The Folly Of Hybrids

Of course, this article doesn't come from an automotive authority like Consumer Reports but it's still a very good article.
Hybrid issues, and a rising star at Indy.
BY BROCK YATES Car & Driver September 2005 I'm not exactly a betting man, but I'll give you 100 to 1 odds that if you're reading this nonsense you are not a hybrid-car owner. That's probably a good wager, considering that the new miracle vehicles are stuck at about a one-half-percent market share of the roughly 17 million annual new car and light-truck domestic sales and that you are vastly more likely to tear up the asphalt in a gas-swilling, earth-choking, mega-speed road rocket like the rest of us motorized Neanderthals. Of course, if we pay attention to the Cassandra-like fulminations of the liberal media, we might be led to believe that hybrid vehicles are our only hope to save us all from ozone asphyxiation and indentured slavery to the Arab oil barons. To ignore their PC incantations and to continue our binge buying of conventional internal-combustion engines will, according to these all-knowing scribes and electronic chatterers, doom civilization to a dark age embroiled in a heat-soaked Sahara. Yeah, maybe. Then again, maybe not. Yes, we understand the feds are giving a one-time $2000 tax credit to hybrid owners, and 16 states are offering come-on tax breaks ($1500 in Oregon, $4173 in Colorado), inspection exemptions, and single-driver use of HOV lanes as incentives. Moreover, the hybrids being sold by Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Ford, and, soon, Chevrolet are all reasonably priced. Example: The hot-selling Toyota Prius-with a three-month waiting list in most markets-can be purchased for under $22,000 loaded (although most experts estimate that Toyota is taking a $2000 hit on each sale). The Pious-oops-Prius costs about $5000 more to manufacture than a conventional Corolla and retails for about three-grand extra. Now let's jump ugly about the whole situation and talk a little reality. The guys at Edmunds.com, who run hard numbers about the car business as well as anyone, estimate that a Prius owner would have to drive at least 66,500 miles annually for five straight years, or gasoline would have to soar to 10 bucks a gallon, to equal the cost of operating a cheaper, conventional Corolla. Then we have the battery pack, that heavy lump of nickel-metal hydride juice boxes that presumably improve fuel efficiency (but not that much, according to our road tests). Although the warranties are for eight years or 100,000 miles, battery replacement will cost $5300 for the Toyota and Lexus hybrids, and the Ford Escape replacements run a whopping $7200.
Moreover, the industry types aren't talking about total battery life. Will they actually last 100,000 miles? How will this affect resale value? Will the systems stay at full efficiency, or will they slowly drain power as they age or operate under heavy use? These are questions that remain to be answered, understanding that storage batteries, be they dry cells in your flashlight or exotic Ni-MHs, all have finite lives and store less power with age. And now comes word that the computer brain inside the gas-electric grids in some Priuses is tending to go nuts. This causes instant blackout stalling at either 35 mph or 65 mph-the latter possibly in the fast lane of an interstate where 50-ton semis running 90 mph can crush compacts like beer cans. This brings up an undiscussed issue: At some point, all these hybrid batteries will die and have to be disposed of somewhere, somehow. These are hardly biodegradable items like spoiled vegetables. They are in fact self-contained toxic waste dumps. How and where millions of these poisonous boxes will be deposited in the new hybrid nirvana has yet to be considered, much less resolved. And speaking of the environmental component (the glamour issue centered on the brave new world of hybrids), a number of EMT and fire crews have announced that they will refuse to rescue victims trapped in such vehicles, openly fearing electrocution or fatal acid burns. As with the now-defunct electric-car miracle, where it was quickly realized that the national power grid could not energize millions of vehicles without massive expansion of horrors-nuclear generation-the dark side of the hybrid miracle is now beginning to surface.
Says a dealer friend whose immense franchise network includes several brands offering hybrids: "There is no advantage to owning a hybrid in terms of fuel mileage when the extra cost of the vehicle is added in. Period. Do the math. This is a feel-good purchase. Hybrids are a statement about the environment, and they simply do not square with economic reality. "The truth is, although the Prius is selling like mad, hybrid Honda Accords and Civics are backed up on dealer lots. Why? Because they look like conventional Hondas, whereas the Prius has unique styling. It has an iconic status among the Greenies. Like it or not, that's real life." Until hybrids become economically feasible in terms of cost, reliability, and valid fuel savings and make real sense regarding performance and disposability, we're going to be driving conventional internal-combustion-powered vehicles-either gas or diesel -until rogue asteroids clean us all out.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "Sometimes, when you're up to your butt in alligators, it's hard to remember that the intial objective was to drain the swamp." ~ Unknown ~
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Yates is an intolerant whiner. Whats the big issue with hybrids ? Of course they are not cost effective, outside of HOV and tax breaks. If you don't like them then don't buy one. I would noy buy a hybrid, but they do not bother me. People like yates bother me.
What does Yates expect, that we all drive V-8 SUVs with 4 wheel drive and big trailer hitches. Live would be boring if we all conformed to one standard, especially his.
