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A compilation of recent news clippings regarding the future of hybrids:

TOKYO, Sept. 5 - With Hurricane Katrina pushing American gas prices above $3 a gallon at the pump, Toyota Motor may find itself in the right place at the right time, with a new, half-mile assembly line capable of producing gasoline-electric hybrid Prius cars at the rate of one a minute.

The line, in a factory in Toyota City, is part of a strategy by Japan's largest company to expand hybrids from a niche in the marketplace (just 5 percent of its American sales now) to mainstream (25 percent of its sales by 2010).

With oil prices in the range of $70 a barrel, Toyota's investment in energy-saving technology may seem an easy bet. But the gamble by Toyota, the pioneer in producing hybrids, still faces a variety of major challenges, among them increased competition, new tax rules that favor its American competitors and a spreading realization among car buyers that not all hybrids offer big savings on gas.

The increasingly competitive marketplace for hybrids may prove to be the biggest challenge for Toyota, whose goal for early in the next decade is to sell a million hybrids worldwide, including 600,000 to Americans.

By 2008, Americans can expect to see 10 hybrid models from Toyota, but also a dozen from such brands as Mercury, Dodge, Chevrolet, Nissan and Porsche, as those automakers realize that fuel efficiency may become an important marketing tool.

"I would like to get more hybrids out of our system because I do think it's something that is here to stay," William Clay Ford Jr., chairman and chief executive of Ford Motor, told reporters in Detroit on Aug. 23. Last fall, Ford introduced a hybrid version of its Escape sport utility vehicle, the first of several hybrids planned.

At the same time, the energy bill signed by President Bush on Aug. 8 effectively gave a break to American manufacturers by extending what could be a tax credit of as much as $3,400 per car to purchasers of the first 60,000 hybrids sold by a company. The credit phases out after that. Toyota sold more than 60,000 hybrids in the first six months of this year, so the tax law seems intended to help General Motors and Ford.

Nissan is expected to produce a hybrid version of its Altima in 2006. General Motors, the largest carmaker in the world, and DaimlerChrysler, the fifth-largest carmaker, have signed a deal to develop hybrid vehicle technology jointly.

Honda, too, is trying to increase sales of its hybrids, although it is not staking out lofty goals for expansion. Sales figures indicate that Honda, the second-biggest Japanese carmaker in the American market, will sell about 42,000 hybrids in the United States this year, largely Civics. Although this will be a 55 percent jump over last year, the total will be small compared with Toyota's forecast hybrid sales in the United States of 140,000. Hybrids account for about 3 percent of Honda's sales in the United States.

"We believe the market for hybrid cars will expand in North America," Kenzo Suzuki, the executive chief engineer of Honda. "We want to be ready to expand. Our thinking is the gasoline price will continue to go up. With that in mind, we have to develop hybrid cars."

September 8, 2005

BMW, the world's largest luxury carmaker, will join General Motors and DaimlerChrysler to develop fuel-saving gasoline-electric power systems to try to catch up with the hybrid leader, Toyota.

BMW intends to have an agreement with G.M. and DaimlerChrysler later this year, the companies said yesterday. G.M. and DaimlerChrysler said in December that they would develop hybrids to offer better fuel economy and create fewer emissions than conventional gasoline engines. They signed a deal on Aug. 22.

G.M. expects its first hybrid from the project to arrive in 2007, a decade after Toyota introduced the Prius, the world's best-selling hybrid auto. Toyota says hybrids may account for as much as 25 percent of its United States sales by 2010.

September 9, 2005

Last year, SAIC (Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp) pledged with another joint venture partner, General Motors Corp., to develop a demonstration vehicle using fuel-cell technology based on GM's HydroGen3 fuel-cell vehicle.
DaimlerChrysler AG is also testing three hydrogen fuel-cell buses in Beijing and Toyota Motor Co. intends to assemble and sell its gasoline-electric Prius hybrid in China.
 

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what I didnt realize..though is that you have to replace the batteries in the car at a certain interval..if you keep the car long term....was told that the batteries are 4K each to replace and there are two of them.....in the toyota ...is this in fact true?....somewhere around 80-90K mileage or 5 years.....

until the hybrids come down in price and are the same as the conventional models....and this battery issue..if it is one.....is solved.....still seems a bit cost prohibitive.....though a gas saver..but if you keep it long term...that battery replacement negates cost savings for me.....
 

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Hope this helps. Ford has a warranty on their's: 8 years or 100,000 miles.

How long does the Prius battery last and what is the replacement cost?

