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Hybrids & Diesels - Deals or Duds?

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Comments

  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    Easy solution to the NOx problem. The idea of a tax credit is good. In my view, more diesels = less petroleum fuel use which = lower greenhouse emissions and less dependence on petroleum from overseas.

    I use B5 in my CRD. That is all I can get locally. I have read of people using B20 and B100 in the CRD with no ill effect.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    Understood.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Diesel is just starting to gain respect in the USA. The tax credit is a good step. ULSD is very important. And the expanding biodiesel industry is the brightest star for our future independence from fossil fuel. Hybrid diesels can have a role in weaning us off of fossil fuel. With the coming ULSD mandate I believe the emissions issue will be only a few people with an agenda still nit-picking. MB, Honda & VW have demonstrated very clean burning efficient diesel engines. They will now get the place they deserve. Once you drive a modern diesel, gas engines don't hack it.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    I am in wholehearted agreement with your comments. I never lost respect for diesels. If designed, built and maintained properly, they are delightful power plants.

    It is unfortunate that General Motors soiled the reputation of the diesel in the United States. I never had a lick of trouble with my 1981 Isuzu I-Mark diesel save for a single hydrolock situation.

    I would really like to see biodiesel take off. The government should subsidize this fuel and strongly encourage it's use. We have plenty of land that is laying fallow. Another benefit is keeping animal fat/tallow out of the landfills. This is another source of biodiesel.

    I drive a 2005 CRD and the engine is way beyond what my old Isuzu was. It is smoother and far more powerful. In comparison to my previous vehicle, a 1993 Dodge Dakota 4X2 with a 5.2 L V-8, this is so much better. I have more torque than the V-8 could ever produce and pulling power from 50 - 70 in top gear is so much better too. I have literally increased my fuel economy by 50+% too. No more gasoline for me.

    A hybrid diesel is interesting. Chrysler (before it became Daimler-Chrysler) had a hybrid. It was the size of a Dodge Intrepid, had a three cylinder DI diesel, and got close to 55 mpg on the road.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I would also agree. If one does ANY long distance highway traveling, diesel almost tailor made for our highway systems!

    I just came back from a San Jose CA to Las Vegas, NV, one way 530 miles. Filled up on the Las Vegas Strip and got 42 mpg with 5.5 hrs of travel time.:) Trunk maxed to the gills and AC full blast the whole time and three passengers.

    While I was in Vegas, for a week, I did app 184 miles of stop and go (Vegas is worse than an LA rush hour) and got 29 mpg. 5 passengers all the time AC full blast (which really didnt do much good)
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I just filled from the return trip.(530 miles) It was 6.25 hrs of travel time. There were three passengers, trunk still filled to the gills and AC full blast the whole time and got 44.2 mpg. What other cars can one do that kind of average speed and still log in between 42-44 mpg?
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    I found a couple more issues that make a hybrid like a Prius problematic.

    What happens to the batteries once they become unusable or if the vehicle gets totalled? NiMH batteries are not exactly the most environmentally friendly batteries around, although better than NiCd. What about the cost of disposing of them properly?

    A second issue is that some fire departments are hesitant to touch a Prius that has been badly damaged for fear of getting shocked. I know that Toyota has built in a feature to prevent this, but it could still be a problem. What is so frightening is that this could be the difference between a badly injured person surviving or dying.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    This might be a nit, but I also notice the Prius has a 140 vs the 360 UTOQ rating . While the rating is supposed to be a "standard" indication" there are some individual differences. So just in terms of the raw numbers, this can mean the Prius uses tires that are 2.57 x more likely to wear faster than the VW Jetta with 360 UTOQ. While this might be lost on the economy/environ market crowd, they will find out soon enough that they will need far more tire changes than the Jetta diesel equipped with the 360 utoq rating. While I am guessing at this, I am thinking the Prius uses these 140 utoq tires to help out the poor handling qualities of the Prius due to other engineering compromises. As a comparison a Z06 Corvette has an oem utoq of 220.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    Tire ratings don't have any meaningful standards. They can't really be compared.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Those come from the manufacturers themselves.

    140 is oddly low, though. That's usually for track tires.

