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Hybrids the Real Payback

eaaeaa Posts: 30
edited April 5 in Honda
I save on my 2003 HCH by getting 60+ mpg drivin smart, little brake wear, less oil changes with factory recommended 10,000 miles and less time stopped at gas stations.
The cleaner air doesn't pay me directly but is precious, the reduced imported terrorist oil for oil changes and gas fill ups is priceless. The encouragement to Honda to make EVen better hybrids is paying for Everyone. Each new model gets better. Just like PCs and Cell phones we will soon get 100+ mpg and never need oil changes.
Whats the payback on big fancy RIMS ? On leather seats ? On a monster sterio on a fancy paint job etc. Hybrid really pay off every mile.
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Comments

  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    You have missed the point.

    If there is a hybrid and a non-hybrid model the payback between the two in gas savings alone is over 100,000 miles. If you are buying a hybrid for TCO then the payback just isn't there.

    Read the other discussions in the hybrid fourms. It has already been discussed and rediscussed ad infinitum.

    When you are looking at payback you need to make sure what you are comparing ;) And I agree there really is no payback on big fancy RIMS or leather either but what is the payback difference between a hybrid and an ICE both with leather and both with big fancy RIMS ?

    The payback vaiable under considertion (normally) is the cost savings between a Hybrid and a gas only(ICE) with the EXACT same features? Otherwise why not compare the savings on a Mercedes CDI compared to a Corolla to a Lotus Elise ?

    However, if you are a "green weenie" the hybrids have less emissions and that is the way to go, even though right now it is like spitting in the ocean.

    Cheers,

    MidCow
  • ny1911ny1911 Posts: 11
    Last night's episode tooled on hybrid owners...very funny. Cities that went to hybrids replaced their cloud of smog with a cloud of smug.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    I am not sure of whether to laugh or cry when the most profound philosophy and knowledge no longer comes from the News media, but rather from Simpsons, Southpark and Dilbert.

    Cheers,

    MidCow
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    However, if you are a "green weenie" the hybrids have less emissions and that is the way to go, even though right now it is like spitting in the ocean.

    I consider myself green - in fact I am carless by choice. But I have always been skeptical of hybrids.

    I wonder if you saw the articles on research done by CNW Marketing, of Oregon. CNW set up a green energy scale that considers such factors as energy used to make the vehicle, energy to run and maintain the vehicle, and energy to recylce the vehicle.

    As it happens, the number one vehicle is a Toyota, but not the one hybrid denziens would expect. Indeed, the Scion XB won out, not the Prius.

    Some other interesting tidbits: the Accord hybrid is more energy expensive than the standard Accord. The lighter weight metals and the recylcing costs of batteries pushed it over the scale.

    The energy cost of working light weight metals cannot be overlooked. The new Honda Civic, with all its aluminum alloys actually will use more energy in its life time than the Hummer H3, which is primarily composed of heavy - but energy cheap - steel.

    I suppose the one trade off from a solely US point of view would be that the Japanese are the ones using the energy to make the hybrids. True greens should think beyond their borders, however.
  • ny1911ny1911 Posts: 11
    If you're gonna get bias, you might as well laugh in the process...;)
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    logic1 said:

    "I consider myself green - in fact I am carless by choice. But I have always been skeptical of hybrids. "

    So the real question, if you are truly GREEN, do you mow your lawn and grass borders with a non-gas push mower ?

    LOL "carless by choice on an auto forum??",

    MidCow
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    So the real question, if you are truly GREEN, do you mow your lawn and grass borders with a non-gas push mower ?

    What green space is attached to my residence is all short growth native species that needs neither cutting, fertilizer, nor watering.

    LOL "carless by choice on an auto forum??"

    I am interested in all forms of transportation.

    As it happens, bike forums get cluttered with parts geeks and fanatics who cannot accept for the time being at least that bikes share the roads with cars. They tend to be tedious.

    The few mass transit forums there are can be good fun.
  • midnightcowboymidnightcowboy Posts: 1,978
    I have several carbon fiber bikes! Har to ride 22 miles to work on expressways though!

    Ride-on,

    MidCow
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    A fellow rider. Cool!

    I am lucky enough that I can take the mass transit to work. I have a Cannondale hybrid that I use for shopping and stuff on the weekends. I also have an Independent Fabrications for touring.

    Going back to my point above about energy costs making light weight materials, carbon fiber is one light weight material that does not use a huge amoung energy to make or work.

