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Plug-in Hybrids

eaaeaa Posts: 30
edited April 8 in Honda
The newest option for hybrids is the plugin hybrid. 2 companies are going to offer this as an aftermarket option. Edrive and Hymotion. So far Toyota has not agreed to offer it from the factory.

First only full hybrids like the 2004 and newer Toyota Prius can become a plugin hybrid.
Second you don't have to plug it in but when and if you do you get about 100+ miles per gallon. The cost for electricity is about 80 cents a gallon equivilent with electric at 8 cents a kilowatt hour.
Third you can just plug it in at night in a normal home AC outlet rated at 120v 15 amps like a frige or hair dryer uses. The power company has lots of extra capacity at night and even offers time of day pricing at 4 cent off peak and 21 cents on peak or something similar.
Fourth this requires extra battery power. It done with lithium batteries that last longer, are lighter and smaller than the NiMH now used in hybrids.
Last this will cost about 10,000 dollars at forst. Just like PCs and Digital cameras and Cellphones it will become cheaper and better each month. Maybe some day it will be an extra to try and get you to buy a new model. WOW

This helps reduce our Oil Addiction , air pollution, global warming, our enconomy, our security and gives us a choice when driving.

Soon all hybrids will use the new lithium batteries.
Soon many hybrids may run on fuel other than gas, like E85 ethanol, bio-diesel and even hydrogen injection and someday fuel cells. Each one makes our country cleaner and stronger. We can become independant again and not have our country run by the price of oil in the middle east.
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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    Just like PCs and Digital cameras and Cellphones it will become cheaper and better each month.

    They will more than likely get better. I don't think they will get cheaper. They have not gotten cheaper for all other electronic devices. Plug-ins will only be for the gungho hybrid enthusiasts for a long time. Who in their right mind is going to toss out their warranty on a Prius to get a few more miles to the gallon?
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    The risk from spending $10k to make your Prius a plug-in hybrid is small compared to many of the risks that people are taking all over the place. Do you think there is a risk in buying a sports car capable of doing 160 mph? How about bicycling on the same roads as cars? Motorcycling? What about hang-gliding, soaring, or light aviation? Mountain climbing? What about having a pitcher of beer most nights? I won't mention other stuff that's really risky, but that many, many people do all the time just for the thrill.
  • eaaeaa Posts: 30
    Saab ,GM just announced a new plugin hybrid that also runs on 100% ethanol. It's also a convertible. see http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/03/saab_to_introdu.html
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    " I won't mention other stuff that's really risky, but that many, many people do all the time just for the thrill."

    Are you saying that people would spend $10k to convert the Prius into a plug-in hybrid for the THRILL of it? I guess some folks DO get some sort of visceral delight out of thinking they're 'screwing' the oil companies.

    Imagine - needing to take a long, cold shower after commuting home in your plug-in hybrid..... :surprise: :blush:
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    People could get a kick out of having a plug in hybrid in the same vein as people getting a kick out of driving a 400 or 500 hp sports car that can do 1 g turns at speed.

    When they got home they wouldn't take a cold shower, but rather one at exactly the optimum temperature with solar heated water coming out of an ultra low flow shower head which can be controlled to emit a near supersonic mist with a nifty white noise hiss.

    When they have guests (or if they have had a hard day and think, "Screw the world!") they can switch the head to ordinary ultralowflow, but they don't feel guilty because all the grey water (including the shower) is conducted out to the xeriscaped grounds.
  • cs1992cs1992 Posts: 17
    A 9 mile electric range is a start for the next Prius. Whether or not it can obtain highway speed on the electric motor alone remains to be seen.

    If this is possible, it represents about a 25% decrease in the average fuel consumption of a many motorists (someone who travels ~12-13k miles per year).

    Think of the possibilities with a range of 40 miles on battery power alone. (40x365=14600 miles). Someone, somewhere has got to be able to achieve this!
  • nomorebenznomorebenz Posts: 109
    Think about it. Expand the battery capacity add a solar panel on the roof. Commute to work - use the charge. Work your shift - battery charges. Go home - use the charge. And for those rainy cloudy days, you have the ICE.
  • I think the 100MPG number for plug-in hybrids is misleading. You may only burn 1 gallon to go that hundred miles, but that one gallon of gas will not be what propels your car that far. Coal will be. Or natural gas. Or Uranium, or wind, or whatever your local electricuty company feeds into your grid. It's like putting a gallon of gas in the trunk of your electric car, and saying you're getting an infinite range on that gallon of gas. You're not. You're using a different fuel source.

