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Hybrids the Real Payback

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  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Anyone ever think about the effects on the Environment of building Hybrids? A Prius has 50kgs or double the amount of copper of a typical car.

    This is what a copper mine looks like:
    image

    This what the truck that hauls the copper out of the mine looks like so that you have an idea of the scale:

    image

    The point I'm trying to make is that everything has an effect. Its not just a change of technology that is needed but also a change of consumer habits.

    Mark
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    You're correct. But the reason I and many other people bought hybrids is not so much to save the environment, or even save money. We're just minimizing the amount of money we give to nations who want to kill us. And we're going to keep buying cars that further reduce that transfer of wealth.

    Eventually, we're going to reduce our national oil consumption to a level that we can sustain with domestic oil production. Then the muslim terrorists can label China and India the new great satans, and attack them instead of us. Those wackos don't really care who they're killing, as long as they're killing someone.

    If we have to dig giant holes in Utah to do that, it's fine. If it requires trucks whose individual tires cost more than a luxury SUV, it's fine. I'll sacrifice a bit of the environment to preserve my own life.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "Hmm...the collusion theory - I was thinking that it was because Ford paid Toyota for the hybrid technology in the Escape hybrid (right?) and they had an actual agreement not to overlap."

    Wrong. Nobody paid any $$. Ford and Toyota exchanged patents because they independently developed similar technology.

    Actually, Ford has around 200 unique hybrid patents. I think Toyota has made some arrangement for the one concerning using ABS with a hybrid.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "When the TCH came out and showed it was more cost effective than the HAH, Honda yanked it's version immediately. "

    Not sure what point your are attempting to make. Honda pulled the HAH because it was stupid - a 6 cylinder engine in an Accord hybrid??? It didn't get sufficient MPG and therefore it got panned by the public and canned by Honda.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "A hybrid RAV would intrude on Ford's turf. Therefore no hybrid RAV from Toyota. Why you say? I'm hypothesizing that back at the beginning of the decade when Toyota, Honda and Ford first came out with their hybrids they recognized that it would be more efficient for all of them to develop 'their' segment of the hybrid market free of compeition. It's a huge market why butt heads? "

    I'm pretty sure such an agreement would be illegal under US antitrust laws, or racketeering laws...

    "Why butt heads?"

    It is called competition - the auto company that sells the most vehicles makes the most money. An agreement to NOT sell as many vehicles as possible would be just stupid as a corporate policy, and would not even occur to anyone. If they don't sell more hybrids, there are internal reasons; economic, supply, technological, etc. The more hybrids they sell, the more money they make.

    I think the biggest reason there aren't more Toyota hybrids is probably the lack of available battery packs. Toyota is focusing on their big seller, the Prius, and allocating the batteries to that model.

    The reason for the lack of Honda hybrids (besides lack of available battery packs) is that the IMA does not provide enough boost to significantly help heavier vehicles like the CR-V and Element, much less the Pilot. The IMA is limited by the size of the electric motor that can be mounted over the transmission, if I understand the system correctly.

    Another possible reason, though Toyota (at least) denies it. There is a distinct possibility that the auto manufacturers are still losing money on the Hybrids they sell, so they limit the number of sales.

    Or maybe some combination of all the above..
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Similarly I did not have any specific 'greenie' intention in buying mine. I'm much more concerned with enriching those that would do us harm, even if it's indirectly so. At the time when I was looking for a more fuel efficient vehicle I eliminated every small vehicle as being too basic and too little. The Prius was a nice compromise, the TCH was also a valid option for my use it just was too much car for a basic commute.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes lack of battery and components is a very valid rationale and avoiding direct competition is very smart business. However I strongly discount these coincidences.

    I disagree about the illegality though. A company cannot be forced to jump into direct competition with another company. I doubt that there were specific statements such as 'you do this, I'll do that and you over there do this'. The appearance of this whether illegal or not is not good for those involved.

    I'll venture that a 'discussion' of the relative merits of one technology vs another would lead 'all the participants to come to the same conclusions'.....
    Honda's IMA is best suited to small cars
    the Toyota and Ford systems are suited best to midsizers
    none of the three are suited to big vehicles...but
    GM's 2-Mode is best suited to big vehicles.

    In addition....
    Honda and Toyota would have a horrible time trying to 'export' their hybrid systems to the very nationalistic truck/SUV buyer but GM is perfectly placed to do just that; make hybrid converts of those who'd turn their backs on anything from Toyonda.

