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Hemi vs. Hybrid! Japan goes Tech, US goes ICE! Who's really winning??

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Comments

  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    A good friend of mine heads up the Alternative Fuels department at Toyota HQ (he's a bonafide Alfisto and presently owns a fully restored Fiat Dino, so he's no weenie), and he made it real clear that electrics were not the way to go anytime in the near future. Toyota and Honda still have EVs available (GM abandoned theirs), but their emphasis is elsewhere. But what the heck do they know....
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I absolutely agree that if they allow individual drivers of hybrids to use that commuter lane, they'll be a run on them. That's an advantage worth it's weight in gold.

    I respectfully disagree with you on the other points.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Not in MD, but in VA you can get special tags for your PZEV that allow HOV lane access even if you drive alone. For people commuting up I-95, that is a HUGE bonus.

    For everyone else I-95 is like a parking lot. Be sure to wave at all the sports cars you blow by.

    -juice
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    I thought that hybrids could ride the HOV lanes in Maryland, as well. They recently put in an HOV lane on Route 50, between Bowie and the Beltway, and all it has done is cause hassles. Maybe it's better for some during the rush hour, but any time of the day, it actually contributes to traffic snarls and dangerous driving!

    The main problem is that it's a 24/7 HOV lane, so even a 3:00 on Sunday morning, it's still in effect. The main problem I notice is that on the weekends, the left-lane campers are now much more prevalent, probably because they're thinking that faster cars can just go past in the HOV lane. Which, legally, they can't do unless they have enough occupants (I think it's only 2 occupants, though). And of course, you have people who aren't going to put up with it, so they just blow past in the HOV lane, anyway.

    In general, it's just leading to more roadhogs during normally light traffic periods, and causing a lot more people to be constantly jumping lanes. Let those Priuses in the HOV lane, and on a few of the long, uphill grades, it'll only make things worse! ;-)
  • A run on Priuses (or is it Prii)?
    Aren't there already long waiting lists for them?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think that lane on Rt 50 was added, i.e. there was one fewer lane before they added the HOV lane. It doesn't really go that far, not all the way to Annapolis anyway.

    It actually helps me, we go to the beach a lot and the car has 4-5 occupants when we do, so I can use that lane.

    I wish it went farther east! All the way to the bridge!

    -juice
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    thanks for disagreeing respectfully, even though it ain't necessary! =D

    I really dunno if I'd buy a Prius if I needed another 4-door sedan, although the diamond-lane thing really is attractive here in LA. I agree that a good, economical car like a Corolla or any of its competitors will probably save you nearly as much gas as the Prius and save you a few thou on the purchase price (say 18k vs 21k). But the interior of the Prius has been touted as being as roomy as a Camry, so maybe it really is a viable choice for a typical family car.

    Of course, in the rest of the world, Corolla-sized cars ARE the family car. Here we drive SUVs because....well, just because!!
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    you're right, they did add that as an additional lane, and didn't convert an existing one. And it ends (or begins, depending on which way you're going) about a mile east of Route 3/301, right around the PG/AA county line. Still, as bad as Route 50 gets during rush hour, that HOV lane is just a slap in the face to everyone else around here. I make it a point to stay off 50 during rush hour, it's so bad!

    It might help the people who can use it during rush hour, but any other time, I think it's just more trouble than it's worth. Honestly, I'd rather see them try doing something like extending the Metro out to Bowie, or maybe even Annapolis.
  • andre1969andre1969 Posts: 21,578
    I think the main reason the Prius has fairly generous interior volume is that it's tall inside. It feels taller inside to me than a Camry. I'd have to look up the stats to be sure, but just going by feel, it seems to have a bit more legroom up front. That's the main thing that kills the Camry for me...legroom.

    To me, at least, shoulder room is what really makes a car feel expansive, but the Prius is narrow enough that I'd only consider it to be a 4-passenger car. To my outdated way of thinking, a midsized car would have about 56-60 inches of shoulder room, where a full-sized should have 60+ (even though some older so-called "full-sized" cars weren't that wide. For example, the '58 Chevy was only about 58" wide inside)
  • wimsey1wimsey1 Posts: 201
    I appreciate your respectful attitude.
    I think you also have a point that many will be apprehensive of buying new technology, though the reliability data so far has been excellent for both the Toyota and Honda systems (and I noted that you were not attacking that).

