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Hybrids the Real Payback

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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    That's why I added the 'presumably' concerning Ford. Toyota did test the HSD and found it not to be capable for heavy vehicles. The GM 2-Mode is a better system.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Well here is my contribution.

    My 2008 Focus PZEV has better emissions than any of the Lexus Hybrids :P

    Mark
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Posts: 158
    "HSD not to be capable for heavy vehicles"

    But then OK for a Lexus LS600H extreme hybrid ? I find that strange.

    For the Ford Escape Hybrid they didn't downsize the engine and made only small gains as I recall. Naturally they would need to supply the 1.5L engine to obtain worthwhile savings. I believe you made a point earlier that the Highlander Hybrid might have been more successful with the 4 cyl. Why do these car companies have so much trouble with 'small' ? How many times do you floor the accelerator and keep it there ? Let me guess - almost never.

    A back of the envelope calculation shows that a Prius system at full throttle produces 1500lbs of constant drawbar pull up to 20 mph neglecting losses. Of course as speed increases further this will decay exponentially, however system power will continue to ramp towards a maximum of 104 Hp at 51mph and then maintain that level all the way up to top speed. Let's see an automatic do that !

    Perhaps they were nervous about towing. Towing capability will need to be limited since this is the one thing that can stress the powertrain. The safest thing that Ford/Toyota might do to avoid inadvertant abuse is to supply a custom towbar hitch so that only their proprietory 600lb trailer could be used.

    On the otherhand is it a good thing to make these vehicles too economical ? Do we want to see stacks of these vehicles being used for individual personal commuting ?

    T2
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I'll defer to your technical background but I believe that I read in a Toyota statement that the current HSD was not truly suitable for vehicles the size of the Sequoia/Tundra or even the 4Runner/Taco. While it may assist the ICE and thereby save some fuel, when these vehicles need to tow something the e-motors were not suitable for very heavy loads of 5000-10000#. This is the only comment I ever saw and then the subject has been pushed aside never to be mentioned again, curious.

    This raises questions in my mind concerning the BOF vehciles...
    Was it decided to emphasize diesel technology?
    Diesel hybrid technology?
    Toyota developed the 2-Mode technology then sold it on the QT to GM? That's WAY too far-fetched.
    GM beat Toyota to market with a workable hybrid system for heavy vehicles so T stepped aside to let the better system prevail?

    Your last comment is interesting but in view of the San Antonio investment I'd say that IMO they'd like to make the Tundra and Sequoia as fuel efficient as possible. However I do see T often staying just barely in the lead fuel economy-wise or just behind the leaders when I'm sure that they have the know-how and technology to jump significantly ahead. The current Corolla is an example. It 'appears' to be only just ahead of the rest when real world tests show it to be significantly better than the ratings and the rest of the pack.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    One proponent over at GMI has estimated that at his current electric usage rates that it would cost him $2.80 per day to charge a VOLT for 40 gas free miles.

    That sounds pretty high to me. The Toyota RAV4 EV achieved about 4 miles per kWh of electricity. I've got to believe that the Chevy Volt would be at least this efficient. So we're talking about ~10 kWh for 40 miles of gas free driving. $2.80/day would be 28 cents per kWh. I pay 12 cents per kWh where I live.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes I think that he said his rate was about .20 / kWh.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    When I divide my total electric bill by the KWH used it is just under 19 cents. How do you think they will get the 65 cents per gallon equivalent road tax? You know the EPA is not going to allow them to be sold without solving that issue. It may be the beginning of taxation per mile.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    When I divide my total electric bill by the KWH used it is just under 19 cents.

    Yes but there are a lot of flat fees in an electric bill that aren't affected by your kWh usage. So an additional 10 kWh per day probably won't increase your bill by $1.90.

