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Hybrids in the News



  • katzjamrkatzjamr Posts: 146
    i have a springer spaniel that comes to work with me. i frequently come and go from the showroom and he is used to listening for the trucks. the delivery vans he can hear easily and is in the window waiting. the hybrid is more difficult for him however in the last few months he has picked up a signature noise from that vehicle and can recognize me when i pull up in it. between 6,500 and 7,500 vehicles pass our store a day and he only reacts to my vehicles.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,832
    Are hybrid vehicles worth higher cost?

    The debate over the "premium"
    continues as readers weigh in at this article.

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  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,832
    New Hybrid Vehicles Debut at a Critical Time for the Technology, says ABI Research

    "This is an important generation for the future of hybrid vehicles," says Dan Benjamin, principal analyst for ABI Research's transportation practice. "With these models - as well as the Ford Escape and the Honda Accord -- we're starting to see hybrid versions of mainstream vehicles. The auto makers are giving customers a direct choice: to opt for hybrid technology on a given model, or not. Will they pay the premium for the hybrid technology when everything else about the vehicle is the same?"

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  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    mechanics school for hybrids

    As hybrids get older and require repair, mechanics will be trained to repair them.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Posts: 158
    On Jan 14th there was an episode of DRIVING TELEVISION where a selection of seven vehicles were driven "convoy" style on a 200km course in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. A route was devised for a mix of road conditions with driver changeouts every half hour to average out driving styles. Here are the results :

    PRIUS......5.2L/100km 54mpg
    JETTA TDI..6.8L/100km the only car using a 5MT
    FORD ESCAPE Hybrid..7.5L/100km
    2.4L CAMRY..8.9L/100km Auto
    ACCORD Hybrid..9.1L/100km
    FORD ESCAPE..10.7L/100km Auto
    ACCORD V6..12.0L/100km Auto

    Of course the PRIUS engine is only 1.5L and is the smallest engine of the cars here.

    Hybridisation for Accords and Escapes seems to trim
    3L/100km. Could we expect 5.9L/100km for the Hybrid Camry ?

    Because of a bridge closing the route was altered and it took a total of 6.5 hours to complete the amended 200km course.
    So much for needing 255hp cars when the average speed for this organised tour ended up at around 20mph.

    I think we need better roads more than we need better cars.
    Fuel cost differences between the best and worst here amount to $1400 for 20k km/year driving. ( $1 /litre gas )

    Other things to note
    One of the Accords' trip odometer read 207km even though the vehicles were always in sight of each other !
    This discrepancy will be investigated by Honda service personnel in conjunction with a team from NASA's Gravity Probe "B" - people who have skills relating to perceived relativity.

    Then a Ford Escape nearly became a Ford Escapee when the driver inadvertantly locked the keys inside during a changeover. The equivalent of the AAA were called and it was nice to see that a wire coat hanger in professional hands is still a useful automotive tool with a Ford product.

    Finally the Jetta survived with no electrical problems showing that although VW may not worry about diesel particulates at least their car horns still give a hoot.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,131
    PRIUS......5.2L/100km 54mpg
    JETTA TDI..6.8L/100km

    According to my conversion table the Prius got 45.2 MPG US. That is 25% below EPA city rating. As a comparison the Jetta got 34.5 MPG US. Which is only 4% off of the EPA city rating. I assume this was a city test averaging 20 MPH, That is supposed to be the strong hold of the Hybrids. I would like to see the test driven at 55-70 MPH on highway test. I would imagine the Jetta would do better than the Prius.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    It was a 6-8 hour test drive throughout the Vancouver area in all kinds of traffic including HWY, City and rush hour. The vehicles followed one behind the other throughout, exchanging drivers every hour or two. It was a good test of all at the same time.

    Regardless of what the EPA numbers are, and you know the weak points of their testing, this drive and video is indicative of which performs best in varied ( combined driving ).
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Combined driving = 20mph average? Only with a positive Toyota Hybrid salesman spin on it. Or did you mean "combined" city/urban? Sounds like a highway test is in order to balance these results.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Huh? Did you see the video?

    Combined driving = 20mph average? Only with a positive Toyota Hybrid salesman spin on it. Or did you mean "combined" city/urban? Sounds like a highway test is in order to balance these results.

