The Smart Car

Thomas Matiska tom.matiska at ATT.NET
Mon Aug 18 17:05:29 MDT 2008

Agree we need to drill, but the problem  now is the drilling we didn't do ten years ago.   Today's problems have been years in the making, and until the drilling we're talking about bears fruit we're stuck with a bad supply vs demand curve.  

The drilling doesn't just need to be for oil either.  The 60's vintage oil burner in my last house was burning 1000+ gallons a year.  I switched to gas that is drilled for right here in PA. My current house uses local  anthracite coal.   Our local nuke plant at Berwick is starting construction on a third reactor(first new one since TMI).  Imagine what the price of diesel might be if a few million homes in the northeast kicked their oil habit. in favor of gas, coal or nuke power .....  

I think of oil as a transportation fuel that should not be wasted as a bulk BTU source  when there are so many domestic alternatives.        


-------------- Original message from "John A. Quayle" <blueoval57 at VERIZON.NET>: -------------- 

Thomas Matiska wrote: 
Commuter only?.....Actual owners consider the Smartie road worthy enough that the biggest complaint is the lack of cruise control... so they can't be too shy of taking it on the highway. Small?.....     Tall people do wish a tilt wheel made entry/exit easier, but no complaints of head/leg room from anybody 6'4" or less once they are seated. Limited market?....Enough folks want it that the 7-9 month waiting(as of May) list is now 14-17 months. ... order your 2010 now....

Junk in a few years?.....many made the last 8 years have their clocks turned over multiple times. Used ones sell on EBay for more than list, not exactly the depreciation rate of your average family size vehicle. We import a little more than half our oil, and I've just cut my share.... how are you cutting yours?
       By getting jumpin' ugly with my elected reps over recovery of domestic crude!!! We have so much crude oil that we haven't tapped into yet, it coming out of our ears. There was a recent strike in North Dakota and Montana - it's called the Bakken Formation  - apparently contains 503 billion barrels of light crude. It's the largest strike in American history, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The company that owns the drilling rights is Western Standard Energy. Google it for yourselves! Couple that with the oil on the north slope of Alaska, and the shale oil in several states in the west, we can thumb our noses at Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Mexico,Venezuela, and everybody else! 

John Q.





-------------- Original message from Ernie Lane <ernielane at VERIZON.NET>: -------------- 

> The key point here is that you _can_ take your Accent on the road. 
> By the way, we've had a Hyundai XG350L and now have a Santa Fe. I'd buy 
> a Tiburon if they made a convertible. I've owned about a dozen makes of 
> cars, and Hyundai has always given me the best overall experience. 
> > 
> > On 8/14/08, John A. Quayle wrote: 
> >> Richard Whitenight wrote: 
> >>> The Smart Car makes an excellent ready made coffin if you're hit by just 
> >>> about any vehicle larger than you :-). 
> >>> 
> >> /*Richard, you just stole my thunder, big fella.......and the 
> >> point made is an excellent one. As the passion to gain better mileage 
> >> takes hold of the marketplace, cars will keep getting lighter and 
> >> lighter, plus inherently less safe. Where will this mad dash end? At 
> >> _SOME_ point, there must be value placed on a human life, since it's now 
> >> deemed expendable in an effort to gain better fuel mileage. It's a sick 
> >> chase when you really weigh everything involved. The Smart Car must be 
> >> targeted for single adults who do a modicum of driving around town - the 
> >> mall, the grocery store, to work, what-have-you. Ernie's point that the 
> >> car will never fully pay for itself in fuel savings is also an excellent 
> >> point. 
> >> 
> >> As for an old geezer like myself, I'll take the tried and true 
> >> 1957 Chevy Belair with a modern bored and stroked 350cid power plant 
> >> (making it 383 cubes). With today's aftermarket technology, it's 
> >> possible to squeeze an impressive 28 mpg out of such a vehicle - so long 
> >> as you don't drive it like you're trying to escape from Jeff Gordon. 
> >> Besides, the classics just plain look far more appealing, have a 
> >> boatload of genuine character, and are simply fun to drive! 
> >> 
> >> John Q. 
> >> */ 
> >>> On 8/14/08, Ernie Lane wrote: 
> >>> 
> >>>> While I was out doing some errands yesterday, I saw my first Smart Car. 
> >>>> I was surprised that it was so small -- smaller than I had thought -- 
> >>>> and I wonder who buys it. 
> >>>> 
> >>>> Now, it seems to me that it's only good for commuting to work and 
> >>>> running local errands, or otherwise driving locally -- and only then, no 
> >>>> families. It's a two-seater, after all, which means a family of four 
> >>>> can't take it to the mall. 
> >>>> 
> >>>> While it has a highway efficiency rating, _I_ sure as hell wouldn't take 
> >>>> it on a highway. 
> >>>> 
> >>>> Consequently, the market is limited to people that can afford having a 
> >>>> car just for the small stuff. And, for now, it's manual transmission 
> >>>> only, which is going to limit the market even further. 
> >>>> 
> >>>> Then I wondered if it's even "worth" it. Based on its having a city 
> >>>> rating of 33 mpg, and my SUV has gotten a combined 21 mpg, and using 
> >>>> $4.00 a gallon for gasoline, and using 66 miles/day for convenience 
> >>>> (that is, two gallons of gasoline per day), it would take 1.1 more 
> >>>> gallons per day for the SUV, or $4.40 per day. At 250 days of work per 
> >>>> year, then, that comes to an advantage of $1,100 per year for the Smart 
> >>>> Car -- based on an estimated $15,000 cost, it would take 13.6 (!) years 
> >>>> to make that up. Of course, more driving means it would take less time. 
> >>>> Conversely, less driving means more time. Similarly, gas above $4.00 
> >>>> means less time, and gas below means more. 
> >>>> 
> >>>> In other words, it will practically _never_ pay for itself. And I 
> >>>> wonder if a car that small would even last 4-5 years, or will become a 
> >>>> junker after a couple. 
> >>>> 
> >>>> 
> >>> 
> >> 
> > 
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