    -juice
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I submit that there is a meaningful standard and it does indeed serve as a source of relative comparison. So given how any particular person drives, I hardly doubt you would except far faster wear from a 740 UTOQ than say a 360 UTOQ or in the orginal example 360 vs 140.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    On the same car, I have had Michelins with a 200 rating last longer than Kuhmos with 300 ratings. That is my anecdotal evidence. And I could give several more examples of this happening to me. But is pretty much irrelevant what happens in a couple of cases.

    There is no meaningful standard. As stated above, it is up to the manufacturer. It is like asking a car manufacturer to rate how fast their cars are on a scale of 1-10. Would you expect Ferrari and Kia to have the same definition of fast.

    On a side note, years ago (I have no idea of it still happens), tire manufacturers were accused of issuing abnormally low tire wear ratings, because the autocross types would assume the lowest rating = the stickiest tires.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    Again, as a rule, the higher UTOQ will last longer than a lower UTOQ. Are there exceptions? Of course there are.

    As I have said, If you take a look at Kumho's vs Michelin's (since you do not mention which model tires) you will find that Michelin's usually come with thicker rubber. So for example in Michelin's for the Corvette, the Michelins have 10/32 in vs the oem Goodyear's that come 8/32 in.vs Kumho's with 9/32 in. I would expect the Michelins to last far longer, given these situations
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > What happens to the batteries once they become unusable or if the vehicle gets totalled?

    They get recycled.

    It's that simple.

    NiMH is recycleable and not dangerous to the environment (don't believe the false info being spread by some). There's collection program already setup for this too, where you get $200 for the pack afterward.

    As for the "hesitant" claim, what fire department has actually said that?

    JOHN
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Uniform Tire Quality Grade Standards (UTQG) were originated to provide consumers with useful information to help them purchase tires based on their relative treadwear, traction and temperature capabilities. While it is required by law for most passenger car tires sold in the United States, it is not required for deep treaded light truck tires or winter tires.

    When looking at UTQG ratings it is important to realize that the Department of Transportation does not conduct the tests. The grades are assigned by the tire manufacturers based on their test results or those conducted by an independent testing company they have hired. The NHTSA has the right to inspect the tire manufacturer's data and can fine them if inconsistencies are found. While most new tire lines have their grades established when they are introduced, they are allowed a 6-month grace period to allow the tire manufacturer to test actual production tires. Once a grade is assigned it must be branded on the tire's upper sidewall and printed on its label.

    Unfortunately, the rating that is of the most interest to consumers is the one that appears to be the least consistent. While the Treadwear Grade was originally intended to be assigned purely scientifically, it has also become a marketing tool used by manufacturers to help position and promote their tires.

    UTQG Treadwear Grades are based on actual road use in which the test tire is run in a vehicle convoy along with standardized Course Monitoring Tires. The vehicle repeatedly runs a prescribed 400-mile test loop in West Texas for a total of 7,200 miles. The vehicle can have its alignment set, air pressure checked and tires rotated every 800 miles. The test tire's and the Monitoring Tire's wear are measured during and at the conclusion of the test. The tire manufacturers then assign a Treadwear Grade based on the observed wear rates. The Course Monitoring Tire is assigned a grade and the test tire receives a grade indicating its relative treadwear. A grade of 100 would indicate that the tire tread would last as long as the test tire, 200 would indicate the tread would last twice as long, 300 would indicate three times as long, etc.

    The problem with UTQG Treadwear Grades is that they are open to some interpretation on the part of the tire manufacturer because they are assigned after the tire has only experienced a little treadwear as it runs the 7,200 miles. This means that the tire manufacturers need to extrapolate their raw wear data when they are assigning Treadwear Grades, and that their grades can to some extent reflect how conservative or optimistic their marketing department is. Typically, comparing the Treadwear Grades of tire lines within a single brand is somewhat helpful, while attempting to compare the grades between different brands is not as helpful.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    Since we are on a hybrid/diesel thread and the original thought was the oem tires of 360 utoq vs 140 utoq, the concept was that the 360 utoq would tend to get longer wear than the 140 utoq. So I would agree that a lot in the situation/s is/are dependent on a lot of variables, which I have said all along is relative.

