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Hybrids in the News

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Comments

  • rickmacgrickmacg Posts: 1
    The hybrid bandwagon may very well turn into a giant electrochemical and metals nightmare. But hey, why care if people can spend lots of money (or less if mass appeal starts to wain) and get great MPG ? But what happens when the massive batteries and heavy metals used in this technology incur the infamous "disposal fee" your dealer charges you for normal oil/fluid changes now ? Where will the batteries be disposed. Has anyone heard of a hybrid battery reclamation facility ? And then there are the many EMTs that need to spend $$$ on specialized training on extracting crash victims without causing electrical hazards (like cutting high voltage lines.) In an accident, would a hybrid require a HAZMAT team to erradicate the battery acid spilled all over the ground. And what about the chemical burns from passing cars splashing thru puddles of acid.

    So what kind of picture am I painting here ? Originally I started to get all geeked up about these electric cars. But thinking it thru a bit I don't think this is the way to go. Low sulfur diesel fuel (LSDF) is about to make its way to US soil. In fact, VW has stated it has stopped importing diesel VW's in anticipation of this LSDF. Smart move. Why sell more diesels that will require a return visit to the dealer to re-adjust an engine for LSDF .vs the current US grade diesel.

    In late 2005 a vacation to Disney in Orlando I stumbled across a GM Hydrogen Hummer H2 at Epcot's Imagination interactive exhibits. It is in a tour within a houst of the future. Gas mileage for this puppy... ready... 60 MPG for a Hummer ! So lets get the Hydrogen Fuel cell distribution channel in place. India has pledged to do just that in thier own country. Comendable.

    So think about the hybrid. Be wary of the craze. Maybe it still works for you but they do pose more of an ecological hazard then other technologies such as LSDF and Hydrogen Fuel Cell. Oh yeah, Ethanol ? That will become nothing but the same (or slightly cheaper) price per gallon with @ 40% less efficiency in combustion then regular fuel. So that just means same price and worse MPG. You will wind up spending more $$ to refule on that unless someone figures out something different (at a premium of course.)

    Just think, if a giant Hummer can get 60 MPG... imaging what a Ford Fusion, Pontiac Vibe, ... fuel cell vehicle can do. Put time into the equation and defer your buying decision. Buy a beater that you can drive in the short term. This will speed technology up by forcing the mfr. to deliver a practical solution to the average consumer.

    I'll save you the trip to Disney with a link to the H2H http://www.gmhummer.com/hummerspecs/h2h/main.htm .
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Buy a beater that you can drive in the short term. This will speed technology

    Oh, sure, THAT will speed technolgy? Sorry, but progress has to be rewarded and embraced, not abandoned or ignored! Driving a beater does NOTHING but stay the course and rewards no one for making progress.

    Progress comes in steps.

    And improvements are not always final solutions.

    There are always those that complain about improvements, such as hybrid technology, because improvements often don't completely solve the problems, so those folks would rather we continue and continue and continue with the problems instead of at least solve a part of it with an improvement. The improvement isn't good enough for them, so we never make any progress. This is the way it's been for decades.

    Hybrid technology is such an improvement and is a stepping stone into the future. The politics of the real world will not discontinue the use of petroleum based energy all too quickly. The infrastructure will change in a way that does not too dramatically shift the power and wealth and control from those that have it.

    Hydrogen will come at a pace that accomodates the real global and political and business interests. So, instead of complaining that hybrid technology isn't the perfect solution, we need to realize that it is an important step in the right direction, and that it is much better than doing nothing at all, which is basically what the naysayers have perpetuated for generation after generation!

    TagMan
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    So, the marketplace simply will be similar to what we have now.

    No, it should drive down prices plus start to drive down resale values.

    As for going mainstream there is a large segment of the population that will not buy a hybrid version if they cannot see immediate or almost immediate savings.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    If someone is driving a typical mid-sized car today, which gets in the mid-20s mpg, and buys a car like a Prius that can get in the 40s mpg, there is an immediate savings.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    If someone is driving a typical mid-sized car today, which gets in the mid-20s mpg, and buys a car like a Prius that can get in the 40s mpg, there is an immediate savings.

