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Hybrids in the News

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Comments

  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    My personal guess is that the hybrid revolution will start to lose some steam. Partly due to currently dropping gas prices but to a smaller extent the realization that a dual (ICE/electric) system may not be the cleanest solution. Most hybrid enthusiasts are aware of the resurgence in EV interest. IMO, this actually works against hybrids. People that were entertaining the idea of buying a hybrid might now be thinking, lets go all the way with an EV. There really aren't any mainstream EVs available right now but it could instill a temporary paralysis in terms of making the buying decision. My prediction is that hybrids will remain popular for the next few years but the growth in popularity will slow.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    It would be interesting if the demand for hybrids completely disappeared. That would represent a major misstep for Toyota, a company which seemed incapable of being so wrong. Regardless of the future for hybrids their existence up to this point has advanced some worthwhile technologies that will endure.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Toyota Increase Prius Production

    Toyota Prius Production Increased By 50%

    TOKYO, Sept 22, 2006; Reuters reported that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to increase production of its popular Prius hybrid cars in Japan to 300,000 units in 2007, a rise of 50 percent, business daily Nihon Keizai reported on Friday.

    Japan's top auto maker dominates the market for hybrid cars, which twin a conventional engine with an electric motor to improve mileage, and is keen to spread the system as the main alternative to today's internal combustion engines.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Very encouraging. :)
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Since the volumeis increasing ( For reference; Prius production ) why would you suppose that hybrids might suddenly dissappear? Do they annoy you so much that you want to do away with them?

    While Toyota's and Honda's are noted for the engineering and production efficiencies and reliability.... the marketing arms of each might be the best part of each company. There are marketing segments each has been supplying that no one new existed. Some vehicle makers, now 10+ years later, are just beginning to supply these 'newly discovered' segments.

    Examples are plenty but just for one:
    Toyota's hybrid vehicles - as a brand - are nearly as large as the entire Mazda line or VW. With the growth of the TCH it may pass both and maybe even BMW.

    Ditto the Scion line possibly.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I agree, not to mention the entries this year and next from GM/Saturn, Nissan and Honda. Even Ford, has plans for more if they don't merge with GM, I suppose.

    You just cannot post here or in Electric Vehicle Pros & Cons without being ridiculed or being personally attacked by the two or three EV zealots who are seemingly always at hand, waiting to pounce and agressively challenge anyone suggesting merit in any other technology.

    It just drives people away... :(
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    In the first 8 months of this year, 168810 hybrid vehicles were sold in the US market.
    Pretty soon it will touch the 2005 tally of 205,000. Gas prices generally fall in
    Fall, but will increase again in winter.

    Last year Chinese bought 6 million vehicles, this year they will buy 7 million +. As
    they keep buying more, the gas prices will definitely go up.

    Even if they go down, automakers could remove some extras and price the hybrids at
    a slightly lower price.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,785
    "Very encouraging. "

    Indeed, the price of the Prius is going to plummet (driving resale values down), as they produce more units.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Economically, that just isn't in the cards, IMO.

    All automobiles depreciate in the same way, no matter what you pay for them. You cannot look at a car's depreciation in the same way as one does most anything else. They are not investments. ;)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,785
    "All automobiles depreciate in the same way, no matter what you pay for them. You cannot look at a car's depreciation in the same way as one does most anything else. They are not investments."

    I don't think you understoold my point. When the big 3 were offering their incentives last year, the resale value of their vehicles that people were trying to sell or trade took a big hit. It is always true that when vehicles are sold at a "discount", the used models of that vehicle will sell for less as used vehicles. It is all a matter of perception. I'm not talking about the new vehicles depreciating, I'm talking about used models being worth less. The whole point was that if newer hybrids are selling for a lot less due to over production (for the market forces), then those people who own hybrids now - and who think they will get top used dollar (because they can get good money now if they sell, while the hybrids are popuar and not as widely available), will be in for a surprise at sell/trade-in time.

