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Toyota Prius and Honda Hybrid: Will anyone buy Hybrids??

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Comments

  • toensingtoensing Posts: 1
    I drove a Pries last Aug. 2000 & was very impressed with the car. It will likely be my next new car unless something better is available by then. I attend a small Unitarian Universalist Church, about 90 members. Two of them heard my favorable comments & have already bought their Pries' & it looks like 3 more will buy them. Real world MPG from their reports is 40 MPG. Biggest drawback to the Pries is no cruise control or fold down back seat. The biggest question I have is how long the nickel metal hydrate batteries will last. Toyota warrants them for 8 years &/or 100,000 miles. Toyota salesman does not know how long batteries will last or replacement cost but I found out replacement cost at Toyota parts kept. Replacement cost is $5,000 at this time.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Haven't heard of Toyota & Honda hybrid's having electrical fires & battery explosions but not surprising corse its not exactly a safety feature to drive around with gallons of fuel on board which we all do but that hasn't slowed most folks down (a high amperage electric motor sure isn't going to help matters) I believe that hybrid's are good, they don't do anything for the congestion/parking problem but ther'e a start.


                        Rob Fruth - Houston, Tx

                     http://freeweb.pdq.net/rfruth


    1981 Raleigh for commuting, errands & fun

    1997 Trek 2300 for real fun !

    2000 DX Civic hatchback

  • Give me an American made/American company truck, that can tow 10,000lbs, is easy to work on, can go 250 mile before having to stop, cost average price, isn't aerodynamic, has normal styling, and can have performance mods and sounds like a gas engine and I'm sold. Until then I'll stay with gas, big polluting gas engines at that.
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Is that really necessary?
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    and leave the rest of us to worry about the planet, right?

    Very sophisticated -- what four-year degree teaches that line of reasoning?

    By the way, it may delight you to know that GM and Toyota are working together on alternative fuel technologies that may allow you to keep your truck past the next decade -- won't that be nice?
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    The inner you shows chevytruck, I'm not a big environmentalist as you might think, walk or bicycle when I can, some recycling & believe use what you need and leave the rest - anyway in another thread here on Town Hall you said something like look under the hood of most Chevy trucks and you'll see throttle body fuel injection, is TBFI preferable (easier to modify, more reliable) ?


                        Rob Fruth - Houston, Tx

                     http://freeweb.pdq.net/rfruth

    1981 Raleigh for commuting, errands & fun

    1997 Trek 2300 for real fun !

    2000 DX Civic hatchback

  • I'm not going to drive some ugly piece of junk slow car like the insight that can carry 1 person.

    The reason nobody wants to buy this things is cause they are uglier than sin. Put technology in a regular looking car for a reasonable price and people will buy it. otherwise only hardcore greenpeace members will.

    The fact is the technology isn't even close to as good as a gas engine. And until it is there most people won't buy them.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    is not supported by the facts. The Prius is so popular it's back-ordered; the Insight is not doing nearly as well because, as you say, it's small and not very practical. It also is unavailable with an automatic, which limits its popularity (they will be offering one the next model year).

    You may not care for the Prius (I don't either -- it's slow and unattractive, except for the interior), but a lot of people do, and the fact that they're out there racking up miles means that, in time, the technology will improve and costs will decline. A friend of mine with whom I ride share from time to time has one, and the silence is remarkable. It really is a terrific commuter car -- no more, no less.
  • agtabbyagtabby Posts: 28
    but don't complain about gas prices.

    I predict that 10 years from now vehicles will be even bigger.

    Chevytruckfan's full size pickup will be a small vehicle only driven by sorority girls. I see it now, "But dad, that ten year old truck is sooo cute" "sorry honey, can't have you driving a 5,000 lb vehicle with all the 10,000 lb vehicles on the road. Not safe"

    Post 10 years from now "all I want is a vehicle that can haul 30,000 lb, clear a 4 ft curb, and has a 300 gallon tank"

    Soccer mom's will drive grey hound buses. Truck fans will drive semi's. Average gas mileage will be 2 mpg. People will live 200 from work. And people will complain that gas prices are unfairly high.

    Go Figure.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    in your world -- as the Kinks once sang, "Hope I die b'fore I get old!"
  • lemkolemko Posts: 15,068
    I believe that in 30 or 40 years, hybrids will probably be the norm. We can't be consuming all this fuel and polluting the atmosphere forever. The gasoline engine probably won't go away entirely in our lifetime. Who knows? Maybe a new source of automotive power will appear on the horizon in that time?

    I think the Prius and Insight are technological marvels, but believe the Prius will do better in the market due to the fact that it can seat 4 instead of two. However, the Insight is more attractive. I actually got to see an Insight on the PA Turnpike when it first came out. Still, hybrid and electric vehicles are still pretty rare and probably driven by the ecologically-minded and technophiles.
  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    "Still, hybrid and electric vehicles are still pretty rare and probably driven by the ecologically-minded and technophiles."

    Lemko, you're right on this one. According to a Toyota Motor Sales, USA representative, as soon as they see consumers moving from mid-size mainstream cars over to the Prius as opposed to the environmentally conscious and compact/subcompact owners, they will boost production from 12,000 a year to over 100,000.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    Chevytruck fan: Read the latest Autoworld Weekly. Dodge is coming out with a Dodge Ram Contractor's Special Hybrid. It is brilliant. The electric motor brings gas mileage in the 3/4 ton pick up to 18 city 23 highway. And here is the kicker: the electric engine converts to a generator when the truck is parked. And not just an accessories generator, but a generator capable of powering a large house.

