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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:00 pm 
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LTLFTcomposite wrote:
All these hybrid/EV buyer interviews where owners cite the privilege of jumping the HOV lanes as the number one advantage is disheartening. Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles do nothing to reduce traffic as intended by the HOV lanes. This is pure social engineering; maybe they should hand out ice cream cones to Priuses and EV's at traffic lights too.


On the other hand, it is very effective social engineering. In high-traffic regions like Los Angeles with nightmare commutes, people DO buy the cars solely because of the HOV access. If you're trying to jump-start a new vehicle technology it's definitely an effective way. Just as HOV access for carpoolers entices them to drive in a less-polluting way. You could argue that the HOV lane is really not about reducing traffic, per se, but reducing pollution and conserving gasoline. In which case I'd say the LEAF earns its spot.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 1:49 am 
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I think a better way to encourage EVs/Hybrids is to triple the gas tax (or more, over time), but I know how unpopular that would be.

Nubo wrote:
LTLFTcomposite wrote:
All these hybrid/EV buyer interviews where owners cite the privilege of jumping the HOV lanes as the number one advantage is disheartening. Hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles do nothing to reduce traffic as intended by the HOV lanes. This is pure social engineering; maybe they should hand out ice cream cones to Priuses and EV's at traffic lights too.


On the other hand, it is very effective social engineering. In high-traffic regions like Los Angeles with nightmare commutes, people DO buy the cars solely because of the HOV access. If you're trying to jump-start a new vehicle technology it's definitely an effective way. Just as HOV access for carpoolers entices them to drive in a less-polluting way. You could argue that the HOV lane is really not about reducing traffic, per se, but reducing pollution and conserving gasoline. In which case I'd say the LEAF earns its spot.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 4:31 am 
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leafedbehind wrote:
I think a better way to encourage EVs/Hybrids is to triple the gas tax (or more, over time), but I know how unpopular that would be.


Another carrot-and-stick policy would be to let them park in handicap spots.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 6:13 am 
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Social engineering seems to always have a bunch of unintended consequences, many of them not felt until years down the road. Several times I've thought that higher taxes on petrol would be good to encourage fuel efficiency. Then again, higher taxes on natural gas and electricity might be good to encourage energy efficiency. And maybe taxes on food based on the number of calories to help discourage obesity. And higher taxes on cigarettes and pot and meth and alcohol and bath salts and all kinds of things to discourage folk from using them. We have some serious landfill problems so perhaps higher taxes on non-recycled plastics. The list of what can be accomplished is limitless.

But then, what have we done to the cost of commerce? Will people be able to afford more expensive products? Will companies have to lay off workers (due to higher fuel and other costs and lower demand from people who can't afford more expensive products)? And on and on the consequences go.

Or we give tax breaks to things we like. Or we let good folks use the HOV (until we notice that the normal lanes are so empty they're faster).

Or better yet, educate people, without a bunch of hyperbole. EV's have a good story. They're far from perfect and they're not for everyone, but they likely will be for a lot of folk. However, there's been so much lying and FUD on both sides about this and that energy and environmental crisis that most people don't believe anyone. We need to change that.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 7:33 am 
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SkiTundra wrote:
But then, what have we done to the cost of commerce? Will people be able to afford more expensive products? Will companies have to lay off workers (due to higher fuel and other costs and lower demand from people who can't afford more expensive products)? And on and on the consequences go.

Or we give tax breaks to things we like. Or we let good folks use the HOV (until we notice that the normal lanes are so empty they're faster).

Or better yet, educate people, without a bunch of hyperbole. EV's have a good story. They're far from perfect and they're not for everyone, but they likely will be for a lot of folk. However, there's been so much lying and FUD on both sides about this and that energy and environmental crisis that most people don't believe anyone. We need to change that.

