Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Hybrids & Diesels - Deals or Duds?

1457910100

Comments

  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    Why thank you kind sir. I only post my own thoughts and experiences, if other people find them useful, good, if not, oh well.
    You know, we can beat the mileage/value thing to death. Endless calculations, reasons, hypothesis, etc. etc. BUT, it all boils down to one thing, most of us cannot afford the car we want, when we want it. Even fewer of us think of the TOTAL ownership costs. We see the ads, or one of X driving down the street and go "wow" I want me one (or the wife says she wants one). Off we toddle to the dealership, where they first see just what they can sell us into, and then try and load up the options (read high profit centers). Then they say " You know, your credit isn't 100%, whose is, but boy have we got a deal for you" and you end up walking out with what you can just afford, not what gets the best mileage or the best resale value. That is the REAL world for 99.99% of us. I do not fault Toyota for being smart and being in the right place at the right time with a highly "marketable" read free advertising on the TV news and Magazines, product. Most people buy on impulse, not rationale. hey, the option package, which includes underwear warmers, only adds $5/month to your payments, but 250Lbs to the weight of your vehicle "I'll take it" Want an absolutely useless extended warranty, only cost you $15/month, wow, what a deal.
    If you can remove 150 lbs from an "average" vehicle, you can get roughly 1 more MPG. Now, this saves the manufacturers massive amounts of money in the CAFE game. The Corporate Average Fuel Economy game. If they can include more high mileage vehicles, they pay less penalties to the Government. That is why when the plastic window regulator breaks, the replacement is metal and the battery is the minimum size and weight that will do. etc. etc. etc. So why would the Government really, really want vehicles with better economy, that pays less taxes. There are so many "fingers" in the revenue pie of the automobile industry from regulation to operation to parts and on and on that unless each of us can design, build and operate his or her own personal vehicle, (mine would be a Countach pickup, with snow tires and Yosemite Sam mud flaps) we are stuck with what the majors sell us. The only thing we can do is vote with our wallet, but that doesn't help the majority of folks who vote with their disposable income.
  • john1701ajohn1701a Posts: 1,897
    > The problem becomes when you have emmision regulated the gasoline engine to the point where at Pzev levels, there is nowhere else to go.

    Of course there is somewhere else to go!

    "P" means Partial.

    As the electric abilities of the hybrid are increase, it becomes increasing closer to reaching ZEV.

    JOHN
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    John, no disrespect, but the "P" as used by the manufacturers and the Govt.actually stands for "Practically" a rather useless term don't you think, Zero Emmision Vehicles. If one goes back to the discussions that started when these utterly useless image acronyms were to be implemented it was quite amusing. Instead of the Govt and Industry being applauded by the greens, they were, taken to task. THERE ARE NO PZEV or ZEV vehicles. To make the statement that there are ignores the fact that it takes more energy conversion to make them, BTU's/pound. They have to be made somewhere, somehow. Even H2 and electric vehicles are NOT ZEV. Hybrids, well you are producing through engine generation or regenerative braking or charging, electricty. You then store this.Then you are using this to add to or solely power a vehicle. When you convert one type of energy to another, you lose about 30%, so do the math. And the Energizer Bunny can only grow so big. If you want the ultimate power source, look to NASA. They have had for years a "mini" nuclear reactor that produces electricity for the spacecraft. Hell of a power source, you just glow in the dark and have Hiroshime in the event of an accident.

    I certainly am not a person of the green persuasion, but I agree with this notion. You are aware that Ford installed cat convertors along with Dodge on their diesel 1/2, 3/4, and 1 tons in 98/99/00 and then they mysteriously stopped. Why, because they did not do anything. But the Govt said they had to have them. Now they are coming back out, again. By the way, they are around $900 to replace.
    Regulations are strange things, they always seem to come at a time when manufacturers need help. Mercedes engines in Freightliners, wow, wonder if they can meet the 2007/10 requirements, or will it only be CAT and Cummins?

    DOD has waivers so it can use the old 6.2 non turbo in its Dumbvees, 6V and 8V Detroit engines in its HETs and HEMMTTS, CUMMINS mechanicals in its 5 tons.

