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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press

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Comments

  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Well, if the only reason one buys a Hybrid of any type is to save money, no matter what from, that is pretty stupid.

    Wanting to take responsibility for our pollution, and do something positive to encourage alternative fuels and technology is usually the foremost reason for buying them.

    Aside from that, he makes an [non-permissible content removed] out of himself taking that huge leap of faith that gasoline stays at $3.00 per gallon for several years.... ;)
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The Camry Hybrid is "the most economically viable" hybrid to be released yet, when comparing it to other non-hybrid cars in it's own family.

    Even using his own shaky math assumptions, he comes down to this conclusion:

    So if you buy your Camry hybrid before April 1 and your accountant says you can take the credit, your true added cost for the hybrid will be only $900, with a payback time, then, of about four and a half years.

    That's better than ANY other "real" hybrid vehicle which has a non-hybrid brother or sister.

    And Toyota has pledged to cut the HSD system size in half and the hybrid premium in half, and a 90+ MPG Prius. Can hardly wait for the future of these hybrids !!!
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Hybrid Sales Slip

    No surprise here, without government handouts, hybrids are not so attractive a purchase.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    From your story:

    "Sales and marketing officials said lower gas prices and production changes at the Japanese automaker were other factors that cut into its industry leading gas/electric hybrid sales in October. "

    All smaller cars did worse in October because of gas prices and SUVs improved. Idiotic US car buyers have SHORT memories. That says nothing negative about hybrids.

    The proof in the pudding will be this:

    If other carmakers besides Toyota have solid sales figures in their hybrid line (Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Escape) in November and Toyota yet Toyota hybrids keep slipping, then THAT will indicate that there are a lot of fools who relied on the tax break to decide to buy a Toyota hybrid.

    If "all hybrids" are down in November, and other small cars are down and trucks and SUVs are up again, then that is merely a reflection of gas prices and not a reflection on the hybrid tax break situation.

    I have said before that it's "just the fool" who relies on a tax break to make the decision on what car to buy. Buy the hybrid car for what it gives you - cleaner air, better gas mileage, and higher resale value.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Toyota seeks tax breaks

    3.4 billion in profits for just one quarter and Toyota requests tax incentives for it's hybrid vehicles! :surprise: :sick:

    If Toyota desires incentives for it's vehicles it can afford to provide them from it's own earnings.

    Toyota reports slow sales of popular hybrid, blaming waning buyer interest on absence of full federal tax break.

    Hybrid buyers buy for the tax break, not lower emissions, I knew it all along. :P
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Toyota is only saying that the tax break which lasts longer for the "slow selling" companies is not fair for the company who sells a lot of hybrids and the tax break runs out really fast.

    Basically, with the current tax code, Toyota is now being "punished" for selling 60,000 hybrids so quickly !!!

    Trust me: Ford and GM will be crying too when the tax breaks expire on THEIR tiny offerings of a couple of slow-selling hybrids.

    Even the President wants the tax breaks extended - not just Toyota. It's not greed, it's the ENVIRONMENT.

    P.S. Name me ONE SINGLE hybrid buyer who bought ONLY for the tax break and I will indicate to you a fool.

    P.S.P.S. "diesel buyers buy for the exhaust smell"
    you see how broad generalizations are goofy? :shades:
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    The biggest problem I had with the tax break is that, with it, the Prius was selling at MSRP or maybe even a little higher. We all know that most cars can be purchased at closer to invoice. So essentially this tax break was being split between the purchaser and the car dealership. I understand the sentiment in encouraging people to buy "greener" vehicles but I don't think our tax code should be subsidizing the car dealerships. The way I see it there is a fundamental flaw in this tax break approach to encouraging people to buy hybrids.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    No's 1 and 10 are hybrids.

    CR article
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Not a hybrid to be found on Edmunds list, and they actually list a % value.

    Top 10 Cars with Highest Residual Value - No Hybrids

    Edmunds Top 10 Cars with Best Residual Values and there is not a hybrid or a Toyota on the list (well, there is a Lexus).
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Dueling stats..en garde..
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    That is exactly right. If the hybrids cannot sell on their advantages, so be it. Toyota crying about the tax breaks is really funny. Now they have to sell on merit not government incentives.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    They're doing fine. With one month to go in the CY the results will be just in line with last year, regards the Prius and HCH ( see Nov sales YTD ) and of course the TCH is all additional volume.

