FrankWye : You said "The fact remains that the carbon molecule is still the cheapest source of energy BY FAR."
And the reality is that the carbon molecule is not a source of energy. It does not exist in nature in a form with useful energy. Fossil fuels are merely stored energy created by stellar fusion and captured and concentrated by plants and bacteria. If that was in infinite supply, then we would not need to discuss alternatives. But the supply is over a decade past its peak, while consumption is rapidly accelerating. We have to discuss alternatives quickly. And hybrids are a good transition, although not a solution.
Not every owner of a Hybrid or EV is electronic engineer or battery repair expert, if so Toyota dealer would not charge $93 per hour of labor for ICE and $124 per hybrid for the mechanic time, if you ask them WHY, they tell you it is the extra and very expensive equipement (reportedly over $5,000 just for the special CAN reader for Prius) and the required training at TOYOTA (at Dealer expense) for each mechanic to be qualified to even OPEN the hood on TOYOTA Hybrid - even for "oil change".
So what ever price a dealer (local one) quotes for a repair that is the price, as most independent mechanic will not even touch hybrid.
Quick oil chagne outfits generally refuse to service them or even change oil, just go to Grease Monkey, etc.
If you take a Cadillac to GM dealer because the Cigarette Lighter does not work, and you get $250 "itemized" bill, for $240 of labor and $1.50 for fuse and "shop supplies) + tax, I do not think you would label the owner of the car as "idiot" because she could have went to PepBoys and bought whole package of fuses and replaced it herself ?
Well first you would have to know where the burried in dash fuse is actually located and the secret trick to acces it (not even mentioned in owner's manual).
Not every person in the World is engineer or designer if they were all DIY then we probably would not have "jobs".
TOYOTA and HONDA and NISSAN all "overprice" parts and labor on all their "advanced" vehicles.
Bob, I was warned when I bought my 2010 FFH that I'd void the warrantee if I installed a hitch (which makes a hitch a non-starter for me, at least for a few more years). Is that a problem with the Prius? I just assumed that the CVT wasn't robust enough to tow.
Since you say you have both Echo and Prius that has the same engine can you share the MPG you get in each car that is, if you keep track of it ?
While I personally have neither, we do have lot of customers with one or the other but not both, what surprised me personally is that people with Scion Ax, the Echo at least to me report MPG that is generally higher than those with Prius.
And those are real life MPG from real people driving daily commuting to work, so not onece in a while hypermiling effort just to get impressive MPG.
And about the Insight on SynLube web, the name of the owner is there, I know him personally ad he kept a notebook in the car recording each and every fuel purchase over 150,000 miles since new.
He was keeping the records to convince Honda that there MUST be something wrong with the car - but did not go as far as Miss Peters.
When the IMA light came on the mileage dropped to low 30 MPG and the car had "no power" to go over "the hump" as he locals call it - sometimes dropping to just 30 MPH (on 65 MPH Speed limit road) that is when the car was "retired" but no one bought it for 18 months.
SO just a real life one person's experience with Hybrid - the FIRST and LAST one, he will never buy another Hybrid or another HONDA.
SO that only reinforces the "Not me for a second time" that was the focus of the original R L Polk press release.
It however claimed that MOST people will buy another vehicle from the SAME BRAND, and it seems to me that in that case TOYOTA is a clear winner, as from the EX Prius owners that we have as customers almost all bought another TOYOTA if not Prius.
FORD, HONDA, GM - the story is always the same = it costed me too much.
Cost per mile is not just the fuel, it is depreciation, insurance, registration, maintenance and in some cases battery replacement when no longer in a warranty.
I drive EV myself, and have "identical" car with Gasoline engine = the cost when batteries are included since 2003 till today is $838.00 MORE that the ICE
But it is still fun and I prefer to drive the OKA NEV ZEV locally, but I would not drive it from Los Angeles to Las Vegas as with recharges it would take 8 days !!!
The ICE car gets 49 to 70 MPG with 1970's FIAT technology - main reason it is only 1,275 lbs. LA LV trip is 3.8 hours at average MPG of 53 - @ 66 MPH
Gasoline is $4.099 today in Las Vegas and $4.399 in Los Angeles
Power is 8.9 cents per kWh in LV and 13.12 cents in LA
Add it all up and the cost per mile in EV is only 3 cents per mile and about 9 in ICE, but add in the battery cost and the EV is 11.8 cents per mile !!! = almost 3 cents PREMIUM !!!
9 years of records are available for both cars from every charge (kWh and time) and every fill up (Volume, Cost and even "fill up time").
So I am neither opponent or proponent, just reporting the REAL LIFE experience both mine and of our SynLube customers.
Main point is that just like in emissions inventory, if you INCLUDE everything then the hyped superiority of Hybrid or EV instantly vanishes.
And as "cost per mile" goes the least expensive car I have ever owned was 1969 Rolls Royce Silver Shadow, as it sold in 1989 for so much more than it costed in 1969 that driving it all those years and over 289,000 miles was actually less than a penny a mile !!! (but then in the past the fuel was really cheap).
30 year running car in good condition is worth Lot of money.
30 year old EV or Hybrid ? Will it even move under its own power ?
I have been keeping cost per mile records just for my own interest since 1968.
I was personally shocked whn I found out that my 1970 HONDA 600 two cylinder car costed me MORE to drive that the RR - thanks to keeping mileage records for business deduction for IRS.
