Another article with plenty of "feeling" and few "facts"

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by AlphaTeam, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. AlphaTeam

    AlphaTeam Member

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  2. storm petrol

    storm petrol Junior Member

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    So, does anyone here know of a person driving a corolla who gets 50+ mpg on the highway?

    Anyone here on the staff of Automobile Magazine, maybe?

    storm petrol
     
  3. seeh2o

    seeh2o Prius OG

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    Yikes, what, where and how long did he actually do his "test drive"? Something tells me he didn't spend much time behind the Prius wheel. Immediately after I got my car in early 2004 I was making regular trips from Los Angeles to south Phoenix (a six hour drive) to visit family, my average was over 50mpg and I didn't have to stop to fill up the tank. I certainly wasn't nursing the peddle at 55.

    Gee, do you think he has an agenda? Ok, I do have to agree about the hybrid SUV bits. I have a friend who bought a Lexus hybrid SUV, now she gets 17 mpg instead of 15. I guess it makes her feel better. We rode around in it a bit, it made me appreciate my Prius all the more.
     
  4. aaf709

    aaf709 Ravenpaw of ThunderClan

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    Odd article. Heck, my mileage is the best on the freeway with cruise control.
     
  5. Betelgeuse

    Betelgeuse Active Member

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    While I am annoyed by aspects of the article, as well, I think that there are some good points. In particuar, I think that a lot of people are thinking, "well, I must be saving gas and helping the environment if I buy a Hybrid."

    If the car is a Prius, it's probably true. However, if it's the RX400H or the Highlander Hybrid, it probably is not the case. Most people who buy, for example, the Highlander Hybrid would probably be doing a lot more for the environment if they bought a standard sedan (i.e. the Camry), or even something like a CRV.
     
  6. flynlow

    flynlow Junior Member

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    I was supposed to get my new Prius this week, but after reading this article, I think I will cancel my order. ;)
     
  7. subarutoo

    subarutoo New Member

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    "On a cross-country excursion in a Prius, the staff of Automobile Magazine discovered mileage plummeted on the Interstate. .......Indeed, the gasoline engine worked so hard that we calculated we might have used less fuel on our journey if we had been driving Toyota's conventionally powered, similarly sized Corolla — which costs thousands less. For the owner who does the majority of her driving on the highway, the Prius's potential for fuel economy will never be realized and its price premium never recovered. " (from the article)

    All I can say, 95% of my driving is LA freeways, speeds from 0 to 80+, and I get a solid 48+ mpg day in day out. My "conventional" Subaru got 25-28 in the same driving. I have gotten bored with "life in the slow lane" and drive the car "normally", fast when I can, and other times, not. It cruises very easily at 70+ and gets the aformentioned mileage. Your mileage may vary.
     
  8. micheal

    micheal I feel pretty, oh so pretty.

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(seeh2o @ Apr 17 2006, 01:53 PM) [snapback]240950[/snapback]</div>
    I agree, something if fishy about his test drive. I think he may have some agenda, there is no way that a Corolla can match the 45-50 mpg I get on the interstate. If he had stopped about the hybrid SUV bits, then maybe I would have taken him seriously. I stopped after about hearing the Prius and Corolla statement, that was enough.


    While in terms of MPG, the hybrid SUVs may not make sense, they do help with emissions. I looked quickly at the EPA pollution scores, being hybrid does help them (comparing the HiHy and 400h to their conventional counterparts, and even compared to the Corolla). Granted, it may not be more than 1 or 2 points, but that can have a big impact when multiplied by a large number of vehicles.
     
  9. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    15 minutes to pollute
    Years to set straight


    Won't be long that there will be news articles using this article as a source thus perpetuating the inacuracies.
    You so rarely hear about people running test drives on full tanks of gas (auto show in Canada is the only exception I can think of). If this person ran a full tank in a Prius and then a full tank in a Corolla, I think he would see the actual difference. He would see the difference in the mileage and in the driving experience.
     
  10. dipper

    dipper Active Member

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    I did a few runs between Raleigh, NC and FairFax, VA last year.

    Once with a 06 Corolla rental (in the spring). And a few times with my wife's 06 Prius (in the summer). Size and features not withstanding of course.

    The Corolla got about 41 mpg and Prius got about 48 mpg. Average speed on both were around 70 mph.

    If long highway driving at decently high speed was the term of use, then certainly the Corolla seems to be the car of choice.

    But not for city (short trips) driving though. Corolla got me around 25mpg while the Prius got around 45 mpg.
     
  11. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    "Being a <strike>professional</strike> car-tester, which is to say a person who gets asked for unpaid car-buying advice practically every day, I know these distinctions have already been lost on many car buyers. And I fear they're well on their way to being lost on our governments, too."

    :blink: :lol:

    "Indeed, the gasoline engine worked so hard that we <strike>calculated</strike>made a wild guess that we might have used less fuel on our journey if we had been driving Toyota's conventionally powered, <strike>similarly sized </strike> smaller Corolla — which costs thousands less. "

    "because while they are technologically intriguing, they are also an inelegant engineering solution — the use of two energy sources assures extra weight <omg... I never knew a Hummer was so light>, extra complexity and extra expense (as much as <strike>$6,000 </strike> $200,000 more per car.) "

    "Pro-hybrid laws and incentives sound nice..." but I can't afford one so incentives suck.
     
  12. VaPrius

    VaPrius New Member

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    This guy's only research into hybrids was reading a few anti-hybrid articles. Clearly got his Prius statistics from GM.
     
