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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press



  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    No surprise here - the "homers" in Detroit love the Volt. Lust after it, even.

    Better go buy two of them

    Worth the money?

    All of this technology comes with a price: $41,000 or $33,500 after the government rebate. Is it worth it?

    If you're looking for some sort of pay back, such as the money saved driving electric, then the answer is no. It may offer every bell and whistle from push button start to a smart phone app that can monitor the car, but it will never save you the difference.

    But electric cars are more than an economical purchase. For people who want to drive an electric car without the hassle of range limits and for people who want to buy a car with cutting-edge technology, the answer is a resounding yes.

    For the money, here's what you get: An electric car for the first 40-something miles — Chevy states the range as 25 miles to 50 miles, depending upon the weight of the driver's foot.

    During two days of testing, I managed 32 miles on electric only at better-than-highway speeds. The following day, with more typical driving, I managed 46 battery miles.

    That means I could drive to work and back and never use a drop of gasoline. The next day, I could do the same thing. No gasoline car or traditional hybrid can make the same claim.

    Then over the weekend, I could drive to Knoxville, Tenn., and back with never a worry and never a recharge. No electric car in the world can make that claim.

    Introducing an all-new vehicle, something that has never been tried or sold before, takes money and gumption. Chevrolet has shown both.

    The Volt is world-beater. Mother Nature might be the first to buy two.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
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  • I was surprised to see the True Cost Of Ownership for the TCH was higher than that of the Accord - $0.57 vs $0.52. Considering the gas mileage of the TCH is about 30% higher than the Accord, it probably means the maintenance on the TCH is that much higher. You couple that with the performance superiority that non-hybrid cars have over the hybrid (shiftable auto transmission, etc) and you will see why some folks are not very hot for hybrids...
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited October 2010
    That surprises me. I'd like to see the metrics for that cost, because I've spent SQUAT for the 1st 70K miles of my TCH on maintenance.

    I'm on my second set of tires (they are almost gone though) and I have done only oil changes and tire rotations - no other service.

    There was a wire harness they had to replace under warranty, but that's because it was damaged ( unknown to everyone) when my Mom had a 5-mph fender bender.

    I'd say I've spent about as little on the TCH for the first 70K miles as I have for any other car I have owned.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,748
    edited October 2010
    Isn't amazing how pretty much any vehicle will hold up if you maintain them ;) I've averaged about 180,000 miles per vehicle on all the vehicles I've owned and the only thing I'd call major was a head gasket I had to replace on a pickup truck at 70,000 miles. It's called preventative maintenance for a reason

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  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    There is no difference in the ownership costs due to maintenance between the Accord and TCH. The difference is the higher initial cost and 5 year depreciation is greater than than the fuel savings for a TCH versus a similarly equipped 4 cylinder Accord or even Camry for that matter.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    bamacar says, "...versus a similarly equipped 4 cylinder Accord or even Camry for that matter. "

    Well, that's an incorrect comparison.

    The TCH compares more favorably and correctly with the Camry XLE when considering features, and the performance of the TCH engine compares more favorably to the V6 than the 4-cyl options in the line.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    edited October 2010
    larsb said "the TCH engine compares more favorably to the V6 than the 4-cyl"

    Well, your response was incorrect but it sounded good to some I'm sure.

    4cylinder 169-179 hp 0-60 8.6sec
    TCH 187 hp Total System hp 0-60 8.7 sec
    V6 268hp 0-60 6.2 sec

    So, no the numbers are very obvious; the Camry V6 is sports car like in acceleration while the TCH is much like a very average 4 cylinder from 0-60.

    I never said which model I compared the TCH to. Did you assume I thought a base model compared to the TCH? Incorrect again. Seems to be a pattern developing here.

    The total cost to own compares the models with no options, so a TCH with no options as compared to a XLE 4 cylinder with no options reveals the following:

    The XLE has heated mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, leather steering wheel, power passenger seat, moonroof, sat radio, JBL system with CD changer, bluetooth, alloy wheels, fog lights, auto dim mirror, and a sliding armrest. The TCH has none of those standard. The TCH does have Smartkey though. Of course the XLE has significantly more cargo space and 307 fewer pounds that eat up that measly 8-18hp advantage over the regular 4 cylinder.

    Sorry - strike 3. The base TCH is well below the base 4cylinder XLE in standard equipment.

    The point of my post was that the difference in total cost has nothing to do with maintenance costs. It has to do with greater initial cost and depreciation not offsetting a reduction in fuel costs during the 5 year period.
  • Operating Cost Ratings
    This rating displays the vehicle's relative operating cost ranking, compared to all other new vehicles. This rating represents the ongoing "out of pocket" costs of owning and operating a new vehicle: Financing, Insurance, Taxes & Fees, Fuel, Maintenance and Repairs..................

    So, the fuel consumption does come in to play here....
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    edited October 2010
    1. I own a TCH. I don't race it in a 0-60 competition very often. Actually, NEVER. When I DO need it to GET UP AND GO, it DOES IT. Very well. The electric hybrid system kicks in when you "floor it" and it acts as a little "electric turbo charger." Every single friend who has ridden with me and seen this in action says, "I thought you said this was a Hybrid !!!" The TCH has all the acceleration anyone should need under almost ANY circumstance.

