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The Future of Hybrid Technology



  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Prius sells because it is its own model, and Toyota is more aggressive in marketing it, than is Honda with its hybrids (at the moment).


    Hybrids are still about taking baby steps, IMO. Future is where the success is. There is plenty to be developed, including addressing the common perceptions.
  • "When I asked to see the Civic Hybrid the other day the salesman told me they only do special order on them."




    So? The same is true for Prius. There are more buyers than cars, because Both Honda & Toyota are limiting production to <50,000 a year. troy
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    So? The same is true for Prius. There are more buyers than cars, because Both Honda & Toyota are limiting production to <50,000 a year.


    There is a big difference between special order and a waiting list. Toyota dealers have an open order for any Prius they can get. When one comes in it is sold to someone on the list or the first guy in the door with the money. Special order means they are not going to take a chance, flooring a car that does not sell. So if you want one pay up front and we will put it on order.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    Just looking over the sales figures of 2004 vs 2003. It was a good year for the SUV & PU Truck market. Ford, Chevy & Dodge all sold more PU trucks than the best selling Sedan, Camry.


    Overall the sedan market took a beating. They sold about 202k less cars than 2003. Ford PU trucks had the biggest year with 94k more than 2003. SUVs gained over 150k from 2003.


    All the hype about high gas prices killing the SUV and PU truck market never materialized.


    The Prius did good ending the year close to 54k units in a virtual tie with the VW Passat. They both suffered from availability problems. The dealers could not keep enough diesel Passats on the lots and sold them at or above MSRP same as Prius. Passat was able to sell that many cars without two of the largest states.

  • There are more buyers than cars, because Both Honda & Toyota are limiting production to <50,000 a year. Says are not "poor". It's a self-imposed limitation.


  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Gagrice wrote


    Hybrids made little impact on the car market


    In 2003 nearly 60,000 hybrid vehicles were sold,

    In 2004 its 120,000. Thats nearly double.


    Its just 7 years since HEV's are on the World stage. In the coming years, it will gain bigger and bigger share as more models join in.


    Also Read the article again


    The SUV's which has truck chassis took a severe

    beating. They are

    Explorer (-33 k)

    Grand Cherokee (-25 k)

    Expedition (-21 k)

    Blazer (-20 k)

    Outlander (-16 k)

    Suburban (-15 k)

    Montero Sport (-13 k)

    Tahoe (-13 k)


    while the CUV' which has car chassis gained a lot

    Highlander (+13 k)

    RX 300 (+14 k)

    Escape/Hybrid (+15 k)

    Rainier (+19 k)

    Pacifica (+35 k)


    though a few SUV' also gained.

    The gains in pickup sales may be because of lot of

    companies must have bought these vehicles.


    Gas prices did make an impact.


    Its good that Sedan sales were reduced by 202k.

    My Olds Sedan which is 16 ft in length could not

    take a 25 inch TV box which is hardly 4 ft in length.


    Smaller vehicles like Matrix, Vibe which has 5th door can do the job.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    Smaller vehicles like Matrix, Vibe which has 5th door can do the job.


    You forgot the best of the bunch the Malibu Maxx.


    Who builds the Vibe & Matrix? They look like the same little piece o' tin. Same engine, ratings etc...
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428


    Malibu Maxx is a wonderful vehicle where the rear seat



    and folds flat

    allowing big item to roll in through the hatch door.


    Unfortunately only 50,000 units were sold last year. Hope more and more vehicles follow such design which gives comfort & utility.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    posted with permission until link to exact article is available


    Ray Bradbury Talks Transportation's Future in Green Car Journal


    SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Ray Bradbury, one of the world's leading science fiction writers and author of such classics as "The Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451," traffic on our nation's major highways will freeze with gridlock, and only then will people decide to change their driving habits.


    "We're going to be forced into new solutions just as we were forced into space," says Bradbury in an exclusive Green Car Journal interview. Bradbury reminds us that unusual circumstances made for an acceptance of space travel, with America's race for space driven not by the general population's desire to go to the moon, but rather by a reaction to political events during the Cold War.


    Similarly, Bradbury expects that a complete rethinking of our transportation system will be driven by reaction to events over the next five to seven years, not by a desire for change. In the interview, Bradbury says that, simply, "we're going to be forced to look at the automobile and freeways because they're not working."


