Hybrid cars

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by dextertangocci, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. dextertangocci macrumors 68000

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    Apr 2, 2006
    #1
    Why are so many people in love with hybrid cars? They are slow and ugly and European cars such as the diesel VW Polo or 1.6l Golf 6 TDI use less fuel than hybrids, without the hassle of batteries that will eventually degrade.
     
  2. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #2
    In the US, the small Euro cars aren't sold here, so hybrids are the best we can get.
     
  3. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030

    Gray-Wolf

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    #3
    They are fuel efficient, better for the environment, and some people see need for speed. And in light of rising fuel costs, they would save you a little money for other things.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #4
    They are more fuel efficient. Eventually there's going to be increasing likelihood of the diesel vehicles moving to hybrid technology also (e.g. the Golf that Fau-Vey has been showing off).

    On the other hand, renewable diesel is essentially technologically feasible today, while hybrid electric gasoline vehicles, whether plug-in or not, have no game plan to make a move to using renewable resources instead of fossil fuels. In the long run, carbon footprints are serious but manageable -- there are lots of good ways, as simple as planting more trees, and ranging to much more sophisticated options, to improve the environment's ability to absorb carbon. In contrast, fuel renewability is a one way street. Fossil fuels are going to run out eventually regardless of how much more efficient you get in consuming them.

    On the environmental front, I think that is a point... the 2009 diesel Jetta that's available in the US has a carbon footprint twice the size of that of the Prius according to the EPA's model.

    On a more selfish level, diesel cars typically have manual transmissions and better handling (the latter by coincidence, the former generally being absent for design reasons in the hybrid case). I feel like I'm giving up a lot in terms of my fun for the Prius.

    And certainly there's also the question of how can one limit the driving they do in the first place. Public transportation is better than hybrid electric vehicles... ;)
     
  5. djellison macrumors 68020

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    Pasadena CA
    #5
    No they're not. They're certainly not the best option out there for efficiency. Of course, in a nation that has rental companies that will give a tourist a 19mpg tank for a 'medium sized car' - then yeah, a Prius is like a god send. In Europe - many cars that give significantly better mileage are available.

    OH boy - do you know the carbon footprint of building something like a Prius? It's MASSIVELY more environmentally unfriendly than a normal car. Total carbon impact over it's life - a Prius is worse for the environment than almost any other car.

    They're all about looking like you care about the environment without actually doing something about it.

    Doug
     
  6. dextertangocci thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Thank you. Batteries that are used in the Prius will eventually have to be replaced, and thrown away. Now that is bad for the environment

    And relying on batteries to run your car is ridiculous anyway. I don't want to drive a toy.

    The 1.6L TDI Golf 6 uses 3.8 litres per 100km/h (do the conversion, it uses less fuel than the Prius).
     
  7. djellison macrumors 68020

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    #7
    The Nickel in them gets mined out of Ontario, smelted there then shipped all the way to Europe. In Europe it then gets refined. Then time for more global shipping as it heads to China where it gets turned into Nickel foam. Then - across the China Sea to be made into cells in the car. Then the car finally gets shipped to the US.

    Total energy cost by the end of its life - worse than a typical SUV - the Prius is, to be blunt, crap.

    Doug
     
  8. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #8
    This is what I tell people wanting a Hybrid car. I'll stick with anything sub-2.0 liter stateside. (Yes, sad.)

    PROTIP: I get the chance to ride in a 1.0L Geo Metro. My coworkers wonder why they don't bring this thing back.
     
  9. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #9
    Probably too good for what they charged for it. :rolleyes:
     
  10. bobertoq macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 29, 2008
    #10
    Considering gas costs about a gajillion dollars a month, getting a car that gets 50 MPG really helps financially. No one really cars about the power or looks.
    -------
    I am not an environmentalist, but where did you get this statistic? The car uses almost half the gas of a regular car. Why would the "environmental footprint" be worse than one of a regular car?
     
  11. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #11
    Battery production and disposal.
     
  12. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #12
    The manufacturing of the hybrid is huge.

