Wow - that screwy story is being quoted all over the place. It's hard to
know where to start with what's wrong with it, but a bit of checking into
the history and current status of that nickle plant in Ontario should
clarify just how bogus the story is. After that, consider how miniscule the
fraction of nickle output that goes into Prius batteries is and the
ludicrous assertion that the expected life of a hybrid is 100K miles (mine
had more than that when I bought it, and it drives like new)....
Don't worry, though. You probably won't be forced into buying a hybrid
anytime soon. When conventional power trains can't compete in either power
or efficiency, your choices may be limited, but I bet you could still buy a
20th century car even 30 years from now. Maybe even one with 4-wheel drum
brakes and recirculating ball steering and a Kettering ignition.
When I was a kid fascinated by electronics, the limitations and cost and
complexity of transistors spawned pronouncements that transistors would
never replace tubes. I knew tubes were finally doomed when transistors
became cheaper than tube sockets. Funny what technology does to our world.
early 21st century. I don't like rebooting my cars a few times
a day, but that might just be me silly. I wonder if the same
problems are delaying the production of the bastardized Elise
or Tesla has a simpler system. Someone is going to buy that fat pig
anyhow. There is Exige for half the price with 500 pounds
or so shaved for the rest of the population.
That's how it's life began before Toyoda knitting corporation weighted
it down with the nickel anchor.
I see you have no experience with the Prius. Mine is the second one in the
family; we bought my wife's 2002 new nearly 5 years ago and it has been by
far the most trouble free car I've ever owned. It has needed only routine
maintenance, tires and a replacement windshield (Arizona should be called
"the land of rocks") in all that time. The 2002 I bought with 103K miles
last year has almost exactly the same service history.
I got excited about hybrid technology when I first heard about it around 20
years ago. It's the answer to an engineer's prayer: The flexibility and
responsiveness of an electric car and the range of a fuel powered car.
Better yet, although car engines very rarely get into double-digit
efficiency range, a serial hybrid (not available commercially yet due to the
state of development of the higher power electrics) can manage 15-20%
In the meantime, the series-parallel hybrid power train in the Prius is only
one of its features and was not even in the original design. It was designed
from the ground up as a 21st century vehicle (the project was known as G21 -
see http://www.vfaq.net/docs/Prius_that_shook_world.pdf ). They did a great
job with the interior volume; we've taken long trips with 5 people in my
daughter's '93 Accord and in my wife's 2002 Prius... the Prius is definitely
roomier in back. The current models are even roomier, fitting the midsize
With the severe weather gone, I'm getting mid-40s mpg again. Much of that is
3 mile commutes, but I got 44 measured mpg on a 340 mile round trip to
Phoenix, complete with 75 mph freeways and a 6000 ft elevation change. And
we haven't seen anything yet.
(And you do reboot your car several times on an average day... that's the
rrr...rrr noise you hear when you turn the ignition key all the way to the
replacing the NiMH battery with lead-acid, no, it can't be done. The NiMH is
deeply integrated into the hybrid system via the cell bank monitoring. Since
the SOC/voltage curves for lead-acid are not the same as for NiMH the
battery would either fail to receive a charge or would persistently
Considering the 12V AGM lead-acid "aux" battery in Prius cars is as
troublesome as the 12V battery in other cars and the NiMH main battery is
extremely reliable at least up to the 200K mile mark (based on owner
reports), I don't see the reason to switch battery types.
On 21 Mar 2007 23:35:51 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Is someone claiming that the 2007 Prius will be cutting edge
technology for the next 50 years?
As for vacuum tubes, most televisions had them up until the 1980s or
so. Assuming you are old enough, did you postpone purchasing a
television until then because they had tube technology?
What problems? I have not hard of any serious design defects with the
What does the Tesla have to do with the Prius?
??? The current Prius was designed for the ground up to be a mid-size
The only notable part is the hybrid power train.
Remove that and you are left with an obviously shitty platform.
