Monthly Archives: March 2006

Hybrid Mechanics to be trained in Michigan

Alert all hybrid car owners especially those in Michigan, if you were wondering where would you go once that bumper-to-bumper warranty elapsed, then this news should put you to ease. Macomb County Community College in Warren, Michigan plans to start a 16-week hybrid repair course for its 950 students for the academic year 2006-07 school year.

Have no fear soon your local mom & pop auto repairs shops will be able to fix hybrids. Currently hybrid cars amount to 1% of the cars on the road and growing.
Source: www.theautochannel.com

EPA & Univ. of Toledo to jointly research advance car technology

To save energy and help the environment, EPA and the University of Toledo signed a cooperative agreement worth $1 million to develop advanced vehicle technology that will maximize fuel economy benefits and minimize emissions. EPA is providing $450,000 and the University of Toledo will cost share in support of the three-year agreement.

Albeit that a million dollars may not seem to be a exhorbitant amount of money, when it comes down to conducting research over 3 years, this is definitely the kind of inroads I like to see being made by organisations such as the EPA and researchers at the University of Toledo. Colloboration via research funding and joint ventures between the car giants and the scientific community will definitely bear fruit. I definitely agree with all the tasks outlined for this project but the fact that a part of this project will develop and train engineers in advance car technology is definitely a positive sign. I wish them the best of luck in their joint research undertaking.
Currently this is what the proposal between the EPA and Univ. of Toledo entails:

For more details click on: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/technology

Source: The Student Operated Press

http://www.hybridcars.com/news

Loremo LS scheduled for production in 2009

Mark had posted an article about the German super-efficient Loremo LS coupe that costs only EUR11,000 (approx. USD13,240) and featured a mind-blowing 157MPG mileage. Loremo AG has scheduled production to begin in 2009. Now the Loremo boast of being about two times cheaper and three times more fuel-efficient than the Toyota Prius. We will have to see it this hold true when Loremo AG puts rubber to the road in 3 years. Loremo AG plans on producing two models, the Loremo LS coupe with 2 cylinder/20HP turbo diesel engine, 0-60 MPH in 20 seconds, max speed 100MPH and the Loremo GT, with a 3-cylinder/50HP turbo diesel engine, 0-60MPH in 9 seconds, max. speed 137MPH. For more information on the specs. check out Loremo.com.

Source: http://loremo.com/index_en.php
http://www.siliconbeat.com

Fuel efficiency and hybrid battery replacement cost

Did you know that only 16% of energy is transferred to the wheel from a conventional gasoline engine, and apparently 70% of it is lost in the form of heat via the exhaust and the radiator, and then divide the rest between drag, friction and braking. On the other hand a Toyota Prius transfers about 32% of the energy to the road. But the additional benefit is that you reduce CO2 emissions, even though we all know that even the most efficient engine will still produce some CO2, hence reducing the environmental impact caused by such greenhouse gases.
Another concern is that down the road current hybrid users/potential hybrid owners may be concern that once their cars have passed that car/battery warranty, what happens then if ones hybrid car battery dies. Let me put this very simply, if you can afford the hybrid, just pay for the battery ($2000). Till date no Toyota Prius battery has needed replacement. As a past owner of two old cars, my wife and I have ended spending a couple of thousand dollars every year just to keep those gas guzzlers running. So you know how I feel.

Source: Battery replacement cost big question for hybrids 5
Mercurynews.com

100 miles to the gallon plug-in hybrids

By the looks of things there is a big push on car makers to develop a plug-in hybrid car that can travel a 100 miles on a single gallon of gasoline. The million dollar question is, are plug-in hybrids economically viable at this point of time and when the technology hits the market are hybrid users going to spend another $10,000 or more just to upgrade to a plug-in kit. I would watch and wait before doing anything. Plug-in hybrids, which use larger batteries than regular hybrids to travel up to 60 miles on electricity alone, come courtesy of the same type of California garage tinkerers who invented Ping golf clubs and Apple computers.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Plan on buying a Hybrid, then be quick

If you plan on buying a hybrid and wish to take advantage of the tax breaks, which could amount to $3000 or even a bit more depending on certain factors. But hurry soon, because once the car manufacturer reaches the magic number (60,000) the tax credit will be phased out.
Toyota is expected to hit that number sometime between June and October. Honda is not expected to hit its limit until the end of this year or beginning of 2007. And experts expect the tax credit on Fords to be available into 2007.

I have attached a .pdf doc that give estimated tax credit for various car models for 2006.

Sporty Hybrid Insight

EPA named the Honda Hybrid Insight as the most fuel efficient vehicle in its class (66 MPG/MT only). For under $21,000 this car is a sporty little thing. For a car with only 1.0L , 3 cylinder engine, this car sounds peppy and probably is too. Now here is a car I would like to take for a spin someday.
Check out the review.

Honda Accord Hybrid Vs Toyota Prius

Honda Accord Hybrid Toyota Prius Hybrid
Price: Approx. $30,000 Approx. $20,000
MPG: 30/37 60/51
Engine: 3L V6 1.5L 4 cylinder
Speed (0-60): 6.5 seconds 10.2 seconds

Source: Vehix

I wanted to see how the Honda Accord Hybrid was in comparison to the Toyota Prius, if you want a car with some oomph and the Honda Accord Hybrid 253-hp, V-6 gives you just what you want. You end up getting a sleek luxury car, with all the trimmings, engine power and you get to say that you drive a car that is a partial zero-emission vehicle (PZEV). So if you are looking for a hybrid sports sedan, this is the car you want. Check out Forbes for the review.