Hybrids - Toyota vs Honda

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notbob wrote:


Just because your dream system hasn't happened is not evidence that the boogie man exists or that he is THE OIL INDUSTRY. Saps like you fell for the fish carburator nonsense as well.
John
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My satellite phone has the same type of battery as used in the Pruis. It is about the size of a thick postage stamp and it costs $52 to replace. ;)
mike hunt
"Michael Pardee" writes:

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In portable electronics the most important design characteristics are power density, light weight, barely affordable replacement cost, and short, spectacular life. The last two are economic considerations. In the Prius power density and light weight are not very important at all, the replacement cost is what it is (since it is not designed to be replaced), and the life is designed to match the life of the rest of the car. If you were willing to have a much larger and heavier battery that used only a third of its potential capacity, and a very sophisticated and expensive charger that was always connected to a charging source when the battery was in use, your battery could easily outlast your satellite phone. I doubt you would like it, though.
Mike
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So you would like us to believe the useful life of a Pruis is 8yr 100K? A Corolla that can be had for 5,000 less will easily last to 200k or more, don't you think All the more reason one would be better off buying a Corolla ;)
mike

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No - the *warranty* is 8 yr/100K miles. Engine warranties (like the one in the Corolla) are typically 3 yr/36K miles, but I'm sure you expect more.
Mike
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Proving exactly what?
Most of the battery-powered devices around my house (headlamps, walkie-talkies, portable radios, alarm clocks, GPS receives) use the same type of battery as in the Prius. They're about a buck each. I get them at Target or some big-box store and recharge them until the kids accidentally throw them out instead of swapping them out.
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C. E. White wrote:

We shall see. NiMH batteries typically have a reduced charge cycle lifetime compared to NiCADs. That is one reason NiMH never caught on in power tools where a contractor might cycle a battery several times per day.
Lifetime in cars is going to be highly variable depending upon usage patterns and random manufacturing variations.
John
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The Prius first went on sale in Japan in 1997, 8 years ago. I don't have solid information, but AFAIK no reports have come out about failures of those batteries.
As you say, we shall see.
Mike
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Michael Pardee wrote:

Clearly not every Prius owner is a happy owner. Look here:
http://www.epinions.com/auto_Make-2002_Toyota_Prius/display_~reviews/sec_~opinion_list/pp_~2
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John Horner wrote:

http://www.epinions.com/auto_Make-2002_Toyota_Prius/display_~reviews/sec_~opinion_list/pp_~2 But out of those 18 polled, only 1 reported a premature battery failure.
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That is the link I posted somewhere above as a tinyURL. Note the battery failure post is awry; there is no sulfur in the hybrid battery (NaOH electrolyte, not H2SO4). The 12V aux battery, which does have a fairly high failure rate, is an AGM battery. It can produce sulfur dioxide, while the hybrid battery can't.
Still, no car makes everybody happy.
Mike
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approaching 200K miles the HV batteries so far have been supremely reliable. It's instructive to Google "honda transmission fail" and look over some of the 391K hits. Why they fail, which ones fail, what to do about the failed ones... and then to Google "prius battery fail." It returns 70K hits presently, and the only one I see offhand ( http://tinyurl.com/ahc2x ) that purports to be a failed battery is clearly bogus: the complainant says the battery released sulfur dioxide in large amounts when it failed, but there is no sulfur in the NiMH battery Toyota uses. The rest are mainly speculation about how long the battery might last. If you are in California or a handful of other states, Toyota will pay the full replacement cost for 10 years or 150K miles. In the other states it is 8 years or 100K miles. Not sure about Canada.
Mike
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Wanna bet the replacement cost is prorated, not fully covered by the warranty?
mike hunt

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Nope - 100% covered.
Mike
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Sorry its a bit late, just catching up after a bit...
wrote:

Problem is, lithiums are dangerous. When punctured, they have a distressing tendency to, at best burn, at worst explode. Well, if you live somewhere like the sahara, you might be ok, but moisture in the Air + punctured cell n(such as after a crash) = BOOM. thats why. Its well documented in RC aircraft. Oh, also their chargers are MUCH more expensive and complex. and generally have worse charge/discharge curves. Can't go by 'Ah rating' alone (since thats determined by a 20hour discharge)

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Thank you for the exerpts, Steve.
A reason why my wife & I opted for the Prius is that it is such a *usable* car. The premium MSRP buys you an intelligently designed transportation system, not just an ordinary car with a modified propulsion package.
All the hybrids have been pared down in various weight-saving ways, but sometimes I have to wonder at the decisions. The hybrid Accord, e.g., has no spare tire. In its place you get a can of puncture-sealer to spray in through the valve stem. Fine if your tire picked up a nail, uselss if it hit road debris; fine if you're in a metropolitan area, infuriating if the nearest help is the gas station you passed a long time ago.
There are good ways to save weight. It's instructive to test a hybrid's body panels with a magnet.
Brent.
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Steve wrote:

The Accord hybrid is almost as bad of an idea as the 8 cylinder powered VW Passat was (not quite that bad though). Pushing an Accord into Acura TSX pricing levels really makes no sense.
Now Diesel powered Accords and Civics getting better than hybrid fuel economy in the real world and selling for no more that a $999 premium over the gasoline engine car ... that would be a great idea!
John
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Not if you live in NY or CA though!

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Supposedly the low-sulfer fuels will be rolled out in 2006 which should solve the emissions regulations problems for diesels. Even so, there are a whole lot of vehicles sold in the other 48 states!
John
Sapper wrote:

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When we were shopping for a new car three years ago, we only looked at hybrids. There were four Prius on the lot, and no Civic hybrids to even test drive, so the choice was pretty much made at that point.
We couldn't be happier. The only repair we've done in those three years is replacement of a broken windshield. The transmissionless Prius is a joy to drive; my wife wouldn't have a manual (she knows how but doesn't like it). There is 50K miles left on the hybrid system warranty (including the battery... the hybrid system warranty is 10 yrs/150K miles in about half a dozen states but only 8 yr/100K in AZ). We average upper 40s mpg in real world driving, more around town where we do the most driving. It's clean, quiet, comfortable, responsive and superbly maneuverable. What's not to like?
On the diesel front, count me out. I just got a new work truck last month - a TDi F350 Super Duty. As a work vehicle there's a lot to like. It gets easily double the fuel economy of my previous gasser. On the highway, the power is phenomenal... at 25 psi boost I'm not surprised! Off the line is a whole different story. Making a left turn across traffic requires great patience and sometimes the kindness of strangers. I wish I had four feet: one for the accelerator, one for the clutch, and two more to do the Fred Flintstone thing. Add in the clatter and smell and it just isn't something I'd want in a family car.
Mike
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