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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    link title

    Mercedes-Benz is claiming a major breakthrough in automotive battery development, announcing it will use lithium-ion technology in its upcoming S400 BlueHybrid that will go on sale in Europe in mid-2009. U.S. sales will follow in the third quarter of 2009.

    If Mercedes sticks to that schedule, the new upmarket gasoline-electric hybrid will be the first series-production road car to rely on lithium-ion batteries for the storage of energy, presaging a whole new lineup of hybrid models being readied by Mercedes-Benz for introduction in coming years.

    The move contrasts General Motors, which has announced that it will put a lithium-ion-based plug-in hybrid Saturn Vue on the market in 2010. GM also plans to use lithium-ion batteries to power its electric vehicles based on the Volt concept. GM plans to deliver the electric cars, which store power in batteries that are charged by plugging into the power grid or by using small onboard gasoline or diesel engines or fuel cells to generate onboard power, in 2010 as well.


    Coolness !!!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,890
    BMW 520d over the Prius. Doesn't make the BMW any more enviro-friendly, but interesting nonetheless and it looks like they had fun doing the test:

    To find out we set a challenge: to drive a Prius to Geneva using motorways and town driving. The direct route is 460 miles but we drove almost 100 miles further to give the Prius the advantage of running in urban conditions where its petrol-electric drivetrain comes into its own.

    We took along a conventionally powered car – a diesel BMW executive saloon – for comparison and drove both cars an identical number of miles (545).


    http://driving.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/driving/used_car_reviews/art- icle3552994.ece

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I would make a comment, however it would get the hybrid vs diesel row going again.

    Coasting down the mountain into Geneva my Prius averaged 99.9mpg for a full 10 minutes. It was the highlight of my journey and improved my overall average fuel economy by a full 2mpg. But it was not enough. For all my defensive driving, slippery bodywork and hybrid technology, my average fuel consumption was 48.1mpg. I’d lost to a Beemer and I was disappointed; I had never driven so slowly or carefully for so long in my life.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    No to start a ROW, but...........

    One of the cars:

    polluted far more during the test,
    costs WAY more than the other car,
    has a manual tranny, known for superior fuel efficiency versus and auto tranny,
    and would be way more expensive to fillup in the USA than the other car.

    Interesting test results, however. I think everyone knows diesels are preferable as a touring highway car by now though.

    Anyone who is surprised by the result is not "in the know" about modern cars.

    That's why I'm patiently waiting on a diesel hybrid sedan. Best of both worlds.

    P.S. I'd like my chances in my 2004 Civic Hybrid with manual tranny versus the BMW. I had one "highway tank" which was 56.4 MPG.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    I think the writer's biggest disappointment was getting stuck driving the Prius while the other guy got the BMW.

    The price difference is not as much as you think. The Prius goes for 21,000 GBP and the BMW for 27,000 GBP. The BMW is a car to enjoy your driving experience. The Prius gets you a free drive into London. Not that I have any desire to drive in London.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,891
    Just remember...

    We Voted Them In

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  • talmy1talmy1 Posts: 55
    Don't forget to read the whole legislation at the link in the announcement.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Which one's are new? All of them were sold in 2007 except for the Vue to the best of my recollection.
  • mcgronmcgron Posts: 1
    According to this site, the Porsche Panamera will be the fastest hybrid when they will introduce in 2009. It looks like hybrid cars are catching up in terms of speed. Also, anyone knows how fast the new Tesla WhiteStar will be?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    I've been enjoying the progress of the restoration of a Walker Dynamotive and perhaps others would also have interest.

