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Were hybrids ever the silver bullet?

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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Sorry but your 'hybrid premium' contention is just a shorthand notation for what is a much more complex cost analysis similar to Edmunds TCO.

    You look at the extra cost to acquire and say 'Ah ha...'

    But that is just too shortshighted. As railroadjames was implying above the analysis also has to include
    Length of Ownership
    Annual miles driven
    Average cost of fuel over the Length of Ownership ( you don't really think that fuel will remain at $1.75 for the next 10 years I hope )
    Maintenance
    Reliability
    Equal vehicles and equal equipment ( not a Fusion vs a Mazda 3 )
    The 'value' of more horsepower

    and the one that negates the 'hybrid premium' considerations

    RESALE value.

    The only serious way to analyse these costs is to create a spreadsheet to accumulate the costs over the expected lifetime of ownership and then compare the total costs

    Here's why this is so important.. Yes in the beginning it does cost more to purchase a new hybrid with similar amenities over the non-hybrid version of that same vehicle. However if I told you that if you owned the hybrid for 7 yrs and drove 150,000 miles that in those 7 yrs that you'd end up spending $2000-$4000 less than for the pleasure of driving the non-hybrid....would you care what the 'hybrid premium ' was upfront? No you'd be more interested in the total cost.

    Who cares what the initital 'premium' is or how long it takes to 'recover' it. What matters is how much does this depreciating asset cost you while your own it. It only matters which costs less in total.

    We'll have to wait and see how Ford prices this FFH vs the non-hybrid version. But as an indicator, the TCH ranges from a 'premium' of $3000 to a 'discount' of $5000 vis-a-vis it's non-hybrid siblings. When sold at a discount obviously the whole 'hybrid premium' issue vanishes into thin air. It costs less to begin with and the savings just add up from day one onward.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    KH, I know you're a hybrid nut, but some people don't care about saving $2000 over 7 years (in my case it would be less than that). Not if they can save that $2000 and more up front. Sometimes the "when" you get the money is more important than how much. Especially since I could take that up-front $2000, and over 7 years make 10-15% APY on it, which means it's more like $3400 or more. :shades:

    What matters if if a person decides that they like the car and feels that it's the right move for them. The choice as far as pro-hybrid isn't always financial either...some just prefer to burn less gas and don't care how much it costs them. More power to them, but everyone has different tastes and priorities.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Well, I would never buy a Prius because I just strongly dislike Toyota.

    Then this emotion is the basis of your arguments. That perfectly valid as long as you don't try to rationalize 'good' vs 'bad' with spurious data that's easily disproven..

    Apart from likes and dislikes in a simply dispassionate analysis the hybrids cost the same or less overall than their non-hybrid counteparts.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    KH, I know you're a hybrid nut, but some people don't care about saving $2000 over 7 years (in my case it would be less than that). Not if they can save that $2000 and more up front. Sometimes the "when" you get the money is more important than how much. Especially since I could take that up-front $2000, and over 7 years make 10-15% APY on it, which means it's more like $3400 or more

    As I said in the prior post your likes and dislikes are perfectly valid and prolly more important. That's fine.

    Just don't try to justify your emotions with facts that don't exist. Your emotional reasons for now buying one are valid enough. Remember some of the TCH and presumably some of the FFH will cost $3000 to $5000 less than their non-hybrid siblings.....UPFRONT!!!

    Just ignore the facts and buy what you like.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Some will. But I still say that the hybrid version is an engine upgrade from the base powertrain and therefore costs more up-front, no matter what savings may or may not happen down the road. Fact. Period. Some people are not willing to pay more up front, that's all.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    But if Toyota isn't making any money on the Prius then I'm not seeing hybrids as the salvation of the automakers.

    Toyota has been making money on the Prius' since right after they were launched in 2001. Major misconception here.

    It has to do with cost accounting and the pricing structure.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    That's simply not true in every case. The TCH and the FFH are sold at a discount versus their V6 non-hybrid siblings. You can buy at TCH at $26K-ish vs $30K-ish for a non-hybrid Camry V6 XLE and save $4000 upfront and never look back.

    Over the lifetime of usage you'll end up saving $10000-$15000!!!!!

    Even if it is compared to the base powertrain at a $2000 premium does it make any rational sense to say 'I know it costs less up front but I like the idea of spending $2000 more overall to drive the non-hybrid.' No it's an emotional decision, which is fine. It's just not justified on a dispassionate economic basis.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Even if it is compared to the base powertrain at a $2000 premium does it make any rational sense to say 'I know it costs less up front but I like the idea of spending $2000 more overall to drive the non-hybrid.

