Also, Popular Mechanics has tested similar products, with similar results.
Tested Fuel Saving Products
Be VERY wary of any claim that states “Approved by the EPA”!
The EPA does NOT approve any device.
Also, be wary of any claim “Patented” or “EPA or ARB Certified”.
All a patent means is that no one has done it already (not in the public domain for 7 years).
Certification only means that it did NOT degrade the emissions, not that it improved the emissions, and NOBODY certifies a system that claims better economy!
When its all said and done, if it was so great, it would be in every automobile already.
Unfortunately, and contrary to popular mythology, there is NO truth to “missing scientists”, “oil company conspiracy to suppress new technology”, “magic carburetors bought out by the “Big 3”. The closest we can get is between 1936 and 1953, a consortium of companies, General Motors, Firestone Tire, Standard Oil, and Phillips Petroleum did in fact buy out and close street car companies in order to stimulate new bus sales. (Still debatable, but is called the “The Great American Streetcar Scandal”)
Also, be wary of any testing results;
All testing should be performed by a recognized testing laboratory;
Anecdotal, non repeatable, third party claims have no legal credibility;
So, what is my total cost of ownership?
Total Cost of Ownership:
Does not start or end with the vehicle purchase, and retirement:
Outright cost of the vehicle
Cost of raw materials
Cost of energy required to produce the vehicle
Cost of energy required to transport the vehicle (plus the costs of employee’s transportation)
Cost of the disposal, repairs, total life cycle cost analysis
The most “Energy Expensive” vehicle sold in the U.S. in calendar year 2005: Maybach at $11.58 per mile. The least expensive: Scion xB at $0.48 cents.
The Honda Accord Hybrid has an Energy Cost per Mile of $3.29 while the conventional Honda Accord is $2.18. Put simply, over the lifetime of the Accord Hybrid, it will require about 50 percent more energy than the non-hybrid version.
The industry average of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2005 was $2.28 cents per mile, the Hummer H3 (among most SUVs) was only $1.949 cents per mile. That figure is also lower than all currently offered hybrids and Honda Civic at $2.42 per mile.
(Remember, we are looking at the total life cycle cost, including the amount of recyclables).
Other Surprising Facts!
1. Scion xB ($0.48 per mile)
2. Ford Escort (0.57 per mile)
3. Jeep Wrangler ($0.60 per mile)
4. Chevrolet Tracker ($0.69 per mile)
5. Toyota Echo ($0.70 per mile)
6. Saturn Ion ($0.71 per mile)
7. Hyundai Elantra ($0.72 per mile)
8. Dodge Neon ($0.73 per mile)
9. Toyota Corolla ($0.73 per mile)
10. Scion xA ($0.74 per mile)
Top 10 energy efficient
1. Mercedes Benz produced Maybach ($11.58 per mile)
2. Volkswagen Phaeton ($11.21 per mile)
3. Rolls-Royce (full line average: $10.66 per mile)
4. Bentley (full line average: $10.56 per mile)
5. Audi allroad Quattro ($5.59 per mile)
6. Audi A8 ($4.96 per mile)
7. Audi A6 ($4.96 per mile)
8. Lexus LS430 ($4.73 per mile)
9. Porsche Carrera GT ($4.53 per mile)
10. Acura NSX ($4.45 per mile)
Bottom 10 energy efficient
1. Honda Insight ($2.94 per mile)
2. Ford Escape Hybrid ($3.18 per mile)
3. Honda Civic Hybrid ($3.24 per mile)
4. Toyota Prius ($3.25 per mile)
5. Honda Accord Hybrid ($3.30 per mile)
Hybrid total energy efficiency
Studies have shown that the initial vehicle purchaser does not pay for the full cost of the vehicle, it is transferred down the ownership chain.
So, who pays for it?
Hybrid vehicles carry an expected battery life of 100,000 miles before calculated battery life deterioration.
These vehicles are being sold to their second (and third) owners by this time (to avoid the battery replacement costs)
As the hybrid vehicle reaches the end of this period, the engine carries more of the load and the relative fuel economy gains begin to diminish.
Also with hybrids, additional items including low resistance tires are very expensive and have a short life.
Once a hybrid vehicle battery package deteriorates beyond the effective usefulness, the engine has to work harder with a resulting decrease in fuel economy.
The resulting vehicle is an underpowered and not terribly economical.
Studies have shown that the second or third user of a hybrid vehicle will not replace the battery pack (estimated $8,000 replacement for an auto worth approximately $8,000).
The batteries in hybrid vehicles are not recyclable at the rates needed for an effective return (less than 15% of the material in a Lithium Ion battery is recyclable, compared to 80%+ in a Lead Zinc battery).
The electronic controls will be outdated by the time the vehicle is recycled;
The engine can be cost-recovered as any engine could;
Information provided by: CNW Marketing Research Inc
Cost to Recycle
A fur trapper in the old Yukon was asked what his favorite utensil was;
“ Well, I guess my hatchet. I have had it over 40 years and it has never failed me yet. I’ve only had to replace the handle 7 times and the head 3 times!”
This demonstrates commitment to a tool, much the same as a fleet manager is committed to a fuel.
Political climates change, but the fuel stays the same.
“ You’ve got to dance with who brung you;
Swing with who swung you;
Life ain’t no 40 yard dash! “
Make your choice of fuels carefully, you will be with your choice for a very long time.