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Jerry dycus
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Re: Hybrid Loyalty
Jerry dycus   4/20/2012 9:37:31 AM
3grob  you mean we/CIA r then didn't overthrow Iran's elected gov and replace it with the Shah of Iran in 53 or so?  No?

We installed most of the oil dictators, at least the ones that haven't been overthrown since, and continue to support the most backward countries in the world simply because they have oil. No?

Would we give a Rat's a-- for that area if it didn't have oil?

And it's all about corporate welfare for big oil and the congress, pols they can buy. Just look at the lying anti Obama ads big oil is running saying he is responsable for higher oil prices which they know isn't true.  When it's their money fighting at every turn to prevent  the US from being held hostage to oil spikes and paying more and more for it.

Wouldn't a rational response to the oil caused recessions and the military says is our  biggest security threat to get off oil and stop paying $.5T/yr to subsidize it? It's your tax $.

We have no lack of energy in the US as it's most everywhere and much of it for free though as we say in sailing, it costs a lot to catch it. But that cost is now at parity and dropping.  So just you stick with oil and pay through the nose and think of me driving at such a low cost in my lightweight EV's so low it's hard to measure at $120/yr for batteries, electricity,tag, etc.

And you can keep lying to yourself we only do good things killing for oil.  Wouldn't it be better if we just stop doing that? Plus saving $.5T/yr to pay down the debt and creating a million new  US jobs  be a far better plan?


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Towing with a Prius ?
GlennA   4/20/2012 9:32:08 AM
My wife has a 2010 Toyota Prius, and in warm weather can get 55 miles per gallon.  My hybrid is a 2009 Chrysler Aspen 5.7 Hemi - I got it because it had a good towing rating.  The best average mileage that I have ever had for a tank of gasoline with the Aspen is 25.

How difficult was it to get a trailer hitch ?  Was it a dealer installed option ?  What kind of mileage do you get when towing ?

Beth Stackpole
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Re: Would you buy a used hybrid?
Beth Stackpole   4/20/2012 7:13:37 AM
@Lyngengr: That is an excellent point. Why would any one buy a used hybrid when the technology changes so rapidly. That's actually the downside of being an early adopter of new technology. Once you buy it, you're stuck with it because the next generation definitely supplants any value of the purchase.

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Re: Hybrid redux is critical to success
MIROX   4/20/2012 1:28:47 AM
IF HONDA Hybrids got the advertised mileage, people in thousands and at least 3 class action siuts plus now about 21 small claims court wins against HONDA in Gardena CA, with awards of up to $10,000 to the vehicle owners would not be happening !


She "won" and within a week 17 other people filed suits following her lead !!!

And she is not even factoring in the cost of replacement battery, only the less than NORMAL 5 speed civic that gets better real life MPG than the Civic Hybrid.

And the two to three times HIGHER depreciation, used NON hybrid is worth MORE at least in CA.

When people expect more and get lot lot less (MPG) and resale value they are not happy if they paid $4,000 to $10,000 premium for the car that has no visible difference except the HYBRID label on the back.

One reason Prius is so popular = there is NOT "non hybrid" Prius, and while mechanically the same; people do not compare it to ECHO or YARIS that have the same powertrain sans the electric motor and the battery pack that adds 900 lbs.

If less than 20% of previous owners of a NEW Hybrid (not counting prius) want another Hybrid, then the people who want USED hybrid that has battery cost anxiety attached to it, shrinks perhaps to less than 5% of buyers, thus the very high depreciation or else the vehicle just does not sell.

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Re: Hybrid redux is critical to success
MIROX   4/20/2012 1:14:00 AM
Re: Insight

This one the complete story is there - do you think that someone who drives the same 124 miles a day to go to work for 7 years is unable to figure out their REAL LIFE MPG ?


PS: The car sol for $1,275 and was for sale for 18 months before someone bought it with the IMA light ON and dealer wanting close to $14,000 to fix it !!!

So no 2000 Insights do NOT sell for waht they costed NEW at least not in NEVADA, ARIZONA or SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - hey if they are at premioum in Tampa (is there where you are ?) then come and get them you can make thousands just driving them back home !!!

