Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Policy, finally

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  • Graeme Edgeler,

    __Halo 3__ is released next week, and I'm offering up a Halo 3 Collector's Edition (in swanky metal box) and Halo 3 sweatshirt.

    Oooh. Does it come with a '360 I can play it on?

    :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • matthewbuchanan,

    Pete's nominations for cover art must have been popular (or huge files) as he's blown his GeoCities quota for the time being:

    The GeoCities web site you were trying to view has temporarily exceeded its data transfer limit. Please try again later.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 161 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Hutchings,

    While a Prius is the current *Sexy* green vehicle,

    You can also get similar and some times better milage out of some of the new Euro Diesels,

    But Either way it is good to see people finally taking an interest in how much fuel it takes to get them from A to B, ( Probably a better outcome then that infamous "Carless" days of the past)

    The promise of Diesel Hybrids in the next few years, will add even more to the "my car gets better milage than yours" wars that are likely to be the talk of the coffee cups in Grey lynn and Kelburn over the next few years :)

    wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 108 posts Report Reply

  • Hamboy,

    Let me guess it's not the same name as on the Wikipedia site?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 162 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    First thing we did when we moved back to NZ 3 years ago was buy a Prius, something we couldn't buy in the US because of the waiting list - we love it - we live on the top of a hill in Dunedin - driving downtown charges up the battery, I can motor around on the flat for a while in battery mode and only turn on the petrol engine when I go back up the hill ...

    Best part is that the electric motor gives almost infinite torque ... dragging off hoons on hills is fun ....

    we didn't buy it for the low petrol consumption - we bought it because of the low emissions - living in California for 20 years drives the 'dirty car bad' meme into you quite firmly - I wish WOFs tested emissions the amount of crap spewing on NZ streets is really sad

    Sure it costs a lot - it's a new technology, but if no one buys it it wont get cheaper - the lower petrol usage was not the main reason we bought ours - but it is gravy ... last night watching the news my wife asked why there weren't more incentives for people with cars like ours ... of course the whole point of the prices rises is that they are exactly those incentives - probably should be larger

    (in the SF Bay Area where we used to live Priuses get to use the car pool lanes during rush hour - a really BIG incentive)

    I am tempted by the DIY battery upgrades that will allow me to plug it in and charge it at home - energy from the wall is so much cheaper than energy from the pump - trouble is I'd have to jigger the charger to not fill it all the way so it still has enough room for the energy I get back going down the hill .....

    BTW I still take the bus 3-4 times a week ..... the Prius makes even less pollution if you don;t use it

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2179 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    BTW I agree - I think diesel hybrids will be even better - I think the new diesels need a special low-sulphur mix to run clean - anyone know if it's available here yet?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2179 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    The price difference between a Prius and a comparable car is still too great to make much sense - without some kind of subsidy. I found some local calculations at the link below.

    Prius policy- comparisons

    On my calculations I figure for the roughly $10k difference you could buy a lot more petrol or even a couple of Vespas?

    To do the calculations properly you need to look at payments over 3-5 years and factor in fuel savings and price rises over that time. It may be for some people who commute larger distances that the payback from a hybrid would make sense.

    LPG also looks good on that basis.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 215 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    we didn't buy it for the low petrol consumption - we bought it because of the low emissions

    It appears to be the other way around in New Zealand. Stephen Pollard at the CGCC told me that they get blokes shyly coming in and emphasising that, y'know, they're not greenies or anything, they just want fuel economy ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    yeah - I bet - as I said we're much more aware about emissions from living in California for so long (no WOF but an emission test every 2 years) - as others point out it's easy to get into a silly argument about mileage and the cost of the thing - but there are lots of other reasons to buy a better car - not all of them are money: lower carbon loading, less pollution, the ability to drag off hoons, sneaking up on little old ladies in parking lots on the electric motor ...

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2179 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I really enjoyed watching idiot/savant totally own Colin Espiner's initial shallow blog on this issue. More power to I/S's arm, and a milestone in the growing role of blogging as a serious news source.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1811 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    While a Prius is the current *Sexy* green vehicle,

    You can also get similar and some times better milage out of some of the new Euro Diesels,

    Indeed, at the latest Frankfurt motor show they pointed out the EU Green labels for cars that categorise them by emissions. Prius et al actually fell into Category B, with the only Category A car being the new Polo diesel with VW's Bluemotion technology.

    Sounds like these new primary-electric hybrids that charge from the grid will better these - any medium length journey should be zero emissions from the car with a basic petrol engine as generator beyond that (rather than actually being part of the drive train)...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I really enjoyed watching idiot/savant totally own Colin Espiner's initial shallow blog on this issue. More power to I/S's arm, and a milestone in the growing role of blogging as a serious news source.

    To be fair to Espiner, I don't think are are many (if any) independent voices with the detailed grasp of the issue that I/S has. That's why I was happy enough to point everyone his way. Espiner's bosses presumably expect him to, y'know, write something ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    sneaking up on little old ladies in parking lots on the electric motor ...

