Test Track at Epcot going under the knife

Posted Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:31 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Sunday, April 15, is the final day to ride Test Track at Epcot before it shifts into renovation mode. The high-speed attraction, which has been in the Disney World theme park's Future World area since 1999, will be closed for several months for a makeover.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Related parks

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:53 PM

The Prius' tax credit expired on October 1st, 2007. The credit is based on how many units are sold. The current $7500 credit begins to phase out when 200,000 units are sold. The Prius credit never exceeded $3150.

+0
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 10:24 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Oh, then it's all stupid. :)

According to this the break-even point on a Volt over a Honda Civic is 14 years. Of course that works on many assumptions.

Is there an online calculator for this sort of thing? I'd love to know what the break-even point is for myself or my wife.

And yes, it comes down to cost for me, I'm not looking to save the world. Once these cars become reasonable options for folks like me, then we're talking.


+1Loading
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:10 PM

laughing at the thought of how you calculate the break even point for a wife

+0
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:35 PM
Jeff's avatar

You probably shouldn't make rude comments about moderators and delete the post, because moderators still see them.

If a Prius does 50 mpg, and you drive 12,000 miles a year, you'll use 240 gallons. If you have a card that does 30 mpg (a pretty reasonable target for most small to medium sedans), you'll use 400 gallons. The difference of 160 gallons, at $3.50/gallon, is $560 in fuel savings for the year. Over five years, that's $2,800.

Personally, I would match a Prius sedan more with a car like the Accord, Sonata or Camry. It may appear smaller, but I can say from experience that it's enormous inside, and quite comfortable. They also compare well in terms of tech in the dash. They're all priced comparably, so it's kind of hard to compare. You'd also have a hard time getting 30 mpg if you mostly do city driving.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:56 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeff said:
You'd also have a hard time getting 30 mpg if you mostly do city driving.

I think that's why the Volt caught my eye.

You got a solid 25 or 40 miles on electric only. Assuming you can do your daily driving in the possible range, your cost is all electric.

Which is why I was interested in a calculator. I'm lazy and don't want to do the math, but I'll gladly punch in miles driven, the cost of gas and the cost of electric and let it spit out an answer.

Honestly, since the wife increased her commute tenfold and we'll be in the market to replace her car in the next 12-to-18 months, I'm curious.

To me the electric vs gas thing is interesting. Beyond that it's about gas and it's really just a matter of mpg.

There's plenty of cars that get 40mpg or better on the highway, but I don't really know where the savings point is for us between buying for mpg and buying for everything else.

That is to say getting the car we want most likely outweighs the savings of getting a car for economic reasons. Especially if you're talking the difference between a car that gets 30mpg and one that gets 40.

Me? I'm fine douching it up in the Camaro. :)


+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 7:02 AM
delan's avatar

Heh, the Camaro is pretty low on the douche scale. The running joke with my friends is that BMW and Porsche owners rank very high on the douchometer. (No offense to any BMW and Porsche owners present :)) As a german car owner I find it so interesting that there is such a stark difference amongst the trifecta. Audi and Mercedes guys are more subdued (prolly because they're all 87 years old) while BMW drivers are road hogs.

Anyhow, back to hybrids. . . .

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 7:07 AM

Have you considered the Nissan Leaf? It's priced at $4-5k less than the Volt. The major disadvantage is that it's electric only and has an estimated 100 mile range. If you're just using it as a commuter car and the commute is well in range it might be worth a look.

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 7:48 AM
kpjb's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

I think that's why the Volt caught my eye.

You got a solid 25 or 40 miles on electric only. Assuming you can do your daily driving in the possible range, your cost is all electric.

That's what interested me in it, as well. I live less than 8 miles from work, about 6 miles from downtown. My wife has the family car that we take on trips. I could literally never put gas in the Volt and charge it maybe 2-3x a week.

Maybe Jeff can ditch the new version of CB and make us that calculator. :)


Hi

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:00 AM

Does this help?

http://www.befrugal.com/tools/electric-car-calculator/

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 9:58 AM

The Leaf that I saw at the Columbus auto show advertised a cruising range of 72 miles on a full charge, which requires 7 hours at 240 volts.

That means that if I tried to drive one to Kings Island, I would run out of juice before I got to Lebanon. I would be able to commute with one, but that's about all I could do.

The other issue with a plug-in vehicle: How much current does it require to charge? That has to be factored into the payback calculation. I don't have air conditioning at home, which has the benefit of putting me on a "load management" rate with the power company. I use less power, so I pay less per kWh. If I were charging a car every night, I would not only use more power, I would probably use enough more that I'd be paying a higher rate. Not necessarily a show-stopper, but important to consider.

On the technology side, I find myself wondering why we see hybrids instead of REEVs. In a hybrid, the gasoline engine is tied into the drive train. In a REEV, the gasoline engine is strictly for operating the generator, and I would expect that to allow for a more efficient engine, since decoupling it from the driveline would allow it to operate steadily at its most efficient speed. They do this for ships, trains, and submarines...why not for automobiles?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:27 AM
Jeff's avatar

Electric vehicles, and even hybrids for that matter, have their biggest wins as commuter vehicles. Given typical driving habits, the long-haul is a fringe case that's covered by a second car, in typical family units.

