Just for laughs


#1

I saw a few minutes of the Ellen DeGenerous show this morning as I was getting ready for work. In honor of “green week” they were giving away a full size hybrid Yukon. Yup. A huge SUV in honor of Green Week.


#2

yeah, but it has a 6.0L V8 annnddd an electic motor that may or may not be able to power an electic toothbrush. Seriously though the way that made a semi CVT out of the electic motor and the old 4 speed automatic was pretty cool IMO.


#3

I confess to only having seen a few minutes of the show, not the details, but jeeze, a full size SUV giveaway in honor of Green Week???


#4

It was once pointed out in an article, what will save more gas:

  • adding a hybrid system to a sedan that gets 32 mpg so it now gets 36
  • or adding a hybrid system to a honking huge SUV that gets 14 mpg so now it gets 20 mpg?

When the math was run, the SUV hybrid saved more gas. Not everyone can get by with a Prius. Ask a mom that has to haul 2 soccer players to practice at 5 am whether there is 18" of snow on the ground of not. She needs the SUV. It’s easy to poke fun at it since it seems like an oxymoron, but a hybrid SUV is a good thing. Want to get one better, how about a hybrid diesel SUV that gets 30 mpg Hwy and 25 city?


#5

Yup, I was just sitting at a red light next to some kind of new giant domestic POS with a big hybrid badge that was about even with my eyes. The driver was a middle aged lady who probably thinks she was being “green” by driving this silly thing. This gimmick will go away in a few years when the cost of fuel gets high enough. At the moment, americans will fall for just about any marketing hype with the word “hybrid” in the title; these are the same people who bought millions of pet rocks.

The TV show was probably given the yukon for “product placement” on the show.


#6

But…but…everyone else is driving one. :stuck_out_tongue:
You’re right though, once some new fad in cars comes along, everyone will be jumping on the band wagon.
It’s just like that Pepsi commercial with puff daddy, or whatever he’s calling himself today. Where he pulls up to some award show in a Pepsi truck, and afterwards he’s walking around and sees everyone driving one because he pulled up to the awards in one.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N16EhVeHGkY <-- and there it is.


#7

Exactly, it’s just the flavor of the month.


#8

It probably gets 16 MPG city and 20 MPG highway but I doubt it.


#9

Two days a week I drive on the interstate . . . I “try” to drive 55-60 and enjoy the ride, listen to the radio, and so forth in my small car. I am passed and flipped off constantly by single drivers (driving alone, don’t know if they are married or not) in SUVs, big OFF-ROAD badged pickups and nameless clone commuters going at least 75-80. When I get to my turn off and drive the few miles from the interstate to the university I see the folks who passed me earlier . . . stuck in the same traffic as I am. I suppose that the market economy will solve the problem of excess in personal vehicles, but maybe not. One thing for sure . . . we are a country addicted to personal transportation with few alternatives at present. Rocketman


#10

We pit smoked a hog once for Eathday. :slight_smile:

Skip


#11

I was sitting at a railroad crossing when I saw this giant hybrid that used up so much fuel it wasn’t even calculated in miles/hour but in gallons/hour. Yep, it was a diesel-electric locomotive.

I think that hybrid technology has great applications for larger vehicles on the road (hybrid semis, large trucks, trash hauling vehicles, busses, UPS trucks, et cetera) and that it is a relative waste of technology to place them in ultra-light small cars that would be getting good mpg?s anyways.

I know not everyone needs a land yacht, but many people do have legitimate reasons for driving larger vehicles. Making larger vehicles have substantially greater fuel economy makes sense.


#12

The problem in making a big truck hybrid is weight. In a hybrid you have to have both an engine and sufficient battery to operate the vehicle. The battery to operate a semi truck would weigh 10 tons with current technology not to mention cost a blue fortune to manufacture. The reason it works so well with a railroad engine is weight is a positive to a train engine and not a draw back. A semi can generally gross out around 80,000 pounds. Of that most truck and trailer combos will weigh roughly 20,000 pounds empty. Add in 20,000 pounds of battery and suddenly half of your allowed load is tied up in the rig. People don’t pay to haul the rig around, they pay for the freight. Around here, we’ve got a lot of coal trucks on the road. You rarely see a coal bucket with a sleeper or 400 gallon fuel tanks. They get the smallest plainest cab they can, no sleeper, and 100 gallon tanks. This reduces the rig’s weight allowing it to haul more coal.

If a battery could be economically made that was in the 2 ton range that could power a semi, it would be one thing, otherwise, it will be a difficult sell. For a light truck like a UPS truck I can’t see it being very practical. What I do see is a company like UPS converting it’s fleet to natural gas. If diesel continues to go up, it’s not going to take much more pressure to bear on them for the company to install CNG pumps at it’s terminals. With the way their trucks are designed, conversion wouldn’t be as difficult as it would with others. The engines in a UPS truck are designed to be easily removed from the vehicle and shipped to a central repair shop and swapped out for one that’s repaired and ready to go. They would have to get an engine developed that mated with their transmissions and it would be off to the races so to speak. More so than most other fleets, UPS’s trucks are designed to be repowered and refitted. Some of those truck bodies are 30 years old or better.

Skip


#13

Locomotives don’t use big batteries. They are diesel-electric hybrid. It’s basically the best way to make a big CVT. The diesel runs at the optimum speed and load for peak efficiency. The diesel runs an electric generator. The voltage and current of the motor and generator are adjustable. The electric motor can deliver high efficiency over a wide range of speeds. Electric motors have a basically flat torque curve with torque proportional to armature current.


#14

Exactly. It would not surprise me if this technology will make its way into road vehicles. People get stuck on wanting everything to be single source, but what it comes down to is that there are better technologies for different circumstances. Long haul vehicles should be built different than short, stop and go vehicles, and large vehicles different than small. Different fuels for different applications or environments; ie the extra large particulates created by biodiesel are not a big deal in the country, but it is in the city.

People have to stop thinking that there is one big solution. Fix things a little here and there and you will get a big payoff.


#15

True, but they don’t get into a stop and go interstate lock up for 4 miles either. I would think trucks would need some sort of storage capacity, the same as the hybrid cars do. I would think you’d need the battery bank. Trains are a different animal when you can plan your start and stop miles in advance v’s a truck on the highway.

Skip


#16

Some people have an honest need for a car that big. If they load eight people, they might get decent per-person fuel economy. Maybe Ellen is giving it to a family of eight? For them it would be the “green” choice.


#17

The recipient had not yet been chosen. As someone else suggested, that’s the vehicle that GM gave them to give away as a promotional device. Poor “product placement” IMHO, but perhaps that was the “greenest” thing GM had to offer.

Or, perhaps more likely, they were trying to use the “Earth Day” givaway to promote hybrid SUVs in the hopes that people would buy those instead of something sensible. High profit margin, you understand.


#18

Very true, but try counting the number of SUVs you see with more than 4 people on any typical day. I would be willing to bet that about 95% of them on the road right now are carrying 4 or less, and most are probably carrying just one person. It is even debatable if a family of 8 needs to carry more than 4 people on a routine basis. I have a family of 4 and we probably don’t have everyone in the same car more than once per week, if that.