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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press

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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    Maybe the states need to require a special license for hybrid drivers as they have for motorcyclists. All these last few posts point out what I am saying about drive by wire systems. They leave a LOT to be desired. Give me manual linkage to my accelerator, steering and brakes. A little assist is fine for brakes and steering. I don't want my car controlled by Microsoft Windows that crashes every few days.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Believe me, Gary, the day a car comes out with Microsoft Windows at the controls, it's time to march on D.C. my friend !! :D :D :shades:
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    gary says, "Maybe the states need to require a special license for hybrid drivers as they have for motorcyclists."

    You are not serious, are you? Hybrid cars drive EXACTLY LIKE REGULAR CARS. There is no difference in the driving part - all the differences take place behind the scenes !!!

    My 81 year old Granny drove my TCH and said it was just like any other car !!!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    ConsumerAffairs is a trolling net for anyone dissatisfied with any product. They have no expertise on any subject ( lawyer-driven ? ) other than to gather potential prospects for future class action suits.

    If you don't like your blanket or drugs or toaster or hybrid or recliner rocker or self-folding mattress, then post it on CA's site and you'll be the subject of a forum like this.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I think hybrids have allowed a business case to be made for even more choices in fuel efficient vehicles.
    Look closely and you can see the automakers hedging their bets. Toyota is pushing into diesel. Ditto for Honda, which may not build a new hybrid Accord.


    Agree wholeheartedly on this point.

    I believe also that Toyota and GM are acting in concert, as the two leading manufacturers, to pull the rest of the industry behind them. I think Toyota showed it could be done and be done profitably. Ford was a natural 'partner' to spread the word but unfortunately they are running into other problems. GM's 2-mode is a competing system but very capable by all initial reports and possibly more flexible in that it can be used in a wider range of vehicles.

    I now see that Merc and BMW are planning to add hybrids to their future product lines.
  • michael2003michael2003 Posts: 144
    Are there really vehicles that don't have a Neutral selection for the transmission?

    According to the interior pictures available for the Prius, I saw that the shift knob did show an 'N' position, which I would assume would be considered Neutral.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    How do you shut the thing off if it is key-less with a FOB in your pocket? A good case for the trusty analog key. A lot cheaper to replace also. I know most of the new keys attached to the FOB are upwards of $300 to replace, re-program and re-cut.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    It's a rolling computer. Just like any other computer, turn the power off. It's the same icon as it is on a computer.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    So the Prius is a Microsoft Windows machine? :shades: I mean how do you cut the power to the whole blasted vehicle? Shut it off. You know like the switch on the back of your computer that actually turns it off. If the software goes wacky as it is prone to do you may not have an icon to touch on the screen.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    If the software goes wacky as it is prone to do you may not have an icon to touch on the screen

    The On/Off button is in front where a keyhole might be but on the dash.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Virus testing on a...car?
    Mikko Hypponen, director of antivirus research at F-Secure, recently obtained a 2005 Prius from Toyota. Toyota (which also owns Lexus) said the Bluetooth used in the Prius was similar to the system found in the Lexus. Toyota cars use a proprietary operating system, not Symbian.

    Despite re-creating hazardous circumstances, in which someone walks into a Bluetooth-enabled Prius with a Cabir-infected cell phone, the team at F-Secure was unable to infect the Prius. And when the researchers attempted to send the infected SIS file to the car, the Prius responded with a "transfer failed" message. In fact, they were unable to successfully perpetrate any known Bluetooth attack.


    So no, Gary, the Prius is not a Microsoft Windows machine - thankfully !!!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    I was sure that it was not a Microsoft product.:sick:

    No one has answered the question how do you remove power from the computer/hybrid system if something goes wrong while cruising down the highway? Soft switches do not remove power they only put it into sleep or standby mode. The proof being if you leave the car unattended for a few weeks it discharges the battery making the car unusable. I want to have the ability to CUT OFF the power quickly if the car goes berserk as it allegedly did in Washington this week. I don't think that is unreasonable.
    PS
    Same goes for a BMW that is out of control.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The Power Button which turns the car ON is also the method of turning the car OFF.

    image

    Same as turning off the key on any car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,176
    You know me, I hate to disagree with you. The key in my truck turns the actual power to the vehicles operating system (computer) off. It does not drain the battery down as it does in the Toyota hybrids. There are actual electrical contacts that are opened when the key is turned off. It removes power that is required to start all the systems going again. If I am cruising down the road and turn the key off my truck comes to a halt. Maybe not all vehicles use this system. I would be curious to know which ones to steer clear of in my shopping for a vehicle.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, now that you mention it, I have no idea what happens if you are driving down the road and push the Power button to turn the Prius/TCH/HiHy off.

    Kdhspyder, do you know? :confuse:
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Nope, never tried it but I'll investigate.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Go Thee Forthwith and Purchaseth a Hybrid Car-eth

    Considering a hybrid vehicle? Now is the time to buy, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information. There are four key reasons: -0- *T 1. According to Edmunds.com True Market Value(R) (TMV(R)) pricing system, average transaction prices of most hybrid vehicle models are at their lowest levels in history because the supply is finally beginning to exceed the demand. 2. For the first time ever, incentives are being offered on many popular hybrids. 3. Certain hybrid tax credits will be lower for those who purchase later in the spring, after automakers reach specific hybrid sales targets. 4. Gas prices have begun their seasonal rise. AAA recently reported that unleaded fuel is up 32 cents per gallon compared with one month ago.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Posts: 158
    Sadly Hydrogenics, a hydrogen research company in the Province of Ontario, has just laid off 50 staff. Their business is in electrolysers and reformers for the hydrogen economy. They also were working on a hydrogen propelled road vehicle for the US army. I believe they were connected to fuel cell companies on other projects.

    This is a very hard business to be in. One view of the feasibility of the hydrogen economy using electrolysers driven by solar energy is expounded by rorr on post #142 at the Hydrogen Fuel Cars forum here.

    T2
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,032
    A reporter for a weekend news program is looking to interview consumers in the Los Angeles area who are interested in purchasing a hybrid. Please reply to ctalati@edmunds.com no later than Thursday, March 22, 2007 with your daytime contact info.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email, karen@edmunds.com, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • wvgasguywvgasguy Posts: 1,405
    How ironic. Since Toyota is #1 Hybrid Company in the World it is very important that the citizens of the United States provide thousands of dollars in incentives to sell each Toyota hybrid cars.

    What does the tax credit accomplish? Reduced energy usage? Reduced emissions?


    This is not an issue about if you believe are hybrids beneficial. Assuming we've bought into that (I have) and If you believe that the government wants it's citizens to convert to clean cars (hybrids_and they must have) and thus offers incentives, then it makes no sense to take the credits away from Toyota and keep them with Ford, Nissan, Honda and others that enter the hybrid market. Don't mix market control with environmental benefits.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "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: 29,176
    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.
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