expect businesses to adopt EVs before individuals but it still seems like it's not happening fast enough. The fleet vehicles in a place like NYC should already be all electric. The lower operating costs more than offset any higher purchase prices. City driving is tailor made for EVs also. Your range actually goes up at typical urban driving speeds.
The big picture on energy and the effect on the individual are different. I'm not involved with that sector, so my interests are purely personal.
 

LunarMist

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It is entirely possible that gas prices end up going down and staying down. All that is required is for demand to shrink a bit. EVs are still selling even though gas prices are low. The most difficult industry to substitute gas is aviation, IMO.
Well, a 787 EV is not likely any time soon. :lol:
 

jtr1962

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It is entirely possible that gas prices end up going down and staying down. All that is required is for demand to shrink a bit. EVs are still selling even though gas prices are low. The most difficult industry to substitute gas is aviation, IMO.
Really, there is no viable substitute for gas in aviation on the horizon, other than nuclear power which wouldn't fly (no pun intended) for a whole host of obvious reasons.

I seriously hope reduced demand for gas due to widespread adoption of EVs results in perpetually low oil prices. We use oil for tons of things besides fuel. It's in society's long term interests to have low prices and to not squander the limited supplies by burning them.
 

mubs

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... making these vehicles as aerodynamic as possible, preferably like this?
Yeeeeeeoooow! That is fugly! I can see many not buying it for that reason.


This will probably make the whole range thing entirely moot.
This is an awesome idea. It's things like this that will spur adoption of EVs.

Interesting times. On the one hand, solar and wind power generation is taking off all over the world. On the other, peak oil never materialized, and the prognosis for oil prices doesn't look good for the oil producers but great for the consumers. It'll be a tough fight.
 

Howell

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jtr1962;195947[URL="http://www.gizmag.com/uk-electric-highways-trial/38897/" said:
This[/URL] will probably make the whole range thing entirely moot. It's already being tested in Formula E racing. Electric trains get their power on the fly, so why not cars?
It is an interesting idea, especially combined with a solar roadway. I hope it pans out as it removes a lot of the dependence on battery tech progress.
 

LunarMist

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I haven't seen any analysis of the solar roadway proposals that address the engineering issues. And charging lanes are too socialist for the USA :p
I don't know how such surfaces would hold up and be economical to build. The trucks destroy asphalt like it's nothing and even the concrete sections have issues after some years.
Dirt, snow and ice would hurt efficiency. In rush hours the roads would be rather shaded too. :)
 

jtr1962

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I don't know how such surfaces would hold up and be economical to build. The trucks destroy asphalt like it's nothing and even the concrete sections have issues after some years.
Dirt, snow and ice would hurt efficiency. In rush hours the roads would be rather shaded too. :)
The only way this concept seems feasible is to have the solar panels either next to the road or above it. Places like NYC can't even maintain asphalt roads to better than third world standards. A road with solar panels would last until ConEd needed to open up the street for some utility repair. After that, it'll never work again.

When you run the numbers the concept doesn't look horrible. If you have 12 foot traffic lanes each lane mile is ~6000 square meters. Average insolation in the US is ~4kW-hr per day. If the solar panels are only 10% efficient you'll get 2400 kW-hr per day per lane mile. Averaged over time that's equivalent to a continuous output 100 kW per lane mile, about enough to power 10 to 30 cars, depending upon how efficient those cars are, and this with relatively inefficient cells. Average car spacing at highway speeds is 200 to 300 feet, so a lane-mile might have up to perhaps 20 or 25 cars at any one time. In theory then you could build a lightweight structure over the road which holds the solar panels and provides power. It can even cover the shoulders and anything up to where the right-of-way ends, effectively giving you more power than my calculations.

So yes, the numbers pan out, but we can't put the panels on the road itself. That gets super expensive. Other problems might be how to keep the panels clear of snow, and how high you need to build the structure so the road still gets a good amount of ambient light.
 

Will Rickards

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I bought a 2015 volt in red. I got $4265 off msrp and then another $4000 in rebates. $35665 down to $27500. Then there is a $7500 and $2000 tax rebate coming early next year which will take it down to $18000. That's when I'll refinance the loan. It feels like a spaceship.
One year later..
Thought I'd share some numbers:

EV Miles: 9457 (87%)
Gas Miles: 1409
Total Miles: 10866
Equivalent Dollars for ev miles in gas (assuming 33.05MPG and 2.90 for premium): $829
EV Dollars spent (approximate and this assumes I charge only at home though I charge at work so it would actually be about half - $0.075/KWH generation charge + $0.04140/KWH distribution charge and about 13KWH to fully charge and assuming average of 40 miles per charge): $357.76
Net Savings: $471

http://www.voltstats.net/Stats/Details/6803

It has been in for service once at 6 months, and I probably have to take it back soon.
It basically only needed a tire rotation but they changed the oil anyway as it was free for 2 years.

I still love driving it. My wife does too, she takes it on errands over the other car.
I wish they'd make one with a larger cargo area like an SUV type.
When we went to the NJ shore I loaded our Subaru Forester (to the brim - no rear visibility) and we took that.
Whenever I go camping with the scouts I end up taking the forester.
Both for cargo room and ground clearance on the often non-paved and rocky roads.
The rear seat leg room is terrible. The kids deal with it fine but adults might not feel so good.
It really needs a rear view camera to come standard.
The rear hatch is so heavy it really needs a pneumatic slow close/automatic option. Slamming it can't be good for that glass.

