Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press



  • tagmantagman Malibu, CaliforniaMember Posts: 8,441
    Lots of chatter about which is better... the hybrid as we now know it, or the diesels. The economy of the modern diesel is so convincing that the newest hybrids will actually switch to diesel engines, only to become "diesel/hybrids".

    Yes, the marriage of two great ideas. So, while you are all debating which is best, the smarter approach is to realize that each offers a benefit that can be united together as a diesel hybrid.

    Europe will be the first logical market for this, and then the North American market thereafter.

    Here's a link you can all read to get the point:

    link title

    And for those of you that posted something to the effect that Toyota doesn't do diesels, just remember that they have taken control of Isuzu for a strategic reason... and that reason is diesel technology. Toyota already has the hybrid technology, but they are sorely lacking in diesel technology and they know it. Thus the Isuzu takeover.

    Why all this? Because ultimately there will be diesel hybrids. So it would seem you are all correct in pointing out the merits of diesels AND hybrids, and the future will marry the two.


  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    I never understood the diesel v hybrid debate as if they were mutually exclusive. Obviously the two technologies can compliment each other. It's like a debate on what's the best way to lose weight, diet or exercise? Hmmm... both.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    quote larsb-
    They are just the FIRST COMPANY TO REQUEST IT since they hit their cap early due to, um, the fact that they are the NUMBER ONE HYBRID COMPANY IN THE WORLD.

    The other carmakers will also complain when and if THEIR cars use all the tax credit because of SALES SUCCESS. -end

    How ironic. Since Toyota is #1 Hybrid Company in the World it is very important that the citizens of the United States provide thousands of dollars in incentives to sell each Toyota hybrid cars. :(

    What does the tax credit accomplish? Reduced energy usage? Reduced emissions?

    A better idea would be for the government to give a tax credit to those who carpool, or ride a bicycle to work, or live close to their work instead of commuting 100 plus miles per day. :surprise:
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    The intent of the tax credit is yes, of course, to encourage people to drive more fuel-efficient and cleaner cars.

    That's why the diesels are in the legislation - they qualify on the "high mileage" side but not yet on the cleanliness side.

    Toyota and the other auto lobbyists knew that to convince people to spend $1500 to $3000 more for a hybrid car would be a tough sell, until people LEARNED about the benefits.

    Now that the tax benefits are lower and on the way out, SOME PEOPLE who are greedy and penny-pinchers might avoid buying the hybrids. Regardless of the reason, we need to keep more hybrids on the road. Thus the urging of continued tax breaks.

    The tax breaks will also apply to the diesels in 2008 once they are EPA approved. I'm sure VW is looking forward to it.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Go Canada !!!

    Canada TCH taxi
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Member Posts: 158
    good article,

    it suggests the problem delaying their enthusiastic adoption by fleet owners : -

    "he adds that the plate owners decide which model to purchase. These days, says Beck operations manager Andrew Whiteley, most choose two- or three-year-old Ford Tauruses, which sell at fleet auctions for about a third of the price of a new Camry hybrid."

    Can you see how this works ? The owners pay for the cab, but it's the drivers who are on the hook for putting in the gas. Hmmm a letter to the editor is in order but I should think it's incumbent on Toyota to lobby city hall about the optics of not supporting the drive to reduce urban pollution except when it suits them.

    FYI the Province of Ontario up here in Canada has implemented the Drive Clean program for mandatory testing of all private cars every two years on the dynamometer. It's a royal pain particularly if, like me, you happen to own several.

    By the way, LARSB, I am laying off the SEGS !!

  • catamcatam Member Posts: 331
    At least from an emissions standpoint. Cabs do a high majority of city miles, in stop and go traffic, and idling waiting for new fares. At least they would not be emitting gases during those idle times. I do agree with others though that they still would be hard pressed to be cost effective.
  • nomorebenznomorebenz Member Posts: 109
    Hybrids are mandatory as a portion of your fleet here in NYC. From what I've read, they're a real hit with the cabbies. Much less of their profit going to pay for gas. So far I've seen Escapes ,Hihy's and yes one TCH.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    If hybrids make sense for anyone its for cab and bus drivers. A vehicle that can recapture kinetic energy through regenerative braking is ideally suited for this type of stop and go driving. The next generation of hybrids promise to have even better regenerative braking capabilities. Are there any hybrid buses in operation?
  • sibbaldsibbald Member Posts: 106
    I took possession of my TCH last Aug. and within two weeks noticed an Esquimalt TCH taxi in Victoria. It was the first other TCH I saw. Our taxi companies have been using the Prius for several years, there is a ton of them here. The older ones have 250,000 km on them with no battery or other hybrid issues. Toyota of Japan bought back two of the Prius taxi cabs in Victoria for engineering studies and gave the owners new cars in exchange. They love them, the Prius is a little cheaper on gas then the TCH and more room for load capacity. But, the main point is, Prius has the same hybrid principle as the TCH and they have been rock solid for over 150,000 miles. Victoria is more green than any other city in Canada, for more reasons than just the weather.