My hybrid stories: I was taking the NoVA I-66 HOV lane to drop off my kids at school on my way to work. A pious Prius driver was tailgating me, all hot and bothered, because he thought that I was an HOV violator. When he passed and looked over with a smug expression I had my 3 and 8 y.o. boys wave at him. Boy did he look indignant.
The dumb guy at work buys a house 80 miles from work. When he realizes his commute in his brand new new 4x4 F150 would be too expensive, he trades it in on a Civic hybrid. He said it was for HOV. Well hybrids do not get great steady state highway mileage and the HOV restrictions are to expire soon here. More dollars than scense.
Of course, this article doesn't come from an automotive authority like Consumer Reports but it's still a very good article.
Hybrid issues, and a rising star at Indy. BY BROCK YATES Car & Driver September 2005
I'm not exactly a betting man, but I'll give you 100 to 1 odds that if you're reading this nonsense you are not a hybrid-car owner. That's probably a good wager, considering that the new miracle vehicles are stuck at about a one-half-percent market share of the roughly 17 million annual new car and light-truck domestic sales and that you are vastly more likely to tear up the asphalt in a gas-swilling, earth-choking, mega-speed road rocket like the rest of us motorized Neanderthals.
Of course, if we pay attention to the Cassandra-like fulminations of the liberal media, we might be led to believe that hybrid vehicles are our only hope to save us all from ozone asphyxiation and indentured slavery to the Arab oil barons. To ignore their PC incantations and to continue our binge buying of conventional internal-combustion engines will, according to these all-knowing scribes and electronic chatterers, doom civilization to a dark age embroiled in a heat-soaked Sahara.
Yeah, maybe. Then again, maybe not. Yes, we understand the feds are giving a one-time $2000 tax credit to hybrid owners, and 16 states are offering come-on tax breaks ($1500 in Oregon, $4173 in Colorado), inspection exemptions, and single-driver use of HOV lanes as incentives.
Moreover, the hybrids being sold by Toyota, Lexus, Honda, Ford, and, soon, Chevrolet are all reasonably priced. Example: The hot-selling Toyota Prius-with a three-month waiting list in most markets-can be purchased for under $22,000 loaded (although most experts estimate that Toyota is taking a $2000 hit on each sale). The Pious-oops-Prius costs about $5000 more to manufacture than a conventional Corolla and retails for about three-grand extra.
Now let's jump ugly about the whole situation and talk a little reality. The guys at Edmunds.com, who run hard numbers about the car business as well as anyone, estimate that a Prius owner would have to drive at least 66,500 miles annually for five straight years, or gasoline would have to soar to 10 bucks a gallon, to equal the cost of operating a cheaper, conventional Corolla.
Then we have the battery pack, that heavy lump of nickel-metal hydride juice boxes that presumably improve fuel efficiency (but not that much, according to our road tests). Although the warranties are for eight years or 100,000 miles, battery replacement will cost $5300 for the Toyota and Lexus hybrids, and the Ford Escape replacements run a whopping $7200.
Moreover, the industry types aren't talking about total battery life. Will they actually last 100,000 miles? How will this affect resale value? Will the systems stay at full efficiency, or will they slowly drain power as they age or operate under heavy use? These are questions that remain to be answered, understanding that storage batteries, be they dry cells in your flashlight or exotic Ni-MHs, all have finite lives and store less power with age.
And now comes word that the computer brain inside the gas-electric grids in some Priuses is tending to go nuts. This causes instant blackout stalling at either 35 mph or 65 mph-the latter possibly in the fast lane of an interstate where 50-ton semis running 90 mph can crush compacts like beer cans.
This brings up an undiscussed issue: At some point, all these hybrid batteries will die and have to be disposed of somewhere, somehow. These are hardly biodegradable items like spoiled vegetables. They are in fact self-contained toxic waste dumps. How and where millions of these poisonous boxes will be deposited in the new hybrid nirvana has yet to be considered, much less resolved.
And speaking of the environmental component (the glamour issue centered on the brave new world of hybrids), a number of EMT and fire crews have announced that they will refuse to rescue victims trapped in such vehicles, openly fearing electrocution or fatal acid burns.
As with the now-defunct electric-car miracle, where it was quickly realized that the national power grid could not energize millions of vehicles without massive expansion of horrors-nuclear generation-the dark side of the hybrid miracle is now beginning to surface.
Says a dealer friend whose immense franchise network includes several brands offering hybrids: "There is no advantage to owning a hybrid in terms of fuel mileage when the extra cost of the vehicle is added in. Period. Do the math. This is a feel-good purchase. Hybrids are a statement about the environment, and they simply do not square with economic reality.
"The truth is, although the Prius is selling like mad, hybrid Honda Accords and Civics are backed up on dealer lots. Why? Because they look like conventional Hondas, whereas the Prius has unique styling. It has an iconic status among the Greenies. Like it or not, that's real life."
