Category Archives: Hybrids

Hybrid Mileage chasers…

So you own a Prius but have never been able to get to that magic number. Now before many of you non-hybrid user’s start thinking that magic is involved let me warn you, no magic is involved. Every Prius hyrbid driver dreams of getting 50 MPG, but sometimes dreams do not always come true. I found this one article, where this person seemed obsessed with not being able to get 50 MPG. Check it out:

Hybrid owner obsesses over every last bit of mileage

Come on, you get 47/48 even 49 MPG, that is twice the amount over some of the conventional cars. Get a grip of yourself man. The only way this driver was able to achieve his goal was by driving with A/C off, windows up, tire pressure at the right level and shoes off. I think driving without shoes may have been the extraneous factor. Again this is just my bloody opinion. But, you know what I am going to start driving barefoot too next summer, wait and watch out for the “Barefoot Driver’s Guidebook”.

Source: http://www.mercurynews.com/

Do hybrids pose a greater threat than ordinary cars in a crash?

Recent research tends to point out that hybrids do not pose any greater harm than its conventional gas cousin as long as “all safety procedures as outlined by the drivers safety manual are followed”, in event of a crash. Ok, now who in the hell reads the drivers manual word for word, please raise your hand. What these guys are saying is just to cover to there behinds in event of a law suit.

Also, when one is in such an adrenaline rushing scenario, do these guys think that a person will have the time to go into the glove box, retreive the manual, then look up the index and find safety procedures. You have got to be kidding me. Check out what one of Honda’s training instructors has to say with regard to this in an interview.
In an effort to allay these fears, the manufacturers post manuals outlining rescue procedures online, and they have provided safety courses to emergency workers, including hands-on training. The bottom line, according to Honda training instructor Jesus Almeida, is that hybrid vehicles cause no greater concern for passengers or rescuers in the event of a collision than other vehicles. However, laden with similar loads of gasoline, antifreeze, and other potentially dangerous fluids, hybrids don’t pose any less danger, either.

Usually all fire and rescue personnel have undergone vigorous training, however additional training for dealing with incidents where hybrid vehicles are involved should become a mandatory part of they training, if it has not already.

Source: http://autos.msn.com/advice

Can too many cooks spoil the broth…

GM has teamed up Chrysler & BMW, and have plans on taking on Toyota and its hybrid technology head on. Now we all know two brains are better than one, lets see what we get out of three. Imagine the amount of resources these guys will be pooling together, instead of competing with each other, these auto giants will be able to produce a hybrid car that can potentially beat the Pruis, albeit it may be a few years before we see a prototype, but imagine having a hybrid that has the power of a GM truck, sleek design of a BMW and looks like the Chrysler Crossfire. To catch Toyota, GM and its partners are adopting common specifications for a hybrid system built around a GM automatic transmission. They will use a single factory to build hybrid systems, a GM plant in Baltimore, achieving economies of scale none could realize on its own. The three-way alliance on gas/electric hybrids is a sign of the times as automakers search for partners as a way to save money globally on purchasing, product development and new technology.

Source: Hybrid Efort: Trio takes on Toyota

High gas prices make Hybrids worth it

High gas prices now make it worth owning a hybrid. Previously many auto car analyst did make sense when they said “Do not buy a hybrid if you plan on saving money at the pump”. However, times have changed and the auto research gurus are having a change of heart.
Last week, Edmunds analysts reversed their stand on hybrids, saying that some of them now make good financial sense. Consumer Reports said it also is looking into updating its analysis, factoring in today’s higher gasoline prices and more recent sales incentives.
Three major factors have changed in calculating the cost-advantages of hybrids: Gasoline prices are higher, premiums over sticker price have come down, and the federal tax incentive changed this year from a tax deduction to a tax credit.

Source: http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/15415810.htm

Update: Are Hybrids worth it now?

