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Hybrids, the bloom is off the rose??


greg72monte
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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Or maybe, just maybe, they caught up with demand.

</div></div>

Exactly.

The Prius remains the unmitigated hit of the 21st century so far, despite stiff competition from the newly improved Civic hybrid and the Camry hybrid. The soon to be released $24K Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion hybrids will cut into Prius sales as well. In fact Prius sales in the U.S. are up m...ield to itself.

What has happened is that production capacity has finally caught up with demand. Toyota will produce 40% more hybrids in 2007 than they did in 2006 worldwide. As a result the huge waiting lists of the past have largely been filled, and while there are now often Priuses on the lot (at least here in the midwest) they're still selling (quickly) for full sticker.

The bloom will be off the rose when used hybrids are selling at depreciation rates similar to conventional (old-fashioned) cars. Try to find a <span style="font-style: italic">used</span> Prius for sale! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

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Bill,

I have to admit that cold weather performance is the biggest minus to my Prius so far. Between the decreased efficientcy of the drive battery and (more importantly) the extended time it takes for the car's ECU to get out of "warm-up mode", my gas mileage suffers. During this latest cold snap (it's been 25 degrees F or lower for most of the last 2 weeks, with frequent single digit temps) my mileage has dropped to slightly below 40 mpg. Extended drives (more than 10-15 miles) aren't effected very much, but most of my trips are less than 5 miles and it hits them severely. (Although at about 17% that mileage drop is about the same as a 20 mpg car dropping to 16.5, so I guess it's relative.)

As far as snow traction is concerned, all Priuses have traction control so getting stuck is a major rareity. (I haven't been able to do it yet, but I've come close.) However it's a pretty brutal traction control. It has to be because the electric motor has peak torque at stall and the car wants to break the tires loose even on dry pavement. The T.C. (when activated) cuts power severely, and it can be VERY slow going at times starting out on snow. I've had cars that were worse in the snow, for sure, but this one could be better if the T.C. were switchable or at least had a limited-slip like setting for snow.

Otherwise the car is well weighted/balanced and has a very wide track for it's size, so it handles nicely snow or none. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Even with these limitations, I couldn't be happier with the car. I can't tell you how dated my other ("modern") cars feel after driving a hybrid. It's like going from ABS to two-wheel brakes! <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">According to this weeks Autoweek, Toyota is now offering incentives to sell the Pruis, 1.9% financing. </div></div>

I don't suppose it has anything to do with phasing out of the tax credits? Even worse, here in the DC metro area the local governments are phasing out the HOV exemption for hybrids. Since that's the only reason anyone around here buys one, expect the sales to really drop.

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BTW, the incentive financing being offered on Priuses is <span style="font-weight: bold">3.9%</span> for <span style="font-weight: bold">36 months</span> (not 1.9%). With prevailing interest rates running about 6% for 60 months, this is not much of an incentive program (especially considering that the cars still sell for full sticker price).

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Joe are you trying to tell us that the people in the DC area don't have enough sense to buy the car because it will save on emissions of green house gases?! I though the people in that area of the country were more up on current news. Come on give them more credit then that.

I am proud to say that by driving my hybrid I am doing my part to promote progress in autmotive technology. And also to make sure that there is a future my son can look forward to. Hybrids are today's reality. Sooner or later everyone will be driving them. Kinda of like when the horse was replaced with the horseless carriage.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">It will be interesting to see how they fare on the used car market when they are 5 years old with say 100000 miles on the odometer. </div></div>

Priuses have been out now for almost 8 years, and the Insight nearly 10. There's plenty of track record for used and high milage versions.

Undamaged 2002 and older ones on autotra... to around $7K. This is substantially more than Camrys or Civics.

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We restored a 1936 Thorne Gas-Electric Milk Truck a few years ago for a local Dairy who had bought it new. 4 cylinder gas engine turning a 70 volt generator powering an electric motor coupled to the differential. Interestingly the motivation in those days wasn't increased mileage but rather ease of maintenance and a desire to eliminate the clutch. Apparently employees then as now were notorious for abusing clutches. The dairy had good service from the vehicle. Unfortunately they allowed the restoration to deteriorate badly over the past 8 years or so but that's another story.