    As you no doubt are well aware, at present Cfiber is $$$. Maybe as production costs come down, it will find its way into more econo cars, making them greener to build as well as drive.
  • transpowertranspower Posts: 185
    Wow, I haven't been on this forum for many months--it's sure gotten hot in the past few days.

    I'm very happy with my 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid 4WD, getting 26 to 32 mpg, depending on conditions. I estimate the payback (in comparison with a 2008 Mercury Mariner Premier 4WD) to be approximately 6 years. I usually keep my vehicles for 7 years, so it was a go for me.

    One point missing in the posts above is that in full hybrids the Atkinson cycle is used, not the Otto cycle. The Atkinson cycle features complete (or nearly complete) expansion of the mixure during the power stroke, unlike the Otto cycle (where the expansion and compression strokes are the same length). Technically, in current engines the Atkinson effect is achieve by keeping the intake valve open for part of the compression stroke, thereby decreasing the compression stroke in comparison with the expansion stroke--hence the greater efficiency of the Atkinson cycle. There results, however, a slight loss of power and a slight increase in noise (as some of the gas is blown back to the manifold), compared with a similar-sized Otto cycle engine.

    At constant speed on an inter-state highway, a hybrid will do better than a similar-sized non-hybrid because a) the Atkinson cycle is more efficient than the Otto cycle and b) the CVT is used to place the engine in its most efficient band of rpm--more so than a regular automatic transmission can (although a "tall" overdrive gear helps here).

    Another thing that helps everyone, hybrid or non-hybrid owner alike, on the inter-states: drafting close a large 18-wheeler. This will increase your fuel economy by at least 1 mpg!
  • I wonder if anyone can explain this one. Currently, all available gas/electric hybrids have a gas engine with a conventional transmission and accessories - a very complicated and expensive setup.

    The sensible arrangement would be to have a system, as used and fully proven for many decades in railway locomotives, whereby the gas engine is used soley as a generator. You then get the great benefit of electric propulsion without the need for elaborate transmissions and duplicated systems.

    I believe the auto industry has conned the car buying public into believing that hybrids are necessarily more complex, and therefore expensive than conventional vehicles. Transmission manufacturers obviously have a great vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and the prospect of electric propulsion motors, lasting at least twice as long as their gas counterparts must also worry the manufacturers.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    It is really quite simple. The more parts to break the more to replace. Once they get you past the 36k mile warranty it is a money making machine for Toyota. Kind of like the cheap printers we buy. It is the ink cartridges that pay the bills.

    There are probably a 100 sensors in the Prius. If each one costs about $600 to replace. Looks like a gold mine in the making just a few years down the road.

    PS
    Welcome to the Forum
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    It is a fallacy of economics, to believe it is "profitable" for any automobile manufacturer to want more parts, and to make money on repairs. It actually works quite the opposite. Take Econ 101 again. :P
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I'm thinking that would require a pretty big generator. Probably at least 12,000 watts would be needed to maintain highway speeds. How many gallons of gas would a generator of this size burn in an hour?
  • hi_carb

    No a bad idea sorry you got such flip answers:

    Use an ICE for generator only, some storage media inbetween ( unldess you plan to run the ICE contiuously) then electric motor for the drive. Yes a pure EV car or at least an electic only drive motor/s greatly simplifies the transmisssion, even simplier than the touted plantary sun gear Toyota HSD transmission.

    Message #13 - no not becuase there arem ore parts and they will breakdown, that is an incorrect answer for gagprice.

    Message #14 - Not sure what point Terry92270 is trying to make respnding to #14, but alot of car dealer revenue is from service and maintenance. Now it is true that, it is more cost effective from a car delaers standpoint to have a fewer number of standaradized process and components.

    Message #15 - tpe said 12,000 kW is probably about right and but it doesn't take a lot of gasoline. For example the genrator output of a Prius, Toyota's HSD hybrid system is 30 kW ( 2 and one half times) and it doesnt't use a lot of gas.

    Cheers,

    MidCow
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,993
    It is a fallacy of economics, to believe it is "profitable" for any automobile manufacturer to want more parts, and to make money on repairs

    If that is the case, why does our Lexus dealer charge just double for the same exact replacement part as our independent Mechanic? Labor was quadruple the independent. I know bigger shop more expense econ 101. They are drooling when you come in after the warranty period. Of course they play both parts. This car has a lot of repairs needed you should really trade it in. After getting a $5000 summary of needed repairs we took it to an excellent Lexus independent shop. Total bill was $1100. Tell me they don't get into the car business to make money on repairs.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    My point was about Manufacturers, the comment was about Nissan, not some dealer. While dealers, some of them at least, view warranty revenue as a cash cow to be milked, companies like Nissan are not realizing the same financial gain as a dealer might.

