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Thread: I Sold My RT Today

  1. #16
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    FWIW, climate change and environmental impacts are largely what generated my interest in motorcycles as a teenager in the 80's. One time, while tuning my Yamaha, I remember mentioning that to a family member who replied I shouldn't worry about it, as the little bit one vehicle contributes to the air was so minor. While I hadn't heard of the Tragedy of the Commons (here or here) at that time, it didn't dissuade me. At 50+, I still use my bikes as my primary commuters when the weather is cooperative (I just can't do the Texas heat in June-September), during which I retreat to the Miatas). The mileage is still so good (averaging 40+ mpg for the bikes/30+ for the cars- even at their age) relative to most ICE vehicles I can buy today and the bikes contribute less to wear/maintenance on the roads.

    As a 30-year biologist and environmental scientist, educator, and researcher, I chuckle sometimes at the things I read in the enthusiast magazines and forums I frequent that deny our impacts on climate, especially when it comes to our chosen past-times (i.e., cars and bikes). I enjoy my "toys" and would not advocate anyone give them up. But I also think that we need to be smart about the future and what we are leaving for those that come after us.

    Technology is moving quickly, and the markets are right behind them. I am greatly encouraged by the fact that renewables in the energy sector (energy production is the top contributor to greenhouse gasses globally) are advancing to the point that they are cost competitive and the investments by major companies are helping drive that transition (i.e., companies like Walmart, Google, Amazon contracting renewable power at scale from wind and solar providers like BP... yes, that BP). I'm encouraged that car and bike manufactures are driving (haha) development of non-ICE, personal transportation that is increasingly cost competitive, as transportation is the second leading contributor to greenhouse gasses globally. I suspect that the infrastructure for support (recharging, maintenance) for these vehicles will soon follow the path ICE transportation followed so many years ago- I don't doubt that the near future will see vehicle charging stations as common and conveniently located as gas stations today. I've likely purchased my last ICE vehicle, and have supported only renewable energy for several years (which in recent years has become equally priced to coal-fired alternatives in my area). I'm glad so many members in my various clubs are adopting the newer technologies (like Harry) as they become cost competitive.

    I think Hans suggestion is a good one, and encourage individuals and organizations alike to think in this direction to support efforts to conserve and promote the earth's ability to offset our waste generation (after all, these ecosystem services are free, and that's a great price); asking members to contribute a $1 along with their membership renewal that would go to these efforts wouldn't bother me in the least.

    Jim (MOA 83200)
    '78 R80/7 (Anastasia) and '84 R100RS (The Millennium Falcon), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '97 Nissan XE PU (Mighty Mouse)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas, baby!)

  2. #17
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    I offset my CO2 emissions from my bike by my main ride, my 2017 Prius Prime plug-in hybrid which currently sports a running average fuel economy of 96.9 mpg. And with all the lockdowns and plague concerns I'm not doing many miles on either vehicle.

    Harry
    Here's a pic I took a few minutes ago:

    IMG_0791_small.jpg

    It shows my current running average mpg @ 97.0 mpg. I reset the running average the day after I drove the car home from the dealers, having bought it new.

    Also notice the 0.4 miles - that's the EV (electric vehicle) range left in the "plug-in partition." The goal is to arrive home with that number close to zero, which means I got the most out of the EV mode. A key to hybrid vehicles' good fuel economy is regeneration, converting kinetic energy to electricity which is then used to recharge the hybrid battery pack. With a plug-in, you've got a plug-in partition as well as a hybrid partition.

    Consider how much gasoline I saved over more than 39K miles with an effective mpg of 97.0 mpg.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  3. #18
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Ok, I have to ask on watts per mile/cost per charge?
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
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    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  4. #19
    How much coal or natural gas did the power plant burn to provide the electricity that came through the plug to the car? Have you compared the cost per mile for electricity vs gasoline? I am curious as to whether I ought to consider a Prius when I replace my Ford Focus.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  5. #20
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Ok, I have to ask on watts per mile/cost per charge?
    OM
    I'd have to look on my next electric bill because I tossed the last one. This time of year, running the central air impacts my electric bill way more than charging my plug-in hybrid. The hybrid battery pack is 8.8 kWh, 4 miles/kWh, MPGe of 133, which is higher than any other plug-in hybrid and higher than many electric only cars. https://drivegreen.nationalgridus.com/form_cars.php