    As to profitability I'm absolutely certain that the Toyota's hybrids are profitable. The sales numbers are just TOO large now. Also a year ago May they voluntarily lowered prices $600 to $2000 on their prime seller. Remember the Prius is just a Matrix with...
    a battery pack
    two electric motors
    some additional wiring
    an inverter and converter
    NO transmission
    a simple planetary gearset.
    It sells for $3000 - $4000 more than the Matrix at a minimum.

    Honda OTOH I'm sure makes a profitable HCH because the IMA is so simple and elegant and inexpensive. They too are reaching large volumes.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    It is called competition - the auto company that sells the most vehicles makes the most money. An agreement to NOT sell as many vehicles as possible would be just stupid as a corporate policy, and would not even occur to anyone. If they don't sell more hybrids, there are internal reasons; economic, supply, technological, etc. The more hybrids they sell, the more money they make

    On this point I'm of the opinion that this 'understanding' came about because the initial promoters of the technology were not at all sure how well it would succeed. With three of them in it the goals were very modest. When the Gen2 Prius arrived in 2003 the entire estimate for 2004 was 35000 units....these were sold in 60 days.

    In today's auto business making a large jump in the sales volumes and production volumes of a modern vehicle needs at least 6 months. There was little incentive for Toyota to fight Honda or Ford in the beginning. And as you said supply limitations in components certainly limited their interest in butting heads. But my opinion is that there was an understanding not to intrude on the other and to grow each's segment as much as possible for some period of time, say 10 years up until 2011 or so. After that all bets are off and it's every maker for itself.

    Thus we now see Honda and Toyota and Ford and GM all ready with multiple hybrids in the wings. Like the Okie Sooner rush.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    " Honda and Toyota and Ford and GM all ready with multiple hybrids in the wings. Like the Okie Sooner rush."

    Honda and Toyota are sooner. Ford is later. GM may be too late.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "Honda and Toyota are sooner. Ford is later. GM may be too late. "

    Ford is preparing a hybrid Fusion, for next year.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "I disagree about the illegality though. A company cannot be forced to jump into direct competition with another company. I doubt that there were specific statements such as 'you do this, I'll do that and you over there do this'. The appearance of this whether illegal or not is not good for those involved. "

    If companies conspire together so as to limit the availability of a product, that is racketeering, and illegal here in the US. There doesn't have to be a formal agreement, only proof that they conspired to limit the market, thus allowing them to keep their prices higher due to artificially inflated demand.

    So if you have any proof, feel free to post ... the Feds are watching!

    But your argument would mean that the auto manufacturers want to sell LESS cars. I think that all the car makers want, and have always wanted, to sell MORE vehicles.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "I'll venture that a 'discussion' of the relative merits of one technology vs another would lead 'all the participants to come to the same conclusions'.....
    Honda's IMA is best suited to small cars
    the Toyota and Ford systems are suited best to midsizers
    none of the three are suited to big vehicles...but
    GM's 2-Mode is best suited to big vehicles. "

    I don't think the GM hybrid is any better than Ford or Toyota. It doesn't improve the MPG of a large vehicle that much.

    Ford considered a hybrid Explorer four years ago, and decided that they could get the same MPG improvement with a 6 speed transmission. I assume they compared that 6 speed with a hybrid/CVT.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I've always said it's my own opinion simply because from past experience this more common than one would think in big business.

    But again your point about conspiring to limit availability is the key point. NONE of the players in my scenario is limiting anything they are until now fully producing as much as they can each in their chosen segment. That's good business.

    My original point is that the hybrid market was NOT unlimited. In fact at the beginning it was miniscule and potentially a deadend. There was no assurance that the public would accept this technology. It would certainly not accept it across the board from one or two import brands. To develop widespread acceptance in various sizes and utilizations it needed more than two horses pulling the wagon and at least one or two of the horses had to be a domestic brand. However NOW in general the public is open to considering a hybrid vehicle so IMO we will be seeing vehicle makers expanding outside their 'chosen' segment.

    Fusion/Milan hybrids
    Edge hybrid
    Aura/Malibu hybrids
    lambda hybrids from GM
    "x" small crossover hybrid from Toyota
    small Prius sedan hybrid.

    The first?
    Honda seems to be bringing out its own Prius but that vehicle is still in 'Honda's segment'. Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery so Honda is in one way staying in line but also poking a stick in Toyota's eye. This 'baby Prius' is likely to be a killer in that it has the look of the Prius, with better-than-Prius FE and a much much lower price. It's a great move on Honda's part IMO. It maintains the 'order' and potentially it grows their business significantly.

