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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press

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  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "This is not an issue about if you believe are hybrids beneficial."

    Obviously congress disagrees; the tax credit was intended to move manufacturers towards building more hybrids, not towards consumers. Hence the 60K limit per manufacturer.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Hybrids have set a record for Mar-2007.

    Prius 19,156
    Camry 5,144
    Highlander 2,501

    Rx400 1,471
    Gs450 181

    Toyota Total - 28,453

    Accord 385
    Civic 2813

    Honda Total - 3,198

    Total of 2 companies - 31,651

    Still the sales of Ford and Nissan are to come.

    Those who claimed that hybrid sales are falling will keep quiet now.

    Toyota
    http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-03-200- 7/0004559051&EDATE=

    Honda
    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2007/04/03/042389.html

    "Record U.S. sales of Toyota and Lexus
    hybrids have now topped the half-million mark."
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You beat me to it....

    As one poster on another thread was opining... 'Toyota's hybrid sales seem to be struggling'....Huh???
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I know it's not your fault, because this data has been passed around with the false assumption that it is TRUE, which in fact it is not.

    The media has picked up on one particularly eye catching claim, namely that the Hummer is cleaner than a Toyota Prius hybrid. This result runs contrary to all other research in the area.

    As with any scientific model, it is critical that the methodology is valid, that the assumptions are sound, and the data accurate. The CNW study makes several assumptions which undermine the conclusions arrived at. Without a scientific peer review, it is impossible to comment on any of these factors. And CNW has REPEATEDLY refused to allow peer review and access to their methods.

    What is clear, however, is that the conclusions appear to be very different from the results of several other rigorous, scientifically-reviewed studies of the lifecycle impact of vehicles (e.g. Argonne National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

    · Example 1: These studies conclude that the majority (80-85%) of the total lifetime energy use of a vehicle comes from the driving stage, with the remainder coming from the remaining stages of a vehicle life, whereas the CNW study shows these percentages to be reversed.

    · Example 2: Two Toyota models mentioned in the report, the Scion xA and xB sold only in the USA, are engineered with the same processes, built on the same assembly line, transported and shipped together, distributed through the same dealer network, have the same engines and transmissions, are about the same weight (within 50 lbs.), and have very similar fuel consumption ratings (one just over 35 mpg combined, the other just below 35), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to be very different (53 per cent).

    · Example 3: The CNW study states that hybrids require more lifetime energy than even large SUVs. Toyota’s internal analysis does conclude that there is more energy required in the materials production stage for a hybrid, but that this is overwhelmingly made up for in the driving stage (the 80-85% stage), causing the hybrid to have a significantly lower lifetime energy use.

    There are also basic factual errors in the report; for example CNW claim that the hybrid batteries are not recycled.

    In truth Toyota and sister brand Lexus have a comprehensive battery recycling programm in place and has been recycling Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case, and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information.

    Toyota and other environmentally conscious car makers have been using life cycle assessment for many years to evaluate various advanced vehicle technologies. Toyota, along with many others, believes that the best way to judge the environmental impact of a vehicle is to do a full evaluation of all the inputs and outputs in every stage of its life. The lifetime energy use is just one of the many things to look at.

    The environment and the role of the car in CO2 emissions are rightly a very important subject for debate. Toyota welcomes such debate. However, the debate is not helped by sensationalistic reporting of an uncorroborated and unrepresentative piece of marketing research carried out in North America.

    On the nickel issue:

    - The typical non-hybrid car uses 50 pounds of nickel
    - The Prius battery pack uses 22 pounds
    - Electronic appliances such as cell phones use way more nickel in their NiMH batteries worldwide than hybrids
    - Toyota is not a primary customer of this factory - 1,000 tons of nickel is far too little to keep it in business. That Inco plant produced 267,500 tons of nickel in 2006.
    - The 1,000 tons of nickel is not dedicated to the Prius, but Toyota. Tundra probably uses more nickel.
    - The plant is not owned by Toyota or joined at the hip.

    The studies are reported on two small lakes at Sudbury, Ontario located close to a nickel-copper smelter which closed in 1972.

    25 years later, Toyota Prius was introduced in Japan in 1997.

    So reporters need to REALLY check the facts before doing something like this. The world is far better off with hybrids like the Pruis on the road, not vice-versa.
  • vvileyvviley Posts: 46
    Well stated. At least some people out there do their homework.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    I know it's not your fault, because this data has been passed around with the false assumption that it is TRUE, which in fact it is not.

    The media has picked up on one particularly eye catching claim, namely that the Hummer is cleaner than a Toyota Prius hybrid. This result runs contrary to all other research in the area.


