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Hybrids in the News

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  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Euro Accord "Muscle-Tec" (2003 Geneva Auto Show)

    350 HP of Hybrid (IMA) power delivered via all four wheels. The powertrain was a hybrid of...
    2.0-liter I-4 DOHC i-VTEC (200 HP)
    Electric Motors/IMA (150 HP)
  • The photo shown on the link is similar to the US Acura TSX. Definitely a compact model compared to the midsize US Accord. The TSX is listed as 200HP for a 2.4L engine. The Civic hybrid uses a 1.3L engine and is listed at 93 HP. The coming Accord hybrid has a 15HP electric motor attached to it.

    Getting 200HP on a 2L engine is possible with some modifications and add-ons. 150HP electric motors has been around for decades in various industries. These are big and heavy motors. To be able to integrate a motor (or motors) that total 150hp into a compact car is a very huge technological advancement. Equally impressive is a battery so compact that could support the power appetite of this motor. Then we factor in the weight of the motor, battery, and the really thick copper wires to support all that ampreage.

    Honda must have developed something really big in car technology 2 years ago or the article above may have been a result of misinformation.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    The 2.0-liter I-4 is the engine that Honda uses in the RSX (now rated 210 HP) and JDM Accord Euro-R (220 HP).

    As far as the electric motor is concerned, among all the high powered hybrid prototypes from Honda are concerned, this is the most powerful IMA set up. Here are the others...
    2001 Dual Note (300 HP 3.5/V6 + 100 HP IMA)
    2002 RDX (190 HP 2.4/I-4 + 60 HP IMA)
    2003 Accord Muscle-tec (200 HP 2.0/I-4 + 150 HP IMA)

    At least one of the prototypes (Dualnote/DNX) didn't use batteries, instead ultra capacitors.

    Unlike the IMA systems in production today, where an ultra-thin brushless DC motor forms a part of the engine's flywheel, these prototypes used a combination of multiple motors. In case of Dualnote, one motor tied to the engine (like typical IMA setup) and one motor each mounted in-wheel on the front axle.

    Accord Muscletec was an official entry as a concept at 2003 Geneva Autoshow, but as always, Honda mentioned it as simply a "Sport Study Model".
  • "2001 Dual Note (300 HP 3.5/V6 + 100 HP IMA)
    2002 RDX (190 HP 2.4/I-4 + 60 HP IMA)
    2003 Accord Muscle-tec (200 HP 2.0/I-4 + 150 HP IMA)
    At least one of the prototypes (Dualnote/DNX) didn't use batteries, instead ultra capacitors."


    None of those concept cars would be possible with battery as the electric storage device. For example, Accord Muscle-tec 150hp electric motor(s) will need 10 packs of Accord Hybrid battery.

    NiMH used in Prius is capable of 1.3 kW/kg. So, to make 150hp(112kW), NiMH pack would weight 190lbs(pure modules weight). This is optimistic calculation because car manufacturers do not push the battery max output. For example, Prius battery pack is really capable of making maximum of 47hp but Toyota decided to push it only up to 34hp to prolong battery life(Prius GT draws 47hp). That's why Prius' NiMH pack weight 99lbs. From that realistic calculations, a NiMH pack that can supply 150hp would weight 443lbs!

    But, you might say Honda use Ultracapacitors right? The Ultracapacitors that Honda used in their latest FCX fuel cell hybrid can output 1.5 kW/kg. That's about 15% better than Prius' NiMH. To have Ultracapacitor pack that can output 150hp, it would weight 386lbs! So, is it possible to make IMA hybrid with 150hp electric motor(s)? Yes. Is it realistic? Not yet because the pack would be too heavy and extremely expensive. That's why it is still called Concept Car.

    On the other hand, did you know that Highlander Hybrid and Lexus RX400H will have 161hp(120kW) electric motor? They only need two Prius' NiMH battery packs. To understand how this is possible, you'll need to know how HSD works.

    Dennis
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    None of those concept cars would be possible with battery as the electric storage device.

    I’m sure they had some energy storage method. And I did mention Dual note using ultra capacitors. You missed that.