    We probably will see a small Prius sedan announced soon which will go after the HCH. It too will likely be in the 60-70 mpg range.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I don't think the GM hybrid is any better than Ford or Toyota. It doesn't improve the MPG of a large vehicle that much.

    Ford considered a hybrid Explorer four years ago, and decided that they could get the same MPG improvement with a 6 speed transmission. I assume they compared that 6 speed with a hybrid/CVT.


    Au contraire. The 2-Mode is significantly better than the Toyota and Ford systems simply because these two can't be used in heavy vehicles. They are not strong enough. They might be able to power a BOF SUV somewhat but the motors would burn out if anything heavy was being carried or towed. Toyota has admitted as much themselves. The HSD, and presumably the Ford hybrid system, are not scalable upward to BOFs to be capable to do things that BOFs do.

    To your second point the 2-Mode is every bit as capable in terms saving fuel as are any of the other three. In fact the GM system saves MORE fuel in switching from a non-hybrid Tahoe to a T2M than one does in switching from a non-hybrid I4 Camry to a TCH. Ditto between a non-hybrid I4 Escape to an FEH.

    Tah FWD.....14 / 20 / 16, uses 62.5 gal / 1000 mi driven
    T2M FWD.... 21 / 22 / 21, uses 47.6 gal / 1000 mi driven - saves ~20 gal

    Camry........ 21 / 31 / 25, uses 40 gal / 1000 mi driven
    TCH........... 33 / 34 / 34, uses 29.4 gal / 1000 mi driven - saves about 10.5 gal

    Escape..... 20 / 26 / 22, uses 45.5 gal / 1000 mi driven
    FEH......... 34 / 30 / 32, uses 31.3 gal / 1000 mi driven - saves 14+ gal

    For our nation it 's much more important to address the fuel economy of SUVs before anything else. If the BOFs were required to use hybrid technology and/or diesel technology it would save much much more fuel for the nation than getting a Civic driver to switch into a Prius. This of course made sense under the previous scenario of moderate fuel prices slowly increasing. However the market appears to be intervening, imposing its will on us, by essentially killing off the BOF SUV segment.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,510
    "For our nation it 's much more important to address the fuel economy of SUVs before anything else."

    Correct, but, like you said, now many are also waking up to the fact that the BOF market is evaporating. The 'real' market, those that need BOF SUVs for towing, etc, may not have a lot of interest in hybrids.
  • greygabegreygabe Posts: 2
    The problem however is that many people DO buy hybrids with the full intent of helping the environment and nothing else. If it is your motive to not spend money on a foreign product, fine, but the public should be educated that hybrids are NOT environmentally friendly in the long run.
  • greygabegreygabe Posts: 2
    But the HAH had a different mission then the TCH. The point of the HAH was to be a fun to drive car while being slightly better on fuel. It wasn’t supposed to be more cost-effective. Heck – any fun to drive car isn’t “cost-effective.” So you must realize that the HAH never really failed it’s own mission, but the market for cars that are more fun to drive just isn’t as relevant anymore.
    Plus Californians love the HAH because it’s the fastest hybrid under $45k allowed in the carpool lane…
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The problem however is that many people DO buy hybrids with the full intent of helping the environment and nothing else. If it is your motive to not spend money on a foreign product, fine, but the public should be educated that hybrids are NOT environmentally friendly in the long run.

    Those are two ridiculous statements. Do you have detailed proof of the 'long run'? Do you have an indepth analysis of every factor in the lifecycle of any given vehicle or is this just a knee-jerk reaction like so many others in the past.

    BTW you are entirely wrong about the buying motives of the population at the moment. Obviously you are not directly involved and are repeating old saws from the early months of this decade when they first arrived here. Here's a hint: Gas goes shooting up to over $4 a gallon and suddenly every hybrid in the country is sold out for months. Do you think these buyers suddenly woke up one Saturday morning and altogether said 'Let's go do something good for the environment?'

    NO! They woke up and said 'Enough!! Let's go get us a vehicle that costs us less to use gas' It's all about the money now.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,845
    Plus Californians love the HAH because it’s the fastest hybrid under $45k allowed in the carpool lane…

    It was not given a carpool lane sticker in CA. It did not meet the 45 MPG combined requirement. Some states allowed all the hybrids in the HOV lanes.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,786
    "The HSD, and presumably the Ford hybrid system, are not scalable upward to BOFs to be capable to do things that BOFs do. "

    I think it is a question of desire, not capability. As I said, Ford decided not to develop hybrids for heavy vehicles, because it just doesn't provide enough improvement - it was matched by the 6 speed transmission.
This discussion has been closed.