    Phase 1

    Phase 2

    Hybrid is not a new concept. The craftsmanship in this restoration is amazing IMHO.
  • Interesting site, but this isn't a hybrid. A hybrid has two or more power sources (typically gasoline ICE and batteries). This truck is gasoline powered with a motor/generator for its transmission, basically the same approach as the diesel-electric locomotive.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,796
    "Interesting site, but this isn't a hybrid. A hybrid has two or more power sources (typically gasoline ICE and batteries). This truck is gasoline powered with a motor/generator for its transmission, basically the same approach as the diesel-electric locomotive. "

    This is a "series" hybrid, a category that also includes the diesel electric locomotive. They aren't always referred to in this fashion, but that is the correct terminology.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Yes it is a series (or serial) hybrid.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    quote-
    For example, between 1938 and 1942 Walker Electric Trucks produced the Dynamotive. This series hybrid gasoline-electric truck definitely fits the definition of a hybrid.
    -end

    Hybrids and Alternative Fuels Deliver the Goods
  • @ moparbad I saw your earlier post and e-mailed some questions to Jay Crist. Here is just part of an e-mail that he took the time to prepare. He is definitely a do-er not a talker, and boy is he modest about what he does.

    "I'm not a very technical person so there a bunch of questions I can't answer. I don't know the specs on the electric motor. I do know the generator puts out 80 volts at 1,000 amps.
    - The drive motor and the power generator were completely rebuilt by Motor Technologies in York Pa.
    - As far as a schematic drawings is concerned, there is none known to be in existence. We were lucky to get 20 pages of a Walker manual from the son of the former Chief Electrical Engineer of the the Company.
    - The speed of the trucks is in the neighborhood of 40 mph.
    - The shaft that supports the electric motor is hollow to allow the 1" axle shaft to pass through it to the differential on the other end of the shaft.
    - You stated a Modern Test Drive Review would be fun to read if one of my drivers would have the time. I'm no Test Drive tech center. There are no other drivers, I'm the only person who drives these vehicles..... "

    "It is now in the paint shop until the end of the month and we will have it completed by the end of September ready to be on display at the Hershey AACA National Show on October 11th. It will also be on special Exhibit at the Hilton Head Concours d"Elegence Show November 1st & 2nd.2008."

    and there it is. A simply awesome achievement.

    Also thanx to moparbad for digging out that reference.

    The photos show four tell-tale terminal posts on the traction motor. Obviously a series wound machine. The series field has to be brought out separately and sent to the controller. That way by reversing the field connections at the controller will the motor be caused to reverse its rotation. Series motors are also used in trams except that here the voltage applied to the motor circuits is not a fixed value but is varied by speeding up the engine. Whether there is a variable field control on the generator I have no idea.

    I was thinking It would be possible to control the system with electronics 1938 style, although motion control circuits with tube amplifiers processing analog signals probably never occured to them way back then. Although television had started by that time and those circuits are fairly complex so the necessary skill sets would have been available. Imagine a situation with owners having to decide whether to call a mechanic or a tv repair person out whenever their vehicle won't go. Well it hasn't happened with the Prius yet !
    T2
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Robotic Prius eliminates Smug Driver

    A unusual motorcade made its way across the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge early one morning last week: a silver Toyota Prius, complete with police escort and camera crew, but with no driver at the wheel.

    The robotic Prius was the invention of Anthony Levandowski, 28, a computer engineer who lives in San Francisco, works in Silicon Valley, and built the so-called "Pribot" in his spare time.

    "Some people like to work on hot rods, boats, or airplanes," Levandowski said afterward. "I love robots."

    Pribot's real-world test started on September 7 at Pier 7, a nondescript slice of San Francisco's often-foggy waterfront, around 7:30 a.m. The autonomous vehicle drove along the Embarcadero, took a right on Harrison Street, turned onto the bridge itself, and exited at Treasure Island.

    The result? Years of hard work paid off. No little old ladies were run off the road. Pribot's trek, Levandowski said, took place without incident, save the car scraping its left side as it drove up the ramp exiting the Bay Bridge.

    This was far from his first experiment with self-guided vehicles. As a student at the University of California at Berkeley in 2004, Levandowski was part of a graduate student team that created a robotic motorcycle called Ghostrider to enter DARPA's Grand Challenge.


    image
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    He should team up with the folks that ran a Prius in DARPA last year and finished. Still got beat out by a VW and a Escape Hybrid.

    http://www.benfranklinracingteam.org/
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,891
    Judge Blocks Hybrid Taxi Requirement

    Dealing a sharp blow to the Bloomberg administration’s attempt to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, a federal judge on Friday blocked New York City from requiring owners and operators of yellow taxicabs to switch to more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles that operate on a mixture of gasoline and electricity.