    In fact, economics rule that the fewer repairs, the more repeat business and better word of mouth, equals more sales, and higher profit for Nissan Corporation. :)
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    If the Prius system can generate 30 kW I suspect that is only for a very short burst. The battery pack can't store more than 1 kWh.

    Even if you don't have dual drive systems you have still introduced an additional energy conversion step. That will always represent at least a small loss.
  • I wonder if anyone can explain this one. Currently, all available gas/electric hybrids have a gas engine with a conventional transmission and accessories - a very complicated and expensive setup.

    Except that this isn't true in the case of the Toyota/Lexus hybrids. The "transmission" in them doesn't resemeble a traditional transmission in any sense, really. The setup isn't complicated at all. The engine and electrical motors are permanently tied together through a very simple connection system. The programming that controls them all together, now that I'll buy as being complicated.

    The sensible arrangement would be to have a system, as used and fully proven for many decades in railway locomotives, whereby the gas engine is used soley as a generator. You then get the great benefit of electric propulsion without the need for elaborate transmissions and duplicated systems.

    As someone already pointed out, the conversion losses in turning the mechanical energy from the gas engine into electrical energy to drive the wheels is a little too much to make it practical for such a small vehicle like a car.

    The railway industry isn't the only one that has figured out how great it is to mate a diesel generator with electrical propulsion. Modern cruise ships and tugboats do the same. An additional bonus is that the same diesel generator (or generators) is also used to supply power for the ship's occupants (lighting, heating/cooling, cooking, etc).
  • It is a fallacy of economics, to believe it is "profitable" for any automobile manufacturer to want more parts, and to make money on repairs. It actually works quite the opposite. Take Econ 101 again.

    You are right - it's not VERY profitable for the manufacturers.

    But the service department represents 90%+ of the total profits of a new car dealership. This allows manufacturers to take a much higher percentage of each new car's price for themselves. That's why the dealerships still stay in business and make profit.
    Get it. If not you need a course in car business 101 - nothing to do with economics.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    So, profits, margins, nothing to do with economics.....I see.... :P

    I grew up in the automobile industry, but perhaps you have stumbled upon some new knowledge I know nothing about. Anything is possible, they say.
  • Yes, same model Hyundai followed. 10 year 100,000 mile power train warranty to restore faith. Sonata now making big waves over Honda and Camry with restored relability.
  • "As someone already pointed out, the conversion losses in turning the mechanical energy from the gas engine into electrical energy to drive the wheels is a little too much to make it practical for such a small vehicle like a car. "

    Huh ,that's exactly what the HSD system in the Prius does ???
    MidCow
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I've never driven a Prius and I'm not all that familar with how it works but here's a question. My understanding is that for short distances at low speeds the Prius will operate in a pure electric mode. If you drive far enough the battery will eventually get depleted to the point that the ICE needs to kick in. When this happens is the ICE driving the wheels and charging the battery or simply charging the battery? My guess is that it is also driving the wheels. If that's the case it should be an indication that using the ICE as purely a generator is not the most efficient way to go.
  • TPE

    The HSD transmission is a big sun plantary gear with four connecting items: MG1 (electric motor/ generator), MG2, ICE and drive wheels. What isn't efficient is that when the "traction battery ( the one that powers the elctric MG1 and MG2) is full charges ( of maxmium 80% Toyota says) then the output of one MG powers the battery which then converts to electricity to drive the other MG. Double conversion; double conversion loss; no conversion is 100%. One reason why highway mileage is less than city mileage.

    MidCow

    P.S.- Were you awre that the Prius HSD system was designed to max out under the current EPA mileage testing? That is why real drivers ( except for a few focussed hyper ones) only average about 45 mpg.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Despite what the EPA states for the Prius real world highway mileage is greater than city. Based on actual drive feedback it is something like 40/50 (city/hwy) instead of the 60/51 EPA rating. Although the greatest benefit of a hybrid system is derived in city driving due to the benefits of regenerative braking. By that I mean if you pull out the hybrid components on a Prius you will probably still get close to 50 mpg on the highway but probably no more than 30 mpg in the city.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Would be interesting data to see.

