The Hybrid Lie

Marty

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http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/28/...ble620265.shtml

Hybrid Gas Mileage Falls Short
CONNECTICUT, May 28, 2004

Pete Blackshaw was so excited about owning a hybrid car that he made a movie of his trip to the Honda dealer in Cincinnati. He filmed the dealer sticker for his new Civic hybrid, advertising 47 miles per gallon, and put a special plate on his new car that read "Mo Miles." But, as CBS News Correspondent Anthony Mason reports, instead of "Mo Miles" he got lower miles: about 32 miles per gallon. "When I realized the car wasn't getting the full mileage, I really felt let down," says Blackshaw.

Those official mileage estimates come from the Environmental Protection Agency. "The EPA numbers can be very misleading," says David Champion, chief of testing for Consumer Reports. Champion says most cars fall short of their EPA mileage estimates, but on its test track, Consumer Reports found, "the discrepancy for the hybrid vehicles was much, much bigger," particularly in city driving.

While the EPA rated the Honda Civic hybrid at 47 miles per gallon in the city, consumer reports got just 26 miles per gallon. The EPA rated the Toyota Prius at 60 miles per gallon in the city. "We actually got 35, so it's a big difference," says Champion.

Why the difference? The EPA tests cars on a machine that measures the exhaust. At Consumer Reports, they actually splice a fuel meter into the fuel line. Champion believes the Consumer Reports test it the toughest independent test out there. But Toyota and Honda say they're required to use the EPA numbers. "And they are mandated by the government for us to use in our advertising, so we have little flexibility in the numbers we can quote," says Gunnar Lindstrom of Honda.

But the EPA says that's not exactly true. While automakers are not allowed to advertise mileage numbers that are higher than what the EPA certifies, they can advertise lower ones.

Hybrids still get excellent mileage; just not what Blackshaw thought he was promised. "If the brand promise doesn't meet reality, it's a recipe for disappointment for everyone," says Blackshaw including his wife, who took some pictures and wanted a different car.

"She's pretty upset, and she's ready to huck my 'Mo Miles' license plate into the Ohio River," says Blackshaw. You'll get "Mo Miles" from a Hybrid, just as not as many "Mo" as advertised.
 

JDC

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A couple other facts not pointed out-

New motors get HORRIBLE fuel mileage. Check back with us after 50,000 miles

Hybrid vehicles are filling a niche - they're quiet- which appeals to consumers

Fuel mileage is also based on very gentle driving habits - not those of us who are in a hurry to get to the next red light

EPA test speeds for city driving was (I believe) 27 mph constant

EPS test speeds for hwy driving was (I believe) 49 mph constant

both on a flat surface - no hills etc.

and most importantly----

Direct Injected turbo 3 and 4 cyl diesels get FAR better fuel economy than hybrids with as low or lower emissions. Apparently the auto manufacturers don't feel the consumer in the U.S. is ready for another round of rattly motors in their econoboxes (except VW) plus production costs of a diesel drive the cost up, but with a lot of the fuel mileage figures I'm seeing from overseas diesels (60-80 mpg) I would prefer to spent the money on a proven concept that the drive train will out last the body and seats then blow money on some pathetic attempt to make a consumer feel warm and fuzzy.

 

Hunter29

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Personally, I am about to park my truck and buy a TDI VW just to use as a commuter car. I had the first generation VW diesels, great on everything except moving quickly. Since then, I have driven a TDI Golf and was very impressed on the power and get up and go it had.
 

JDC

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Hunter29-

I'm not sure how far you're driving everyday, but my wife and I drive from Hemet to Vista. I bought a new car for the commute because of reliability, but soon discovered that long before the car was going to be paid off I was going to have like 150,000 miles. This made no sense to me.

I have bought a couple real cheap cars (one 750.00 on 600.00) Yes, I have to put a little work into them now and again, but right now if I figured out what I've spent to keep them on the road (not counting oil and tires) I might spent 75.00-mo. in maintainance and upkeep. That's a heck of a lot cheaper than a car payment and high insurance.