    Be careful about assigning watts/mile because as with all hybrid electric cars, there is the benefit of regeneration. Don't assume that the energy put into charging the plug-in partition is equivalent to charging a lead/acid battery and seeing how far you can go. In any kind of hybrid vehicle, the biggest benefit is being able to shut off the ICE every time the car doesn't need the ice to run and also changing the electric traction motor into a large generator and recovering the kinetic energy from the motion of the vehicle E = 1/2mV*V and stuffing that recovered energy back into the hybrid pack. One example - my previous Prius averaged about 45 mpg and it was not a plug-in and required no charging at all. So why was it's efficiency so much higher than "normal" cars? Because the engine was optimized for fuel economy, because the car engine would shut off at lights and when coasting, especially down hills, and because of regeneration, where it captured kinetic energy and converted that into charge for the hybrid pack.

    It's hard to put an exact number on how many miles I get on a charge, which takes about 5 1/2 hours @ 11 amps, I believe.

    My electric rates where I live in the Southern Tier of New York aren't as high as many places like Long Island, and our electric in New York tends to be "greener" than many locations due to a lot of hydro electric from Niagara Falls, Massena, NY, Hydro Québec, and the closing of most coal fired plants in favor of natural gas. There is a wind farm, for example, less than five miles from here.

    https://www.carsdirect.com/green-car...ectric%20motor.

    The main reason electric cars and partial EV cars like my Prius Prime are more efficient is because gasoline engines in cars are horribly inefficient. Electric motors in cars are more efficient. They don't put out anywhere near the amount of waste heat an ICE produces, and they benefit from regeneration, where conventional cars just produce heat when braking.

    Drive a hybrid car for a week, notice the ICE shutting off at every opportunity, capturing energy every time you slow for a light or exit, and you'll wonder why every car isn't a hybrid. And a plug-in hybrid is even better.

    HarryPrius Prime.png
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  6. #21
    Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat Omega Man's Avatar
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    Thanks Harry,
    I know you are kinda sensitive about your Prius so I was trying to ask nicely about the true cost of propulsion
    I’m still a gas and diesel kinda guy but- those Zero motorcycles interest me. Initial cost is a bit steep and I don’t think there is any tax incentive on them.
    OM
    "You can do good or you can do well. Sooner or later they make you choose." MI5
    Mod Squad
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200

  7. #22
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Thanks Harry,
    I know you are kinda sensitive about your Prius so I was trying to ask nicely about the true cost of propulsion
    I’m still a gas and diesel kinda guy but- those Zero motorcycles interest me. Initial cost is a bit steep and I don’t think there is any tax incentive on them.
    OM
    I was a bit put off by the animosity I got regarding my first Prius, especially when a perp kicked in the rear quarter panel for $800 in damage. The horse-and-buggy crowd were hostile to the first motor cars that arrived on the scene.

    I'm not exactly sure of the cost of charging my Prius Prime but just checking the electric bills every month I never really noticed any change. My last electric bill was something like $88, and that is with running the central air for the house every day for weeks now which is the thing that most impacts that bill.

    The tax incentives for the Prius Prime are huge - still the same $4,502 Federal and now I see New York State has added another $1,100 in tax rebates.

    The Prius Prime is a better car than the Prius in almost every way and I could care less if others prefer their less efficient vehicles.

    Our BMW motorcycles are reasonably efficient, better than most cars. Staying close to the speed limit on my way to Salt Lake City rally I got close to 50 mpg on my wethead GS.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  8. #23
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    It appears that the MPGe number is a big clue as to how much more efficient the car is in EV mode - 133 mpg. Compare that with the mpg rating of any conventional ICE car.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  9. #24
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    How much coal or natural gas did the power plant burn to provide the electricity that came through the plug to the car? Have you compared the cost per mile for electricity vs gasoline? I am curious as to whether I ought to consider a Prius when I replace my Ford Focus.
    Paul, that MPGe number for my car tells me that it will travel 133 miles on the amount of electric energy equivalent to the energy contained in one gallon of gasoline. That gives some idea of how much more efficient my car is compared to internal combustion engine power. And there is also the regenerated power captured any time my car slows down and put back into the hybrid pack which is included in that MPGe number.

    Admittedly there is not 100 percent efficiency in converting natural gas or coal to electricity. But there are also energy costs to produce a gallon of gasoline, including additional CO2 produced flaring off the gases from producing crude oil, most of which contain dissolved gases. Much of those light areas on a nighttime map of North Dakota are flares, the burning off of the gases separated from the crude oil. It gets complicated. Also, as I mentioned, a significant percentage of New York electricity is from hydro-electric with a small amount from wind and solar. The cost of gasoline also includes significant taxes.

