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Hybrids - Long On Mileage, Short On Soul

13

Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    Or, it could be that Honda went proactive and adopted what could be the new EPA standard next year(?).

    That is what I am thinking took place. I imagine the actual will now be as good or better than the EPA estimates. If you look at all the Honda cars they seem closer to the EPA estimates than comparable Toyota cars. Again I am only checking 2006 models as that is what are being sold now.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    If you look at all the Honda cars they seem closer to the EPA estimates than comparable Toyota cars.

    I have noticed that too, in person, and in reviews.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,816
    "Honda probably "adjusted" the EPA estimate for its Hybrid to what people were actually receiving, as opposed to blindly following EPA standards."

    Lets hope not, they would be liable for millions of dollars in fines and penalties.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    EPA estimates anyway. I used to think it was an average between city and highway mileage but the first time I tried that I realized it was something else all together. I also realized that when I was commuting to LA from Riverside most of my mileage was highway so my reported average mileage would have been higher.

    When I had my old Saturn SC-1 I would get 39-40 MPG on trips up to the Bay area from OC when taking my Sister up there to visit friends. And that was with three people in the car. No where on the sticker did the SC-1 list 40 MPG.

    The only Hybrid that has totally impressed me with fuel mileage has been the Insight. Highway mileage on that car is truly impressive. But I am not a city dweller nor do I spend a lot of time driving in a large metropolitan area. I would bet for people living in such large Cities as LA, or NYC would find them useful. But for that they could have jumped on the Electric bandwagon and burned no fuel. Toyota RAV4 electrics would have been a true green machine for city living.
    (rant alert) :mad:
    To get on my soap box for a second that has always been a gripe of mine. The greenies have jumped on the compromise the auto industry offered and allowed the totally non polluting vehicles to fall by the wayside. I know the hybrids beat a sharp stick in the eye but they are "exactly" what the manufacturers offered California when CARB first came up with the idea of non polluting vehicles over 30 years ago. CARB insisted on vehicles that were totally green by 2001 or so and the manufacturers offered hybrids. CARB rejected that idea and 30 years later we have the manufacturers producing hybrids and Toyota, Ford, and GM have stopped offering any electric car. It simply goes to my assertion that CARB is staffed with political appointees that haven't a clue. It would be just as well if the EPA took over and CARB was abolished.

    (end of rant) :cry:
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    they would be liable for millions of dollars in fines and penalties.
    Why would they be?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    According to the EPA only 15% of the cars are tested by the government. The rest are tested by the manufacturer to EPA standards. It would be easy to fudge slightly either direction and still be in the loose parameters set out by the EPA. Honda wants credibility and opted to the lower figures. Toyota?????

    Ford is also closer to reality on their hybrids than Toyota/Lexus.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Explain more precisely please.

    The EPA tests are clear and published. If anyone wants they can get the testing parameters and drive according to the EPA standards. If you do this you will get EPA figures. I've done it.

    As a matter of fact I can take any ICE or hybrid and closely replicate the EPA tests and obtain the same or better FE values than what is reported on the stickers.

    Again using Greenhybrid's data as a measuring stick it confirms nearly all the individual reports and actual comparison tests done.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    Explain more precisely please.

    I wrote to the EPA and their response was that 85% of all models are tested by the manufacturers. Using the parameters published by the EPA. They would not give any information as to which vehicles they actually tested. That leaves room for error. Like maybe that car was slightly better than the average etc etc. According to greenhybrid records of individual cars, the 537 Prius II owners posting averaged 47.5 MPG combined. That is about 14% off of the 55 MPG combined that the EPA estimated or that Toyota estimated using the EPA prescribed tests.

    We have hashed this all out before. The bottom line is Honda cars in real life get closer to the EPA estimates than Toyota Cars overall. Draw your own conclusions.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Here is a good measuring stick as to how EPA Estimate (Overall), EPA Observed (Reported) and GreenHybrid.Com (Reported) numbers stack up for various hybrids:

    Honda Insight CVT
    EPA Estimate: 56.0 mpg
    EPA Reported: NA
    GreenHybrid : 54.0 mpg (-2 mpg/ 96% of the estimate)

    Honda Civic CVT (2006)
    EPA Estimate: 50.0 mpg
    EPA Reported: 45.8 mpg (-4.2 mpg/92% of the estimate)
    GreenHybrid : 45.7 mpg (-4.3 mpg/91% of the estimate)

    Honda Accord 5AT (2005)*
    EPA Estimate: 32.0 mpg
    EPA Reported: 28.5 mpg (-3.5 mpg/89% of the estimate)
    GreenHybrid : 29.4 mpg (-2.6 mpg/92% of the estimate)

    Note: Honda revised the fuel economy estimate for 2006 Accord Hybrid. The new EPA Estimate: 28.0 mpg, which is about what people have reported to EPA (28.5 mpg), and 1.4 mpg less than what people at GreenHybrid have reported.

