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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 02-14-07, 10:17 PM   #1
feba
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If you had to use an automobile..

If you had to use a motorized vehicle, which one would you drive?

Personally, I like the Smart, but considering the costs of importing it to the states, it's not as desirable as it is at UK prices, and it's not expecting in the USA for awhile anyway (http://www.smartusa.com/).

Other than that, i'd probably look at something like a ZAP, such as this cute/incredibly ugly/lime green thing: http://www.zapworld.com/ZAPWorld.aspx?id=308
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Old 02-14-07, 10:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by feba
If you had to use a motorized vehicle, which one would you drive?
An ebike, and I do. At present it is the only electric vehicle that competes with gasoline vehicles in $/mile. As much as I HATE oil based transportation and desire for an alternative the cost is simply prohibitive--at least given my income--to consider an electric car conversion, hybrid, even a Xebra.

Quote:
Originally Posted by feba
Personally, I like the Smart, but considering the costs of importing it to the states, it's not as desirable as it is at UK prices, and it's not expecting in the USA for awhile anyway (http://www.smartusa.com/).

Other than that, i'd probably look at something like a ZAP, such as this cute/incredibly ugly/lime green thing: http://www.zapworld.com/ZAPWorld.aspx?id=308
From what one owner reports on the "electric-powered" forum the Xebra gets about 220-250 watt-hours/mile which makes it one of the most efficient consumer electric cars to date, but as I have already noted my ebike is far, far more efficient. Furthermore, the SLA batteries in the Xebra cost hundreds of dollars to replace while the six SLA batteries in my ebike cost about $18 a piece. If that's not convincing enough my range on the bike is limited only by how much human power I choose to input to the vehicle. In practice my bike probably has in excess of a hundred mile range with reasonable pedaling. Compared to the Xebra's 25-40 mile range (if you're willing to run the SLA battery completely flat which is not advisable).
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Old 02-14-07, 10:58 PM   #3
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A train (subway or streetcar that is). Excellent capabilities in bad weather, and capable of speeds up to 60 km/h or more in an urban setting.
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Old 02-14-07, 11:14 PM   #4
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A train (subway or streetcar that is).
Yeah! Give me a well planned urban rail system with roll on / roll off bike accessibility.
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Old 02-14-07, 11:41 PM   #5
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I'm talking more about what the average person would consider an automobile (Car, truck, motorcycle)

And I wasn't talking about the electric ZAP, I was talking about the eco-flex model
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Old 02-15-07, 12:58 AM   #6
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Which auto? Hummm, strange thread for this forum, but then I would probably lean towards the 2008 ULSD powered Jetta TDI. I'm conflicted because diesels are dirty, but get great mileage.
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Old 02-15-07, 01:23 AM   #7
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Really now
Why would some one come here and make people drive?

trol troll your boat.
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Old 02-15-07, 02:52 AM   #8
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I would probably go for a scooter - or maybe a tuk-tuk / indian style autorickshaw. I've seen them with 4 passengers (or more) and they can haul goods fairly well-not the base scooter, just the asian version.
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Old 02-15-07, 08:23 AM   #9
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In my neck of the woods, there are no flex cars, no public transportation whatsoever and our one taxicab company employs drivers that, frankly, frighten me. So, for us to go totally car free would be impossible due to the number of times we need to go further than a bike would be practical. So, we are looking to trade my Jetta in for a Prius. Is it the perfect solution? No but it is about as close as we can get if we wish to stay where we are (which we do).
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Old 02-15-07, 08:42 AM   #10
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Good morning ellenDSD,

What is your situation exactly? Or rather what are your transportational requirements? I live in as rural a setting imaginable. We have zero public transportation save for a welfare van that the city runs for the injured and the elderly. The nearest greyhound bus station is thirty-five miles from the city and the Amtrack runs to only two other cities (Meridian, MS and New Orleans, LA). Tough situation, but I make do. I'm more than willing to share my solutions.
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Old 02-15-07, 02:27 PM   #11
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Bus. Or at least carpool in a van.
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Old 02-15-07, 02:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLuger
The nearest greyhound bus station is thirty-five miles from the city and the Amtrack runs to only two other cities (Meridian, MS and New Orleans, LA).
The key to riding Greyhound: minimum luggage, more stoic patience than you believe possible, and a good sense of humor.

The key to riding Amtrak: keep calling for the current train derailment and delay status and do not under any circumstances rely on the published schedules.

Sorry for interrupting the auto discussion. To return to the OP's question, I guess I'd drive a generic subcompact if I had to.
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Old 02-15-07, 05:30 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feba
If you had to use a motorized vehicle, which one would you drive?
I'd have Jesse James cross me a Humvee with an early '70s Cadillac convertible.
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Old 02-15-07, 05:55 PM   #14
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http://www.aquada.co.uk/humdinga.php
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Old 02-15-07, 06:03 PM   #15
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Someone should show the humdinga to the GM execs; would be right up their alley.
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Old 02-15-07, 08:12 PM   #16
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Why would some one come here and make people drive?
Yes, asking people what car they'd have if they had one is making people drive. I can't imagine how overwhelmingly forceful my hypothetical question was over the minds of those who saw it. I apologize for my superliminal messages.
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Old 02-15-07, 08:51 PM   #17
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If I had to drive (and if I actually got a license), a VW would be my choice.