Honda dealers here will NOT even take them on a trade in for another HONDA !



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Re: Hybrid Loyalty
3drob   4/19/2012 11:18:40 PM
I am sooooo sick of hearing how the US is responsible for all the ill's of the world.  Islamic militancy, dictatorships, and terrorism all predate the US and the oil economy.  The world is a crazy place run by crazy people and it's NOT ALL OUR FAULT.

What I like about Engineering is that it's not about finger pointing, ideology, or symantics.  Your design works (and meets its requirements) or it doesn't.  Hybrids are included in this;  they must work (economically) or they will pass into the dustheap of history.

Bottom line: I own a hybrid.  Not because of some political bent (a Hummer is greener cradle to grave than a Prius), but because it met my requirements.  I needed a car large enough for my family, with good acceleration, and good mileage.  Higher up front cost, but lower lifetime cost was OK  (I own cars for decades not years, so operating costs are key). 

When it's time for me to get another car, I really don't care if it's a hybrid or not.  But it does have to meet my requirements.  And that was the point of the article.

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Nobody told the buyers
bwilson4web   4/19/2012 10:33:50 PM
The hybrid sales, dashboard report, for March showed a 3.44% "Hybrid Take-Rate." This is also the first full month where the Prius family included: (1) compact, Prius-C, (2) full-size, Prius, (3) station wagon sized, Prius-V, and (4) Plug-in Prius. Last year, there was only one Prius model but now four which gives Prius buyers choices never before available.

The non-Toyota hybrids are getting mid-30s mileage, not the 50+ MPG of the Prius. "Hybrid" is taxology, not a performance spec. But it highlights the problem of user expectations when they find "hybrid" is not a performance spec.

The Polk report joins past reports predicting the demise of hybrids and the Prius in specific. The range of efficient hybrids, not all hybrids are efficient, continues to grow with Toyota and others still trying. But a hybrid getting less than 40 MPG should go back to the engineers as it will not engender product loyalty.

Our first Prius is the compact, 2003 Prius, and remains in service, my commuting vehicle. Our second-Prius is the 1.8L 2010 Prius and our highway and 'stuff' carrier. Funnily enough, both get nearly identical 52 MPG. But the newer one has enough power to tow 1,700 lbs of trailer and airplane 600 miles.

Toyota hybrids set a high mark and obviously, many non-Toyota manufactures have yet to bring something competitive to the market. Plug-ins are now two, the Volt and Prius and remains an area all but ignored by makers of today's mediocre hybrids.

Bob Wilson

Jerry dycus
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Re: Hybrid Loyalty
Jerry dycus   4/19/2012 10:02:57 PM
 Arab terrorism is directly because of our willing to do anything includinng supporting the worst oil dictators which the terrorists object to invading their lands and taking their oil. If not for oil we wouldn't give 2 cents for the Persian Gulf or them us. Let's get off oil and it's path to bankruptcy before we are completely broke.

 Clinton wanted him out, not to go to war for 10 yrs killing 5000 US soldiers, maiming 50k of them and over $2T in costs.!!!  Trying to blame Clinton shows just how biased you are. If you want oil wars, go fight them yourself.

For that kind of money we could get completely independent of oil, oil terrorism, oil recessions, oil wars which also would balance the budget from lower energy costs, lower balance of payments, lower military and other costs.

I'm not saying disarm but cutting back 50% so we'd only be larger than the top 10 armies together instead of the 20 now. Without the need for subsidizing the oil companies, oil  dictators and oil terrorists we could cut fed taxes by 25% or more.

Greg M. Jung
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Re: Why Hybrids aren't selling now
Greg M. Jung   4/19/2012 9:19:14 PM
Kevin, you bring up some interesting points.  As you stated, regardless of which side you are on, fossil fuels are a finite energy resource and will eventually run out.  Effort does need to be put into researching alternative energy resources to plan for this eventual fact.

From the alternatives that you presented, do you have a rough idea of the current cost multipliers for each one? (ex. switchgrass is 2X more expensive than traditional fossil fuels).  I think that motivation for research will mostly be driven by economics with these technologies taking off when a perceived quick payback is there.

