Howdy, Stranger!

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

Toyota Prius and Honda Hybrid: Will anyone buy Hybrids??



  • I drove a Prius today. I went home had my wife
    drive it. It has more than enough acceleration for
    our San Diego Freeways. I was to 75 before I
    realized. So quiet, so roomy ( I rode in the back
    seat). It is definitely the car of the future.
    Kinda ugly like the VW bug. But for 52 MPG around
    town it is beautiful. And a warranty to die for 8 years on the drive train. Toyota wants this car to succeed. I hope it does.
  • dupiedupie Posts: 22
    Sales have been slow in the USA estimates are that it will take about 18 months for this car to make an impact on the US market.(Quote)Toyota Of
    Minneapolis Minnesota
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558

    This article is dated July 25th. And the Prius went on sale July 14th. In 11 days, Toyota recieved 1,800 orders for Prius.

    From what I heard from the dealer, there is currently a long waiting list taking up next 2 months of production. You can expect a 3-4 months wait if you order now.
  • Hey all,

    Has anyone seen any reports forecasting how many hybrids will be sold over the next few years and also what numbers must be sold for toyota and honda to breakeven.

    gracias. chaz
  • 0n 10/5/00 "Priusman" reported for Toyota on the Yahoo Prius list:

    "No we're not selling well below cost. Remember that the car has been in production for three years and now at 3K/month global production we're real close to break even."

    For more Prius info, visit:

    Enjoy--Eric in Enfield, ME
    Awaiting his Prius in 31 days!
  • Sorry, I forgot to put the title on my previous post.
  • THe vehicles depreciation will be huge, as Nickel Metal Hydrid batteries will need replacement for $5000 at around 100k mile point. The cost of operation is much more than anticipated , when using 91 octane fuel and battery replacement factored in. Has anyone done a cost per mile, utilizing depreciation , battery replacement etc. factored in?....It will be much more than average internal combustion efficient autos.
  • mlg61mlg61 Posts: 4
    If you are looking strictly from a "cost of operation" point of view, then I can see your point. (But, I don't think the difference is as great as you are making it sound.) I admit that I am not buying a Prius because it is the most cost effective choice that I have. There are others that look at more than the cost. I believe that it is a matter of how many of those people there are out there, what else they are considering in their car purchase and what price/tradeoffs they are willing to accept. I can't predict whether the Prius will be a winner or a loser. I do HOPE that it is a winner. Fuel cells are a ways off and I think that pure electrics have already lost. Hybrids seem to be the best solution to bridge to fuel cells (or electric if it makes a comeback or some other "alternate fuel".) But, this is not looking at it as a "cost of operation" issue.

    I think that is premature to declare hybrids a loser. The game has just begun. We will have to wait and see.

  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Just couple of questions:

    (1) where did you get the data that the Nickel Metal Hydride battery require replacement at 100,000 miles? The warranty coveres up to 100,000 miles alone. And usually things are still good to go at least several years beyond warranty. And how do you know that the replacement battery cost $5000? The battery pack in the Prius has individual cells, and you only need to relace the broken cell, not the whole pack. Also 10 years down the road, the battery could cost only severl hundred dollars. These things tend to get cheaper over time. Example, Japanese Prius, when it was introduced in the fall of 1996, used a older Nickel Metal Hydride battery. The U.S Prius 3 years later, uses a battery that's cheaper, more than 100 lbs lighter, smaller, and has greater storage capacity.

    (2) I don't think either of these cars require 91 Octane fuel. Not sure, but I think they run on regular 87 gasoline.

    (3) depreciation might be high. I agree, since it's novel technology, and novel techonlogy tend to get updated very quickly, and old technology tend to depreciate.

    So it's a calculation of gas saving Vs depreciation. I agree that for most people, it's not that big of a saving, if at all. 100,000 miles at 2x gas milage means you save 50% on fuel cost, that at $1.8 a gallon, translate to be about $3,600 in fuel saving. So the question is will this saving override the depreciation.

