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Hybrids in the News

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,090
edited March 20 in Toyota
Kind of a semi-silly story, but it does afford the chance to start a new topic about hybrids in the news.
http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20040504/ap_on_bi- _ge/hybrid_car_rescues_1
This is the one about hybrids being a possible high voltage danger to rescue workers at accident scenes. Certainly another factor to consider in rescue work, but not something that everyone shouldn't be able to adapt to over time.

The idea of this topic is simply to report on sightings of hybrid stories making the general news rather than at strictly automotive sites. I know i've been hearing more about hybrids on news reports lately. This should be a way to indirectly track how commonplace the new technology is becoming...

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Comments

  • Power supply from the battery is cut off by the curcuit breaker even before the airbags deploy. The power cables are under the body frame and not inside the doors. Take a look, the lighted line is suppose to be the electric wire.

    image

    image

    image

    Dennis
  • The power cables are clearly under the chassis, not inside the door.

    image

    Dennis
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    This was on thecarconnection.com today:

     PRNewswire

    The Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid vehicle has many safeguards to help ensure safe operation for drivers and protection of emergency response professionals in the event of an accident. An Associated Press article and other reports indicated that emergency workers who cut through the doors of a hybrid vehicle may receive an electric shock. That information is not correct. The power cables carrying electric current are automatically shut down in the case of an accident. Furthermore, power cables are not located near the doors of the vehicle - they are located well outside of any area likely to be accessed by emergency crews.
  • azstanazstan Posts: 74
    Thanks a lot for the updated information about emergency response. This is precisely why I subscribe to and read these postings. An owner of a particular car is able to give the best information.
     This board has provided me with the information on the 2004 Prius and was a major contributor in my decision to buy one.
      Thanks everyone. I really enjoy this car and enjoy reading about it.
  • image

    Enjoy!

    Dennis
  • djasonwdjasonw Posts: 624
    Thanks... you seem to bring a weath of information to the table. How refreshing!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Hyundai says it will offer a hybrid-power option in one of its U.S. car lines for 2006. No decision yet on which model, but we'd guess it will be either the new Elantra or perhaps the smaller Accent being redesigned for '05.

    This was on a web site that I expect Edmunds.com would think is a competitor; it sounds a lot like "Consumer Reports" but isn't.

    My bet is on the Elantra, since I saw pics on a Hyundai web site some time ago of a prototype gas/electric hybrid using the previous-generation Elantra as a base. But a hybrid Accent would be great too, because it could mean a sub-$15,000 hybrid and the new Accent looks pretty nice.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,090
    Here's a link to a story out of Cincinati about a guy less than pleased with the real world mileage performance. Maybe he should have waited before getting the MO MILES vanity plates...

    http://www.wired.com/news/autotech/0,2554,63413,00.html?tw=wn_top- - head_1
    There's even an Edmunds quote in the story...

    Drivers rarely see the actual EPA-rated mileage in the real world, according to John DiPietro, road-test editor of automotive website Edmunds.com. DiPietro says most drivers will get between 75 to 87 percent of the rated mileage, with individual variations based on driving habits and traffic route. "If a new car gets less than 75 percent of its EPA rating, then it should be retested."

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  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Even GM is talking about hybrids - snip - General Motors Corp. will showcase hybrid and fuel cell vehicles at a grassroots competition that begins today in Burlington, New Jersey and ends here Tuesday http://tinyurl.com/yrumj
  • quasar4quasar4 Posts: 110
    Nope. Just miserable driving habits.
  • julie_bugjulie_bug Posts: 2
    I was talking to a friend of mine and he mentioned that he heard that as some of the first hybrids near 100k miles, major overhauls are needed. He said that it's starting to show that hybrids that get 'up there' in miles aren't able to handle it and a ton of work needs to be done to keep it up to par. Has anyone heard of this?

    I've also heard that every couple of years a new battery needs to be purchased, and i've heard that they cost $2000-$3000! Is this true?