    Toyota Prius II
    EPA Estimate: 55.0 mpg
    EPA Reported: 47.9 mpg (-7.1 mpg/87% of the estimate)
    GreenHybrid : 47.5 mpg (-7.5 mpg/86% of the estimate)

    Toyota Highlander FWD
    EPA Estimate: 30.0 mpg (2006)
    EPA Reported: 26.0 mpg (-4.0 mpg/87% of the estimate)
    GreenHybrid : 23.6 mpg (-6.4 mpg/79% of the estimate)

    Hondas have delivered closer to the EPA estimate as opposed to the Toyotas.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Honda Accord 5AT (2005)*
    EPA Estimate: 32.0 mpg
    EPA Reported: 28.5 mpg (-3.5 mpg/89% of the estimate)
    GreenHybrid : 29.4 mpg (-2.6 mpg/92% of the estimate
    ) 29.1 mean ..small diff

    Toyota Highlander FWD
    EPA Estimate: 30.0 mpg (2006)
    EPA Reported: 26.0 mpg (-4.0 mpg/87% of the estimate)
    GreenHybrid : 23.6 mpg (-6.4 mpg/79% of the estimate)
    25.6 mean ..more of a difference
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    I suppose that with all the cars converging to mere transportation appliances in the near future, I would consider a hybrid, if they could get one with four real seats to do an honest 50 mpg plus in everyday driving. But NOT with an auto or a CVT. If it doesn't have a stick, I aint buying. Which is what I am sure will keep me out of hybrids for the remainder of my driving life.

    After I lose my battle with the stars over the extermination of the manual transmission, I am going to wage a new battle on the growing obesity of the fleet. Hybrids are all guilty in this regard - we so desperately need better battery technology.

    My desire for light cars that still feel connected to the road without 26 electronic aids and filters in between my hands and the pavement will probably limit my future purchases to small cheap cars, and likely not a hybrid in the bunch. :-/

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

  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    What is the future engine ?

    A DOD, Hybrid, Bio-Diesel that runs on Ethanol, Hydrogen, or McDonalds Grease. What's next, "Mr. Fusion" from back the future, where you can throw in a banana peels and a 1/4 full miller high life can :surprise:

    Rocky
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    the self-appointed "experts" claim that HCCI is the future engine. But it won't be ready for some time.

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

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    It comes from no "self appointed experts". The link...

    ...Significant Progess on HCCI Engine...

    Rumor was that Honda will showcase an HCCI engine prototype sometime this year.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    when I said "self-appointed experts" I was referring to folks just like the ones that wrote that article. Obviously, no-one can reliably predict the future. But this looks to be a big step forward for Honda on its hybrids. I hope they really can bring it to market in a year.

    I am never one to get too enthusiastic about learning the technical details of every new powertrain that comes down the pike, but I think of HCCI as being sort of like a diesel engine, but using gasoline as the fuel, with a massive consequent reduction in NOx emissions.

    And it uses no spark plugs. If we hadn't already said bye-bye to the tune-up pretty much, we certainly will when/if HCCI becomes widespread.

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

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I won't use the word "self appointed experts" because HCCI is being developed by a lot of companies. Certainly doesn't guarantee itself as THE design of the future, but then, nothing does.

    BTW, HCCI is, at least in theory, said to be able to run on gasoline as well as diesel, bio etc. The design concepts certainly look like a diesel engine's, and if high rpm operation is a challenge, it may certainly hold more promise with hybrid implementation (Toyota and Ford ICE with hybrid technology aren't really designed to work at high rpm either).
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    The '07 Lexus LS 600 hL exhibited at the New York International Auto Show is interesting and impressive, for sure, but its weight and complexity are strong negatives for me.
  • rockyleerockylee Wyoming, MichiganPosts: 13,989
    It will be Hott !!!!! I am a GM car guy for sure, but respect the technology and even more so the gadgetology of the LS 600 ;) WOW ! :shades:

    Rocky
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    "V-12 performance with V-8 fuel economy"? Heavy weight is probably OK in a car like this, but it sure would have been nice if they could have lightened it by half a ton and achieved the performance and fuel economy increases without the hybrid powertrain, eh?