    There is only a savings at the gas pump. Add on the extra price of the car and that savings disapears very quickly. Where is the savings if your saving $25 dollars a month at the pump but paying $35 a months extra in car payments? In your example if the Prius costs more than $1,175 more than the mid-size car then there is no savings what so ever (based on 15k miles driven a year).

    trust me there are cars similarly sized as the Prius that get better than mid 20's that run thousands less than the Prius.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I traded out of a 2000 Camry into a 2005 Prius because the Prius was a better vehicle with more features and better FE.

    The key deciding point though was that it was a better vehicle than I had been driving;
    Then it met all the criteria I wanted in a midsized auto;
    Then it saved me $ in fuel;

    You are partially right though about resale values. There are not a lot of hybrids being traded so the supply is small... but so is the demand comparatively. Actually the two are pretty much in balance so the tradein prices are 'fair'; i.e. in balance.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    buys a car like a Prius that can get in the 40s mpg, there is an immediate savings.

    You have researched cars including the Prius as much as anyone on this board. What did you end up buying? Your calculator won the battle. I can maybe see a savings with someone that drives 30k+ miles a year. Only on the Prius, Insight and HCH.

    You can buy two finely equipped Elantras for the price of one top of the line Prius.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "I stumbled across a GM Hydrogen Hummer H2 at Epcot's Imagination interactive exhibits. It is in a tour within a houst of the future. Gas mileage for this puppy... ready... 60 MPG for a Hummer !"

    Ah, no. If you heard that from your tour guide, your tour guide was woefully wrong.

    According to the link that YOU POSTED (you do read the stuff in your own links, correct?), GM states the H2H would have a total RANGE of 60 miles (NOT 60mpg). That's a RANGE of 60 miles.

    So, how much hydrogen fuel does the H2H carry? Well (again, according to your link), it has THREE on-board fuel tanks. Two special carbon-fiber tanks in place of the standard Hummer tanks, and a third tank in the rear cargo area of the Hummer (if you check the photos, you can see a picture of the third tank in the cargo area). Total hydrogen carried in THREE tanks? Well, at 350-bar pressure (close to 5000 psi), it carries 12 pounds of hydrogen. You get all worked up about the acid in the batteries of hybrids, and the thought of highly explosive hydrogen (you remember the Hindenburg?) stored at 5000 psi doesn't make you nervous?

    Another thing. The H2H DOESN'T HAVE A FUEL CELL. It burns hydrogen in a turbocharged version of the standard 6.0l V8 in the Hummer. And produces a whooping 180hp. Wow. 180hp from a turbocharged 6.0liter V8. And with three fuel tanks the vehicle has a range of.....60 miles.

    BTW - where do you think the hydrogen comes from? The hydrogen stations BURN natural gas to produce the hydrogen on-site.

    Wouldn't it be simpler (and more efficient) to simply convert the vehicles to burn natural gas?

    "Be wary of the craze."

    I couldn't have said it better myself.....
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    BTW - where do you think the hydrogen comes from?

    You don't produce hydrogen you isolate it. You can get hydrogen from water as well as many other sources. The main problem right now is the cost of isolating it.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    The statement I replied to was that there is no immediate savings from owning a hybrid. If one is talking about recouping an up-front price difference immediately, that is unrealistic. Hybrids would have to cost about $20 more than a regular car to be able to gain immediate savings.

    Each person needs to do the math for himself/herself to determine if there is any long-term dollar advantage in owning a hybrid. For me, two years ago, there was not. But everyone's circumstances are different.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "You don't produce hydrogen you isolate it. You can get hydrogen from water as well as many other sources."

    Semantics.

    Okay, you isolate (produce, extract, render, etc.) hydrogen. Yes, you can....."get" hydrogen from water. Of course, you need to input energy (in the form of electricity) and of course, this energy (in the form of electricity) must be generated from SOMEWHERE.

    PART of the problem right now with "getting" hydrogen (regardless of the source) is cost. Another problem is the energy source used to "get" the hydrogen. Are we currently so inundated with clean energy that we simply can't use it all? I don't think so. Yet another problem is the FACT that the amount of energy USED to "get" the hydrogen is MORE THAN the amount of energy it is physically possible to extract on the downstream side (whether by burning in a converted ICE or used in an avant garde fuel cell).