    Now however in the next two years there's going to be an awful lot of new entries in the field from Nissan to Ford to GM to Honda to Hyundai. If by 'hybrid' you mean 'Toyota Hybrids' then Press' crying as you say is just a way to keep the playing field level now that everyone has a clean vehicle option.

    Toyota and Honda were first and pushed the technology envelope now the rest are coming around to see the merits - or have just been able to master the technology.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Hybrid Skeptic Nissan

    I would just say they are cautious.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Hybrid Sales Slow

    The sales are slowing without the prices falling.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    WOW!!

    "Only" 18,117.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Hybrids,Flex Fule Vehicles Not Likely To Impact Energy Use

    quote- Many of the U.S. auto industry's environmental efforts, including plug-in hybrids and flexible-fuel vehicles, will have little affect on the nation's energy use or output of greenhouse gases if the latest government forecast of energy trends through 2030 holds true.-end

    Hmmmm...
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    quote larsb - sales are not down-end quote

    Question for you larsb- Are you telling us that 26,249 sales compared to 18,117 is NOT a decrease?

    quote San Francisco Chronicle-Car makers sold 26,249 hybrids in August, the same month the average price of gasoline nationwide hit $3 per gallon. Since then, gasoline prices have fallen 24 percent, to $2.28 per gallon, and hybrids sales have dropped 31 percent to 18,117 in November, according to Edmunds.com.
    -end
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    TRADITIONALLY - car makers compare months in current year to the same calendar months in the previous calendar year. Not August sales versus November sales.

    See this page for a good breakdown and 'splanation:

    November Hybrid Sales up 13.8% year-on-year

    Certain months, because of consumer buying patterns, are traditionally larger sales months than other months.

    And in August, as I recall, the gas prices were going through the roof, and more people were buying smaller cars. During those periods, trends cannot be established because they are anomalies in the sales pattern.

    Overall, hybrids in 2006 will outsell hybrids in 2005. Thus sales will not be "down."
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Larry is correct. Hybrids will be up for 2006 over 2005.

    When gasoline goes up next year to $4 per gallon, they will go through the roof! ;)
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    The year-on-year numbers make sense and are a good measure.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    quote San Francisco Chronicle-Car makers sold 26,249 hybrids in August, the same month the average price of gasoline nationwide hit $3 per gallon. Since then, gasoline prices have fallen 24 percent, to $2.28 per gallon, and hybrids sales have dropped 31 percent to 18,117 in November, according to Edmunds.com.

    Now that is truly selective choice of statistics to prove an invalid point. August is traditionally the single best sales month for many manufacturers, volume is the highest. November is traditionally one of the worst months each year, maybe the worst month. To take this writer's logic to it's extreme limit Nov '06 hybrid sales were infinitely higher than those.... in May 1998.

    An equally invalid statistical choice would be to look at TOTAL hybrid sales this year, which are up dramatically, as a predictor of say one vehicle's outlook such as the HAH ... but then there are several more vehicle options for the market.

    All-in-all a dubious use of time.

    The market is too seasonal from month to month to look at one single snap shot. At the end of the year compare each model against last year.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Hybrid Chery

    Would be interesting if Chery would export this hybrid.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    Money Losing Nissan Hybrid

    "Hybrids today are not a very viable economic proposition," said Dominique Thormann, Nissan North America's senior vice president for administration and finance. "It's still a loss-making proposition. ... It's unprofitable."

    I wonder if Toyota makes any profit on hybrids?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I wonder if Toyota makes any profit on hybrids?

    That is the $64k question. The hybrids give them the green image that allows them to sell their big line-up of gas guzzling trucks and SUVs. I can guarantee they are making a killing off of them. It is a problem some of the other auto makers would love to have.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    No other car maker is as efficient as Toyota. Just because NISSAN cannot build a hybrid at a profit does not mean Toyota cannot.

    'Yota would not have 750,000 hybrids on the world's roads if they were losing money on them - be sensible people. They have stockholders and boards to answer to just like any other car company.

    They have challenged their engineers to take half the cost and size away from the hybrid components. That's to make MORE money not to FINALLY make money.