    That's not it at all. If it's a financial decision at all, it's "Do I want to spend $2000 more now and save $3000 over 5-7 years, or do I want to keep that $2000 in my pocket now?" Very different thing. Not being able to afford to pay extra now, no matter how much it might save you later, is also an economic decision.
  • Somewhere in the vast number of posts here at various topics I explained that I saved over $10,000.00 in gas costs. That was a conservitive figure. No exaggeration. Just plain truth. This comparison was with a previous vehicle that got 16mpg's. After 6 yrs of trouble free miles and a ride that some say is rough but I say is decent and comfortable, my hiway miles seem to be a non-problem and just roll along. As to the car's quality, durability, and overall customer satisfaction, what can I say: Nearly 275,000 satified owners can't be wrong.
    As to Dealers that annoy and fail to present their product...well, all I can say is...When I walk into a dealers showroom I size up the salesmen. I look for one that gives me a fair amount of comfort zone or I ask around. There's almost always more than one person on the floor. Even Sales mgr's will often close a deal. I sold cars yrs ago for 4 yrs. A good salesman knows his product and that's the bottom line. I offer this too! I've owned well over 60 vehicles counting cars & cycles and never found anything that was as trouble free and dependable as my '04 Prius. ;)
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    This is another good example of it being a very individual situation. You got a GREAT amount of savings on gas from moving to a hybrid. Others with different driving habits might not.

    Dealers...salesmen...bane of people's existence...maybe some are good but a lot of them....uhh, aren't. :) Unfortunately, in my area, a lot of them aren't. The Toyota guys around here are as arrogant as the Honda ones...and that's pretty arrogant. Only reason i MIGHT put up with the Honda salesmen is because of their product. I don't like Toyota's products enough to put up with the arrogance around here (same with the local Chevy dealers incidentally, though there's this one local PontiBuickGMC dealership that didn't catch a case of GM arrogance).
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,962
    There's almost always more than one person on the floor. Even Sales mgr's will often close a deal.

    My experience walking into car dealerships was not positive. I have found over the years that MOST car salesmen are clueless about what they sell. Only a few exceptions have I encountered. When I bought my Sequoia things were said that were untrue. What are you going to do after the fact? Same for GMC. Honda I could not get past the arrogance of my local dealer, losers. I remember all the promises from Toyota when it comes to putting hybrid drive train into the whole lineup. That was just cheap talk. There is no hybrid SUV worth considering in my sights. So in my opinion hybrids are just a LEAD bullet. Not a dud, just not practical for mainstream America.

    I can shoot every hybrid comparison down for all but the few that drive more miles per year than Al Gore will allow with his Carbon Credit scam.

    Quite frankly I was very surprised in this current market that Ford was still holding so tight to the MSRP on the Escape Hybrid. If they are in extremely short supply I guess that would be the answer. I think right now you can name your price on a 2009 Prius as the market is flooded with them. At least here in San Diego every dealer has a huge selection of every hybrid model.

    Question, why would anyone pay $50k for a Highlander Hybrid?
  • Most people don't know how and why to get bids on a vehicle and the dealers try to take advantage of that. Yes, the salesmen don't know what they should, but the manufacturers don't make all those details available either (try to find braking distance).

    I gave up waiting for a hybrid minivan. Toyota isn't the only one failing to deliver product.

    I don't know what you expect from a hybrid SUV, but GM and Chrysler have some models that will tow a large payload.

    I think that it's hard to gear a hybrid for both on road and off road use.

    Milage is the most important factor in getting a hybrid, but it's not the only one. Reduced brake wear and enhanced performance are also important.

    A Highlander Hybrid isn't $50K, but some of the vehicles at the dealers may approach that MSRP because the vehicles are loaded with options that aren't needed. (You need to get a whole package for just one option.)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,962
    Welcome to the Forum

    I don't know what you expect from a hybrid SUV, but GM and Chrysler have some models that will tow a large payload.

    I expect it to do what a non hybrid will do off and on road. The hybrids from GM give up about a third of the towing capacity. Not sure what would happen crossing a stream or driving up a sandy wash. I know Lexus says off roading the RX400h is a no no.

    That and the premium is not worth the minimal mileage gain on the GM hybrids. You get a lot more bang for your buck with a diesel SUV.
  • I expect it to do what a non hybrid will do off and on road. The hybrids from GM give up about a third of the towing capacity. Not sure what would happen crossing a stream or driving up a sandy wash. I know Lexus says off roading the RX400h is a no no.

    Yes, the Yukon towing capacity drops from 8200 to 6000 lbs by going hybrid.

    The electric motor may be geared wrong to help with towing.

    The RX400h is a crossover vehicle, so I wouldn't expect it to be to handle rough situations.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,962
    Here is the reality of the GM hybrid Yukon. I can buy a Mercedes GL320 CDI with more torque, better towing, superior handling, 25% better highway mileage, more luxury features for about the same price. I have a friend with the Mercedes that goes from Portland to San Diego average 75 MPH much of the trip and gets a consistent 27.9 MPG. That is over 700 miles on a tank of fuel. This is proven Mercedes technology vs trial and error GM hybrid technology. I am leaning toward the ML320 CDI that beat out the RX400h in a cross US mileage contest. It easily gets 30 MPG out on the highway. That is about 750 miles between fuel stops. 33% less fuel is what conservation and being green is all about.
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