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Holicow said:
Right figgy: It's not the rating but the volume.
Actually no. The EPA ratings on emissions are reported in grams of pollution emitted per mile travelled, not in concentration (ppm).

However, you do need to exercise care in comparing the *LEV standards across vehicle classes, because they vary. You can see this represented graphically here. This will change as the new Tier 2 standards phase-in from 2004 to 2009, and by 2010 all cars and light-duty trucks will have the same standards. In the meantime, you can rely on the EPA's "emissions/air pollution score" which rates all vehicles on a 1-10 scale (details here). This aggregate score (pounds of smog-forming pollution per 15k miles) is independent of vehicle class and model year.

On that scale, Honda Insight CVT is variously rated 6,8,or 10 while Honda Insight 5spd is rated 6 or 7. Ford Focus is 9 or 10. Ford Rangers, on the other hand, max out at 6 and are as low as 4.

For overall "greenness" you can also look to the ratings of the "Greenest Vehicles of 2004" put out by the ACEEE Green Book, which is an attempt to combine multiple environmental costs, including tailpipe emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, and production-associated impacts. The Honda Insight has been their top-rated gasoline-burning automobile for many years.
 

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I don't love smog, but it is funny that our GOVT makes all these regulations about pollution (and that only when the choking citizens threaten to rise up), yet we continue to burn fossile fuels as fast as possible even though the seas are boiling.
 

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Hey, I'm starting another thread in the General News section about this emissions stuff.
 

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"Even my 03 Ranger is as clean as our Insight’s and the MDX and Corolla are even cleaner in terms of SMOG based emissions."

Um, can we revisit that point? I always thought that emissions standards were based on percentages or parts per million, not on the absolute volume of HC, CO, & NOx. If that's indeed the case, then those numbers are only half the story: you also have to factor in the volume of exhaust emitted per mile. That's directly proportional to MPG.

That means that if your Ranger has the same emission numbers as the Insight, but gets say 25 MPG vs 75 for the Insight, then it's actually producing 3 times the emissions per mile driven, right?

As for the alleged performance shortcomings of the Insight, I have to say that I don't see them in my day-to-day driving. When I'm e.g. leaving a light, most of the time I'm well down the road before the car in the next lane has crossed the intersection. I can, and do, drive down the freeway as fast as anyone else. (Indeed, this week alone I've passed two Prii trudging along in the slow lane, me doing 70-75 and showing roughly 95 mpg.) I can drive up the Mt. Rose highway (4400 ft climb in 12 twisty miles), and still spend most of the drive swearing at the damned traffic-blocking flatlanders. What would I want with much more performance? I have better uses for my money than paying traffic tickets, you know?

And cost? Why do you keep harping on that? Sure, you can by cheaper cars - how much would a used Yugo go for these days? - but at $20K list the Insight is pretty well down at the bottom of the price charts. What are Porsches, Beemers, and the like going for these days, $50-100K or so? If people are willing to pay that kind of price for whatever intangible qualities one of those labels give them, why shouldn't other people with different values be happy to pay far less for a car that reflects those values?

Bottom line, if all a person wants is cheap, fairly dependable transportation, then they should buy a '85-95 Honda or similar, and drive it 'til it breaks.
 

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james said:
I always thought that emissions standards were based on percentages or parts per million
No, the *LEV standards are expressed in grams of pollutant emitted per mile travelled. The EPA "score" is similar, in pounds of pollutant emitted per 15k miles travelled (same physical quantity, mass/distance, expressed with different units).

More details in this thread or from this link which shows many of the standards for Federal and California.

Some tests are done in concentrations: the two-speed idle tests for air quality. It's worth pointing out as I mention those tests that hybrids which auto-stop are going to beat any conventional ICE-powered car at idle emissions, such as during heavy stop-and-go traffic. Figuring out whether this is fairly reflected in the EPA test would require more digging to determine just what the EPA dynamometer test cycle is, and whether it allows hybrids to be tested in such a way that idle stop can be triggered. If hybrids are tested in a way that idle-stop is not permitted to happen, which could be as simple as never taking a 5spd Insight out of gear, then you could argue that the Insight is really cleaner than it gets credit for. Pure speculation on my part.

