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It's not that complicated: The CARB/AQMD rate vehicle emissions. The EPA rates fuel economy. The smart excels in fuel economy but not emissions; the Taurus X in your example excels in emissions but not fuel economy. A truly 'green' car worthy of government incentives should rate highly in both areas, and thus far only hybrids are able to do so, which is why they get the incentives and the smart does not.
 

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Discussion Starter #42 (Edited)
So, generally here's a message sent to the American consumers:
It's not your carbon footprint in the eyes of the government that's important, it's the fact that 21-25 combined mpg for average SUV w/a battery hook up is enough to get failing American car manufacturer's not only government bailout in billions but private financial support. This is simply the effect. The true cause is the voter. Combine additional factors such as petroleum/raw and crude material attainment, gas consumption and weigh in against Smart's Air pollution score of 7 and greenhouse gas score of 9, and... yes, I'm still seeing green.

Is technology there yet? No of course not. But it pays to understand that there is no such thing as free lunch, even with the greenest of hybrids. AND IRS doesn't call it "Hybrid Car Credit" for nothing, does it :)


>>errrr... i'm editing greenhouse score because it's a tad misleading from my number
here are the links from fueleconomy.gov for side by side comparison Smart is clearly not to be dismissed in that race. Draw your own conclusions.
Smart: http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/noframes/26294.shtml
Ford (spoiler - twice the GHG emissions): http://www.fueleconomy.gov/FEG/noframes/24649.shtml

It's not that complicated: The CARB/AQMD rate vehicle emissions. The EPA rates fuel economy. The smart excels in fuel economy but not emissions; the Taurus X in your example excels in emissions but not fuel economy. A truly 'green' car worthy of government incentives should rate highly in both areas, and thus far only hybrids are able to do so, which is why they get the incentives and the smart does not.
 

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Hey, if you've got a problem with the federal law and the message it sends to American consumers, or that your choice of transportation is not incentivized, talk to your congressman. Would I have written the Energy Policy Act differently? Abosofrickenlutely. (First thing I'd do is jack up the tax on gasoline to fund it.)

However, I do understand its intent with regards to promotion of 'green' technology, and if this is the route the government is taking, that the smart be excluded. Why? Because, like subisidies for ethanol, subsidies for smart cars is not the solution. Battery technology needs to be improved to store electricity generated from solar, wind, nuclear, etc.; it is the only realistic form of fossil-fuel free automotive propulsion that is currently (no pun intended) viable.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Problem no. Question yes. Precisely the reason for my post here. From the general research I did, initially there was supposed to be qualifying write offs for the smart owners, but need not tell you, it's not the actual case. Not a big deal. Love my car :) Hate doing taxes :(

Hey, if you've got a problem with the federal law and the message it sends to American consumers, or that your choice of transportation is not incentivized, talk to your congressman. Would I have written the Energy Policy Act differently? Abosofrickenlutely. (First thing I'd do is jack up the tax on gasoline to fund it.)

However, I do understand its intent with regards to promotion of 'green' technology, and if this is the route the government is taking, that the smart be excluded. Why? Because, like subisidies for ethanol, subsidies for smart cars is not the solution. Battery technology needs to be improved to store electricity generated from solar, wind, nuclear, etc.; it is the only realistic form of fossil-fuel free automotive propulsion that is currently (no pun intended) viable.
 

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It's not that complicated: The CARB/AQMD rate vehicle emissions. The EPA rates fuel economy. The smart excels in fuel economy but not emissions; the Taurus X in your example excels in emissions but not fuel economy. A truly 'green' car worthy of government incentives should rate highly in both areas, and thus far only hybrids are able to do so, which is why they get the incentives and the smart does not.
If that's true - and I assume it is - then how did the fortwo get classified as an "Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle" in California?
 

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It's been discussed here; the ULEV classification sounds more impressive than it is. The truly low-emissions vehicles on the market today are classified as SULEVs and PZEVs. I provided a link to the list in post #34 in this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
It's been discussed here; the ULEV classification sounds more impressive than it is. The truly low-emissions vehicles on the market today are classified as SULEVs and PZEVs. I provided a link to the list in post #34 in this thread.
I wouldn't say it has been discussed, but it has been shown by example ULEV Smart does better on emission factor than SULEV Taurus. Here it is again just in case it's been overlooked.

here are the links from fueleconomy.gov for side by side comparison Smart is clearly not to be dismissed in that race. Draw your own conclusions.
Smart: Gas Mileage of 2009 smart fortwo coupe
Ford (spoiler - twice the GHG emissions): Gas Mileage of 2008 Ford Taurus X AWD
 

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It's not that complicated: The CARB/AQMD rate vehicle emissions. The EPA rates fuel economy. The smart excels in fuel economy but not emissions; the Taurus X in your example excels in emissions but not fuel economy. A truly 'green' car worthy of government incentives should rate highly in both areas, and thus far only hybrids are able to do so, which is why they get the incentives and the smart does not.
I must be lacking in technological understanding, so bear with me. If 2 cars get 40 mpg, how does one have a different carbon footprint just because it's a hybrid? They're both burning the same amount of gas, so hybrid technology shouldn't be a factor in determining the carbon footprint once it's reduced consumption. I would expect filtering systems, reburning technology, etc. to come into play with regard to emissions once the amount of gas being burned by the engine has been determined.