    The only place that I can think of that the use of hydrogen for a fuel makes sense is Iceland. Iceland has abundant clean energy (geothermal), a low population, and no oil. In this case, it makes sense to convert their geothermal energy to electricity, produce/isolate/extract/etc. the hydrogen from water, and use it rather than importing oil. But it ONLY makes sense in this case because they HAVE a source of abundant clean energy and a relatively low population.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Thank you for setting the record straight on that Hummer. I am really turned off by the waste of money on hydrogen research. At least with hybrids there is some practical results after a few billion is spent. Not so with hydrogen fuel cells.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I think the thing that irritates me the most about hydrogen is that (my impression) the advocates are so enamored with the idea of water vapor as the ONLY emmissions at the tailpipe that they completely overlook the other issues.
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    As for going mainstream there is a large segment of the population that will not buy a hybrid version if they cannot see immediate or almost immediate savings.

    Gosh, snakeweasel, there's a large segment buying them up right now as fast as they can make them . . . and the benefits aren't even yet as impressive as they will be as the technology and the benefits continue to improve over time. Therefore the market will improve as well.

    TagMan
  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    Where is the savings if your saving $25 dollars a month at the pump but paying $35 a months extra in car payments?

    It's not as though the only difference between the vehicles is the MPG. what if I increase my payment by $100 a month to get other upgrades? Is that not worth it, in your opinion? It's a preference, and the Prius offers a variety of upgrades beyond the great MPG's . . . especially when compared to just basic transportation. There is NO non-hybrid Prius . . . so there is NO premium in the traditional sense. The Honda Civic hybrid does have a $2790 upgrade cost for the hybrid technology, and Consumer Reports FINALLY admitted that is DOES pay back the buyer financially, although not by a lot, admittedly. But the other benefits, such as cleaner exhaust emissions, are there as well as MPG's, and what are they worth?

    TagMan
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    Gosh, snakeweasel, there's a large segment buying them up right now as fast as they can make them

    Look at the number of hybrids sold and then look at the number of cars sold in total. When you do you will begin to see that the segment thats buying them is actually quite small. Even if you triple the number of hybrids sold its barely a dent in the total market.

    Last year there were just over 200K hybrids sold, thats a whopping 1.28% of car sales. There are single car models out there that sell more. Presuming every hybrid sold in the US is still on the road we would have less than half a million out there. with well over 200 million registered vehicles in the US that would mean that Hybrids make up one quarter of one percent of all vehicles. Hardly a large segment.

    lets talk when they make 15-20% of the market share, not 1.25%

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    It's not as though the only difference between the vehicles is the MPG. what if I increase my payment by $100 a month to get other upgrades?

    false argument as you still have the hybrid premium. In other words other upgrades may be had in another car and only increase payments by say $60 a month. Concentrate on only the premium against the alternatives.

    It's a preference, and the Prius offers a variety of upgrades beyond the great MPG's . . . especially when compared to just basic transportation.

    I am not comparing it against a chevy Aveo Value at 10K with nothing on it. I am comparing it with other cars of similar size that are similarly equipped. Again you are presenting a false argument.

    There is NO non-hybrid Prius . . . so there is NO premium in the traditional sense.

    yes there is unless the only car available is the Prius. The premium is the cost difference between the Prius and a similar car that would be bought if the prius is not chosen.

    and Consumer Reports FINALLY admitted that is DOES pay back the buyer financially, although not by a lot, admittedly.

    But CR ignored the time value of money which puts the hybrid at a slight disadvantage.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaPosts: 8,441
    We're not going to agree on this, I can see. I am aware that the market segment is small. That's the way it begins. But, it is growing fast, and that is because people are willing to buy the hybrid technology even though it is not as good as it will get down the road. That's quite a testimony

    I bought one of the early computers when they started building them. It was painfully slow and not very powerful and it cost a bloody fortune by comparison to today's computers. I do not regret it one bit!

    And even the one I just bought will be nowhere near as good as next year's model. But I'm glad to have it!

    Hybrid technology will improve. You can count on it. You do not have to jump in now, but remember, just like computers, it will all continue to improve, and improve, and improve, and sooner or later people find a comfortable time to jump in.

    Ocassionally, some NEVER do, because the process of improvement cripples them. Like digital cameras. Some won't buy one, because the next model will have more megapixels. Who is THAT obsessed?

    TagMan
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You and I agree on the economica analysis of one vehicle over another in purely an economic sense.

    One area where we dont agree is what is the value of certain features in one trim level over another.