  • nomorebenznomorebenz Member Posts: 109
    We have quite a few hybrid buses here in NYC. Should be around 500 or so.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Sad to see my TCH so far down the list: :cry:

    2007 Greenest Cars

    ‘Greenest’ vehicles for 2007

    1. Honda Civic GX

    2. Toyota Prius

    3. Honda Civic Hybrid

    4. Nissan Altima Hybrid

    5. Toyota Yaris

    6. Toyota Corolla

    7. Toyota Camry Hybrid

    8. Honda Fit

    9. Kia Rio/Rio 5

    10. Hyundai Accent

    11. Hyundai Elantra

    12. Honda Civic

    ‘Meanest’ vehicles on the environment for 2007

    1. Volkswagon Touareg

    2. Mercedez-Benz GL320 CDI

    3. Lamborghini Murcielago

    4. Jeep Grand Cherokee

    5. Bentley Arnage RL

    6. Mercedez-Benz R320 CDI

    7. Mercedez-Benz ML320 CDI

    8. Maybach 57 S/62 S

    9. Bentley Azure

    10. Ford F-250

    11. Dodge Ram 2500 Mega Cab

    12. Lincoln Navigator

    Source: greenercars.com
  • railroadjamesrailroadjames Member Posts: 560
    You might wanna rethink that statement....Vancouver has an abundance of Prius taxis not to mention clear and clean skys. I couldn't help but notice all of the yellow cabs all over the place. Made me smile....since I own an '04 Prius.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    RailroadJames - welcome back friend !!! We need more hybrid advocates around here. Good to hear from you and thanks for coming back around !!!
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    It is quite obvious that whomever came up with the list was uninformed or just plain biased against non Japanese vehicles. For example the 2007 VW Touareg has an EPA rating of 6 on emissions. The Toyota Landcruiser a 3. No where do I see the gas guzzling high polluting Toyotas on the meanest list. Was that an oversight or just outright lies? Obviously a source supported by Toyota.

    I may not buy number one. I have my eye on number 2. I am about to buy the MB GL320 CDI. Looks like a real nice vehicle for someone that wants it all. Size, Safety, Comfort, great handling, performance and good mileage.

    PS James,
    Good to see you on Edmund's again.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "We need more hybrid advocates around here. "

    Hmmm, I would think that we need more impartial people around here, so we can discuss things logically, both pro and con... :confuse:
  • petlpetl Member Posts: 610
    Nothing to be sad about. Look at the cars it beat, not the cars it didn't. I also own one. Still amazed at how quiet and gas efficient this vehicle is. It feels like a luxury vehicle costing $15,000.00 more (solid as a rock, so far). We are just packing smarter. Hey, my hockey sticks (with the back seat down) and bag fit nicely in the trunk.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Prius Loses Some Of It's Sales Juice

    Just wait until gasoline is $3/gal again this summer and sales will be back to what they were.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    ...and the model is 3-1/2 years old which is about the time most vehicles start to need some sort of 'boost' to keep buyers interest alive.

    ...and Toyota has increased prodution/availability now beginning in 2007. They may actually sell more per month than before ( this remains to be seen ).

    ...and the overall automarket is likely to have a tough year in 2007 if forecasts are correct.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    ...and the model is 3-1/2 years old which is about the time most vehicles start to need some sort of 'boost' to keep buyers interest alive

    How many years old is the current Corolla? Any news of a hybrid when it is redesigned?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    The Corolla is starting it's sixth year this month. We should have been getting the new Corolla in March like the rest of the world is...except it ran smack headon into the Tundra launch.

    The good soldier Corolla got pushed back a year to next spring. It's ready and has been seen by owners and management since last summer.

    I don't think that there is any intention to drop a hybrid system into the Corolla in the near term. One interesting news item last fall indicated that Toyota was thinking about a special 'brand' of vehicles called Prius.
    .. and updated hatch due here in Oct 2008 ( for sure )
    .. a hybrid minivan such as the JDM Estima ( ? )
    .. a small 4 door sedan maybe like a Yaris ( ? )
    .. a small diesel hybrid truck ( ? )
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Car mpg ratings going down

    Now the EPA ratings are too low.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAMember Posts: 9,372
    I've really only ever considered the EPA ratings as a number to be used for comparison purposes when deciding between cars. The fact that I've pretty much gotten the number on the sticker from every vehicle (city mileage for local driving, highway numbers on the highway) only shows that I must drive more like the tests than some do :P

    So if they've revamped the tests and the numbers are now lower, they still can be useful for comparison purposes, right?