    For example, Accord Muscle-tec 150hp electric motor(s) will need 10 packs of Accord Hybrid battery.

    Accord Muscle-tec should need more storage device, but your multiplication factor is intriguing to start with, rendering conclusions based off it useless.

    On a related note, FCX has a 80 HP motor.
  • "I’m sure they had some energy storage method."

    I am not so sure. Assuming they do, by the time that technology become mainstream realistically, probably so will the fuel cell. I don't see electric high power IMA hybrids any time soon.

    "your multiplication factor is intriguing"

    My bad. HAH's electric motor is 16hp, not 15hp. Accord Muscle-tec will need 9.375 packs of Accord Hybrid battery. My point is still valid.

    "On a related note, FCX has a 80 HP motor."

    Reasonable. Remember, FCX's main electricity is coming from the fuel cell stack. Ultracapacitors are there to assist for fuel cell stack start-up time and high demand acceleration. So, the 80hp electric motor is powered by both fuel cell stack and UC pack.

    Dennis
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    This gives an over view of the shortage of NiMH batteries for Hybrid vehicles.

    http://www.fuelcellsworks.com/Supppage1295.html
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Assuming they do, by the time that technology become mainstream realistically, so will fuel cell

    Fuel cell is already a reality. It is the refueling and cost aspect that are the deterrants. Here is a Honda FCX Road Test article if you'd like to read about it.

    Regarding energy storage, when you know Dualnote used ultra capacitor, you don't have to assume it did (or did not). DNX/Dualnote, BTW, was a mid-engined, four passenger sedan with three electric motors.

    My point is still valid

    You wish. Let us begin with discharge/re-charge characteristics as it relates to power demand/delivery. For that matter, let us see how your point holds up when I provide you the following specs (of a "real" hybrid car):
    ICE Power: About 500 HP
    Electric : About 150 HP

    NiMH battery pack was used for energy storage. What does your math suggest about weight of this pack? If you're wondering about the car, it happens to be the first gasoline-electric hybrid race car that participated in LeMans (1998, Panoz Q9).

    Remember, FCX's main electricity is coming from the fuel cell stack.

    And did you just assume that 150 HP (in Euro Accord concept) or 100 HP (in Dualnote) or 60 HP (in RDX) are designed to function just like they do in the current IMA offerings?
  • Toyota has also it's own version of a high performance hybrid. Check this out.

    http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/future/volta.html

    408 bph and a 0-60 mph in 4 sec.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Thanks.

    I've heard and read about Volta concept. It seems to have gotten more publicity than the Honda prototype (Dualnote) that preceded it by almost three years.

    Dualnote had 400 HP, was a 4-seater (sedan), AWD (conceptually similar to SH-AWD in RL but with electric motors sitting on the front wheels), estimated 0-60 in low 4 seconds, top speed of 186 mph, and driven via 6-speed manual transmission (switchable to 6-speed auto). So, unlike Volta, this was a sport sedan concept.

    I think the next hybrid from Honda would be the smaller (than MDX) Acura SUV to be produced in Ohio. And this could be the production version of the 2002 Acura RDX prototype. Honda has already announced production of "the smaller SUV".
  • "Fuel cell is already a reality. It is the refueling and cost aspect that are the deterrants."

    Contradictory statement. Your reality must be so different from many others. You must have millions of dollar to own FCX with solar power hydrogen generator at your home and drive no further than 80 miles radius. Let me give you a key word that we should look for; it is "mass produced".

    "when you know Dualnote used ultra capacitor, you don't have to assume it did (or did not)."

    Don't take concept car spec very seriously. Honda said so, therefore, it must be using UC right? Whether if it uses UC or not is not the issue. The issue is how large or expensive will it be? What if the whole trunk is full of UC pack? What if it UC pack only deliver 150hp for split second? Dude, lighten up!

    "What does your math suggest about weight of this pack?"

    See my previous post for the number. That is what I derived from current mass produced production hybrid car sold to the public to drive on public road for at least 150,000 miles.