    Run that by me again please. Combined driving is a mixture of city and highway driving which is what most people do. Where did 20 mph come from?

    There's no spin, although you seem to want it to be that way. The video speaks for itself and the conclusion is what it is.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,131
    So much for needing 255hp cars when the average speed for this organised tour ended up at around 20mph.

    toyolla. posted this observation with his statistics on the convoy. It was obvious the test was meant to make the hybrids shine. Why else do it in a place that limits speed to 90 KMH? How is this test any better than the Prius and Jetta from Detroit to DC? I believe that would be a better combined mileage test. Any highway test that does not include 70-75 MPH is not realistic for most of the drivers in the USA.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    OK .. did you see the video? It was a combination of driving and they got stuck in rush hour traffic and had to make a detour as well. Look at the video and make your own judgement. it is what it is.

    The Detroit to DC test was a good one also with one fault. They didnt drive the vehicles in parallel with multiple drivers. If both vehicle had been driven from Detroit to DC and back, changing drivers every two hours then I'd give it a little more weight.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    120 miles in 6.5 hours. What was the average speed (around 20mph)? Sounds like combined parking not combined driving. With a trip computer, my combined driving is usually 40-50 mph. Maybe this test means something for urban driving, but not much for the other 90% of the country.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I think the test was very representative of driving in any typical large metro area:
    For 20 yrs I commuted into NYC from No. Jersey ~30 mi. Min time was 75 min (24 mph avg) up to 3+ hrs ( 10 mph avg ) depending on traffic. Nearly all of it was on 4 and 5 lane highways ( I80, I95, Rte 3, GW bridge and West Side Hwy ).

    It's the same in Boston or the Beltway around DC or I95 through Baltimore or the Dan Ryan out of Chicago, etc. It's pretty typical of heavy traffic driving in and around any major city.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    That is exactly what I said urban/city mix. The normal EPA mix is highway/city. This would likely yield a 40-50 mph average. The people in some states out west would say the average should be 70mph. The people in NYC would say 20mph. The mix is 45mph. All I meant was this test was perfectly built for the Prius and does not represent well those who live in small to moderate sized cities or those in rural areas. I commute 16 miles in about 20 minutes each way.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I dont know if it was structured, I just viewed the video and agree that it's representative of suburban/city driving in heavily populated areas.

    My commute now is like yours, 75 miles one way in about 80 min on a rural 4 lane highway at abt 62 mph. The Prius is now getting 48-49 mpg cruising at ~60 mph. Since the video approximates my own results then it seems valid to me.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    future hybrid style and substance

    New designs for hybrids are actually starting to appeal to my eyes.
    I am excited to see the new Camry. IMO the Prius wears the crown for the ugliest car.
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,251
    New designs for hybrids are actually starting to appeal to my eyes.

    The picture does not look any different from the 07 non-hyrbid Camry. In other words you dont like design differentiation between hybrids and non-hybrids. And I do agree with you.

    I like low profile technology that stays hidden under the hood than having the technology advertized to others with design differentiation.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204

    Hybrids Dominate Vincentric’s Best Value in America Awards

    BLOOMFIELD HILLS, Michigan – January 17, 2006 – Vincentric’s Best Value in America™ awards were announced today, with hybrid vehicles leading the way. The Toyota Prius, along with the hybrid versions of the Ford Escape, the Honda Civic, and the Toyota Highlander each won the Best Value in America™ award in their segment. Other hybrids receiving Excellent Value ratings are the Mercury Mariner hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h, and the Honda Insight.

    To determine Vincentric’s Best Value in America™, Vincentric analyzed over 1,800 different vehicle configurations and computed the cost to own and operate each vehicle. Eight different cost factors were calculated to determine overall Cost of Ownership: depreciation, fuel, insurance, opportunity cost, financing, maintenance, taxes and state fees, and repairs.

    Using a statistical model, the company identified the Best Value in America™ by measuring which vehicles have a lower than expected ownership cost given their market segment and price. The strong value of hybrids was clear when both a hybrid and non-hybrid version of the same vehicle were compared to other vehicles in the same segments. In those instances, the hybrid version had ownership costs that averaged 16.2% lower than a similarly priced competitor, while the non-hybrid version had ownership costs 7.9% lower.