One gets 30 mpg the other gets 38 mpg.
 

Hunter29

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Never said I would buy a new car..I live in Temecula and work in Riverside, and that 1968 Ford F100 with the 390 is putting me in the poor house. If I were to get on of those little TDI's, it would definitely be used, not about to dedicate myself to 5 years of payments.
 

chvyhs

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I'm not ready for a hybrid yet. I drive from Murrieta to the west side of Camp Pendleton everyday. I was using about $300 a month in my Suburban (it was on 38's). I ended up buying a 2002 Yamaha VStar that gets me about 45 miles to the gallon. So now I'm paying less than $30 a month.
 

PoorAim

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JDC, I'm with you.

I too am amazed at the hype of Hybrids. I wish more people
where educated on the physics of it all.

A hybrid vehicle still gets all of its energy from a gasoline internal
combustion engine PERIOD.

A TDI diesel engine is more effecient than a gasoline engine. FACT.

The only true efficiency gain the hybrids have, is the regenerative
braking, which is more than offset by the additional weight of the
batteries and complex electrical system.

If a new car was offered with the same (slow) performance as the hybrids,
new low resistance tires, etc...but with a TDI diesel, it would get better mileage. The VW TDI gets close to the mileage as the hybrids, but with more performance (and less cost). As was pointed out, diesels in Europe exceed the ratings of our hybrids. The thing is, our emissions regulations are setup to really be against diesels.

Hopefully consumers will start seeing the light. The manufactures are just doing what CARB pushes them to do, and they all want to seem "green" to buyers even though it is only a perception.


-PA
 

JDC

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I think once the refineries get the sulfer out of diesel fuel, you will see a whole new round of diesel commuter vehicles emerge from the woodwork and hopefully put the hyped up hybrids to rest once and for all.

Then Ballard can publically release it's fuel cell technology to the automotive world. Then hopefully we can start phasing out, or at least drastically reducing our independence on oil- especially foreign oil.

 

nickroy77

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I'm been on the lookout for a used diesel car which I would use to commute with. I drive 45 miles to work in a 2000 Dodge Dakota (4.7 L v8 - aka 17 mpg)

Once I get the diesel I will make it a grease car. Instead of using 100% diesel you can use filtered vegetable oil.

I am motivated by economic factors, I am not a tree hugger.

Check out this site: http://www.greasecar.com/ and I'm sure there are other sites out there. Pretty cool.
 

Marty

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We need to jump ahead of the aging argument: hybrid v. diesel. What we need is not battery-electric, hybrid-electric, or petrol.

We need clean, natural gas-fired STEAM POWER! Higher torque, smoother drive, quiet operation...

Here's a humorous look at the application of steam in automobiles.
 

JDC

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Don't laugh too loud Marty.. I actually was considering building a steam motor. Water and Propane.. seems pretty smart to me.


Ballards fuel cell technology is still better. water in, water out.
 

SaltonSeadog

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I have sold somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 hybrids, maybe more. The fact is some do not get great mileage at first, but improve dramatically. Most of my experiance is with Prius. The Prius has a bladder gas tank, which can expand and contract, with temperature fluctuations.
I do not remember anyone saying they got 60 MPG on a normal trip. The computer will thrill you with 99 MPG if you go down a grade.
We had took one Prius back because the owner was so unhappy with the miles, but most folks absolutly love them. We take them on trade for the new ones all the time.
I have a client wanting to sell his and get a 2005 if anyone wants one. I think his is an '01.
 

Marty

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"T'ain't nobody going to be working in the Imperial Valley on Opener morning."


Oh, I wasn't laughing Jack. Most people dismiss the steam factor, but ignore the capabilities and improvements with modern technology and computer controls.
 

SaltonSeadog

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Originally posted by JDC@Aug 27 2004, 08:41 AM
So we can all converge on the Toyota Dealer on Imperial opening morning to meet Salton Sea Dog and get free coffee and donuts??
I sell more cars a month than the entire dealership in Imperial.
 

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