    If you find a race hybrid car that is an exception, well duh! Do you know the capacity of it's battery in Amp Hour(AH)? Will the pack last 150,000 miles or just 24 hours? Many more things to consider.

    You are trying to argue that just because concept/race car can do it, it means production car must as well. A very weak argument.

    "And did you just assume that 150 HP (in Euro Accord concept).... designed to function just like they do in the current IMA offerings?"

    Yup. Honda is on their 3rd generation of IMA and their future hybrids should have similar design as well. Did you just imply that major changes need to be done in order for IMA to have high power electric motor(s)? I agree.

    Dennis
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    With regard to fuel cell technology, I mentioned excessive cost and refueling issues as deterrents towards sales to a typical car buyer, BUT this does not make fuel cell technology unrealistic. There are a few Honda FCX, certified by EPA and being used by agencies in California making it the first production fuel cell vehicle in the USA.

    By your definition, CNG powered vehicles are not a reality either! At least not until now when Civic GX finally opens up for sale at dealerships this year after years of existence as a fleet-only vehicle.

    Back to hybrid cars and technology, I will gladly dissect your conclusions that are supposed to “enlighten” me while being based on presumptions:

    Don’t take concept car spec very seriously

    Dual Note was a prototype, a step ahead of being just a concept. And I take things for what they are, sometimes to educate myself about the future. Couple of prototypes led to Insight. While I don’t expect to see Dual Note reach production as is, it tells me something (you can ignore it if it makes you uncomfortable). Don’t go on imposing your presumptions on others.

    Issue is, how large or expensive ultra capacitor will be? What if the whole trunk is full of UC pack?

    Only if you knew. Dual Note was a mid-engine sedan prototype, with a short front end. There was a reason I posted a side profile of the sedan. Except for ATTS and in-wheel electric motors at the front, the rest of the drive train sat behind the rear seat.

    Expense is another issue. UC is expected to be more expensive than batteries (BTW, how much does the battery pack in 400h cost?). The upside to UC is… it is a one time investment. So, it will make sense in upscale hybrid vehicles at least until the initial cost can come down (and eventually should), also as the technology advances. We’re already talking about cell phones using ultra capacitors instead of batteries. Honda has ventured into developing UC pack on its own, (FCX is using Honda UC pack).

    What if the UC pack only delivered 150 HP for split second?

    And what if it didn’t? Do you realize, how vague this sounds? The 100 HP in Dual Note came from three electric motors, and this wasn’t your typical IMA set up that you have seen in the three hybrids from Honda.

    That is what I derived from current mass produced production hybrid car sold to the public to drive on public road for at least 150,000 miles.

    And did you take into account current/voltage requirement based on design? Or did you assume everything based off a specific design?

    For couple of years, Honda hasn’t been shy of mentioning a hybrid vehicle for Acura, at least not since Acura RDX was revealed at 2002 NAIAS. Acura has just announced production of a smaller than MDX SUV in Ohio and rumors dominate this being the RDX. Now, this compact SUV had hybrid power in prototypical form, with two 30 HP electric motors mounted on the rear wheels.

    If this were to be true, are you suggesting that RDX will require 4.6 times (physically) larger battery pack than one used in Civic Hybrid? Yes, or No.

    Does Accord Hybrid use a 23% (physically) larger battery pack than Civic Hybrid? Yes, or No.

    If you find a race hybrid car that is an exception, well duh! Do you know the capacity of it's battery in Amp Hour(AH)? Will the pack last 150,000 miles or just 24 hours? Many more things to consider.

    Like what? The bottom line was size of battery pack. You have conveniently skipped that part. And this race car was developed in the late 90s, using NiMH technology available back then.

    You are trying to argue that just because concept/race car can do it, it means production car must as well. A very weak argument.

    A race car did it in 1998, where weight and packaging are of greater issue in a racing vehicle that weighs only 2400 lb. This is far from being a weak argument. As a matter of fact, you haven’t shown an argument in this regard at all!

    Honda is on their 3rd generation of IMA and their future hybrids should have similar design as well. Did you just imply that major changes need to be done in order for IMA to have high power electric motor(s)? I agree.

