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Old 01-29-2010, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2002 Nissan Sentra

Hello everyone! I never thought I'd be joining a forum of this type, but after sitting through a couple of Environmental Science classes, suddenly I'm becoming more aware of my daily use of resources, like gasoline, water, food, etc. After some web surfing and research, I stumbled upon this site through an article in the auto section of aol.com. Because this site takes the stance of being economical in it's very name, I'll make it clear that although I'm all for cleaner emissions and sustainable energy sources for personal transportation, I absolutely detest the idea of battery powered cars and the approach that automakers have taken in the small-car movement. How can a battery-powered vehicle be less harmful than a modern gasoline-powered engine? That battery's gotta go at some point and it's going to require replacement, whereas gasoline engines have many components that can be refurbished or recycled to make new ones. And the idea of plugging a car to my wall makes me laugh. When that subsides, I shed a tear at the image of a giant smokestack taking the place of my fuel tank. There's got to be dozens of members here who have a strong thought on the matter, whether in favor of the transition or not, so by all means present a case and enlighten me on your position. You'll find that I'm very open-minded. Alas, I'm very interested in hearing this community's take on these current issues and look forward to learning from you all. Without further depletion of bandwidth, here is my baby!





I'm going to be doing some eco-modding of my own in performing some weight reduction on her, primarily because I'm usually the only passenger when I drive. Not only do I get better gas mileage, acceleration, braking, and handling capabilities, (To name a few ) it'll also cut some slack off the engine, which is propelling more than 2,548 pounds. (Curb weight)


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Old 01-29-2010, 12:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Welcome to EM, elf. You have good taste in cars . Is yours an auto, or manual transmission? What are your fuel economy goals?
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Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
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Old 01-29-2010, 01:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
Welcome to EM, elf. You have good taste in cars . Is yours an auto, or manual transmission? What are your fuel economy goals?
A fellow Sentra owner! (Didn't expect that...)

Mine has the four-speed automatic. I'm hoping to maintain the economy that I've had up until now and change some bad tendencies, like my recent habit of getting my SRI to purr. Don't get me wrong, I don't run the engine, it's just that I haven't been as meticulous as I used to be with the revs, when I'd easily get around 30 MPG in the city driving like a 3 cyl. My best MPT was 350. (Approximation; highway/city; I had maybe 1/2 gal. left) Even so, I consistently maintain the revs under 2k after 1st gear until I get up to speed. Getting into high-gear is always a priority on the road, as well as keeping a pace and avoiding the crowd of speeders.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:41 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It sounds like you're doing a lot of good hypermiling practices. Keep your speed down, if you're not already doing so. I used to get only 26 mpg with my Sentra or my wife's AT Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra, when I pushed them at 72 mph. When I slowed down to 55-60 mph, my mleage shot up to 33-40 mpg.

I've never been able to wring much mileage out of automatics. I get ~39 mpg out of my wife's car on long highway trips in the winter, and 42 mpg in the summer, but around town we're lucky to get 30-35 mpg. I rented an automatic Yaris last Summer, and averaged 42 mpg for three tanks with my 15 yr. old grandson and our luggage.

I regularly get 400 mile tanks out of my Sentra, and I've got the thirsty SE-R Spec V.
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Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
Mean Green Toaster Machine
49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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Old 01-29-2010, 12:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
It sounds like you're doing a lot of good hypermiling practices. Keep your speed down, if you're not already doing so. I used to get only 26 mpg with my Sentra or my wife's AT Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra, when I pushed them at 72 mph. When I slowed down to 55-60 mph, my mleage shot up to 33-40 mpg.

I've never been able to wring much mileage out of automatics. I get ~39 mpg out of my wife's car on long highway trips in the winter, and 42 mpg in the summer, but around town we're lucky to get 30-35 mpg. I rented an automatic Yaris last Summer, and averaged 42 mpg for three tanks with my 15 yr. old grandson and our luggage.

I regularly get 400 mile tanks out of my Sentra, and I've got the thirsty SE-R Spec V.
That's pretty damn impressive, on all accounts, namely your Spec V. Never thought such a number was attainable on a car that dares the driver to do otherwise.

As for highway speeds, I stay at the speed limit if it's at all possible. Some highways can get rowdy- and by rowdy I mean >70 MPH will have you run-over rowdy- irrespective of what lane you're on. Guess people figure that getting on there automatically means you get the EPA estimated MPG. They don't factor in the RPM's, especially our 4 cyl bretheren. My car revs at 3,000 RPM +/- at 70 MPH; can't pretend that revving that high for long will be economical, yet the Corolla behind me overtakes me because I'm only going 75. I like how this site emphasizes the idea of "how you drive," over what you drive.
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Old 01-29-2010, 03:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Its about 400 miles to my mom's in SoCal. I used to have to fill up midway. Now I hypermile, and count on getting there on one tank, no matter what I'm driving.

I go 55-60 mph max unless it's a two lane road. Faster traffic can go around me. Their hurry is their worry, not my problem. California law requires me to pull over if I have five cars stacked up behind me. I pull over and let them pass when I'm impeding traffic.