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I have a 2002 we got in late 2001 with over 90,000 miles on it.

I was offered $13K trade on a new Prius last fall.

I only paid $19K for the car new after the tax credit, so would say that is pretty good.

Last I looked average retail was about 16K.

Here is a picture of it pulling a trailer at the Cedar Rapids Show 2002

47 mpg pulling the trailer isn't bad.

post-30764-143137923638_thumb.jpg

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Joe are you trying to tell us that the people in the DC area don't have enough sense to buy the car because it will save on emissions of green house gases?! I though the people in that area of the country were more up on current news. Come on give them more credit then that.</div></div>

Last Thursday the LEADOFF story on the 11:00 news, complete with an on-site live report, was the astounding news that it WAS NOT snowing in DC. Despite that, several local school jurisdictions had already announced a 2 hour delay for the following morning (when it still wasn't snowing - hold the presses). What was that again about common sense in the DC metro area?

As for saving on emissions and reducing fuel useage, well at 55 mph in the HOV lane these hybrids are getting the same fuel economy and emitting the same amounts of pollution as non-hybrid cars like the Toyota Echo. Why don't these non-hybrids get the same HOV exemption deal?

I'm not saying that reducing fuel use or emissions isn't a good thing. Heck, my kid will be breathing this air long after I'm gone. I just want to point out that everyone I see with a hybrid in the driveway also has an H2 or Suburban that they use all the time except when commuting into DC. You do the math.

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They don't make the Toyota Echo any more, but comparing the Prius to the Yaris which replaced the Echo is pretty revealing. According to fueleconomy.gov a Yaris emits. 5.1 tons/year of greenhouse gas emissions, consuming 9.5 barrels or oil per year. The <span style="font-style: italic">much larger</span> Prius emits 3.4 tons, consuming 6.2 barrels. By way of comparison a Toyota Sequoia emitss 11.4 tons, consuming 21.4 barrels of oil per year. Clearly the Prius is emitting less, even on the highway (where my personal average mileage bests the EPA estimate for the Yaris--which again is <span style="font-style: italic">much smaller</span>--by 20%).

As for "doing the math" when owning multiple vehicles, that's entirely the point. Presumably if someone owns a truck and a Prius they'll be using each appropriately. (For instance instead of using the H2 "all of the time" maybe they only tow the boat with it, using the Prius to buy milk and pick up tonight's video rental.) It's not as if there's a law that says you can only own one vehicle and must do everything with it. I have a pickup myself, which gets less than 10% of the use/mileage each year that the Prius does. It's only used for tasks for which the Prius is inappropriate. There's nothing wrong with that.

Your contribution to the earth's decline is cummulative, not an unweighted average. If you have to drive 24K miles a year and 22K of them are in a hybrid, great. You've prevented that much further of a decline. If you're hauling the church volleyball team around in a van in the evenings instead, that's fine too. If you're delivering business cards door-to-door in an Expedition, you might want to rethink your choices. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

(And before someone else bloviates about this as being against antique car use again: If you're driving 300 miles a year on a big block for fun, that's fun. If you're driving 30K miles per year on the same engine, it probably isn't really fun any more--to say nothing of an appropriate use of the car.)

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">They don't make the Toyota Echo any more, </div></div>

Actually, the old Echo WAS badged as the Yaris everywhere else in the world. I saw a lot of them in France.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">According to fueleconomy.gov a Yaris emits. 5.1 tons/year of greenhouse gas emissions, consuming 9.5 barrels or oil per year. The <span style="font-style: italic">much larger</span> Prius emits 3.4 tons, consuming 6.2 barrels.</div></div>

"Much larger"?