    We have yet to see how true these claims by Toyota really are. They made similar claims for the GS450H, and it seems it isn't much faster than the GS430 gas, nor does it do much better than that model in fuel economy. These are only short-term tests so far though - I would like to see one of those 12-month tests where they average fuel economy over a large period of time/number of miles.

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

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,056
    nor does it do much better than that model in fuel economy.

    I don't think Lexus and economy have anything in common. That includes all the Lexus hybrids. If you spend $50k to $100k for a vehicle, cost of gas is of little importance.

    PS
    I think Lexus is trying to break into the High end Luxury car market without having to build an engine that is competitive.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    well, very true, very true. For some time now, Toyota has been saying that the Lexus hybrids will strictly be for performance and not for gas savings, which makes it slightly confusing when they include the part about "...with V-8 fuel economy..." in their promotional stuff.

    But they already have a V-12 engine, which they are proposing to put in their new $100K+ sports car, and perhaps another model too, so it's not like they don't want to build larger engines. I think they are trying to hold to some sense of environmental responsibility, but it is stretching it when they are already producing these large V-8s for the Lexus line (the new one for the LS to be a 5.0). That's not that good for the environment any way you cut it. I applaud the intent, but the execution doesn't really match it.

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

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    It'll be interesting to see if the Honda CR-Z, which may be the spiritual successor of the CRX, will be the first production hybrid that's fun to drive. Sportiness plus good fuel economy should be a winning combination, and attract imitators.
  • corvettecorvette United StatesPosts: 4,182
    That and the new Insight intrigue me, although I doubt if the new Insight will be fun to drive.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    Yes, the new Insight interests me too, based on what I've read.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    Cars do not have soul anyway. They are machines and if one is designed simply for mileage that is what they should do best. To the driver that admires hyper mileage above hyper road holding a hybrid has more soul than a Porsche. Only the buyer has Soul. Unless the car is made in Korea. ;)
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    "Cars do not have soul anyway."

    It depends on how you define the term. Of course cars don't have soul in the human sense. Following that definition, music doesn't have soul either, but the word has more than one application.

    In an automotive sense, a car that's a bit unique in the way it drives and responds, as opposed to generic, and one that has some character and is engaging to drive, can be described as having soul. Cars that drive like appliances, than deliver a bland driving experience, may have many positive attributes, but soul isn't one of them.

    The capital of South Korea is Seoul.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,750
    "The capital of South Korea is Seoul."
    Hence the wink.

    Soul is totally subjective and if the greatest joy a person can have is better fuel mileage hybrids can have that subjective soul.

    Still there are no anthropomorphic qualities to cars. They are tools and nothing more. A car that had this elusive "soul" 20 years ago would either lack all of that "soul' or acquire character. My old Sprite might have had soul by some subjective qualification but what was it? Does skid pad holding ability equal soul? Slalom speeds? Race track credibility? Or the fact that one individual simply likes the way their car drives? No, it is nothing more than an attempt by some to give a reason why they like one vehicle over another. But it doesn't exist for the car without the driver.

    The musical instrument doesn't have soul the human playing the music can impart something we call soul. Lucile in my hands has no soul, but for BB King? Cars are the same.

    To someone from green peace a Prius would maybe show soul but to them a Porsche would be a soulless as a SUV.
  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,255
    edited September 2010
    The CRX had soul while the CR-V is an appliance, trying to masquerade as a, a, a. Just what does is the CR-V?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,331
    edited September 2010
    the CR-Z will offer a 6 speed manual transmission, so I'm told---now that's something unique to hybrids as we know them.

    Arguing about "soul" in a car would leave us all breathless but unfulfilled; however, it would be disingenuous to suggest that once around a high speed track in a professionally-driven Ferrari at 180 mph would be no different than in a Prius at a shopping mall, or that the sound of the V-12 engine right behind your head wouldn't have *some* titillating effect on most sentient beings. After all, in a Ferrari the engine vibrations and sounds are actually working your whole body over. Ferraris get into your brain :shades:

    I've been reading some auto journalists from Japan who complain that "most" Japanese buyers these days have no real interest in cars anymore---the vast majority view them as appliances.

    Essentially, what they are telling us is that Japanese automakers look to the USA to market their "interesting" cars, not to the domestic market.

    If it hasn't been mentioned before, the main accomplishment of the Tesla, aside from burning up huge amounts of capital and showing no profits whatsoever, was to demonstrate that an alternative energy vehicle need not a) be boring or b) look boring.

    To my mind, one of the main handicaps at the present time for hybrids is that they are either a) homely or b) indistinguishable from a regular vehicle.

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