Hybrids challenged by regular cars on fuel economy: Washingtonpost.com

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by kgall, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    At the turn of the century the big three each had five seater sedans capable of 70-80mpg concept cars, but the price of them was far too high. If utility of a vehicle is irrelevant (i.e. slow and tiny, like the EV or first gen insight) or money is no object you can easily jack up MPG numbers into the stratosphere (e.g. make it out of carbon fiber).
     
  2. skruse

    skruse Senior Member

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    It is cost per mile (kilometer), not miles per gallon (100 km/Liter) that counts. Since the Prius ICE only runs one-half of the time, the ICE should last longer.
     
  3. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    There's a problem with ICE only cars that get high MPG. Back in te 1970s, many people sold their 1960s muscle cars and bought 4 cylinder cars. As soon as the oil crisis was over, the automakers gradually increased the size of the engines and by the 1990s we were right back where we started. If, instead, we get people used to plugging in, then if gas prices go back down, engine size increases won't be an option. Buying a hybrid or plug-in contributes to battery and motor R&D, so it helps too.
     
  4. luckyboy

    luckyboy Member

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    The 5-door Corolla Verso I have in this comparison is of very similar size to the Prius, probably has more truck space actually since there is no battery in the way.
     
  5. sipnfuel

    sipnfuel New Member

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    I'm not touting the EV1. I'm only presenting what it was, and what it could do.

    It definitely was a 2-seater, like the insight 1.

    I'm not sure if GM could ever have made it viable, but suppose they had stuck with the program, perhaps they could have a bigger position in the EV and Hybrid market.

    GM had a hybrid EV1, CNG EV1, Gas Turbine EV1 prototype, and a Stirling Engine EV1 prototype.

    They could have made a 4-seater or 5-seater. It was their decision to discontinue the program.

    The Prius debuted around the same time. I believe it lost money initially.
     
  6. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Gal on www.ct200hforum.com said she traded in her RX330 for a CT, says she's wanted a smaller car for a while.
     
  7. PriusSport

    PriusSport senior member

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    The important advantage with hybrids is the CITY mileage. Highway mileage numbers are irrelevant for city and suburban driving. While EPA city numbers are often higher than highway numbers for hybrids, that isn't true for my Prius. I do better on longer trips. The engine-off at a traffic light is, however, a big advantage for hybrids, and some ICE cars are begining to deploy it.

    Quoting highway mpg numbers, by the way, is a favorite advertising ploy of American car companies. ICE cars can't compete with hybrids in city mileage--stop and go driving.
     
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  8. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    I'm quite sure GM debuted their 'Precept' concept car at the year 2000 US auto show, the same show Toyota debuted the Prius in US. Prius had been selling for a couple years in Japan. Meanwhile GM claimed no one would be interested in buying a high fuel economy vehicle. Precept design sounded pretty rank though. They didn't have anything like HSD.

    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_Precept]General Motors Precept - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]

     
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  9. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    FWIW, per the first sheet at U.S. Retail Gasoline Historical Prices, regular gasoline was an average of $1.264/gallon the week the Precept was unveiled.
     
  10. usbseawolf2000

    usbseawolf2000 HSD PhD

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    Precept was not designed for mass production though. It used exotic materials to save weight, like the Insight.
     
  11. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    Try this : Look through all of Toyota's cars in its lineup, but only look at the city fuel economy. There is not one car of even 30 MPG city, Yaris is 29, except for ...

    Prius at 51 MPG city.

    So, here's a quiz - Name the conventionally powered gas or diesel cars that average 30 MPG or more in the city.

    I'll go first -

    Smart ForTwo : 33MPG city

    According to my 2011 CR mag, Smart is the only one. So there you have it folks - There is only one non-hybrid car on the market that averages over 30 MPG city - Smart ForTwo.

    The conventionals are catching up with hybrids .... right, uh huh. Smart has city FE of a Camry hybrid.
     
  12. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    The elantra gets 29/40. If you are going purely on costs and not on saving gas, that is pretty good. I know those on this board even thing the camry hybrid and hs250 get poor mileage but the elantra is right there with them. At 15000 miles on combined milage the prius might save 150 gallon a year, if you are mainly going on the highway at higher speeds much less.

    If you want to really save gas you can't beat a ev or phev. Unfortunately there are only a few for sale. Maybe the prius C will be able to get the spread big enough. The raft of plug ins coming soon might make a dent.
     
  13. F8L

    F8L Protecting Habitat & AG Lands

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    In purely economic terms, the Elantra is a very nice deal if you get the stripped down base model.
     
  14. SyCo

    SyCo Member

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    Why don’t those new 40 mpg cars average 40 mpg?

    Something I've found on a blog I follow:

    Sooo true. Source: Why don’t those new 40 mpg cars average 40 mpg? - Hybrid Cars and Plug-in Vehicles - Hybridcarblog
     
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  15. krelborne

    krelborne New Member

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  16. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    I wonder if it qualified its statement. Back in 2001 nobody cared about fuel economy to any degree. How times change!

    When i saw the first insight a decade back I thought neat. But who cares gas costs nothing.
     
  17. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Look at all the hand wringing over the high cost of the volt ($35K after tax credit), imagine how loud that would have been in 2001 for a $70K gm economy car that approached the old epa 80mpg. The super car program was just a black whole that government and car company money went into. Ford wanted the goal to 40-55mpg and gore said it was too low.
     
  18. gdbelden

    gdbelden Gator Hator

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    Yep, it is great jounalism, but remember it is from the Washington COMPost
     
  19. Skoorbmax

    Skoorbmax Senior Member

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    Predictable Gore barb this way-------> Understandable. Somebody has to spare the energy that he uses keeping his huge house climate controlled.
     
  20. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    That program just happened to be the basic development that is now planetary gear based hybrids with battery from GM and Ford. Don't blame the US government for Detroit's inability to produce a car people can buy without subsidy; that it was possible was proved by a company named Toyota just three years later -- after footing the R&D alone.
     
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