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THE Hybrid Transportation Thread pt 2(merged)

How to save energy through both societal and individual actions.

THE Hybrid Transportation Thread pt 2(merged)

Unread postby coyote » Thu 23 Feb 2006, 11:29:34

pilferage wrote:
coyote wrote:Okay, I see your viewpoint now. Yes it's true, if you don't mind hazardous emissions then standard diesels will do just about as well as hybrids. I have a friend with a diesel Volvo, and when I told her how well I do with the Prius she said, "Is that all?" The Pruis gets good mileage while still being a near zero-emissions vehicle.

'Course, if we really want the best of both worlds, then we could be those guys who put recycled veggie oil into their old diesel vehicles. :)


Ah, more diesel misconceptions. ;)

How does what I said differ from what you said?

pilferage wrote:Essentially, diesels cause more smog while gassers create more CO2 and CO.

Repeat: the Prius is a near zero-emissions vehicle.
pilferage wrote:I'd rather cut carbon dioxide emissions from autos in half than breathe marginally better air.

How about both? :)
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Re: Ford Invents Hybrid that is *300% more efficient* than T

Unread postby pilferage » Thu 23 Feb 2006, 14:44:37

coyote wrote:How does what I said differ from what you said?

Well, for starters, you seem to think PZEV implies nothing coming out of the tail pipe. ;) I could be wrong, but this is what I'm getting.

coyote wrote:Repeat: the Prius is a near zero-emissions vehicle.

According to fueleconomy.gov, the prius emmits 3.5tons of GHG's (primarily CO2) per year. This is better than the 5.3tons from a tdi golf, but then again, the golf doesn't have access to the latest in diesel emissions tech and a hybrid power train (not to mention the disparity in break in periods).
The term PZEV applies to everything except for CO2, you're still dumping GHG's into the atmosphere in the form of CO2. Diesels are better because they're more efficient and easier to make biofuels (no CO2 increase) for.

coyote wrote:How about both? :)

You're not cutting out both. If you use gas you're putting CO2 into the atmosphere, which your prius is doing, the same as a diesel powered vehicle. The difference is, a diesel vehicle is inherently more efficient, and puts less CO2 into the atmosphere than a gasser all things being equal. The trade off is more smog, but given how fast diesel emissions tech is playing catch up, I doubt that'll be an issue in the next couple years.
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Hybrids: Seven Worries, Seven Answers

Unread postby PeakOiler » Wed 15 Mar 2006, 19:56:46

I own a hybrid Honda Insight, and I'll respond to the seven worries from my own experience with the car since I bought it in July, 2003.
W1: "Worry: Hybrids have complicated technology that is difficult or expensive to fix."
I have only taken the car to the dealer for routine maintenance up to this point, i.e tire rotation and oil changes. I did replace the small 12V battery myself when it failed about 3 months ago, (not the main 140 V battery--no way would I touch that. Besides, there's a big warning not to open the cover to the battery bank: "No user servicable parts." and "Warning! High voltage. Electrical shock can cause death" ... or something to that effect.)

W2: "Worry: Hybrids have limited battery pack life."
So far I've had no problems with the battery bank. I will reach the 80K miles mark before the 8 year warranty expires. I'll keep ya posted if and when I have to service the main battery or other electrical components.

W3: "Worry: Hybrids have technical problems like stalling and sputtering"
Never had that problem with the Insight.

W4: "Worry: Hybrids do not pay for themselves to justify their premium cost".
All I can say is that it has saved me over $5000 in gasoline vs. my other vehicle, an F-150, since it gets three times better gas mileage than the truck. If I had bought a different small car, say a Geo Metro, I would have still saved a lot of gas money, but not over 5 grand.

W5: "Worry: Hybrids do not offer the driving performance needed".
The purpose of a hybrid is to conserve fuel. One should not expect the performance of a sports car.

W6: "Worry: Hybrids will not hold resale value."
I'm not planning on selling it. If the PO doomers are right, this may be the last car I buy.

W7: "Worry: Hybrids do not get the level of mileage promised".

Yeah right. Perhaps that's true with the other hybrids, but not the Insight. I'm actually getting about 1 mpg better than the EPA estimate of 56 mpg with the auto transmission! :)
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Re: Hybrids: Seven Worries, Seven Answers

Unread postby PrairieMule » Wed 15 Mar 2006, 20:21:52

Honda is about all I'll buy these days. Tougher than cockroaches. I have a 91 Ranger I take to the ranch but commute in my Accord. Just went to the Honda website. I don't think I'll go hybrid, just downsize to a civic. The Civic DX w/5speed stickers at $14,360 that gets 30/40mph compared to a Hybrid Civic at $21,850 that gets maybe a extra 10 mpg more? $6,490 saved instead of financed over 60 mo at 3% will buy a lot of gas, grocieries, or gunpowder for a po bust. 1.8LVtec 135hp is peppier than the hybrid.