    It's not a matter of the way it depreciates, it is the public perception. Used car prices are largely driven by what the public will pay. When the public sees large discounts, they are willing to pay less for a used model of the same vehicle.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Yes, I understand your point, and accept it as valid for the argument/point you were making. :)

    However, I repeat: "You cannot look at a car's depreciation in the same way as one does most anything else. They are not investments.".

    Most investments of capital appreciate. And we know that going into them. Automobiles, except for collector items, depreciate, and we know that going into the deal. So while insofar as your point is concerned, it was kind of a oxymoron to say it, as every auto purchase loses money from the moment you sign the contract.

    That was my thinking in terms of what I posted, but I do know some will have more of a loss than they anticipated. Caveat Emptor! ;)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    CALI legislators need to practice their preaching

    GAS GUZZLERS IN THE CAPITAL
    GLOBAL WARMING: Governor, lawmakers don't exactly practice what they preach

    Matthew Yi, Greg Lucas, Chronicle Sacramento Bureau Chronicle Political Writer

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    (09-26) 04:00 PDT Sacramento -- Despite their outspoken support for landmark legislation to fight global warming, Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and some of the leading Democratic lawmakers who voted for the measure still use gas-guzzling vehicles for official state business.

    Schwarzenegger, who is expected to sign the legislation on Wednesday at a ceremony in San Francisco, typically is escorted by the California Highway Patrol's security detail in a massive 2005 Ford Excursion that gets less than 11 miles per gallon, according to an evaluation by Consumerguide.com.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Automobiles used for security purposes are a cheap shot. Like if they used a Prius the global environment would be helped so much! :P

    You are talking about an automobile with Steel plating, etc.

    Politicians are elected to represent all of the people in their jurisdiction. They are not elected to set examples. If you think they are, please provide the applicable citation from the Constitution. ;)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Hey, it's our tax money. We should get to tell THEM which vehicles to spend tax money on. (Californians that is)

    If the Governator is going to be such a Ra-Ra anti-Global-Warming sort guy, which is fine with me, then he needs to start at the state fleet and start buying more efficient vehicles, including hybrid SUVs.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,785
    "If the Governator is going to be such a Ra-Ra anti-Global-Warming sort guy, which is fine with me, then he needs to start at the state fleet and start buying more efficient vehicles, including hybrid SUVs."

    The Governator recently sold his Hummers, which is his personal statement. Only an idiot would over-ride his security chief's vehicle selection.

    Maybe we should load up the Prius with armor plate and bulletproof glass? Then it would work - but that would use up the vehicle carrying load, and the car would just sit there instead of being able to actually do anything.

    I'm just surprised that the Excursions weren't ordered with diesel engines, which would have given about 40% better MPG. :blush:
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    I would imagine the expenses of an assination, the resulting investigations, trials and the rest, would exceed any savings made in using other than armor plated vehicles, like EV's or green cars, no :confuse:

    This isn't a political forum, so we shouldn't be posting political comments. If people actually read the Constitution, they would find the United States isn't a Democracy, and it was never intended to be one. We are a Republic, which means we elect officials to exercise their own judgment on issues, not ours. If we don't like their judgments, we don't re-elect them. ;)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote stevedebi: "I'm just surprised that the Excursions weren't ordered with diesel engines, which would have given about 40% better MPG."

    Surprised, Why? Diesel is "fossil fuel NON GRATA" in California, dontcha know?

    As far as 'armor plated SUVs' go, well, a Highlander Hybrid can be armourized. So that's not a good argument for allowing government waste.

    And even, let's say, if certain officials, by the nature of security, are REQUIRED to drive SUVs - there are WAYS to get them up to 25 and 35 MPG. One group of scientists took a Ford Exploder up to almost 40 MPG with about $3400 in mods.

    Even if there are good reasons for keeping a few SUV HOGS in the fleet, there is no good reason to buy non-hybrid cars for the part of the fleet which can be a CAR.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "... there is no good reason to buy non-hybrid cars for the part of the fleet which can be a CAR."