Tubes have their place in high end audio. Just like the prius:
niche technology adopted far wider than it should have been.
Taxis and mail delivery: maybe. I don't see what use
there is to the general public.
Design defects? You mean aside from being a boring piece of shit? As
for production defects there are plenty:
if you google enough you'd find a bit more with the older
Echo based crappola.
Same buggy electrical system I suppose. Too early to tell,
but judging by the delayed shipment of the first ones
they had serious problems going into production even
with the helping hand of Lotus. In all fairness the first
crop of bmw 3xx had their share of electrical problems also.
The problem is: prius is not half the car beemer is.
On 23 Mar 2007 10:36:03 -0700, email@example.com wrote:
Certainly the most notable aspect of the car, but it is otherwise a
competent family vehicle. Comfortable and reliable.
General transportation with excellent fuel economy. What's wrong with
Modified early production Prius being run in an unorthodox manner at
the Bonneville salt flats. This may have been related to the recall
problem discussed below. I don't recall any automotive reviews or
owner reports mentioning this as a problem, at least since the recall
If you want to rant about boring pieces of shit, why don't you pick on
the Dodge Caravan? The Prius doesn't have the performance I would
personally prefer, but it is interesting in its unconventional
So, the car had a recall. Lots of cars have recalls. Why pick on
this one? The Prius has an excellent reliability record.
The old model wasn't as good as the new one in many respects, but it
is still more reliable than just about anything that isn't a Toyota or
I doubt it. The Tesla is pure electric. Why would its electrical
system have anything to do with a Prius. Other than the glitch with
the recalled 04/05s (which have all been fixed by now), what Prius
bugs are you referring to? Be specific.
Argument by meandering non sequitur? Are we talking about Prius,
Tesla or BMW?
By all accounts, the Tesla is not a boring piece of shit. My personal
guess is that it will be an exciting piece of shit, assuming you can
get it somewhere fun to drive it without drastically depleting the
batteries. Buy a trailer and a pickup to haul it to the track.
Isn't it a little stupid to be comparing the Prius to a car (BMW 328)
that costs 50% more? Not to mention that the Prius will be far
cheaper to operate. The BMW will have much more luxury and
performance, but you will pay a lot for it, probably twice as much.
For most buyers, the Prius would be the best choice by far over either
of these other cars. The Tesla will be wildly impractical. The BMW
is mostly a status symbol. Not that it isn't fun to drive and
modestly luxurious, but most buyers don't know what to do with the
performance and equivalent luxury could be had in a far less finicky
(and somewhat less expensive) Japanese car.
the goddamn creation of the google braniacs lost my rant
about the shittiness of the Echo platform later stretched
into the modern day Prius here. Who wrote that composer widget???
Same guy who designed Echo?
We are talking about a car versus a transportation implement
among other things. The Prius being the latter and Tesla/BMW
being the former.
fix the front end, crash again and buy another Elise for the
amount of money you spent on the 500lbs heavier car.
Tesla is a no contender. It's too heavy.
??? If I compared it to G35/Z350 you would've discounted
my comparison less?
It's a pity but you might be right. I leave in the ubercompetitive
part of california and forget that there are places with the
pace of life of the mide west. Maybe I should relocate to cure
my authomotive enthusiasm.
On 26 Mar 2007 01:14:54 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
What you are talking about is a performance car versus a family car.
The BMW is a reasonable substitute for a Prius if you have the money
and want to spend it on a car. The Tesla is a toy, and a pretty
expensive one at that. For the price, there are a lot of other toys
that I would rather own.
Face it, some people either can't afford a BMW or simply don't care
about performance and luxury enough to fork over the extra cash. But
even if you enjoy sneering at such people, why pick on Prius owners.
Why not sneer at Corolla owners or Civic DX owners or owners of
whatever shit boxes GM, Ford and Chrysler are selling now.