Not trying to be a wet blanket, Honda is tops. Glad to see your hybrid is running smooth, it is a honda.
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Re: Hybrids: Seven Worries, Seven Answers

Unread postby The_Virginian » Sun 19 Mar 2006, 21:45:16

PeakOiler wrote:W4: "Worry: Hybrids do not pay for themselves to justify their premium cost".
All I can say is that it has saved me over $5000 in gasoline vs. my other vehicle, an F-150, since it gets three times better gas mileage than the truck. If I had bought a different small car, say a Geo Metro, I would have still saved a lot of gas money, but not over 5 grand.

You can't compare ANY small car with a Truck, let alone a hybred.
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Re: Hybrids: Seven Worries, Seven Answers

Unread postby PeakOiler » Sun 26 Mar 2006, 12:28:35

btw, here's the link to the article Leanan posted:
Article

Today I looked up the Kelly Blue Book Suggested Retail Value of the Insight and it was $13,705. My car loan is about $9,900.
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"Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby UIUCstudent01 » Fri 31 Mar 2006, 16:09:31

Chicago Tribune

I'm not sure, but I think this article is going to be put under a subscriber wall.

This is the bulk of the article. The rest is mostly playful banter because reading off statistics isn't very attention getting.

That's the finding of a new analysis by CNW Marketing Research Inc., which calculated the cost of energy--natural gas and coal, but primarily electricity--that it takes to produce each part and component of a vehicle as well as the energy it takes to assemble the pieces into the final vehicle.

CNW came up with an Energy Index for producing each of the more than 300 models sold in the U.S.

It found the Maybach, DaimlerChrysler's ultralux brand, required the most energy to produce, more than 500 percent of the industry average.

And the most energy efficient is the Scion xB wagon, which requires only 20 percent of the industry average to manufacture.

So the worst isn't an SUV, and the best isn't a hybrid.

The study also found that the energy to produce that hybrid is 30 percent greater than the industry average to produce any vehicle.

Specifically, the Accord hybrid needs 144 percent more energy to produce than the industry average, Prius 142 percent more and the Civic hybrid 141 percent more.

But the Suburban and Yukon took 137 percent, Expedition 134 percent, Hummer H2 132 percent, Tahoe 128 percent, Escalade 120 percent and Navigator 114 percent.

And hybrids even top their gasoline-only counterparts in energy use.

The Accord, for example, requires 95 percent more energy to produce than the average vehicle while the Accord hybrid requires 144 percent, or nearly 50 percent more than the gas version.

The reason is that it takes a lot of energy to produce the electric systems for hybrids as well as exotic lightweight glass, aluminum and steel that goes into them.

Hybrid tires also require special compounds for better rolling resistance to increase mileage, said Art Spinella, general manager of CNW.

The study also said that the robots brought in to replace humans to cut costs, "cost more in power consumption, the electricity to run them," Spinella said.


So, some hybrids take about the same energy to produce as some SUV's.

And, that Scion Xb wagon is either amazingly efficient in its manufacture or theres a major accounting error.

Isn't there a statistic saying that the energy to manufacture a car is roughly the same as all the energy it consumes over the course of its lifetime? So, these statistics shouldn't be taken lightly. (But of course, electricity can come from other, cleaner and renewable sources.)

[Oh btw, the article seems to be incredibly biased because it leaves an impression in the title and ending that makes you think that hybrids actually consume more energy when the statistics aren't exactly complete and he could have been (most likely) cherry-picking his factoids... I'm actually impressed by the Scion xB wagon statistic because it's so low - conservation and low energy usage can go a long way.]
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby dub_scratch » Fri 31 Mar 2006, 17:24:52

Great article. Nice find and thanx for posting it.

I don't think it is true that cars use as much energy to manufacture as they do in running during their lifetime. I don't know of any solid research behind such a claim. But I do suspect the figure is high.

But anyway, this is just another nail in the coffin for the auto efficiency myth. Fact of the matter is that there is no auto fleet replacement scheme that is in the cards once oil decline sets in. When I know for sure that oil has indeed peaked I will look out my window and see the last of our auto fleet.
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 31 Mar 2006, 17:46:00

Hybrids are overly hyped at this point in time. Many conventional cars get much better mileage than hybrids.

