Prius Myths and their Rebuttals

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by TonyPSchaefer, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    A coworker stopped by my office this afternoon and said that he spent a few minutes over the weekend defending the Prius to his neighbor. Apperantly, the neighbor was spewing "facts" from the various media outlets and using them to bash the Prius.

    I offered to build a strong case in defense of the Prius and email the news articles, research papers, and other articles of truth to him. Additionally, I provided my home email address so his neighbor could contact me directly with questions.

    But as I'm sitting here thinking about scouring Priuschat for information, I got thinking that there might be others who would want/need this information for themselves and the people they encounter at work or at home. Additionally, I plan on attending HybridFest '07 and again showing Priapus. It would be great to have a collection of documents that I can hand out to people that sets the story straight.

    So I'm starting this thread and pinning it. Let's build a collection of Prius myths and then provide the documentation that debunks the myths.

    Futile as I know it will be, I'm going to try and impose some rules:
    1) This thread is not for conversation. This thread is for posting facts.
    2) If you are going to reference a source for your information, you'd better provide a valid link or the document itself. Anecdotes will not be permitted nor will opinions, musings, or interpretive dance. If you do not have "CutePDF" or any other free PDF destiller, I suggest you get one. They are free, easy to use, and allow you to 'print' web pages to PDF.
    3) Perhaps the only exception to rule 2 is Galaxee and other certified PriusTechs
    4) I am so determined to keep this thread topical, I will prune and delete posts that do not progress the main intent.

    Here are some common myths that my coworker's neighbor quoted. Debunk these if you can. . .
    - The hybrid battery will die after only 6 years.
    - The hybrid battery will cost $6,000 to replace.
    - More energy goes into the Prius' manufacturing process than is saved in fuel.
    - With so few hybrids on the road, it's just not worth it.
     
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  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    AUDIENCE who are the recipients of this information? Are they clueless to all things automotive? Will we lose their attention quickly by starting with the basics or lose them by jumping the biggest understanding hurdle first?

    SIZE is always a huge challenge. Detail or Summary? Include Photos? Consider cost of printing?

    SCOPE can be a problem? Some misconceptions have already been squashed (like speed & power). So how much should certain topics be addressed, if at all?

    DYNAMIC should be a given. Unless this is a living document, forget it. The very first edition of the User-Guide was pitiful compared to what we now have 4 years later.

    PERSPECTIVE is a creative approach. Looking at what's just around the corner, like the roads filled with the next generation Prius eliminates having to even discuss much of the original hybrid history. Going forward from today is all the further back that would be necessary.

    DESIGNS are already a problem. With several different types of hybrids, there is the problem of misconceptions being true for some but false for others. Explaining why they are not the same is required, but by no means easy.

    I've been wanting to beef up my misconception information for a very long time now. But feedback from those here is quite lacking, members are too well informed. We need comments from those like that neighbor. Of course, the approach I have taken is to chase the antagonists. They intentionally exploit misconceptions to sour the appeal of hybrids.

    May the force with with you... But first, let's clarify purpose by addressing the items above. This new documentation is a great idea.
     
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  3. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    As usual, John's thinking several levels deeper than I anticipated.

    1. Assume they are not automotive or technologically educated.
    2. Nothing too huge. I was thinking about news clippings or design specs. One or a few sheets of paper per personal addition, tops.
    3. Address all misconceptions regardless of age or level of current debunkness.
    4. We have the ability to edit our own posts in this thread to keep information current.
    5. Please don't speculate about the future. Remember that many misconceptions are based on things said three yers ago and propogated.
    6. Let's just focus on the Prius for us.


    My my first addition is attached: I was looking for this when I initially posted.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    there is an error in the PDF under #2 where they say the battery is used in the 40-60% range when it's 40-80%.
     
  5. TheForce

    TheForce Ron Paul 2012

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    Will this help for the price of the HV battery? Yeah I know we almost have a "lifetime warranty" for the battery but if you really need to buy one NOW this would be the current price.

    Current price $2388.10

    [attachmentid=5774]
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    i saw my handle and was intrigued at the context :blink: :p

    myth i get often:
    - hybrids are not reliable and require constant maintenance and repair

    my answer (i LOVE to get this question!):
    - my husband fixes them for a living. he sees fewer problems in prius than in other conventional cars. and he is the prius guy. all the crazy stuff goes directly to him, do not pass go, do not collect $500.
    - [check out the maintenance schedule for a reference, obviously]- no special maintenance issues above and beyond what regular cars would get.
     