The Prius battery (and the battery-power management system) has been designed to maximize battery life. In part this is done by keeping the battery at an optimum charge level - never fully draining it and never fully recharging it. As a result, the Prius battery leads a pretty easy life. We have lab data showing the equivalent of 180,000 miles with no deterioration and expect it to last the life of the vehicle. We also expect battery technology to continue to improve: the second-generation model battery is 15% smaller, 25% lighter, and has 35% more specific power than the first. This is true of price as well. Between the 2003 and 2004 models, service battery costs came down 36% and we expect them to continue to drop so that by the time replacements may be needed it won't be a much of an issue. Since the car went on sale in 2000, Toyota has not replaced a single battery for wear and tear
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From what I have read, the biggest problem with hybrids is that they don't get the mileage they advertise on the EPA cycle, and in all actuality their mileage is about equal to an equivalent economy car with just an internal combustion engine. Add on top of that the fact the regular economy car costs far less and doesn't require expensive battery replacements, and it makes me think the hybrid craze is more hype and false advertising (EPA mileage estimates) than anything. Not to mention that some emergency personel and tow truck companies refuse to touch hybrids that have been in accident for fear of being electricuted from the electrical system in the car.

Also it seems a lot of the hybrid's good mileage is also a result of the car shutting off the gas engine when the car is just idling, with some from brake regeneration. The brake regeneration really could not be replicated on a gas only car, but GM is working on technology that would shut off the gas engine at idle, and immediately start it up when you press the gas for additional fuel savings.

I am not saying hybrids are bad. There are some advantages. They just don't look to be as big of an advantage as they appear to be on the surface. At least to me.
 

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Not sure why you state that the brake regeneration couldn't be replicated on a gas only car. I think you mean that there isn't any real use, since you can charge the battery... but it's getting charged by the alternator anyway, so no added benifit. You can put the technology there, but what's the point I guess on a gas only car.

I like the Hydrogen cars that GM has been working on. The only problem is the lack of a distribution system. It's one of those chicken before the egg things... nobody wants to develop a distribution system until there is someone to buy the hydrogen. That's going to be one of the major problems I see.

Hybrids are nice cars (well, I've got a lot more experience with investigation on the Prius), and for what they do they do very well. I've been impressed with the few I've had the pleasure of tearing down and learning about.
 

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btw guys i own a 2004 toyota prius. have had it over a year. its true that because of the epa test limitaions the car doe not in general get more than what is listed. i get about 45 mpg in town. iget up to 60mpg if im in the "sweet spot" of about 45-55 mph. i gget 50 mpg at 70 mph. all in all pretty good. typical toyota. just runs is not fussy. it is by far the most pracitcal car ive ever owned. no drawbacks that ive run into. thats why im getting (if it ever arrives) a sollstice. i need the fun vim and vigor.
if you have any prius questions dont hesitate.
fred from nashville :cool:
 

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Fformula88 said:
From what I have read, the biggest problem with hybrids is that they don't get the mileage they advertise on the EPA cycle, and in all actuality their mileage is about equal to an equivalent economy car with just an internal combustion engine. Add on top of that the fact the regular economy car costs far less and doesn't require expensive battery replacements, and it makes me think the hybrid craze is more hype and false advertising (EPA mileage estimates) than anything. Not to mention that some emergency personel and tow truck companies refuse to touch hybrids that have been in accident for fear of being electricuted from the electrical system in the car.
They also cost more up front in MSRP too.
 

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rlhammon said:
Not sure why you state that the brake regeneration couldn't be replicated on a gas only car. I think you mean that there isn't any real use, since you can charge the battery... but it's getting charged by the alternator anyway, so no added benifit. You can put the technology there, but what's the point I guess on a gas only car.
You got it. I just didn't elaborate on it. However, the system really would yield very little gain on a non-hybrid. Maybe it would make a small fuel mileage increase since the alternator wouldn't need to work as hard to power the normal electrical system, but probably not nearly enough to make it worthwhile.

I find the hydrogen cars interesting too, but they have their own problems. Particularly, how the hydrogen is manufactured. If it is manufactured out of fossil fuels, it really ends up being less efficient than IC engines.

MCEB, also a very good point. From a pure financial standpoint, they cost so much more that the added savings at the pump wouldn't really make up for the premium price.
 

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I don't think anyone has mentioned another drawback to hybrids. Another type of pollution. All batteries have emissions. Also, what will the costs be for recycling? I think hybrids are a gimmick. More efforts should be invested in getting the same mileage out regular engines. They're very close now as Fformula88 pointed out. What really irritates me is that they are getting credit for huge mileages that they don't actually get, and now the govenment is going to give them a big boost. But if the other manufacturers do find a way to match mileage with regular engines, Toyota may be making a huge tacticle mistake. Time will tell. The only way I would get one is if it's the only thing offered, and I say heaven forbid!
 

