Escape Hybrid - opinion?

This has got me thinking.
http://www.fordvehicles.com/escapehybrid/home/index.asp?bhcp=1

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My opinion:
Hybrid vehicles contain a much higher level of NEW vehicle technology, which translates to a higher probability of component failure than the old reliable gasoline engine technology. (I say reliable, but I currently have a Ford in love with the "Service Engine Soon" light.)
That said, I would buy one only if I could purchase a reasonably priced extended warranty after the regular warranty ran out. Then I would sell the car close to the point at which the extended warranty ran out.
The NIMH hybrid batteries are limited warranty by themselves for 100,000 miles. I have heard of costs exceeding $5000 to replace the hybrid batteries. And those batteries WILL wear out. So any hybrid outside of warranty is likely to become very expensive, requiring the dealer to make repairs.
While you may reap the benefits of lower cents per mile for fuel, the initial acquisition costs might be quite high in cents per mile - assuming 100,000 mile life of vehicle. You really should do a full cost analysis based on maximum expected vehicle miles to see if it meets your needs.
The Voltage output from the battery is 330 Volts - and it is used for starting and other electrical requirements, especially motor drive. 330V is a rather high voltage running around in a vehicle which could be used in all weather conditions. Good potential for catastrophic failures - and dangerous to service.
I believe we need to have more vehicles such as this to conserve the non-renewable oil resources, but I guess that I would rather have someone else foot the initial bill. Meanwhile, my vehicle gets 26 MPG in town, which isn't that bad.
GT

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An afterthought:
I'm not sure, but I think the battery "Limited" warranty is probably a pro-rated warranty, just like any regular vehicle battery. So, the cents per mile needs to include this replacement cost. The "cost" will be "Diagnosis" + "Labor" + "Parts" less "Pro-Rata on the part" at most Ford Dealers.
GT

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I guess I like the technology part. Yes reliability reduces as the complexity increases. I have had the itch to find as much there is to find out about the hybrid vehicles entering and those already in the market. Hybrid vehicles may be a stop gap measure for the hydrogen powered vehicles that will eventually hit the market in 10-15 years. If you do a full cost analysis, you would see that keeping the vehicle that you owe nothing on, and get decsent mileage on, would never be replaced by an overpriced hybrid. I will monitor them as Ford, then Toyota again and maybe GM offer similar vehicles. The technology will improve, and reliability will go up. The cost premium may start to erode as more vehicles enter the market and production ramps up to satisfy demand. Later

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As I understand it, Ford is licensing the technology from Toyota. I don't know what the details of the warranty on the Ford Escape hybrid will be, but the battery on the Toyota Prius is guaranteed for eight years...regardless of mileage.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Black Cars) wrote in message

The warranty on the battery on the Toyota Prius depends on what country you're talking about, but I don't think I've heard of unlimited mileage... In the US, the 2004 Toyota Prius has a full warranty on the hybrid system (which includes the NiMH hybrid battery) out to 8 years or 100,000 miles, whichever occurs first. For 2004 Prius bought/operated in CA, ME, MA, NY, and VT, the battery has a separate emissions warranty for 10 years or 150,000 miles.
All the photos of the Escape HEV I've seen have used Sanyo batteries. The Toyotas use Panasonic... So no idea what Ford's warranties will be like.
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You may be right. I just remember reading that the Prius battery was guaranteed for eight years...so I assumed the battery had a warranty of it's own.

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I would wait a year or two and see how well they last. And let Ford get the kinks out. One thing going in Ford's favor is that the hybrid technology largely comes from Toyota, which has a proven track record. I suspect that in 1 or 2 years, the trucks will be really good.
Jeff
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