    "Your mileage may vary" is true and covers an awful lot of variation!
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    About what was expected but yes too low IMO. Nearly all hybrid drivers making an effort will exceed the new EPA values by 5-10% on average. That should make everyone including the EPA happy.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    I'm not a hybrid basher. In fact, I'm a big fan of these regenerative technologies. Here's my question. On average do you think that the typical hybrid owner is more likely to drive in a manner that will maximize mpg? If so then the statistics can get a little skewed. Real world data might show that hybrid owners are exceeding EPA ratings while non-hybrid owners are not. Would that reflect that the ratings system is unfair to hybrids or does it reflect a different type of driver?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Most people moving from a non-hybrid to a hybrid are curious to see if there are ways to dramatically improve fuel economy by modifying their driving habits.

    To those fixated on minimizing fuel usage they can go to extremes to use the Hybrid systems to maximum efficiency. In the GreenHybrid database there are about 10 drivers that AVERAGE higher than 60 mpg which is above the old ( outdated ) EPA City value.

    Most drivers after a month or a couple of months find that doing this extreme 'economy-searching' doesn't meet their lifestyle and revert back to 'normal' driving.

    A quick example,
    .. 30 miles across a heavily populated area in slow but moving traffic with lots of lights on 4 lane major suburban thorofares at 20-35 mph? taking ~45 min..... or
    .. 45 miles around the heavily populated area on an Interstate bypass at 70 mph? taking ~20 min.

    One option gets you 55-75 mpg in fuel economy
    One option gets you 45 mpg in fuel economy

    The choice is up to the driver.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I wonder if it is business as usual with that bunch at the EPA. How can they use such a broad brush without testing the cars? It looks like they came up with a calculation and used it across the board. They probably tested a couple cars and took the percentage and applied it to all cars. Typical government boondoggle. It does look like the Prius is closer to reality than the old test.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    No mention of the Corolla hybrid, darn! Future Hybrids

    August 2000 is the start date (in Japan) for the E120 Series Corolla. The current E120 Corolla was available from 2003 model year in USA.
    The Corolla is starting it's sixth year this month. We should have been getting the new Corolla in March like the rest of the world is...except it ran smack headon into the Tundra launch.

    The good soldier Corolla got pushed back a year to next spring. It's ready and has been seen by owners and management since last summer.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Yep hit the streets in Feb 2002 as a 2003 model. I saw the first one in person SuperBowl day in 2002.

    I don't see a Corolla hybrid coming. Rather a line of Prius vehicles from a Yaris-size, 2009 Prius, Estima ( Sienna ) small minivan, to a new smaller-than-Highlander 'wagon' hybrid?

    All speculation though. What is interesting is that the Georgetown KY plant is making room for something. The Solara is going away ( small volume ) and 100,000 Camry units are being offloaded to the Subaru plant in Indiana. This leaves 125K units missing in KY. What's going in there?
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Probably the next generation of Prius.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    I'm a little curious as to why people want to see a hybrid Corolla. If you're interested in fuel savings then you don't focus on your most efficient vehicles. The Corolla is already rated at around 40 mpg. Get that up to 50 mpg and you've got some gee-whiz factor but not much fuel savings. In terms of fuel savings the best payback will be achieved by dedicating your efforts on your least efficient vehicles. If Toyota got their Land Cruiser up to 16 mpg from 13 mpg that might not sound too impressive but it is far more significant.
  • gtoskylinegtoskyline Member Posts: 68
    This is BIG! Plug-in Prius is coming soon.

    Will Toyota's next generation of hybrids, which are expected in late 2008 or early 2009, focus on fuel economy or performance?
    When we shifted from the first generation to the second generation hybrid we enhanced substantially performance in many different aspects. On top of that, we reduced both the cost and size by half. We are currently working on the third generation hybrid, which will also have a much higher performance and good mileage per gallon. On top of that we are now aiming at reducing, by half, both size and cost of the third generation hybrid system. We are not yet at the stage where we can disclose data relating to performance or fuel consumption.

    Will Toyota use Lithium-Ion batteries in the next generation hybrids?
    We will change the battery from nickel hydride to the lithium battery, and therefore we would like to reduce the size of the motors and inverters by half, so the overall size of the hybrid system can be reduced by half.