Being a hypermiler with a manual transmission, I get to use my BSFC sweet spots. The Spec V gets to accelerate at 90% LOD, which is pretty spirited. The acceleration is followed by a lot of slow coasting, but it's part of a big video game.
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Darrell

Boycotting Exxon since 1989, BP since 2010
Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac? George Carlin
Mean Green Toaster Machine
49.5 mpg avg over 53,000 miles. 176% of '08 EPA
Best flat drive 94.5 mpg for 10.1 mi
Longest tank 1033 km (642 mi) on 10.56 gal = 60.8 mpg
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Old 01-29-2010, 04:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum. That's two new Sentras in the last week...

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Duende View Post
How can a battery-powered vehicle be less harmful than a modern gasoline-powered engine? That battery's gotta go at some point and it's going to require replacement, whereas gasoline engines have many components that can be refurbished or recycled
Large format batteries are among the most recycled consumer products. They contain valuable raw materials even after they've reached the end of their useful life. No need to worry about landfills overflowing with electric car batteries; it's not going to happen.

Toyota even has a bounty on its expired hybrid batteries/batteries from wrecks.

Quote:
I shed a tear at the image of a giant smokestack taking the place of my fuel tank.
Not everyone's power comes from dirty power generation. Depends on where you live, and you may also have the option of choosing clean power generation by choosing your provider.

If you do some digging, you'll find evidence that even if an EV is powered 100% by coal, the inherent efficiencies of electric drive mean it's likely to produce fewer emissions than a comparable fossil fuel powered vehicle.

In addition, it's probably fair to say that the grid will get cleaner in the future. And so will anything plugged into it.
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Old 01-29-2010, 05:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forums El Duende!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
...If you do some digging, you'll find evidence that even if an EV is powered 100% by coal, the inherent efficiencies of electric drive mean it's likely to produce fewer emissions than a comparable fossil fuel powered vehicle.

In addition, it's probably fair to say that the grid will get cleaner in the future. And so will anything plugged into it.
Thank you MetroMPG! You are first person online this year (2010) to bring this up in a response to the classic "smokestack" counterpoint on EV's. In fact you can even point people to this website LA Ash, Inc. - The USA's Largest Marketer & Byproduct Merchant of Petcoke Ash. I used to write software for them and learned first hand how clean coal really is! In fact, I drove on their theories everyday!

The grid will get much cleaner as we put more wind turbines on it. In fact, if you (El Duende & maybe MetroMPG), really feel bad about driving electrics because of the dangers of coal
.
.
.
Why not purchase your electricity from a wind farm coop? Because of new energy trading policies, we all can buy our electricity from any source. I buy mine from a sugar cane refinery that burns their waste product! The cost is only about an "extra" $20 bucks per month for me.

I calculated that driving an EV 500 miles per month with my "eco-friendly" utility bill charge it would make that "extra" only $30!
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Old 01-29-2010, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Welcome to the site El Duende, from another Nissan Sentra owner. Believe me, you and I are not the first to hypermile these great little econoboxes. I drive an old B13 (93) SE-R, I love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Duende View Post
As for highway speeds, I stay at the speed limit if it's at all possible. Some highways can get rowdy- and by rowdy I mean >70 MPH will have you run-over rowdy- irrespective of what lane you're on. Guess people figure that getting on there automatically means you get the EPA estimated MPG. They don't factor in the RPM's, especially our 4 cyl bretheren. My car revs at 3,000 RPM +/- at 70 MPH; can't pretend that revving that high for long will be economical, yet the Corolla behind me overtakes me because I'm only going 75. I like how this site emphasizes the idea of "how you drive," over what you drive.
I agree with SentraSE-R's statement, let them worry about themselves and risk their own necks passing you. Believe me, I used to get all nervous, watching my rear-view mirror, when people would rush up behind me and tailgate me. Now, I just sit back, chill, and think about how much cash I'm saving. Besides, it's not like they're going to compensate you for the gas money you'd waste going faster, so why worry about them? And you should probably see a good increase right away by just going slower.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SentraSE-R View Post
I go 55-60 mph max unless it's a two lane road. Faster traffic can go around me. Their hurry is their worry, not my problem. California law requires me to pull over if I have five cars stacked up behind me. I pull over and let them pass when I'm impeding traffic.
Pull over huh? That's crazy. Does that mean even if you're in the "slow traffic" lane?


BTW if you're gentle with them (and it takes practice) you can do well in an auto. I owned a 95 Maxima auto for a year that I hyper-miled, and I commonly got around 35mpg city, and that wasn't even with properly inflated tires. Just takes practice and being gentle on that pedal.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post

Large format batteries are among the most recycled consumer products. They contain valuable raw materials even after they've reached the end of their useful life. No need to worry about landfills overflowing with electric car batteries; it's not going to happen.

Toyota even has a bounty on its expired hybrid batteries/batteries from wrecks.

Not everyone's power comes from dirty power generation. Depends on where you live, and you may also have the option of choosing clean power generation by choosing your provider.

If you do some digging, you'll find evidence that even if an EV is powered 100% by coal, the inherent efficiencies of electric drive mean it's likely to produce fewer emissions than a comparable fossil fuel powered vehicle.

In addition, it's probably fair to say that the grid will get cleaner in the future. And so will anything plugged into it.
I have a question. You always hear about the Prius's battery negating any environmental benefit it has. Is this true, assuming the battery is recycled?

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