Look, I'm not bashing hybrids, I'm bashing DC area hypocrites. My point is that the ONLY time these hybrids get driven is in the HOV lanes with one person in each car. Any time these people are driving anywhere else, it's in the monster SUV. Despite what they say, the real reason they bought the hybrid was for the HOV exemption, period. And if you read my previous post, my comparison between the Echo/Yaris and the Prius was not on the combined EPA cycle but at 55 mph in the HOV lane. At that point both are powered by internal combustion engines only. I don't doubt that the hybrid is better on the combined cycle, but the cars don't get used that way around here.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">As for "doing the math" when owning multiple vehicles, that's entirely the point. Presumably if someone owns a truck and a Prius they'll be using each appropriately.</div></div>

And as I noted above, I agree with you completely. The problem is that the hybrid buyers here don't use them "appropriately", they use them for convenience to circumvent the rules. Soccer mom driving the SUV by herself on the weekend while the Prius sits in the driveway isn't helping the environment.

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Maybe we should rewrite the HOV rules so that the cars in the HOV lane are really full as it relates to their size. I would add that this be done up to a point as to not encourage people to purchase big SUVs to abuse them by only taking them and their friends to work.

When you look at the driving habits of most people here in California, there are a lot more single users of SUV's driving around compared to the small minority of hybrid drivers in the HOV lane. This in my humble opinion is really the problem. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> "Much larger"? </div></div>

At 96 cubic ft. of passenger volume, the Prius qualifies as a "mid-size" car (<span style="font-style: italic">barely</span>). The Yaris <span style="font-style: italic">sedan</span> has 87 cubic ft. of passenger volume, qualifying as a "sub-compact" (<span style="font-style: italic">barely</span>--the criteria for "mini-compact" is less than 85 cubic ft.). I could not find data for the Yaris hatchback.

Similarly the Prius outweighs the Yaris by about 300 lbs.

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It amazes me that guys on an antique car board would even have this debate going.

Any vintage car in a proper state of tune has minimal emissions regardless of it's actual economy. The key is being in a proper state of tune. (wether or not one can still find the statistics to back that up is another story).

As for proper use of a car, cars were made to be driven; if I want to drive my 455-powered Pontiac 365 days a year, thats what it was built to do.

In the meantime, I think a hybrid discussion has no place on this board - they are neither antique nor classic, and you couldn't pay me enough to drive one of those things.

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"I think a hybrid discussion has no place on this board - they are neither antique nor classic, and you couldn't pay me enough to drive one of those things."

There are pleanty of topics on this board that are not related to antique or classic cars. At least this topic is about cars. Pontiac59 given what we know about the state of the world today your comments, though popular with many individuals, highlight how far we still need to go to educate society about the damaging effects we as humans are having on our world. Hybrids/electrics give us hope that in the future car companies will be able to make cars that are fun to drive. My Honda Insight has everything going for it expecept that it has no back seat. It is fun to drive, efficent, and clean.

My 1968 Mustang is fun to drive as well, but each has it's place in my driving schedule.

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This thread is a borderline candidate for the Misc. Chat Forum.

Please stay on topic or it goes.

Reason I am posting this warning: Just deleted a post that questions this topic vs. the current war situation.

Thank you,

Peter J... <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body"> Any vintage car in a proper state of tune has minimal emissions regardless of it's actual economy. The key is being in a proper state of tune. (wether or not one can still find the statistics to back that up is another story). </div></div>

Emissions. Statistics. O.K.

First of all, we're talking about <span style="font-weight: bold">carbon</span> emissions. Not CO, NOX, or hydrocarbons like any 1980's Chilton book will discuss. If you burn a gallon of gas, you burn about 5 and a quarter pounds of carbon atoms. Combined with oxygen atoms, you make 19.4 pounds of <span style="font-weight: bold">carbon dioxide</span>. It is the <span style="font-weight: bold">carbon dioxide</span>, once considered to be an innocuous substance, that is killing our ecosystem. The days of passing a CO and NOX test at the emissions testing station and calling it a day are over.

If you burn 3 gallons of gas to 60 miles and I burn 1, you've done 3 times the damage to planet that I have to accomplish the same task. In a nutshell, <span style="text-decoration: underline">that's</span> the undeniable fact that's driving the need to adopt new drivetrain systems ASAP.

Other emissions facts/statistics:

We in the U.S. burn enough oil as fuel every year to fill Florida's Lake Ochechobee. If everyone halved their use of gas, we'd still be burning 1/2 of Lake Ochechobee every year, <span style="font-style: italic"><span style="text-decoration: underline">BUT</span></span> we'd virtually eliminate oil imports to the U.S.