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  7. dvdirv

    dvdirv Member

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    My favorite myth is that you can't really save that much money on gas over time since the Prius costs so much more than a non-hybrid.

    MY ANSWER: There are so many other reasons for owning a Prius besides gas savings. I personally like all the cool gadgets on the car such as the Smart Key System or the built-in Bluetooth. You normally cannot find these gizmos unless you buy a luxury car.

    I suppose the cleaner environment doesn't add to the argument, either.
     
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  8. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(dvdirv @ Nov 28 2006, 10:41 AM) [snapback]354807[/snapback]</div>
    That goes along with my favorite: the "pay back" period for the hybrid premium.

    We've all seen the math and the numbers that shows how many miles are needed and the gas price needed to effectively "pay back" that premium, i'd say it's a much better argument to ask what the "pay back" period is on a sports car, luxury car, or high priced SUV, all of which carery a large premium over whatever car would fit the persons needs at the least cost.
     
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  9. mhellmer

    mhellmer New Member

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    This is the one that bugs me. Prius is more expensive to society, lifetime, than many SUVs and luxury cars. On the list Prius is pretty high.

    http://cnwmr.com/nss-folder/automotiveenergy/

    Open the .zip file near the bottom of the page. It contains a .doc file with the report.

    Myth or fact? What is the rebuttal?

    A snippet from the table in the .zip file. Sorry about the formatting

    Code:
    Car                 Cost/mile     Estimated Life (Miles)
    Prius           $3.249     109,000
    Civic Hybrid      $3.238     113,000
    LX 470             $3.229     213,000
    Boxster         $3.224     157,000
    Escalade ESV     $3.197     234,000
    Land Cruiser       $3.184     301,000
    STS              $3.175     216,000
    Corvette       $3.158     162,000
    Suburban      $3.134     272,000
    Yukon XL      $3.132     271,000
    lExpedition       $3.058     284,000
    XK           $3.058     188,000
    Maserati       $3.055     162,000
    FX35/45       $3.029     173,000
    Aston Martin     $3.028     156,000
    H2     $3.027     197,000
    
     
  10. Marlin

    Marlin New Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(QuadAces @ Nov 28 2006, 06:02 PM) [snapback]354930[/snapback]</div>
    Well golly, they estimate the lifetime of the Prius as only 109,000 miles and the lifetime of an Expidition as 284,000 miles. I think they would have to justify that 109,000 mile number for that list to be valid.
     
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  11. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    First: estimated lifetime miles of 109,000? How'd they come up with that number? we've seen articles of people getting 250,000+ miles (thinking of the Canadian taxi driver). Plus, with the car being so new, i don't think there's an established baseline for the lifetime of the car.

    Second:
    Huh? Secondary vehicles just being driven short range? Are they thinking electric cars? I think we've seen enough people on this site who use it as their primary commuter vehicle in 30+ mile commutes, as well as plenty of long distance drivers (i myself have passed 12k in the first 8 months, more than any car i've owned before)... I wish i had some solid evidence that contradicted that, but it just doesn't pass the common sense rule - all my friends want to take my car on road trips cause it'll cost less.

    They also use pretty damn stupid arguments to support this. namely that, early model technology is more expensive to repair than newer technology is to buy. They use an example of printers - it's cheaper to buy a smaller, faster $100 printer than repair the 5 year old beast that just broke down. I highly doubt the same is true in cars, or all cars would be junked after a few years.


    I'd go on to argue the rest of the study, but i don't have time right now to read 400+ pages... maybe when i fly to Spain next month.

    At any rate, here's the kicker, IMO: There are fewer Prii out there than, say, the Camry. If design and development of the Prius cost $100,000,000, and there are only $100,000 Prii on the road, then thats $1000 per Prius for just the design, not even taking into account the other factors they have. now, what happens when there are 1,000,000 Prii, or 10,000,000? You can see how the length a vehicle has been in the field drastically effects this number. Now, maybe i didn't read far enough, but i didn't see tables that listed the cost per mile for each vehicle 5 years after it had been introduced (adjusted for inflation, of course)...

    At any rate, i don't think we need to prove that their numbers are wrong (difficult to do since these types of surveys and numbers haven't been done in large numbers), so much as to point out the flaws in their methods and assumptions.
     
  12. galaxee

    galaxee mostly benevolent

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    say the prius actually lasts as long as their expedition estimate (which is laughable on its own)...

    it's now $1.246... HMM...
     