What am I missing?
 

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Discussion Starter #49 (Edited)
Bill, sorry, I know you addressed this question to Alan, but I'm going to jump in :)
Usually when worried about carbon footprint, GHG (Green House Gases) are of most concern, in other words energy consumption and associated CO2 emissions. Hybrids partially get their power via batteries, but still need good old gas to get their wheels rolling. (One could even argue that above certain speeds hybrids are equivalent to non-hybrid models). In some sense, it’s really all about MPG because a gallon of gas burned produces the same amount of pollution, and it doesn’t matter which technology burned it, hybrid or hami… So it really becomes the issue of fuel efficiency and how engine handles. The idea is to offset the pollution by getting more mileage bang for each gallon == you go farther on the same amount of pollution.


I must be lacking in technological understanding, so bear with me. If 2 cars get 40 mpg, how does one have a different carbon footprint just because it's a hybrid? They're both burning the same amount of gas, so hybrid technology shouldn't be a factor in determining the carbon footprint once it's reduced consumption. I would expect filtering systems, reburning technology, etc. to come into play with regard to emissions once the amount of gas being burned by the engine has been determined.

What am I missing?
 

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I must be lacking in technological understanding, so bear with me. If 2 cars get 40 mpg, how does one have a different carbon footprint just because it's a hybrid? They're both burning the same amount of gas, so hybrid technology shouldn't be a factor in determining the carbon footprint once it's reduced consumption
Indeed!

How come motorcyclists whose carbon footprint is even smaller don't get free bikes from the rest of the taxpayers like the cash going to the original poster's smug friends?
:p
 

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Discussion Starter #52
haha, that was hilarious!! TY :)
but actually smug is where smart and motorcycles and alike fall a bit short of hybrids. but hey, I'll take acid rain and irritated membranes over CO2 and melting ice caps any day of the week.

Indeed!

How come motorcyclists whose carbon footprint is even smaller don't get free bikes from the rest of the taxpayers like the cash going to the original poster's smug friends?
:p
 

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I must be lacking in technological understanding, so bear with me. If 2 cars get 40 mpg, how does one have a different carbon footprint just because it's a hybrid? They're both burning the same amount of gas, so hybrid technology shouldn't be a factor in determining the carbon footprint once it's reduced consumption. I would expect filtering systems, reburning technology, etc. to come into play with regard to emissions once the amount of gas being burned by the engine has been determined.

What am I missing?
You are missing countless factors that determine vehicle emissions.
 

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Prove it?! All you have to do is compare a car from the 1970s to a current model (say, a Honda Civic). Fuel economy has remained relatively similar over time, however technology in the form of mechanical fuel injection, electronic fuel injection, catalytic converters, variable valve timing, direct injection, etc. have reduced emissions to nearly zero (see the PZEV list).

Note that your link is a formula used to determine AVERAGE emissions. It's right in the title.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Haha, if such were true, what about say, GHG that prius omits (rated at 4)
Seriously, check it out

Compare Hybrids Side-by-Side

Oh, maybe you have some emission g/km data from car from 70's to compare it to today's model? I'll tell u what... maybe you can look it up. Or if you want, name a brand model, i'll see if i can get some data when I get a bit more time...


Prove it?! All you have to do is compare a car from the 1970s to a current model (say, a Honda Civic). Fuel economy has remained relatively similar over time, however technology in the form of mechanical fuel injection, electronic fuel injection, catalytic converters, variable valve timing, direct injection, etc. have reduced emissions to nearly zero (see the PZEV list).

Note that your link is a formula used to determine AVERAGE emissions. It's right in the title.
 

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I'm sure I am. I said as much. Please explain or link. I'm interested in learning. Thanks for the help. :)
Everything from changing to unleaded fuel in the 1970s to electronic engine management in the 1980s to variable valve timing in the 1990s to direct injection in the latest engines have improved emissions from a gallon of gasoline before the exhaust reaches the catalytic converter.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Alan:
in fairness to you, you may want to specify which and WHAT kind of emissions you're referring to.


Everything from changing to unleaded fuel in the 1970s to electronic engine management in the 1980s to variable valve timing in the 1990s to direct injection in the latest engines have improved emissions from a gallon of gasoline before the exhaust reaches the catalytic converter.
 
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