Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: BP-Fuelled Rage

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  • Paul Campbell,

    But I drive a Prius, it does all this stuff for me - meanwhile my glove box is filling up with supermarket petrol coupons, I'm sure I subsidising someone somewhere by not using enough petrol

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    7. What is the correct response to reading in this week’s Listener cover story that you will only get the keys to Julia Hartley Moore’s SUV from her cold dead hands?

    What physical under-endowment are you over-compensating for, Julia?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11931 posts Report Reply

  • Stanley Pointen,

    I would like the inquiry to throw some light on why, according to media reports today, petrol has gone up 35 percent in the last year whereas diesel has gone up 80 percent. Given that more people are buying diesel passenger cars, is this just another trick by the oil conglomerates to future proof themselves and their mega profits?

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 25 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    What physical under-endowment are you over-compensating for, Julia?

    doubtless a complete inability to drive safely.

    seem to be the common thread to 4wd owners...

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2026 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Just wait till Ms Moore goes into a rollover crash.

    Reclassify SUVs as light trucks, so they'll need an HT licence to drive them. Now that'll sort out the men from the boys, and the women from the girls.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4257 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    PS. It'll also remind such drivers that licences allow them to drive on the road, not to own it.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4257 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    According to this (which I believe may have appeared in a thread here before):

    the car of choice for the nation's most self-centered people

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    According to the answers, if I do all those things I can save a total of 84%! Apparently I'll be back driving on the smell of an oily rag, to quote my Dad.

    I would like the inquiry to throw some light on why, according to media reports today, petrol has gone up 35 percent in the last year whereas diesel has gone up 80 percent. Given that more people are buying diesel passenger cars, is this just another trick by the oil conglomerates to future proof themselves and their mega profits?

    I presume this comes from the fact that a decent proportion of the cost of petrol is tax, which hasn't changed. So the increase in the price in the cost of the actual petrol component, might be about 60%.

    The cost of diesel is entirely the cost of diesel, the tax is applied later through road user charges.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    What is the correct response to reading in this week’s Listener cover story that you will only get the keys to Julia Hartley Moore’s SUV from her cold dead hands?

    Hotwire the SUV, run her over, take the keys, drive off.

    Incidentally the cruise control thing might apply to the Mojave desert (the cited test area), or the Canterbury plains, but I think there are very few places in NZ where you wouldn't be flicking in and out of cruise every 30s.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 4447 posts Report Reply

  • Anorak,

    I often wonder about SUV drivers.
    Are they all so out of touch that they don't know how other road users feel about them?
    So arrogant they just don't care?
    Will somebody please explain?

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I drive with the CC on all the time, esp up thru Central Otago - stops my lead foot slowly pushing the car up into the ticket writing range .... sure it pops off every so often when you have to slow for curves (or sheep) - but maybe every 5 minutes or so

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    So before I bought the Prius (in NZ) I drove an SUV (on US freeways) - you have to understand, we're up so high we can't actually see you

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    Why should anyone give a rats if someone drives an SUV. I'd much rather someone drove a late model diesel SUV, than any of the rattly sh!tboxes, with quarter of a million km on the clock, that haven't been serviced, let alone tuned in years, which sadly form a large chunk of our vehicle fleet. I'd wager the emissions from the late model diesel SUV are a lot lower than the comparable emissions from the average poorly maintained family wagon.

    And as for hybrids, their appeal seems to be driven more by hype than practical benefits in real world driving. A diesel is cheaper to run, and generally has lower emissions. Not to mention the issues around disposal of the battery packs when they come to the end of their lifespans, which noone ever really discusses. Recycling batteries is not a particularly green process.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    petrol has gone up 35 percent in the last year whereas diesel has gone up 80 percent

    I read somewhere the other day that this is because there has been an underinvestment in diesel-producing facilities at refineries, combined with increasing useage.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Anorak,

    Touche, Paul Campbell.

    Amazingly, A S, there are more than two kinds of cars to choose from. The opposite of a late-model SUV is not necessarily a badly tuned polluting pile of crap.

    SUV's make the roads more dangerous for everyone.
    You can't see around them, they are so wide they make passing very scary, and anecdotally, they seem to give their drivers a misguided belief they own the road.

    No Sir, I don't like'm.

    Auckland • Since Apr 2007 • 61 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    The cost of diesel is entirely the cost of diesel, the tax is applied later through road user charges.