Until hybrids become economically feasible in terms of cost, reliability, and valid fuel savings and make real sense regarding performance and disposability, we're going to be driving conventional internal-combustion-powered vehicles-either gas or diesel -until rogue asteroids clean us all out.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "Sometimes, when you're up to your butt in alligators, it's hard to remember that the intial objective was to drain the swamp." ~ Unknown ~
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Whether you like him or not, he does make some valid points. I've heard of hybrid owners waiting three months or longer for new batteries. Considering the current gas prices, you would think that big-engined cars wouldn't be selling and hybrids would but just the opposite is true. Group: alt.autos.gm Date: Mon, Apr 24, 2006, 11:41pm From: snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.commie (Charles) Yates is an intolerant whiner. Whats the big issue with hybrids ? Of course they are not cost effective, outside of HOV and tax breaks. If you don't like them then don't buy one. I would noy buy a hybrid, but they do not bother me. People like yates bother me. What does Yates expect, that we all drive V-8 SUVs with 4 wheel drive and big trailer hitches. Live would be boring if we all conformed to one standard, especially his. My hybrid stories: I was taking the NoVA I-66 HOV lane to drop off my kids at school on my way to work. A pious Prius driver was tailgating me, all hot and bothered, because he thought that I was an HOV violator. When he passed and looked over with a smug expression I had my 3 and 8 y.o. boys wave at him. Boy did he look indignant. The dumb guy at work buys a house 80 miles from work. When he realizes his commute in his brand new new 4x4 F150 would be too expensive, he trades it in on a Civic hybrid. He said it was for HOV. Well hybrids do not get great steady state highway mileage and the HOV restrictions are to expire soon here. More dollars than scense.
Of course, this article doesn't come from an automotive authority like Consumer Reports but it's still a very good article. Hybrid issues, and a rising star at Indy. BY BROCK YATES Car & Driver September 2005 I'm not exactly a betting man, but I'll give you 100 to 1 odds that if you're reading this nonsense you are not a hybrid-car owner. That's probably a good wager, considering that the new miracle vehicles are stuck at about a one-half-percent market share of the roughly 17 million annual new car and light-truck domestic sales and that you are vastly more likely to tear up the asphalt in a gas-swilling, earth-choking, mega-speed road rocket like the rest of us motorized Neanderthals.
------------------SNIP to conserve space------------
Until hybrids become economically feasible in terms of cost, reliability, and valid fuel savings and make real sense regarding performance and disposability, we're going to be driving conventional internal-combustion-powered vehicles-either gas or diesel -until rogue asteroids clean us all out.
%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%% "Sometimes, when you're up to your butt in alligators, it's hard to remember that the intial objective was to drain the swamp." ~ Unknown ~
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Is Yates still alive? I thought he was dead. Oh wait, that's just his mental faculties that died some years back. About when he came up with the idiotic Cannonball Run screen-play. A man with any self-respect or common sense would have moved to Nepal to do a lifetime of penance after coming up with crap like that.
Ignore him. He has nothing to say and he is very noisy about saying it.
As for hybrids, they are a great idea that is early in it's execution. Like any new cutting edge technology it is imperfect and with flaws that will be eliminated or reduced as more and more cars and trucks become available as hybrids. Before the improvements come, there has to be real world experience and development and the current owners are providing that, God bless 'em.
It would be nice if we could get the excellent Diesels that are sold in Europe in the U.S., but the EPA seems dead set on preventing that. So like it or not, hybrids are the only real game in town today if you want very high city numbers with adequate performance. The new Camry hybrid looks extremely attractive and the forthcoming Sienna hybrid will cement the concept of hybrids for the mainstream buyer. Remember, Toyota is doing most of this and Toyota simply does not make big mistakes. These guys are as conservative as a small town banker in the 50's.
Of course, this

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Gee that must be why Honda and Ford can't give away the hybrids on the lot. The only reason why the Pius sells is because it is a SYMBOL to other tree huggers who seem to think it is a great vehicle. Oh and FYI Toyota is no where near conservative. They are more than willing to throw money at things. That is why they are entering NASCAR next year.
-
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Huh? Toyota is entering the NASCAR truck series for a very good reason. It helps buy them legitimacy for the new BIG Tundra so it can compete eye-ball eye-ball with F150, Silverado, and Ram in all areas. I personally think they also want to rub their noses in "it", too, by winning.
If you think Toyota is not conservative. Recall it took them three generations of large pickup to finally get it right because they could not believe, in Japan, that anyone really wanted anything that big. Also, take a look at their entire lineup. Essentially nothing exciting, just bland to pleasant styling and tremendous reliability. Toyota is a synonym for conservative.
The hybrid Camry will sell very well. The Prius already does. The Sienna will. The Accord hybrid, like the Lexus 450h and RX400h more about power than economy. You are right, though, that part of the problem with the Civic hybrid is that it makes little in the way of a statement, plus it is not marketed much. Too low key.
I know several people with Prius's. None are tree-huggers. All just want excellent mileage and Toyota reliability. I ignore the Escape as it is wildly over-priced.

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You missed my point, guy. He makes some valid points, as do others, but he is so bent on making hybrid owners out to be a subclass. Hence he is an intolerant whiner. Is he afraid of them. He just cannot understand people that are different from him.
Of course, this

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