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Who can compete with Toyota/Lexus Hybrids?

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  • drfilldrfill Posts: 2,484
    As Sin-Sai of this here forum, let me keep the pot from reeking by keeping us focused.

       1. Who are the real players in the hybrid game currently (by model year 2005)? Ford Escape? I've been hearing about this for a while, but will the RX400H beat it to market?
       2. Is GM gonna have a hybrid at all within the next 5 years?

       3. What about Benz, VW, and BMW? Do they have an answer for a 400+ HP RX400H with 35MPG? Or is this the "Royal Flush" of SUV's? Looks, Power, Quality, Luxury, and Mega-Value!
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    The hybrid VUE is set for launch sometime late next year. There is also talk of a hybrid Malibu.

    GM's primary focus is fuel cell vehicles.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Lexus WILL beat the hybrid Escape to market with the RX400H. Ford has had a million problems in bringing that truck to market. They still can't get the batteries right, apparently. I don't get that: they are using the THS from the first Prius right? Won't most of the components of the system be similar?

    The last I read of GM was that VUE hybrid was delayed, and the first GM hybrids to market would be the "mild hybrid" trucks in 2005....so that has been updated? When will VUE arrive with a hybrid powertrain?

    I do not remember any of the Germans having significantly concrete plans for hybrids...perhaps I missed some news tho...they are much more heavily invested in diesel, which still is their best bet for the European market, and will be a really good bet here too when the low-sulfur diesel goes nationwide in the latter part of the decade. I do think they are working on fuel cells however.

    And on topic too, Honda will remain a very important competitor in hybrids for Toyota. Good too, will keep them on their toes, and the technology moving forward. I look forward to the day someone brings a 100 mpg hybrid diesel to the market. What do you think... a decade or less?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    The last I heard, Ford was having trouble venting the batteries in the Escape HEV. The battery packs are fine. Of course, that news tidbit is about 5-6 months old. Who knows if that's still the problem.

    "I look forward to the day someone brings a 100 mpg hybrid diesel to the market."

    I believe Honda's IMAS Concept is estimated at 94 mpg, but it's not a diesel. It's also not on the market, but hey it's something!
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    piece in the Chicago Tribune today reports GM has a contract with Seattle to fit 235 buses with hybrid diesel systems. One done, this will be the mileage saved equivalent of 8,000 hybrid cars.

    GM is also working on similar deals with cities such as Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Portland, Ore, Austin, Orange County and Houston.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > mileage saved

    Yes, that is a genuine benefit. But the primary purpose of HSD (the hybrid system Toyota uses) is to significantly REDUCE EMISSIONS, not save fuel.

    How much cleaner are those buses? Or are they actually dirtier in terms of SMOG related emissions?

    JOHN
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    a prop?

    Bus use in general is better than cars. 60 people on a bus versus sixty people in 60 cars is bad for the atmosphere how?

    In any event, GM's new diesel engines use the same modern filtering equipment as other diesels. No doubt emissions are very low. And when divided by 60, even lower.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    ___Not only does a bus carry vast amounts of commuters, it also doesn’t congest our cities nearly as bad as 60 automobiles nor does it have to park in our chosen professions parking lot! 750,000 gallons of diesel fuel is a huge amount of greenhouse gasses (CO2) not being released into the atmosphere. Let alone a diesel is ~ 20% more efficient in regards to greenhouse gases/mile vs. a std. ICE. Even an Atkinson based ICE is a larger polluter in this regard :( Add a more efficient overall process and the Buses diesel won’t be polluting nearly as much/mile as its forbearer either.

    ___As for the article, I just got home an hour or so ago myself and read it. Here it is in its entirety ...

    General Motors has reached agreement to equip 235 buses for Seattle with hybrid diesel/electric power that the automaker says could save the city 750,000 gallons of fuel each year. The annual fuel savings for Seattle’s bus fleet would be equal to replacing more than 8,000 internal combustion gas engine cars with hybrids. GM has pilot hybrid bus fleets in Philadelphia; Minneapolis; Portland, Ore; Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City; Hartford; Conn.; Orange County, Calif.; Houston; and Newark, N.J.

    ___Remember, this is just one city. Lets say ~ the same amount of buses were converted in all 10 cities. That is the equivalent of 80,000 Hybrid’s. I wonder what Chicago, New York, and L.A. are waiting for? Keep adding it up with the inclusion of commuters transported and lower emissions. How many Prius’ have been sold over the last 3 years? Now all we have to do is hope it’s cost effective or it won’t be continued in quantity ...