    So reporters need to REALLY check the facts before doing something like this. The world is far better off with hybrids like the Pruis on the road, not vice-versa.


    Are you implying that the article is incorrect to state that the "Hummer is Greener than Prius" is urban myth?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    It's not "Urban Myth" it's "Factually Mythical."

    The CNW Research study is garbage. They refuse to let scientific peers review their methodology, which is on the surface clearly flawed.

    They compared apples to oranges when they compared the "energy used" of a 100,000 mile Prius to that of a (excuse me while I snicker at the concept of a Hummer making 300,000 miles........) 300,000 mile Hummer.

    OF COURSE in that FANTASY comparison, the Hummer will win. DUH.

    And their other glaring mistake:

    Example 2: Two Toyota models mentioned in the report, the Scion xA and xB sold only in the USA, are engineered with the same processes, built on the same assembly line, transported and shipped together, distributed through the same dealer network, have the same engines and transmissions, are about the same weight (within 50 lbs.), and have very similar fuel consumption ratings (one just over 35 mpg combined, the other just below 35), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to be very different (53 per cent).

    You see the glaring errors?

    I agree that hybrids have many faults and are not the answer to all our problems. But I cannot stand by while some mysterious "study" (which will not allow peer review) tells me that driving a vehicle that gets 9 MPG is good for the environment. It's not. Try as one might, you can't reason your way out of that simple fact - much less the OTHER factual problems.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    This is not just about one report by CNW. Other sources many of them Universities are in agreement.

    The Toyota Prius has become the flagship car for those in our society so environmentally conscious that they are willing to spend a premium to show the world how much they care. Unfortunately for them, their ultimate ‘green car’ is the source of some of the worst pollution in North America; it takes more combined energy per Prius to produce than a Hummer.

    http://clubs.ccsu.edu/recorder/editorial/editorial_item.asp?NewsID=188

    If you watch vehicle sales, as I do, you will see many Prius being offered that look fine. Yet they carry a Salvage title. Why is that you may ask? It costs more to fix a minor accident in a Prius than to just total it. That would account for a longer lifespan in a larger stronger built vehicle such as a Hummer. If gas mileage was the only criteria on which to base our vehicle purchases the Prius may be a good choice. For me it is being built to hold up for many years not just 150k miles, which is of little importance to someone that limits driving to under 7500 miles per year.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    That is not a RESEARCH or a STUDY page....It's an editorial which recycles the CNW Garbage....:

    Article says:

    "Building a Toyota Prius causes more environmental damage than a Hummer that is on the road for three times longer than a Prius." - A re-stating of the CNW "apples to oranges" comparison of 300,000 mile Hummer to a 100,000 Prius.

    Article says:

    "The nickel is mined and smelted at a plant in Sudbury, Ontario. This plant has caused so much environmental damage to the surrounding environment that NASA has used the ‘dead zone’ around the plant to test moon rovers. The area around the plant is devoid of any life for miles. The plant is the source of all the nickel found in a Prius’ battery and Toyota purchases 1,000 tons annually." A re-stating of the nickel plant situation which I have already debunked in previous posts, which I will repeat for the newbies:

    The typical non-hybrid car uses 50 pounds of nickel
    - The Prius battery pack uses 22 pounds
    - Electronic appliances such as cell phones use way more nickel in their NiMH batteries worldwide than hybrids
    - Toyota is not a primary customer of this factory - 1,000 tons of nickel is far too little to keep it in business. That Inco plant produced 267,500 tons of nickel in 2006.
    - The 1,000 tons of nickel is not dedicated to the Prius, but Toyota. Tundra probably uses more nickel.
    - The plant is not owned by Toyota or joined at the hip.

    The studies are reported on two small lakes at Sudbury, Ontario located close to a nickel-copper smelter which closed in 1972. 25 years later, Toyota Prius was introduced in Japan in 1997.

    All that article shows is a more wordy interpretation of already flawed information.

    Where are the "University studies" which concur with CNW? Still waiting on that.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    Everything I have seen posted on Edmund's that is so called debunking the CNW report is also JUST opinion or editorial comment. No one has bought the report and made an in depth analysis with contrary facts. I can give an opinion on any subject you like. Does not make it fact. The supposed discrepancies between similar models are repeated in the TCO here at Edmund's. You might like to know that the difference in TCO from your Camry Hybrid and a Chevy PU is only $.02 per mile. Yours being 61 cents per mile and the Chevy full size PU is $63 per mile. Just for comparison the regular Camry is 66 cents per mile and the Accord 67 cents per mile. Making the two most popular sedans more expensive to own and operate than a Chevy PU truck. Brings the CNW study more into focus for those that are not willing to shoot at someone without any ammunition. Oh and just checked the Chevy Colorado mid sized PU and it only costs 58 per mile. There you have it the real bargain is a mid sized PU Truck.