    Now, on a side note, here's my idea for energy independence. Offer an X-Prize type award, say $20 million, to the first carmaker, foreign or domestic, that brings to market in the US an all electric, battery powered midsize sedan that will run 150 miles @ 80 MPH on a single charge, can recharge in under 5 minutes, and can sell for a profit under $30,000. Granted, the technology to build this car does not exist today, but dangle a $20 million carrot in front of the carmakers' noses, and you'd be amazed at the innovations they can produce.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    but dangle a $20 million carrot in front of the carmakers' noses, and you'd be amazed at the innovations they can produce.

    Bill Clinton dangled a $2 billion carrot, and we got the EV1 from GM. They are all crushed and stacked in the desert. In all fairness the nickel metal hydride battery was a result of that carrot. As I am sure you know batteries are the key. So far nothing out there is practical for the range and power you are looking for. I imagine several 100 million more will be spent before we see the electric car we want. There are some $100k electric cars that are fast. Just no real range.
  • eaaeaa Posts: 30
    They are coming soon. Milesautomotive is making a 200 mile per charge lithium battery electric for 28K. Check their website. http://www.milesautomotive.com/products_xs200.html

    Also ACPropulsion is converting Scions later in 2006, 100,200 or 300 mile range all electric.

    Also EDrive and Hymotion are adding lithium batteries to the 2004 and newer Prius for plugin hybrids.

    If you have grid tied solar like me your super clean, if not use off peak dirty grid and use the excess power they have to almost give away off peak. It's cleaner than anything out of a gas car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    Sounds promising. Their current EV would not be allowed in CA on most city streets. I have tried to buy an electric vehicle to run my errands. All the stores are less than 3 miles from home. Problem is the street getting there is posted 45 MPH. CA only allows these electric vehicles on 35 MPH or less streets. Just like the hassle ZAP has had getting the Smart car into the USA. They have to get by a bunch of ignorant regulations imposed by the EPA.

    I was ready to buy this little beauty and it will not be allowed in my area of CA. If you are not a big player with lots of lobby money forget selling your product in this state.

    image
  • Not all the EV-1's ended up crushed and stacked in the desert. One is on display at the Smithsonian in DC. Sweet looking little car. Too bad there's no way for a private owner to get ahold of one. It would make for a great collector car in 20 or 30 years :-)

    Bill Clinton (We'll give him partial credit for effort) dumped a lot of government research money into electric cars. What I'm talking about is more of a prize to be awarded only when the industry builds a practical one, not a windfall of cash to be spent whether the desired results are attained or not. That being said, investing squillions of dollars into research like that still isn't a bad idea.
  • rorrrorr Posts: 3,630
    "What I'm talking about is more of a prize to be awarded only when the industry builds a practical one..."

    The prize WILL be awarded when industry builds a practical one. It will come in the form of profits from sales.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I think that there are still about 100 Toyota RAV4 EVs on the road. These are all electric versions of the RAV4 that have a 100+ mile range on a charge and are not limited to the 35 mph limit(80 mph top speed) From what I understand, with the exception of range, they drive very much like the standard RAV4. Anyway its an example of what was possible 6 years ago. They got about 3 miles per kWh of electricity. If the grid charges you 9 cents per kWh it comes out to a cost of 3 cents per mile. And even if this energy was generated at a coal plant, at least it was domestically produced and not subject to the whims of an unfriendly regime.

    The organizations currently promoting this technology are doing it with the intent of proving a concept. They don't expect the typical Prius owner to spend $10k (I think its actually less) and void his warranty. They're looking to get enough people that are passionate about this technology and don't really care about whether it's cost effective. These people will not only be the test bed to demonstrate the benefits of PHEVs but they will also be the missionaries spreading awareness. If you go to calcar.org it will become immediately apparent that their primary goal is to influence the major auto manufacturers to offer PHEVs. They readily admit that Toyota, Honda, Ford, et al are in a much better position to produce these vehicles than the handful of niche conversion companies.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    100 Toyota RAV4 EVs on the road

    I tried finding one of those a while back and no luck. I would imagine folks that got them are hanging on. The 2003 model is still under warranty. I wonder if Toyota ever replaced any of those batteries. Here is the Toyota link for that car. For me an all electric would be more practical than a hybrid.

    RAV4 electric
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I think it is very difficult to get replacement batteries for the RAV4 EV. Panasonic used to make a 95 Ah NiMH battery but no longer does. From what I understand this is due to a lawsuit settled with ECD-Ovonics.

    Here's some excellent information on the RAV4 EV.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_RAV4_EV

    For me an all electric would be more practical than a hybrid.