    Bradbury isn't alone in pointing out the need for change. In Green Car Journal's Winter 2004/2005 issue, Amory Lovins, noted physicist and CEO of Rocky Mountain Institute, discusses how the application of advanced automotive technologies can create highly efficient vehicles that help resolve America's dependence on foreign oil.


    Lovins supports his perspective with a look at specific examples of advanced automotive design and manufacturing work at BMW, Honda, Porsche, and Toyota, along with an RMI Hypercar project that examines a virtually designed, production costed, and manufacturable crossover vehicle that uses these, and other, technologies. The RMI team's new Pentagon co-sponsored study, "Winning the Oil Endgame" (, documents these advances.


    "It shows how to save half of U.S. oil use at $12/barrel, and then replace the rest with biofuels and saved natural gas," says Lovins in the article. "That would eliminate U.S. oil use by 2050 -- without needing federal legislation, CAFE, or gasoline taxes, but led by business for profit."


    Other voices in the issue include that of World Resources Institute president Jonathan Lash, who explains why it's crucial that domestic automakers build more fuel efficient vehicles to effectively compete in emerging world markets. Also adding a voice to the issue is Bluewater Network's Elisa Lynch, who focuses on the need for revamping EPA's fuel economy testing so official mpg estimates provide new car buyers a realistic basis for comparison.


    With its focus on automobiles, energy diversity, and environment, Green Car Journal truly is the auto enthusiast magazine of today. Since its launch in 2003, the consumer magazine has become a popular read not only for auto enthusiast subscribers and newsstand buyers, but also for environmentalists, opinion leaders, political leaders, and the nation's top media.


    "In fact, we've been told by writers and producers from high profile print and broadcast media that our magazine issues are referenced as they prepare their own features," says Green Car Journal editor and publisher Ron Cogan, a former Motor Trend feature editor. "With the considerable noise and confusion floating out there on high efficiency, alternative fuel, and advanced technology vehicles, we're pleased to play that role and gratified that our balanced coverage is so highly regarded."


    Green Car Journal was recently honored with nine International Automotive Media Awards, including gold Foundation Awards for Best News, Introduction of New Models, and Interview, and a silver for Best Single Magazine Issue. The magazine focuses on low emission and high fuel economy gasoline and diesel vehicles; hybrid, battery electric, and fuel cell technologies; and hydrogen, ethanol, biodiesel, natural gas, LPG, and low sulfur fuels.


    Among the colorful features in the current issue are test drives of the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid and Jeep Liberty diesel, a look at Volvo's 3CC electric car concept and BMW's hydrogen H2R, and an overview of the Top 20 green pickups.


    The magazine's popular companion website, Green Car Journal Online (, offers selected features from the print edition and syndicated content via RSS feed. Viewers can subscribe to the print Green Car Journal magazine through the website.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    GM and DCX working on two mode system, but is it that great? Read this:


    "That's an equation DaimlerChrysler found impossible to ignore, which is why last month it signed an agreement with General Motors to develop hybrid systems for its range of brands, which include Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler.

    "It is both companies' (GM and DaimlerChrysler) goal to build the two-mode full hybrid system as one of the leading hybrid systems globally in the industry," says GM's Tom Stephens.


    Mr Stephens claims the addition of the so-called two-mode hybrid system will provide some of the most significant fuel economy gains for cars ever.


    "This system will . . . achieve at least a 25 per cent improvement in composite fuel economy in full-size truck applications," he says."


    Full article here:



    Big whoop if an 18 MPG SUV gets bumped up to 22.5 MPG. Who's gonna pay extra to get that tiny bump?


    I know if there are 2 million of them sold that it will reduce gas consumption by a lot, but that small a jump is not going to set the world on fire, is it?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    Big whoop if an 18 MPG SUV gets bumped up to 22.5 MPG. Who's gonna pay extra to get that tiny bump?


