The Motley Fool Discussion Boards
Retirement Discussions / Retire Early Liberal Edition
|Subject: Re: cahs for clunkers - disaster of a program||Date: 1/7/2013 12:46 PM|
|Author: telegraph||Number: 47226 of 73675|
SG:"The article starts off telling us that CARS produced tons of unnecessary waste (I'm not sure what this means or how to evaluate it. "
Yes, that's the problem with libs. But.....did it waste energy, pollute the planet more? Simple to figure out using the governments own numbers!
t:"They did. For a lot of people, they had perfectly fine SUVs and other cars getting decent mileage. It takes on the order of more than 10 barrels of oil to make a new car. "
How much energy to make a new car?
The short answer: 31,362 Btus per pound. That’s the average energy cost for constructing a modern motor vehicle —rubber, fluids, glass, metal and battery. Can that number tell you if it’s better, environmentally speaking, to keep your ’85 Renault Fuego or pick up a Honda Insight? That’s a longer answer full of scary science and scarier math. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Lab has attempted to analyze the energy consumed manufacturing vehicles. Their creation is called Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions and Energy use in Transportation models. GREET. No really.
Argonne broke automobiles down to discrete parts, then measured the energy required to mine, make and move those parts. They assess in British thermal units, the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
Applying the GREET model, it takes 100.391 million Btus to make a 3,201-pound vehicle. Not all cars are created equal, but the model accounts for the differences. For instance, the batteries in a hybrid render a different formula. According to GREET, a Prius comes in at 38,650 Btus per pound. A 2009 BMW M3, with its light carbon fiber roof screws things up. Just ignore it. For the 90 percent of the vehicles on the road, it’s 31,362 Btus per pound.
So, a 1996 Mitsubishi Montero weighing in at 4,290 pounds used 135,542,980 Btus for construction. Which is much too cumbersome and abstract a number. Put a more digestible way, it took 1,850 gallons of gasoline to make the Montero. (113,500 Btus in a gallon of gas.)
So you new car got 4 mpg better? WOw.......it would take a lot of miles to pay just the 'energy cost' of a new car.
For an average driver doing 10,000 miles a year...well, you just cost the planet a lot of energy (and naturally carbon spewed out) in your 'early retirement' of perfectly good cars.
At 20 mpg for a car and 10,000 miles a year, a driver would use 500 gallons of fuel a year. with a newer car that gets 24 mpg, he'd save all of less than 100 gallons. your payback in energy costs would be over 18 years!
That's your lib math a