    I can post dozens of articles where Toyota says they are making money on hybrids. Nissan and GM and others who naysay that are merely jealous of the success of the Toyota hybrid family.
  • goodcrdgoodcrd Posts: 253
    Big question is what are they (Toyota) paying their worker's and what deals (incentives) were made for them to open assembly plants by the governments where the plants are located. Toyota has expanded drastically in the last ten years. Over the next few years they should start to experience the problems associated with over expansion. It is easier to experience large expansions then to maintain existing large multinational manufacturing organizations. What are the hidden costs? How will they handle disposing of the used batteries and chemicals used to produce these hybrid components? We will see this come to light in about 5 to 10 more years. What impact will this have on the environment? And most importantly who will pay for it?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    'Yota would not have 750,000 hybrids on the world's roads if they were losing money on them - be sensible people. They have stockholders and boards to answer to just like any other car company.

    Toyota has stockholders ergo hybrids are profitable is not the conclusion I'd be willing to bet my paycheck on.

    Ford has stockholders, Ford sells hybrids, and Ford is losing ton's of money, literally ton's of money. :surprise:

    I suspect that Toyota does make a profit on the hybrids it sells in 2006 and 2007, however, even if each hybrid sold was sold at a loss, the percentage of hybrids sold by Toyota compared to the total number of vehicles sold by Toyota would certainly allow Toyota to be extremely profitable despite losing money on hybrids.

    Even when Ford and GM were making money hand over fist they were losing money on small cars and making a fortune on trucks. And yet, they have stockholders and boards to answer to.

    I am sensible.

    P.S.

    No other car maker is as efficient as Toyota

    The two most efficient auto plants in North America are not Toyota plants. Most Efficient Auto Plants

    Last but not least....

    No other car maker is as efficient as Toyota.

    Nissan North Americas Most Efficient Automaker

    quote-
    Factoring everything together, Harbour Report declared Nissan North America's most efficient automaker. Its plants required 28.46 hours of labor. According to analyst Harbour, that gives the Japanese manufacturer a $300- to $450-per-vehicle cost advantage over less efficient automakers. -end
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    It pays to read all of those articles:

    "The good news for GM, Ford and DaimlerChrysler's Chrysler Group is that all three made progress in 2005, narrowing the efficiency gap with North American plants operated by Toyota, Honda and Nissan."

    What that means is, they are catching up. Not better, not more efficient, it means their "best of the best" are behind, and moving up, not on the same level.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Confuscious say: "One can be a sensible person in general, and yet at times have ideas which are not sensible."

    And efficiency can be measured many different ways, so it does not surprise me that Nissan is very efficient at doing SOME THINGS.

    MY point is that if Nissan were as efficient at building hybrids as Toyota is, then THEY TOO could make a profit on them.

    Obviously the bigwigs at Nissan do not have enough confidence in their engineers and their efficiency to say they can make a profit on hybrids.

    P.S. Your story on efficiency measures NORTH AMERICAN auto plants and the all Toyota hybrids save a few Kentucky TCHs are built in Japan.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Larry, I think it is more a matter of misjudging the market for them, eh?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    P.S. Your story on efficiency measures NORTH AMERICAN auto plants and the all Toyota hybrids save a few Kentucky TCHs are built in Japan.

    Why do you think Toyota builds all hybrids save a few in Japan?

    Quote Toyota President Katsuake Watanabe -
    Toyota Motor Corp. is planning to make hybrid vehicles significant contributors to profits in the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2008. -end

    It is not 2008 yet!

    Are you SURE Toyota is making a profit on hybrids larsb?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Agreed. Nissan and others are late to the game, when they, like Toyota, COULD be on the 4th generation of their hybrid technology.

    Too bad for them and for consumers who could have had more choices early on.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, unless you are calling them flat out liars, then YES, they are making a profit on their hybrids.

    They have been saying that for a couple of years now.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Saying he plans to make Hybrids "significant" contributors to total corporate profits does not even begin to imply they are not profitable, and your reading that in isn't logical thought.