Your thoughts on cost are similar to my own. I am unlikely to ever purchase a more expensive BMW but I will happily get another green car like the Insight when mine finally wears out.
 

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That is a very good point about testing without auto-stop.

When they did a smog on me, they never let it auto-stop. I don't know if they knew how!

If you are auto-stopped at a light next to a new fangled Ford Focus for 3 minutes, you make up for a lot of driving even if you emit more g/km of cerain pollutants - not to mention your reduced CO2 emissions.
 
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Hi James:

___I believe I travel in more heavily congested conditions on a daily basis yet my lmpg is possibly a bit higher then yours? I am the guy in the far right lane doing the ~ speed limit and that is where it stands. I get passed by 18-wheelers, SUV’s, std. ICE based automobiles, and every Hybrid known to us and you know what, I am still doing the speed limit + or – depending on the ascent or descent of whatever hill I am driving across. If they want to travel faster, they have 2, 3, 4, or 5 other lanes to pass me by on my left. With that, I am using a minimum amount of fuel and minimizing the amount of emissions from my rather average polluting Insight for my rather lengthy commute.

___As for sitting in traffic jams, I am sitting with everyone else albeit w/ autostop the best I can. Even with Autostop, my mileage during those periods is falling heavily. I lose ~ 3 to 4 mpg for every 3 - 5 mile stop and go traffic jam and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it. I sat through 2 of those today and have had too at least once on every afternoon commute this week :(

james said:
And cost? Why do you keep harping on that?
___And again, the thread was involving someone looking for a daily driver for an ~ 150 mile round trip commute. Jeepnut wasn’t looking for a Yugo, a Porsche, or a BMW. In the general tone of the thread, cost is very important. If you cannot make up the cost with fuel savings while driving an 04 Insight, HCH, or Prius, why purchase one with their lowly performance in comparison to any other number of std. ICE based automobiles? Here is an estimate over just 1 year with 37,500 miles driven (150 miles/day * 5days/week * 50 weeks/yr.). Do the math at lets say $2.00/gallon.

04 Honda Insight 5-speed: 37,500 miles/65 mpg = 577 gallons/year * $2.00/gallon = $1,154/yr. in fuel
04 Honda Civic LX 5-speed: 37,500 miles/38 mpg = 987 gallons/year * $2.00/gallon = $1,974/yr. in fuel
04 Toyota Corolla LE 5-speed: 37,500 miles/40 mpg = 937 gallons/year * $2.00/gallon = $1,874/yr. in fuel
04 Ford Focus 5-speed: 37,500 miles/33 mpg = 1,136 gallons/year * $2.00/gallon = $2,272/yr. in fuel

___I am assuming the Insight will pull an EPA estimate driving normally vs. every one of the other automobiles pulling EPA estimates driving normally as well … In the worst case, you save $1,118/yr. in fuel costs by driving an ~ $20,000 04 Honda Insight 5-speed vs. a $16,000 - $17,500 (the price range depends on your location and if you have access to the X-Plan) 04 PZEV based Ford Focus.

___The above was when comparing the 04 5-speed Insight with the best fuel economy in comparison to the Civic, Corolla, or Focus. I did not bother comparing the fuel savings against the much lower fuel economy capable 04 Insight w/ CVT, HCH w/ manual or Auto, or an 04 Prius. If gas goes to $2.50 or higher, you can keep doing the math. Imagine what the pack is capable of after 4 years of the hill Jeepnut has described? If you did happen to have a pack replacement at the 150,000 mile point, all fuel savings are thrown completely out the window given the cost of the pack.

