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Re: [T3] ethanol

On 30 Mar 2006 at 20:16, Steven Ayres wrote:

> Maybe it's just me, but I think that a lot of us will be making 
> decisions about fuel over the next ten or fifteen years. Dino oil isn't 
> getting any cheaper, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it going heavily 
> out of favor, even outlawed, while our cars are still happily running us 
> down the road.

I think this is a perfectly reasonable topic for discussion within 
the type 3 context.

I doubt if dino fuel will ever be outlawed, but it's clear that the 
economics will eventually force most everyone in some other 
direction. At some point it will just become impossible to find a 
place that sells it by the multiple gallons once it becomes 
sufficiently scarce and expensive that no one can afford to drive 
with it any more.

> One thing I think this hobby (for want of a better word) can take credit 
> for in terms of lower impact is widely unappreciated: by maintaining and 
> driving an old car, you're taking at least one new car out of 
> production. Producing a car requires a tremendous investment in energy 
> and materials, so recycling existing cars is significant in terms of 
> overall energy impact. Plus, we're recycling Type 3s, not Chargers, so 
> our impact in terms of daily fuel-efficiency is also relatively low 
> within the hobby.

Reduce, reuse, recycle is a very reasonable philosophy for prolonging 
all of the earth's finite resources. I've always felt that by driving 
an economy car I was reducing my fuel consumption. In addition, I 
reuse old parts, thus saving the resources necessary to make new 
ones. Reusing a whole car is the ultimate reuse.

> I'd love to see a study comparing the total 40-year energy budgets 
> related to the cars of a 'normal' consumer, who buys a new car every 
> five or seven years, and one '66 Type 3.

Yes, I've often wondered how that all works out.

> Anyway, I expect that a lot of us may eventually be forced by law or 
> economics to consider veggie oil and other alternatives, and this list 
> is a good place to talk about and weigh the various options and 
> technologies as they relate to our cars. Is that Type 3-related? I sure 
> think so.

I just had dinner tonight with a friend who has a diesel Dasher which 
he has converted to veggie oil. We've talked at length about what he 
needed to do to make this work, but I've never thought to ask him if 
anyone was working on cracking veggie oil into lighter hydrocarbons 
which might replace gasoline. Interesting though and food for 
tomorrow's lunch.

Jim Adney, jadney@vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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