    So lets take a real life situation The 360 utoq tire has 60k miles with 6/32 in tread remaining, starting with 10/32 in. Wear patterns would indicate app consumption of 15,000 per 1/32in. So projected remaining wear if I take it to 2/32 in is 120k. So are you saying that I can get similar mileage with a 140 rated tire assuming a start with 10/32 in ???
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    Yes, depending on the tire with the 140 rating.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 167,693
    ...unless it is the same brand tire...

    They are absolutely not comparable between brands..

    So.. saying that a tire with a 140 rating will wear faster than one with a 360 rating, is only accurate if they are both Michelins, Bridgestone, etc...

    Does this seem silly and illogical? Of course it does..

    Is it true? Absolutely

    regards,
    kyfdx

    Did you get a good deal? Be sure to come back and share!

    Edmunds Moderator

  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    So is there anyone getting 15,000 miles of wear per 1/32 in on the Pruis hybrid? Or projected 120k miles? Silence is deafening here in the real world!?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    For your first absolutely, the PRACTICAL incompatibility is utterly absurd. I have two Goodyear tire models, GY Eagle F1 SC's @ 220 utoq and GY LS H's @360 utoq. While once can adjust for the differences in variables, these comparisons serve no real useful purpose, as I could no more put the F1 Supercars where the GY LSH's would go and vice versa. However, one variable that is close is the weight, one at 3050 #'s and the other at 2950#'s.

    For your second absolutely, I have directly compared two different brands GY Eagle F1 SC's 220 utoq vs Toyo Proxes T1S's, 280 utoq. same sizes. The 280 utoqs are wearing app 5k miles per 1/32 in longer than the 220 utoqs. Imagine that!?

    Will it be true in EVERY case? I doubt it.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    It is nice to see that the batteries are being recycled.

    As to which fire departments are "hesitant" to go near a Prius, I could not tell you. I read this in the September 2005 Car & Driver magazine. The names of the fire departments were not stated.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't buy that. That was part of a another one of Brock Yates' rants. That guy gets so political that I can barely stand to read anything he writes any more.

    I think it's nonsense.

    -juice
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Rumor has it that the Camry hybrid will be another of those V6 hybrids.

    Along with the Accord hybrid, I don't see the point. Most of the people who would feel good about owning a hybrid (in the green sense) aren't into fast driving. They want to save more gas than they could in a regular 4-cyl Camry - not use as much gas as one while going twice as fast. I know commuters who buy Corollas/Civics instead of Camries/Accords just for the mileage... a slow hybrid Camry/Accord would be perfect for them. And they're a big market, unlike hybrid V-6 buyers.

    And don't forget all the people who would want a Prius - a midsized comfortable car - but don't want its looks or flashiness. A hybrid 4-cyl Camry would get all of them, too.

    Finally, I think most people who are into fast driving but want a hybrid (I'm thinking techies, not environmentalists or unethusiast commuters), would like something other than a Camry for that sort of thing.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > I also notice the Prius has a 140

    That is grossly outdated information.

    Prius comes with a 460 now. Wear from the 460 is much less, because the rubber is much harder. (I upgraded the tires on my Prius to 760, so they'll outlast the average tire... and then some.)

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > Rumor has it that the Camry hybrid will be another of those V6 hybrids.

    Some people are intentionally trying to create this rumor.

    It is absolutely not true.

    Toyota *ALREADY* announced that the Camry-Hybrid coming out next year will be use a 4-cylinder engine. See... http://www.toyota.com/html/hybridsynergyview/2005/summer/hybridcamry.html

    JOHN
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > The NOx can be addressed with SCR (Selective Cathalytic Reduction). Just a cathalytic converter for diesel.

    Yes, we know that. The problem is automakers haven't cared enough to actually use the technology. They just keep doing the minimum.

    The SULEV emission rating is possible for a diesel vehicle, but not available for consumers to purchase.

    JOHN
  • carlisimocarlisimo Posts: 1,280
    Oh ok, thanks.