    There's been a lot of discussion lately over how long it will take Li-Ions that are safe and durable for autos. Will the batteries be ready in time?
    Yes, I believe we can develop this battery in time. Occasionally I visit the site where the development is going on to see the trial model.

    But were you worried by Sony's problems last year when Li-Ions in laptops were reportedly catching fire?
    Of course, we're experimenting on the problem that Sony encountered last year. We are making sure that the problem can be avoided. Automobiles are used in different conditions. For example, cars are used in temperatures from -20 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius and are constantly exposed to high vibrations. It's extremely difficult to build those systems for automobiles compared with cell phones which are used in relatively stable environments. These difficulties must be reflected in the design.

    link title
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    I believe that plug-in hybrids will be very big in the next few years. I think that Toyota has some mixed feeling here. They've spent a lot of money developing the best blended hybrid system. In a plug-in application the advantages of a blended system become less relevant. Actually, the series hybrid approach makes more sense. So when I hear pessimistic statements out of Toyota regarding battery limitations in regards to plug-ins I have to keep it in perspective.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    Here is one very real reason for mixed feelings on the PHEV's...what do city dwellers/street parkers do for power at night?

    Is this a vehicle that will only be able to be purchased by the suburban elite with their own private power sources?

    The suburban drivers get the benefits of PHEV's but the city dwellers get 'Tough luck'.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    If PHEVs become popular I don't think it will be that ambitious an undertaking to start installing power sources in parking lots. I envision something like a parking meter except you are paying for kilowatt-hours instead of time.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I cannot see that as a big issue. Most folks that can afford a hybrid have private parking. If you live where you park on the street just don't buy a PHEV. It is the urban elitist that live in the city. A 2b2b condo in downtown San Diego is over a million bucks. For that same amount I can buy a 4b4b 5000 sq ft home in the suburbs. With a 3 car garage. Only the wealthy can afford to live in the city in my part of the USA.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    As one of the last members of the "Baby Boom" generation (born in 1963) I am proud to hear that the Boomers are leading the hybrid revolution !! Go Green or Go Home !!!

    Boomer Going Green

    WASHINGTON - At the grocery store, Lloyd Lachow buys organic milk and fruit. At the dealership, he shops for hybrids.

    "It's a cultural thing," Lachow says. "I'm somebody who doesn't think global warming is a myth. I understand what science is. I take those things seriously and act accordingly."

    Lachow, 55, is a baby boomer. The generation, born in the years between the end of World War II and the early 1960s, has driven every major automotive buying trend since the late 1970s, when boomers began giving up on Detroit's gas-guzzlers. They flocked to the small, boxy imports built by Toyota and Honda.

    In the 1980s, they dissed station wagons in favor of minivans. As their wealth grew during the decade, they moved up to sexier and brawnier sport-utility vehicles to carry their growing families, their shopping bags and their boats. Along the way, they left behind the luxury of Lincoln and Cadillac for the foreign marques of Acura, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Lexus.

    Now, the boomers could be on the verge of making another major turn. After decades of indifference, they are starting to change their buying habits in response to global warming. And automakers are rolling out a growing list of vehicles to take advantage of the changing attitudes.

    Environment-conscious consumers have choices beyond the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic hybrids, such as other hybrids, diesels, high-mileage small cars with traditional gasoline engines, and ethanol-powered vehicles. Green drivers can find a cadre of subcompact, conventional gasoline-powered cars like Toyota's Yaris and Honda's Fit, which burst onto the U.S. market as hot sellers last year.

    Hybrids, which even recently were viewed as a fad, are gaining traction in the marketplace. Toyota's Prius, of course, is king of the category. Toyota expects to sell 150,000 Prius cars this year, up 50 percent from last year. Tight supply had forced would-be buyers onto month-long waiting lists, but now the supply is more plentiful. Dealers say the automaker is intent on pushing hybrids - including the Prius - into the mainstream U.S. auto market. Toyota has sweetened deals on the Prius, enticing new customers like Joe Morra, of Rockville, Md., a government attorney.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Prius owners happiest

    And who are the happiest car owners of all? For the fourth year in a row, those who own a Toyota Prius. 92% said they’d buy the hybrid again.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Lincoln Navigator owners happiest

    And who are the happiest car owners of all? For the fourth year in a row, those who own a Toyota Prius. 92% said they’d buy the hybrid again.