    Without major changes in an evolving technology, you cannot follow a progression needed to be competitive. In case of Toyota, do you think a major, or a minor change was involved going from Prius I to Prius II? And what about 400H. Is it going to use identical set up as Prius II? Yes, or No.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Hybrid cars 'too costly'
    18 October 2004, This Is Money
    FOUR out of five drivers would buy a 'greener' car if it was worth their while but many find the cost of new hybrid vehicles prohibitive, new research reveals.
    Although 80% of motorists know that a hybrid car could be better for the environment, people aren’t prepared to make the financial sacrifice necessary to buy one of them.
    Research from the Energy Savings Trust, a policy analysis group that promotes sustainable use of energy, shows that just 12% of drivers would change from a conventional car to a hybrid without some form of incentive.
    Richard Tarboton, head of the transport energy business unit at the EST, said: 'Road transport is the UK's second largest contributor to climate change and emissions from vehicles are not only harming our environment but also our health.
    'These results clearly show that the majority of people in the UK are starting to take these issues seriously and want to see improvements.
    'Carefully targeted financial incentives are available through our own transport energy programmes in the form of grants towards the cost of low-carbon vehicles and emissions reduction technologies.'
    The EST claims that up to 24,000 people die in the UK every year as a result of poor air quality – and it has grants available to help anyone buy a cleaner vehicle with lower levels of carbon dioxide.
    Electric hybrid vehicles are powered by a combination of petrol and electricity. They have a petrol engine and a separate electric motor powered by an energy storage device such as a battery pack. All hybrids use 'regenerative braking', which means that energy is put back into the battery when the vehicle brakes – this improves energy efficiency and reduces brake wear. Hybrid technologies improve fuel efficiency and therefore provide considerable fuel savings compared to a normal petrol vehicle.
    Current models include the Toyota Prius, Honda Insight and Honda Civic IMA.
    The disadvantage of electric hybrid vehicles is the initial purchase cost. Although running expenses are typically two-thirds of the cost of equivalent petrol-fuelled vehicles, it usually costs between £1,000-3,000 more to buy a new electric hybrid than its conventional equivalent.

    http://www.thisismoney.com/20041018/nm83628.html
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Although this is the UK view of the issue, I think it's interesting that 3 out of the 4 hybrid cars/SUVs currently for sale in the U.S. have an MSRP starting at a little over $20k, and the average price of a new car in the U.S. is $28k. That leads me to believe that people don't buy hybrids because the cost is prohibitive, but that they prefer larger vehicles to what is currently available in hybrid form. We'll see if the availability of the HAH and, next year, larger hybrid SUVs, will make a difference.
  • Getting 200HP on a 2L engine is possible with some modifications and add-ons.

    Actually Honda/Acura does it everyday in standard engines:

    Acura 2005 RSX-S 2L 210 hp
    Honda 2005 S2000 2L 240 hp

    YMMV,

     MidCow
  • The Houston Atuomobiles in Motion was an awesome car show; free admission, free parking, free lunch, free drive all sorts of cars, trucks and SUVs coming to San Antonio and Dallas soon.

    Anyway I drove a Siverado Hybrid. Very interesting the auto-stop was smooth and would shut down engine automatically. They shortened the drive shaft and inserted a MG that used electric power for up to 13 mph from three standard lead cell bateries. Above 13 mph or under heavier accerltion the ICE powers up and the MG becomes a genrator that can recharge batteries as will as supply 10Kwatts power ;tools, PCs, etc. .

    Not much improvement in mpg about 20 mpg overall (actaully pretty good for a full-sized truck).

    Built on exact same platform as normal Silverados, $2,500 option. Shortend driveshaft and 3 additioanl lead-acid batteries.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    I think the difference is in Europe they have great handling clean burning diesel cars that compete with the hybrids. The Prius is over priced for that market. I would take an Accord diesel over a Prius any day of the week. They are probably about the same price. In places like California and NY the selection of high mileage cars does not require all the fingers on one hand to count. For the richest country in the world we are deprived of a lot of decent choices in vehicles.
  • Backy,

    If Accord brings there new diesel Accord to the USA then I think Prius and other HS hybrid implementations sals and residuals will plumet. Prius serve a needs right now, abiet somewhat high priced to be a true TCO solution. but hey after the intial sunk cost (purchase price) the Prius is very economical.