    2. I did not say the "base" TCH had all the trimmings of a V6 XLE, did I ? I said a base TCH has more in common with an XLE than a base non-hybrid Camry does. That is true. The TCH does in fact have a leather-wrapped steering wheel standard - at least my 2007 does. ( I just looked at the sticker, which I carry in my briefcase - it's not on there as an option, but my steering wheel is leather-wrapped. )

    3. You can get options on the TCH which are NOT available on the LE models, but ARE available or standard on the XLE. Again, more in common with the XLE.

    bamacar says, "The point of my post was that the difference in total cost has nothing to do with maintenance costs. It has to do with greater initial cost and depreciation not offsetting a reduction in fuel costs during the 5 year period. "

    The first part is right, but the second part is wrong. The TCH does indeed depreciate as well as the XLE, and way better than the LE.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,748
    Let's not let things get carried away and turn this into a personal beef, please. We can disagree about things without the personal references.

    Thanks for your participation and cooperation

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  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    According to Edmunds the retained value after 5 years is as follows:

    TCH 53.6%, XLE I-4 53.6%, LE I-4 Auto 53.4%

    All 3 Camrys depreciate at virtually the same rate.

    Please provide Edmunds with guidance on the flaws in their True Cost To Own system.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, I was right on the XLE and TCH, but it is surprising to me that the LE hangs in so close.
  • sorry for opening a can of warms...but I am still puzzled by the cost of ownership that factors the gas expense being about the same for hybrid and a non hybrid cars..and if maintenance and depreciation is the same and the gas expense is 30% lower for hybrid cars, how do you reconcile the numbers?... and what's the rhyme or reason for even looking at a hybrid?
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    Not sure how I can keep saying the same thing. For example see the following comparison.

    Here is the TCH: TCH TCO

    Here is the Accord EX 4cyl Auto: Accord EX TCO

    TCH saves $1600 dollars in fuel over 5 years. Maintenance costs are almost identical. Accord saves $1100 dollars in depreciation (roughly same rate on a smaller purchase price). Accord saves $470 in finance costs (smaller amount borrowed for cheaper car). Accord saves $430 in taxes (once again lower purchase price). Accord saves about $1150 for insurance (slight surprise here but somewhat based on lower purchase price again -maybe value of repairs higher on hybrid?). Total advantage to Accord about $1600. Mystery solved.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, right now, today, the Edmunds "TMV - What others are paying" for the TCH is around $400 more than the Accord.

    Accord EX: $24,271
    TCH: $24,665

    Not much gained on the "lower purchase price" factor there. That eliminates almost all of the "smaller purchase price, finance costs, taxes, and insurance" advantages you listed.

    A person can "keep saying the same thing" as long as they want, but they gotta expect that they might not be correct sometimes. Happens to all of us. We all have opinions on things, and sometimes those opinions can be backed with facts, and other times we get caught assuming things based on common sense which in turn are shown to be "only a feeling" and not factually correct. No Biggie. No harm no foul. It's All Good. :shades: :shades: :shades:
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    edited October 2010
    Please stop the personal attacks. I have 100 percent correctly stated the facts about the Edmunds True Cost to Own system

    I was asked what was the difference between the Accord and TCH for the Total Cost to Own. Once again if you have a problem with the Total Cost to Own system by Edmunds, complain. Personal attacks against the messenger do not gain anything.

    Edmunds Total Cost of Ownership used a True Market price of 26949 for TCH and the True Market Price for the Accord EX is 24271. Once again this is what Edmunds is using. I gave you the facts; no opinions here.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    There was no personal attack at ALL.

    I just stated some philosophical truths that apply to ALL of us.

    Nothing I said was or should be incorrectly interpreted as a personal attack on any person.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    ..When Ed Niedermeyer reported about Volkswagen’s new sub One Liter (235 mpg) car, the XL1, currently on display in Qatar, he prognosticated that this “One Liter car represents a step closer to production.” A very close step, as it turns out.

    Automobilwoche [sub] heard in Qatar both from Piech and Winterkorn that Volkswagen will actually build a small series (about 100 first) of the car. Piech confirmed that the car will be made available for purchase at a yet undisclosed price. It’s not just a field test.

    According to Winterkorn, the car will be introduced in Germany first. The U.S. and China will follow at a later point in time.

    200+ MPG VW Hybrid coming to production

  • pat85pat85 Posts: 92
    The Blue book value of my 2009 Camry Hybrid has increased. After my trade in, it now is worth more than what I financed on it.
    Further, I have heated mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, leather interior, power steering, power driver seat, moonroof, , JBL system with CD changer, bluetooth, alloy wheels,, auto dim mirror with compass, and a storage armrest. I have the smartkey system, navigation system, and heated seats. One disadvantage is my trunk cargo space is decresed maybe 25 % for traction battery storage. One other item. The Camry Hybrid had much lower than average maintenance costs. In all the years the Prius has been around, including a 400, 000 mile taxi in Mexico, not one traction battery has failed.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter seeks to interview someone in the market for a new Toyota Prius who cannot find one on dealer lots. Please email no later than Thursday, July 7, 2011 with your daytime contact information if you care to share your story.


