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Captain Hybrid

Slideshow: Fisker Says 'Plug-In Hybrids Make More Sense Than Pure Electrics'

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naperlou
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Good point
naperlou   2/27/2013 11:09:28 AM
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Cap'n, Fisker makes a good point.  The plug-in hybrid is as convenient as a regular gasoline powered car.  Actually, with the ability to charge at home and energy recvovery technologies, it would be more convenient since you would not need to go to the gas station so often.  Having a high end vehicle of this type is a good thing, I guess, but not that important in the long run.  In the auto industry you make money on volume. 

Once the price of plug-in hybrids comes down sufficiently this may become a standard.  There is a problem, though, and that is the investment cost.  I recently talked to someone who was looking at an American made hybrid.  He settled for a smaller car from the same manufacturer.  He was looking for a commuter car, and the smaller car got very good mileage without the up front costs.  The hybrid in question was not very much more expensive and the pay back period was reasonable.  The point is, it still may not be worth it.

Charles Murray
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Re: Good point
Charles Murray   2/27/2013 7:33:49 PM
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Excellent points, naperlou. For plug-in hybrids to reach the masses, the cost of batteries must come down, or they must use smaller batteries. Fisker's situation is a little different, though. The company is targeting upscale buyers who love cars and aren't as concerned about hitting a low price point. They're willing to spend more for a stylish car, and Fiskers are very stylish.

g_ost
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Gold
Re: Good point
g_ost   2/28/2013 9:30:33 AM
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The key word is the "Range Extender". Combined with a proper low fuel consuming engine could be the future car on the road. I can imagine than the people will drive electric in the city and electric or conventional outside. By the way "Range extender" is an excelent term to look for in web.

Elizabeth M
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Re: Good point
Elizabeth M   2/28/2013 4:20:11 AM
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Yes, it is a good point and seems to be what many agree on in the industry. But let's not forget it serves Fisker's purpose because his company is focusing on hybrids. They may make sense definitely, and seem to be at this point more practical But I don't think auto makers and engineers should give up on coming up with a better battery for pure battery-powered vehicles. There is a lot of promising work going on in this space.

ltron
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Re: Good point
ltron   2/28/2013 12:58:46 PM
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I just went through a similar exercise. However I basically bought the gas version of the hybrid.

The ICE only car is EPA rated for 42MPG highway and from what I was able to see from a number of owners was that this was conservative. Now that I have the car I find that high 30's is not unreasonable even for my short trip city driving.

My normal routien is actually even more stringent that the EPA city driving cycle. However with mild Hypermiling techniques I can push 40MPG. While a Prius might get well over 50MPG doing this, even 38MPG is so close it seems far less practical

One thing that struck me was that it's somewhat difficult to drive the car in a manner that will get this sort of economy. The car does have a real time MPG indicator that is helpful but it could be a lot better. What strikes me is that I think the performance of the new crop of "40MPG" ICE cars could be much better if drivers were provided better tools. I suppose a lead foot remover would top the list.

I suppose that this is a bit of a problem since the companies don't get any credit for it from the EPA. However the potential savings seem obvious. Basically we need to get the driver in the loop.

This same car easily exceeds it's 42MPG highway rating.

It strikes me that the Hybrid has driven the mfg to find new efficiencies in the ICE part of the system. These new efficiencies are now flowing over into the ICE only vehicles.

 

  

akwaman
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Gold
Typical take-the-easy-way-out car company mentality
akwaman   2/28/2013 1:42:57 PM
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Fisker makes a great point, that the automotive companies are making a (not-in-demand) model of electric that not many want, just to cheat on the CAFE standards. Typical of the mentality that got the automotive companies in trouble in the first place, fighting regulations (with countless millions of wasted dollars) instead of using them to their advantage and just designing cars the way they are supposed to.  Obviously, the majority of the American public wants to be economical, that is why these standards are being pushed.  Instead of bowing to the will of the people, the auto companies are copping out of a challenge by throwing money at something just to cheat or beat the system, the American public, and mankind itself by sticking to archaic technology and refusing to progress into the next millenium.  These lame tactics by the automotive companies breed contempt and keep us 'tied' to the pump, with the oil industry deciding when how our budgets get organized.  Shame on the media for repeating the pro-oil propaganda of lumping all electrics and hybrids into the same category.  It's time we opened our eyes to the future, and it is not ICE driven, unless we are using H2 for the power source.