    Maybe they are waiting on low sulpher regulations in USA to take effect.

    YMMV,

    MidCow
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    European market has plenty of differences from the American market. Now, in Europe (UK to be specific), Honda sells a Civic Diesel and the Civic Hybrid. The hybrid’s on-the-road price is 1000 pound higher (15.1K compared to 14.1K). Fuel economy is virtually identical (combined mileage 57.7 mpg for Hybrid, 56.5 mpg for Diesel).

    Typically, gasoline engines don’t do as well as CTD engines in terms of CO2 emissions, but in case of hybrid, it is lower (116 for hybrid versus 134 for diesel). And other emissions (that US market cares about) are much better from the hybrid.

    However, a typical European buyer has to look beyond all that. If diesel is considerably cheaper (unlike USA), small advantages (emissions and mileage) and a premium (regardless of how much it is), will not be enough to make up for it.

    Now, in the USA, we will have to wait and see how diesels are accepted, and how they perform. Hybrids will continue to keep coming, that is for sure.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I think that depends on how much the Accord diesel costs vs. hybrid options like the HAH and upcoming Camry and Altima hybrids. If there is only 1000 GBP difference between the diesel and hybrid, I can see many buyers opting for the (gas/electric) hybrid.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    If there is only 1000 GBP difference between the diesel and hybrid, I can see many buyers opting for the (gas/electric) hybrid.

    Why do you think they would pay a 1000 Pounds more if the MPG were close to equal? That is assuming all the other options were equal. That is about $1800 more with no realized gain in economy.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    If economy were everything, we'd all be driving used ECHOs I guess. $1800 would buy you extra fuel economy (compare the mpg of a diesel automatic Jetta to that of a Prius, for example, e.g. C/D's September 2004 test), quieter operation (especially when the hybrid is running on electric power only, or stopped), cleaner and less-smelly exhaust, and less fuel problems (how well does that diesel fuel flow at -30 F anyway). Toss in the $2000 Federal tax deduction, the tax breaks from some states, and HOV benes from some states and you've got a LOT of reasons to go hybrid vs. diesel.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Challenge Bibendum - where energy conservation is the goal.

    http://www.thecarconnection.com/index.asp?article=7667&sid=19- 6&n=156
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    I was thinking more the Accord diesel vs the Accord hybrid. I have never seen the challenge of a Prius to a VW Jetta TDI. The VW out handles the Prius by a very large margin. As far as diesel and the cold you know that is a simple solution of mixing #1 during the winter. I still trust the proven longevity of the diesel engines. Back to apples and apples the Accord HAH gets about 10 mpg less than it's diesel counterpart. I would think for a Brit that would be a no brainer. And according to the article that is exactly as they see it. The hybrid is over priced when you have decent choices. The US is a different story. We have very few choices when it comes to high mileage.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    I didn't know the discussion was limited to the Accord hybrid and diesel. Is the 10 mpg difference based on real-world numbers for both? I think other comparisons are valid, too, since we are talking about an article comparing the relative economy of hybrids vs. diesels, and many people compare the HCH and Prius to the Jetta/Golf diesels--as C/D did last month, and found big benefits in fuel economy for the hybrids vs. the Jetta diesel under real-world driving conditions, with the exception of highway for the HCH (43) vs. Jetta (42).
  • "Don’t go on imposing your presumptions on others."

    I am sorry if you feel that way. All you gotta say is "I disagree".

    "Couple of prototypes led to Insight."

    That's good. As you pointed out, some/most prototypes don't make it to production stage. As Dual Note concept is 4 years old already, it would be safe to say that the design was just not realistic for a production car. RIP.

    There were 7 prototypes made and test drove at least 1 million km before finalizing on 04 Prius. If you know how traditional cars are designed and tested, you'll know how much extra Toyota to get it right. It would take an ignorant to call 04 Prius a beta product.