In conventional emissions (NOX, CO, VOC) terms, emissions equipment on 1975 cars generally reduced emissions 90% from an equivalent 1967 car. These standards were reduced four more times through 1994. The current 1998 standards reduced those emissions another 90% from those of 1975. No degree of "tuning" in any sense of that word can make those kinds of reductions. ( Automobile Emissions Reduction Efforts in the U.S. - Chronology )

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getting back on topic.

Here is an article from today's paper about the new popularity of electric vehicles. I say the bloom is still fresh:

"Electric vehicles generate buzz

High-performance models planned include an SUV and sports cars. Enthusiasts are excited and skeptical.

By John O'Dell, Times Staff Writer

February 6, 2007

- 4 new models make list of 12 most environmentally friendly

Environmentally friendly cars don't have to be slow and stodgy.

ZAP, a Santa Rosa, Calif.-based importer of electric scooters and a small, short-distance electric car, aims to launch a 155-mph all-wheel-drive electric sport utility vehicle next year.

If it comes to market, the $60,000 ZAP-X would join a select group of high-performance electric vehicles led by a two-seat sports car from Tesla Motors Inc. of San Carlos, Calif. The $92,000 Tesla Roadster is capable of accelerating from a dead stop to 60 mph in four seconds and has a top speed of more than 130 mph.

A third Northern California start-up, Wrightspeed Inc. of Burlingame, has announced plans for a $120,000 electric roadster that boasts a zero-to-60 time of 3.8 seconds.

Tesla and Wrightspeed have shown drivable prototypes of their vehicles. ZAP, which says its five-passenger electric SUV could accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds, has not.

The company ? its name stands for "zero air pollution" ? unveiled a concept version Saturday at the National Automobile Dealers Assn.'s annual convention in Las Vegas.

Although all the parts were on display, the vehicle shown there to prospective dealers was not a working model ? that's still somewhere down the road, ZAP Chief Executive Steven Schneider said.

The company's announcement has generated excitement and skepticism among enthusiasts, who are passing around details online at websites devoted to electric vehicles.

"They've described an awesome car, but until it's in the showrooms, I'll be doubtful," said Paul Scott, a spokesman for Plug in America, a Santa Monica-based group that promotes development of hybrid-electric vehicles that use rechargeable batteries.

"It would be great if this comes out, but I wouldn't hold my breath," said Kevin Riddell, a Troy, Mich.-based analyst who covers alternative powertrain systems for J.D. Power & Associates.

"I'd be surprised if they could do all they say they want to do and bring it in at $60,000."

Still, "the idea has legs," said Dan Hall, an analyst with market research firm AutoPacific Inc. in Tustin.

Although his firm's research shows there is little public awareness of electric vehicles, Hall said, those motorists who have shown interest are attracted by the technology, and many would be willing to spend $60,000 "to have something like that to show off to the neighbors."

ZAP, Tesla and Wrightspeed are counting on sales of their high-priced, high-performance models to help create enough interest in electric vehicles and generate sufficient cash to enable them to build lower-cost, mainstream models.

ZAP already sells electric vehicles, but the publicly traded company has never tackled a project as ambitious as the SUV.

The company last made a splash with its aggressive promotion in 2005 of plans to import the two-seat Smart car from Europe. But that effort was dashed when Smart owner DaimlerChrysler first would not sell cars to ZAP and then said it would bring the Smart to the U.S. itself next year.

But CEO Schneider said his company was committed to delivering on its promises for the ZAP-X.

The vehicle would use the all-aluminum Lotus APX concept body designed by Lotus Engineering of Britain. Electric motors would be mounted on each wheel in place of the conventional centrally mounted motor that other electric vehicles use.

Schneider, accompanied by Lotus Engineering executives when he announced plans for the ZAP-X late last month, said eliminating the APX's internal-combustion powertrain and fuel system would create space to install an array of three battery packs for the car.

"It will give the ZAP-X a 350-mile range on one charge," Schneider said. That would be tops for a high-performance electric production car. The Tesla Roadster claims a 250-mile range, the Wrightspeed a maximum of 100 miles."

john.odell@latimes.com

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