    I agree, especially when you can get that kind of mileage with the diesel that is available in the big 3 trucks. Plus the much greater towing capacity. I don't see much advantage to hybrid trucks. I'm not sure of their motivation unless it is to meet the new CAFE truck standards.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Will it make sense to classify Hybrids as

    H1 - Mild - Stop & Start

         Chevy Silverado, Citroen C3


    H2 - Partial - Motor supplementing Engine

         Honda Civic / Accord


    H3 - Full - Motor powering vehicle at low speed

         Toyota Prius, Ford Escape


    H4 - Plugin - Facility to charge from grid


    H5 - Plugin/Bifuel - Facility to have 2 fuels like

         Gasolene / Ethanol

         Diesel / Biodiesel

         Gasolene / LPG

         combined with Plugin facility.


    H6 - Plugin/FC - Fuel Cell along with Plugin.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    I like H5, more options.....
  • The usual terms are "parallel" (wheels driven by both engine & motor) and "serial" (engine has no connection to the wheels).


    All the hybrids made by Ford, Toyota, Honda are parallel.


    Some people would rather see a serial hybrid (engine not connected to wheels), because they say it would be more efficient.


  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Some people would rather see a serial hybrid, because they say it would be more efficient.


    These people may not understand pros and cons to the extent engineers do. Honda showcased a hybrid scooter prototype last year which has a dual hybrid set up... Series mode in cruising situations, and parallel mode in power demand situations. You can read about it here.


    It is always about compromises.
  • I don't know. I think serial hybrid makes sense. You could drive about 100 miles on pure Electric for your daily commute & recharge at night.


    Meanwhile the engine just sits there until you take your weekend trip to see grandma/grandpa -or- to visit the beach some ~200 miles a way. Then the engine turns on & charges the battery.


    A serial hybrid provides the best of both worlds:

    - clean EV power for daily commutes

    - an engine that can provide unlimited range




    Like I said, none of the current hybrids are serial (no connection between engine & wheels). They are parallel.


  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    What you&#146;re asking for is Honda EV-Plus with ICE used as on-board (electricity) generator. This will require a very powerful electric motor (Honda&#146;s AC motor tops out at 80 HP) and ultra-capacitor/battery pack to match the power demand against whatever the generator can provide. You&#146;re already up to 3500 lb. vehicle with EV-Plus (even if 500 lb could be shaved off, that would still make up for 37.5 lb for each HP).


    At this point, we don&#146;t know what the fuel economy would be like with the generator behind the battery pack.


    And yes, I too said there aren't any hybrid cars that are serial (diesel locomotives, and the Honda's Hybrid Scooter prototype are though).
  • Yeah, but a serial hybrid would be designed for only 1/4 or 1/2 the range of the EV-plus, and the battery would also be downsized to 1/4 or 1/2... thereby making the car lighter.


    Fuel economy would be irrelevant if you're driving around on pure EV every day.


  • daysailerdaysailer Posts: 720
    Oh, it may SEEM to make sense to the casual observer - until you consider all those pesky compromises that Robertsmx mentioned.


    First, a series hybrid requires that the electric drive provide the FULL power requirement of the vehicle, unlike the parallel hybrid where electric drive bears only part of the burden. This entails increased mass which requires more power which entails more mass .. etc. But, you might say that the ICE (and its requisite generator) can be smaller, and you'd be right. BUT, as the ICE/generator power output decreases, the battery capacity must increase - and batteries are even more massive and require more propulsive power which entails more mass, etc. But, you may say, transient power requirements can be addressed by capacitive storage which offers high power density (although low energy density), and again you'd be right, and this would reduce mass somewhat (but still more than a parallel hybrid), but you mentioned EV operation and utility grid charging. In fact, you suggest 100mile range on battery alone which is tantamount to asking the most abbitiuous EV yet produced to bear the ADDITIONAL burden of an ICE, generator, fuel system and other ancillaries. EV technology has yet to produce a practical vehicle due primarily to the low energy density and high cost of batteries, and you suggest further increases to vehicle mass and cost while increasing power requirements with the addition of the ICE et al!


    Compromises abound in any design - there is NO free lunch! Consequently, one must decide what objectives are realistic to pursue. If your objective is to extract the highest efficiency from a petroleum fueled vehicle, the parallel hybrid is the most promising technology to date and may even approach economic justification in the forseeable future. EV technology has yet to approach a practical replacement for the ICE vehicle and cost remains in the twilight zone. To suggest adding more cost, mass, etc by adding series, plug-in hybid technology will not improve the picture. It's no coincidence that Chrysler has chosen their gargantuan Sprinter van as a platform for plug-in hybrid windmill flailing.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    EV-Plus had an &#147;ideal&#148; driving range of something like 120 miles. ¼ to ½ of that would be just 40-60 miles under ideal conditions, and worse in less than ideal.
  • Daysailor... I disagree.