    What it does imply is Toyota's President wants them to become significant, as opposed to marginally profitable, as they have been, by increasing market share. They have shown that is their plan by introducing, this year, the Camry Hybrid, and adding another two models in the following year. ;)
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,870
    quote-
    "We view hybrids as an investment in the future that will soon pay dividends, we believe," says Peter Rech, manager of product planning for Honda division. That's not to say that Honda will make money on its new Civic Hybrid. In such low volumes, hybrids have been losing money for Honda and Toyota Motor Corp. With the new Civic Hybrid, a Honda insider says only that the profit picture has improved.
    -end quote

    They have been saying that for a couple of years now.

    At what point in time did hybrids become profitable?
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Well, who would know better about Toyota's profits than some project manager for Honda! :P
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Big question is what are they (Toyota) paying their worker's and what deals (incentives) were made for them to open assembly plants by the governments where the plants are located. Toyota has expanded drastically in the last ten years. Over the next few years they should start to experience the problems associated with over expansion. It is easier to experience large expansions then to maintain existing large multinational manufacturing organizations.

    This is a good comment. Toyota has stated that their biggest hurdle now is getting enough engineers to maintain all the operations throughout the world.

    What are the hidden costs? How will they handle disposing of the used batteries and chemicals used to produce these hybrid components? We will see this come to light in about 5 to 10 more years. What impact will this have on the environment? And most importantly who will pay for it?

    Now here you need to do a little homework. try googling Cobasys or NiMH batteries. One of their main benefits is that they are NON-toxic. They are nothing like lead acid or NiCad which are both highlay toxic. In addition you might have missed that Toyota will pay anyone $200 to return a battery pack to them if a vehicle is scrapped.

    So to do your homework for you...
    There should be no more effect on the environment than say a washing machine;
    Toyota will pay you to assist in recycling properly.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I tend to agree that hybrids now are just profitable or maybe just barely profitable.

    The key word from Watanabe's statement is '..significant..'

    I've tried guessing this question before and frankly I just don't know.

    A Camry/Highlander even the Prius is just a vehicle ( excluding the hybrid components ) and Toyota is known to make a bundle on each of these ( Prius? ). But how much effect does the hybrid system have on the total cost.
    -there's more programming;
    -there are fewer parts in the PSD vs a traditional tranny;
    -there are more parts overall
    -hybrid development costs?

    Blue sky guessing from what I've read about other vehicles from other manufacturers and their developmental costs I'd guess $2-$3 Billion. With a Million vehicles on the road now, or soon to be, that's about $2-$3,000 per vehicle. It's purely speculation but I've never seen any specific numbers.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Toyota is looking to expand its hybrid lines.. including adding a diesel hybrid Prius

    Toyota hybrids IL
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    You are most certainly in the ballpark.

    From the prices we are now seeing, Prius and Camry Hybrids are now about even with their (at least size-wise) ICE counterparts, the high-end models.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    LOL

    Seems they must be reading that other forum where you and the electric cart guy post all the time! :P

    I wonder if Toyota, buying a stake in Izuzu, has decided GM is too broken to try and fix.....
  • goodcrdgoodcrd Posts: 253
    "Now here you need to do a little homework. try googling Cobasys or NiMH batteries. One of their main benefits is that they are NON-toxic." Twisted words again. These NiMH batteries are mildly toxic not NON-toxic.

    Yes they are better then Lead acid or NiCad batteries, but far from non-toxic. And a washing machine is completely recycle able and will last a lot longer then a car. Plus most families only own one washer.

    "In addition you might have missed that Toyota will pay anyone $200 to return a battery pack to them if a vehicle is scrapped."

    Toyota better provide a way to recycle these batteries they provide so their lawyers can say later that Toyota provided consumers a proper way of disposing of these large quantities of NiMH batteries so Toyota can avoid liability. And $200.00 won't even pay the cost of removal let alone shipping.

    What Toyota dealer do you work for?
  • goodcrdgoodcrd Posts: 253
    Don't get me wrong. I'm not against electric hybrids. I don't like twisted misinformation. NiMH batteries are the best battery option we have right now. All the auto manufacturers are using the same technology just presenting it in different ways. When it comes to being efficent producers, they all are pretty close. It is just at different times with market conditions some are at the right situation at the right time. Diesels will be here over the next four years. The Auto company who provides the best car with a diesel package will have an advantage. Don't overlook any of them. Some are better positioned. Look at Europe. The same models currently available there will most likely be the ones having the advantage here. Europe can be considered our test market for the diesel in the US. And somewhere I read in these posts that the electric and electronic components in the electric hybrids and non hybrid are what make cars more dependable. Wrong! The electronics are what fail most in cars and trucks today. If you find a good auto mechanic today you will also find one who knows electronics. If not he may just be a parts changer until he gets it right.
  • goodcrdgoodcrd Posts: 253
    Research about "NON-toxic" NiMH batteries:

    -NiMH batteries generally do not contain any cadmium. They do contain 30-50% by weight nickel, and 4-15% potassium hydroxide. They also generally contain 2.5-8% cobalt, and 5-10% zinc or other similar metals.
    -The main toxic material in each of these batteries is cadmium in the NiCads and cobalt in the NiMHs. Although nickel is also toxic, it is efficiently recycled from both types of batteries and does not appreciably bioaccumulate (accumulate exponentially up the food chain in the bodies of animals and/or plants), making it less dangerous.
    Potassium hydroxide is not necessarily an environmental threat, but like the strong chemicals in all batteries, could cause personal injury if the battery leaked. Both cobalt and cadmium show evidence of bioaccumulating in the food chain (including in plants), which means that concentrations can rapidly become relatively high in organisms high in the food chain.
    -Similarities between cobalt and cadmium: They are both either known or possible carcinogens. They both cause lung, kidney, and other medical problems in exposed industrial workers. Both cobalt and cadmium are present in approximately the same number of hazardous waste sites in the US. Check out the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on the NiMH batteries used. You should find Cobalt. I've done research. Check the MSDS on your batteries. Go to the company web sites and pull up their MSDS information on their products. Don't just believe their PR. You might learn something.
  • shasta67shasta67 Posts: 109
    Friend you ever look up the MSDS for gasoline or diesel? There are no "safe" products out there. I deal with MSDS's everyday and if I really worried about what each one said I would never touch anything. The best anyone can do is limit contact and use the safest material possible. There are many products used in the manufacture of any car that would scare the hell out of you if you read the MSDS. To me the fact that Toyota will take them back is better than nothing at all.
  • goodcrdgoodcrd Posts: 253
    But the point being are NiMH batteries "NON-toxic"!!!!!!!!
    No they are not just a better option then NiCad or Lead acid.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Toyota mulling Diesel Prius? Egad !!

    A Diesel/Electric Prius at 80+ MPG? I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

    Go 'Yota !!!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    To me the fact that Toyota will take them back is better than nothing at all.

    Let me get this straight. My Prius gets totalled and Toyota will come out and get the battery and give me $200? I don't think so. You will have to find someone willing to take the risk to remove the 100 pound HIGH Voltage possibly leaking battery and haul it into the Toyota dealer. You think anyone will do that for $200? It is part of the joke on those thinking Toyota is green.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Gary, that's exactly what happens -

    As for disposal, Toyota is a good barometer of how hybrid batteries are dealt with: "Toyota has a comprehensive battery recycling program in place and has been recycling nickel-metal hydride batteries since the RAV4 Electric Vehicle was introduced in 1998. Every part of the battery, from the precious metals to the plastic, plates, steel case and the wiring, is recycled. To ensure that batteries come back to Toyota, each battery has a phone number on it to call for recycling information and dealers are paid a $200 "bounty" for each battery."

    So while the automakers continue to look for new ways to increase the energy output and decrease the environmental footprint of hybrid batteries, rest assured that the current technology is still a net winner for the environment. However, we are going to keep our eyes peeled to make sure their promises of recycling are fulfilled so that hybrids can stay net winners.


    This is not just "talk" Gary. It's a REAL recycling program, with REAL batteries getting REALLY collected by Toyota.

    From another site:

    Toyota has a worldwide environmental policy affecting every aspect of its operations. Toyota's Guiding Principles and Earth Charter clearly express a commitment to social responsibility and environmental welfare. The Earth Charter's Action Guidelines include these statements:

    * Always be concerned about the environment.
    * Business partners are partners in creating a better environment.
    * As a member of society, participate in the creation of a recycling-based society.
    * Always disclose information and promote environmental awareness.
    * Toyota has had a recycling program set up for hybrid vehicle nickel-metal hydride batteries since 1998.


    It's not just talk at Toyota - it's ENFORCED COMPANY POLICY.
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