    I think that it's a given there will eventually be some sort of cost per mile scheme that replaces our current per gallon fuel tax. I also believe it will apply to all vehicles. I don't think there's any way the government would offer tax breaks for buying an EV and then turn around and impose a special tax on them.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    It will have to be a universal mileage tax. They better come up with a plan soon. Al Gore thinks we are all going to be driving electric cars in 10 years. With all renewable energy to charge them. :sick:

    I was looking at the specs on the iMEV. It has a 16 KWH battery at 330 volts. I used the calculation that would take 48 KWH at 110 volts to charge. At 12 cents per KWH it would be $5.76 for 100 miles. If you use a 50 MPG Prius as the fuel tax standard it would add in CA $1.30 for a $7.06 to go 100 miles. The Prius in CA at 50 MPG cost for fuel is about $8.50 for 100 miles. If gas were to drop back to $3.50 per gallon the Electric vehicle would be a real hard sell. Especially like the iMEV that is going on sale in Japan for $38,000. Will the payback for an EV exist in the next 10 years.

    If gas was not so cheap when the EVs came out in 1998 they may have had a market for them. Other than the early adopters they were dead on arrival. Will the same fate hit the soon to be released EVs. The Volt being a plug in hybrid may or may not be affected. It will depend on the price of the vehicle and gas at the pump.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I was looking at the specs on the iMEV. It has a 16 KWH battery at 330 volts. I used the calculation that would take 48 KWH at 110 volts to charge. At 12 cents per KWH it would be $5.76 for 100 miles

    A 16 kWh battery should only take about 16 kWh of electricity to charge. Maybe a little more for conversion losses but not too significant. So around $1.92 for a full charge. The current and volts are only an indication of how fast it will be able to charge/discharge.

    I personally don't believe the iMiEV will be able to achieve a 100 mile range in real world driving with a 16 kWh battery pack. I think that 75 miles is more realistic. That would work out to $2.56 per 100 miles. Still very good.

    The initial price for this vehicle is ridiculously high but that doesn't concern me too much. There will be early adopters with plenty of cash that will still buy. This will sustain development, allowing prices to drop to levels that are more affordable for the mainstream. It wasn't too many years ago that flat panel TVs were only affordable for the affluent. They're now being sold in WalMart and CostCo at prices comparable to a 32" CRT 10 years ago. I don't see why these battery packs can't achieve the same cost reductions resulting from increased manufacturing capacity.
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,733
    But gas won't EVER go down to $3.50. Also, there's the secondary diplomatic and wars costs to the oil industry that isn't there if we are using domestically obtained fuel(whatever method - doesn't really matter). That's worth a whole lot, to be honest.

    The initial costs of the vehicle would be high, but no more than a typical car. No transmission, no engine, no fuel tank, to cooling system, no... well, not much of anything, really, under the hood. Save a few K right there. Add in some super capacitors for short term bursts and maybe a small onboard generator (half a dozen methods) that kicks in if the batteries are close to dying... Possibly those new solar panels being developed at MIT - that get about twice the current efficiency of current ones.

    The VW 1 gets 200+MPG. With a TDI engine. Add that engine to an electric hybrid(running as only a generator - far more efficient than powering a vehicle) and you could get 300+mpg equivalent.

    Or just run electric. 100 miles for $2.50? Yeah... kind of makes gasoline look like the archaic technology that it is.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "For the Ford Escape Hybrid they didn't downsize the engine and made only small gains as I recall."

    I believe you are referring to the most fuel efficient SUV on the planet, the FEH? 34 MPG city, 31 MPG highway. A smaller engine would not be better - it would be too small for the weight. For 2009 they actually went to a larger engine, and gained one MPG on the highway over the 2008 with a smaller engine.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    A smaller engine would not be better - it would be too small for the weight

    Good point. There are so many people that are certain the answer to better fuel efficiency is smaller engines. I personally believe that for optimum efficiency an engine's displacement needs to properly match the vehicle's size and intended power output. From what I've seen trying to accomplish too much from a small engine almost always results in a reduction in fuel efficiency.
  • 1stpik1stpik Posts: 495
    Factoring in the price of electricity to charge a car such as the Volt is certainly a valid measure. Just because the car (supposedly) won't burn gasoline for the first 40 miles doesn't make it "free" for that distance.

    However, I suspect that the people who fork over $40K for the Volt when/if GM builds it will have more than just fuel costs in mind. Part of my decision to buy a hybrid was simply to reduce the amount of gasoline I burned, thus reducing the amount of money I sent to countries whose people want to kill me.

    If the Volt can do what GM claims, then it will have value beyond saving gas money. In fact, GM should market it that way: "Spend more in your country, send less to other countries."