    TIA
  • xcelxcel Posts: 1,025
    Hi Quasar4:

    ___In regards to miserable fuel economy driving habits, you are absolutely, 100% correct! A simple drop to 55 mph (you remember, the speed limit in most areas the last time I looked ;)) would save this country 10 - 20% of its oil appetite overnight. Another 5 - 10 % could be saved with mandating higher pressures in ones tires. Will America do it? Not a chance unfortunately :(

    ___Julie_Bug, you are somewhat misinformed. There are a number of Insighter’s and Prius I owners now breaching 100K without a problem. At some point the pack will show its age but 100K is a bit short for that scenario imho. The ICE and mechanical drivetrain is just as repairable as any other so that should not be an issue … There are some rather pricey items under the hood (actually underneath or behind the rear most passenger area for the most part) and if they go later on in a Hybrid’s life, the best thing would be to scrap it as it would be far more expensive to repair then to simply walk away from it.

    ___May I also ask where you heard of these problems because the various Hybrid boards I read outside of Edmunds aren’t bringing up anything similar in the least.

    ___Good Luck

    ___Wayne R. Gerdes
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    No, the batteries don't need replacing every 2-3 years. They are designed to last far longer than that. I have read somewhere that there is no case yet of a battery pack on a Prius wearing out, and they have been in production since '97. For the Prius in particular, the battery pack has an 8 year/100,000 mile warranty, and 10 years/150,000 miles in the states that follow the CA emissions regulations. The current replacement cost for a full battery pack is in that $2000-3000 range you mentioned, but costs are declining and will continue to go down as hybrid sales increase.
  • "By taking four awards, Prius Hybrid Synergy Drive has won more trophies in one year than any other engine in the Awards' history."

    Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive Takes Top Honors in Four Categories:
    - International Engine of the Year 2004
    - Best New Engine
    - Best Fuel Economy
    - Best Engine 1.4-liter to 1.8-liter


    Hybrid Synergy Drive captured the grand prize with the highest score ever recorded in the history of the competition.

    http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/040526/sfw068_1.html

    Since it is International Engine of the year 2004, HSD tops the best diesel engines as well. Best fuel economy because HSD is the most efficient, period. Superior!! Sorry for the over excitement, it feels good when automotive professionals agrees with me. =D

    Dennis
  • kornklankornklan Posts: 29
    Dennis,
    The March issue of AEI has an in depth article on the 2004 Prius. They rated it as the best engineered car of the year. The article starts on page 58. On page 99 they have an article on factory that builds the Prius and goes into great detail about the assembly line and the people who build it. I've got one on order and can't wait to get my hands on it.
     Al
  • I just joined membership online and I now have access from Aug 2002 to May 2004 online. Time to read the March issue. =D

    Dennis
  • "Assembly line 2 has a daily production rate of 902 cars, of
    which 421 are Priuses. The plant operates on a two-shift day,
    22 working days per month, currently including public holidays
    on overtime, producing about 9000 Priuses per month to meet
    brisk demand in the U.S. and Japan. European-spec cars are
    now rolling out of the line as well."

    Not enough Prii. =D The magazine has load of information.

    Dennis
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,918
    It's "Energy Theme Week" in the House of Representatives. Does this mean another hybrid tax credit is on the way?
    http://www.detnews.com/2004/editorial/0406/06/a16-174484.htm

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    headline this week: there are now 20,000 owners on a waiting list for a Prius. They cite dealers that are no longer taking orders because they are too backed up and only receive one per month.

    Question is, what is going on here? That number of Prii is 40% of the first-year projected sales. Either Toyota has artificially limited the production numbers so much it has shot itself in the foot, or it has massively underestimated the demand for such a vehicle and should raise the price 25-30% so it can afford to build more of them.

    Imagine what demand it might unleash if you could actually walk onto a dealer's lot and drive off in a Prius. Plenty of people, I am sure, are turned off by waiting lists, and probably turn elsewhere for a car when they hear about them.

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

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    They underestimated demand.

    And there is nothing they can do to speed up the delivery process either. Third-Party supply contracts have them locked in to specific deliver amounts. Bummer, eh?