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Waynegerdes@earthlink.net
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > How many Prius’ have been sold over the last 3 years?

    28,000 have been ordered in the last month alone worldwide. That's a significant growth rate.

    What GM is attempting is great, but what are their long-term & volume goals?

    School buses drive a lot of miles too. Will school districts be able to afford that technology? And will GM even offer it to them? For that matter, will other cities get the opportunity to buy? Also remember that the qualified service mechanics will be an issue.

    Toyota has already commited to offering HSD in every non-commercial vehicle they build by 2010. That's empowering consumers, not just a few choice groups that will provide good PR opportunites.

    JOHN
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    ___Here was the specific question. How many Prius’ have been sold over the last 3 years? As usual, you don’t answer specific questions but instead try and cover up inadequacies.

    ___Here is the analysis for you nice and simple like ... 235 buses will be introduced with a GM Hybrid Diesel solution. According to the article, it is similar to placing 8,000 Hybrid’s on the road. So one city (namely Seattle) decides to give it a shot and if the COSTS work out, it will do more for our environment and our fuel dependency in that one city alone then every Hybrid sold into that state EVER. I will ask you again, how many Prius’ have been delivered in the last 3 year’s? What’s better, those few ten’s of thousands of Hybrid’s on the road carrying usually 1 person or 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 + buses that are either on the road or soon will carrying between 10 and 60 people at a time? I am all for the Hybrid solution for all vehicles but you keep missing the fact that there are more Corolla’s and Camry’s sold in a month then the 01 – 03 and even the 04 Prius’ in a year. Why is that? Could it be because people wouldn’t like to receive 51mpg on the hwy or 60 mpg in the city? Could it be because they wouldn’t like to own a PZEV automobile? Not in the least. It’s because Hybrid’s are simply expensive. If Seattle does not see a positive ROI in some reasonable period of time, they won’t be doing another Diesel Hybrid bus pilot program purchase either. I just hope GM has the costs figured out for all of our sakes.

    ___As for the school bus situation, given the average school bus operates for all of maybe 2 to 3 hours per day max, how is a Hybrid solution ever going to work out in that case? It will only work if the costs come down dramatically. Lets all again hope the Honda iCTDi Diesel can be a harbinger for change in that market as well.

    ___Now as far as who can compete, I sure hope someone can because the costs being stated for today’s personal Hybrid’s cannot be justified as you found out with your 01 trade in.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Waynegerdes@earthlink.net
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > How many Prius’ have been sold over the last 3 years?

    Don't like the fact that just 2 years from now Toyota is planning to selling 300,000 hybrid system per year, eh? Current sales rates confirm that's possible.

    The market 3 years ago didn't have a clue how hybrids worked. So sales were difficult, yet the number climbed to 120,000. And today, lots of people still think they can't travel far and need to be plugged in. Look forward, not backward.

     
    > given the average school bus operates for all of maybe
    > 2 to 3 hours per day max

    You obviously don't live in the suburbs. The buses in my area run elementry, middle, and high schools routes. That's 3 hours in the morning, 3 hours in the afternoon, and a lot of idling while they wait to pick up students. That's much more running time than your estimates and a heck of a lot miles with the population in the suburbs spread out so much.

     
    > as you found out with your 01 trade in

    Trade in data only counts IF YOU TRADE IN. Many people plan on keeping their vehicle. And focusing on the resale value of a rare, first model year vehicle is kind of silly. It will naturally be lower. Focus on the value of a more established year instead, like the 2005. By then, sales figures will be more in line with other vehicles commonly sold and the vehicle won't be a new concept anymore.

    JOHN
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    I agree it would be great if systems as big as Chicago, LA or New York would adopt the Hybrid buses. Funding is always a problem with transit companies. The technology saves fuel, probably makes the buses more quiet and pleasant to ride, and will reduce emissions. The cities should find the funding.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Agree school buses should also be hybrid. GM makes school buses. Schools for the most part are underfunded.

    Paying extra for the buses would mean convincing local taxpayers the long term savings on fuel would more than make up for the higher costs up front.