Education is good, but will only make it so far. Even after you've gotten past the people who absolutely will not listen to you regardless of your arguments (ie roughly half the goddamn country) you still have people who would like to do the right thing but can't afford/wont pay for it - even if it's only a perception of it being less expensive.

Let's go with cigarettes as an example: You'll be hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn't accept smoking is bad for your health, but they do it anyway. Prices and taxes go up, but they'll complain instead of quitting. Gasoline is roughly similar in the sense that how we use it, and how much, is very habitual and changing our habits is too much of a bother until the costs get so high that people are forced to change. There are many many reasons why using less gasoline is a Good Thing(tm) - and I think most people on this forum get it - but that's obviously not enough for people to change their ways.

If change is a consequence, I'm all for it. For every job you'd potentially lose, another can be created doing something better. For every business serving an old need with old methods that goes under, a new business serving new needs with new methods can be created. Fellow-creators the creator seeketh; those who grave new values on new tables!


leafedbehind wrote:
I think a better way to encourage EVs/Hybrids is to triple the gas tax (or more, over time), but I know how unpopular that would be.

Image

They'll manage. ;) As long as the increase is gradual enough that things can adjust smoothly, that is.
=Smidge=


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 8:19 am 
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People wail and complain about the cost of petrol, but even if you tripled it through tax increases you'd likely not see huge changes in overall consumer behavior in the U.S. Yes, some people would buy more fuel efficient vehicles or EV's and some would change how much they drive, but overall I don't think you'd see massive behavior change. At least not the kind that we'd like to see to decrease our energy consumption and our negative environmental impacts. U.S. folk are simply too wealthy. High petrol prices have a much bigger effect in Europe and elsewhere because it is such a larger portion of people's income. It'd need to be something like $20/gallon or higher in the U.S. to have the same impact here.

The same goes for cigarettes. Some people like to smoke. You could triple the cost of cigarettes today and I doubt you'd see more than maybe a 20% decrease in smokers. Yes, people know that they're bad for them, but they also know that there's as much fear mongering as reality in all the stuff they hear so they ignore it all and decide that if they die with a cigarette in their mouth that they'll die happy. Even if it is 2 years sooner.

A purely economic sell will be difficult for EV's for some time to come. However, if the choice is between a Versa and Leaf and you tell me that economically the Leaf will cost me 3% more over the next 5 years, BUT it is quiet and quick, then I'll consider it. You then tell me that it will reduce our dependence on foreign oil that funds Islamic terrorists and I'm thinking that maybe 3% more cost isn't so bad. An EV also produces less full-chain pollution (when accounting for tailpipe, electrical generation plant, delivery, etc.) so that 3% is seeming less. The two big questions I'll still have is what will the resale value be compared to the Versa in 5 years and what is likely to happen to petrol & elec rates over that period.

More to come...


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:47 am 
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increase the price of cigarettes; consumption will go down

increase the price of gas; consumption will go down.

a few years back, WA State instituted a large jump in the cigarette tax.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/l ... es_section

this buck a pack jump reduced "legal" consumption in the state and the State did it based on several reports including one that stated that every 10% increase in a pack of cigarettes, reduced consumption by 7%.

also, i find it difficult to believe that we have already forgotten 2008 when we had a rare drop in gasoline usage no doubt caused by gas hitting over $4 a gallon.

it is now 3½ years later and we are about to hit the same plateau but no signs in the reduction of gasoline yet but at the same time, hybrids and EVs are seeing a lot more interest.

the federal gas tax has not been increased in years and the condition of our national roads and bridges show it.

now, another thing to think about

http://www.rwjf.org/files/research/2010 ... ccotax.pdf

increasing the cigarette tax was a VERY popular option and why should it not? as a country we are among the leaders in non smokers. increasing the gas tax wont be as popular, but it is just as vital for nearly all the same reasons the cigarette tax increase

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 10:46 am 
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DaveinOlyWA wrote:
also, i find it difficult to believe that we have already forgotten 2008 when we had a rare drop in gasoline usage no doubt caused by gas hitting over $4 a gallon.

