Alternative Fuel Vehicles

A presentation given at St. James Environmental Retreat Saturday, April 30, 2005.

In 2000 GM presented a hybrid concept car, the Precept, which was supposed to produce 80+ miles per gallon from a 1.3L 3 cylinder engine. Five years later where does Detroit stand?

Alternate Fuel Technologies:

Hybrid Gasoline + Electric

Hydrogen

Flex-Fuel (gasoline + alcohol/ethanol variable mix)

Bi-fuel (gas/diesel AND compressed-natural-gas/liquid-propane interchangable)

High Efficiency Diesel

Electric

Biodiesel (vegetable oils and animal fats)

Ethanol (corn, barley, and wheat alcohol)

Methanol (wood alcohol)

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Currently Available HYBRID (Gas & Electric) Vehicles:

2005 Hybrid Cars

Cost

mileage

Engine

Curb Weight

Storage

Volume per Passenger

Acceleration

 
Accord Hybrid 4 door $30,140 29 city/37 hwy 3.0L, V6 240HP 3,501 lbs 11.2 CuFt 20.6 CuFt 15.67 seconds  
Civic Hybrid 4 door $19,900 46 city/51 hwy 1.3L, I4 85HP 2,675 lbs 10 CuFt 21.75 CuFt    
Honda Insight 2 door $19,330 60 city/66 hwy 1.0L, I3 67HP 1,850 lbs   24.32 CuFt 12.66 seconds  
Toyota Prius 4 door $20,875 51 city/60 hwy 1.5L I4 76HP 2,890 lbs 16 CuFt 19.2 CuFt 16.69 seconds  
Ford Escape HEV 2WD $26,830 36 city/31 hwy 2.3L I4 133HP 3,627 lbs        
Chevy Silverado Hybrid $32,550 18 city/21 hwy 5.3L V8 295HP 5,104 lbs       Only 6 states
GMC Sierra Hybrid $31,770 18 city/21 hwy 5.3L V8 295HP 5,104 lbs       Only 6 states

Potential Considerations:

Increased insurance cost due to expensive systems/parts (Accord hybrid)

Mileage drops if colder than 40F? (Civic hybrid)

Luxury car with better mpg (Accord hybrid)

Tax Incentive: 2005 1-time $2000 tax deduction (not credit); decreases to $500 in 2006.

Availability low, most models must be ordered, no price negotiation with dealer.

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"High-mileage" Vehicles to Compare and Consider:

2005 Non-hybrid Cars

Cost

mileage

Engine

Curb Weight

Storage

Volume per Passenger

Acceleration

 
Toyota Echo 2 door $10,455 35 city/42 hwy 1.5L, I4 108HP 2,035 lbs 14 CuFt 17.4 CuFt 9.41 seconds  
Civic HX coupe $13,960 36 city/44 hwy 1.7L, I4 117HP 2,441 lbs     10.81 seconds  
MINI Cooper $16,950 28 city/37 hwy 1.6L, I4 115HP 2,524 lbs 7 CuFt 19.25 CuFt 10.59 seconds  
Jetta Sedan GLS TDI 4 door $20,740 38 city/46 hwy 1.9L I4 100HP Diesel 3,115 lbs 13 CuFt 17.4 CuFt    

Alternative Fuel Vehicles Website Resources:

US Department of Energy & EPA - Fuel Economy Resource Page

http://www.fueleconomy.gov

US Department of Energy – Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

http://www.eere.energy.gov/

National Resource Defense Council

http://www.nrdc.org/

CALSTART – non-profit organization which promotes alternative fuel technologies

http://www.calstart.org/

Yahoo Cars - Vehicle Specifications and Pricing

http://autos.yahoo.com/