___Figgy, even with Autostop in use at the light in an Insight, the Ford Focus PZEV is still much cleaner. In fact, if you drive any PZEV based automobile including the 2.3 L Ford Focus through a heavily smog laydened area, it actually cleans the air it drives through! The NOx spike(s) on startup and shutdown of any Hybrid is significant enough in comparison to the emissions savings while in Autostop to be almost negligible.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:1tnolf58][email protected][/email:1tnolf58]

(post edited by moderator)
 

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xcel: You make some very good points. You are very correct that a certain vehicle is not right for all purposes. Take my case: I drive 32mi each way to work, 90% freeway, fairly lightly traveled. It is only me in the car. My Insight is perfect for this. If I had to fight congested, stop-and-go freeways with aggressive drivers every single day (been there, done that) I may have to think about it a little more.

I would like to address one point buried in your tome:

xcel said:
Imagine what the pack is capable of after 4 years of the hill Jeepnut has described? If you did happen to have a pack replacement at the 150,000 mile point, all fuel savings are thrown completely out the window given the cost of the pack!
Don't assume that whatever other vehicle you are driving will not need some sort of major maintenance by that point. What if the engine blows-up in your Focus at 80K? Other makers don't have the reliability history of Honda or Toyota. Yes, the hybrid might also need some other work too.


Also, it is impossible, no matter how people try, to measure the intangibles. Man doesn't live by data alone.
 

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xcel said:
Hi James:
I lose ~ 3 to 4 mpg for every 3 - 5 mile stop and go traffic jam and there isn’t a darn thing I can do about it.
If you get the hang of it, you can maintain 90+ mpg in bad freeway traffic by using autostop effectively. Keep the car rolling in autostop at the average traffic speed, and let others brake and rush forward and brake. How easy/feasible this is depends on traffic, of course. YMMV.

if you drive any PZEV based automobile including the 2.3 L Ford Focus through a heavily smog laydened area, it actually cleans the air it drives through! The NOx spike(s) on startup and shutdown of any Hybrid is significant enough in comparison to the emissions savings while in Autostop to be almost negligible.
Do you have any evidence, calculation or references to support those two statements?

I dispute whether an SULEVII (PZEV is just a California moniker for an SULEVII that has extra hardware to prevent evaporative emissions) in fact does emit cleaner exhaust than smoggy air. Here area few reasons. First, atmospheric air-quality standards test for compounds not tested in vehicle air-quality tests (ozone and sulfur dioxide). The most important one is ozone - this is what burns your lungs on a smoggy day. Do you have evidence that ozone concentrations are reduced in vehicle exhaust? Second, vehicle air-quality tests are done in a lab setting, and the cars are not inhaling smog when their tailpipe emissions are tested. To support your statement, the emissions would have to be checked for the reduction you stipulate. Third, air-quality standards use concentrations of pollutants, and vehicle emissions (as we've discussed) use fluxes (mass emitted per distance travelled). So you would have to do some math to get comparable numbers. Have you done this?

Same for the supposed Insight emissions at startup. The startup of a still-warm hybrid (it won't go into idle stop unless it's warm) is very different from the infamously dirty startup of a cold ICE with a 12v starter. Ferinstance, I haven't ever had to give my Insight gas when I start it up, unlike every other car I have owned.
 
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Hi Holicow:

Don't assume that whatever other vehicle you are driving will not need some sort of major maintenance by that point. What if the engine blows-up in your Focus at 80K? Other makers don't have the reliability history of Honda or Toyota. Yes, the hybrid might also need some other work too.
___I will definitely assume most automobiles driven will not need an ICE replacement at 80,000 miles.