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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Stating the obvious here, but nice to have them evaluated, anyway.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    We want to know what you think. As a consumer, what kind of gas mileage do you think vehicles should offer? We want your opinions on fuel efficiency rules and your questions about gas mileage during a live chat Tuesday (7/26) at noon, Eastern.

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  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    The gauntlet has been lain down, Diesel Sniffers !! Go Get 'Em !!!

    It sounded as a goal too far for even the Prius, but one couple managed circumvent South Africa using less than 140 litres of fuel.

    Helen and John Taylor, an Australian couple well known for several international fuel economy records, decided to turn their recent holiday in South Africa into a record breaking attempt. They chose the ultimate eco friendly Toyota Prius for the job and assigned independent technical engineering company Aswan Consulting to follow them across the country and independently certify their record attempt.

    The Taylor’s trip took the couple from Johannesburg’s early morning rush hour traffic through towns and cities such as Springbok, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, Piet Retief and ultimately back to Johannesburg in a route that spanned 4 431.6 km.

    “South Africa is an immensely beautiful country. Driving through the countryside is like driving through the USA, Australia, Scotland and New Zealand all in one day,” say the seasoned travellers.

    The Taylors first refuel was recorded in Pofadder in the Northern Cape, after completing 1 100.2 km and using 34.368 litres of fuel. For the record purposes the couple was only allowed to stop at pre-determined Shell fuel stations, where the station manager was tasked with recording the fuel level, unsealing and resealing the fuel tank and taking meticulous photo evidence of the process.

    “Our best figure in the Prius is 2.4 ℓ /100 km over a 50 km section. We travelled at normal speeds, but the road works and constant stop and go sections dropped our average speed to 53 km/h for the section,” say the Taylors.

    The 2.4 ℓ record translates into an average of 41.66 km per litre of fuel, which shatters any previous fuel consumption records. The same applies to the final record fuel consumption figure of 3.148 ℓ /100km which was certified by the independent technical auditor. To achieve this final figure, the Taylors used only 139.488 litres of fuel over 4 431.6 km of all types of road surfaces and environmental conditions.

    The certified record figure is very impressive as it beats the official 4.1 ℓ /100 km fuel consumption figure of the Prius by 23%. This is even more impressive if one considers that an average 2 litre petrol driven family sedan would consume on average 7 l ℓ / 100 km.

    “The Taylor’s achievement strengthens our view that the Prius was designed to offer the best possible environmental benefits in normal everyday circumstances. Not only did the Prius – a used version with relatively high mileage – outperform all expectations, but it did so with the lowest CO2 emissions as well. We are proud of both the Taylors and the Prius, well done!” says Dr Johan van Zyl, President and CEO of Toyota South Africa Motors and a Managing Officer of Toyota Motor Corporation.

    2.4 liters per 100 KM works out to 98 miles per gallon, US.

    That's pretty dang good in a Prius.
  • What is missing is the speed for each leg.

    Near as I can tell, the maximum range speed of the Prius is ~18 mph (~29 km/h.) What we find is most of these "record events" happen at speeds impractically low. I don't mind it as long as it is part of the story. But without out the vehicle speed (and weather conditions,) the story is missing key engineering data.

    Bob Wilson
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Well, Bob, they were in the process of setting a MPG world record......

    Therefore, maintaining a higher speed was not probably one of the main considerations.....

    They weren't trying to say that a commuter can expect 98 MPG out of a Prius - I think they were just pushing the limits of MPG in that vehicle, speed-be-damned......
  • A documented benchmark helps explain vehicle performance, useful insights. But these stunts are advertising, another commercial.

    In 2009, the Taylor's came to the USA to set a Jetta TDI "world record". Claiming driving records has become a 'business' with mileage stunts providing a distorted view of the sponsor's product. The product doesn't matter but the distortion that is so wrong and misleading.

    One of the best examples of how to do it right are from the Edmunds "smackdown" series: Gas-Sipper Smackdown!, Fuel Sipper Smackdown 2, and Fuel-Sipper Smackdown 3. Edmunds is in the 'reality' business, reporting facts and data. Credibility is what makes Edmunds, Consumer Reports and EPA results useful.

    So as a personal accomplishment, the Taylors set another record but given another sponsor, it would have been a different vehicle . . . and just as useful.

    Bob Wilson
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    from WSJ
    2012 TCH

    The consulting firm IHS Automotive counts 29 different hybrid vehicles on the market, including battery-pack toting versions of mainstream midsize sedans such as the Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata. But nearly half of the hybrids sold are one model: the easily identifiable Toyota Prius.
    Despite the additional hybrid models on the market, "we're seeing no increases in demand," says IHS auto industry analyst Rebecca Lindland. "The reality is hybrids have never gotten over 3% of the market. Which means 97% of people are picking something else." -end
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Prime example of the stupidity of the American car buyer.

    That's why diesels and hybrids are low volume and something ridiculous like the F150 is the best selling vehicle.

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