Hybrids

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

What Do Diehards think of Hybrids?

Considering Purchase When New Car Needed
31
43%
Wait and See if Price Comes Down
15
21%
Wait and See Expenses of Repairs in Future
13
18%
Wait and See Expenses of Repairs in Future
13
18%
What's a Highbrid?
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 72

Postby daryll40 » Mon May 14, 2007 8:28 pm

catDaddy wrote:
Karl wrote:I'd look for what provides the best financial deal...I'm not willing to pay more and get less to serve some environmental cause.

It's a pretty sweet deal to make our children pay for the consequences of the decisions we make today.
Hey, everybody else is doing it, right? :wink:


Cheer up! :D You need to read "THE IMPROVING STATE OF THE WORLD" by Indur M. Goklany. Certainly the world has problems. But you have been bamboozled by the mainstream "hate capitalism/bash America" media. Actually, the world is getting better. And THE FREE MARKET will determine if people will buy the Prius or the Corolla or the 13MPG Ford Explorer.

Keep the problems of the current era in perspective and don't go thru life wringing your hands. Love the fact that we live in the greatest era, ever!

Read the book, read the book!
User avatar
daryll40
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:40 am

Postby unclemick » Mon May 14, 2007 9:28 pm

Well - when the time to buy comes round again:

I'm a retired en-ga-neer and have 'sucker for tech toys' written all over me.

Unfortunately I'm also in Soy Bean Diesel country - may have to consider one of each - and then we also have ethanol/gas blends at the pump.

heh heh heh - decisions, decisions, :roll:
unclemick
 
Posts: 1319
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 11:18 am
Location: greater Kansas City

Postby catDaddy » Mon May 14, 2007 9:54 pm

daryll40 wrote: Certainly the world has problems. But you have been bamboozled by the mainstream "hate capitalism/bash America" media. Actually, the world is getting better. And THE FREE MARKET will determine if people will buy the Prius or the Corolla or the 13MPG Ford Explorer.

I don't bash America and I don't hate captialism, although I don't capitalize it as if it were God either. Of course many things in the world are getting better, but that's a poor excuse for knowingly making others worse. We've haven't made our improvements by basking in the greatness of our accomplishments. Progress is made by people who realize that there are better ways of doing things. What's hand-wringing about that?
User avatar
catDaddy
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:42 pm

Postby daryll40 » Mon May 14, 2007 10:03 pm

There is NOTHING wrong with it. But it's become an industry to bash anything that is successful in the free market (like SUVs) and to beat down anyone who has become successful (like many DIEHARDS!).

My point about the Prius is that if we are going to move toward that type of vehicle, it should happen because of market forces. And if I want to drive a 13MPG Explorer like I do, that also should be my choice.

Your comment about "our children having to pay" is what caused me to point out that the world is actually getting better. Our kids will have a BETTER world, albeit different.
User avatar
daryll40
 
Posts: 1804
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:40 am

Postby Valuethinker » Tue May 15, 2007 3:12 am

daryll40 wrote:There is NOTHING wrong with it. But it's become an industry to bash anything that is successful in the free market (like SUVs) and to beat down anyone who has become successful (like many DIEHARDS!).

My point about the Prius is that if we are going to move toward that type of vehicle, it should happen because of market forces. And if I want to drive a 13MPG Explorer like I do, that also should be my choice.

Your comment about "our children having to pay" is what caused me to point out that the world is actually getting better. Our kids will have a BETTER world, albeit different.


I don't disagree there are some amazing things coming-- particularly in healthcare. Some big risks too (flu pandemics, regional nuclear wars etc.).

The problem with our current 'free market' is that it is not fully reflecting the costs we are imposing. The 'free market' effectively is a subsidisation of pollution.

In one important way we are willing our children and grandchildren a very different world.

A much much hotter one. Current emissions have 'locked in' a 1 to 2 degree centigrade rise in world temperature (about 0.6 degrees of which has observably occurred).

Future emissions could make that a 5 degree centigrade rise.