Honestly, I bought a hybrid for the gadget factor, and the fact that I'd be a hypocrite if I continued to rag on people for their douchey SUV's and not set an example. I spent less on gas in 2011, working almost the entire year, than I did in several years, even on Washington taxed gas. I'm more concerned about the reduced consumption than the cost, however. (/me hugs tree)


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 10:40 AM

Using that calculator linked above and my best guess of $0.32/kwh for Progress Energy's rate (it's expensive in Central Florida), annual cost of electricity for my daily driving habits (about 20 miles total if I'm going to the Magic Kingdom) would be $573.26. Now, admittedly some of the highways around here drive more like a city street most of the time, so fuel cost is likely higher than expected. For someone with driving ranges like mine, a Volt would probably be an ok car. Not amazing, but probably some cost savings.


Original BlueStreak64

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:24 PM

For me a Leaf would be a perfect car. My commute will be around 50 miles round trip when we move into our new house. We don't take many trips outside the Leaf's range. Our electricity rates are constant and relatively cheap. Plus the new house will have PV solar panels. Now I just have to convince my wife that we don't need an SUV to lug around 2 kids.

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:55 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

GoBucks89 said:
Does this help?

http://www.befrugal.com/tools/electric-car-calculator/

Yes.

The break even point based on the Volt compared to most cars we'd consider is in the 10-13 year range. We most likely wouldn't even have the car 10 years.

The leaf in interesting too, but I think we'd need the long range too often to make it a viable choice.


+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:20 PM

RideMan said:I find myself wondering why we see hybrids instead of REEVs. In a hybrid, the gasoline engine is tied into the drive train. In a REEV, the gasoline engine is strictly for operating the generator, and I would expect that to allow for a more efficient engine, since decoupling it from the driveline would allow it to operate steadily at its most efficient speed. They do this for ships, trains, and submarines...why not for automobiles?

It sounds like you've basically just described the Fisker Karma. More here.

Downside: The base model Karma costs just north of $100k.

I don't know about you, but if I'm in a position where I can go car shopping with $100k, "miles per gallon" has long since left the equation - I'm looking at borderline supercars in this range, and I want handling, horsepower, and sex appeal. The Karma therefore seems to be targeted to the "wealthy tree hugger" niche more than the "trying to spend less money on gas" crowd that the Leaf/Volt/Prius target.

The tech's still cool though, and I'd agree that it seems to make more sense than the standard hybrid drives that we see in hybrids from other manufacturers. I would imagine cost, weight, and under-the-hood space requirements are what has thus far kept it out of the "affordable eco-car" segment.


Bill
ಠ_ಠ

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Well, the Fisker got some pretty bad press last month.

Consumer Reports said:
We buy about 80 cars a year and this is the first time in memory that we have had a car that is undriveable before it has finished our check-in process.

We encountered other problems with a Karma press car that visited the track for a few hours, and we have heard of problems at press events. In addition, we see that some owners are experiencing a variety of issues, as evidenced by forums such as FiskerBuzz.com.

I'm assuming FiskerBuzz has no realtion to CoasterBuzz. :)

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Thursday, April 12, 2012 1:50 PM
+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:10 PM
Vater's avatar

BBSpeed26 said:
The Karma therefore seems to be targeted to the "wealthy tree hugger" niche

Or the Justin Bieber niche.

Coincidentally, Bieber's birthday, the day he was gifted the car on the Ellen show, was the same day I passed a Karma on the road. While I find it pretty hideous looking, the stock Karma's got nothing on what Bieber did to his.

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:19 PM

True, but that's not a car you're buying for its reliability. You're buying what amounts to an ultra-exclusive, small-batch production prototype with a never-seen-in-cars-before drivetrain. It's a green... exotic... luxury... status symbol that moves. You may pay $75k more for a Karma than a Civic, but if all you want is economy and reliability, you buy a Civic even if you have $100k.

There's a saying something to the effect of "Don't play with bleeding edge tech unless you're up for getting a few cuts on your hands along the way."

So yeah. I wouldn't recommend a Karma to anyone (even though the tech is cool).

[edit: That Biebermobile. Oh god, my eyes.]

Last edited by BBSpeed26, Thursday, April 12, 2012 4:00 PM

Bill
ಠ_ಠ

+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 2:22 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

delan said:
Heh, the Camaro is pretty low on the douche scale.

You're right. I should have said trashing it up.

Vater said:
While I find it pretty hideous looking, the stock Karma's got nothing on what Bieber did to his.

Bieber's Caddy destroys. Definitely a great episode of West Coast Customs to sit through if you catch it.


+0
Thursday, April 12, 2012 3:40 PM
Jeff's avatar

Yeah, I don't think people are buying fuel-efficient cars to save money on gas. That curve is getting closer to that point, but it still has a ways to go. It's very regional, too. In the Pacific Northwest, it feels like every other car is a Prius. In Seattle in particular, there's a lot of money there. In the Midwest, you see a lot less, but you also see a lot of old people driving them. They might be trying to save money on gas. They can use the money for dinner at Bob Evans around 3 p.m.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2020, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...