Yes, Watashi, it was the oil embargo. These days that couldn't happen. The sources for energy are much more diverse than in the lates 70s. We're only getting about 16% of our oil from the Persian Gulf now. We get more from Canada.
"Of course there would need to be some wiring changes so that the gages and indicators would work with the engine off, and the turn signals would need to be active in the coast mode as well."
One problem would be loss of power steering and, more important, power brakes. When you need to stop quickly, you don't have time to restart the engine, especially if you're in panic mode and/or have the phone stuck to your ear. Even if you're just cruising down the interstate with little traffic, there's always that chance of something happening. But, just disengaging the engine from driveline (such as with a clutch) would save some fuel, as there would be little load on the engine other than the alternator, ps pump, water pump etc.
"Best of all, the benefits obtained would be in proportion to the drivers attentiveness and skill..."
You have far more faith in peoples' attention span and skill than I ever could!!!
In this part of Michigan public transportation is NOT a viable alternative for getting to any of the jobs that I have worked at in the past 30 years. UNless you consider that walking a mile or more and spending over an hour on bisses to go 15 or 20 miles is fine. If you have nothing better to do with your life than wait on busses, then busses would be fine. But especially at the end of a long day, an hour and a half spent with busses is a lot worse than a half hour drive home.
I do one thing already, which is to ride my bicycle a whole lot, instead of driving. It can't do everything, but for a lot of what I do it works quite well. 8 miles to one employer, 4 miles to the other, neither one is that bad most of the time. That is part one of my solution.
Part 2 is the engine-off and coast driving method. An automatic that could disengage from the engine and re-engage smoothly would be half the solution, and a direct drive starter would be the balance of it. NO COMPUTER CONTROL would be the best mode, just a simple switch, or two switches, (off-on-start), and (drive/coast) are all that would need to be added. Of course there would need to be some wiring changes so that the gages and indicators would work with the engine off, and the turn signals would need to be active in the coast mode as well. In this part of Michigan, just using the switch-off-and-coast method of driving can save 50% on fuel consumption. Not bad for a zero modification approach. But with the addition of the direct drive starter and a better coasting disconnect the system could be a lot less work to use. And the very best part is that no new breakthroughs would be needed, although there wwould need to be an addition to the shift lever for the switches. Best of all, the benefits obtained would be in proportion to the drivers attentiveness and skill, which would probably make our roadways a lot safer. So why won't any auto company offer such a package? If they leave out the computer there is no chance of getting the controls program wrong and having "unintended acceellerations". I think that Buick already has the alternator that canndouble as a starter motor, although currently it is used for extra power. But it would start a warmed engine very well, I think.
It is NOT surprising that the market reality is different that the CS survey. The survey was requesting info from drivers relative to potential future purchases.
When faced with a choice between wants and a covey of unacceptable vehicles, of course reality will be different.
I work somewhere between 6 and 30 miles from work, depending on the facility I need to visit today. Scratch electric. I am NOT going to pay $60k plus for an all-electric that will take me on a worse-case trip and back home again.
My experience with hybrids (neighbors and co-workers) is that they are NOT reliable during Deep South summers. They experience overheating controllers during stop and go traffic.
Both my hybrid owning neighbors have had their 'drive systems' replaced due to this. 'Drive system' consists of the electric/gas powerplant, charging system and battery pack. Both, thankfully, were accomplished under warranty.
Alternative propulsion vehicles are coming, the promise is real and eventually they will become acceptable from a reliability and cost standpoint.
Mandating sales quotas, even with with government 'rebates', and artificially inflating gasoline prices with taxes is theft, short and sweet.
The petroleum market is NOT a free market. Crude prices and volume are fixed by the producers (including us). Gasoline prices are based less on fluctuating demand and more on the total take that the refiners and sellers want to realize for the quarter.
I put about 4,000 miles per year on my 27 year old Toyota truck (which on the highway still gets 30 mpg), mainly using it to drive to my commuter van stop and on errands around our small town of population 30,000. Right now, the monthly fee for riding the van is $94. If gas rose to $6.00/gal, the monthly fee would probably increase to ~$130. $130 per month isn't bad for a 60 mile round trip commute. Plus, the fee for the commuter van is deducted from my paycheck in pre-tax funds.
My other vehicle is a newer Toyota sedan and gets slightly lower gas mileage. We rack up 8,000-10,000 miles per year on this vehicle and it's 14 years old. I'd consider a more fuel-efficient vehicle to replace it the next time costly maintenance is on the horizon.
During the period when I'm deciding on a replacement vehicle(s), I'd consolidate trips, cut down on leisure travel, etc.
I'm located in Port Colborne at the Lake Erie end of the Welland canal. Folks from New York State (mainly Buffalo) come across to ride the trails with scooters they bought in Canada.It's reckoned because the population density is much lower here in Canada the risk factor involved in power assisted bicycling/scootering is lower...less insurance complications. There are a few complaints...such as the scooters are so quiet, pedestrians don't hear them coming up behind them. The horns tend to be raucous and walkers jump if you use them indiscriminately....it's easier to clear your throat and call out "passing on your left"!
Extreme high gas prices would probably mean all energy would be expensive so I'd relocate from Oregon to some warmer Southern "red" state. Also, Republican controlled states also have a better chance of surviving the economic conditions that would follow since it would be adaptable to the changes. The blue states like Oregon would just go bust. I'd use a motorcycle for transportation and my pickup for hauliing.
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