*if* the Greenland and Antarctic Ice Sheets don't melt (which is not currently forecast to happen in the official forecasts) then 1 to 2 degrees centigrade is likely tolerable. There will be species extinction (10 to 30%), there will be political disruption, there will be loss of coastal communities, there will be more droughts and hurricanes.

But by and large we will adapt, with a cost, but we will adapt.

There are some big unknowns out there which could make things far, far worse, and in any case, 5 degrees centigrade the damage will be many times what it would be at 1-2 degrees centigrade. Big unknowns include: the possibility of another 'Permian Extinction' due to methane release from melting permafrost (90% of all species died); 100% destruction of the rainforest; collapse of the Gulf Stream; end of rain west of the Mississippi in the USA (repeat of the California Drought of 1100AD, when it didn't rain for 100 years); melting of the Antarctic Ice Caps and world sea levels rising 50-100'; 50% planetary species extinction; uncontrollable temperature rise.

As an example of how vulnerable we are to species destruction, consider the problem of the honeybees. For reasons we don't understand, 75% or more of honeybees are dying: Dick Cheney has actually set up a commission to investigate. A large fraction of the fruits and vegetables we eat are dependent on this *one* species, and we have no idea why they are dying.

The degree of scientific uncertainty about global warming should make one *more* cautious about polluting the atmosphere, because we only have one planet, and the damage could be a lot worse than we think.

So the 'free market' is important, but at the moment we have an *unpriced* damage that we are doing to the future environment. We are paying nothing, to change the world's climate, in ways that we cannot fully anticipate.

In economics this is called an *unpriced externality* and you can show that a market that has an unpriced externality is an inefficient market, and produces sub-optimal outcomes.
Valuethinker
 
Posts: 25001
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:07 pm

Postby Valuethinker » Tue May 15, 2007 3:15 am

daryll40 wrote:So MY question is this: If my Corolla gets an honest 25 MPG around town, would would a Prius get in the same type of driving?



Around town, a Prius could get a phenomenal mpg: if you keep below 25mph, the gas engine will be used very little, and the regenerative braking is put to particularly good use. I would say over 40mpg.
Valuethinker
 
Posts: 25001
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:07 pm

Postby Valuethinker » Tue May 15, 2007 9:37 am

unclemick wrote:Well - when the time to buy comes round again:

I'm a retired en-ga-neer and have 'sucker for tech toys' written all over me.

Unfortunately I'm also in Soy Bean Diesel country - may have to consider one of each - and then we also have ethanol/gas blends at the pump.

heh heh heh - decisions, decisions, :roll:


It's an area that is moving so fast.

When the hybrid diesel-electric plug in comes in, it will not only be a mouthful of a car (PDHEV or PBDHEV), it will get 80mpg+. However it will cost more (diesels cost more, hybrids cost more).

I'm a big fan of minimising new technology risk (son of an engineer-- you don't reinvent the wheel when 10,000 people might die on your mistake). I let other people do the Beta-testing for me: I'll upgrade to Windows VISTA in a year or so's time, when I am forced to, not before.

So a hybrid now, yes, because there is now 7-8 years of experience in Japan in driving these things. Diesels are widespread in Europe, half of new cars, the problem will be which diesel cars will come to the USA? The best car makers (Toyota, Honda) are much less gung ho about diesels than the European manufacturers, who have higher cost of ownership and worse reliability in their brands.

The irony is the US domestic manufacturers all sell excellent diesel cars in Europe, but those cars by and large cannot be bought in the US. I think GM is marketing the Opel Astra (Vauxhall) as a Saturn. They also don't tend to be too badly built (but they don't match the Japanese).

Although VW Golfs are great cars to drive, they can't match a Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla for reliability and cost of ownership. Don't talk to me about Mercedes! BMWs just cost, even over here, to fix. My brother's Volvo (8 years old) is just out of extended warranty and is costing him a bomb (he probably does about 10k miles a year, in the Canadian winter and summer).

Plug in hybrids will be spectacular vehicles, but the battery life issues are not resolved.