 

GTOlover
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Re: Good point
GTOlover   3/1/2013 8:39:46 AM
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Itron

Excellent observations of driving habits. I am shopping for a vehicle with top MPG. It seems that ICE only cars can get great MPG (driven correctly). However, the hybrid still gets better (when driven correctly).

I think many purchase the hybrid for the sticker MPG but in practice drive with no intention of optimizing MPG.

The pure electric still suffers from range anxiety. Until that is solved, it will remain a small percentage of car sales.

I think the auto manufacturers are optimizing ICE and batteries because they have to, but they will eventually have to address letting the car control driving habits. Perhaps even automated driving (or at least control the acceleration/deceleration functions, and not the old Toyota way;-)

 

ltron
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Re: Good point
ltron   3/1/2013 11:37:18 AM
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The really great part is the range of choices we have today.

Charles Murray
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Re: Good point
Charles Murray   3/1/2013 6:24:31 PM
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True, ltron. There are so many choices that, as Mr. Fisker noted, people are getting confused by the various powertrains and terminologies.

ltron
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Re: Good point
ltron   3/2/2013 6:44:03 PM
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I don't know that it's the number of choices as much as all the FUD and misinformation.

For example, just how does one score a Hybrid like the Prius as a battery powered car? (Non plug-in obviously) The last time I looked, 100% of the power was generated by an Internal Combustion Engine!

This is a fantastic step that improves the efficiency of the ICE. In one swoop it eliminates the waste of idling and acceleration. However it has practically nothing to do with making a viable plug in battery vehicle.

   

Greg M. Jung
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Regulation barriers
Greg M. Jung   2/27/2013 8:04:57 PM
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I think the last paragraph of this article is the most telling where Mr. Fisker exclaims that it is easier to start a restaurant franchise than to overcome the regulation barriers of creating a 'clean' energy vehicle.  I would like to respectfully challenge the critics who complain that there are not enough clean energy vehicles out there to have an honest discussion about the agency and economic barriers that a start-up car companiy faces.

Charles Murray
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Re: Regulation barriers
Charles Murray   2/27/2013 8:14:30 PM
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Well said, Greg. It's easy to criticize big automakers when looking at the cost of the vehicles, but the effect of regulation is huge.

Mydesign
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Hybrid Vehicles
Mydesign   2/27/2013 10:57:39 PM
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1 saves
@Captain, there is no doubt that Hybrid vehicles always have an edge over single fueled vehicles. Even in my car along with gasoline, I had fitted gas converter too, so that depends up on situation, I can switch between this too. if such options are available in electrical vehicles too, it's a great advantage.

Battar
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Platinum
Eco-friendly?
Battar   2/28/2013 9:11:58 AM
If spending $100,000 on one passenger saloon is within your frame of reference, there is no way you could be leading an eco-friendly lifestyle.

edgyone
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Iron
Re: Eco-friendly?
edgyone   2/28/2013 9:26:33 AM
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It's a roomy sedan, I saw one up close and it has a legit back seat. I think you have to put this in perspective. The 7 series BMW that this is competing with gets 17 mpg combined. You cannot have luxury without weight, and it takes more power and more gas to move that extra weight. This car answers that dilemma in an incredibly elegant way. If I had 125k to drop on automobile I would definitely buy one of these. But alas, engineers are a bunch of ninnies and never step up to ask for the money they deserve so I won't be able to afford one any time soon.

Battar
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Re: Eco-friendly?
Battar   2/28/2013 9:31:48 AM
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Edgyone,

               I think you have to put the term "eco-friendly" in perspective. How much does a Prius cost, to own or to manufacture? If a millionaire turns up in a Prius, the statement is not "I'm saving gas", it's "I'm saving resources".

edgyone
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Re: Eco-friendly?
edgyone   2/28/2013 10:17:22 AM
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True. But this car could serve a market that exists and do so in a more fuel efficient manner. It would be interesting to see what the carbon footprint of manufacture vs ownership for all cars is. I wonder if the gas cars would have less of an impact because of the lack of batteries and solar cells.

Charles Murray
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Re: Eco-friendly?
Charles Murray   2/28/2013 6:10:54 PM
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I agree, edgyone. As stylish and impressive as this car appears to be, I doubt we'll see a lot of engineers driving around in these.