I'm literally one of the worst cases for having a volt in terms of parking.
I have a shared parking situation and I had to pay to have lvl2 run to the parking lot.
This was way more expensive than most owners who charge either in or near the garage. Approximately 100 ft of buried cable.
My volt lives outside all the time, even in 2 ft of snow.

The volt is the affordable electric car. They really should market it that way.
 

Clocker

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100% true with any electric. Is that news to you or do you have some elaborate environmentally controlled test procedure in mind to give what you consider a 'real world' rating?
 

jtr1962

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It could probably go twice as far if we made it more aerodynamic (seriously, why a grill on an EV?) but props to GM for putting out an electric with enough range so most users won't get range anxiety. Why name it the Bolt though? When I first heard a mention of it, I thought some reporter was talking about the Volt but had mispelled it. It took a while before I realized it was a brand new car.

I'd personally like to see the big three ditch ICEs entirely within the next 5 years. At this stage it's a dead-end technology with no real future.
 

Stereodude

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100% true with any electric. Is that news to you or do you have some elaborate environmentally controlled test procedure in mind to give what you consider a 'real world' rating?
Of course it's not news to me. It would be nice if their range estimates was a range rather than a best case number.
 

jtr1962

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For what it's worth EPA mpg estimates rarely reflect real-world gas mileage either. Take both numbers with a huge grain of salt. Interestingly, if you do a lot of slow, urban driving you can probably exceed the somewhat optimistic range estimates in an EV.
 

LunarMist

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It could probably go twice as far if we made it more aerodynamic (seriously, why a grill on an EV?) but props to GM for putting out an electric with enough range so most users won't get range anxiety. Why name it the Bolt though? When I first heard a mention of it, I thought some reporter was talking about the Volt but had mispelled it. It took a while before I realized it was a brand new car.

I'd personally like to see the big three ditch ICEs entirely within the next 5 years. At this stage it's a dead-end technology with no real future.
The economics still don't make sense for most drivers yet, but I can see that there would be 10+% that could benefit sooner.

Then there are people like me that need the fuel range and refueling capability of conventional vehicles. For example I typically average 250-350 miles per day for 7-10 days in a 5000 lb. loaded vehicle.
I can refuel in about 10-12 minutes including the toilet break. There are no recharging stations on almost all routes and I only get about 4 hours of sleep per night as it is. Most of the locals drive diesels but that's not an option for most rentals that can't be used to tow anyway.
 

jtr1962

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You're an outlier. 95% of trips are under 40 miles. Something like 99% are under 100 miles. Recharging on the fly can solve the range issue permanently, even for people like you. You'll probably still get some people coming up with reasons why EVs supposedly can't work for them even when they have 500 mile ranges and can recharge on the fly. Some people are just creatures of habit. I know an acquaintance who is still doing word processing with DOS-based software on an ancient 386. And some people still use FAX machines. A dead-end technology is one where it makes no sense to put in any more R&D. Incandescent light bulbs, magnetic hard disks, film cameras, cathode ray tubes, and yes, internal combustion engines all fall into that category. These things at best have the potential for incremental improvements but still fall far short by most metrics of what is or has already replaced them. ICE vehicles have three advantages at present. They're cheaper to purchase (but not to operate), they get greater range, and they're quicker to refuel. On the fly recharging and better batteries will make those last two things moot. Mass production will take care of the first issue. They have one huge disadvantage which is tailpipe emissions. Legislation regulating air pollution will probably just speed the demise of ICEs along. For example, I found it interesting that VW had to cheat on the emissions testing because their engines just couldn't meet the emissions standards while still delivering the amount of power they claimed.
 
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Will Rickards

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Unless you turn on the HVAC controls, roll down the windows, or it's cold outside.
The early reviews used A/C and didn't drive it any different than normal and they exceeded the 238 rating.
So it seems to be a more conservative number which is nice.
But I definitely want to see how effective the heater is.
A car you plug in once or twice a week is an interesting proposition.

I won't be in the market for it, unless the subaru dies.
But I'm definitely interested in following its progress.
 

LunarMist

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For what it's worth EPA mpg estimates rarely reflect real-world gas mileage either. Take both numbers with a huge grain of salt. Interestingly, if you do a lot of slow, urban driving you can probably exceed the somewhat optimistic range estimates in an EV.
I find the EPA MPG are reasonable for the highway at constant speed, but usually overly optimistic in the city.
 

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My wife and I decided to replace my 2003 Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V. We need something a bit larger to hold two carseats. We decided on a 2017 Ford Escape Titanium with the 2.0 L Ecoboost engine. The dealer has to get it from another dealer in Wisconsin or Michigan, but it should look about like this:

fordescape.png
 

time

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I've driven a couple as loan cars, although not with the Titanium trim. I'm not really into SUVs - the chassis response is way too slow for me - but I'd consider one if I was. Quite expensive in Oz, unfortunately.
 

DrunkenBastard

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So the Honda Clarity fuel cell vehicle is available in certain areas of California:

http://automobiles.honda.com/clarity?DFACID=1#can-i-purchase

$2,868 due at signing and then $369 per month on a 36 month lease.

Interesting part is the lease comes with a fuel card for $15,000 worth of hydrogen.

Seems like a pretty sweet deal if you live or work close enough to a fuelling station.
 

CougTek

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It's an awesome deal. I don't know the price per gallon of hydrogen, but 15,000$ worth of fuel should cover most if not all your needs for the leasing period.

I hope something similar is available around here when my lease ends up in 2019. I doubt it though.
 
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