    Wonder why?
    I know this sounds cynical, but believe me, from where I sit, it is only a miniscule % of what goes on.

    OH, forgot, while we do the PZEV thing, the Ford Focus cylinder head is good for about 80,000 miles before it cracks, unrepairable. Light weight, lightweight.

    The Energizer Bunny can only grow so big. You can't escape the losses from changing from generation to storage to conversion to drive. we are still not at, or anywhere near a workable fossil alternative. Not by a long way. But, there is a LOT of money out there, black holes exist and meanwhile we are no closer.

    As always, follow the money, thats where the wolves are.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    Thank you yb5, your dose of reality is very refreshing.

    "As always, follow the money, thats where the wolves are. "

    So very true.
  • yesrohyesroh Posts: 290
    True...the thing with Hybrids is their rated MPG is so high that people don't mind when they don't get them. Was the 49.2mpg mostly city driving? I have always averaged higher than the EPA rating on all the cars I owned. For a car rated 60/51, a 49.2 mpg liftetime rating sounds low, but still a good mpg compared to most modern cars.
    How does it drive? The Prius sounds like the logical choice for me if I went hybrid but I'd pay MSRP. I will not bow to dealer gouging...they'll just have to lower their price or they won't get squat from me. But all the other hybrids are adaptations of regular cars and you lose so much trunk space. The Prius has an enormous trunk for a hybrid.
  • yesrohyesroh Posts: 290
    Yes...I think what we have to see here is the big picture...Toyotoa has an incredible reliability record and if they put out a car like the Prius with new, untested battery technology, and it flops, their reputation would be tarnished and no one wants to buy a car that isn't reliable, especially with the dealer markups on these. I've always hated Toyota dealers.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Was the 49.2mpg mostly city driving?

    That is John's average for almost two years. That includes winter snow and cold. Yes that is good mileage. If you like the Prius looks and want good mileage it is a good choice. The latest gouge in gas prices have shrunk the supply of all high mileage vehicles. I think if you are persistent you will find a deal on the Prius. Good Luck,
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    Ford actually makes and sells the "old" 2.5 oil burner Ranger in Thailand. They just sold, with your money, some 1000 of them, 4X4 to the Afghan Government, for use by their military. Two levels of output, low and lower. No seriously, these engines are old technology, but in the developing countries nobody cares about emmisions or mileage really, because we the taxpayer usually pay the bills.
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    If looks aren't all that important, take a Scion xB at $15,000. 35 mpg, all kinds of room, not to peppy, but for a 1.5 okay. Toyota reliability, excellant resale value, sort of makes you think.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    Outstanding analysis. There is such a thing as a ZEV. It is solar powered, but as technology stands right now, it is impractical and prohibitively expensive.

    Hybrids are a bandaid. They are not the long term solution that some of us would like to think they are. As yb5 stated, about 1/3 of the energy to charge the batteries goes down the toilet. If you stick a diesel or turbodiesel in a Prius type car, the losses in energy conversion would be less as diesels are thermally more efficient.

    As to the Ford Focus issue, sounds about right, junk!

    As to catalytic converters on diesels, once the sulfur is out, meeting emissions should be much easier. A previous post stated that while using ULSD in CA, his diesel ran so much better. I am looking forward to the same in 2006.
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    In europe, diesel powered cars generally cost less to purchase than their gas powered counterparts.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Intriguing for sure, but someone pointed out to me that it has the lowest HP rating of any regular car in the market.

    Scion showed a similar concept with a 2.4l engine, if they used that they'd really have something. Even the Corolla's engine in something boxy and usefully shaped like that would be good.