Oh, don't get me wrong. There are a hell of a lot of cars that would
be more fun for less money, but the Tesla would still be fun (when it
Uh, no. You are still comparing cars that cost $10K more. In the
case of the Z car you are comparing a $33K sports car to a $23K green
family car. Does that sound like a reasonable comparison to you?
That explains a lot. Automotive enthusiasm is not your problem.
Superficiality may be. It is fine to enjoy high performance and/or
luxury in an automobile. It is more than a bit tacky to look down on
people because they can't afford an expensive car or simply value
different things in a car than you do.
I don't sneer at Civic DX owners. Aside from the
lack of A/C that people in some climates don't
need there is nothing to sneer at. Stick a hybrid
powertrain in it and it's still a decent car.
Yep, corolla is a different story though.
At about 85+ mph the steering calibration
and testing just was not performed.
Nothing is wrong with PT cruiser.
I just prefer BARs over Tommy submachine guns.
I'm sure it will be a fun city car
for people who don't keep a habit of running
out of gas, er, charge.
$23. To me both are fine family cars if you keep
inlaws in shape. Nevermind the 08 wrx. prius
looks prettier than that :-[
I don't look down on people who can't afford expensive
cars. I look down on people who are buying
cars that, as a whole, are a piece of junk
even though there are much better choices for thousands less.
But I guess you are partially right. No contest.
You've probably noticed there is a strong current of RTFM here. People who
don't RTFM too often come here because they didn't know they were supposed
to change their timing belts or use only Honda fluids in their AT or PS.
I guess you are a baby-boomer like me, and remember when an owner's manual
was only to tell you where the switches and fuses were, or how to place the
jack. Now every owner who ignores the manual will suffer, and a lot worse
than not knowing how to start the car!
Which I believe is a step backwards. Stepping away from standardization
in the end will hurt rather than help a manufacturer. It effects
everything from costs, selection and is a time consumer when life is
getting ever more complicated.
Since retiring, I've spent more time performing tasks which should be
"rolled in" regarding services, bill paying etc.
Maybe I should just sell everything and move to a tropical island and
just live off the land and take life one day at a time while ignoring
the useless squabbling going on in the world...
(So long as the coconuts don't run out that is!)
There is something to be said for standardization. I have trouble changing
from my Ford work truck to my Toyota. Twisting the left stalk controls the
wipers on the Ford and the headlights on the Toyota. My mother had a Renault
10, circa 1970. I was driving it one night and signaled for a right turn by
flipping the left stalk upward... which turned off the headlights! Guess I
should have been happy the steering wheel was on the left.
Not really. mid 30s. If I were older I
might have appreciated the softly sprung suspension
and intermittently noiseless operation while in the city.
On the highway it's useless naturally since the wind
noise drowns the engine noise unless you have a fart can
for exhaust I guess. Very unlikely on Prius :-]
to place the
Evasive maneuvers, eh?
Anyhow, that was just a one off car purpose built
i don't suppose you have to do the same in yours.
(Disclaimer - I have the sedan, not the hatchback.) The suspension is
typical of family cars of the same dimensions. The wind noise is not bad at
all; rather, road noise is mostly what the passengers hear. I had some
Pirellis on it that made a weird "flying saucer" noise on smooth pavement.
In town it is very hard to tell when the engine starts and stops, except for
the odd occasion when the engine lurches when it shuts down.
I'm not sure I follow you there, but the sedan version of the Prius is more
conventional in starting. Like any other auto tranny car, the "shifter"
(more properly, "mode selector") is left in Park and the driver puts his
foot on the brake while starting and while shifting into gear. IIRC the new
model, the hatchback, requires the car to be started with the brake
depressed. The version I have doesn't.
Even today, when one buys a CRT TV, that component is still a vacuum tube..
A note regarding the Tesla, I believe that it is solely electric. I'm
following the sedan design closely as if it works out, it is not all
that far (costwise) from being within range from an economic standpoint.
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