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Thread: Do Cars have too much horsepower?

  1. #16
    You know his story Redsland's Avatar
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    Re: Do Cars have too much horsepower?

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Footstool
    The government already has a ton of influence. It regulates emissions, safety standards, etc. Requiring automakers to produce a certain percentage of cars that pass MPG standards wouldn't be so terrible.
    Government regulations required passive restraints, leading to automatic seatbelts and then airbags.

    Government regulations required a percentage of all cars sold to be hybrids or use alternative fuels by 1995, IIRC.

    That second one isn't doing so well.
    Makes all the routine posts.

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  3. #17
    Member Red Heeler's Avatar
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    Re: Do Cars have too much horsepower?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redsland
    It also produces only 2/3 as much energy per gallon as gasoline, so we'd need to use more of it per trip. Oh, and it actually takes 29% MORE energy to make it than is recovered by using it. That 29% comes chiefly from fossil fuels in the form of tractors, trains, distillation equipment, and so forth, thereby depleting nonrenewable fuels MORE quickly after switching to ethanol.

    Oh, and corn prices would rise.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/031128.html
    I can't say that I agree with the article. I looked up the study done by Dr. Pimentel http://hubbert.mines.edu/news/Pimentel_98-2.pdf. He makes some comparisons that are not really truthful. For example, he makes an apples to oranges comparison between the production cost of alcohol and gasoline. He consistently uses the gross BTU value of gasoline and never considers the fact that the refinement of crude oil to gasoline also consumes a significant amount of energy (about 50,000 BTU)Source

    Also ignored is the fact that ethanol burns more efficiently in an internal combustion engine than does gasoline, meaning that ethanol begins to make up ground in the BTU per gallon battle.

    According to this article Link the energy required to distill one gallon of ethanol is 43,000 BTU, far less than the figure used in Dr. Pimentel's work.

    Also ignored in Pimentel's work is the fact that ethanol could be used to fuel the tractors, trains, distillation equipment, etc.

    One bushel of corn will produce about 2.5 gallons of ethanol. Using today's corn prices, the cost of a gallon of ethanol would be:

    Corn price per bushel: $1.96 = $0.78/ gallon ethanol

    Since distillation is only 46% (37000 BTU/ 80000 BTU) efficient, the cost to produce a gallon of ethanol would be $1.69 per gallon.

    With a further economy of scale and technological advances, this could be brought into competetiveness with gasoline.

  4. #18
    RZ Chamber of Commerce Unassisted's Avatar
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    Re: Do Cars have too much horsepower?

    I think the last paragraph is the most troubling. Young drivers shouldn't be driving those high-performance vehicles. The temptation to drive fast and show off is too great. My area has had fatal crashes involving groups of young drivers at least once a month for the last year. In almost every case, there was evidence of the driver operating recklessly or driving too fast, and probably showing off for the passengers.

    I'd like to see young drivers limited to operating vehicles with a governor that prevents them from operating over the prevailing speed limit.
    /r/reds

  5. #19
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    Re: Do Cars have too much horsepower?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unassisted
    I think the last paragraph is the most troubling. Young drivers shouldn't be driving those high-performance vehicles.
    Those vehicles are a heck of a lot safer than what my peers were driving when I was in high school. Souped-up 1970s rear-wheel drive muscle cars, stripped-down flip-prone jeeps, and rear impact combustion Pintos were the order of the day. Of course, even those beasts were a lot safer than the 1950s model death-traps my dad used to cruise around in as a teenager.

    ... and the beat goes on.

  6. #20
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Do Cars have too much horsepower?

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve4192
    Those vehicles are a heck of a lot safer than what my peers were driving when I was in high school. Souped-up 1970s rear-wheel drive muscle cars, stripped-down flip-prone jeeps, and rear impact combustion Pintos were the order of the day. Of course, even those beasts were a lot safer than the 1950s model death-traps my dad used to cruise around in as a teenager.

    ... and the beat goes on.
    Absolutely true.
    In our family's case, my oldest son is a couple of years away from being old enough to get a license. He's already been told that, assuming we have the same vehicles then as we do now, he will get to drive the Ford Ranger-he isn't driving the Corvette.
    I wish the minimum driving age would be raised to 35. :mhcky21:
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."


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