    Sure there is; pure economics would be one reason.

    Now, before you jump down my throat, I'm NOT SUGGESTING that current purchase decisions by the government ARE made on a pure economics basis. That's OBVIOUSLY not the case.

    I'm just saying that, IF you wanted a valid reason to not buy a hybrid (assuming a hybrid met the remaining specifications for that job), then purchase/operating/maintenance cost might reveal a 'better' choice.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    So far, every news story I have seen has said that any town or taxi company fleet which has bought a lot of hybrid cars have been pleased with them and pleased with the mileage and with the REDUCED MAINTENANCE costs and the REDUCED FUEL COSTS.

    Remember - these municipalities and private companies are not buying $28K Priuses - they are buying close to the base model.

    It takes longer to recoup the added hybrid costs over, say the Caprice it replaced, but they ARE going to recoup the added cost. Just ask 'em.... :D

    And pollute far less in the meantime, and repair cars far less in the meantime also.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "It takes longer to recoup the added hybrid costs over, say the Caprice it replaced, but they ARE going to recoup the added cost."

    Believe it or not, but the role of a LOT of vehicles purchased by various government agencies could be filled by something like a Toyota Yaris or even a lowly Kia Rio. And from a pure ECONOMICS standpoint, it becomes more difficult to recommend a Prius (even given it's fuel savings) over something like a 4-dr Yaris.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Well in spite of the expressed rancor, are you aware that California is among the top five, of all 50 States, in buying alternative fueled vehicles for their fleet :confuse:

    ISSUED JANUARY 31, 2006:

    "The Department of General Services, State of California, (DGS) is issuing this Vehicle Purchase and Lease Policy as part of the State’s efforts to meet ambient air quality standards, reduce the State fleet’s petroleum use and impact on the environment, and control statewide fleet costs. This policy applies to the purchase and lease of light-duty (under 8,500 pounds gross-vehicle-weight rating) alternative fuel, gasoline, hybrid-electric, sport utility, and four-wheel drive vehicles.

    As required by the Federal Energy Policy Act (EPAct) of 1992, 75 percent
    of the State’s light-duty vehicle purchases must be Alternative Fuel Vehicles
    (AFVs).
    A listing of all AFVs on the State’s vehicle master contract can be viewed at: http://www.pd.dgs.ca.gov/contracts/vehicles.htm
    To the maximum extent practicable, each State office, agency, and department that has bi-fuel natural gas and bi-fuel propane vehicles in its fleet shall use the respective alternative fuel in those vehicles.

    After having met the Federal EPAct mandate, all gasoline-powered light-duty sedans purchased or leased by State offices, agencies, and departments must be at a minimum certified to the California Air Resources Board’s (CARB) LEV II Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) standards. Light-duty pickups, vans, and sport utility vehicles must be at a minimum certified to the CARB’s LEV l ULEV standards or equivalent. Offices, agencies, and departments shall, when available, maximize the purchase or lease of available vehicles that meet or exceed California’s LEV ll Super-Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) passenger vehicle standards for exhaust emissions and maximize the purchase or lease of hybrid vehicles that are substantially more fuel efficient. To view a listing of vehicles meeting these requirements, please refer to: http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/ccvl/ccvl.htm

    The Vehicle Purchase and Lease Policy does not apply to authorized emergency or law enforcement vehicles that are equipped with emergency lighting per California Vehicle Code, Section 25252.

    The DGS, Office of Fleet Administration (OFA) will review any exception or exemption request to this Policy and assist offices, agencies, and departments with vehicle purchases and leases. All vehicle acquisition requests must be submitted on an OFA 160, Vehicle Acquisition Request Form. For a copy of the OFA 160 Form, please refer to: http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/ofa/forms/ofa160.pdf


    See also THIS LINK for information about the Court validating the South Coast Air Management Agency's very strict fleet rules.