    Unfortunately, I won't be purchasing a Volt. $40,000 is beyond my car budget, even factoring in my disdain for OPEC. But I'm hopeful that a few years from now I'll trade in my hybrid for either a much more efficient plug-in hybrid, or a fully-electric car.

    Even if the electricity costs me more than gasoline, that's fine. As long as the purchase price is around $25K, I'll happily buy it. And I'll happily flip the high hard one to OPEC.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Posts: 158
    @Steve " they actually went to a larger engine, and gained one MPG"

    It's more than likely this new engine was of a more advanced design as well. Do we know the full story ? I am certainly not buying into this particular mantra. However I won't be dismissing it as just one anecdotal occurence but will offer up that examples of gas sippers are revealed in the adoption of a 1.3L in the Hybrid Civic and 1.0L in the insight. Possibly the 1.5L in the Prius is the smallest engine ever fitted to that size of vehicle in North America.

    I think there is a need to change our attitude, in what actually constitutes performance, from power towards fuel economy.

    T2
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342

    I think there is a need to change our attitude, in what actually constitutes performance, from power towards fuel economy.


    Why do people insist on believing that power and fuel efficiency are contrary to one another? If you increase the efficiency of an engine it will almost certainly end up being more powerful. A good example of this is computer controlled fuel injection. This was driven by a desire to improve fuel efficiency but the inevitable outcome was engines that now produced more power.

    As an experiment I'd like to see someone pull the 1.5L engine out of a Toyota Yaris and use it to replace a Toyota Camry's 2.4L engine. Certainly a significant difference in displacement and power. I'd be willing to bet that the the mpg improvement would be negligible, maybe non-existent.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Posts: 158
    @ TPE trying to accomplish too much from a small engine almost always results in a reduction in fuel efficiency.

    If your experience is with vehicles from the D2.8 I might have to agree with you. I am told their small engines are a lot less sophisticated than their larger ones since they equate small with cheap and build accordingly. At Ford they are fixing that, and at Chrysler they've already gone to double VVT on many of their smaller models I notice.

    The principle of the full hybrid is to sit the engine at the lowest rpm it can - that will just barely support the load. The engine cannot help but be efficient. You are trying to make the case that a larger engine running even slower will be even more efficient here ?
    The Prius and Hybrid Camry don't bear that theory out.

    The popular dinosaur transmission, on the other hand, has to leave at least 50 to 60 % capacity available to improve driveability ; thus avoiding the need to change down quickly should sudden acceleration be called for. The engine particularly on the hiway is therefore kept running much faster than it needs for the power being generated. A larger engine must incur larger losses it stands to reason.
    T2
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    One way to examine the size vs. mpg question is to look at the carmakers' European web sites - there they have a good range of engine sizes, often using the same technology, and for a given car there's a pretty consistent relationship of bigger engine = higher fuel consumption (lower mpgs). Sometimes not by much, but the relationship typically holds.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    there's a pretty consistent relationship of bigger engine = higher fuel consumption (lower mpgs). Sometimes not by much, but the relationship typically holds.

    The key is "not by much". Look at some popular vehicles that offer 6 and 4 cylinder engines like the Camry and Accord. Yes the 4 cylinders do better in terms of mpg but not by much when you consider the significant difference in displacement and power. Do we need to be able to go from 0-60 in under 7 seconds? Absolutely not. My point is that we aren't giving up all that much for this power. A lot of times a new model will come out that has 10% more power than the preceding model. I hear comments that the auto manufacturer should have instead offered 10% better fuel efficiency as if this a one for one trade-off. It isn't even close.

    As long as our most popular vehicles weigh 3,300 lbs or more there won't be much, if anything, gained in going to smaller engines. Now if we get vehicle mass down to around 2,500 lbs then I'll change my position. I suspect that if you tracked engine displacement relative to vehicle weight over the years our current vehicles are near an historic low. The fact that they are more powerful is just a testament to improved engine efficiency.
  • texasestexases Posts: 5,511
    No arguement here - the Toyotal 3.5l V6, for example, is amazingly efficient for the power it puts out, I'd pick it in a second over the (slightly) more economical I4.
This discussion has been closed.