    "UC is expected to be more expensive than batteries (BTW, how much does the battery pack in 400h cost?)."

    $0 for 400h battery pack since rumors are that Lexus is going to warrenty the pack for life time of the car. Ultracapacitors can hybrid with NiMH battery to create more synergism. All it takes is a small UC pack large enough to do 0-60mph; (guessing 150Wh, about 50W light bulb for three hours) to handle the most extreme discharge and charge cycles. This would also double NiMH battery life. I expect this solution implemented in next gen Prius if the price come down enough to do so.

    "And did you take into account current/voltage requirement based on design?"

    Current(amp) X Voltage = Watt. NiMH modules are rated to output Watt per kilogram. The world highest specific power NiMH pack is used in Prius. I used it to derive the weight from it even though I could use lower power pack from Honda but I didn't. All the hybrids on the market today(Prius,HCH,Insight,HAH,and FEH) use NiMH modules somewhere around 6-6.5 Ah. Yes, I kept that in mind when I calculated the weight.

    "Does Accord Hybrid use a 23% (physically) larger battery pack than Civic Hybrid?"

    I believe Accord Hybrid's battery pack is higher in density, so it should be a little lighter and smaller than HCH. Suggesting minor improvement in battery technology every IMA generation only helps my point. Accord muscle-tech with 150hp electric will need a over 9 times specific power breakthrough in battery or major cost reduction in UC technology. We will not see high power electric IMA any time soon.

    "The bottom line was size of battery pack. You have conveniently skipped that part."

    No, the bottom line was race car's battery don't need to deal with city driving situations so I can conveniently skip that part.

    "In case of Toyota, do you think a major, or a minor change was involved going from Prius I to Prius II? And what about 400H. Is it going to use identical set up as Prius II?"

    03' Prius to 04' Prius was a major leap in technological achievement. Conceptually, both cars operate the same way! Sure 04' got more power, more in both gas ICE and electric motor. In fact, electric motor gained more power than gas ICE becoming almost as powerful as the gas ICE. The design is very flexible and allows that kind of optimization and results speak for itself.

    For IMA, as the drivetrain power grew, the electric power lag behind gas ICE power. You can claim the next IMA will have much powerful electric motor but the track record shows otherwise. It becomes more clear that electric storage device is preventing IMA from acheiving a balance hybrid output. To change it, IMA will need to change fundamentally. Maybe become more like HSD by adapting series-parallel design as in that scooter.

    There is not much more to discuss about this. I made my points enough to pin you down. There is no need for the count down. I rest my case.

    Dennis
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    I don't think there is any real world mileage numbers for the HAH yet. The Accord diesel has been available for several months and is shown to average 52 Imperial MPG. I think that should be about 44 MPG US. The HAH is said to be 30/37 MPG EPA which is about 10 MPG less than the diesel. However I understand the HAH will probably outperform the diesel Accord. Not by enough for me to buy it over he diesel version. The diesel mileage is closer to the Prius and that I think would be the decision for buyers given those choices.

    I think people that are going for the absolute maximum mileage would buy the HCH, Insight or Jetta TDI with a manual transmission. I believe the tests were run with Automatics. Many people are getting 50-60 mpg and more with a manual transmission in all 3 of those vehicles.
  • "I think the difference is in Europe they have great handling clean burning diesel cars that compete with the hybrids. The Prius is over priced for that market. I would take an Accord diesel over a Prius any day of the week."

    Did you know that Accord Diesel is slower than Prius? They cost about the same. Accord Diesel get less mpg than Prius as well(go check on honda europse site). Sure it meets Euro4 but Accord Diesel is not clean enough to bring it over to US. HAD does not meet US emission standard that is already in effect.

    Dennis
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,158
    Did you know that Accord Diesel is slower than Prius?

    Your making a joke right? The Accord diesel is a 9 second 0-60 car easily. With 130 mph top speed. It has a combined mileage of 44 MPG US and far exceeds the handling of the Prius. The only reason they are not importing them is the ignorant regulations that CARB sets for CA. They easily pass current EPA standards for diesel cars.
This discussion has been closed.