    SAE hp is something like 103-105, imagine driving up a hill with 4 people and gear inside. You might not make it. LOL

    -juice
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    Just for a laugh:
    I had the displeasure of owning a 01 Duramax. Bought it new, paid the $7500 "extra" fee for the Dmax/Allison combo.Now for those of you who do not know, the Dmax is an Isuzu engine, not GM. The common rail injection system works at around 30,000 psi.it is an Isuzu design, but made by Bosch.
    To cut a long, painful story short, it had four sets of injectors, 3 unintentional oil changes and a transmission that behaved like a donkey. Pull up to a stop light and it proceeded to lull you to sleep, "i'm in, I'm out, I'm in, etc.etc.etc". So amongst the many reasons that I was given for the repeated failure of the injectors ($5000/set installed on DMax I ) was the quality of California fuel. It was "different, not as pure (whatever the heck that meant) as Japanese and European fuel" After the 4th set, GM had no choice other than to extend the injector warranty out to 200,000 miles. But, after I mentioned to GM that they could possibly have a product, that under their own admission, was unfit for sale in CA, the fuel was transformed, instantly, refined before my very eyes into pure gold.
    They screwed up, allowing other companies to design a product that was defective. Instead of coming clean and saying, you know, we made a mistake etc. etc. etc. they, and the other Majors all try and brush you off. Ask CAT about the 7 series high pressure fuel pumps, Cummins about the fuel lines and injectors, etc. etc. etc. Tis the way of the world.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I think that's atypical but it does go to show that diesels are succeptible to problems just like any other engine.

    Besides, gas engines will long outlive some other major items that will break down sooner, notably automatic transmissions.

    -juice
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    Think about it, what do you do with the batteries, electric motor(s), controllers, and solar cells/panels when they cease to function/wear out? That is why there really, truly are no ZEV's. A true ZEV goes nowhere, does nothing and is of absolutely no use to anyone. I only shudder to think how one would describe a PZEV without offending someone. Come on guy's, they are marketing gimmicks. To see how effective they actually are, ask one of your friends (who is just a regular person, not a car fanatic) casually what a PZEV or ZEV is. My bet is they will say a drink or one of those candy dispensers the kids used to rave about. The general public don't care, never have, never will. As long as they can "get in, turn on and drive off" and afford it of course, that is all they care about. And that is why the majors, the Govt. and all the people who have a financial stake, job, or whatever in the business can build, regulate, tax and monitor as they want to. The few of us who care have absolutely no chance of changing a damn thing.
    Just my thoughts.
  • Exactly right.
    All the general public cares about is money. If you can design a vehicle with a lower cost to operate, it will sell more.
    A very small percent of car-buying population, myself not included, would pay more for a vehicle with cleaner emissions.
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    Juice, I wish it was atypical. In the old days, you could run engines and transmissions until they "wore" out, many, many miles. Design load factors were usually 50% back then. Now, using computers and inexperience, they are close to 85%. All that means is that instead of having an excess load factor of 100%, it is now down to 12.75% and that is why, in my humble opinion, things break or wear out so often.
  • the volksy diesels have had catalytic converters since 1999... i think they do *something* nice. i have not heard anyone allege that they serve no function other than to meet a government mandate. i wonder...
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    Just came from my local Tacoma, WA VW dealer and he told me “VW said that they will not accept any order for cars with TDI engines. What is shipped has been sold and what has been produced and not yet shipped has been sold”
    He had no idea when they might start taking orders again, but figured it may be close to the end of the year, maybe, big maybe.

    I wonder if any of the other auto makers, Honda, Toyota, etc. are looking at this and thinking that maybe there might be some market for a high MPG diesel? I guess time will tell.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Thing is, both the Jetta and Passat have just undergone major changeovers. We should see TDI models shortly.

    Bad timing, but they're not agile enough to react to short-term demand spikes like this one.

