Dark Side of the Hybrids

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thedonga wrote:


there's a substantial element of truth to that, and you're thinking big picture which is good, but for smaller utilitarian cars at least, there is an overall benefit for the newer more efficient vehicles. whether that continues to be the case is another matter now that we have relatively clean burning fuel injected cars, but compared to carburetion, the overall benefit of modern cars is worth the manufacturing effort.
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Hello, I agree with you related to your last point. I am now 54 years old and remember all of the problems I had with cars made in the 1960's, 70's and early 80's. The carburetor and electrical system was the main source of those problems. I have never had any problems with the EFI system or electrical system in both of Honda Accords that I have owned. Jason
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Mike, It's difficult for most of us to conduct that sort of research. Perhaps a disgruntled (sp??) employee might eventually sneak data out of the company and release it to the news media. If that never happens, we will probably never learn the true facts related to this issue. A Federal investigation might also force them to release the true facts. On the other hand, perhaps Toyota is being totally honest related to the data that they release to the news media and post on the internet. Do you really believe that any company is totally honest related to information they release to the news media or post on the internet? I doubt it. There is a conflict of interest involved. Jason
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Jason) wrote in

There's certainly enough evidence that auto companies have had "hidden warranties" to fix problems they do not want the public to know about. And that they usually fight any effort of the consumer groups on class actions concerning major auto problems.(like wheels falling off)
So,one should blindly trust the auto companies??
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Tobacco companies had data,too,yet still told people smoking was safe.
And auto companies often have "hidden" warranties or don't bother telling people about free repairs to correct deficiencies.Toyota is not any "saint".They,like any other product seller,are going to paint their product in the best possible light,and not disclose and downsides.
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(just waiting here for Sid to respond. Not holding my breath, but still...)
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I deeply appreciate you making my point for me. Just as multiple disinterested parties came up with the data to contradict the tobacco companies (which is what got them to admit that they had the same data), I'm still waiting for Elmo P. Anonymous to come up with the data to contradict Toyota.
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Um, I don't believe it's up to me to come up with anything. I simply warned you that Toyota in this case is in the same role as the tobacco companies, and that you'd be best to be wary.
What part of that didn't you understand, Sid?
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I note you edited out the comments about auto companies knowing about product defects in their vehicles(hidden warranties),yet not revealing them so they would not have to correct them at their expense,until enough 'incidents' occur and public indignation forces them to correct them,hoping that the owners would fix them themselves at their own cost.Also,the "lemon" laws that had to be passed to get auto companies to replace vehicles with major recurring defects.
Actually,disgruntled tobacco employees revealed that the companies had the data for many years.
It's also like the recent cellphone while driving debate;It's common sense that it's a dangerous distraction,and the data has not been collected sufficiently to prove it,but rational people still know that CP use while driving is dangerous.
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wrote:

NiMH and NiCd can only be recharged a number of times before their capacity drops off,and L-A batteries suffer from sulfation,electrolyte loss,and vibration/shock damage(material falls out of the lead grids,shorts the cell). Hot environments like the Southwest and Florida will shorten battery life further. I don't know of any rechargeable battery chemistry that can be recharged 100,000 times.
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wrote:

Well, a hybrids' certainly wouldn't need to unless it only got 3 miles per charge.
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wrote:

They get charged before they run completely down;partial charges,"topping off".They still are charge cycles.
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wrote:

However, they are not failing. Try googling "prius battery fail" and you will see about 10K hits with a ton of speculation about when the battery will fail and about failures of the 12 volt aux battery (which is as vulnerable as the 12 volt battery in conventional cars)... but good luck finding a report of one that has actually died a natural death. Then google "acura transmission fail" and you will get about 22K hits; why the transmissions are failing, what to do about the transmissions failing. One member of the Yahoo Prius group just had his150K mile service done on his 2001 and has done nothing but scheduled maintenance and tire replacement - no battery failure yet. That figures since Toyota warranties the hybrid system, including battery, for 8 years/100K miles (150K miles in CA). Even the original Prius, sold since 1998 in Japan, has no battery failure issues.
There is nothing in chemistry that limits the number of charge cycles for a primary cell. Edison cells, for example, have no natural limitations on charge/discharge cycles and usually last for decades but have poor energy density. We are familiar with lead acid and NiCads which have serious life limitations because of their particular chemistry so we assume all rechargables do. Then we look at the batteries in portable electronics - they are designed to charge as quickly as possible, have the highest possible energy density and be profitable to replace - and we decide no rechargable battery could last longer than a couple years... just as we might watch sprinters and conclude no human can run more than a mile.
When it comes down to it, the experiment is on the roads and has been successful for 7 years. At least one Prius has exceeded 200K miles http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Reliability.htm
Mike
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They don't call it the Toyota "Pious" for nothing.
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confised what i was saying. I wasn't saying