    I don't really know.

    Fuel cell car:

    Both Honda and Toyota has prototypes that's already in the trials. But they are not expect to be put on the market in the next couple of years. The cost is just too high, and the equipment is too heavy.

    Major problem with the fuel stack. Hydrogen could not be safely stored, it's too explosive and too cold to be stored in the liquid form. So they had to come up with alloys that behaves like sponge and soak up the hydrogen. But then, the extraction process becomes complicated and costly.

    Fuel cell has a way to go yet. Mean while, hybride will be the most efficient way to go.
  • ligartligart Posts: 109
    #146: mlg61 (wenyue) sez: "Very good point. An electric car does pollute after all, it's just the electric company polluting for you..."

    If you live in a state with electricity deregulation, you can choose the company that provides your electric generation. The one I went with (and Kenny Loggins pitches), Green Mountain Energy (, offers various green sources of electricity such as biomass, geothermal, small hydro, solar, and wind.

    So, a 100% electric vehicle running on power generated by wind turbines would seem better, from a green view, than a hybrid using gasoline or hydrogen.
  • Re: electric vehicles running on wind power:

    Do you know how many wind generators it would take to keep a fleet of electic cars going? The landscape would be totally encrusted with them.
    Ever drive by the wind mill farm on I-10 outside of Palm Springs? When you first see them, they look pretty cool. They make good backdrops for car ads too. But I bet if they started building them by the hundreds of thousands we'd need, the Greenies would protest most loudly.

    The best places for them are wild, unspoiled valleys. Don't forget they need access roads and support buildings too.

    Go nuke, I say. (58 million Frenchmen can't be wrong.)

  • agtabbyagtabby Posts: 28
    About 10% of electric power is from hydro, it is cheap but damages rivers. Hydro counts as green, if you pay some clever marketer money to give you green power you just are buying power I would have bought.

    There is simply not enough "clean" power to go around, a lot of it is not clean. Hydro hurts rivers, and wind mills kill large numbers of birds.

  • mlg61mlg61 Posts: 4
    My problem with nuclear power is the radioactive waste. I still haven't heard anything that is not very concerning, at the very least, regarding the problems of nuclear waste transport and disposal. This is probably the biggest factor that keeps me from considering a pure electric vehicle. At least with a hybrid, I think that it is clear that I am doing better for the environment with it than I was without it. It is the surest bet that I have found, so that's where I put my money.

    Now, that said, I also have to admit that I am not consistent. I only get my information from TV and groups like this. I don't do my homework on the issues as well as I could (in fact, probably pretty far from it.) I don't have a single solar panel on my 3000 sq. ft. house and don't loose any sleep over it. (I am pretty sure that my household energy consumption and resulting pollution are far greater than what even my 15-passenger van produces.)

    I am no greenie, although environmental concerns do have some importance to me. So, I guess, I am looking for an easy to evaluate contribution that I can make. Something that I am comfortable with defending without having to be an expert on all the potential impacts of my contribution attempts. A hybrid car gives me that. The only area that might trip me up is any part of the hybrid that is not recycled that I wouldn't also have on a normal car (if any.)

    Martin G.
  • I acquired my Prius about a month ago.

    I'm very happy with the car.

    I'm getting about 47.5 mpg. Had it up to 51.x
    for awhile, but apparently reverted to bad habits
    that have dropped me down to my current 47.5.

    I paid MSRP for the car ($20450) and have the
    impression that one cannot bargain for a lower
    price -- that Toyota is making little or nothing
    on the car at MSRP. In California, a $2000
    tax rebate is available, I have heard.

    I am putting 87 octane gas in the car, per
    instructions in my owner's manual.

    According to the specs in my owner's manual,
    maximum torque for the electric motor is 300
    -350. That means that, while the horsepower
    is very low, torque is higher than what is
    available with a Camry.

