Ford and GM both have sold hybrids: The Ford Escape and the Silverdo both
have Hyrbid options. The Silverado will save about 2 mpg city on the and 1
mpg highway (2x4 only). That an increase of about 10%, meaning a savings of
1850 gallons of gasoline over 300,000 mi of driving.
The Ford Escape and Honda Civic will save about 3000 gallons of gasoline
over the 300,000 mi life of the vehicles.
>Toyota is getting it and a lot of it
What herd mentality? The original Hondas and Toyotas were really cheap
vehicles and not that great (like the old Hyundais). They didn't sell well
at first. However, Honda and Toyota and Datsun (now Nissan) improved their
vehicles while the US makers offered the same old quality.
Actually, I think the answer is that you need to build an entire line of
vehicles, from cheap vehicles (the Korean-made Chevy Aveo) to big cars and
trucks like the Silverado) or the Focus to Expedition. They all need to be
relatively good quality (considering the competition at the same price).
That is most likely was one of those import buyers who is tying to convince
himself, that the underpowered not so great import he paid way too much to
buy, is better than the domestics. I have 300K on a '71 Pinto that looks
and runs like new ;)
said in rec.autos.driving:
Actually Ford is ahead of the curve in what American buyers want, expanding
where the largest increase in sales are currently headed, crossovers, not
hybrids per se.
Toyota has a tendency to mix 'Toyota Motors' and the 'Toyota' brand in their
advertising and sales figures releases. IE they say Toyota is America
number one car brand, which is true but GM sells more cars, they just have
different brand names on the grill.
If you look at sales tends over the past ten years Toyota brand 'growth' has
been in trucks and SUVs, not cars. Growth for Toyota Motors has been in
Lexus brand and the addition of Scion. The best selling year for their lead
vehicle, the Camry, was three years ago in 2004. Camry sales have been
trending down, not up, in growth.
Currently what is helping Toyota, as well as other Japanese manufacturers,
is they have small cars available from foreign markets that can be easily
added to their mix of imports to meet the current midget car demand. On of
the problems is buyers in that economic group do no buy another new car
nearly as often as the average new car buyer in the US. History tells us
buyers that move to small and midget cars, who can afford larger cars, soon
move back up in size.
The Civic Hybrid decreases the amount of fuel used per 1000 mi from about 30
gallons (30/40 mpg EPA --33 mpg average in regular Civic) to about 20
gallons (49/51 mpg), saving 10 gallons of gas per 1000 mi driving.
If you increased the efficiency of a truck by the same amount so that a
truck that gets 16.5 mpg now gets 25 mpg, you would save twice the fuel, or
20 gallons per 1000 mi driven. Of course, you also need a bigger hybrid
The point is that hybrids, diesels and other energy-saving technology has
more potential to save fuel in big vehicles rather than small vehicles. That
might be where hybrids do the most good as far as saving energy.
Jeff cleverly chose the Honda Civic Hybrid for his example. My experience
is that the Hybrid averages 46mpg under the same mixed conditions where an
LX averages 33mpg. On the highway, the difference is 50mpg verses 38mpg.
The Prius is the one that has been getting the bad press, where the EPA
estimate of "60" doesn't match typical 45mpg observations. The Prius can't
be compared directly to its own non-Hybrid twin, because there is none.
Clarence A Dold - Hidden Valley Lake, CA, USA GPS: 38.8,-122.5
For my money, a gas-engine hybrid is not just a waste but a frivolity.
Diesel engine autos used to get roughly double (and sometimes more than
double) the mileage of the same model with a gas engine. I know the gap has
shrunk quite a bit, but I think that's mainly because there's more money in
gas engines, so more research is done on increasing the mileage of
I'm not all that sure though, someone please correct me if I'm wrong on any
Anyhoo, I suspect that a given car powered by a well-made diesel should get
at least 20% better mileage. But there's more.
Everyone knows that the output of an engine varies with RPM, but so does the
efficiency. What I can't understand is why someone doesn't make a hybrid
that runs off batteries, and uses a diesel engine which runs at a constant
RPM, the RPM at which it produces the most power per unit of fuel, to charge
the batteries only rather than to provide any power to the wheels.
I believe this would work well for a number of reasons.
First, it would eliminate some of the limitations of diesel engines in
cars--the relatively sluggish performance, the relatively narrow RPM range
and maybe some of the noise and vibration, because the motor mounting system
could be tuned to maximize its vibration-damping performance at the specific
RPM at which the engine runs. The intake and exhaust systems could also be
tuned to that RPM which might result in even greater efficiency.
In addition, the increased efficiency from the diesel by running it at its
optimal RPM may offset some of the power conversion losses in changing the
mechanical power of the diesel to electricity and storing it.
I could be wrong of course, but I suspect that such a car, if engineered
carefully, could actually offset the increased purchase price due to the
electric storage and drive system in fuel savings within a few years. I
would hope two years, three at the most. IMO if it takes more than three
years to make back the price difference, most people wouldn't consider it
If the diesel-electric got 50% more MPG (real-world mileage, not EPA
ratings) than its gas-engine counterpart, and the gas-engine car got 36 MPG
then the D-E should get 54 MPG and that would result in about $300 per year
savings given annual mileage of 12,000 and a gas price of $2.70 per gallon.
So that means the added cost of the electrics would have to be no more than
$900. Seems pretty unlikely. However, there would be some inherent savings
on the engine which would be smaller and simpler, also there'd be no
transmission or differential, which would further help to offset the price
increase from the electric drive system. In addition, if you were driving a
larger vehicle which got poorer mileage, the savings would be greater even
given the same percentage of fuel savings, annual mileage and price of fuel.
A vehicle that got 10 MPG with a gas engine, for example, would use 1200
gallons per year, and if switching to the diesel-electric powerplant
increased efficiency 50%, they'd use only 800 gallons, saving over $3200
over three years using the gas price of $270 per gal. Of course, the larger
vehicle would require more batteries and a bigger electric drive system, so
the price increase to the sticker would be more, offsetting some of the
What I'd like to find is a formula which could convert the price of
electricity per KwH into dollars per mile for a given vehicle. If it's
substantially less than the price of gas, then simply adding a plug-in
charging system would further boost the money savings per year and it
doesn't seem like it would add much to the cost of the vehicle.
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