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,891
    http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssConsumerGoodsAndRetailNews/idUSL1182483200811- 01

    FRANKFURT, Nov 1 (Reuters) - Volkswagen plans to produce virtually all the components for motors used in hybrid and electric vehicles on its own unlike competitors who rely on suppliers, a German magazine reported.

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,891
    LOS ANGELES — Ford Motor will announce Wednesday that it plans to beat Toyota (TM) at its own game when it comes to hybrids.
    It's the latest example of U.S. automakers trying to "out-hybrid" Japanese brands that had a head start with the gas savers.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2008-11-18-ford-hybrids-toyota_N.htm

    Is this the new direction for Ford? Will it pull them out and ahead of the other domestic brands?

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    An amazing road trip through adverse conditions nabs a World Record - ( Sorry, Jetta TDI )

    November 22nd, 2008 marked the beginning of a historic effort by three highly regarded Hypermilers to break a World Record established just two months prior. Completed September 25th, this record was achieved by Australians John and Helen Taylor in a 2009 VW Jetta 2.0L TDI sponsored by Volkswagen, Shell, and Navman. The Guinness verified record of 58.82mpg (US) set a new standard of efficiency in real world (official) mileage while traversing the country. Could our team of intrepid drivers overtake this lofty number in spite of unpredictable winter conditions?

    Not only did they overtake the target mileage, they exceeded it by 11.5% to establish the new record at 68.54mpg (US) in a 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid carrying three people and their luggage through all 48 contiguous states.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,018
    Our own Wayne Geddes did good. Congratulations!!!!
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Next Gen Prius = 62 MPG? Really?

    That might get me into a Prius.

    image
  • DEAR FORUM FAMILY,
    I HAVE A 2007 TOYOTA CAMRY HYBRID. BOUGHT IT USED AND THE GMC USED AUTO DEALER CHANGED THE OIL, ETC.., BUT COULD NOT TURN OFF THE "MAINTENANCE NEEDED WARNING LIGHT?"
    CAN I DO THIS MYSELF? NO KEY, JUST A IGNTION FOB AND THEN PUSH A BUTTON TO START.
    THANK YOU,
    RICK1946
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    1. Set your odometer display to "Trip A."
    2. Turn your car off.
    3. Push the odometer button (from Step 1) again and hold it during Steps 4 and 5.
    4. Turn your car on.
    5. Wait a few seconds while 5 indicators in your display screen cycle on.
    6. Your display will tell you that the maintenance warning reset is complete.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,891
    This story about an explosion of an RX400h is kinda scary

    http://gas2.org/2009/02/04/doctor-critically-injured-after-his-lexus-hybrid-expl- odes/

    No indication of a bomb involved in early reports, but it's hard to imagine that the car itself exploded and could be felt a mile away. I know there's the combination of high voltage and explosive liquids invloved, but wow.

    And you know how this will play out if nothing beynd the car is involved. We'll have the great hybrid scare of 2009 play out in the media :sick:

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,891
    Now they're saying a bomb was involved

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/02/04/doctor.car.blast/index.html

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    An "exploding hybrid" which exploded because of it's hybrid-ness would have to explode from the battery area, I would guess.

    I'll eat the front seat of my TCH over a 5-day period, with gravy, if a hybrid car ever explodes because of an explosive failure of a hybrid component.

    That's just a highly, highly unlikely scenario.

    I see freeway Car-B-Ques all the time in the Big City, but none of them have ever been a hybrid, to my knowledge.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Timely retraction/clarification. Fostering unfounded fears is the what the irresponsible do. An interesting side note apparently is that the design of the hybrid system can withstand the effect of a bomb exploded in the front of the vehicle without involving the hybrid battery. I seriouisly doubt that Toyota designed the vehicle to withstand such an event...but nevertheless good engineering.
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