If you get the hang of it, you can maintain 90+ mpg in bad freeway traffic by using autostop effectively. Keep the car rolling in autostop at the average traffic speed, and let others brake and rush forward and brake. How easy/feasible this is depends on traffic, of course. YMMV.
___Tim, YMMV is exactly correct. I use autostop almost exclusively in traffic jams and I can tell you that all it takes is to crawl up a 50 - 100’ rise or flat area using autostop and coasting and you too will see your mileage fail to maintain 90 + mpg. 90 + mpg is what I normally receive on a daily basis in 45 - 65 degree ambient temperatures. I cannot allow more then maybe 6 to 7 car lengths to appear in front of me in stop and go traffic or the drivers around start blowing their horns and fill in the gap. I do take that 6 to 7 car lengths however and shift from 1 to 2 and then coast as far as I can in Autostop. If you have a way of improving this method, please tell me because I cannot start out in third and there is no way to maintain 90 + mpg while accelerating or in second unless you are coasting downhill. When I am stopped on a downhill section, I can maintain my average by simply letting off the brake and coasting up to the bumper of the vehicle in front of me before stopping while in autostop or shut down the car and turn the key 1 click to get my gauges back and coast down the hill with the car not running … I have even gained as much as .2 mpg on the meters in this specific condition but it quickly vaporizes on the next flat or hill to climb in bumper to bumper and drops even further afterwards :( Apparently, my stop and go here in the heart of Chicago’s infamous nightmare is a bit more congested then whatever you appear to be driving in? Someone driving SanFran’s infamous 101 (is it 401?) might be able to add a bit more real world analysis to this discussion. There is simply no way to maintain 90 + mpg when accelerating from a dead stop to 5 - 10 mph and coast back down to a dead stop behind the bumper in front of you in the stop and go traffic that I drive in.

___In the case of cleaning the air, here is a link as posted in the ARB FAQ.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:3ico6fyx][email protected][/email:3ico6fyx]

(post edited by moderator)
 
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Wayne, you still haven't answered my question: Why did you buy your Insight? It obviously wasn't for the greenness, since you don't believe the Insight is very green. It obviously wasn't for performance, since you complain about that, too.

(post edited by moderator)
 
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Hi El_Vacho:

___You never asked me that question, did you? I purchased it because of the long commute in which I can get 80 + mpg and I picked it up for a steal.

(post edited by moderator to remove meta-discussion of what to post in this thread)

___Bigtrouble77, if you live in an area with non-California type spec’ed gasoline (non-Low sulfur), you can usually purchase it in larger cities (LS gas) from your local BP/AMOCO station but you will have to pay a premium for it given it is only available in their Ultimate Premium Unleaded. This might help although it is available in quite a few more cities now! http://www.bpdirect.com/pdfs/Low_Sulfur ... timate.pdf . If you live in MN or upper WI. and you have a Holiday station near you, you can pick up Blue Planet fuel which is not only low in Sulfur, it is also formulated to be low in Benzene. The other item is try and maximize your fuel economy with a steady throttle and don’t use Autostop as there appears to be HC spikes when coasting and coming out of it. There were quite a few emissions tests done by the government labs on the Hybrid’s when they first became available here in the US. If you look at the emission graphs, there always seemed to be spikes when the car is coasting or the engine shuts down and starts up again or even when the throttle is going from 0 to a large percentage and back again. Time the lights is a better emission lowering technique then running up to them in Autostop and pulling away after IMA starts her back up again apparently? At least that is the way I look at it. You can see one of the really good tests of an 01 Prius’ ICE from an Argonne National Labs test here: http://www.transportation.anl.gov/pdfs/HV/2.pdf

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:sarnlndn][email protected][/email:sarnlndn]
 
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xcel said:
Hi El_Vacho:

___You never asked me that question, did you? I purchased it because of the long commute in which I can get 80 + mpg and I picked it up for a steal. I have posted this quite a few times here so I must have missed your question?
This topic, second page, second post from the bottom.

(post edited by moderator)

It is my experience that I can beat a majority of drivers off the line easily, as have many other Insight owners in this forum. I raced a friend of mine in his brand new 5 speed Dodge Neon. We raced 3 times. I beat him to 40mph each time. I beat him to 60mph once, though not by much. I find my Insight to be quite peppy and extremely nimble, and have never felt it was lacking in performance. I'm sorry if you have.

xcel said:
If you state it is as clean as many of the automobiles he has available to him, you are also doing him a disservice because it is not.
It is cleaner than the vast majority of automobiles out there.
 

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"The 2 fastest Hybrid’s including the 5-speed Insight and the 04 Prius (this is with fully charged packs) are actually quite miserable in comparison to most other automobiles..."

So the conclusion seems to be that most people are paying extra money for performance capabilities that they choose not to use, 'cause I DO go faster/quicker in my Insight than most.

