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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press

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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The Corolla is starting it's sixth year this month. We should have been getting the new Corolla in March like the rest of the world is...except it ran smack headon into the Tundra launch.

    The good soldier Corolla got pushed back a year to next spring. It's ready and has been seen by owners and management since last summer.

    I don't think that there is any intention to drop a hybrid system into the Corolla in the near term. One interesting news item last fall indicated that Toyota was thinking about a special 'brand' of vehicles called Prius.
    .. and updated hatch due here in Oct 2008 ( for sure )
    .. a hybrid minivan such as the JDM Estima ( ? )
    .. a small 4 door sedan maybe like a Yaris ( ? )
    .. a small diesel hybrid truck ( ? )
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Car mpg ratings going down

    Now the EPA ratings are too low.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,062
    I've really only ever considered the EPA ratings as a number to be used for comparison purposes when deciding between cars. The fact that I've pretty much gotten the number on the sticker from every vehicle (city mileage for local driving, highway numbers on the highway) only shows that I must drive more like the tests than some do :P

    So if they've revamped the tests and the numbers are now lower, they still can be useful for comparison purposes, right?

    "Your mileage may vary" is true and covers an awful lot of variation!

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  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    About what was expected but yes too low IMO. Nearly all hybrid drivers making an effort will exceed the new EPA values by 5-10% on average. That should make everyone including the EPA happy.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I'm not a hybrid basher. In fact, I'm a big fan of these regenerative technologies. Here's my question. On average do you think that the typical hybrid owner is more likely to drive in a manner that will maximize mpg? If so then the statistics can get a little skewed. Real world data might show that hybrid owners are exceeding EPA ratings while non-hybrid owners are not. Would that reflect that the ratings system is unfair to hybrids or does it reflect a different type of driver?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Most people moving from a non-hybrid to a hybrid are curious to see if there are ways to dramatically improve fuel economy by modifying their driving habits.

    To those fixated on minimizing fuel usage they can go to extremes to use the Hybrid systems to maximum efficiency. In the GreenHybrid database there are about 10 drivers that AVERAGE higher than 60 mpg which is above the old ( outdated ) EPA City value.

    Most drivers after a month or a couple of months find that doing this extreme 'economy-searching' doesn't meet their lifestyle and revert back to 'normal' driving.

    A quick example,
    .. 30 miles across a heavily populated area in slow but moving traffic with lots of lights on 4 lane major suburban thorofares at 20-35 mph? taking ~45 min..... or
    .. 45 miles around the heavily populated area on an Interstate bypass at 70 mph? taking ~20 min.

    One option gets you 55-75 mpg in fuel economy
    One option gets you 45 mpg in fuel economy

    The choice is up to the driver.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    I wonder if it is business as usual with that bunch at the EPA. How can they use such a broad brush without testing the cars? It looks like they came up with a calculation and used it across the board. They probably tested a couple cars and took the percentage and applied it to all cars. Typical government boondoggle. It does look like the Prius is closer to reality than the old test.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    No mention of the Corolla hybrid, darn! Future Hybrids

    August 2000 is the start date (in Japan) for the E120 Series Corolla. The current E120 Corolla was available from 2003 model year in USA.
    The Corolla is starting it's sixth year this month. We should have been getting the new Corolla in March like the rest of the world is...except it ran smack headon into the Tundra launch.

    The good soldier Corolla got pushed back a year to next spring. It's ready and has been seen by owners and management since last summer.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Yep hit the streets in Feb 2002 as a 2003 model. I saw the first one in person SuperBowl day in 2002.

    I don't see a Corolla hybrid coming. Rather a line of Prius vehicles from a Yaris-size, 2009 Prius, Estima ( Sienna ) small minivan, to a new smaller-than-Highlander 'wagon' hybrid?

    All speculation though. What is interesting is that the Georgetown KY plant is making room for something. The Solara is going away ( small volume ) and 100,000 Camry units are being offloaded to the Subaru plant in Indiana. This leaves 125K units missing in KY. What's going in there?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    Probably the next generation of Prius.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I'm a little curious as to why people want to see a hybrid Corolla. If you're interested in fuel savings then you don't focus on your most efficient vehicles. The Corolla is already rated at around 40 mpg. Get that up to 50 mpg and you've got some gee-whiz factor but not much fuel savings. In terms of fuel savings the best payback will be achieved by dedicating your efforts on your least efficient vehicles. If Toyota got their Land Cruiser up to 16 mpg from 13 mpg that might not sound too impressive but it is far more significant.
  • This is BIG! Plug-in Prius is coming soon.