My father used to have a classic white VW and it was the cutest car. Well it was a cute car until 2 teenagers stole it and damaged it by flipping it while driving down a country road.
There's something to be said for the old VW, they were built tough. The 2 joy-riders hardly got a stratch in the accident.
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Old 02-15-07, 10:37 PM   #18
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There's something to be said for the old VW, they were built tough. The 2 joy-riders hardly got a stratch in the accident.
Funny you should say that. My mom was actually in a fairly major incident in a VW way back when. Had to go through surgery and such, which wasn't helped by the fact that somehow her X-rays and her sister's got mixed up. She won't even think about getting in a modern beetle now.
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Old 02-16-07, 12:18 AM   #19
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It's a rat circus out there.
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Old 02-16-07, 01:57 AM   #20
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Well, if I HAD to use a vehicle it would depend on the NEED.
If I had to pick up a 1000lbs of mulsh I'd chose a truck. If I had to drive my family cross country (for whatever reason) i'd get the smallest most economical vehicle that would haul all of us plus our junk.
If I were running from the cops it'd be fast and inconspicuous.
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Old 02-16-07, 06:25 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by R. Danneskj÷ld
I would use a car WITH a bike on top, just to throw the anti-car hippies into amazing conniption fits.
How 'bout this? Better yet, there was a water bed inside.

Picture taken on a day of bicycle races held at the Hockenheim Germany Formula 1 Race Track.
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Old 02-16-07, 08:16 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLuger
Good morning ellenDSD,

What is your situation exactly? Or rather what are your transportational requirements? I live in as rural a setting imaginable. We have zero public transportation save for a welfare van that the city runs for the injured and the elderly. The nearest greyhound bus station is thirty-five miles from the city and the Amtrack runs to only two other cities (Meridian, MS and New Orleans, LA). Tough situation, but I make do. I'm more than willing to share my solutions.
Good morning right back to you!

My requirements include a minimum of two trips per month up the I-77 to either attend meetings or pick up my step-daughter. Bi-weekly there is a run to the neighboring town to do the grocery shopping (my family eats organic and while we have a local grocery that has organic staples like milk, etc. that I can bike to it is more economic for our food bill and my time to just jot up the road for the BIG run).
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Old 02-16-07, 09:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by ellenDSD
Good morning right back to you!

My requirements include a minimum of two trips per month up the I-77 to either attend meetings or pick up my step-daughter. Bi-weekly there is a run to the neighboring town to do the grocery shopping (my family eats organic and while we have a local grocery that has organic staples like milk, etc. that I can bike to it is more economic for our food bill and my time to just jot up the road for the BIG run).
Obviously, we both appreciate the need to limit the amount of fossil fuel used in our daily lives--I am striving to live a very car-lite livestyle in an anti-bicycle culture and you wrote that you were concerned enough to consider investing in a hybrid. I realize that I'm not going to engage you to the point that I convince you to attempt to go carless or even car-lite. What I would suggest is that you consider that every trip and every mile that one can substitute for driving the auto contributes to your overall efficiency. While I use my 4cyl gasoline econobox when it is necessary most of my errands are run on the bikes. In effect, if you were to take my total miles traveled (bicycle and car) and divide by the gallons of gas over the year my little Nissan gets something like 150+ mpg--compare that to a Prius, he he.

This doesn't happen overnight and requires careful planning, consolidating, and creativity on your part. As a family of five in a location without public transportation, I can say it is possible to reduce your fuel usage drastically if you take it one step a time. Anyway, I hope this offers some encouragement to you in your situation.
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Old 02-16-07, 06:09 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandLuger
Obviously, we both appreciate the need to limit the amount of fossil fuel used in our daily lives--I am striving to live a very car-lite livestyle in an anti-bicycle culture and you wrote that you were concerned enough to consider investing in a hybrid. I realize that I'm not going to engage you to the point that I convince you to attempt to go carless or even car-lite.
Uh oh! I think I've given the wrong impression... I/my family are car lite. And I do my very best to combine my car trips. For example, if I know I have a meeting to go to in the next town, that is when I choose to go to the organic grocery store. That way, I'm not going out of town twice if that makes sense. Otherwise, unless someone is sick or there is a compelling reason to drive, we bike.

So for those times when we must drive, we want to make the least impact possible thus the Prius. Considered an econobox box too (I love the Yaris liftbacks!) but with two kids and a dog, we need the larger size.
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Old 02-16-07, 08:45 PM   #25
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Uh oh! I think I've given the wrong impression... I/my family are car lite. And I do my very best to combine my car trips. For example, if I know I have a meeting to go to in the next town, that is when I choose to go to the organic grocery store. That way, I'm not going out of town twice if that makes sense. Otherwise, unless someone is sick or there is a compelling reason to drive, we bike.

So for those times when we must drive, we want to make the least impact possible thus the Prius. Considered an econobox box too (I love the Yaris liftbacks!) but with two kids and a dog, we need the larger size.
Preaching to the choir, huh? I wish that once just once I would get such a response from a friend or neighber when I try explain why I bike.
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