    -juice
  • i don't think we are going to see passat tdi in USA any year soon. my local volksy dealer sales expert said something resembling that. he has not steered me wrong yet regarding any diesel info.
    via him, i understand audi is going to "take over" much of the tdi line in USA. in particular, any future diesel in wagon form factor will be an audi not a volkswagen. we'll see...
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    Word in the industry is that Europe and the rest of the world bet on diesel. We bet on hybrids. Now its who can stand further away from the trough. My bets on diesel, surprisingly enough.
  • I use to think of that too, an economy car. However I now think that driving a Prius has to do with setting a lifestyle statement. The unique styling of the Prius gives it an advantage over the Civic hybrid. So long as there is that $3,000 or so cost penalty, the only way to sell hybrids is to make them a standout in styling like the Prius.
  • yb5yb5 Posts: 13
    I find it interesting how Toyota has elbowed Honda aside as the "poster child" for Hybrids. Almost every tv news program, newspaper article etc that has anything to do with hybrids invariably mentions or shows images of the Prius. I guess being in the right place at the right time counts. I would imagine Honda, Lexus (I know, Toyota), Ford and GM are foaming at the mouth.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    I think you are right on. If Leonardo de Caprio pulled up to the Oscar's in a Civic hybrid the news would say he has hit hard times driving a Honda Civic. He drives up in the Prius and the story is how "green" he looks. Yet in real life the Prius and HCH are almost identical as far as mileage and emissions. As ugly as the Prius is, it LOOKS Green to the media, and they spread the news.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The tragedy in that is that Toyota's truck engines are among the worst polluters out there, worse than the Ford Excursion in some emissions tests.

    They sell far more trucks with the 4.7l engine than they do hybrids.

    -juice
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    They sell far more trucks with the 4.7l engine than they do hybrids.

    They are building a brand new factory in San Antonio to double their Tundra truck sales. Makes you wonder how green are their motives. I think it is purely greenbacks.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The engine is being revised for 06, but I'm not sure what effect that has on emissions. The old one was extremely dirty, though.

    -juice
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    Actually the 2005 4.7L for CA is ULEV II which is good. However they cut the emissions and the mileage went down about 10% also.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " The unique styling of the Prius gives it an advantage over the Civic hybrid."

    Well, to each his own. The wife would not even consider the 2004+ Prius because she says it "looks like a cockroach". She would have accepted the first generation styling.

    So, "unique" or "ugly" is in the eye of the beholder...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I don't think he meant beauty or the lack of it, but instead the fact that all Prii are hybrids, yet not all Civics are hybrids. So it was about being identified as a hybrid, not whether or not the styling was appreciated.

    -juice
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,450
    So, "unique" or "ugly" is in the eye of the beholder.

    No question about it. A couple years ago we were into the Lexus dealer for service. I asked my wife if she wanted to trade in here LS400. We looked at all the new Lexus models. Nothing looked good to her. She was happy to keep her 1990 LS400. Since finding an honest Lexus repair place, I doubt she will ever part with it. Oh, and the first time she saw the Prius it was yuck from first sight. It is in the eye of the beholder. She used the term stink bug.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    To me the Prius looks like a stylistic clone of the Pontiac AZTEK. This one was slammed big time by the car pundits. I don't think the AZTEK dare I say Pontiac has yet to recover from this one.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    That's an asking price, note it has not sold. Just because a dealer is fishing doesn't mean he's catching fish (i.e. suckers).

    -juice
  • fintailfintail Posts: 51,555
    Are other dealers so crazy? Now this is Seattle, so the things are in demand. But still...30K....crazy
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    You can get an Accord hybrid for less than that around here.

    $30 grand buys more than 10,000 gallons of gas around here right now, enough to fuel my Miata for the next 280,000 miles, if it lasts that long.

    -juice
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I am glad to see that others see that the entry to the hybrid club can indeed be a lot higher.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Key word there being "can", not "is".

    Just because one person is a sucker doesn't mean they all are.

    -juice
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    Perhaps I am not being clear, I would seriously consider being a buyer of a Civic hybrid at 12,500, ( vs 20,000) which is what I got the 2004 Civic VP. This would be in spite of a greater likelihood of more costly unscheduled maintainance and probably lower resale value.

    I will leave the definition of "sucker" to you.