BanjomanF
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Silver
consider the source
BanjomanF   2/28/2013 10:21:24 AM
Remember that a (non-plugin) hybrid still uses fossil fuels or biofuel as it sole power source.  The increase in efficiency comes primarily from regenerative braking, which recovers energy that would otherwise be lost to friction and stores it as electrical charge.  This is at the expense of having an entire secondary electric powertrain and large battery to haul around everywhere, which is a lot of added weight and expense. This is partly why high-efficiency gasoline vehicles are more than competitive with hybrids.

A plug-in hybrid changes this equation; now one can use electricity as the primary or alternate energy source.  Commuters who recharge every night may drive electric-only for weeks or months at a time, only using the combustion engine for longer trips.  Of course, fossils fuels may be used to generate the electricity somewhere, but the point-source pollution is easier to monitor and control at the power plant, and as long as electricity for the consumer is less expensive than other fuels, the plug-in hybrid may make a lot more sense economically and ecologically.

My wife and I just went shopping for a new car, and drove the Honda Civic hybrid. We liked it, but the mileage ratings were not significantly better than the gasoline version, for a lot more money.  The plug-in version is not available until later this year.  We wanted to buy a hybrid to "do the right thing", but it made no sense economically.

JRoque
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Gold
Fisker market
JRoque   2/28/2013 11:06:39 AM
Hello all. I have a VCR that I'm converting to digital - that will make it so much better! Hybrids are like compact fluorescent lights: we wish we could do LED but we settle for CFL.

I cannot understand the Fisker business model. The car looks nice but it's no performer. The ICE is too small (2.0L, 260 HP, 20 MPG,  0-60 in 6.3 seconds) for the supercar price tag and the battery is too small (20 kWh, 32 miles range) for the average tree hugger. It's also very small inside - subcompact, per EPA rating - yet weighs 5300 lbs. What segment of the market are they targeting? Why wouldn't you go for a Tesla that has much better performance, seats more people and has more range? The Tesla is also not a bad looking car and you can charge it at home or on the road for free.

Common sense
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Really?
Common sense   2/28/2013 11:08:13 AM
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Dauhh

j-allen
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Hybrid vs pure electric
j-allen   2/28/2013 11:10:45 AM
What "makes sense" depends on what one is trying to do.  If you commute a short distance to work, make local shopping trips, and have access to a gas car for the occasional long trip, then even a simple electric with lead batteries "makes sense."  If you do long distance trveling all the time, then it does not.  It's like asking whether a shovel or a hoe makes more sense. 

shrimper53
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Finally some common sense exhibited
shrimper53   3/5/2013 12:24:14 PM
The real point is that the real target population continues to be ignored.  Someone that can afford to spend $100K to $250K on a car, can basically do what they want; price is NO OBJECT.  The "average" citizen that is looking for ECONOMY, has to consider both the cost of the vehicle and the cost of fuel......unless the vehicle cost is brought within an affordable range, there willl never be the required mass adoption for commercial success.  The hybrid (plug-in or not) is that current best leap in technology.  The pure electric is just another example of government trying to force technology on the basis of some leftist political agenda, disguised as compassionate concern for "the planet".  It is not ready or practical at this time, like it or not!  The ICE is still the best, most practical propulsion system overall.

Charles Murray
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Re: Finally some common sense exhibited
Charles Murray   3/7/2013 6:25:08 PM
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Auto executives consur with your point, shrimper53. In the KPMG study mentioned here, manyt said that the internal combustion engine was the best bet for reaching the 54.5 mpg CAFE mandate.

http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1366&doc_id=258495

 

savaden
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Iron
Fisker runs for cover.
savaden   4/24/2013 9:07:34 AM
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This article was apparently posted before the lates events in the Fisker saga, but I read it in the April issue of the print mag and thought it to be pretty ironic.


Here is the latest:

Fisker resigns from Fisker Automotive

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130313/CARNEWS/130319933

Fisker lays off majority of staff

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130405/CARNEWS/130409902

Energy Department recovers $21 million from Fisker to pay back loans.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130423/CARNEWS/130429934

The car business is a rough one, and takes no prisoners. Mr Fisker was probably packing his bags with that Cayman Islands ticket clenched between his teeth as soon as he ended your interview. Next they will be looking for who he sold the drugs to and later the car will appear in a time travel movie.

So much for the allure of high dollar hybrids.

 

 

 

savaden
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Iron
Re: Fisker runs for cover.
savaden   4/24/2013 12:47:09 PM
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Today again the Fisker saga deepens.

http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130424/CARNEWS/130429903?

Let this be a lesson to you upstart carmakers.

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