  13. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Tideland Prius @ Apr 17 2006, 03:15 PM) [snapback]241120[/snapback]</div>
    nicely edited!
     
  14. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    And as usual... lost in all this is how clean the Prius burns the gas as compared to conventional cars.

    Let's pretend that the Corolla is a comparable car. Let's pretend that the Corolla gets 45mpg, and the Prius gets 45mpg. The Prius is still better for "the environment." Sure it cost more... but then it is WORTH more than a Corolla, now isn't it?

    And regarding SUV hybrids, I half-way agree. But just because you can buy a conventional one that gets 1-3mpg better, that alone does not mean that it is better for the environment than a well-done hybrid SUV. But believe me when I say that I'm not SUV champion (Unless you happen to drive one that uses ZERO gas)! :)
     
  15. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    > The car that started the hybrid craze, the Toyota Prius, is lauded for squeezing 40 or more miles out of a gallon of gas, and it really can. But only when it's being driven around town, where its electric motor does its best and most active work. On a cross-country excursion in a Prius, the staff of Automobile Magazine discovered mileage plummeted on the Interstate. In fact, the car's computer, which controls the engine and the motor, allowing them to run together or separately, was programmed to direct the Prius to spend most of its highway time running on gasoline because at higher speeds the batteries quickly get exhausted. Indeed, the gasoline engine worked so hard that we calculated we might have used less fuel on our journey if we had been driving Toyota's conventionally powered, similarly sized Corolla — which costs thousands less.

    Around town. Lies. That's just outright dishonesty. At 70 MPH using E10 with 2 bikes hanging on the back last weekend, I averaged about 42 MPG. That speed clearly isn't around town. That fuel obviously isn't as efficient as pure gas. And there was an undeniable aerodynamic impairment. Yet, I still got better than their claim.

    As for the nonsense about exhausting the battery-pack, it is a very good example of how the anti-hybrid supporters like to misleading. They make an efficiency mode appear to be a shortcoming. It gives the impression that electricity could never be used on the highway, even though that is quite different from what actually happens.

    Of course, the vague reference to Corolla makes it seem like they know what they are talking about. But in reality, it is ambiguous enough to keep suspicion from getting raised. And naturally, they never even address the topic of smog-related emissions.
     
  16. Sarge

    Sarge Active Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TonyPSchaefer @ Apr 17 2006, 04:14 PM) [snapback]241050[/snapback]</div>
    Good point.

    Exactly how did he "calculate" the 45MPG claim for a Corolla? Since there is no instant FE meter in the Corolla, he would have to use an entire tank and calculate mileage...?

    Being a "professional", he surely wouldn't just take the advertised efficency rating on one vehicle as gospel while the whole point of his article is how another vehicle (technology) does not meet expectations... or would he? Surely he exercised due diligence and took both vehicles to a controlled environment and put them through the exact same test - and equal evaluation time (i.e. consumption of a full tank of gas) - to arrive at his conclusions.

    Right... <_<


    Kevin
     
  17. Don-RI

    Don-RI Member

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    Probably nothing personal against the Prius per se... Judging from the NYTimes' record, research & facts apparently just get in the way, whatever the target. I'm thinking their style book reads something like: Declare an "issue." Support with hearsay. Wring your hands. Dismiss possible solutions. Lament and despair. Repeat.
     
  18. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(Sarge @ Apr 17 2006, 09:31 PM) [snapback]241279[/snapback]</div>
    An article not too long ago was comparing the Prius with other cars and actually used Prius "real-world" mileage compared to the Corolla's EPA Estimates. Classic.
     
  19. Rancid13

    Rancid13 Cool Chick with a Black Prius

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(subarutoo @ Apr 17 2006, 12:37 PM) [snapback]241030[/snapback]</div>
    Yeah, they must've been doing 90, going uphill, both ways. :rolleyes: In the last month or so, I've made roundtrip trips from OC to San Jose, Santa Barbara (2x), and Mammoth Mountain, all while travelling between 75-80mph, going up & down various mountain passes, and NEVER got below 44mpg (actually averaged more like 45-45.5 mpg) except for the ~30 miles of uphill between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes where I got in the low 30's and the battery was down to 2, then 1 purple bar because of all the power needed to make it up several thousand feet in elevation.
     
  20. daver969

    daver969 New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(seeh2o @ Apr 17 2006, 09:53 AM) [snapback]240950[/snapback]</div>
    Actually, I think that's a pretty good improvement. Not great, but good. It's easier to see if we look at Gallons per Mile rather than MPG. Going from 15 to 17 saves about .75 gallons per 100 miles. To get the same savings when we start out at 30, we'd have to improve to about 39 MPG. (Of course, even better savings would come from 15->30 MPG: 3.3 gallons per 100 miles!) Gallons per Mile really gives you a better sense of how much gas is being used/saved for a given amount of driving.

    It seems odd to me that we measure efficiency in Miles per Gallon, rather than Gallons per Mile. Using MPG is like saying: "I have some fixed amount of gas, and I want to know how far I can drive on it." As if it doesn't matter where you actually want to go, you'll just use up your gas til it's gone! I think GPM is a better representation of what's going on in people's heads (my head, anyways): "I want to travel a given distance, so how much gas will it cost me?"

    It's true that the amount of traveling people want to do will depend on how much it costs, so if gas gets really cheap, they'll drive more. But there's a limit. If gas was free, people wouldn't drive around constantly. Really I'm more driven (no pun intended;)) by the distance I want to go, rather than by how much gas I have to spend.

    So that's why I think we should measure efficiency in Gallons per Mile, like they do in Europe.
     
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