    I just returned from a business road trip from San Jose, CA to Portland, Oregon. the mileage seemed to be 37 mpg over all, for app 1500 miles R/T.. Since I have made this trip a number of times, mostly in a VW Jetta TDI , the mpg was more like 47 mpg and at a higher average speed. My SWAG for the lower average speed, if done on the Jetta TDI, as I did with the Civic VP would be between 50-52 mpg. I missed not having to only take on fuel at the destination and at the place of origin rather than the mandatory multiple stops in the Civic.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Who knows? For someone desperate to get in the HOV lane it might even be worth it (to them) to pay that exorbitant markup. Certainly not me, though.

    My point is just because we see prices up in the 30s doesn't mean people are actually paying that much. Before Katrina the local no-haggle Toyota dealer was discounting Priuses below MSRP and they had a few in stock.

    -juice
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    ..."My point is just because we see prices up in the 30s doesn't mean people are actually paying that much."...

    Well that is true, that is why there are other threads dealing with prices paid for example Honda Civic's. This is of course probably is not on topic for this thread.
  • autoweek this week has a table showing time to recoup the additional cost of hybrid vs tdi, compared to equiv gasser. with the hybrid the time was 10 years. with the tdi it was 2 years. it assumed 15k miles per year and gas at 1.80 and diesel at 1.55 , so we can probably halve the times. for 30k miles/year like we'll do on our tdi this year, halve it again... we're glad we picked the tdi...
  • winter2winter2 Posts: 1,801
    I have seen several articles like the one you are describing here, and they are in total agreement with what you say.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    gas at 1.80 and diesel at 1.55

    In La La Land? :)

    Obviously those prices are outdated, but they key here is the difference observed.

    In that case, diesel costs a significant .25 less per gallon. Gas costs a whopping 16% more than diesel!

    But that's just not the case in most places, in fact before Katrina the average price for diesel (nationally) was higher, not lower, than regular fuel. 7 cents per gallon higher.

    So that model is counting on a 16% advantage that does not exist in most places.

    I looked today, diesel costs the same as regular around me, $3.09. Usually diesel actually costs more, about 20 cents more at times. I'm sure a long-term running average for diesel would put it behind.

    Re-do the math with diesel costing 7 cents more, and the hybrid might come out ahead.

    Funny thing is that in some regions diesel is indeed cheaper, and that's where diesel makes total sense.

    Not in Potomac, MD, though.

    -juice
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    I think the real governmental fear is that diesel in all its forms will not be fully taxed.

    Taxation on diesel has been historically higher in most states

    You also have to remember that the usual DIRECT consumers of diesel get 6 mpg. So the local state fed etc see a much faster and greater volume of taxation than say over a like volume of unleaded fuel. So the state is in a pickle If they mandate conversion to unleaded gas from diesel the loss is app 37% fuel efficiency or now 3.78 mpg. Good for the state, but I think even the mathmatically challenge can see much more fuel is being used, which if you havent noticed, on the other hand the state is actively engaged in getting folks to use less of.

    Diesel can also be home brewed whereas one would be hard pressed to homebrew crude oil to unleaded regular. It also can be done on the farm close to the source of production. Not so for unleaded gasoline, again even if you have an oil well on your property, not very feasible.

    With unleaded reg at $2 wholesale used fryer oil from McADees can be refined for 45-75 CENTS. So not only would you get 37% better mileage you use less and it costs LESS!!! What a concept!!! NOT says the state.

    States are also a bit skizoid about diesel. Places like Boston MA (not to pick on Boston MA) wastes more fuel both unleaded reg and diesel in the parking lots that roll ,aka the Boston highway system. Also while it wants to ban diesel, it sanctions houses (furnances burn home heating oil) that burn even HIGHER sulfur diesel 24/7 in the winter time with even less pollution devices than I have on my 2003 TDI.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sounds like the laws have yet to catch up with diesel technology. Europe is way ahead of us.

    -juice
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 19,826
    In terms of catching up with the European laws when it comes to taxation, I hope we succeed in going in the opposite direction!! Unless folks are ready for 6/7/8 dollar per gal unleaded reg or diesel.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Selfishly, I'd have to agree, but those policies are precisly what makes them drive a more efficient fleet to begin with.

    -juice
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    My kid is reading this stuff, conspiracy theory or old habits die hard? :D

    -juice
This discussion has been closed.