The Drive-a-Toyota Act

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Dream on. Currently rechargeable batteries start going down hill at about 3 years. The fact that they are much weaker between 5 and the 8 yr guarantee point would not be that noticeable as the Prius battery is very large. A Prius might then be running as a mild hybrid, not going so far on battery only.
What Toyota is really saying (quietly to themselves) is that the batteries will last for the original buyers term with the car. Very few new car buyers keep a car 8 years.
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who wrote:

Which would cause the gas mileage to drop.
My in-laws are still driving a first generation Prius, a 2002, with over 100k. The MPG is the same as it ever was.
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B A R R Y wrote:

Ha ha! But Toyota slipped up by uncluding in that article that it would not even go a mile on battery only. That says that the battery is a small factor in its overall economy. And in most driving situations, regenerative braking probably barely (or doesn't quite) make up for the extra weight of batteries and controls it is carrying around. (IOW - the economy is from a small, optimized-for-efficiency IC engine.)
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Bill Putney wrote:

I don't know what you mean. I've driven the car in 25-30 MPH traffic where the car didn't start for a good amount of time.
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In general hybrid use a small engine to move the vehicle when not much torques is required and to generate electricity when required. The electric motor is used when torque is required to get the vehicle going and to keep it going on a grade.
We hear of the great mileage while driving at slower speeds in a hybrid but one can not continue to do so for long before the engine will need to run to recharge the batteries, provide heat and AC
Seems to me we should be looking to improve the newer technology, that permits several of the cylinders to be disengaged when torque is not required. That is a better solution to lowering ones average fuel consumption since the majority is mileage is accumulated where torque is not required.
Several manufacturers are offing that technology and obtaining well over 30 mpg, with V8 engines, on the highway and still offering the larger, safer, more powerful vehicles that the buyers prefer. Cylinder deactivation does not add much to the price of the vehicle as apposed to hybrids that cost much more to build and add to the wealth of batteries to be build and recycled.
mike
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Mike Hunter wrote:

I have to disagree with you on this one.
To me, it seems that no running an engine at its most efficient speeds, as the hybrids do, and storing energy as electricity and using that in such a way the efficiency is maximized will make a better combination than cutting off cylinders.
Even buses in NYC use hybrid technology rather than disengaging cylinders (or in addition to it). And the Swedes are working on hybrid garbage trucks.
Plus, but using a hybrid design, you can have a smaller and lighter engine than with an engine that has a variable number of cylinders. Of course, the technologies are not mutually incompatible.

What manufacturer offers a V8 that gets well over 30 mpg?
OK, some V8 get close to 30 mpg highway, but none get even 30 mpg highway, at least in the 2007 or 2008 model years:
http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/FEG2007.pdf http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/FEG2008.pdf

It's a trade-off. Some people prefer a bigger car, some prefer one with a smaller environmental footprint, which hybrids may or may not have (I haven't seen a good accounting of the environmental costs of the batteries and other technology).
Jeff

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You are free to believe whatever you choose. A modern V8 will run quite efficiently at 1,500 RPMs, even on four cylinders, at 60 MPH. Most 4 cy engines need to run at nearly twice that number of RPMs at 60 MPH.
You are confusing EPA test highway figures with what I actually said. ANY car will get better than the EPA figure, driven strictly at speed on the highway. The average is three to four MPG. My V6 Lincoln Zephyr with a fuel computer and six speed double OD tranny, had an EPA mileage of 29 but will constantly do 34/35 at 1,700 RPMs at 60 MPH on a flat road. ;)
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Mike Hunter wrote:

Yet the 4 cyl cars get a lot better fuel mileage. Go figure.

That's true of any engine, regardless of whether it is 4, 6 or 8 cylinders.
The V8 with the highest highway estimate has 28 mpg highway, which comes to 32 mpg highway. That is not what I would call well over 30 mpg, especially when one has to get to the highway and frequently travels at slower speeds, especially around construction sites.
So that just means that the smaller engines are even more efficient at highway speeds.
None of this has anything to do with the fact that the most efficient vehicles available today in the US are hybrid vehicles with small engines (1.5 liter).
Jeff

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My Honda Civic and Ford Escape 4 cyl both run around 2000 RPM at 60MPH.
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A Ford Focus SW I rented last year in the UK went 3,000 rpm at 70mph. My Concord is 2,100 rpm at that speed.
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wrote:

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who wrote:

According to the Toyota article, the car would go less than a mile on battery alone at low speed. What does that tell you about where the car gets most of its fuel efficiency from? (hint: a very efficient IC engine) As I said in another post, it would be interesting for someone to rip out the batteries and control electronics and see what the economy would be with just the IC engine. It might be found that the savings due to lower weight might just about offset the gains from regenerative braking.
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Quite possibly. But you'd also lose the ability to run both power plants when accelerating, so it would hurt performance. A fair test would require putting in an engine that would give you the same performance as the current hybrid power plant.
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Joe Pfeiffer wrote:

There is some truth to that. Still, it might be interesting to see what mileage the car gets in a controlled test (with the hybrid configuration as a baseline) on the existing IC engine but with the weight and complexity of the batteries and its control paraphernalia removed. OK - and a second test with just an IC engine with the same efficiency optimizations as the current one but with more power (scaled up/larger displacement).
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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I've often wondered that, as I watch the car get 50mpg on long drives on flat freeway with apparently zero help, or very very minimal help, from the electric motors.
I bet that engine as it sits is a dog off the line, though.
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Elmo P. Shagnasty wrote:

I think the car has other things for fuel efficiency, like harder tires for less rolling resistance, better aerodynamic shape, and, I guess, no alternator, all of which save energy. Plus it has a continuously variable transmission, which is more efficient that automatic and manual transmissions. And it has aluminum hood (bonnet for those of you in the UK) and hatch instead of steel, to save weight.
Cars can also have electrically powered water pumps, power steering pumps, valves, and compressors for the air conditioners, although I don't know if any do, yet.
Plus, the Prius uses an Atkinson cycle engine than a regular (Otto) gas engine, which is more efficient.
Jeff
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"Jeff" ...

The Prius uses the electrically driven AC. When sitting in traffic on a hot day and using the AC, it makes the engine run a lot to keep the battery at a relatively even charge. When 'normally' driven (meaning on roads without jams), the normal electric generation that the car does from engine waste and slowing makes AC usage close to 'free' as far as I can tell. Tomes
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Jeff wrote:

An honest question: All those things suck energy whether mechanically or electricaly powered (and the power has to ultimately come from the IC engine). For each one, is the electrical version inherently more efficient than a mechanically powered (belt or gear driven) one?
Bill Putney (To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my address with the letter 'x')
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Efficiency questions aside, another advantage is in packaging. You no longer have to place the power steering pump, a/c compressor, etc, where they can be driven by a belt from the engine; you can put it anywhere it's convenient.
Also, the belts and pulleys weigh something. Removing them helps offset the increased weight of the electric motors you'll need.

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