I vaguely recall something else that happened around that time that might contribute somewhat to people buying less gasoline...

I support modestly higher gas prices, as I DO agree it leads to conservation in the long run - but you're nuts you honestly believe petroleum follows the classic principles of supply and demand. There just isn't any viable alternative for many people, and they're going to be buying it almost regardless of cost.

At least for now - as EVs become more popular, people will finally have a real alternative to petroleum. It's not going to be a fast transition, but each time gas prices creep up the "return on investment" and "affordability" arguments become less and less easy to swallow.


DaveinOlyWA wrote:
increasing the cigarette tax was a VERY popular option and why should it not? as a country we are among the leaders in non smokers. increasing the gas tax wont be as popular, but it is just as vital for nearly all the same reasons the cigarette tax increase

I didn't want to get too deep into the cigarette analogy here... after all, tobacco is not a vital part of our industrial, commerce and transportation sectors while petroleum is. Jacking up the price of cigs only affects smokers, jacking up the price of gas affects even people who don't own a car. Creating effective policy here is like walking on rice paper :lol:


SkiTundra wrote:
A purely economic sell will be difficult for EV's for some time to come. However, if the choice is between a Versa and Leaf and you tell me that economically the Leaf will cost me 3% more over the next 5 years, BUT it is quiet and quick, then I'll consider it.

What if I told you that, if you intend to lease with no buyout, the LEAF could actually cost you less?
=Smidge=


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:09 am 
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Generally speaking I have observed mostly positive news coverage of the Leaf from Fox. The negatives are simple truths: Yes it is a "limited range vehicle" not because it only goes 80 miles on a charge but because you cannot refill it on every street corner. Yes people have range anxiety--I sure did! It went away but the first few months were tense given the car just barely covers my commute. The Volt, on the other hand, seems to have received mostly negative coverage in the wake of the "dangerous battery fires" and poor sales. Also electric cars int eh mainstream is still a very new thing and people generally distrust new things so there will be a tendency towards the negative. (At least until gas hits $6 a gallon :shock: )

Regardless of what bias anyone thinks Fox or any other outlet peddles I think news agencies in general have gone off the deep end. The purpose of news has become no different than that of sports or reality television these days. They want to be watched and get advertising dollars. Objective reporting died a long time ago. I think that might be an interesting discussion so I started a new thread on it if anyone is interested.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=8309

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:19 am 
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so why are you so against America doing what nearly every country in world (that is not drowning in oil) does?

why does Europe tax gasoline so heavily? GB has oil, but still taxes it to death.

we say this like we have the right to cheap gas? what gives us the right? or why should it be cheap gas at all possible costs?

not many dispute the fact that we pay less for gas than the true cost to this country. like any other evolving technology, we need to learn that the old ways were not the right way or the best way.


and i know this is a difficult concept to swallow. but what rights do we have just because our Daddy could bundle the family into a 12 mpg car, drive out to the country, have a picnic and drive home stopping for ice cream all for $2?

fact is; we as a country have made a lot of mistakes. big business took advantage of our gullibility to take our money and that continues today. now, we are a "bit" wiser to the fact but change is difficult and not many have the options to make that change easily. but change is something we have to do. we cannot continue driving at full speed towards the brick wall directly in front of us.

besides, your argument has been repeated a hundred times when seat belts were added, when air bags were added, when whatever was added. we survived that, we will survive more expensive gas and be better for it.


its as simple as this; wanna drive? then pony up the cash

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44,598 miles! on my 2011 LEAF (retired) 2013 LEAF;12,605 miles. Ah; 63.60-64.95, Hx; 97.13-99.20%. @70% estimate; 127,105 miles
Aug 2014 Drive Stats. Corolla; 400.09 miles, $36.09, LEAF; 1536.6 miles $28.53
My Blog; http://daveinolywa.blogspot.com


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