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Hybrids - News, Reviews and Views in the Press



  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Larry, I think it is more a matter of misjudging the market for them, eh?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    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: 3,868
    "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

    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 San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    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.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,178
    It's not just talk at Toyota - it's ENFORCED COMPANY POLICY

    So you are telling me you believe that when I wreck my Toyota hybrid and call the dealer, they will send out a mechanic to remove the battery and give me $200 bucks? I got a bridge in Havasu I'd like to sell. You interested?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    You call the number on the battery and Toyota handles the arrangements. It's not fluff, it's how it's done. They have been doing it like that since 1998.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    You are making a silly argument. If it's totalled then the insurance company owns it and they dispose of it. It ends up at a salver who disassembles it for whatever can be made to generate income, like $200 for the battery, then the remaining hulk is crushed for resale to the mini-mills.

    Obviously it's not a problem or we would have heard something in the 5 yrs the vehicles have been out. I've seen several totalled Prius' awaiting pick up over the last 3 years.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    The Auto Express ( UK ) published this earlier this year but it seems to have a mole somewhere with access to early information. A Dec 9 article.

    As a result, engineers are targeting fuel economy figures that will make trips to the petrol station a rare occurrence - the firm is aiming to achieve 113mpg! The lighter, more powerful and longer-lasting batteries will ensure that the hatchback is quicker than the model now on sale, with a 0-62mph sprint time of less than 10 seconds. ( Imp Gal of course )

    2009 Prius ? may require a login.

    In another article they allegedly has a 'preview' of what it would look like.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    EPA Revised MPG - Hybrids The Big Losers
    Hybrids will be the big losers, however, with the new EPA testing. Hybrids like the Prius and Civic Hybrid will see their city ratings drop by 20% to 30% in the city and 10% to 20% on the highway.
  • terry92270terry92270 Posts: 1,247
    Well, getting double the MPG is still double, no matter what the estimated or actuals are. ;)
  • tpetpe Posts: 2,342
    What hybrid gets double the mileage of its non-hybrid counterpart? The Civic certainly doesn't. Neither does the Camry hybrid even when compared to the 6cyl Camry. The Prius doesn't have a counterpart but with the new ratings it won't even get double the mileage of the 4cyl Camry and that is a very generous comparison. I think the real world hybrid mpg advantage is more like 30-35%.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Hybrids will be the big losers,

    Aha.. Gotcha.. ;)

    Look at this nonsensical anomaly ...

    In their article about the subject the San Jose Mercury did some estimates of what the new ratings might be>

    Prius 2007 .. 60 / 51 / 55 Combined
    Prius 2008 .. 45 / 43 / 44 Combined

    Fusion 2007 .. 23 / 31 / 27 Combined
    Fusion 2008 .. 20 / 28.5 / 24 Combined

    Nothing special here, yet. But on a Fuel Usage basis:

    Prius 2007 at a 55 mpg Avg: a driver uses 18.2 gal/1000 mi driven
    Fusion 2007 at a 27 mpg Avg: a driver uses 37.0 gal/1000 mi driven
    According to the EPA the 2007 Prius should be 18.8 gal more efficient than the 2007 Fusion for every 1000 mi driven.

    2008 Prius at a 44 mpg Avg: a driver uses 22.7 gal/1000 mi driven
    2008 Fusion at a 24 mpg Avg: a driver uses 41.7 gal/1000 mi driven
    According to the NEW EPA estimates the 2008 Prius should be 19.0 gal more efficient than the 2008 Fusion for every 1000 mi driven.

    But as you know nothing has changed at all. None of the vehicles on the road are any different this week than last week and none of the new vehicles to be sold are any different than the ones already sold. It's just that now the EPA can rest for another 30 years without the public hounding them about 'These estimates are bogus' ... and a lot of drivers in all kinds of makes are going to exceed the EPA estimates by a lot, maybe 10-30%.

    I personally will exceed the new EPA estimates by 5-15% depending on the weather and other conditions.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Here is another interesting observation...

    The new TCH came out this year after the EPA had made it's proposal to the public back in January. Normally this kind of change is first given to industry so that it can plan how best to implement the new changes - let's say sometime last year.

    The Prius EPA's are 60 City and 51 Hwy .. a 17.6% difference
    The HH EPA's are 32 City and 27 Hwy .. a 18.5% difference
    The TCH EPA's are 40 City and 38 Hwy .. a 5% difference

    The HSD system is the same, why wouldn't the % difference be the same on the TCH? In addition, from initial reports most people can regularly attain the OLD EPA's in the new TCH with little difficulty. I believe that Toyota implemented the new EPA regs for the TCH on its initial launch. Therefore for this key vehicle it may result in a very small change or no change at all when the new ratings are posted.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I noticed that also.

    The TCH is by far the hybrid which has held closest to the EPA ratings without having the owners jump through a huge learning curve.
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