    I would be interested in hearing what other
    folks think about their Prius.
  • With gas prices the way they are I am assuming lots of people will be buying these types of cars, I question the reliability this early in their making however in a few years most residents living in large metro areas will be cruising with these electric cars. I don't expect these cars to do well in pickup country.
  • If you run the math, the money you save with a Prius is not that much, certainly not enough for most people. If you get 50 mpg with the prius, and 25 with a civic, drive 12,000 miles per year, and pay 1.50$ for gas, you save 360 bucks a year. The prius costs about 5K more, so it would take about 14 years to save the money.

    Also, the cost of the car is heavily subsidized by Toyota. THus the above is tilted for the priapus.

    If you don't believe me, look at Europe. The cost of gas there is 2-4 times higher than our "high" prices, but gas and diesel engines are still the standard propulsion method.
  • I want a Prius … a green-economic kar that has gek-y bells and whistles too … it looks normal, 4 doors (this is not a neu-2 sitter kit car), and it has the gek-y computer display showing electric and gas motor usage while you drive. How about a GPS … yes, a software upgrade in Q1 2000! What about power? I test drove one yesterday, the day after Thanksgiving, with 5 stuffed 180+ pound people in the car … I was impressed it had great power … zip up the on ramp & navigated the highways well!

    So, way do I really want a Prius … yes, it will cut the amount of gas I use in half per year, but the is only $800 per year … it is not for monitory gain, it is half the amount of poplution and mostly it is to say we’re not going to take gas-pigs any more!

    When our ancestors through tea into Boston harbor, it was a clear message … we’re not going to take it any more! With the oil industries as heavy investors in US auto manufactures, do we really think the US auto industry will be jumping on board with new auto designs that slash gas guzzling. I live in CA … CA thinks nothing of adding extortionate taxes to our gas price … when will all of this stop!!! It wont … until the US says we have had it … states can not control my monitory spending by control a FIXED cost and … the oil industry … we will not be dancing to the tone you are playing … rather take heed and listen we are the customer … and we’re right!
  • If anyone is in the driving range of Southern California, plan on
    attending the first annual West Coast G.O.H.E.V (gathering of hybrid
    electric vehicles) Saturday December 23rd in Griffith Park, (Los
    Angeles) CA.
    This is a BYOBBQ (Bring your own BBQ.) Or, bring a picnic.
    This gathering is open to all Hybrid or EV car owners and enthusiasts
    (Prius, Insight, EV1 or other EVs) including all who are on waiting
    lists for one.
    There will be at least one Toyota representative there.
    Appropriately, this gathering will be in the vicinity of Travel Town,
    so if you have kids, you can explore the old trains and take a ride
    on a mini train around the park or go to the Los Angeles Zoo

    Please write me and tell me:
    1) the most often asked question you have had about your car
    2) the most ridiculous question about your car
    3) the most incredible story about your car
    4) the most desired accessory for your car
    5) any interesting or funny anecdotes you may have about your car.
    6) other eco-things you own

    These will be read at the gathering.

    Besides food, Frisbees etc., bring $1.00 for each door prize ticket.
    a $3.00 donation is appreciated but not mandatory.
    RSVP is mandatory to determine which area of the park to reserve.
    When e-mailing, please give the following information:

    Email address
    Home City
    Car Driven, ordered, or desired
    Amount of people in your party

    There will be a special prize for the person (with a hybrid) that
    traveled the farthest to reach the gathering.

    Please email me at: to be added to the list and
    for specific directions and times.
    Hope to see you there!
    -Jim Alden
  • So, this time I wanted something different, interesting, fun to drive and if possible, green. My previous autos have been high octane, high power luxury vehicles. Since electronics is my background, (retired)I always felt that a dc motor should propel a vehicle, thus my interest in the Prius. Time for a test drive.

    Upon entering the car, neither head nor shoulders met with obstructions. Great. Seating was very comfortable. Upon exiting the parking lot, I just had to push pedal to the metal. I was amazed at the smooth accel it delivered. It wont beat my 99 Acura, but totally acceptable. I then shot up to 80 mph, listening for engine and wind noise. Surprise. No noise at all from windows or engine. I then hit the backroads with my wife and this 275 pound salesman in tow. I slowed down, accelerated, stopped, accelerated, and hit every pothole in sight. This baby acted like a big timer. Someone got something right. I was sold.

    Sure, I can nitpick the Prius, but I do that with every car I own. I wish the shift were in a different location. I wish there were more trunk space. The many positive attributes just outweighed the few negative ones. I placed an order in August and will consider myself lucky to get it by Xmas. I have gone back to drive the car on three more occasions and cannot find any reason to cancel my order. Before you knock this car, you just gotta give it a test drive. I will write again after I am a proud papa of a baby Prius.
  • I guess we all agree on this. But money is only one reason that people buy cars, as you illustrate. Some people will buy prius because they are good for the environment, or because it is a very interesting technology.

    There is nothing wrong with this, people buy more expensive cars because they go fast (Corvette). A corvette does not save you much time driving, some people just are willing to spend more $ to have a fast car. Why not spend money on a clean car? This is just consumer choice.

    That said, your whole rant about the oil companies controling auto technology is paranoid and silly. For years people have whispered about the biggest urban myth of all time, the "200 mpg" carbeurator. If car makers could increase the mileage of their cars cheaply they would.

    Making cars much more efficient is very expensive, the prius is very expensive to make. Honda loses money on each one they sell. Even WITH these subsidies gas is so cheap that people will only buy them because they like the idea of saving gas, whilst spending more money. Now their is just not a big enough market for these cars. Standard gasoline propulsion is cheap, and fairly clean.

    Not sure what your problem with gas taxes are, they are about the only effect way of reducing gasoline consumption.

    I think that Honda is smart to do make the Prius, it might not be competitive NOW, but when (not if) gas starts getting scarce prices will go to the high level (6 bucks per gallon?) where this technology can really shine.

  • I was told that Toyota made the Prius. Honda makes the insight?
  • I am currently WAITING for my Prius. I, too, went from a luxury car (Volvo S80/T6) to a Prius. and I do mainly city/short hop driving.

    It appears to me that some posters just "don't get it" when it comes to the Prius.

    Here is a car that is VERY fuel efficient AND has extremely LOW emissions AND drives/rides well AND seats 5 AND has a generous trunk. All this in a little car!! It also incorporates advanced technology like CVT as well!!

    Prius, in my humble opinion, is the IDEAL and BEST "city car" ever made. It is fairly cheap and quite usable. Gas costs are negligible (even when gas rises inevitably to MUCH higher prices). Cost of operation is $0 for at least 3 years (all scheduled maint including oil changes are included). Hybrid elements (including battery) warr for 8 YEARS/100k miles!! BTW, in 8 years the cost of a battery for this car will be peanuts (if indeed you still own the car), AND the warranty is COMPLETELY transferrable if you choose to sell the car.

    This car brings together an AMALGAM of ligh tech, low emission, nice/easy to drive, LOW gas mileage, and VERY reasonable cost that is NOT available ANYWHERE else at this time.

    I have been working on SIMPLIFYING my life. Prius CERTAINLY plays into that concept quite well.
  • No, I haven't done a break down of cost, but I can see right off the bat that some people are only referring to the savings in gas. Not only is the car green, it's fuel efficient, and spacious. But, one of the most important factors that I have noticed while I'm researching this car is that it seems they cover the cost of operation COMPLETELY for the first 3 years. That means oil changes, filter changes, analysis, winterizing, and the rest. I am very big on good car maintenance, and I drive 35-40 miles one way for school, not including around town driving. I do an average of $300-400 maintenance cost per year. That on top of the gas savings for me seems to outweigh the possible higher battery costs (which, as stated before, will probably go down in cost over time). I've also been told that the maintenance costs overall for this car are far less than other conventional car models. That added onto the 8y/100,000mile warranties on the battery seem to be throwing a wrench into the complaints about "not saving much". Even if I had the same car in 8 years, which I doubt, I'm sure the costs of repairs and/or replacement parts would not be any more expensive in comparison to today's used vehicle repair costs.

    To me, this seems like a pretty good deal, and although I'm still doing research (I've only been looking for a week), I think that I'm pretty well convinced on the Prius. I've heard good thing after good thing, and the only complaints I've heard in articles and such so far are the cost and the type of battery/future costs. Neither of which seems like much of a problem to me.
  • GOHEV Southern California Hybrid Gathering re-scheduled.

    At the request of a several people, because of proximity to
    Christmas, the GOHEV, (gathering of hybrid electric vehicles)
    originally scheduled on Dec. 23rd, has been moved to Sunday, January
    7th 2001 at Griffith Park, in Los Angeles, CA.
    There has been a great response to this event so far. has offered to give out shirts, mugs and other goodies.
    A representative from Toyota will be joining us as well.
    So far, both Toyota Prius and Honda Insight owners will be there.
    Actor Ed Begley Jr. emailed to say he might also be joining us.
    Hopefully he’ll have his EV1 with him.
    A writer from Entertainment Today will also be there for a story and

    This will be in a picnic/BBQ area, so you can bring food, Frisbees etc.
    The Grills are in the park. Expect 65 to 70 degree temps. (updates coming)
    The gathering will be from 12:00 noon till the early evening.

    Anyone owning or interested in owning any type of alternative fueled
    vehicle is invited.

    Please email for specific directions and registration.

    Please let us know if you will attend, and how many people are in
    your party.
    Hope to see you there!
  • I'm repeating this posting from the Edmund's Prius site in response to the comments on gas savings in this list. I live in pickup truck country, by the way. I don't have a gunrack with an umbrella in it in my vehicle, but I have seen these around here.
    Before I bought my Prius, I checked a website which was supposed to show how much I would save driving it versus my old vehicle. The savings were not impressive. I gassed up after two weeks of driving my new Prius. My last weekly fillup on my 1982 Land Cruiser was $30 and the Prius is running on $6.50 a week, with considerably higher than normal miles on Thanksgiving week. I didn't buy it mainly to save money on gas, anyhow, but I'm surely pleased with these results.
  • A land cruiser is a pig of a vehicle, and it does things a Prias will not - carry lots more stuf, go off road. The best car to compare it with is the Toyota Echo.

    The Echo gets about 30 mpg overall, the Prius seems to get 45 mpg.

    But like you say, the gas savings are not the main reason to buy a Prius.

  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Echo with an automatic gets 32(city)/38(highway) mpg.

    Prius with an automatic (it only comes with automatic) gets 52(city)/45 (highway).

    In 50/50 city/highway driving, the difference is the difference of the 2 average (35-48.5), so the fuel economy between Echo and Prius differ by 13.5 mpg.
  • so the prius is barely 1/3rd more fuel efficient?

  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Keep in mind that the Echo is already one of the most fuel efficient car available. And Prius is still 1/3 more efficient. That's not bad at all. :)

    Compared so a similarly capable car such as the Ford Focus, which gets 28 mpg (50/50 city/highway), the difference between 48.5 mpg and 28 mpg is much more dramatic.
  • ECHO mileage is not much less than Prius....but the Prius feels like a luxury car sitting next to an ECHO. Quality of interior is much nicer in the Prius. I am afraid to buy the cutting edge technology even though Toyota has an excellent warranty and an outstanding reputation. Sure, Toyota will fix if anything breaks...
    but who wants to be stranded in the bleak, dismal Nevada desert or the wind and snow swept plains of Wyoming?
    ECHO has proven Toyota technology. Insight is a very impractical 2 door with very little usable space. I would buy a Prius if the Sienna were not so much more comfortable at a very reasonable price.
This discussion has been closed.