  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(eagle33199 @ Nov 28 2006, 03:41 PM) [snapback]354949[/snapback]</div>
    What's up with that?

    Perhaps we should include a photo in the document... like this newest one from Jesse:

    [​IMG]
     
  14. priusenvy

    priusenvy Senior Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(QuadAces @ Nov 28 2006, 01:02 PM) [snapback]354930[/snapback]</div>
    $3.29 * 109,000 = $358,610.00

    Isn't it amazing that these are claimed to be the "costs" to "plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from initial concept to scrappage", but the owner is only asked to pay for a small portion of these "costs". I know I don't spend $60,000 a year to drive 20k miles. Maybe more like 1/8th of that. Damn! How nice of the auto manufacturers and oil companies to only ask me to foot a small portion of the bill, and pick up the rest of it themselves. I never realized they were running charities. I won't be so hard on them in the future.

    Their analysis is retarded. Except for the costs to society for environmental pollution and simlar, all of these other "costs" must be borne by somebody at some point. But most of them aren't - because they are not real costs. The analysis is worse than flawed, it rooted in fantasy.
     
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  15. eagle33199

    eagle33199 Platinum Member

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    In addition to not being real costs, items are double counted (maybe even triple counted? quadruple?) Consider the gas an engineer uses to get to work when designing the Prius. It's counted once in refining it. again in shipping it to his location. again when he purchases it. again when he receives his salary from Toyota (part of which goes towards that tank of gas), and again when you buy the car from them (as part of that purchase goes towards paying his salary). So thats what, 5 times that the same dollar was counted? And we haven't even gotten into any environmental effects...
     
  16. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    i read a few pages of the document and all i saw was numbers on a page. no real hard data so i have to say that unless this person has intimate knowledge of the manufacturing processes for every auto company, i think he is talking out his A**. after reading the numbers he posted, now i KNOW he is
     
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  17. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    I've never felt that I had to "defend" the Prius, or for that matter any other mode of transportation, from no-brains. It helps that I'm built like a night club bouncer.

    Once - and only once - a jerk in an Expedition cut me off at a gas station, then flipped me off. Once I got out of my Prius, he turned white and peeled out of there as fast as that Ford P.O.S. would go. Why is it that such skinny tiny men drive such large vehicles??

    As far as Art Spinella and his "consulting" company, just do what my Dad always told me: Follow the Money. You'll understand why he has such high praise for certain GM and Ford products.
     
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  18. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    figures never lie but liers sure can figure.
     
  19. bulldog

    bulldog New Member

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    I read throught that so called report a little bit and just laughed. The problem is that it doesn't even pass the common sense test.

    The battery in the Prius weighs 100lbs, can anybody guess what the battery in a H2 weighs? Actually it is 60-70 lbs, so what is the big difference? Plus that battery normally will get replaced every3-4 years on average in the H2. So that kills the battery argument vs the Prius.

    Now lets look at fuel consumption. On average a Prius will get around 48 MPG for the average user. Lets be generous and say the H2 will get 12 MPG for the average user. So over 100k miles the Prius consumes 2083 galons of gas, the H2 8333 galons. Now with a weight of 6lbs per gallon, the Prius uses 12000 lbs of gas (gas guzzler :D) and the H2 50000 lbs of gas WOW. That is 38000 lbs of gas difference.

    We can go on and on, by comparing tires, etc. And every single item they listed is completely wrong and BS. The H2 tires weigh 4 times that of the Prius and it wil consume them much quicker due to the weigh and power required to move it, besides the tires ont he Prius can come with 60K+ warranties, while the H2 tires will not even get a mileage warranty and most will not even get 40K miles out of them if they are lucky.

    The fact of the matter is that report is completely wrong, not even skewing facts, JUST PLAIN WRONG. Take the elements they qoute, find the truth and apply a calculater and you will be amazed how far they are off. And since when does a 3000lb car cost more or use more energy to produce than a 7000lb truck?

    They claim that the conventional truck don't need the fancy motors as in the Prius, yet they conveniantly forget that the truck will need a starter and alternator which the Prius don't. And for the big trucks those components will easily weigh more than the motors used in a Prius.

    The numbers they use are worse than the lies a politician running for office, unfortunately for them it is very easy to go check on a number of their so called facts and proof them completely wrong.
     
  20. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(TonyPSchaefer @ Nov 27 2006, 10:54 PM) [snapback]354660[/snapback]</div>
    Your futility was well confirmed :^)
     
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