"Ooooh! It's a HYBRID! *gasp!*"

"Uh, it's a standard drive diesel - *shrug*"
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby Andy » Fri 31 Mar 2006, 18:57:56

Great comment Ludi. The simple, pariah status diesel in real world US conditions on average destroys hybrids in mileage. Hybrids only gain in heavy, congested urban driving. For the rest of situations, the standard transmission diesel wins hands down.
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby grillzilla » Fri 31 Mar 2006, 21:03:12

I just bought a Honda Insight hybrid. I acutually get 55 to 60 mpg, and it's an automatic.
That said, the MOST IMPORTANT fuel saving device on the car is the Fuel Consuption Display. It tells you instantly when you are driving inefficiently.

Frankly it turns you into a mpg geek, so when you see one of these little cars driving slow it's not because the car is powerless, the driver is just mesmerized by the FCD.

I really believe that if all cars had these displays fleet milage would go up over night.
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby dub_scratch » Fri 31 Mar 2006, 22:34:11

grillzilla wrote:I really believe that if all cars had these displays fleet milage would go up over night.


That would probably work much better when oil prices go up-up-up. At this point in time, I suspect, many would ignore that gauge.
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby strider3700 » Sat 01 Apr 2006, 00:50:10

Ok I'd have considered the accord a pretty average car but it's 95% more. Any word on what car comes closest to the average?
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby Frank » Sat 01 Apr 2006, 08:42:05

I'd be curious to find out who funds CNW Marketing Research Inc. !!

Diesel cars can do very well but don't forget that diesel contains about 25% more energy/gallon than gasoline and still has pollution issues. The low-sulfur version will be much better.

Hybrids like the Prius that shut down when stopped will always be better in city situations IMO because of pollution issues. Don't forget the Prius et al are ultra-low emissions vehicles (SULEV?). That's important too in the overall scheme of things.
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby WisJim » Sat 01 Apr 2006, 16:10:04

My recollection is that the hybrids such as the Prius and Insight were originally promoted as producing less greenhouse gases, and the higher mileage was a bonus. Still I'm a bit disgusted that you can no longer buy a small car that is rated at 45 to 55mpg like you could in the early 1990s.
The answer to higher energy used in manufacturing the cars is to keep the car longer, perhaps. I generally don't buy a car until it is about 10 years old, and I am worrying about what is going to be on the used car market in a few years when I need to replace our 1992 Geo Prizm or the old Civic CRX HF. http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/noframes/5263.shtml

For a gauge that gives you more information about what your car is doing as you drive, including mpg at the moment, check out the Scangauge for about $130.
http://www.scangauge.com/
Too bad it only works on most cars 1996 or newer.
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby pilferage » Sat 01 Apr 2006, 22:24:51

WisJim, do you really see 52mpg combined? Or is that just highway? I've heard people will see 40mpg from the older crx hf's, but 50+mpg... 8O
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby PeakOiler » Sun 02 Apr 2006, 07:45:54

Sounds to me like the article is using a lot of "hand waving" to make their case.

I'd like to see the numbers that compares, say, a truck that is equipped with A/C, power steering, power locks, power windows, power mirrors, seat warmers, auto trans, and other "bells and whistles" to the same model without all the "bells and whistles".
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby WisJim » Sun 02 Apr 2006, 13:40:53

pilferage wrote:WisJim, do you really see 52mpg combined? Or is that just highway? I've heard people will see 40mpg from the older crx hf's, but 50+mpg... 8O


Oops--I should have been clearer. High 40s/low 50s on the highway depending on weather and load and speed, of course. Mid 30s in town, this winter, driving 2 to 4 miles to work etc when the weather is too cold to ride the old Honda motorcycle or bicycle or walk. It is an older car that we got used at least 3rd hand, but they are getting hard to find in anything close to stock condition as the CRX HF and the Civic VX (the high mileage models) are popular with hot rodders as they were among the lightest models that Honda made, had light weight wheels, minimal accessories, etc, and were popular to put larger more powerful engines in. We are working harder on getting more mpg out of the Civic VX as it is a 4 seater rather than a 2 seater like the CRX, and is a more user-friendly car (and has the potential of better mileage than the CRX I suspect).
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby pilferage » Sun 02 Apr 2006, 15:53:49

You should try all sythetic gear/engine oil, which really makes a difference compared to dino oil when it gets colder. You could also get these tires which are the cheapest low rolling resistence tires I've found so far. Aside from that, aerodynamic modifications could help, but that's getting a bit "out there" for some people.
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Re: "Hybrids burn up more energy in the making"

Unread postby Frank » Mon 03 Apr 2006, 07:21:36

Pilferage, can I ask how you know that Sumitomo's are low rolling resistance?

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