    I agree that the all electric vehicle is the ultimate goal. The PHEV is an evolutionary step in that direction that will accelerate the process of getting to EVs. Unlike the current batch of hybrids, which derive 100% of their energy from gas, and the E85 "solution" PHEVs have the potential to offer significant fuel savings for all types of vehicles. If PHEVs are offered with the capability of providing 50 miles of all electric operation that would account for more than 85% of all trips taken. So over 85% of the time we get in our cars we wouldn't be burning any gas. Yes we'd be using electricity off the grid so lets refer to these vehicles as G85 (grid 85). The difference here is that an electric vehicle like the RAV4 EV can go 3 miles on a kWh of energy. A gallon of gas has roughly 35 kWh of chemical energy. You'd have to be able to go 105 miles on that gallon in an ICE to achieve the same efficiency as an EV. That will never happen in a vehicle with the size and performance of a RAV4 EV.
  • jim314jim314 Posts: 491
    But if the power company is burning fossil fuel to produce the electricity, this process has 30% to 40% efficiency, so say 35%. So your figure of 105 mpg equ is reduced to (105)(0.35) = 37 mpg equ.

    Then there are transmission losses for electric power, and transportation losses for supplying gasoline and diesel to the distribution points and the retail outlets. In some areas of the country ice storms cause power outages, during which EVs would be inoperable.

    EVs have a place as an uncompromising city commuter vehicle, but I don't think they are the single ultimate answer. A Plug-in HEV seems to me to be a great all purpose vehicle.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    The price you pay for electricity is based on the 35% efficiency of whatever fossil fuel is used. I don't think our electric bill reflects the fact that electricity from coal is about 1/6 the price of natural gas. And Nuclear is even less. Wind & hydro somewhere between coal and gas. That said we have to base our mileage figures on the price we pay for electricity.

    Mileage Costs
    As of May, 2006, charging a RAV4EV from full-dead to full-charge, at a rate of US$0.09 per kilowatt-hour, costs around $2.70. As of May, 2006, this compares to a price-per-gallon cost of US$3.00, and makes mileage in the RAV4EV the cost equivalent to a 111.1-mile-per-gallon small SUV.

    In addition, the RAV4EV has a charge timer built into the dashboard that enables the vehicle start charging at a specific time. As the RAV4EV easily becomes the main cost of electricity in an average-sized home, this enables the owner to use a Time-Of-Day Meter to reduce electricity costs. This configuration is a standard practice with RAV4EV owners. The price of electricity at night depends by carrier, but is usually in the range of 60% of the normal rate. In the use of charging the RAV4EV, this equates to a cheaper cost-per-mile, roughly equivalent to a vehicle capable of 166.6 miles per gallon, based on a price of US$3.00 per gallon.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    That is a good article with the pertinent info. I would think that CARB regulations would require Toyota to warranty the battery for 10 years or 150K miles like the hybrids. That was the rules to get the PZEV certification. I got a feeling that was the reason the GM scrapped their EV-1 project. It looks like about 1200 were sold in CA. I would think there would be some for sale. Of course that $26,000 battery replacement could be a roadblock to resale value. I am thinking the same fate could be in store for the older generations of hybrids. You cannot just keep batteries sitting on the shelf for years then use them. They do go bad in time.

    You should like this link:

    http://www.sonyclassics.com/whokilledtheelectriccar/
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    But if the power company is burning fossil fuel to produce the electricity, this process has 30% to 40% efficiency, so say 35%. So your figure of 105 mpg equ is reduced to (105)(0.35) = 37 mpg equ.

    Then there are transmission losses for electric power, and transportation losses for supplying gasoline and diesel to the distribution points and the retail outlets. In some areas of the country ice storms cause power outages, during which EVs would be inoperable.


    Your logic is based on worst case assumptions and a few omissions.

    You are talking about a coal burning power plant, which is the worst case scenario and even then it is a domestic source. A good percentage of the grid's energy comes from nuclear and hydroelectric with a growing amount coming from wind and solar. You also don't take into account the energy spent on getting that gasoline to your fuel tank. This includes extraction, shipping, refining, delivery and probably a few more. Bottom line is that there is no close comparison between electric and ICE propulsion when it comes to energy efficiency.

    On top of that there is far greater potential for improvement when it comes to EVs. Solar cells can be incorporated into the vehicle to extend its range and allow for charging while parked. A homeowner could potentially generate his own energy through solar and or wind to charge his car.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a big supporter of PHEVs. I just see them as a necessary stepping stone. On the other hand I see our current hybrids as an almost worthless diversion.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    More interesting info on who and what killed the electric car. I would think we should go see this movie when it comes out in June.