    PS
    Cannot find a TCO for the Scion.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Let me say this loudly so it might sink in:

    I ALREADY presented Numerous CONTRARY FACTS BASED ON THEIR RELEASED DATA.

    It's not "opinion" that:

    Two Toyota models mentioned in the report, the Scion xA and xB sold only in the USA, are engineered with the same processes, built on the same assembly line, transported and shipped together, distributed through the same dealer network, have the same engines and transmissions, are about the same weight (within 50 lbs.), and have very similar fuel consumption ratings (one just over 35 mpg combined, the other just below 35), yet the CNW study shows the lifetime energy use of these vehicles to be very different (53 per cent).

    It's not "opinion" that:

    They compared apples to oranges when they compared the "energy used" of a 100,000 mile Prius to that of a 300,000 mile Hummer.

    It's not "opinion" that:

    CNW refuses to allow peer review of their data and methodology.

    It's not "opinion" that:

    The CNW conclusions appear to be very different from the results of several other rigorous, scientifically-reviewed studies of the lifecycle impact of vehicles (e.g. Argonne National Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology).

    It's not "opinion" that:

    CNW claims that the hybrid batteries are not recycled.

    In truth Toyota and sister brand Lexus have a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case, and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information.

    It's not "opinion" that:

    CNW said on an energy basis, vehicles cost an energy-equivalent average of $119,000 to recycle, while hybrids average $140,000. But CNW later says that it calculates the Prius's battery as costing $93 in energy to recycle.

    It's not "opinion" that:

    David Friedman, research director of the Clean Vehicles Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, thinks that CNW's results and apparent methodology bring red flags. "This study has been completely contradicted by studies from MIT, Argonne National Labs and Carnegie Mellon's Lifecycle Assessment Group. The reality is hybrids can significantly cut global warming pollution, reduce energy use, and save drivers thousands at the pump," commented Friedman.

    CNW's figures, for example, show that the Civic Hybrid can cost nearly $165,000 more over its lifetime, "dust to dust," than the standard Civic, which is a difficult figure to swallow, even considering the extra development, materials, and disposal of the Hybrid variant. Honda's Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system is a mild hybrid system and many engineers have admired its elegant and simple design and function, considering the efficiency gains.

    STOP for a second:

    CNW says a Civic Hybrid costs $165,000 more over it's lifetime than a non-hybrid Civic.

    Does that sound reasonable, or even MATHEMATICALLY POSSIBLE?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    Hmmm, I find no mention of the CNW report on the UCS website or for David Friedman. I did find where Art Spinelli and David Friedman had a one on one discussion of the issue of "Hybrids not Green". It seems to be no longer available. I would like to hear from both sides. So far all we've gotten are the pro hybrid voices. I would expect them to trash the report. If anyone has a link to that discussion I would like to watch it.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary, in this case I am not coming at it from a "pro hybrid" view but a "show me state" view:

    The data points we know about are completely ridiculous.

    So how can the final results be anything but?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    I am probably more of a skeptic than you are. I have tried to understand the 458 pages in the CNW report. He uses a lot of information that makes little sense to me. What does make sense is this. It would be a lot easier and cheaper to keep a H1 on the road for 300k plus miles than a Prius. For one thing is the cost to repair a lightly wrecked Prius must be phenomenal. Otherwise there would not be so many that are totaled by the insurance companies. The odds are if you are going to have an accident in a smaller car it will be with an SUV or PU truck. The cost to repair the small car and especially cars like the Prius is far higher than the PU truck of SUV. I really believe that is where they are coming from on the life cycle of these different vehicles.

    Until there is a history of the average life of a hybrid how can you really dispute the arguments. There are so few Prii with more than 100k miles that we are just guessing on the average life cycle. Toyota is gambling that the parts they are forced to warranty hold up for the warranty period. It will be 6 more years on the current model Prius.
  • carz89carz89 Posts: 16
    After reading a few posts here on this CNW study, I searched for it myself and read it. I found their study absolutely absurd. They claim it's a "non-technical report". That's an understatement!

    In their study, the Prius is rated for 100kmiles, and the Hummer rated for 300kmiles. I would argue they have it backwards, especially with regard to the engine. A Prius engine only runs half the time the car is moving, and almost never runs when the car is stopped at a red light. I can't ever recall an American car living to see 300kmiles of road without some major overhauls, yet I frequently hear of Japanese and German cars gracefully achieving those distances. I need a more convincing argument with verifiable facts to believe their mileage expectancy claims.