    EV Motor = ~100 hp peak/25hp sustained does not weigh that much. Prius carries two of these.


    Battery = ~50 miles would be about 200 pounds... probably the heaviest piece in the car...


    Engine = ~30 hp... just large enough to charge the battery when empty


  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    How have you arrived at these numbers? Battery pack will weigh depending on its size. And more likely than not, the 30 HP motor is going to be one of the heavier pieces in the car (besides the powerful electric motor, as well as the transmission).


    PS. NiMH battery pack in Civic Hybrid weighs just 44 lb (20 kg).
  • I conferred with some EV experts (people who build electric cars for their own use!). Here's what they estimate:


    "Prius is about 3000lbs. Eliminate the NIMH battery pack and transmission and halve the gasoline engine to save 500lbs."


    "Add a 350lb NiMH battery pack for 50 miles of EV-only range and budget 150lbs toward a 100hp electric motor and you're done."


    "Weight is the same. And you now have a TRUE hybrid with EV only capability & unlimited range."


  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    You cannot cut the gasoline engine in half and trim the weight by 50%. It is not a linear relationship. Most of this discussion is based on assumptions and it won&#146;t help to establish anything concrete. If things were that simple, you would have seen automotive giants step on it. Building anything involves enough compromises. You pick some for others, based on needs.


    And there is no &#147;true&#148; or &#147;false&#148; hybrid. Just two ways to go about hybrid design: Serial or Parallel. Or, it can be a combination of both (as in the Honda Hybrid Scooter Prototype).


    Take your guess why Honda engineers might have implemented series/parallel to co-exist in the hybrid system? Going with series only shouldn't have made a difference in any other way but improvement, correct?
  • You only need 1/3rd the power of the Prius engine, which should be doable in half the weight.


    Another way to show weight isn't a problem is to take an electric car (e.g. Rav4-EV), subtract half the batteries and add the 39hp TDI engine found in the Smart. It weighs 30 pounds and has more than enough power.


    Now you have a Rav4 serial hybrid that can do 50 miles pure EV, weighs less, & has no distance limitation.


  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Troy, are you talking about THIS RAV4:


    "Toyota has just introduced the $43,000 RAV4 EV, the first compact sport utility vehicle for the retail market fueled by household current."


    That one? That is not a serial hybrid, it's an EV.


    Where is info on the "serial hybrid RAV4" that has no distance limitation? I cannot find anything on the web about such a car.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    In theory, a lot of things are possible. As far as reality is concerned you did not respond to a question from me.


    Why do you think Honda engineers incorporated serial AND parallel mode of operation in Hybrid Scooter prototype?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    "Toyota has just introduced the $43,000 RAV4 EV, the first compact sport utility vehicle for the retail market fueled by household current."


    No wonder they had a hard time selling them. That is pricey for that car. Probably $15K in batteries. I wonder if a guy could find a good buy on a used one.

  • Why is it so many times suggested that the hybrid battery in the hybrid cars is going to be soooo expensive at the end of the next 7-8 years. Remembering everything electronic usually drops in cost when marketing in mass numbers follows. Examples....VCR's, DVD's, Cellphones,Digital Cameras, etc. It is said that Big Screen TV's will eventually drop another 40-60% in the next 5 yrs. Why are there so many doubters out there with less than adequate info or is it just that some choose to be negitive?

    Culliganman(give a hybrid a break)

    PS..Car&Driver, MotorTrend, Consumer's Report ETC.. They can't all be wrong!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    Why are there so many doubters out there with less than adequate info or is it just that some choose to be negitive?


    Can you give me an example of a NiMH pack that has gone down in price? Every time I buy a new laptop battery they are more expensive. I think hybrid batteries will be the same. Someone just posted the price for a Prius battery at more than $5200. Hope you have something saved for a replacement or dump your car before the 100k miles is up.
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