    Converting gasoline into motive force in a conventional car is only 15 or 20 percent efficient, and there is usually no engine shut off at lights and no capture of kinetic energy when slowing or going downhill.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  10. #25
    Registered User jad01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKsuited View Post
    Paul, that MPGe number for my car tells me that it will travel 133 miles on the amount of electric energy equivalent to the energy contained in one gallon of gasoline. That gives some idea of how much more efficient my car is compared to internal combustion engine power. And there is also the regenerated power captured any time my car slows down and put back into the hybrid pack which is included in that MPGe number.

    Admittedly there is not 100 percent efficiency in converting natural gas or coal to electricity. But there are also energy costs to produce a gallon of gasoline, including additional CO2 produced flaring off the gases from producing crude oil, most of which contain dissolved gases. Much of those light areas on a nighttime map of North Dakota are flares, the burning off of the gases separated from the crude oil. It gets complicated. Also, as I mentioned, a significant percentage of New York electricity is from hydro-electric with a small amount from wind and solar. The cost of gasoline also includes significant taxes.

    Converting gasoline into motive force in a conventional car is only 15 or 20 percent efficient, and there is usually no engine shut off at lights and no capture of kinetic energy when slowing or going downhill.

    Harry
    These are good points.

    One thing I would add is that in Texas, we can choose power options using the Public Utility Commission of Texas' "Power to Choose" website (www.powertochoose.org).* Once you enter your zip code, you can filter only renewable energy (or a mix of renewable/non-renewable). Not every area/county has a lot of options (rural areas sometimes have limited- or no- options), but the number of companies offering renewable plans have grown tremendously in the past decade. I have students in rural areas that didn't have renewable options ten years ago, but do have them at competitive prices today. In my area, 100% renewable is cost competitive.

    I don't know if some other states might also have similar options to choose power providers, especially where power has been deregulated- I think some states have a sole provider but may have options within that provider... might be worth looking into for anyone interested. In Oregon, I see that Portland General Electric has a limited range of options that includes a 100% renewable package.

    *Note: There are several mimics of the Texas PUC's Power to Choose out there that pop up when you Google "Power to Choose Texas", run by private interests (example: ChooseTexasPower.org, which is run by an LLC... some others are run by brokerages); I only recommend the PUC run site (you'll see the state seal on the home page).
    Last edited by jad01; 07-27-2020 at 06:20 PM.
    Jim (MOA 83200)
    '78 R80/7 (Anastasia) and '84 R100RS (The Millennium Falcon), '86 K75C (Icy Hot)
    '90 and '93 Mazda Miatas (Jelly Bean and Red Hot), '97 Nissan XE PU (Mighty Mouse)
    '96 Giant Upland (big Kendas, baby!)

  11. #26
    Registered User AKsuited's Avatar
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    This might help:



    The main point - electric power for a car costs around $1.00/gal comparing how much energy is in a gallon of gasoline with the cost of an equivalent amount of electric power.

    Harry
    My fleet: 2015 R1200GS, 2017 Toyota Prius Prime (plug-in hybrid)

  12. #27
    Thanks!
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
    "The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." - Bertrand Russell
    http://web.bigbend.net/~glaves/

  13. #28
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    carbon offset ideas

    [QUOTE=AKsuited;1214007]Here's a pic I took a few minutes ago:

    IMG_0791_small.jpg

    It shows my current running average mpg @ 97.0 mpg. I reset the running average the day after I drove the car home from the dealers, having bought it new.

    It's great that you can get such good mileage with your Prius. Now back to the original topic: I think it is fair to say that motorcycling is especially enjoyable in beautiful nature. Most of us prefer a long distance ride through nature over freeway gridlock, lane splitting (in CA) adventures. I certainly prefer the former. So why not, as a national club, consider ways to "give back" to Mother Nature? I don't believe any mandatory surcharges to the annual membership fees is the way to go because some people will not accept it. A voluntary program might be best. I had hoped to have a local chapter of the Nature Conservancy have a booth at the national rally to share information about how we can offset our carbon footprint. Alas, Covid-19 happened...If this kind of program is accepted by the members it could be used to attract younger riders, too. Young people care a lot more about the environment than us older folks, and we can show that we care about their future and about Earth.

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