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just in passing my prius was 22,000.dont know about battery pollution. do know its got 150,000 mile battery warranty. so i still say its very prctical and still find no real draw back. it is definitely not a sportscar. but it is terrific in all other ways. ooops forgot the gov sent me 2000 dollars in tax rebate. also so low in pollution they are in a class by them selves. if all that is so why do i want a solstice. well ive been driving sportscars for about 30 or more years. there is nothing like going down the road setting up for a sweeper. heel and toe double clutching feeling the snick of a great shft and being pushed back as you match your revs and feel the g s pushing you back. open air. good looking babe beside you. ooooops im flashing back. well anyway hope you get the idea :cool: :)
fred from nashville
 

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mrfredsporty said:
just in passing my prius was 22,000.dont know about battery pollution. do know its got 150,000 mile battery warranty. so i still say its very prctical and still find no real draw back. it is definitely not a sportscar. but it is terrific in all other ways. ooops forgot the gov sent me 2000 dollars in tax rebate. also so low in pollution they are in a class by them selves. if all that is so why do i want a solstice. well ive been driving sportscars for about 30 or more years. there is nothing like going down the road setting up for a sweeper. heel and toe double clutching feeling the snick of a great shft and being pushed back as you match your revs and feel the g s pushing you back. open air. good looking babe beside you. ooooops im flashing back. well anyway hope you get the idea :cool: :)
fred from nashville
Don't get me wrong. I do not dislike hybrids. I am all for technology advances that may help us lower emitions and lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

For the sake of argument, even if hyrbids are not really any more efficient, or as cheap as regular economy cars, they are doing one very positive thing. They are getting people interested in saving fuel, and getting people to buy an efficient vehicle because it is a neat vehicle (because of all the tech in it). I bet a large percentage of Prius owners would never have even looked at a typical economy car, but they are drawn to the Prius (and others) because they are more than a typical econobox. They are a technology rich vehcile that sends a powerful message. In a way, they are like what the SUV was 10 years ago, the new "in" thing to have.

Also interesting is that the demand for the Prius is far greater than the other hybrids on the market. Most analysts think it is because it has a definate, unique look to it which is easily recognizable. Others, the Accord and Civic Hybrid, Ford Escape SUV, Lexus RX all look like a regular car. People seem to want to show off their gas saving decision.

So even if in a practical light, the Prius isn't that much better (or any better) than a typical highly efficient car, it certainly has other advantages such as the attention it is attracting to hybrids, and at least looking at fuel mileage and emissions in purchase decisions, regardless of what vehicle is bought.
 

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So even if in a practical light, the Prius isn't that much better (or any better) than a typical highly efficient car, it certainly has other advantages such as the attention it is attracting to hybrids, and at least looking at fuel mileage and emissions in purchase decisions, regardless of what vehicle is bought.
Commie. You've lost your mind since you became a Super Moderator...
j/k, please don't ban me :willy: ... :D
 

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My only issue is, I love performance. The terms 'hybrid' and 'performance' go together about as well as oil and water. I'm just a pollutin sonofabitch I guess, but I'm happy to say I'll stay that way. Unless however, they get some badass RWD hybrid that can smoke the tires... but again like I said; oil and water. I doubt hybrids will ever reach that point.

A good example, if you've seen I, Robot then you can probably remember that all the cars are electric and they're all robot driven as well. And Will Smith's character owns (what is likely one of the last rare gas powered vehicles) a motorcycle. It's like that. Even if the world went to all hybrids, I'd still find a way to enjoy my favorite high-powered (all gas) sports car... one way or another. :D
 

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dori-san said:
My only issue is, I love performance. The terms 'hybrid' and 'performance' go together about as well as oil and water. I'm just a pollutin sonofabitch I guess, but I'm happy to say I'll stay that way. Unless however, they get some badass RWD hybrid that can smoke the tires... but again like I said; oil and water. I doubt hybrids will ever reach that point.

A good example, if you've seen I, Robot then you can probably remember that all the cars are electric and they're all robot driven as well. And Will Smith's character owns (what is likely one of the last rare gas powered vehicles) a motorcycle. It's like that. Even if the world went to all hybrids, I'd still find a way to enjoy my favorite high-powered (all gas) sports car... one way or another. :D
:agree: And one of the issues to me is that with advancing technology so much more could be done to squeeze more power and better fuel economy out of IC engines, instead of weird compromises.
 

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Editguy said:
Commie. You've lost your mind since you became a Super Moderator...
j/k, please don't ban me :willy: ... :D
Commie? :( Thats a little harsh.