    Clarkson explains it better then I could.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydvAQ6Y49vc
     
  13. bobertoq macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Oh... I see. But still, the reason why most people would buy a Prius (or at least I would) is because of the MPG. The reason why the Prius gets a higher est. MPG in the city is because of it electric motor. It's electric motor is powered by re-genitive breaking. And obviously, in the city, you break more than you do in an environment in which you do not break at all. So more MPG's if you break more :)
     
  14. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #14
    Only thing the regenerative braking does is to help charge the battery( the gas engine also charges it), not power the electric motor.
     
  15. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

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    London
    #15
    I'm glad to see that many people have finally worked out that hybrids are probably not the answer.

    As an example of the less than wonderful real world MPG that you can get from a Prius here is an example.
     
  16. djellison macrumors 68020

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    Pasadena CA
    #16
    Getting one that does even better is an even bigger help.

    Let me repeat this - THE PRIUS IS NOT THAT GOOD ON ECONOMY. By US standards, maybe it is, but compared to Europe - it's crap. Look at that article at The Times.

    Model BMW 520d SE
    Fuel used on test 10.84 gallons (50.3mpg)
    Fuel cost £54.19 (diesel)

    Model Toyota Prius T Spirit
    Fuel used on test 11.34 gallons (48.1mpg)
    Fuel cost £54.64 (petrol)

    A nice big comfortable executive saloon - and it beats the alleged Eco-saviour on wheels. Ironically - in the USA - when the freeways dominate with 55mph cruising - the Prius comes out really REALLY badly- and any reasonable diesel will slap it into the middle of next week on economy.

    What the Prius is very very good at - is marketing. Sadly, most people can't see past the marketing to the facts of the matter.
     
  17. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    #17
    Thanks for this perfect example of why the Toyota Prius should really be called the Toyota Pious (as in characterized by a hypocritical concern with virtue or religious devotion; sanctimonious. ) ;)
     
  18. da meat tree macrumors member

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  19. dextertangocci thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Apr 2, 2006
    #19
    And when someone decides to skip a stop street and ride into you? At least with a car you have a body of metal around you to absorb most of the shock;)
     
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #20
    Simple, you drive everyone else's vehicle too.

    Works for me.

    Keep your head up, son.
     
  21. Xavier macrumors 68020

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    #21
    This is why I will not buy any hybrid car in the near future. Maybe when the technology is perfected and you don't spend so much money on not so much car.
     
  22. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

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    #22
    The vehicle dynamics are compromised and efficiency is mediocre. Current hybrids bring almost no value to the market beyond their image and reputation.

    The hybrid craze is due to a master stroke of merging marketing with product design.
     
  23. Xavier macrumors 68020

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    #23
    Don't leave out that people what to have the sense that they are actually doing something good for the environment.
     
  24. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

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    Kentucky
    #24
    Hybrid cars are ugly because people who drive them WANT others to know they're driving a hybrid.
     

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  25. SactoGuy18 macrumors 68030

    SactoGuy18

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    Sep 11, 2006
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    Sacramento, CA USA
    #25
    There's another reason people forget why diesels aren't popular in the USA: European diesel cars don't meet the EPA Tier 2 Bin 5 standard for exhaust emissions. (Indeed, the majority of European diesel cars have NOx and diesel particulate output vastly exceeding EPA standards; NOx gases are seriously poisonous and diesel particulates can seriously affect the function of lungs in mammals).

    The Europeans have finally figured out how to make a diesel engine meet Tier 2 Bin 5, but the emission control system is a very expensive one currently with its extensive use of particulate traps and urea gas injection to make it easier to remove NOx gases with a regular exhaust catalyst. That's why the Japanese are working on diesel exhaust emission controls that use a modern form of computer-controlled exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) to make it easier to reduce NOx and diesel particulate emissions. Indeed, when the next-generation Ford Fiesta arrives in the USA, if Ford does decide to offer a variant of its 1.6-liter Duratorq turbodiesel engine it will probably use an EGR-based emissions control system developed by Mazda, which Ford has 33% ownership.

    By the way, the Toyota Prius and Honda Civic Hybrid sport drivetrains that meet the CARB AT-PZEV standard, which is equivalent of EPA Tier 2 Bin 3 and is the most stringent emissions control standard in the world for an internal combustion engine.
     

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