    Will Toyota's next generation of hybrids, which are expected in late 2008 or early 2009, focus on fuel economy or performance?
    When we shifted from the first generation to the second generation hybrid we enhanced substantially performance in many different aspects. On top of that, we reduced both the cost and size by half. We are currently working on the third generation hybrid, which will also have a much higher performance and good mileage per gallon. On top of that we are now aiming at reducing, by half, both size and cost of the third generation hybrid system. We are not yet at the stage where we can disclose data relating to performance or fuel consumption.

    Will Toyota use Lithium-Ion batteries in the next generation hybrids?
    We will change the battery from nickel hydride to the lithium battery, and therefore we would like to reduce the size of the motors and inverters by half, so the overall size of the hybrid system can be reduced by half.

    There's been a lot of discussion lately over how long it will take Li-Ions that are safe and durable for autos. Will the batteries be ready in time?
    Yes, I believe we can develop this battery in time. Occasionally I visit the site where the development is going on to see the trial model.

    But were you worried by Sony's problems last year when Li-Ions in laptops were reportedly catching fire?
    Of course, we're experimenting on the problem that Sony encountered last year. We are making sure that the problem can be avoided. Automobiles are used in different conditions. For example, cars are used in temperatures from -20 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius and are constantly exposed to high vibrations. It's extremely difficult to build those systems for automobiles compared with cell phones which are used in relatively stable environments. These difficulties must be reflected in the design.

    link title
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    I believe that plug-in hybrids will be very big in the next few years. I think that Toyota has some mixed feeling here. They've spent a lot of money developing the best blended hybrid system. In a plug-in application the advantages of a blended system become less relevant. Actually, the series hybrid approach makes more sense. So when I hear pessimistic statements out of Toyota regarding battery limitations in regards to plug-ins I have to keep it in perspective.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Here is one very real reason for mixed feelings on the PHEV's...what do city dwellers/street parkers do for power at night?

    Is this a vehicle that will only be able to be purchased by the suburban elite with their own private power sources?

    The suburban drivers get the benefits of PHEV's but the city dwellers get 'Tough luck'.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    If PHEVs become popular I don't think it will be that ambitious an undertaking to start installing power sources in parking lots. I envision something like a parking meter except you are paying for kilowatt-hours instead of time.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    I cannot see that as a big issue. Most folks that can afford a hybrid have private parking. If you live where you park on the street just don't buy a PHEV. It is the urban elitist that live in the city. A 2b2b condo in downtown San Diego is over a million bucks. For that same amount I can buy a 4b4b 5000 sq ft home in the suburbs. With a 3 car garage. Only the wealthy can afford to live in the city in my part of the USA.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    As one of the last members of the "Baby Boom" generation (born in 1963) I am proud to hear that the Boomers are leading the hybrid revolution !! Go Green or Go Home !!!

    Boomer Going Green

    WASHINGTON - At the grocery store, Lloyd Lachow buys organic milk and fruit. At the dealership, he shops for hybrids.

    "It's a cultural thing," Lachow says. "I'm somebody who doesn't think global warming is a myth. I understand what science is. I take those things seriously and act accordingly."

    Lachow, 55, is a baby boomer. The generation, born in the years between the end of World War II and the early 1960s, has driven every major automotive buying trend since the late 1970s, when boomers began giving up on Detroit's gas-guzzlers. They flocked to the small, boxy imports built by Toyota and Honda.

    In the 1980s, they dissed station wagons in favor of minivans. As their wealth grew during the decade, they moved up to sexier and brawnier sport-utility vehicles to carry their growing families, their shopping bags and their boats. Along the way, they left behind the luxury of Lincoln and Cadillac for the foreign marques of Acura, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

    Now, the boomers could be on the verge of making another major turn. After decades of indifference, they are starting to change their buying habits in response to global warming. And automakers are rolling out a growing list of vehicles to take advantage of the changing attitudes.

    Environment-conscious consumers have choices beyond the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrids, such as other hybrids, diesels, high-mileage small cars with traditional gasoline engines, and ethanol-powered vehicles. Green drivers can find a cadre of subcompact, conventional gasoline-powered cars like Toyota's Yaris and Honda's Fit, which burst onto the U.S. market as hot sellers last year.

    Hybrids, which even recently were viewed as a fad, are gaining traction in the marketplace. Toyota's Prius, of course, is king of the category. Toyota expects to sell 150,000 Prius cars this year, up 50 percent from last year. Tight supply had forced would-be buyers onto month-long waiting lists, but now the supply is more plentiful. Dealers say the automaker is intent on pushing hybrids - including the Prius - into the mainstream U.S. auto market. Toyota has sweetened deals on the Prius, enticing new customers like Joe Morra, of Rockville, Md., a government attorney.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Prius owners happiest

    And who are the happiest car owners of all? For the fourth year in a row, those who own a Toyota Prius. 92% said they’d buy the hybrid again.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Lincoln Navigator owners happiest

    And who are the happiest car owners of all? For the fourth year in a row, those who own a Toyota Prius. 92% said they’d buy the hybrid again.