    Construction workers, farmers, campers, and others who need to generate electric at remote sites now do not have to pop an extra 5 to 15k for a generator. Their truck is the generator. Plus the buyer gets the tax break for buying a hybrid.

    The environment gets two benefits: One, the improved mileage and lower pollution from the truck; and Two, the truck engine is subject to the clean air act while generators are not.

    Those who drive trucks purely for the image may not care about this brilliant development. But those who buy trucks because they actually need them will probably flock to this new product.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    to a site that covers a new electric car that does 0-60 in less than 5 seconds, the 1/4 mile in low 13s and goes 100 miles on a recharge. I have the link at work, I'll have to remember to post it here. Amazing.

    The Prius just got a real nice review in Autoweek, by the way. Just wish they'd put some sex into the sheetmetal.
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    not California friendly. I do like the Prius. Just saw a brand new one on the road the other day. I've seen several Insights already. You can't just say that only environmentalist would drive those cars. There are those who want to be different and daring.
  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    Some people will buy them just for the technology itself. The Prius, without a doubt, is the most technologically advanced automobile on the road today. Nothing else is even close. From a technological standpoint, the Prius offers the most bang for the buck of any car.
  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,730
    Looking at the Gas milage reported by Edmunds doesn't the Prius get 45 MPG on the highway? Doesn't it use a Battery electric and gas powered engine and cost almost 20 grand? And looking in the same site doesn't the Chevrolet Metro get 41 or 42 on the highway? And cost about 10 grand? Just in case I missed it doesn't the Volkswagen Golf turbo diesel get 49 MPG on the highway? Isn't the Volkswagen about $17,400.00 ? So how advanced can this hybrid be? I believe I once read that Battery production produces more pollution than it saves so is that being green? And when you have to dispose of a Battery isn't it toxic waste in most States? I wonder if giving up 4 mpg to the Volkswagen is an advancement? Or spending $10,000.00 to get an extra 3 or 4 mpg over the metro is an advancement? Everyone in this room realizes that hybrids are a compromise. We also know that they are a stop gap measure till the real alternative fuel or alternative power cars are made. The EV-1 didn't use any gas. But think of disposing of all those batteries? A car that goes 100 miles on a charge would be nice, unless you had to go 150 miles and it took 3 hours to charge. For right now I would say, nice try but no prize. The Volkswagen and the Metro may not be the kind of car I am looking for, but at least I would only have one kind of engine to maintain. For a hybrid to become popular it would have to cost less, or last longer, or preform better or something or people wont buy them. I have read that Toyota and Honda lose money on every hybrid they make. How many do you suppose they are willing to see for less than they cost to make? If that is the case. Remember most commuters spend most of their time on the highway, not in the city. So fuel milage should reflect the target markets driving habits.
  • abbanatabbanat Posts: 57
    Your response is not atypical of a skeptic of hybrid cars, but they're not entirely based on the truth.

    1.) I have the full schematics of the Prius right in front of me, and if you had them, you would not be questioning that this is the most technologically advanced vehicle in the world.

    2.) Yes, Volkswagen diesels get excellent fuel mileage and I'm not against diesels except for the fact that they don't meet California emissions standards. Diesels actually meet ULEV for CO and HC but are off the charts for NOx and particulate matter, the latter of which is carcinogenic. Yes, Geo Metros get good gas mileage but nobody buys them and the 3 cylinder performance isn't anywhere close to a Prius. Also it only gets 30 city 34 highway since they discontinued the 3-cylinder.

    3.) I wasn't equating technological advancement with fuel economy, you were the one who are trying to compare apples to oranges. That's like asking does a 6-disc CD changer make you go faster from zero to 60. For the record, the Geo Metro at best was a LEV and the Prius is a SULEV and there's a HUGE difference, there.

    4.) Battery disposal is a problem but the batteries in the Prius are warranted for 8 years and 100,000 miles. I even believe they are partially recyclable.

    5.) The Prius is a compact and the Metro is a subcompact, so it's not fair to compare their prices. To be fair, the Prius needs to be compared with the Corolla and Civic, in which case the incremental cost is around three to four thousand dollars. There is also talk about tax breaks and incentives for hybrids which would narrow that gap further.

    6.) Yes the Prius gets better gas mileage in the city than the highway. True, most people spend their commutes on the freeway....stuck in traffic on freeways that are not at free flow conditions.

    7.) Hybrids are not a compromise for anything except in heavy-duty applications (even though they're used in transit buses). Take the Ford Escape, for example. The 2003 hybrid escape will have the performance of the V6 with the fuel mileage of the 4-cylinder. Same goes with the Dodge Durango. Other than price, where's the compromise.

    8.) Toyota does not lose money on every hybrid it sells (I don't know about Honda). Toyota Motor Sales, USA has indicated that from a manufacturing perspective they break even and they are committed to the technology. It's too difficult to measure R&D costs because they will be reaping the benefits of this vehicle for decades to come.

    9.) You are welcome to voice your opinion on the market for hybrids, but quite frankly it's too early to tell how they will do in the market so all you can really do is speculate based on your information which, to this point has not been very good.

    You're more than welcome to be skeptical about it, just know a little more about the technology before you do so.
  • logic1logic1 Posts: 2,433
    abbanat: I do not want to take sides in the argument of which technology is more advanced. But does not boaz47 make a good point that alternative fuel (such as hydrogen) cars would be the preferred technology if people are to continue using personal transportation?
This discussion has been closed.