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Turn your car/SUV into a zero emission vehicle!


Basher
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Saw this on another board - brilliant!

So long to gas guzzler guilt

Company allows drivers to pay for the smog they produce, then reduces it from other sources.

June 21, 2005; Posted: 12:16 p.m. EDT (1616 GMT)

By Peter Valdes-Dapena, CNN/Money staff writer

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - For $160 you can turn a Hummer H2 into a zero-emissions vehicle. No tools or mechanical ability are required.

That's the promise of a California company called TerraPass. It would cost less, of course, to turn a Chevrolet Cobalt into zero-emissions vehicle. That would only be about $40.

The idea is the latest implementation in the trading of "pollution credits." Those are the market-based innovations, introduced a few years ago, which allow smoke-spewing companies to buy and sell the right to emit certain amounts of pollutants into the air.

The stickers TerraPass sends its customers do nothing to stop pollutants from coming out of a car's tailpipe. Instead, the company offers its customers the chance to reduce pollutants from other sources, like power plants, in an amount equivalent to that produced by their car.

That way, you can drive your car while having no net effect on the amount of pollution in the air, the company says.

The company started as a class project at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, said Tom Arnold, TerraPass's chief environmental officer and sole full-time employee.

He also has three students working for the company and a three-member advisory board.

The company is a for-profit enterprise, but caps its profits at a maximum of 10 percent of revenues.

Those revenues so far, Arnold says, are "itsy-bitsy-teeny-weeny." The company started selling TerraPasses in November and had sold about 620 as of last week.

If you buy a TerraPass, the money will be used to purchase smog allowances on the Chicago Climate Exchange. The Climate Exchange allows polluting companies that produce less than a certain amount of airborne pollutants to sell credits to other companies that then allow them to go over the limit.

The overall limits are reduced over time making it more costly to exceed them. Organizations and companies that buy pollution credits reduce the overall supply of credits and also make it more costly for companies to exceed the limits.

TerraPass also invests buyers' money in power-generating wind farms and other projects that reduce air pollution.

Since car drivers are under no legal compulsion to try to compensate for their tailpipe emissions, the TerraPass will only appeal to those who feel some guilt about their driving, and want to do something about it.

Not surprisingly, few SUV drivers have been buying them. Most have gone to owners of fuel-efficient cars that produce relatively few pollutants.

That initially surprised Arnold.

"We fully expected to target SUV drivers with SUV guilt," he said. "It just doesn't exist"

Instead, he's been travelling to environmental fairs pitching the idea to those who, for the most part, drive fuel efficient small cars and gas/electric hybrid vehicles.

"Environmentalists have a very conflicted relationship with their cars," said Arnold.

As for himself, Arnold doesn't own a car. He commutes to work by bicycle.

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Not sure what I think about the "pollution credits", wait yes I am - it stinks. Just not sure if I'm in a position to call the kettle black.

On the otherhand, if all the money went towards green energy then that might appeal. Mind you it should really be governments that tax the hell out of people that want to buy SUVs and gas guzzlers and put the money to green sources...

There is a tax rebate in Canada for hybrid cars isn't there?

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what a ridiculous idea. an emissions tithe?

so if you can afford it it's okay?

retarded - it makes me want to talk slower to those executives.

cool that people can buy the excess pollution credits and not allow polluters to pollute, but the underlying sentiment that i feel is the same as the age old 'indulgence'...pay a tithe to get your place in the line to heaven.

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what a ridiculous idea. an emissions tithe?

so if you can afford it it's okay?

retarded - it makes me want to talk slower to those executives.

cool that people can buy the excess pollution credits and not allow polluters to pollute, but the underlying sentiment that i feel is the same as the age old 'indulgence'...pay a tithe to get your place in the line to heaven.

I agree whole-heartedly. But at the same time... I may be looking for a car, and I may be able to afford a hybrid - and I may not be able to justify spending the money...

What I'm getting at is, are you any better? I'm not.

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it's all about the smart fortwo...

Average consumption over 100 km is just 4,2 litres (combined). The smart fortwo coupé cdi has low consumption and low emissions: 90 g of carbon dioxide (CO 2) per kilometre.

Not too shabby for a diesel...started at 16.500 can.

If I had the cash, I'd buy one, or a motorcycle.

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Have you actually tried, or are you just kidding?

A friend assured me that a friend of his owns one, and fit a guy who was 6 ft 10 into it, comfortably.