    Leather over cloth
    SR over no SR
    V6 over 4c
    Hybrid over non-Hybrid

    What 'value' can you put on these subjective 'needs'?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    And this has what to do with anything. If I am going to compare car 'A' with car 'B' both will have comparatable equipment. I am not going to compare a 4 cylinder to a 6, or a stripped down one to a fully loaded one. Its never a fair comparison.

    The only time I will make comparisons like that is with in the same model car.

    Now of course since the Prius is hybrid only you can't really compare that hybrid against a non hybrid so you would have to compare it with a similar vehicle.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    What is the comparo vehicle to the Prius--a 4-door hatchback with mid-sized interior room, voice navigation, Bluetooth, SmartEntry & Start? Hint: it's not the Corolla, or Camry.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "What is the comparo vehicle to the Prius--a 4-door hatchback with mid-sized interior room, voice navigation, Bluetooth, SmartEntry & Start?"

    What if you aren't interested in voice navigation, Bluetooth, SmartEntry and Start?

    Are you saying that comparing the Prius to other mid-sized 4-door hatchbacks is not fair?

    NO cars will line up 100% feature for feature. Does that mean they can't be compared?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    First off I wouldn't get bluetooth or nav as I think they are a complete waste of money.

    So that means a four door hatchback with all the power equipment ABS brakes with compartable interior room for considerably less than 23-24K?

    Yes that can be done.

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    We aren't talking about what car YOU would buy (you've already made it clear you won't buy a hybrid). Many Prius buyers (most?) opt for the fully-loaded models with voice nav, Bluetooth, and SmartEntry & Start. You said earlier:

    If I am going to compare car 'A' with car 'B' both will have comparatable equipment. I am not going to compare a 4 cylinder to a 6, or a stripped down one to a fully loaded one. Its never a fair comparison.

    So for those people who buy a Prius with the features I listed, what is the comparo car?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    See post 4849.

    Of the three prius' that I have seen and talked to the owners of none had Nav or blue tooth

    again see post 4849

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I not only saw 4850, I typed it.

    Three cars out of 100,000 per year is hardly a representative sample.

    Anyone else have an idea what the comparable ICE vehicle would be for someone thinking about buying a well-equipped Prius?
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,805
    I not only saw 4850, I typed it

    Sorry corrected it

    Three cars out of 100,000 per year is hardly a representative sample.

    You have anything to prove otherwise?

    Again see post number 4849

    The sign said "No shoes, no shirt, no service", it didn't say anything about no pants.

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    When I was in the process of ordering a Prius (and waiting for it), I kept up with the allocations of various option packages to the Central Region. The great majority of the Priuses being shipped to dealers were the fully loaded ones, with nav, Bluetooth, SmartEntry & Start etc. So the lightly-loaded Prius I ordered took forever to get to the dealer.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "So for those people who buy a Prius with the features I listed, what is the comparo car?"

    Loaded question. You might as well list "and with a hybrid drivetrain" as a feature to 'prove' your point.

    BTW - my dad owns a Prius II. Without NAV. I've no idea if it has bluetooth. He wouldn't know what bluetooth was if it bit him in the posterior. And he didn't want to pay extra for the optional smartentry/start, but since he would have had to wait another couple of months for 'his' Prius to come in without it, he took one with it instead. He bought the Prius simply because he loves Toyotas and he loves high fuel economy cars. He didn't give a hoot if other cars would make more economical sense.

    Why are you so afraid to simply compare the Prius to other 4-door hatchbacks with comparable room? Why must you handpick two or three features (which you KNOW aren't available elsewhere) to 'prove' a point? I might as well say that the new Dodge Caliber is in a totally different class from the Prius simply because it has a chilled glovebox. Heck, you've got to step up to a Rolls or a Maybach to find another car with a chiller built into the glovebox. But I'm not going to be so obtuse as to insist the Caliber is in that class based on a single feature.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Anyone else have an idea what the comparable ICE vehicle would be for someone thinking about buying a well-equipped Prius?

    You left out a few things the Prius is for sure lacking in. Handling, moonroof, and performance. The Mazda6 Hatch has all that and satellite radio. Which I would take over a NAV any day of the week. You are under the misconception that people like the Prius because it is a Hatchback. Many people hate hatchbacks and that was a turn off. As far as bluetooth. The sooner a cell phone ban while driving, goes into affect nationwide and cops are equipped with scanners to nail people. The better off we all will be.
This discussion has been closed.