    But what lofty price tag on the Prius? The original WAS an expensive COMPACT. No question about that. The NEW Prius is competitvely priced as a MIDSIZE. Note the $1100 dollar retail difference between the Prius and Malibu in the CR tested I noted a while earlier. And as Ateixeira noted earlier there is a tax credit that offsets that. We could wrangle about the optional equuipment but the Prius won the comparison vs. the Malibu, however they are equipped. It is competitive.
     It was the slowest accelerating in the test but the margin was small. All but one car (Galant 0-60, 9.1 sec) were over 10 sec to 60 and the spread was 10.1 to 10.5sec. Is that significant in that class? I doubt it.
    As has also been noted, a malibu will get incentives breaks vs. the prius. But it will vs. any Toy or Honda or Nissan for that matter. And does anyone have any real doubts which car will have better resale?

    I do respectfully resubmit that the Prius is a competitve, but not class leading (I would say the same about the Malibu) midsize sedan, it is competitvely priced and it's power is competitve in it's class (this is not about Prius vs. Malibu BTW, it is just a handy comparison from the May CR test).
    Price competitive. Car competitve.
    Therefore I stand by my previous contention that the extra 20 mpg is a benefit to the owner from day one. And as I did note earlier, for some that will be important others not. I'm cool with that. It's not my top prority either, I like the Mazda 6 for it's driving dynamics. Different strokes...

    And please, let's not have anyone (that is NOT directed at you mirth) whining about bias in testing at CR. Their recent reaction to the GM vehicles like the Malibu, SRX and CTS have been positive and are very similar to those of other testers. Like every other person on the planet they have biases but that excuse to cover some company's mediocrity is worn out. Lame. Pathetic.

    So there you have my thoughts. Again. Ad infinitum. Ad nauseum. Cheerio! ;-D
  • logic1 wrote:

    "Hybrid r&d expense adds very little to electric engine development."

    Toyota Prius electric motor has a V-shape magnets to form optimal angle. Nissan super motor is a dual motor in one housing. It is perfect for AWD without the need of differential or two separate motors.

    Most of HSD R&D can go into fuel cell vehicles. Just replace ICE and Planetary gear set with Fuel Cell stack and you get FCHV. Energy management in HSD and FCHV are functionally equal. Any developments in VSC or efficient algorithm in energy flow will benefit both HSD and FCHV.

    Dennis
  • Awhile back when I was away, there was a discussion about battery recycle pollution. NiMH does not have toxic heavy metal like Lead or Cadmium. You can throw away rechargables AA NiMH batteries into any landfills legally.

    If you throw away your Prius battery after the life time of the car (100,000 miles), I'll take it because it'll still has 80% capacity left.

    Dennis
  • His argument was that if you want to be a real green activist, you have to compromise. Walk if it is short distance. Take public transportation and deal with inconveniences.

    That defeats the whole point of HSD. HSD achieves green without many compromises (except price for now).

    Dennis
  • The plastic used in Prius was made from plant sources. Toyota has been addressing recycablity of vehicles also.

    http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/tech/environment/recycle/index.html

    Dennis
  • 4 Cylinder VCM would not be practical due to vibration and noise. Even Honda V6 VCM has to deal with vibration and noise when running on 3 cylinders. They record engine noise and make a canceling sound wave. I don't know what other desirable sounds it will cancel for the driver.

    The primary goal of VCM is to reduce pumping loss from engine throttling. Toyota uses Atkinson cycle to combat engine inefficiencies, including disabling all cylinders when unnecessary. It is a great solution when combined with an electric supercharger(hybrid).

    Dennis
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Zitch:

    How many ICE only systems get more than 30 or 40 MPGs in stop an go traffic?

    ___10 – 15 years ago, there were scores of them. The Civic VX’s, CRX HF’s, Geo XFi’s … To bad we did not continue on that path although they were 0-60 mph capable in the 12 - 15 second range which is ~ the same as an 04 Prius at ½ SOC or less … On the highway, these ancient wonders destroyed everything in terms of mpg.

    Badtoy:

    Second, justification for the Prius is NOT just fuel economy, or Toyota would never have bothered to develop the technology -- it's California emissions

    ___That is a rather large justification as there are any number of std. ICE based PZEV capable automobiles you can buy today. This is just a $200 - $300 additional premium to pay for the additional HW, not $3,000 - $4,000.

    Third, Californians have been waiting, and finally have hope for, an amendment to the rules regarding use of the car-pool lanes. There is presently a bill in the Cal State legislature which would allow hybrids into the lanes. This is a huge lifestyle improvement for thousands of Californians who have to contend with rush hour traffic. If it passes, I predict there will be a run on Priuses and every other available hybrid.