    Seems as though our neighbors in California, being pushed by the Governator, are indeed leading the nation in the purchase and use of AFV's. :)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    So even the most 3rd environmentally alert fleet can be improved....Great news !!!
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "75 percent
    of the State’s light-duty vehicle purchases must be Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs). A listing of all AFVs on the State’s vehicle master contract can be viewed at: http://www.pd.dgs.ca.gov/contracts/vehicles.htm "


    Did you even look at the list of AFVs?

    I did; the list for Alternative Fueled/Flex Fueled Vehicles and Trucks consists of: E85 compatible Chevy Impala, Chevy Tahoe, and Chevy Silverado. That's it. Now, ask gagrice how many E85 stations are in California?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,900
    E85 in CA. Still just the one retail outlet in San Diego. E85 going for $3.30. There are 3 private E85 locations on Federal property. I wonder if they let the state of CA have free E85 for being so environmentally astute. With all the noise about flex fuel vehicles and ethanol, you would think that some station in CA would take the handout from Uncle Sam.

    What's in Your State? I see there are none in Phoenix where they need to clean up the air.

    http://www.e85refueling.com/
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Yes, and I actually read the list of what they have bought.

    It would have shown you those vehicles are specialty items, used by the Department of Water Resources which maintains back-woods dam's and other distribution properties, as well as Fish & Game, lol. We all need to get out of the "gotcha" mind-set. The vast majority of them are normal, LEV's. ;)

    Everyone, just try to be happy and positive about what steps they are taking. What they are doing is 100% more than the majority of States and Countries throughout the world. :)

    I do believe the Dept of General Services also has an E-85 station in Sacramento now, as well.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    I must be confused (go figure).

    Wasn't your initial post mostly to the effect that the State of California was mandating that 75% of their light-duty vehicle purchases MUST be AFV's? I mean, that is the part you bolded and underlined.

    All I did was look at the link provided to see the list of the AFVs on the State's vehicle master contract. When I did so, the only vehicles I see are the Chevy E85 compatible vehicles I mentioned earlier.

    Here's the pertinent page:

    http://www.documents.dgs.ca.gov/pd/contracts/vehicles/altfuelspecs.htm

    Which I interpret to mean that 75% of the State's light-duty vehicle purchases must be Chevy E85 compatible Impalas, Tahoes, and Silverados.

    Am I missing something?

    "Everyone, just try to be happy and positive about what steps they are taking."

    Well, I'm sure they ARE doing something. But your post was regarding AFVs, which in reality are nothing but (from what I can tell) E85-compatible vehicles. And it's difficult to take seriously that this means they are 'doing something' when there are but a mere handful of E85 stations in California.

    Why not simply mandate that the California fleet mileage must be 'x' mpg? In essence, enact their OWN CAFE standards which, as purchaser, the State would have to meet?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    They did mandate lots of things, including fuel economy.

    I will have to search through the history from home for all the links, or you could just rummage around like I did. :)
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    The state of California is going to sue all the major auto manufacturers for the damage their CO2 emitting vehicles have caused. I've read several stories on this and there is no mention of suing the people actually buying and driving these vehicles. For the sake of argument let's assume that the CO2 being generated by automobiles is a big contributer to global warming. Why wouldn't you go after the people burning the gas? Its comparable to going after a gun manufacturer but assigning no blame to the shooter. Or stating that its not your fault for being fat, it's the fault of McDonalds and Burger King. IMO, a fairly transparent political stunt.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    Simple -

    Sue the ones with the money. Afterall, as individuals, the consumer simply CAN'T be held accountable....we've all been brainwashed, remember? Even those California state legislators driving Expeditions, Suburbans, and Navigators aren't responsible for their own actions.

    I'm waiting for the State to sue all the oil companies next for making that heathen gasoline available at too cheap of a price.....
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Well, think about it....

    Suing automobile manufacturers seems a stunt, but who could have honestly predicted 30 years ago that cigarette manufacturers would successfully be sued for making a health hazard, since we all knew they were bad for us! :P
This discussion has been closed.