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Re: Why Hybrids aren't selling now
Kevin   4/19/2012 8:42:44 PM
To All:

I've probably read more than most on both sides of the Global Warming debate.  While conceding that the data is still inconclusive, I believe that it is plausible that mankind's greenhouse gas emissions are causing changes.  However, almost 100% of the "environmentalist" studies I've read omit in their analysis the elephant in the closet:  by far the most significant greenhouse gas is water vapor from ocean evaporation, and also that the temperature history of the planet greatly exceeds anything recorded in modern times. 

However, not to sound evasive - but I think there are much more tangible and practical things to debate.  No matter whether the global temp is (or is not) significantly affected by man, it is a certainty that eventually we will run out of fossil fuels.  Once that happens, all the global warming debate kind-of becomes moot.  We will likely enter a phase where supply falls short of demand within no more than a few generations.  Civilization as we know it would cease to exist without plentiful energy!  Therefore, we (as engineers and scientists) should be looking at what to do about this.

1.  Energy efficiency is a virtue, to slow down the depletion of fossil fuels and minimize environmental impact.  We should work to engineer higher energy efficiency in all ways possible. 

2.  Renewable energy sources are important.  Solar, Wind, others need to be rolled-out.  Unfortunately, a practical energy storage system with the scale needed has not been found yet (even today's best batteries fall far short in many ways).  Electric cars, in my opinion, are OK but are not really a big help in this endeavor.  With today's power grid, EV's basically divert petroleum use to coal + natural gas, with approx. net-net total energy usage and emissions compared with today's solutions ....maybe only slightly better.  Hybrids, on the other hand, make a lot of sense for stop-and-go city driving cycles.

3.  I'm convinced we should create a "renewable fuel" that can be synthesized and stored to give 24/7/365 concentrated energy for vehicles, heating, power, everything.  Until recently I thought biofuels could be the best answer...but further study has illuminated that FOOD BASED biofuels (corn, soybeans) make no sense whatsoever.  Sugar Cane & perhaps switchgrass remain the best hope today...but synthetic fuels make more sense long-term.  Also, algae-based biofuels remain hopeful.  Overall, any FARMING BASED biofuel starts looking undesirable when effects of soil erosion, chemical runoff, fertilizer requirements, etc. are taken into account.

4.  By the way, did you know that 100% of fertilizer in the USA is made from natural gas?  So when fossil fuels run out, we not only have an energy problem - we have a collosal food problem.

5.  So...you might ask "what is a better solar-derived fuel than biofuels"?  The winner in my current thinking is Ammonia and/or Urea.  Ammonia can be synthesized from renewable energy sources by electrolysing water and catalytically reacting with the nitrogen in the air (80% Nitrogen).  Infinite sources of raw material...just add renewable energy!  Ammonia (NH3) is an excellent fuel and can be burned in an internal combustion engine at high efficiency (equiv octane = ~110).  It is like propane - a liquid at moderate pressure, but vaporizes at atmospheric pressure.  It also can be used directly in fuel cells (in the future when this techology's cost comes down).  And... when ammonia is burned, the products are only water vapor and nitrogen gas!  Zero Carbon.  Energy density and safety is much higher than hydrogen (gas or liquid), at about half the energy density of gasoline, or about the same as methanol.  It is lighter than air, so any spills rise and dissipate rapidly.  Ammonia can be used directly or easily converted to Urea for use as fertilizer.  Absorbsion into powdered magnesium chloride is another way to safely (and cheaply) store ammonia in a fuel tank without risk of catastrophic spillage in a crash. 

6.  In the interim, while there are still lots of coal power plants - the new RENEWABLE synthesized ammonia can be used to scrub CO2 out of the power plant smokestacks, and the result (NH3 + CO2) is UREA, which can be used directly as fertilizer.  Also, UREA is a solid, and 100% non-toxic.

We could have a non-carbon based fuel and fertilizer economy based on renewable energy with Ammonia as the universal fuel.  We don't need to change to EV's as an interim step, and force consumers to accept the HUGE convenience tradeoffs that they require.  I know...I'm talking about decades in the future - but someone needs to be thinking ahead ...

sorry...way beyond topic.  I'll step away from the soapbox now,


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