    That's rather the point - people at my workplace are bitterly complaining that the shrinking gap in diesel prices have rendered them about as expensive to drive as their petrol compatriots. It's not only eaten up the price per litre adtanage, but the efficiency advantage.

    A cynical person would suspect someone at Shell, BP, et al, has done a bit of math around making sure there's parity between the fuels. If anything, diesel may be more profitable now.

    SUV's make the roads more dangerous for everyone.

    Worse yet, they're crap at the job most people claim to buy them for; fitting more stuff in. I can cram more into a Camry than a Land Cruiser.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Felix,

    I'd wager the emissions from the late model diesel SUV are a lot lower than the comparable emissions from the average poorly maintained family wagon.

    Possibly, but there's a hell of a lot more than emissions to consider.

    The amount of resources consumed in manufacturing big, heavy SUVs with big, heavy engines, wheels, tyres, panels and everything else is enormous compared to the manufacturing of small, light vehicles.

    It's also a bit of a false choice to compare the emissions of an old, poorly maintained station wagon with a new SUV as no-one driving a new SUV is considering swapping it for an old, poorly maintained car.

    The relevant comparison is between a new SUV and a new light, efficient car. Or between an old, poorly maintained car and an old, poorly maintained SUV.

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Yes, whether you want to run over your own toddlers, roll your vehicle at speed, crush pedestrians, or simply treat other cars as your crumple zone, there's an SUV for you!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    (Luckily, driving and parking an SUV in central Wellington is its own punishment.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • A S,

    Amazingly, A S, there are more than two kinds of cars to choose from. The opposite of a late-model SUV is not necessarily a badly tuned polluting pile of crap.

    And the SUV is not the ride of satan, despite the opinion of some.

    Last time I looked at stats on the NZ vehicle fleet the majority were over ten years old, and petrol powered.

    If the average milage on a ten year old car is generally well over 100,000km, and if you consider how many people you know that actually service their vehicles (let alone keep them tuned), then my suggestion of smoky, rattly sh!tboxes being the norm isn't so far off the mark...

    This would imply is that in fact, we should be hissing at the driver of the smoky corolla that hasn't seen a service in some years, rather than the SUV driver who is probably friendlier to the environment on the whole.

    If we don't like SUVs because of a perception that they are somehow awful things, the simple answer would be don't buy one.

    If the thing people don't like is SUV "drivers", I would point out that it is the driver, not the vehicle that is the perceived problem in the discussion. Attacking the symbol seems a bit pointless.

    SUV's make the roads more dangerous for everyone.
    You can't see around them, they are so wide they make passing very scary, and anecdotally, they seem to give their drivers a misguided belief they own the road.

    By that logic, we should also be banning vans, trucks, buses, tall trailers and horsefloats.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2007 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Well my hybrid is certainly uses less petrol than a comparative mid-sized car - and certainly generates lower emissions - the real reason we bought ours, we'd just moved back home from California, we bought it 4 years ago and weren't really that concerned about petrol prices at the time

    I agree diesels have gotten a whole lot better recently, (is the local fuel the low emission sort though?) no reason why you can do a diesel hybrid of course

    Best thing about a hybrid though is the near-inifinte torque from the electric motor, living in Dunedin I love being able to drag off hoons on the hills

    Mind you most of the time I go downtown I walk, and catch the bus back up the hill - not actually driving still uses less petrol and makes lower emissions

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Driving in parts of Auckland where SUVs are common is quite frustrating as they block your line of sight.

    Vans, trucks, buses and horsefloats need to be that big by virtue of their function. Likewise, by virtue of their function, they are quite rare.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    well we're long overdue for an emissions test as part of a WoF - I had high hopes for this year but I guess that's not something to do during an election year. in California there was no WoF but an emissions test every year or two (depending on the vehicle's age) and 800 numbers for dobbing in those who are too smoky

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2129 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Yes, whether you want to run over your own toddlers, roll your vehicle at speed, crush pedestrians, or simply treat other cars as your crumple zone, there's an SUV for you!

    You should work in advertising! Hehe.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6165 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    PS: I hadn't heard the "ride of Satan" line before, but if His Satanic Majesty were to pop out of one of those black monstrosities favoured by radio stations as promo vehicles, it wouldn't surprise me a bit.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2948 posts Report Reply

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