    The electric car “mandate” in California was abandoned in favor of a new zero emission vehicle technology, the hydrogen fuel cell. Proponents, like the California Air Resources Board, argued that it could prove a better technology. Unlike battery electric cars, however, it was far from being a proven technology. And supporters and detractors both agree that a practical H2 car is decades away from reality.

    Take note of where the guy that killed the electric car now works.

    Beset by industry and political pressure, CARB ultimately let the auto and oil industries off the hook by eliminating electrical vehicle production from the mandate. CARB Chairman (1999-2004) Alan C. Lloyd, Ph.D., in particular may bear the brunt of the guilty verdict: the board operates on a consensus mode, in which the chairman directs policy and other board members follow his lead. Four months before the CARB meeting that effectively killed the electric car, Lloyd became the chairman of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a consortium of automakers and public agencies that promotes the development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and infrastructure. In his interview filmed for this documentary, Lloyd states that he remains convinced that the ZEV mandate was not feasible.

    By the way, this is the same Alan C. Lloyd that blocked the sale of diesel cars in the CARB states. Now we know his agenda.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    You guys were saying something that was interesting me there. But you lost me. Say again how much in miles per gallon it costs to run an electric car. Like convert electricty into gallons of gas.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Of course that $26,000 battery replacement could be a roadblock to resale value

    I read that figure but am somewhat skeptical. My understanding of NiMH batteries is that the materials and manufacturing costs aren't all that great. My guess is that the high cost is much like the high cost of prescription drugs prior to them going generic. Ovonics NiMH patents will expire in 2014. Lithium Ion batteries may be ready for prime time by then and it will become a moot issue. If not I suspect you will see the price of NiMH batteries plummet at that time.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    My understanding is that no one has come up with a viable replacement for the lead acid battery. Other batteries have been developed but they have drawbacks. (which no one wants to talk about) I might be wrong about that. If that is not so, tell me how it is not so.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    My understanding is that no one has come up with a viable replacement for the lead acid battery.

    The only real benefit the lead acid battery offers over NiMH or Li-Ion is its price. Li-Ion seems to have the greatest future potential but has a few well documented engineering challenges that must first be overcome.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    My guess is that the high cost is much like the high cost of prescription drugs prior to them going generic

    I think the biggest obstacle is size and engineering. The battery will have to fit into a space that is available. I do know that Panasonic & Toyota got sued and lost trying to circumvent Ovonics patent on NiMH batteries. If the only source when the batteries do go bad is Toyota you will pay dearly. In the case of the RAV4 EV it is such a niche vehicle that you are talking hand built and special order on much of the vehicle. I think that is where that high price comes about. I doubt that Toyota has any spare batteries lying around. If one goes bad and is covered by warranty you will wait until they special order it from Panasonic. If you have to pay I can believe the $26k.

    As far as cost of NiMH batteries. I think there are some elements that are quite expensive. When and if they work out the problems with LioN batteries NiMH will just fade into the woodwork. Not many use them in electronics anymore that I know of. Time will tell.
  • kneisl1kneisl1 Posts: 1,691
    Well price could be the most important thing! The standard range for an acid battery car is 30-40 miles at 25-30 mph. What performance do the other battereies give?
    When I was ten years old a family friend had a 1918 Detroit Electric he restored. It was an impressive car. It was very tall and had a greenhouse of plate glass about half an inch thick. (a little scary if it broke!) It had seats like sofas. And the wheels were wooden spoked and about three feet in diameter. I remember it could go about 25 miles an hour for 25-30 miles on a charge. It must have weighed two tons! And I rememeber the owner saying (in 1968) that there had been no improvment in battery technology since the car was built.
    So what performances do "modern" batteries give compared to that?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    " I tried finding one of those a while back and no luck. I would imagine folks that got them are hanging on. T"

    Here in SoCal, they went to cities. I'm not sure they were ever sold to private consumers, unlike the EV-1.

    I saw an electric RAV4 a couple of weeks ago (city vehicle).
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Well price could be the most important thing! The standard range for an acid battery car is 30-40 miles at 25-30 mph. What performance do the other battereies give?

    The EV1, RAV4 EV, and Nissan Altria could all go 100+ miles on a charge. They also weren't limited to speeds of 25-30 mph. In fact, there were some specially designed EV1s that posted very impressive top speeds well over 100 mph. The RAV4 EV was governed to an 80 mph max. Although I'm certain that they didn't get anywhere near their best range at these speeds. I believe that by the end of their production these all had NiMH batteries.
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