    Realistically though, they are still way ahead of the rest of the industry. At least they had a product developed to deal with the sudden and unexpected gas price increase.

    By the way, Ford will only be offering 30,000 hybrids for the 2005 model year.

    JOHN
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    article this week talks about how automakers are insisting that the high gas prices are not affecting peoples' buying decisions, but car dealers claim they ARE seeing a shift to more fuel-efficient vehicles, or at least away from real gas hogs. Where I live, it has been hovering at $2.40/gallon for 87 octane for quite some time.

    They should drop whetever else is built at that factory and double Prius production. Gas will dip in price after the summer - they should grab the iron while it is hot. Surely they could find a source of extra parts delivery too.

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

  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Surely they could find a source of extra parts delivery too.

    Sorry, no cigar. Some parts are quite unique (for example, the battery-pack modules). No one else has the COPYRIGHT to make them.

    Thankfully, the components are interchangable, so they can be shared among several models of vehicle. That means the mass-production, high-volume ability is very realistic. But even in the computer industry, the fastest response to a grand-scale shortage (like the LCD recently) is 3 years.

    JOHN
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    A magazine reporter would like to find car buyers who considered an SUV, but ended up going with a regular car because of gas mileage concerns. He's not looking for hybrid buyers necessarily, just folks who rejected SUVs because gas prices are so high.
    Please respond to jfallon@edmunds.com with your daytime phone number and a few details about your decision by Monday, June 14, 2004.

    Thanks,
    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director
    Edmunds.com
  • "They should drop whetever else is built at that factory and double Prius production"

    Prius is produced in Tsutsumi plant assembly line 2 along with Camry, Lexus ES330 and Japanese Allion/Premio mid-size sedans. Assembly process is tightly integrated to produce Prius every-other-car sequence. This process allows a smooth work flow to roll out a car every 61 seconds.

    Source: Automotive Engineering International Magazine (March 2004)

    Dropping whatever else would lower productivity from the assembly line 2. Toyota needs to build a new assembly plant just for hybrids, and design a new assembly process to achieve what you are asking. I believe, the way Toyota currently boosting Prius production is by going overtime with three shifts from the line 2. That means, they are also forced to produce more Camrys, ES330s, and Allions. I wouldn't be surprise if there are discounts on those cars.

    Dennis
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    > Third-Party supply contracts have them locked
    > in to specific deliver amounts. Bummer, eh?

    WHAT? Where did Toyota ever say that??
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,695
    well, the world could probably bear a few more Camrys as the price for increasing Prius production! :-)

    Seriously, though, you are right about building a new factory just for hybrids. The demand is obviously there to sell these things at a somewhat higher price and profit from each sale. And they have to strike while the iron is hot - ten years from now, there will be some other fuel efficiency tech just over the horizon, and a heck of a lot more competition in hybrids from other automakers. Now is the time. On my way to Yosemite last weekend, I passed several gas stations where 87 was over $3/gallon. Gas prices will stay high for the time being, I am sure. Now is the time.

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

  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    but 2 of the discussions from the Hybrid Vehicles board are on the Top 10 active list on the TH front page.
  • xbritxbrit Posts: 7
    "Ford will only be offering 30,000 hybrids for the 2005 model year."

    Where did you read that? The numbersa I have seen are that the eventual production capacity for Escape hybrid is 15,000 to 20,000 per year. But they won't get to that level for some time. Only 4,000 will be delivered in calendar year 2004, and I'd guess at the most 7,000 in the first half of calendar year 2005.

    As a result, the wait time for an Escape hybrid is probably 12 months right now.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Where did you read that?

    It was in a recent press release from Ford... which is yet another deviation from their original plan.

    JOHN
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    John read it on the Prius forum :) LOL

    The real story ...

    Ford To Boost Hybrid Escape Production
    DETROIT, June 3, 2004; Reuters reported that Ford Motor Co. hopes to boost production capacity for its yet-to-be-launched Escape hybrid sport utility vehicle because consumer interest is high, the automaker's chairman and chief executive said on Thursday.
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