    ___This is really a sad state of affairs … You have $10,000 PZEV based Focus’ that can be purchased by those with less financial wherewithal that are driving cleaner automobiles then all hybrids except for the 04 Prius. It is just as clean as the 04 Prius if that makes sense to you? The original intent of the HOV lanes in CA. was to reduce congestion and reduce pollution. Letting Hybrid’s take the lanes with those that are driving with 2 or more individuals irregardless of what they are driving in is a mistake given any number of PZEV’s are sitting in the regular lanes watching those that can afford a Prius drive on by. Consider the 01-03 Prius’, HCH’s, and Insight’s polluting an order of magnitude or more higher then those driving PZEV based Accord’s, Camry’s, and Focus’ when you make that consideration … To summarize, Californian’s will not only lose the intent of the HOV lanes w/ lowered traffic congestion but they will be allowing higher polluting vehicles to scam the intent of a pollution reduction given the std. ICE based PZEV’s are not allowed in those same lanes without 2 or more occupants.

    ___Wimsey1:

    But what lofty price tag on the Prius? The original WAS an expensive COMPACT. No question about that. The NEW Prius is competitvely priced as a MIDSIZE.

    ___Except that for a Prius to achieve the mid-size rating, it needs the hatchback. If you added a Hatchback to a Corolla, it would miss the Midsize category by ~ 1.5 cu. ft. If you made the 04 Prius a Sedan like the 01-03’s, it would also miss the Midsize category by ~ 2 cu. ft. The Camry’s rear passenger headroom is far and away higher then an 04 Prius and it feel larger side to side by a large margin to me.

    ___When you are speaking of price deltas, don’t forget what it costs to procure an 04 Prius at MSRP, MSRP +, MSRP + forced options, or MSRP + forced option packages. You won’t be paying these kinds of premiums on much else in the market by comparison and especially those that were compared in the review you are speaking of.

    ___Usbseawolf2000:

    Most of HSD R&D can go into fuel cell vehicles. Just replace ICE and Planetary gear set with Fuel Cell stack and you get FCHV. Energy management in HSD and FCHV are functionally equal.

    ___I think you are missing the fact that a Fuel cell stack produces electricity, not mechanical energy directly. Replacing the ICE w/ a stack and throwing it into a Prius w/ HSD seems a bit whacky to me? Maybe use a Hybrid’s pack as an assist ala Honda’s IMA along with a smaller Fuel cell stack but not as an ICE replacement in an HSD equipped automobile.

    4 Cylinder VCM would not be practical due to vibration and noise. Even Honda V6 VCM has to deal with vibration and noise when running on 3 cylinders. They record engine noise and make a canceling sound wave. I don't know what other desirable sounds it will cancel for the driver.

    ___Possibly true but those that have driven the VCM equipped 6 cylinder Accord mention not only a seamless transition but way over the top power on tap given the capability of that 240 HP engine mated with it’s whatever size IMA is undeniably powerful. The Prius on the other hand is already in the lowest percentile of performance w/ a full pack, let alone one at 75%, 50%, 25% or even less SOC.

    The primary goal of VCM is to reduce pumping loss from engine throttling. Toyota uses Atkinson cycle to combat engine inefficiencies, including disabling all cylinders when unnecessary. It is a great solution when combined with an electric supercharger(hybrid).

    ___And with that, the 05 Accord Hybrid always has at least 240 HP on tap even w/ a fully discharged pack. The 04 Prius however is … well a dog in comparison given the anemic atkinsonized 1.5 L motor they decided to use.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    Sure hope this stuff never gets out, or Toyota will have to pull the Prius from the market.
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Badtoy:

    ___Maybe you don’t remember the fuel tank capacity of some GM P/U’s being understated by ~ 8%. GM was sued for that misstep. Do you think anything like that is occurring with the 04 Prius? Maybe they should remove it from the market because it cannot hold 11.9 gallons of fuel let alone a mere 10 gallons in many cases ;-) Hopefully they will have a fix for this in the not to distant future. Other PZEV’s are not having this problem so it appears to be something peculiar to the 04 Prius alone?

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    will have the V-6 engine in combo with IMA? I am very surprised, I would have expected them to use the 4-cylinder and a more powerful version of the IMA from the HCH.

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

  • badtoybadtoy Posts: 368
    Toyota will have to pull the Prius from the market for ANY reason. You may consider it inferior to other hybrids in a variety of ways (and you may be correct in some of your points); but Toyota generally does a really good job sweating the details, and they prevailed against the State of California when they tried to fine Toyota for nonexistent problems with their fuel tank vents.

    I also find it hilarious that US editors generally credit Honda with the first full production hybrid, when in fact it was Toyota. Honda slapped the Insight together to beat Toyota to the US market, but the Prius was on sale in Japan for three years previous to that.

    Also, because of Japan's tax structure and stricter environmental standards, I doubt there are any significant problems with Prius' performance, or they would have had problems in the home market.
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