    The data backing up the cost per mile is insufficient. Yes, I can believe the raw materials may actually travel a long way to get a Ni-MH battery into a Hybrid, but what is the true cost of that per vehicle? Are they discounting all the other supplies and goods that a cargo ship carries from A to B? A ship isn't going to carry a few tons of one product and set sail. A lot of materials can travel a long way to get into a car, even the iron to make the steel (which the Hummer has twice the amount as the Prius).

    The average Prius gets 48 miles to the gallon (www.greenhybrid.com). That's $0.0625/mile for gas at $3.00/gallon. Subtracting that out of the $3.25 per mile for the total cost of the vehicle leaves $3.19 per mile, or $319,000 for your "100,000 mile Prius". Last I checked, a Prius doesn't cost a tenth of that, nor would the maintenance over 8 years. So Toyota must be eating over $200,000 per Prius sold. Or, the Japanese government is subsidizing 90% of the cost to build a Prius! Or, the companies delivering the raw materials to build the Prius are giving them away! Yeah, right! And I was born yesterday.

    I don't see much validity to the numbers, rather, it appears CNW is twisting the truth just like the media and lawyers can twist statistics and facts to suit their agenda.

    C Zito
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "What does make sense is this. It would be a lot easier and cheaper to keep a H1 on the road for 300k plus miles than a Prius."

    I just did some math on that statement Gary.

    At $2.50 gas, here's what JUST THE GASOLINE COSTS ALONE are to drive each car 300,000 miles. This is with a generous estimate of 11 miles per gallon for the Hummer and only 42 miles per gallon with the Prius:

    Hummer gas for 300,000 miles: $68,181.82
    Prius gas for 300,000 miles: $17,857.14

    Assuming insurance is about the same, since they are both "unique vehicles" as far as repair goes, then the Prius would have to have

    $50,324.69

    more dollars worth of repairs in order to cost more than the Hummer for the 300,000 miles.

    Even if you had to buy 2 replacement HSD batteries, get three HSD system computers replaced, get 5 NAV systems replaced, get two electric motors replaced, and 5 catalytic converters replaced, and get NOTHING replaced on the Hummer, the Prius would STILL be cheaper.

    And the CNW conclusion that the Prius costs $319,000 for 100K miles ? C'mon now Gary......anyone can see the fallacy in that number.....
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yes please don't use this even more bogus article. This is a student writing in a college opinion journal. In fact he offers nothing new using both the discredited CNW piece and the silly over-the-top Daily Mail of London instigative piece as his sources.

    He could just as well written about proof that Elvis is alive in Sudbury because aliens had moved his remains and resurrected him ( proof: National Enquirer ).

    If you watch vehicle sales, as I do, you will see many Prius being offered that look fine. Yet they carry a Salvage title. Why is that you may ask? It costs more to fix a minor accident in a Prius than to just total it. That would account for a longer lifespan in a larger stronger built vehicle such as a Hummer.

    This is only supposition on your part. I know this for a fact because my own Prius was been hit 3 times - just this year!!! Even while waiting for the body shop to open a slot for the repairs I drove it damaged with no loss whatsoever in FE and no effect on the driving except the alignment was out. The last accident was a woman hitting the rear door/quarter panel right where the battery pack is located.

    Result: $5000 in damages from three separate events within 60 days. This includes 10 days of shop labor time ( ~40 hrs ) at $75/hr.

    Your contention fails in the light of actual fact, Gary.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,678
    I will try to address all three posters here. First the Hummer in question is the H1 diesel Hummer commonly used by the military. I would think there is good data to support the 379,000 mile life expectancy.

    LARSB you are assuming also that your cost of replacement parts is less than the cost of the whole. I dare say it would be easy to put $50k in repair parts, for the Prius. The only mention I remember on the HSD/PSD transmission alone was $11k. if not covered by warranty. 10 years ago my wife paid over $2300 to have the AC pump in her Lexus replaced with a rebuilt from Lexus. How much do you think that little part would cost for a Prius today?

    To you my friend KDHSPYDER. I do not pretend to understand this study. I have gone over the document lightly and found it very confusing. It would be nice to have an unbiased dissemination to read. If you were in a Hummer1 when hit 3 times over the last few months, do you think the damage would have been as expensive to repair? Or would you even be able to tell that you were hit? I have seen many accidents where the crumple zone was severely damaged while the truck bumper was still in good shape. Cars such as the Prius are designed to protect by folding under impact. This is good for the occupants and the body shop. Not the pocket book. I think this study is trying to say just that. Not very clearly for sure.
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