    “Hybrids benefited from three main factors”, stated David Wurster, President of Vincentric. “First was their strong fuel economy ratings, resulting in lower fuel costs for these vehicles. Second was their strong residual values due to high demand, resulting in lower depreciation costs. And third was the federal tax credit that went into effect this year. This combination of factors creates extremely strong value for consumers.”
  • dpatdpat Posts: 87
    I think it's probably more a matter of them expecting demand for hybrids in general to increase considerably with the new tax credits.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204 wsId=20060118005489&newsLang=en

    These guys insist they are going to biuld and sell this car:

    "We're very serious about this. We're going to produce and sell these cars," says Fambro. "We've got a perfectly timed, market busting product. We have a great team of world class engineers and designers, high-powered marketing and sales experience, and a solid business plan."
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    ...they're called electric cars or plug-in hybrids. They get infinite MPG as long as you stop to recharge them every 20 miles.
  • Actually that test has already been done and the Prius outranked the Jetta TDI in those tests on highway only driving. I think there were two magazines that did the test. Car and Driver and Popular Mechanics.
  • I guess lots of people like the Prius as it is kinda futuristic looking. The Jeep Liberty is somewhat cartoonish. Was watching NCIS last night and they said the Jetta was a chick car as well as the Liberty. The Prius is a geek kinda car.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,131
    the Jetta was a chick car

    I stopped in and sat in a new HCH today. It had better headroom than the Accord Hybrid. It was already sold or the salesman at Poway Honda would have let me try it out. Price $2000 over MSRP. They are selling about one per week. There was a 2006 Jetta parked in front of the office. I asked if they had taken it in trade. The answer killed me. It belongs to the General Manager. I told him he should park it in back. He agreed and said you don't tell the GM where to park. I am still laughing.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204

    Honda Wins Canadian Award for Alternative Power

    Honda Civic Hybrid Awarded 'Best New Alternative Power'
    By Automobile Journalists Association of Canada

    MONTREAL, Jan. 19 /CNW/ - Honda's advanced technology leadership in the area of fuel efficiency and low-emission vehicles was recognized by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC) with the Honda Civic Hybrid being named the "Best New Alternative Power" vehicle for 2006.
    "The new Civic Hybrid provides Canadians the ultimate in efficient technology with improved performance while providing outstanding fuel efficiency and very low emissions at an affordable price," said Jim Miller, executive vice president, Honda Canada, Inc. "With the current high gasoline prices in Canada, hybrid technology is providing Canadians a viable alternative without having to sacrifice power, features or affordability."
  • Historically, I agreed with you, and I thought no one would buy the odd -looking Toyota products, and would prefer the normal-looking Honda products. Man have I been wrong. (Thank god I didn't go into marketing) It looks like hybrid opwners want people to know they drive a hybrid. Or maybe more hybrid owners think the Prius technology is superior to the Civic tech. I dunno. I guess it could be as simple as there is more room in a Prius, so more people buy one.

    Interesting that all the new hybrids look "normal," given that the most successful hybrid has been a hybrid that looks odd (Prius).
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    There was an article in the Wash Post last year that stated just this point that you make. On one side of the street was a Toyota dealership with a waiting list on Prius' and on the the other a Honda store with 10-15 HCH1 on the lot not moving.

    One of the key reasons for lack of movement was the HCH looked like any other Civic. ehh.

    However we have entered a new phase.. the TCH. See the new thread just started. The Prius may have accomplished it's mission.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > maybe more hybrid owners think the Prius technology is superior to the Civic tech

    It is. Refer to the FreedomCAR study to see that their objective MPG data reveals Prius is more efficient. Then note how the system is more power, even compared to the new Civic-Hybrid.

    But the big deal is how Prius supports electric augmentation, as a few owners have already taken advantage of. Being able to utilize electricity more as the battery (or fuel-cell) technology advances is the key. Assist hybrids simply aren't intended to do that; their design is for the motor to assist the engine rather than completely take over for it at times.

  • John: That may be true (I'm not arguing that point), but the question is, "Is that why there are more Priuses sold than Civics?"

    Is it the looks?

    the technology?

    what is it?

    I don't think it is the looks, but I dunno. We'd all be guessing.
This discussion has been closed.