    In that case, my post applies only to the Accord hybrid =].
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I would hardly call information on a 2004 Toyota Prius's "grossly outdated". And yes, I made the case that 460(higher) would wear longer than a 140 (lower) "UTOQ.
  • lemmerlemmer Posts: 2,699
    760? Isn't that like driving on marbles?
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    One thing I have learned about driving on high numbered UTOG tires is that they tend to not like wet conditions. They may wear like iron, but put some water on the pavement and lookout. I have noted this with many Michelin tires save for the newer tires that are directional or designed for wet pavement.

    I generally prefer a UTOG of about 360 to 380. I like a sticky tire and I am willing to give up durability for control and safety. The Bridgestone Alenza has a UTOG of 700. It does not ride like you are on marbles. Apparently the compounding of the rubber changes as it wears. It gets softer as the tread wears away. So far, I have not slid in wet conditions, as I have only 2100 miles on the tires. It will be interesting to see what happens when I have 21,000 miles (which is 1/3 of the rated tire life). If I have wet control problems, then I will go back to Pirelli.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/08/07/AR2005080700888.html">link title

    No wonder Diesel is always more expensive than regular gasoline.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Good article. I wonder if the oil refiners will step up production when biodiesel starts to get a foothold. One of the guys I work with lives in So. Dakota. He is paying less for B20 than regular at the Co-op. I think that this new energy bill addresses additional refining facilities. We need them desperately.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    The article is informative, but the writer fails to point out an important item, biodiesel as a source of fuel. I believe that our government has done everything to create this shortage. Like everything else they do, they wait until the last minute to do something and generally when it is too late and too little. There is always a dis-incentive to do the right thing and they do not think ahead. I live just outside of Washington D.C. and the level of stupidity I hear and read about is beyond unbelievable.

    As for biodiesel, we have plenty of farm land that is laying fallow. That could be used to grow soy, canola, etc. to make biodiesel. The refining process for biodiesel is simpler than making diesel from petroleum and there is no sulfur to worry about. If the government should subsidize something, then it should be this. Biodiesel can be used to heat homes and businesses too.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    There are some incentives for biodiesel in the energy bill. I am not sure exactly what yet. Every gallon we grow saves a gallon of fossil fuel. And the tractors run great on pure biodiesel. Also it would get us off the hook on global warming. Biodiesel is CO2 neutral.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Greetings from the beautiful city of Victoria BC. I am amazed at how many of the Smart cars are running around up here. Talked to the dealer and he cannot keep them in stock. They are priced from $16k to $23k Canadian. I talked to two owners that are both getting over 70 MPG. They are rated at 72 MPG. Neat little car.

    image
    image
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    C&D had an article about them recently and it seemed pretty positive. I believe they are diesel powered, am I correct?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Me likey. I would give that serious consideration as my city commuter car, especially given the size of that folding top.

    -juice
  • fintailfintail Posts: 51,607
    I saw one in Bellevue WA last week

    I think they'd sell reasonably well in urban areas
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Yes, they are a 3 cylinder diesel CDI built by Mercedes or some subsidiary. Very quiet.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    Great! So why buy a hybrid if this little guy gets 70 mpg? As commuter, this little guy looks ideal. Simple, no mixed up powertrain. If they were selling them here, I would have bought one instead of my Jeep Liberty CRD. Do not get me wrong, I am very happy with my CRD. On my way home from shopping with my wife this evening, at one Shell station, regular gas was 2.799 while diesel was 2.599. At another place, Chevron diesel was 2.499, regular 2.479. At my normal place of fill up, diesel was a penny less per gallon than regular (2.569 versus 2.579).

    Looks like fuel prices are going to the moon. Hope we have a mild winter. :)
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Dealer told me he has customers getting 90+ MPG? He has a customer with a home in Victoria that lives in Seattle. That is one way to get around the tough EPA regulations.

    In its first year in Canada, the Smart car is already outselling the two other "it" niche minicars, the Volkswagen Beetle, re-introduced in 1998, and BMW Canada's Mini Cooper, which was resurrected in 2002.

    The most positive sign, Caza said, was that demand was "pan-Canadian, rather than in the three main markets (of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver). We thought it would be an urban demand, but it's selling in places like Halifax, Regina, Saskatoon and Victoria."