    Unfortunately, about the only thing voters seem to get excited about when it comes to their local schools are initiatives to stop art programs and ban books.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    is something the EPA should mandate, then help pay for.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi John1701a:

    ___When did I ever say I don’t like the fact Toyota will sell any number of Hybrid’s? I really want to know how many they sold in regards to the number of buses being reportedly piloted as mentioned in this thread. As for other threads, they sold 120,000 then? Camry’s and Corolla’s sell that in what, 4 months, not 4 years! This is where the market speaks with its dollars. I also don’t approve of the fact that you and many like you that purchased a Hybrid took a $11,000 + bath on an 01 after just 60,000 miles is all. YOU DID TRADE YOUR 01 IN AFTER 60,000 miles, correct? The Insighter’s are really getting creamed, the HCH’s are getting creamed, and the older Prius owners are getting creamed. If this is the cost of a Hybrid, how can you make it up? And how much was the 01-03 Prius battery pack replacement again? Someone has to change your old Prius out eventually or will they just throw the car away at 120, 150, 180K miles? I will be driving the Corolla through the first mileage marker in another year and a half. I will keep you up to date as to if I had to throw it away at that time all the while getting > 40 + mpg on the hwy with the very low TCO as has already been posted.

    ___Buses in my area usually run ~ 4 hours/day vs. the smaller school districts which run much much less. Again, if the TCO doesn’t work out, they aren’t going to go to a Hybrid. I only hope the GM solution is cheap enough to make it work right out of the box. $’s actually account for something here where it’s being watched.

    ___Logic1, I completely agree but with today’s cost cutting across all sectors of the economy, the numbers and TCO have to work out or it will not be a consideration to the detriment of us all.

    ___Nippononly, the EPA does a lot of mandating but I haven’t seen them pay for anything ;) The real positive to this is that some cities are making a go of it and I can only hope the Hybrid bus system is close enough in cost to make the TCO equal or better over the desired time frame. If it is, we will all benefit from cleaner air and lowered costs for service. Well maybe not lowered cost of service ... If it doesn’t; Hybrid drive automobile/truck manufacturer’s designers and engineers will have to sharpen their pencils a bit before we see it in quantity.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
    ___Waynegerdes@earthlink.net
  • snaphooksnaphook Posts: 130
    >>Yes, that is a genuine benefit. But the primary purpose of HSD (the hybrid system Toyota uses) is to significantly REDUCE EMISSIONS, not save fuel.

    If that truly is the purpose then Toyota's investment seems like a gigantic waste of money. Ford is about to sell a PZEV Focus whose emissions are said to be as clean or cleaner than the air we breath. How can you "significantly" improve on that? Also, you can't reduce CO2 w/o reducing fuel consumption. Your comment leads me to believe that Toyota does not view reducing this type of emission as a priority.

    The fact is that the primary benefit of a hybrid system is to recapture kinetic energy that is currently being thrown away during decelaration. This is valuable whether your car runs on conventional gasoline, diesel, hydrogen or soybean oil. The greatest benefits will be achieved in vehicles of large mass that make frequent stops. Sounds a lot like a bus to me.

    Granted the technology used on these buses will to some extent have been developed and refined on smaller vehicles. Luckily for Toyota et. al. there are people like yourself willing to subsidize their R&D. If/when these vehicles become profitable for their manufacturers hopefully they will show their gratitude by offering some sort of rebate to you early adopters, unlikely.

    One more point. The efficiency penalty incurred by the additional weight of the battery pack should be largely recovered due to the fact that more weight equates to more energy to recapture.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    You seem to have overlooked the word "PRIMARY".

    Just because it isn't the top on the priority list doesn't mean it isn't there at all, it's just lower.

    In the case of the PZEV Ford Focus, there is an efficency penalty. MPG is about 2 lower.

    In the case of the PZEV Toyota Prius, there is a very significant gain. MPG is about 25 higher.

    JOHN
  • snaphooksnaphook Posts: 130
    I don't think so. I feel fairly certain that if you asked 100 people what they perceived as the "primary" purpose of incorporating hybrid technology in automobiles 99+ would answer greater fuel efficiency. In fact, if I remember correctly from one of your earlier posts on another thread you stated that Toyota could have made their Prius cleaner but it would have been at the expense of fuel efficiency. Why would they do this if their "primary" purpose was reduced emissions?
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Or, as I like to think of it, excellent performance without sacrificing gas mileage. Most of the hybrid concepts shown by Honda/Acura are actually sport models (DN-X, IMAS, Spocket, RD-X, etc.). A Pop Sci article refered to it as "electric turbo-charging".

    The RX hybrid is a great example, as is the Escape HEV. The rumored RL is another. Hybrid power has quite a few applications. And in the luxury and near luxury level, the cost increase isn't as big a factor.
  • snaphooksnaphook Posts: 130
    I agree. The time will probably come where the decision to buy a hybrid is driven as much by a desire for performance as fuel efficiency.
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