"___And again, the thread was involving someone looking for a daily driver for an ~ 150 mile round trip commute."

And again, if the goal is simply to minimize cost, they should buy that 10-year-old Honda Civic :)

As to emissions, perhaps I confused the EPA standards with what the state uses for its smog test. Those are purely concentrations, not totals.

"___I believe I travel in more heavily congested conditions on a daily basis yet my lmpg is possibly a bit higher then yours?"

This is almost certainly true :) As I've said before, I didn't buy my Insight for its mpg or emissions rating (though I do appreciate them), I bought it because I wanted a small, quick, two-seat hatchback like my old CRX. I don't set out every trip with the intention of getting the absolute highest possible mpg, I want to get there quickly, in reasonable comfort, and have as much fun as possible on the way. That I still manage a reasonable 70-75 mpg per tank is a bonus!
 
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Hi El_Vacho:

I find my Insight to be quite peppy and extremely nimble, and have never felt it was lacking in performance. I'm sorry if you have.
___Actually, I find the performance of the 5-speed Insight, just adequate. My lowly Corolla w/ Auto is superior in terms of instant and general acceleration performance at speed in my time behind the windscreen. The PZEV based Focus w/ a stick and the ULEV-II rated but lux and expensive MDX are relative rocket ships by comparison.

It is cleaner than the vast majority of automobiles out there.
___As a LEV (this is what our Insight’s were rated at in most every state), it is old hat. As a ULEV using LS fuel, it is reasonably clean. As an SULEV like the CVT’s, that is very clean. The Insight however is not a PZEV like any number of other PZEV’s available now. We can all hang our hat on our 5-speeds GHG emissions and we do but in terms of smog, they are actually pretty dirty.

___Good Luck

___Wayne R. Gerdes
___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.
___[email:21y18hmh][email protected][/email:21y18hmh]

(post edited by moderator)
 

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xcel said:
The Insight however is not a PZEV like any number of other PZEV’s available now.
Note that there is no difference between a "PZEV" and an "SULEV" in terms of tailpipe emissions assuming that we are talking about passenger cars or Tier 2 standards. Both are 10/10 on the EPA "green score" scale. PZEV's have additional hardware that takes evaporative emissions to 0.
 
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xcel said:
I am sorry I missed it the first go around. Were my reasons for owning a 5-speed Insight not acceptable?
Perfectly acceptable.
Now you are dusting Dodge Neon’s?
Beating them, yes.
Actually, I find the performance of the 5-speed Insight, just adequate.
You spend too much time on the highway. Sure, the Insight has limited umph for passing at 65+mph. But at 40mph... It's no 240Z, but there are people using them in racing circuits and doing quite well. And numerous other people here in this forum have stated that they easily get ahead of the pack when taking off from stoplights.
If you don’t believe the EPA, who do you believe?
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) http://www.aceee.org/press/honda.htm

The Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/clean_vehicles/ad ... ageID=1082

The Sierra Club
http://www.electrifyingtimes.com/sierraclubinsight.html

By the way, Honda also put a lot of effort into minimizing pollution in the manufacturing process of the Insight, and using nontoxic and/or recycleable materials when possible.
As a LEV (this is what our Insight’s were rated at in most every state), it is old hat. As a ULEV using LS fuel, it is reasonably clean. As an SULEV like the CVT’s, that is very clean.
I buy only Amoco Ultimate from BP which is low sulfur here in Indianapolis. The only difference between the 5 spd and cvt is the 5spd produces more NOX due to lean burn, but less CO2 due to higher mpg. I had to weigh cleanliness against mpg and fun-to-drive, and I chose the latter.
We can all hang our hat on our 5-speeds GHG emissions and we do but in terms of smog, they are actually pretty dirty.
Compared to my mountain bike, sure. I've never said it was the cleanest, only that it is cleaner than most.

(edited by moderator. please refrain from personal discussion)
People buy Insights because they're pretty darn clean, get rediculously good gas mileage, are fun to drive and be seen in, and perform quite well. All of these things are true. I will never give anyone anything but the facts and my experience when they ask me about my Insight.
 
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