    Guillaume Noiseux, 18, is also thinking pan-Canadian - he's considering trekking cross-country in the Smart car with a buddy, although his father called that "more in the planning stages than in the sphere of reality."

    Noiseux pere said the first 10 months have gone "surprisingly well. It's simple, dependable and economical. My kid used it to go to college all year, and it cost him $12 to $15 in gas every two weeks. It's actually less expensive than a bus pass."


    http://www.zapworld.com/about/news/watch_smartvminibeetle.asp
  • mike91326mike91326 SoCalPosts: 251
    With ULSD, and the prospect of more high mileage clean diesel cars in all 50 states now less than a year away, is big oil trying to scare us away from diesel with high prices? Right now, when it comes to gasoline, they are the only game in town. When you need fuel your only choice is buying big oil’s product at their price. However, with diesel there is an alternative called biodiesel. When you buy biodiesel the money goes to American farmer’s not big oil. Just think, if by 2010 10% of cars were diesel powered and only 10% of those cars ran biodiesel, how much money big oil would lose. I would think that big oil does not see biodiesel as being in their best interest and will do almost anything to convince us not to buy diesel cars. What do you guys think?
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 21,516
    Another big oil conspiracy, it brings to mind Pogo's axiom: "We have met the enemy and he is us".

    We have no one to blame for high fuel prices but ourselves.

    2001 BMW 330ci/E46, 2008 BMW 335i conv/E93

  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Why has diesel gone above regular gas during the summer for the first time? It costs less to refine diesel. Diesel was cheaper in Canada last week by 45 cents per gallon. Why this year just about a year before the ULSD mandate takes affect? Why just after several major automakers announce they are bringing diesel cars to market when the mandate takes affect? Ethanol has not proven to be a threat to gasoline sales, biodiesel is a threat. I talked to the president of Green Star Products. They are making biodiesel in Bakersfield CA. I asked about dealers in San Diego. He told me they cannot keep up with the demand in the Bay area. They are hoping to expand very soon. Where biodiesel is readily available in the midwest diesel is now the same or less than regular unleaded. Why do you suppose that is?
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    On a national level, they average slightly higher prices than gas, at least regular gas.

    Around me, diesel cost more then even premium gas. That's a tough sell, you gotta pay about $0.25-30 cents more per gallon in the first place.

    On top of that, low-sulfur diesel it supposed to cost a bit more, I read 7 cents more somewhere. If so it would be $0.32-37 more per gallon here. Yikes.

    -juice
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    Don't forget the improved mileage.

    To give an even comparison: the Hyundai Accent with the 1.5L gas motor and 5-speed gets around 35 mpg highway. Gas at $2.51 a gallon will cost $71.71 per 1000 miles. The same Hyundai Accent with a 1.5L turbodiesel gets around 50 mpg highway. To spend that same $71.71 over the same 1000 miles, diesel would have to be $3.59 a gallon.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    I agree that we have only ourselves to blame for the pickle we are in.

    As for price, diesel is running at the same price as regular at some stations while at others it is up to twenty cents less per gallon. Go figure.

    Biodiesel is a great idea. I have tried it a couple of times as a B5 blend in my CRD. The engine is quieter, smoother and feels peppier. As for fuel economy, there was no degradation. If the big oil companies are threatened by biodiesel, then maybe they should invest some of their ill gotten profits in it. They will have to eventually.

    If you to really reduce petroleum imports, impose an increasingly stiff tax based on vehicle size and engine displacement and type. They do this in Europe.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    Do not forget the environmental part too. Diesel produces fewer greenhouse gases and with biodiesel it is carbon dioxide neutral.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    A quick comment. A UTOG of 760 does not necessarily mean driving on marbles. A great deal of that number has to do with how the rubber in the tread area is compounded and less with the physical structure of the tire.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    On top of that, low-sulfur diesel it supposed to cost a bit more

    I would expect that to be the case. However I am using BP ECD-1 ULSD and paying $2.999 per gallon at ARCO stations. The truck stops in my area are $3.079 and up. Unleaded regular at the same ARCO is $2.699 Premium $2.879. You have to take into consideration San Diego has always gotten gouged by the gas companies, same as the Bay area.
This discussion has been closed.