The last three weeks have been crazy, especially since I got a job offer and started work three weeks ago, I have been swamped, but now that things are finally getting down to a routine (sort of), I was totally cut off from the rest of the world, gas prices are at $78 a barrel, people are bombing each other, Italy won the Football World Cup (not without controversy), what the hell happened in the last four weeks. So with gas currently retailing anywhere between 2.89-3.05 a gallon in Ypsilanti, MI, is it worth owning a hybrid now. We all know that the initial cost of hybrids are high but these cars give about 20 miles more than conventional vehicles and for every gallon of gas saved on a hybrid, that prevents 18 pounds of CO2 being emitted. But mileage alone isn’t enough to outweigh hybrids’ disadvantages for most drivers, said Philip Reed, consumer advice editor for Edmunds.com, a consumer finance-oriented Web site. Looks like that Smart car option is looking better day by day.
Source: http://news.enquirer.com/

GM to produce plug-in hybrid

Newsflash from GM (apparently off the record), GM plans on building a plug-in hybrid that can be recharged from any domestic electric outlet. GM plans on unveiling this car at the Detroit Auto Show next year. GM now wants a share of the hybrid market which the Big Three lost out to Toyota. General Motors Corp., losing sales to fuel-efficient cars from Toyota Motor Corp., is developing a hybrid-electric vehicle with a battery that recharges at any outlet.

Now that hybrid car demand is on the rise and the profit margins are attractive, GM wants a piece of the pie.
Source:

http://www.hybridcars.com/

http://www.bloomberg.com/

Toyota Camry Hybrid 2007

At 24K plus the new 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid is not overtly priced. Even though the difference between the conventional model and the hybrid is about $1500, is this car worth spending the extra cash and getting a hybrid which is much heavier and has less boot/trunk space. The Hybrid teams a 4-cyl gas engine with a battery-powered electric motor for 187 hp. Like Toyota’s other hybrids, it runs on one or both of its power sources depending on driving conditions and requires no plug-in charging. It uses a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) that provides near-infinite drive ratios.

For a detailed review on the Camry hybrid go to http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/sedans and judge for yourself if this is the hybrid for you.
Source:

http://www.vehix.com/

http://www.automobilemag.com/

Hybrid SUV’s

The next step in hybrid SUV development is to create a clean burning diesel-electric hybrid. The University of Wisconsin has entered “Moovada” in essence a Chevy Equinox which has been modified and has been entered in the Challenge X. The way current gas prices have been and since the trend is only going to rise further, maybe we should consider smaller fuel efficient cars instead of hybrid SUV’s. So this diesel hybrid Equinox can give 35 mpg instead of the usual 15-20 mpg but the fact remains that until and unless we do not have a diesel engine that produce less pollutants, gas hybrid sedans will continue to dominate the hybrid market.

Source: http://www.tgdaily.com/2006/06/09/hybrid_diesel_suv/

Prius Problem

My hybrid dream car would be a vehicle that does not stick out like a sore thumb by closely resembling a box. Even if I where able to buy a Toyota Prius, one problem I see when driving that car is that the way the rear end of the Prius has been designed. I believe that the blind spots may be a bit larger, even though I have never sat in one (note: I have inspected many very closely). Now I could be absolutely wrong and totally cross-eyed, so please correct if I am wrong, but from my prespective this could need some serious adjusting for the driver when a driver is looking out the rear of the Prius. Hope the designers at Toyota rectify this problem in they next top of the line hybrid that will ultimately replace the Prius one day. Cheers…,

Prius recalled due to faulty steering wheel component

Toyota Motor said Tuesday that it planned to begin a global voluntary recall of nearly 320,000 of its hot-selling Prius gasoline-electric hybrid sedans to repair a potentially faulty steering system component.

Apparently this recall is not specific to the Prius, Toyota is recalling 9 more models. Several faulty parts in the steering wheel system may cause drivers to lose control. At this precise moment no one has had an accident due to these faulty parts.
Source:

http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos