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



  • apioapio Posts: 3
    I don't know how to search within a single board. I hope this hasn't been asked thousands of times already, but, has anyone heard how California is going to implement its hybrid car purchase assistance program? I just bought me an ECHO, and although I love it, I bite my lip at not having waited.
  • apio, our Search feature may not be fully implemented at this time. In addition to the responses you get here, you may want to scan the existing topics in the Smart Shopper conference to see if a similar topic is already underway.

  • boaz47boaz47 Posts: 2,751
    To me the biggest problem with Hybrids is everyone knows they are a stop gap measure. If you know the car is designed to be replaced it makes it hard to part with the excess funds to buy one. So where are they going with this? Are we to expect electric cars like the EV-1? They had all sorts of options to make them commuter friendly. Tax breaks for companies so they would put in chargers was one. Like someone pointed out however the technology for producing batteries may cause as many problems as it solves. Speaking of batteries, the cost even in hybrids, is prohibitive. Unless they are charged correctly every time four years would be the most you can expect from them. In most cases they will not last that long. First there is the expense of replacing them and second what do you do with the used ones? Remember they have to be considered as hazardous waste? Lead and acid don't mix well with the earth. They will have to come up with something much better if they want to change most of our driving habits. I did like the idea of power strips in the road beds that allowed the cars to use electric power like a slot car. They had a wide pickup on the front of the car that allowed it to contact two or more power grids at a time so you could change lanes. All one would need was a electric motor and a way to pick up the power, plus a small power supply so you could pull off the street and into your garage. Could work?
  • Most of the press I've read about the Prius describes it as the best possible compromise between everyday utility and environmental friendliness. And although it is silly to try to project where technology will be even 5 years from now, it appears that hybrid engines will be the trend for the foreseeable future.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Why do folks exclaim that a Honda Insight costs so much ? Your average run of the mill smog machine costs about the same. I don't own a Insight (wish I did) never even ridden in one. What do we expect more for less like in the computer world (grin) And if there is a tax credit ... h a p p y h o l i d a y s !

    Rob Fruth - Houston, Tx

    1981 Raleigh for commuting, errands & fun
    1997 Trek 2300 for real fun !
    2000 DX 5 speed Civic hatchback
  • I have been looking at several cars that get better fuel economy than the '91 Acura Legend LS that I (Original Owner) now drive (298,000 miles). I have driven the Honda Insight and have arranged to rent a Prius from my local Toyota dealer 2 weekends from now.

    Does anyone know what rpm the Prius turns at 60 mph? Most of you probably know that the Prius does not have a tachometer; so, the only way that I can tell is to find some technical data or have a mechanic hook up some instrumentation to the car. The local Toyota dealer's special Prius mechanic said that he did not know. My Acura turns 2,600 rpm at 60; the Honda Insight turns a low 2,500 at 70, a very high gearing for a little 3 cylinder but this means the engine is just loafing at freeway speeds.

    Second, does anyone know what the crankcase lubricant requirement for the Prius is? The Toyota mechanic showed me some oil; but, it looks just like something like 10W30. I suspected that the Prius would use a synthetic like the Honda Insight which uses a synthetic 0W20 at ($8.50/quart from the dealer only at this point). If the Prius normally uses only a regular mineral oil, a shift to a synthetic, like Mobil 1, might improve mileage somewhat even thought the engine is only a 4 cylinder.

    Thanks for any info that anyone can provide.
  • Happy New Year!!! One week left till the GOHEV (Gathering of Hybrid Electric Vehicles) in Los Angeles (Sunday, Jan. 7th at noon), at Griffith Park. So far we have about 17 Priuses and 14 Insights, plus 2 GM EV1s registered to join us. The location will be at Crystal Springs picnic area on the east side of the park. There are BBQ grills in the park and lots of tables for picnics. will be there with give-a-ways.
    Temps should be in the mid 70s. Get there early so we can line up all the vehicles for pictures. We will post them later for everyone to see.

    If you wish to get on the list, please email:
    Mention your vehicle, (or one you're interested in)
    Where you're driving from.
    How many in your party.
    See you there.
  • carleton1carleton1 Posts: 560
    And it looks like the Prius is a far more intelligent design. If I did alot of city driving or commuting, I would love to own a Prius.
  • I want to contact the Toyota advertising dept. to see if they are willing to pay me to advertise the 2002 Prius (similar to the OR program) by placing an adhesive exterior advertisement on the vehicle. Anyone know how to contact Toyota adversting dept? Their website didn't help me at all. Thanks.
  • vmacvmac Posts: 1
    We just purchaced a Prius. The dealer told us that the first 5000 miles we couldn't expect to get the 52 mpg. Has anyone else experienced those results?
  • ludacrisludacris Posts: 185
    id definetely consider a hybrid when i buy a car. they have just gotta fix the style so it appeals to more people. i find the insight ugly, but the prius looks better (although it looks sorta like an echo..). the prius would be my pick just for its seating capacity, great mileage, ok performance and much more normal look.
  • carladycarlady Posts: 35
    please know that although two specific cars are mentioned in the topic title, this topic is primarily about hybrid technology and its impact on the auto industry and the cars we buy. That's why it's in New & Views. :-)

    News & Views and Hatchbacks Message Boards
  • We have a couple of the new Priuses in our fleet and over the last month we logged about 3,000 miles on it with a dozen different drivers doing everything under the sun---round town, highway, back roads (dirt) and a lot of stop and go.....and averaged about 40 mpg....just to give you an idea.
  • I took delivery of my Prius just before Christmas. So far I've driven 3500 miles. I'm averaging 42 mpg with about half highway and half backroads on 87 octane. I love the car! It is roomy, comfortable and quiet. The sound system is good, climate control works well and the car has done fine in our considerable snow. The brakes felt grabby at first, but I'm used to them now. I love the way the engine quits whenever I stop for a moment. It's definetly the best little car I've ever owned -- and it would be even without the hybrid technology.
    When I bought the car, the salesman said it qualified for the "Qualified Electric Vehicle Credit". At 10%, this was a major selling point. Now that I'm looking at my taxes I'm not sure the car does qualify. Does anyone know with any authority?
  • Go to this site:

    Search on hybrid, then select item 3, this is the tax code passed this year for hybrid vehicles.

    Now trying to interpret this code is a problem and I think we need input from Toyota for the Prius.

    The way I read it is that we can take a tax credit for an amount based on the percentage of the power provided by the electric motor.

    If the electric motor provides greater than 5 per cent but less than 10 per cent of the total power than the credit is $500, etc. according to the table.

    The same type of credit applies for the regenerative brakes the way I read this. The question is how do we determine these percentages?

    Can we take the horsepower of the electric motor, 44hp, plus the horsepower of the gas engine, 70hp, so 114 total hp, thus 44hp is 39% of the total.

    This seems to imply that $2000 is the tax credit. I'm probably not doing this correctly. Can anyone else give any input on this?

  • gak27gak27 Posts: 2

    Not to get too far off-topic, but for those of you worried about car size, power, and efficiency, VW's TDI engine (currently available in the Beetle, Golf and Jetta) may be the answer to your needs. Just for grins, I looked up the sticker for a Jetta GLS TDI, along w/ the mileage:

    MSRP: 18,700
    Mileage: 42/49

    Very close to the Prius, plus the Jetta will actually give you some fun in your driving experience. My $0.02
  • We thought you would like to know about, a web portal devoted to corporate social responsibility currently under development by General Motors Crop. The site has a section detailing advanced vehicle concepts, including hybrids, and is an excellent source of information for people interested in this topic. If you have a moment, please take a look at, or access the site through Information about the new Paradigm hybrid power train is here:

    The site is designed to help GM customers, employees, retirees, government officials and others understand what GM is doing globally and what individuals can do to get involved in the ideas of sustainability and corporate stewardship. Among the topics explored in depth on site are:

    --environmental initiatives

    --efforts to improve automotive safety

    --community partnerships

    --philanthropic activities

    --corporate core values and

    --positions on public policy issues

    We are a public affairs firm working with GM, and, after you visit the site, we would welcome your suggestions and ideas before its formal launch next month.

    Hass Associates, Inc.

    Interactive Public Affairs

  • I posted an update to my tax credit in the Sedans Prius section. The items mentioned in my first post are only Senate/House bills and have not been passed yet, but read more in the other group.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    There is speculation on the newsgroup that in 02 Honda will offer 5 door hatchbacks with hybrid engines, yea !

                        Rob Fruth - Houston, Tx


    1981 Raleigh for commuting, errands & fun

    1997 Trek 2300 for real fun !

    2000 DX Civic hatchback

  • floridianfloridian Posts: 219
    It seem that both Toyota and Honda have had some problems with electrical fires and batteries blowing up on the new hybrid cars. Several emergency response teams here are getting special training on how to handle battery fires etc. Has anyone else heard about this? I am sure that both mfgs would rather not let a lot publicity about this get out.

  • toensingtoensing Posts: 1
    I drove a Pries last Aug. 2000 & was very impressed with the car. It will likely be my next new car unless something better is available by then. I attend a small Unitarian Universalist Church, about 90 members. Two of them heard my favorable comments & have already bought their Pries' & it looks like 3 more will buy them. Real world MPG from their reports is 40 MPG. Biggest drawback to the Pries is no cruise control or fold down back seat. The biggest question I have is how long the nickel metal hydrate batteries will last. Toyota warrants them for 8 years &/or 100,000 miles. Toyota salesman does not know how long batteries will last or replacement cost but I found out replacement cost at Toyota parts kept. Replacement cost is $5,000 at this time.
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    Haven't heard of Toyota & Honda hybrid's having electrical fires & battery explosions but not surprising corse its not exactly a safety feature to drive around with gallons of fuel on board which we all do but that hasn't slowed most folks down (a high amperage electric motor sure isn't going to help matters) I believe that hybrid's are good, they don't do anything for the congestion/parking problem but ther'e a start.

                        Rob Fruth - Houston, Tx


    1981 Raleigh for commuting, errands & fun

    1997 Trek 2300 for real fun !

    2000 DX Civic hatchback

  • Give me an American made/American company truck, that can tow 10,000lbs, is easy to work on, can go 250 mile before having to stop, cost average price, isn't aerodynamic, has normal styling, and can have performance mods and sounds like a gas engine and I'm sold. Until then I'll stay with gas, big polluting gas engines at that.
  • tundradudetundradude Posts: 588
    Is that really necessary?
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    and leave the rest of us to worry about the planet, right?

    Very sophisticated -- what four-year degree teaches that line of reasoning?

    By the way, it may delight you to know that GM and Toyota are working together on alternative fuel technologies that may allow you to keep your truck past the next decade -- won't that be nice?
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    The inner you shows chevytruck, I'm not a big environmentalist as you might think, walk or bicycle when I can, some recycling & believe use what you need and leave the rest - anyway in another thread here on Town Hall you said something like look under the hood of most Chevy trucks and you'll see throttle body fuel injection, is TBFI preferable (easier to modify, more reliable) ?

                        Rob Fruth - Houston, Tx


    1981 Raleigh for commuting, errands & fun

    1997 Trek 2300 for real fun !

    2000 DX Civic hatchback

  • I'm not going to drive some ugly piece of junk slow car like the insight that can carry 1 person.

    The reason nobody wants to buy this things is cause they are uglier than sin. Put technology in a regular looking car for a reasonable price and people will buy it. otherwise only hardcore greenpeace members will.

    The fact is the technology isn't even close to as good as a gas engine. And until it is there most people won't buy them.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    is not supported by the facts. The Prius is so popular it's back-ordered; the Insight is not doing nearly as well because, as you say, it's small and not very practical. It also is unavailable with an automatic, which limits its popularity (they will be offering one the next model year).

    You may not care for the Prius (I don't either -- it's slow and unattractive, except for the interior), but a lot of people do, and the fact that they're out there racking up miles means that, in time, the technology will improve and costs will decline. A friend of mine with whom I ride share from time to time has one, and the silence is remarkable. It really is a terrific commuter car -- no more, no less.
  • agtabbyagtabby Posts: 28
    but don't complain about gas prices.

    I predict that 10 years from now vehicles will be even bigger.

    Chevytruckfan's full size pickup will be a small vehicle only driven by sorority girls. I see it now, "But dad, that ten year old truck is sooo cute" "sorry honey, can't have you driving a 5,000 lb vehicle with all the 10,000 lb vehicles on the road. Not safe"

    Post 10 years from now "all I want is a vehicle that can haul 30,000 lb, clear a 4 ft curb, and has a 300 gallon tank"

    Soccer mom's will drive grey hound buses. Truck fans will drive semi's. Average gas mileage will be 2 mpg. People will live 200 from work. And people will complain that gas prices are unfairly high.

    Go Figure.
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    in your world -- as the Kinks once sang, "Hope I die b'fore I get old!"
This discussion has been closed.