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View Diary: American Idle (109 comments)

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  •  hybrids do it "naturally" (16+ / 0-)

    it's part of their "in town" advantage.

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 07:18:43 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  major mpg hit (6+ / 0-)

      Right you are.  Here in the midwest winters, it takes a bit longer for the engine to come up to temp, and until it does, it won't go into autostop.  Consequently, my mpg in winter will often hit the mid-30s whereas in the summer months it comes in around 50.  My routes are incredibly stable (habit) and the drop has to be due to no autostop at just 3 lights... probably no more than a minute each.

      Whenever I see someone (other than running a diesel) sitting in the running car/suv/etc., it tells me the price of gas is too low... and that alarming swaths of the public are dense as lead.

      •  Yep - was going to say the same thing. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If fuel and all the absolutely amazing effort that goes into recovering, refining, and getting it to market is so underappreciated that people just waste it absent-mindedly, then that's a good indication that it is still far too inexpensive.

        I just laugh off people who complain about fuel prices now - much of the "problem" is directly related to behavior and a lack of discipline.  Keep buying ridiculously wasteful vehicles, driving (or idling) them in a ridiculously wasteful manner, and then whine about how rough the gas prices are.

        A gallon of gasoline can propel a 3000 lb car up a grade at about 60 mph for 25 - 30 miles.  Imagine the effort a person or persons or even a team of animals would have to exert to do anything even close to that.  The energy density of refined hydrocarbons and the work that allows us to do should be treated as one of the most valuable resources on the planet.  Instead we piss it away - as if there is an infinite supply of it.

      •  Jumping in up here to repond to diary info ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The truck that was idling in the parking lot overnight was most likely a refrigeration truck. They need to keep running to keep the cooling unit operating.

        Regarding your comment about winter fuel efficiency, from Scientific American...

        Auto components such as electric motors, engines, transmissions and tires consume more energy at low temperatures, especially during startup. The viscosity of the oil and other fluids increases with decreasing temperature, which means that more work and more fuel is required to overcome friction in the engine, transmission and other drivetrain components. If the outside temperature is significantly below the ambient temperature at which the EPA prescribed tests were conducted and trips are short, the engine¿s coolant system never reaches normal operating temperature and more fuel is utilized. Additionally, the amount of drag between tires and the road is about 20 percent greater at 0 degrees F than it is at 80 degrees F. Operating tires at lower than recommended operating pressure further degrades a vehicle¿s fuel economy, but this is also a problem in warm weather.

        Finally, a vehicle¿s aerodynamic drag is proportional to air density. On a 70-degree-F day, the density of the air is 16 percent lower than on a day with temperatures around 0 degrees F. Although this makes little difference in urban driving, it could account for a highway mileage per gallon reduction of 7 percent on the colder day (including a 1.5 percent allowance for improvement in fuel efficiency at the higher engine load).

        Considering all these factors, the fuel economy during urban trips of less than 10 minutes, in cold weather with snowy road conditions can easily be 50 percent lower than operation of the same vehicle in warm weather with dry roads.

        He also mentions the use of heater blowers and wipers, and idling when stopped to keep the heat running, so his numbers may be a little more extreme than what you experience.

        Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

        by kbman on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:51:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and a great way to reduce idling nationwide? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jlfessler, Rezkalla

          Ban drive-through food windows.

          Another would be to get rid of toll booths and let us have our socialist highways instead of being nickled and dimed every time we cross a bridge. This amounts to being a fairly regressive tax.

          Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

          by kbman on Wed Feb 27, 2013 at 11:55:08 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

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