Hybrid Car – More Fun with Less Gas

interesting article in today's paper about hybrid cars

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Posted by Bob Peterson on February 9, 2004, 12:05 am
It seems that the promised high mileage claims for the Toyota and Honda
hybrids don't make it in real life conditions.

The promised 47 city/48 highway for the Honda and 60 city/51 highway for the
Toyota are seriously overstated for real life conditions, apparently due to
the way the epa does the testing.

The article claimed in reality the Honda gets mid 30s and the Toyota low to
mid 40s.  A Honda spokesman admitted he gets about 40 in his.

Posted by Mark or Sue on February 9, 2004, 2:00 am

I think it is also due to the fact that the test is well defined, so you can
optimize your system to
return maximum economy on this course. As far as I know, hardly any car gets
what the EPA says. I've
always been close on city driving (5% short), but highway is usually short by at
least 20%.

Also, the basic standard car is tested. If you choose an optional axle ratio
that provides better
acceration and worse economy, the EPA numbers on the window don't take this into

I wonder what amount of initial battery charge is allowed for these hybrids when
they begin their
test? I could see it having a major effect on the outcome.

Kent, WA

Posted by Bob Peterson on February 9, 2004, 2:18 am

can optimize your system to

gets what the EPA says. I've

by at least 20%.

ratio that provides better

this into consideration.

hybrids when they begin their

The article was sort of vague about just what the main issue is, but its
clear that very few people will see anything even remotely like the claimed
gas.  It seems to me the cars with the best epa ratings always seem to be
far more likely to get much less than their ratings than cars that get
better ratings.  not sure really why.

Posted by John Hall on February 9, 2004, 3:20 am
 On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 20:18:33 -0600, "Bob Peterson"

When looking into the Hondas (newsgroups etc), it seemed that the real
enthusiasts made a career of getting the most mpg ( or l/100km ) out
of them. This is probably do-able for the first few months, and I
suppose one can change one's habits to be more economical, but I doubt
that most of us would always continue to drive in the most frugal
manner. The only reason I didn't get the Insight was lack of
out-of-sight storage for my expensive toys I like to carry. Next car
will probably be the Civic hybrid, with a normal trunk/boot.

Both Honda & Toyota say they plan to make their technologies available
in a wider range of their vehicles.

Re the Honda batteries - as someone else noted, there is a really long
warranty period on them.

Cochrane, Alberta, Canada.
"Helping People Prosper in the Information Age"

Posted by Larry W4CSC on February 9, 2004, 1:49 pm
 On Sun, 8 Feb 2004 20:18:33 -0600, "Bob Peterson"

The hunt for the perpetual motion machine continues...(c;

Wanna have some fun with your Honda or Toyota dealer?  Go back to the
parts counter and ask them what the price is on the BATTERY PACK
that's going to need periodic replacement.  The stock answer is "It's
under warranty.", but persist and ask them how much the battery pack
is currently priced because the warranty isn't forever.  I got
conflicting prices from 3 different Prius dealers, but it's around
$,500, negating any savings in gasoline costs if you have to replace
this battery pack every 3 years.  It's just Ni-Metal Hydride, you
know, and is under HEAVY STRESS every time you press down on the

The other logical question arises......Who's gonna fix it when Toyota
sheds itself of the product as it moves on to the next generation?
Where are you going to get parts?  Battery packs?  Sophisticated,
PROPRIETARY electronic "modules" noone else is allowed to manufacture?
The answer is quite obvious, NOONE.  This renders the car obsolete
about the same time as a Japanese VCR.....5 years?  What will the
depreciation be on a 5-year-old Prius you can get parts for?

No thanks.....I can get parts and service across the country for my
1973 Mercedes 220D.  It gets 32 mpg on home heating oil from any tank.
Walmart has batteries for it....(c;  In 31 years, it required 1
overhaul ($300).  It's value, restored now, is nearly $00 more than
my total cost....AND RISING now that it is an antique car.  THAT, my
friends, is REAL economy!

Watch the Black Book values of the Honda and Prius.....

Larry W4CSC

No, no, Scotty!  I said, "Beam me a wrench.", not a WENCH!
Kirk Out.....

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