And now for something completely different!

Discussion in 'TM Lounge' started by Tootsall, Jul 27, 2005.

  1. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    Congratulations are owed to all of the students, professors and sponsors involved in the 2005 North American Solar Challenge. Driving vehicles TOTALLY powered by the sun ONLY they have just completed a trip of 2,500 miles from Texas to Calgary Alberta, finishing around noon today.

    These vehicles (admittedly "far from practical" but definitely providing proof that it can be done) travelled the distance at speeds up (and maybe over?) the speed limit... which is in excess of 60 mph in Canada.........
    with motors providing ~in or around~ only 2 hp!

    University of Michigan wins with Minnesota a close second. My own alma mater, University of Waterloo, came in fifth.

    Here's betting they have a bang-up party tonight in "Cowtown"! Info and photos and links to team sites and blogs at
  2. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Hey doesn't MICHIGAN win this almost every time?

    GO BLUE!!

    They keep one of the U of M winning cars in the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.
    Amazing cars!

  3. sonic

    sonic New Friend

    Nov 7, 2003
    Incredible timing

    How ironic to be reporting on the application of alternative energy sources on the day that the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping "Energy" bill which provides 5 times more in tax breaks and incentives to producers of oil and gas than to energy conservation and alternative energy source development.

    How ironic that, when we import over 60% of the oil and gas we use, and when over 40% of oil used goes to personal (not commercial) cars and trucks, that all efforts at increasing fuel economy in vehicles were stripped from the bill.

    How ironic that the release scheduled for this week of an EPA study on fuel economy was suddenly delayed until after the vote on the "Energy" bill. Among the observations in the EPA report is that weaknesses in the current regulations on fleet fuel economy have resulted in cars and trucks sold in the US in 2004 with average fuel economy lower than the average fuel economy of new cars and trucks in the late 1980s. Average car weight has increased from 3200 to 4000 pounds and average horsepower has doubled, so despite impressive advances in vehicle design fuel consumption has increased.

    And this comes at the same time that Exxon Mobil reported that their profits this year have increased by about 1/3 over last year.

    I doubt that solar power will be the dominant energy source in the future for personal transportation, but wouldn't it make sense to invest more in alternatives to limited, increasingly expensive, polluting energy sources which force us to make difficult and risky geopolitical moves?
  4. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    How ironic that US unemployment figures were down to 5.0 last and you barely heard a peep about it. Wouldn't want to have folks that vote think that tax breaks for corporations that employ workers might actually be working.

    Oil prices are up? Well, of course as a result of the SUV's folks have gone crazy buying. But now that prices are up, people are buying smaller, more fuel efficient cars which is why if you try to buy a Prius now, whatever you planned to save in gas you'll spend on the price they gouge you for this very expensive little car.

    Oh, oh.. beware foreign entanglements, especially the risky, geopolitical kind. Damn, and here I thought we were in Afghanistan and Iraq because of those folks that died in NYC, DC, and Pennsylvania.

    Look, I'm teasing, okay (but only a little)? Of course we need alternative energy that's clean and low-polluting. But the lobbying against nuclear energy in this country has been tough to fight even though it's all the rage in France for years.

    Hey, one thing I've always wondered: You know that foreign entanglement thing and how the non-UK Europeans have avoided it so much more than we have? Why is their oil so much more than expensive than what we pay? Geez, and they're so much closer to it, too... Oops, never mind.. forgot about the tax thing.

    All right, I'll stop. Just messin' around.

  5. Tootsall

    Tootsall Fortissimo User

    Oct 25, 2003
    Yee HAW!
    You are right on the "tax thing", Manny. The AVERAGE price for a litre of gasoline across Canada at the moment is $0.94. With an exchange rage of... .81? that's $0.769 US per litre. And with 3.8 litres per US Gallon, we're paying the equivalent of $2.89 per gallon AVERAGE. Some places higher, some places lower. Better leave that 34' motor home "at home" this year (finally it costs as much to fill up the motor home as it does the yacht...... wait... the yacht still costs more! "TIME TO EBAY THE YACHT, MARTHA"

    It is taxes though. Everybody is paying the same for that barrel of oil and everybody is paying the same for the services of the refiners. (a recent newspaper article up here blamed the refiners and shortage of refinery capacity for the high prices... claiming that the retailers still have the same "margin"..... so why are some local stations at .929 and others only located a few kilometers away at .849? Riddle me that one!

    Here is a quote from the Canadian Automobile Association website:

    "Q. How much of the price of gasoline am I paying in taxes?

    A. That depends on where you live in Canada and where you buy your gasoline. Taxes are usually responsible for the largest component of gasoline prices. On average, Canadian taxes represent 40 to 50 per cent of what you pay at the pumps.

    The federal portion consists of the excise tax, which is 10 cents per litre. In addition, the Goods and Services Tax, which is 7 per cent, is added to the total pump price, and is effectively a tax on tax. (In the Atlantic, the GST is represented as a portion of the Harmonized Sales Tax.)

    The provincial tax portion varies from province to province. Provincial taxes range from 6.2 cent per litre in the Yukon to 16.5 cents in Newfoundland and Labrador. In some urban centers, such as Vancouver and Montreal, an additional transit tax is levied.

    Find out more about how what makes up the price of gasoline here. "

    Did you get that? 40 to 50% of the retail price!?

    On another statement you made.. you are absolutely corect with your comment to the Prius and other hybrid vehicles. In a recent interview Toyota and Honda executives admitted as much. Their logic for pushing the vehicles is that it keeps their name at the forefront of the consumers' thoughts when it comes time to (and it eventually will) purchase some mode of transport that doesn't use as much fuel as the current crop of SUVs (which are declining in sales, much to the dismay of the Big Three).

    In this interview they admitted that it would take 10 YEARS of "average" driving to obtain the payback necessary to justify the initial capital cost of a hybrid. (When most companies want a payback period of two years OR LESS for capital investments).

    Again... National Geographic. This month's issue just arrived this morning in the mailbox and in it?..... yup; an article on declining petroleum sources and the various options available. (How DO they do that?)

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