What is wrong with trying to bring attention to saving a little bit of natural resources. I am not proposing nay ultra-liberal, force people into public transportation or Smart cars only things. People can still drive as big and powerful a vehicle as they want, but if consumers begin demaning those vehicles be as useful as they are now and more efficient, manufacturers will engineer them to be as useful with better economy. For instance, I like my Jeep Wrangler, but it is a gas hog. I'd gladly buy one that got even 10% better economy (as long as it wasn't drastically more expensive), as long as I didn't have to suffer lower performance or ability.

These technologies are even now starting to creep into vehicles. GM's electric assisted power steering removes the hydraulic pump from the vehicle, which saves some fuel economy. GM, Chrysler, and Honda employ some engines with "Displacement on Demand" which increase mileage without performance penalties. Even better aerodynamics on big SUV's, modest weight savings, direct injection gasoline engines, etc etc. The tech is out there. It just isn't widely available yet because people are not demanding those vehicles be more efficient yet.

We can have our big vehicles, high performance levels, and our fuel economy (relatively speaking).
 

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dori-san said:
My only issue is, I love performance. The terms 'hybrid' and 'performance' go together about as well as oil and water. I'm just a pollutin sonofabitch I guess, but I'm happy to say I'll stay that way. Unless however, they get some badass RWD hybrid that can smoke the tires... but again like I said; oil and water. I doubt hybrids will ever reach that point.

A good example, if you've seen I, Robot then you can probably remember that all the cars are electric and they're all robot driven as well. And Will Smith's character owns (what is likely one of the last rare gas powered vehicles) a motorcycle. It's like that. Even if the world went to all hybrids, I'd still find a way to enjoy my favorite high-powered (all gas) sports car... one way or another. :D
Actually, hybrid and performance should go together like peanut butter and jelly. Right now, hybrids are being billed as an avenue to ultra high fuel economy. That is because the electric motors are generally being teamed up with high efficiency, small engines.

However, the Accord hybrid breaks from this. The hybrid powertrain is teamed with the regular Accord V6 to give the car more power and better acceleration than the standard V6 accord. Even with the added performance, it also promises better mileage based on EPA numbers.

Mitsubishi showed a concept hybrid Eclipse a year or two ago that did a similar thing. Having a hybrid powertrain supplement the gas engine for added power and quiicker acceleration.

The economy is one benefit of hybrids, essentially because the brake regeneration recaptures the energy used to accelerate the car when you slow it back down allowing that energy to be re-used again instead of lost. If you check a hybrid's highway MPG number with a regular car, they are generally close. Some hybrids get better MPG city than highway. This brake regeneration is why. When cruising long highway distances, that brake regeneration feature is negated, since you are not slowing/starting. You essentially run on the I/C engine. In city stop and go, you are contiually recapturing the energy you lose when starting and stopping, requiring less new energy (gas) to be burned.

Yet, the other offest of these powertrains is that the electric motor offers additional power on top of the I/C engine. So they very much can offer greater performance as well as possible. It just isn't the current focus of the technology's application.
 

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Fformula88 said:
Commie? :( Thats a little harsh.

What is wrong with trying to bring attention to saving a little bit of natural resources. I am not proposing nay ultra-liberal, force people into public transportation or Smart cars only things. People can still drive as big and powerful a vehicle as they want, but if consumers begin demaning those vehicles be as useful as they are now and more efficient, manufacturers will engineer them to be as useful with better economy. For instance, I like my Jeep Wrangler, but it is a gas hog. I'd gladly buy one that got even 10% better economy (as long as it wasn't drastically more expensive), as long as I didn't have to suffer lower performance or ability.

These technologies are even now starting to creep into vehicles. GM's electric assisted power steering removes the hydraulic pump from the vehicle, which saves some fuel economy. GM, Chrysler, and Honda employ some engines with "Displacement on Demand" which increase mileage without performance penalties. Even better aerodynamics on big SUV's, modest weight savings, direct injection gasoline engines, etc etc. The tech is out there. It just isn't widely available yet because people are not demanding those vehicles be more efficient yet.

We can have our big vehicles, high performance levels, and our fuel economy (relatively speaking).
Oh, oh. You seem to have lost your sense of humor since you became super! it was a joke! Sorry if you took it seriously. I don't think you're a commie :)
 

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Editguy said:
Oh, oh. You seem to have lost your sense of humor since you became super! it was a joke! Sorry if you took it seriously. I don't think you're a commie :)
I knew you were making a joke, and did laugh too. :) So don't take my frown smilie too seriouisly. ;)
 

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Fformula88 said:
I knew you were making a joke, and did laugh too. :) So don't take my frown smilie too seriouisly. ;)
Cool, it's all good then! You're a little pinkie maybe, but not a full blown commie! :D
 
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