Hybrid drivers aren't that easy to categorize, either. Drive what you want - when we were looking at replacing the Nissan that kept me busy in the garage, we had two options (I'm the car authority in the family!) We could employ my favored and time proven tactic of buying a reliable model of car with at least 80K miles on it or we could buy a new hybrid. I saw no reason at all to buy a 21st century car with a 20th century power train, and I had looked forward to mass-market hybrids since I was introduced to the concept of hybrids some decades ago. The Civic Hybrid was hardly an improvement over the conventional Civic and was not in stock, but the Prius was just the ticket. Toyota had lept most of the barriers to electrifying the accessories (power steering and brakes were electric even then, and the A/C is electric in the current model.) The 8 year / 100K mile warranty on the hybrid system, combined with a *lot* of research, pretty much had me sold. I wasn't prepared for the driving experience, though. The 2002 model is a great chassis for city dwellers, with remarkable manueverability. The off-the-line acceleration is impressive, even here at 7000 ft where our turbo Volvo makes me wish we could do the Fred Flintstone thing until the turbo finally gets its mojo working. The power train is easily the smoothest available anywhere - since there is no transmission there are no shifts at all. We are approaching 50K miles and have done nothing but routine maintenance, replace the tires and replace a windshield that fell victim to the Arizona road rocks. We have taken several long trips in it and after three years we still love it.
I do know what you mean about the political bent of many Prius owners, though. As a Reaganite I do not see eye-to-eye with many of the other owners, whom Click and Clack characterized as "granola eating" and "tree hugging." Oddly, I've learned I am one of four former or current Lotus owners active in the Yahoo Prius group - and none of us hug trees. I miss my Europa, but the Prius is almost as much fun to drive in its own way... and *way* more reliable!
Mike
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OMG - I wasn't familiar with the Lupo, so I did a little research. See http://www.usatoday.com/money/consumer/autos/mareview/mauto497.htm for the USA Today report on an early test version. The truth is ugly indeed! Non-existent acceleration, maddening transmission behavior, rock-bottom comfort, and so much more. Talk about doing tricks to get fuel economy - this benighted little gremlin tries them all. No A/C of course, no P/S available, and a $3000 premium for the privilege of being abused by your car. This is the basis of the TD version the economy claims stem from.
http://uk.cars.yahoo.com/car-reviews/car-and-driving/volkswagen-lupo-1.4-e-1003151.html is more kind to the production "E" version of the car, but notes much lower economy - 54 mpg on the highway and 30(!) mpg in town. Our Prius gets real-world upper 40s in town, even with hills and stop and go traffic and frequent waits for trains.
Mike
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On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 18:53:16 -0700, "Michael Pardee"

this wiould be the 'lupo 3l' - and the link i gave a few days ago in the thread about the canadian test, right? Few things to remember. No PS - normal, its so small you don't need it. Don't need it in my 88 civic either. AC is not standard in european cars, its a hgih-equipment spec standard, or otherwise option. Most of europe you don't need it. the engine stop+start is something common to a fair few of the 'high effiiciency cars' The Rock bottom comfort - well thats an american reviewing a european only claim. Used to luxury boats, that get terribale millage, and well hes not in one, plus it was a pre-producton model. By contrst, the BBC's top reviewer (and one of the most influential reviewers in europe) tested the F150 recently. Thats the best selling vehicle in the US, and he tested a production model (the lightning in fact) and he said pretty much the same thing about the comforts, and the production quality. He liked the engine, but then, since he was about to take delivery of the new FordGT (which has the same engine0 i'm not surprised there. In short, i feel the usatoday reviewer was predjudiced by his american car standards, same as europeans are predjudiced against american vehicles (such as their amazement when they drove the caddie CTS, branding it 'the first american car to be able to handle a corner', so which I say "its about time"

Its a petrol engine, what doyou expect. the 1.7tdi is more efficient. though, 'return a combined fuel consumption figure of over 64mpg, although acceleration is rather limp" which is http://uk.cars.yahoo.com/car-reviews/car-and-driving/volkswagen-lupo-2002288.html on the combined lupo test.

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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com (Jason) wrote in 55.snlo.dialup.fix.net:

Lead-acid and other types of batteries (NiCd and NiMH,Li-ion)are already recycled,why should hybrid auto batteries escape that?
IMO,there would be valuable materials that could be recovered,in the amounts that will be discarded.
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Apparently, not. http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/WPIE/Batteries / ... After February 8, 2006, all batteries in California must be recycled, or taken to a household hazardous waste disposal facility, a universal waste handler (e.g., storage facility or broker), or an authorized recycling facility. ... It looks like that's partly due to federal regs, but I'm too lazy to look.

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55.snlo.dialup.fix.net:

Sure,there are many people who just toss their batteries in the trash,just because they are unaware of alternatives,or just take the easiest route.
But Radio Shack and other stores that sell batteries accept them for recycling.And most auto stores require a "core" fee that is refunded when you return the old LA battery,and they send them off for recycling.
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