Apparently they're roomy for the passengers, and designed like a race car with a roll-cage for safety; as well as overkill on air-bags.

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If you can't afford a smart car, think conventional diesel. if you make it biodiesel friendly, you save a lot of wasted fuel into toxic waste dumps (fryer shortening)

and diesel engines run way longer and you get better fuel economy than conventional gasoline...

If it's just you (or two) then a smart car is ideal.

if you have a family or need more cargo space, then a smart car isn't the best way...

there's still toyota prius and ford escape (yes a hybrid SUV)

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Beats:

You seem to know about these.

From what I can tell, I think I could probably fit my dog in the "hatch" (if you can call the little area behind the seats that). My point is that I think I could ride comfortably with me and my girlfriend/fiancee in the seats, and dog in the hatch.

Does that seem right? (I haven't had a chance to test-drive one yet.)

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You know what I find really stupid...People who think the Ford Escape Hybrid is any good...It's basically a gas guzzling hybrid! You would use just as much gas in that piece of shit as you would a regular gas powered Honda...I did some research...just to keep it easy I looked at mpg

Honda Civic/City 32 Hwy 38

Ford Escape Hybrid/City 36 Hwy 31

Honda Civic Hybrid/City 46 Hwy 47

Prius/City 61 Hwy 51

Now if I was math smart I'd like to figure out 100km-4.2L...but I ain't so there :P

I hate SUV's

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The SmartCars got really bad reviews by Lemon-Aid. Not just due to size, but the "smartness too".

And the Ford hybrid is the only hybrid in California that DOES NOT receive a tax credit. Reason being its not good enough on gas.

Really - the top dogs for me are the 2006 Accord hybrid, or the 2006 Lexus RX400h. Both of those are proper hybrids and good on gas (the lexus is better then the normal civic - along the lines of a echo I believe...)

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What do you think of the Prius, MoMack?

(I really want to get some enviro-transportation, so this has been on my mind for a few months.)

Also, about the "smartness" review; do you mean that they're not really that environmentally friendly?

I can't remember what I mean exactly - but that was the basic jist of the intro in "Lemon-Aid". Check for their website - I would highly highly highly recommend picking up a copy before buying a new or used car.

As for the prius, I'm not sure yet but a lot of Discount Car and Truck Rentals in Ontario carry them. Rent one for a week and see how she goes. They seem to have come a long ways since the intro... but are still priced hire then the civic I think.

Here is that snippit from Lemon-Aid, doesn't get into the enviro part. Might just be a bad buy aside from the enviro part. Lemon-Aid gets right into the details of all cars, what will go wrong, what not to add on, what it will cost to maintain, what is basically the same car cheaper, etc. etc. etc. Check it out, honestly.

"Another car not recommended in Lemon-Aid, DaimlerChrysler AG’s Smart minicar has posted a $792 million (US) loss for 2004 and won’t be sold in the States until at least 2006.

The company’s supervisory board now has three choices: reorganize the brand, sell the division, or shut it down. ‘Smart money’ says the company will be sold, while Chrysler concentrates upon its popular rear-drive full-sized cars and Mercedes desperately tries to improve quality control throughout its lineup.

The company started selling its Fortwo, which seats two, in Canadian Mercedes dealerships in September 2004; Sales nearly reached 1,000 by the end of the year, with about 2,000 Fortwos on order). If the car isn’t imported soon into the States, it’s unlikely it will last much longer in Canada.

Fuel-frugal shoppers should buy a Honda Civic or Toyota Echo."

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the emission/pollution credit system has been going on amongst industry ever since Kyoto...if i run a company and manage to reduce my emissions below my country's agreed on goals, i can sell the difference as pollution credits to another company that has exceeded its' limits.

theoretically it's an incentive to get it together as if you can beat the (ususally very conservative) goals set for your country then you can net out. sadly the only stories i've seen so far have been US companies buying credits from developing nations who haven't got the technology to pollute effectively and are in a position to sell credits...

as far as appying this to cars, i suppose i would feel marginally less bitter about all the asshats who commute in a Humvee (Dumvee??) but a less polluting vehicle still wins hands down.

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There was a thing on CBC last night about hybrids and how because they cost more in the beginning, it takes about 8 years before you start saving any money due to gas consumption.

Turning the car (all engine types) off when idling is apparently the best way to help the environment at the moment.

I'm looking at a new diesel engine right now, seems the best way for me at the moment

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