    Toyota Prius was not even on the list from Auto Pacific.
    Of course, CR only surveys CR Subscribers, and CR does not represent the general population.
    And CR just got caught lying again in their testing. :(

    AutoPacific previously announced individual vehicle winners. The vehicle registering highest overall satisfaction in 2006 is the Lincoln Navigator Luxury SUV winning top vehicle, top truck and top Luxury SUV honors. The highest rated car is the new-for-2006 Hyundai flagship – Hyundai Azera. -end
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    moparbad says, "And CR just got caught lying again in their testing."

    Wrong. Wrong, Triple Wrong.

    CR has never "lied" in their testing. They have made mistakes, and have taken responsibility for them in full and made retractions and corrections.

    What you feel about CR has no bearing on the story I posted because this is not a CR test - This is what the ACTUAL owners of the cars said. Not CR. :shades:

    And it just follows the path of every single study ever done on Prius owner satisfaction - it's always over 90% satisfaction.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I have seen that figure tossed around. Is it the Consumer satisfaction here on Edmund's. Who does the study you are referring to? Do you have a link or links to those studies. Are the studies comparing all cars? Most cars on Edmund's have a very high satisfaction rating. Most people are not going to say they made a mistake buying a given vehicle.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Here are some study links:

    Prius Rocks #1

    Actually, Gary, the only one I can find is the ones which reference the CR owners satisfaction.....

  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Actually, Gary, the only one I can find is the ones which reference the CR owners satisfaction.....

    Is that the only one you wanted to find?

    Vehicle Satisfaction Study Nissan's Rated Highest
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Hybrid cars are "no longer the only choice" for consumers

    They never have been the only choice.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    2007 Toyota Prius
    Victim of cheap gas?

    What happened? The price of gas fell to around the two-dollar mark from three; many people who wanted a Prius have acquired one (not unusual in the life cycle of a car); and Toyota upped the production of the much-talked-about hybrid. So supply caught up with -- and in some cases exceeded -- demand, and to some degree put the consumer back in the driver's seat.
    What hasn't changed is the fact that the Prius is one neat little gas sipping car. It's solid, starts quickly even in minus-9 degree wind chills, warms up quickly, and doesn't emit the slightest squeak even in the coldest weather. It also carries the Toyota promise of a long and trouble free life at a reasonable price point.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Member Posts: 7,160
    From the sales side this is very much what I see as well. The 'early adopters' and 'early majority' have bought their vehicles. Now it's a sell the the rest of the market.

    Supply as at least quadrupled in absolute terms. Where we used to get 6-10 units a month now its 30-40 amonth.
  • tpetpe Member Posts: 2,342
    Of course, CR only surveys CR Subscribers, and CR does not represent the general population

    Agreed, these are only CR subscribers. If you were forced to speculate as to what ways CR subscribers differ from the general population what would you say? For instance, would you say that their education level is less than, equal to, or greater than the general population? The same question for income level and time spent researching purchases? Of course its pure speculation but I'd answer "higher than" for all three questions. If I'm correct than this group, while not representative, potentially has a more valuable point of view than the point of view offered by a truly representative cross section. I do believe that another difference that CR subscribers might have is a greater concern for environmental issues than the general population. I guess that could explain a Prius or hybrid bias but is that really a bad thing? With that said, CR does make mistakes but I believe they aren't intentional and their only agenda is to attempt to offer consumers the best advice possible.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I would trust an independent study that was sent to ALL Prius owners after owning the car for at least a year. Even then it would be predicated on the percentage of returns from the survey. It is just like polls. They rarely are right and almost never go directly to the masses. As different as the Prius is, I doubt that 10% of the Prius owners have ever been sent an independent questionnaire on how they like the car.

    I lost faith in CR so long ago I do not even look at their rag on the newsstand.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Of course its pure speculation but I'd answer "higher than" for all three questions. If I'm correct than this group, while not representative, potentially has a more valuable point of view than the point of view offered by a truly representative cross section. :surprise: Your opionion is that non-representative data is more valuble? Wow! I just want non-biased facts.

    CR could easily survey owners of vehicles at random. CR makes the choice to only survey their subscribers. Why? The subscribers pay the bills!
    I have no problem accepting the statement that "Toyota Prius has the highest ownership satisfaction amound CR Subscribers".

    It is when people take this scientifically improper sampling method of only sampling subscibers and then try to pass off the results as being representative of the general population that I say NOT ACCEPTABLE.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    Last I checked, CR subscribers ARE a part of the "general population."

    These results are from real Prius owners who hopefully are not lying about their cars.

    It's not fake data. It's not fake people. It's not fake cars.

    It's real results from real owners of real Prius cars.
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