If it was not for IRS I would have never started or bothered to do that, but now teh habbit is totally "automatic" to keep record of every fill up and every chagre up.
"Why would any one buy a used hybrid when the technology changes so rapidly." - Hybrid technology really hasn't changed since the Toyota/Ford, dual-motor system, and the Honda Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) and faux belt-assisted hybrids (BAS). The Toyota/Ford system has had some tweaks over the years but no major changes in the architecture and relative engine-to-electric power ratio. The IMA/BAS system just vary the relative amount of engine-to-electric power with the BAS systems being more 'greenwash' than real.
Our first Prius was a used, 2003 bought in October 2005. At the time, local Toyota dealers were charging an extra premium of $2-4,000 with waiting lists. But the 49,000 mile, used Prius was a bargan, at least $10,000 cheaper than the local dealer was charging. It still had the 6/60000 and 8/100000 mile warranty on the drive train and hybrid battery. With 49,000 miles and sold by a Toyota dealer, I knew the infantile problems had been worked out. This was the last model year of the 2001-03 Prius so it had all of the 'lessons learned.'
I had lost our 1991 Camry in a rain-slick road accident so we were down to just my wife's 2001 Echo. I needed a commuting car and the price-performance point of the 2003 Prius met our expectations.
I had looked at the Honda IMA but there were several problems: (1) too low, (2) rear seat did not fold down, and (3) not enough electrical power relative to the engine. Too low, I knew my wife with her back problems (two surguries) would find it too painful. The rear seat of the Civic hybrid did not fold down meaning it was configured as a sedan just like the 2003 Prius. The relatively low electrical power meant it had almost no electric-only capability whereas the Prius had enough that the engine is frequently off when commuting.
A used hybrid can be an excellent value after "due dilligence." Don't buy one broken but from a dealer with a 30 day warranty. There is a distinct price drop after the 3/36000 warranty expires and another closer to the 6/60000 warranty ending. I am for solid engineering reasons a fan of the Toyota/Ford hybrids.
"How difficult was it to get a trailer hitch?" - For my wife's car, we went with the Curt Hitches Class 1 receiver. Curt has a lot of history going back to the earliest Prius receiver hitches. For our older 2003 Prius, I used a Coastal Electronics, 2" hitch but they no longer sell them.
"Was it a dealer installed option?" - The Curt Hitches web site identified local shops that install them which is what I did for my wife's car. Just be sure to coordinate the ball size as they'll normally put a smaller one. BTW, I suggested this as a 'port option' to SouthEast Toyota but they didn't get it.
"What kind of mileage do you get when towing?" - On the empty trailer tow up, 600 miles in 65F, dry, no wind, highways, the 1,000 lb pontoon boat trailer gave ~38 MPG at 62-63 mph:
On the way back, I had an airplane on the trailer with the engine, prop, landing gear and papers in the Prius. The return trip was in 40F, rainy, windy, and gave 28 MPG at 53-54 mph:
The only change I would make would be to install stiffer rear springs as the head lights were pointed higher than desired. Still the ABS and traction control never let me down and I was fully in control during the tow. Around town, I used our 2003 Prius to move the trailer and plane to the workshed:
Understand that Toyota does not list any towing capability. However, those who have studied the computer controlled, Prius transmission know it is much more robust than folks might think. In testing and during the tow, I used OBD scanners to monitor the motor and electronic inverter temperatures. In both Prius they remained "in the green." But the 1.5L Prius engine does not perform well at higher power settings which is why I used the 1.8L that has cooled, exhaust gas recirculation.
Jerry, we did lots of stuff back then. Even some stuff before that. But the world is more complicated than the simplified version you are imagining. During WWII and the Cold war lots of smaller countries became pawns in the larger conflict between the radical socialists (either national or international) and everyone else. And we are not out of the woods yet.
Despite the fact that we were (as we should be) pursuing our own interests, we did so with a level of selflessness that hasn't been equalled in human history. That's why we helped other economies grow instead of just pushing our own on everyone else (as China does). That's why we spent American blood in places without oil to prevent the growth of radical socialism.
Ask the average person in Iran if they are better off in a secular dictatorship friendly to the US or a religious dictatorship friendly to no one. They will look at you like you have two heads.
So, back on topic. Would you buy a Hybrid to replace your first?
Mirox I'm not going to argue with you. Your 1 example and statement about the cost to repair is just idiotic.
Vs my sources are racers, ICE and EV, and EV'er's and rather tight about records they keep and tests they do because they have heard so many lies the only way to get the facts was to do it themselves.
Yet even with that they got $1800 isn't bad and someone got a steal. The battery pack can easily be repaired instead of replaced for a few hundred $ and the repair problems are likely why it did so bad in mileage.
You sould more like a shill trying to drive visits to your website, products so no more from me on this.
A slew of announcements about new materials and design concepts for transportation have come out of several trade shows focusing on plastics, aircraft interiors, heavy trucks, and automotive engineering. A few more announcements have come independent of any trade shows, maybe just because it's spring.
Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones used to fare quite well in the repairability department, but last year's flagship S5 model took a tumble, scoring a meh-inducing 5/10. Will the newly redesigned S6 lead us back into star-studded territory, or will we sink further into the depths of a repairability black hole?
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