    I did like pressing the EV button and slinking along like a silent assassin, yes ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    I find this the most interesting comment from I/S's roundup:

    Forestry being first, with both credits and a deforestation allowance means the market will initially be all sellers and no buyers. This means the price of permits will initially be very low, creating international interest in the market. Farsighted forest owners will hold their credits in expectation of the price rise after 2009, but OTOH the NZ business community is known for its short-sightedness and refusal to invest. So, we may see significant sales of credits overseas, followed by whining that there aren't enough to go round.

    Certainly the key architects behind some of the governments responses to (and indeed signing up to) Kyoto are very keen on the trading market as the driver. This is obivously a significant distortion to that market and will be interesting to see how it plays out - there are horror stories out of the initial rounds of emissions trading in Europe and I imagine there are now some pretty savvy dealers up there these days...

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano,

    If we are to meet the 80% reduction in carbon emissions needed to hopefully stall catastrophic climate change, we're going to need to get serious about better solutions than the Prius. Has anyone calculated its cradle-to-grave carbon footprint? Or any of the other electic hotrods that are missing the point so spectacularly?

    They may be rubbished by Jeremy Clarkson, but the G-Whiz <http://www.goingreen.co.uk/> has more chance of keeping us mobile without taking out the biosphere. Personally I suspect we'll have to think in terms of the Aerorider <http://www.aerorider.com/> if we really want to keep emissions down.

    Actually, we're going to have think a lot harder about the whole deal with transport, to reduce all unnecessary trips, even if it means radically rebuilt cities.... which are likely if the sea-level rises envisaged prove correct.

    Note: it's BY 80% not to 80%!!

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 22 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    On the subject of forestry, I think I heard the word 'voluntary' connected to that. Doesn't that mean the people cutting trees down will just opt out?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1096 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    Meh, get a scooter.

    My 50cc Hyosung Fast SF50 (seriously) costs me $4.55 a week in petrol AND you get the thrill of surviving the ride to work each day! My god, the adrenalin! All that for $1000 up front.

    I did get to drive a Lexus hybrid and I'm glad to see a serious car company going down the hybrid route... each model will have a hybrid version and the only major difference (aside from the engine of course) is the additional "h" on the badge. No boxy boringness for Lexus. Not sure it helped with the environment though - I drove it with a heavy foot and used the V6 petrol engine like a kind of turbo (creep along silently then ... WAMMO! MORE POWER!!) but I did like having a car that was almost silent on the motorway. Very nice.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Joanna,

    Me? Well, I drove a Prius around for a week last week...The car was a loaner

    OMG, you're like the new Bic Runga!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 727 posts Report Reply

  • StephenR,

    I drove a Prius for a week a couple of months back. With a combination of open road and city driving, our estimated fuel economy for the week was ~ 5 liters per 100km. My Toyota Corolla gets about 7 litres per 100km and about a third the price.

    I've been watching the G-Whiz (or Reva, as the Indian's call it - http://www.revaindia.com/) with interest for a couple of years now. The Australians have been refusing to give it a safety pass, and having seen Top Gear's video of the Reva in a 40mph crash I can't say that it thrills me either.

    Reva are apparently building a new version that should pass the Australian safety requirements, and will cost "less than AUD20,000". If it passes in Australia, it will probably be accepted here.

    I'm tempted, since most days I'm driving less than 30km, and mostly in city speed zones. (At the moment, my pet peeve is that it's cheaper to drive to town _and_ pay parking than it is to catch the bus - sigh.)

    My efficient vehicle of interest at the moment is the Loremo, which according to the press can get 1.3 litres of diesel per 100km of travel. I'm not sure NZ diesel would be good for it though. The Loremo is due on the European market in 2009...

    Wellington • Since Sep 2007 • 4 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant,

    To be fair to Espiner, I don't think are are many (if any) independent voices with the detailed grasp of the issue that I/S has.

    Journalists must by their nature be generalists, and rely primarily on picking other people's brains. But still, this stuff is FAQ, so I'd expect them to get it basically right.

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1661 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    OMG, you're like the new Bic Runga!

    If only. Oliver Driver's tooling around town in a Lexus hybrid ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18991 posts Report Reply

  • Brent Jackson,

    Better links than those that Kiwiiano gave :
    G-Wiz
    Aerorider

    (Heh, I love the Aerorider "Delivery starts this autom").

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 421 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Brislen,

    of course, the true environmentalist would only drive the Tesla...

    http://www.teslamotors.com/

    I'd include a photo but frankly it's beyond me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 175 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I wish WOFs tested emissions the amount of crap spewing on NZ streets is really sad

    I live on Mt Eden Road - a major Auckland non-motorway arterial road - and my flat is pretty close to the road itself.

    As a result, all the dust in my flat is black. I've had grey dust in other flats, but never this dirty black dust.

    And when I'm down at the Mt Eden Village shops, I've noticed that their shop interiors and stock have the same fine smattering of black dust.

    Now I'm just waiting for some scientist to tell me I'd be better off living in coal mine.

    Lower emissions are OK by me!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1865 posts Report Reply

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