    Care to share :confuse:
  • "As someone already pointed out, the conversion losses in turning the mechanical energy from the gas engine into electrical energy to drive the wheels is a little too much to make it practical for such a small vehicle like a car. "

    Huh ,that's exactly what the HSD system in the Prius does ???
    MidCow


    Only that's that not what is going on in the HSD system of the Prius, and you know that. Either that or you have being lieing all this time about having looked into the Prius extenisvely and understanding how it works.

    The front wheels are still tied directly to the crankshaft of the engine. The only difference is that some of the mechanical energy (22%) can also be used to generate electricity that can be put into the battery for later use, or used immediately for additional boost via the big electrical motor in the car. I don't really see that as ineffcient. I see it more as flexible and dynamic use of the mechanical energy being produced by the engine.

    How much mechanical energy of the engine of a conventional car is lost to such things such as running the A/C compressor, the alternator, water pumps, radiator fans, etc? Remember those things are tied directly to the output of the engine, or are powered by electricity generated by the alternator. Any mechnical energy being used to run those is energy not available to move the wheels of the car.
  • I've never driven a Prius and I'm not all that familar with how it works but here's a question. My understanding is that for short distances at low speeds the Prius will operate in a pure electric mode. If you drive far enough the battery will eventually get depleted to the point that the ICE needs to kick in. When this happens is the ICE driving the wheels and charging the battery or simply charging the battery? My guess is that it is also driving the wheels. If that's the case it should be an indication that using the ICE as purely a generator is not the most efficient way to go.

    I once thought as you did. What I eventually found out is that it's a lot more complicated than that.

    I recommend that you check out the following sites for a better explanation of how the HSD system works in Toyota's cars:

    http://www.wind.sannet.ne.jp/m_matsu/prius/ThsSimu/index_i18n.html?
    http://homepage.mac.com/inachan/prius/planet_e.html
    http://www.ecrostech.com/prius/original/PriusFrames.htm

    But to answer your question, when the ICE kicks in, it is used to drive the wheels directly and recharge the battery at the same time. Yes, using the ICE purely as a generator is not very efficient, which is why Toyota chose not to use it soley as an electrical generator for propulsion.
  • "TPE

    The HSD transmission is a big sun plantary gear with four connecting items: MG1 (electric motor/ generator), MG2, ICE and drive wheels. What isn't efficient is that when the "traction battery ( the one that powers the elctric MG1 and MG2) is full charges ( of maxmium 80% Toyota says) then the output of one MG powers the battery which then converts to electricity to drive the other MG. Double conversion; double conversion loss; no conversion is 100%. One reason why highway mileage is less than city mileage.

    MidCow"


    Actually, what happens in those rare cases (fully charged traction battery) is that MG1 (the electricity generating motor/generator) stops producing electicity. It simply spins freely. There are cases where MG1 will generate electricity which is then routed directly to MG2 (the big electrical motor/generator) to provide additional boost above beyond what the battery might be providing. This is usually when extra power is needed: passing another car, accelerating rapidly to get on the freeway, driving up a hill.

    What *really* isn't efficient is having 250+ horsepower engines in cars when 90% of the time the engine only needs about 50 horsepower to propel the sole occupant down the highway.

    The reason highway milleage is worse than city milleage is because the engine is being ran constantly at highway speeds. Whereas in city driving, MG2 can provide most of the propulsion, or the low end torque needed when starting from a stop. Smaller more efficient engine that doesn't need to run as often, can shutsdown at stop lights, and isn't oversized just so that it get going again after being stopped. That's why you can get better gas milleage in the city than on the highway.

    "P.S.- Were you awre that the Prius HSD system was designed to max out under the current EPA mileage testing? That is why real drivers ( except for a few focussed hyper ones) only average about 45 mpg."

    Can you cite specific information that backs up this conjecture of yours? The HSD system was certainly designed to meet future emissions requirements that will be stricter. And emissions certainly do go hand in hand with gas milleage. But I haven't seen anything that says that Toyota went "Hey, what if we designed a car that was engineered to take advantage of the EPA's outdated and broken testing methodogy for determining emissions and gas milleage?".

    Every car I've owned has failed to make the EPA's milleage estimates given the way I drive, and the places I drive to. It's a fact of life that I accept.

    There are a lot more than a "few focused hyper ones" who are able to achieve more than the average of 45 MPG. Hell, when my wife takes the car, she can get 50MPG easily, and she's not employing any special driving techniques.
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