    Toyota Prius was not even on the list from Auto Pacific.
    Of course, CR only surveys CR Subscribers, and CR does not represent the general population.
    And CR just got caught lying again in their testing. :(

    quote-
    AutoPacific previously announced individual vehicle winners. The vehicle registering highest overall satisfaction in 2006 is the Lincoln Navigator Luxury SUV winning top vehicle, top truck and top Luxury SUV honors. The highest rated car is the new-for-2006 Hyundai flagship – Hyundai Azera. -end
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    moparbad says, "And CR just got caught lying again in their testing."

    Wrong. Wrong, Triple Wrong.

    CR has never "lied" in their testing. They have made mistakes, and have taken responsibility for them in full and made retractions and corrections.

    What you feel about CR has no bearing on the story I posted because this is not a CR test - This is what the ACTUAL owners of the cars said. Not CR. :shades:

    And it just follows the path of every single study ever done on Prius owner satisfaction - it's always over 90% satisfaction.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    I have seen that figure tossed around. Is it the Consumer satisfaction here on Edmund's. Who does the study you are referring to? Do you have a link or links to those studies. Are the studies comparing all cars? Most cars on Edmund's have a very high satisfaction rating. Most people are not going to say they made a mistake buying a given vehicle.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Here are some study links:

    Prius Rocks #1

    Actually, Gary, the only one I can find is the ones which reference the CR owners satisfaction.....

    HHHHHMMMM........
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Actually, Gary, the only one I can find is the ones which reference the CR owners satisfaction.....

    Is that the only one you wanted to find?

    Vehicle Satisfaction Study Nissan's Rated Highest
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    2007 Toyota Prius
    Victim of cheap gas?


    quote-
    What happened? The price of gas fell to around the two-dollar mark from three; many people who wanted a Prius have acquired one (not unusual in the life cycle of a car); and Toyota upped the production of the much-talked-about hybrid. So supply caught up with -- and in some cases exceeded -- demand, and to some degree put the consumer back in the driver's seat.
    What hasn't changed is the fact that the Prius is one neat little gas sipping car. It's solid, starts quickly even in minus-9 degree wind chills, warms up quickly, and doesn't emit the slightest squeak even in the coldest weather. It also carries the Toyota promise of a long and trouble free life at a reasonable price point.
    -end
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    From the sales side this is very much what I see as well. The 'early adopters' and 'early majority' have bought their vehicles. Now it's a sell the the rest of the market.

    Supply as at least quadrupled in absolute terms. Where we used to get 6-10 units a month now its 30-40 amonth.
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    Of course, CR only surveys CR Subscribers, and CR does not represent the general population

    Agreed, these are only CR subscribers. If you were forced to speculate as to what ways CR subscribers differ from the general population what would you say? For instance, would you say that their education level is less than, equal to, or greater than the general population? The same question for income level and time spent researching purchases? Of course its pure speculation but I'd answer "higher than" for all three questions. If I'm correct than this group, while not representative, potentially has a more valuable point of view than the point of view offered by a truly representative cross section. I do believe that another difference that CR subscribers might have is a greater concern for environmental issues than the general population. I guess that could explain a Prius or hybrid bias but is that really a bad thing? With that said, CR does make mistakes but I believe they aren't intentional and their only agenda is to attempt to offer consumers the best advice possible.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,162
    I would trust an independent study that was sent to ALL Prius owners after owning the car for at least a year. Even then it would be predicated on the percentage of returns from the survey. It is just like polls. They rarely are right and almost never go directly to the masses. As different as the Prius is, I doubt that 10% of the Prius owners have ever been sent an independent questionnaire on how they like the car.

    I lost faith in CR so long ago I do not even look at their rag on the newsstand.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Of course its pure speculation but I'd answer "higher than" for all three questions. If I'm correct than this group, while not representative, potentially has a more valuable point of view than the point of view offered by a truly representative cross section. :surprise: Your opionion is that non-representative data is more valuble? Wow! I just want non-biased facts.

    CR could easily survey owners of vehicles at random. CR makes the choice to only survey their subscribers. Why? The subscribers pay the bills!
    I have no problem accepting the statement that "Toyota Prius has the highest ownership satisfaction amound CR Subscribers".

    It is when people take this scientifically improper sampling method of only sampling subscibers and then try to pass off the results as being representative of the general population that I say NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Last I checked, CR subscribers ARE a part of the "general population."

    These results are from real Prius owners who hopefully are not lying about their cars.

    It's not fake data. It's not fake people. It's not fake cars.

    It's real results from real owners of real Prius cars.
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