So my own feel, on this side of the drink, is I would buy a diesel (hybrids are really a premium product here). On your side, I would try to wait until the 2009-10 model year, and see what was on offer, diesel v. hybrid.

Ethanol I think is a political and environmental con (this is not the case with sugar cane ethanol ie Brasilian or Cuban, but it is with corn ethanol). It's success is more about Iowa being a key presidential caucus state than about any practical advantage to the US or the environment in growing it. The subsidies are just going to waste.

The president was irresponsible to future generations of Americans to advocate ethanol-based fuel over more efficient cars (he was aided and abetted by senators and congressmen from both sides of the aisle).

Bio-diesel is a good fuel, especially as soybeans are a 'nitrogen fixation' crop and far less damaging to the soil than corn and all the chemicals that go with maize-growing (you can see the fertilizer bloom on pictures from space, a giant patch of dead water in the Gulf of Mexico, from all the fertilizer washed down the Mississippi).

Bio-diesel made with palm oil imported from places where they destroy tropical rainforest to build plantations (Indonesia, Malaysia, Paraguay etc.) is the ultimate environmental disaster, and should be banned.
Valuethinker
 
Posts: 25001
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:07 pm

Postby ataloss » Tue May 15, 2007 3:25 pm

when I ran the numbers for a Civic Lx or Civic hybrid I found that gas would have to cost $5.64 to break even in $100,000 miles. (It would take 188,000 miles to break even at $3/gallon. I live too close to work so this would take a long time. The tax credit may not apply if you pay amt or have other credits.
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070211/COL07/702110674/1002

My short commute might be good for a plug in hybrid when they make them but I don't want to buy an Prius and have somebody rebuild it.
ataloss
 
Posts: 866
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:24 pm

Postby Valuethinker » Wed May 16, 2007 8:23 am

ataloss wrote:when I ran the numbers for a Civic Lx or Civic hybrid I found that gas would have to cost $5.64 to break even in $100,000 miles. (It would take 188,000 miles to break even at $3/gallon. I live too close to work so this would take a long time. The tax credit may not apply if you pay amt or have other credits.
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070211/COL07/702110674/1002

My short commute might be good for a plug in hybrid when they make them but I don't want to buy an Prius and have somebody rebuild it.


5.64 gas is not impossible but not likely in the short term. Supply and demand for oil are in such a fine balance, and both sufficiently 'inelastic' (demand or supply doesn't change much in the short term with price) that the next price for oil can as easily be $40 a barrel, as it can be $100. Both are probably equally likely.

If you don't commute a lot, then a hybrid doesn't pay off.

Whilst I agree with Toyota that by 2020 half the cars they sell worldwide may be 'alternative powered' ie diesel, hybrid etc., there isn't a personal need to rush.

The difference per annum between owning a hybrid and an economical North American compact like a Honda Civic, in terms of CO2 emission, is about the CO2 emission of *one* return flight from Los Angeles to London.

I often tell people that if they are truly worried about global warming, they should buy an economical small car (diesel over here-- you can get a Citroen which is 116 gm CO2/km driven, v. 106 gm CO2/km for a Prius) and the difference in money saved from not buying from a hybrid, they should give to a charity that campaigns to save the Rainforests, or spend the money on insulating their house.

Hedging against 'Peak Oil' and fuel price rises in general is slightly different, in that it's fuel economy, fuel economy, fuel economy. Until the US has widespread diesel cars, there isn't really a substitute for a hybrid.

Compared to forgoing a long distance flight, or installing a new high efficiency gas furnace or heat pump, or saving a square mile of rainforest, or installing a compact fluorescent lightbulb, buying a hybrid car is actually a fairly expensive way of averting CO2 emissions.
Valuethinker
 
Posts: 25001
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:07 pm

Postby Valuethinker » Wed May 16, 2007 8:28 am

ataloss wrote:when I ran the numbers for a Civic Lx or Civic hybrid I found that gas would have to cost $5.64 to break even in $100,000 miles. (It would take 188,000 miles to break even at $3/gallon. I live too close to work so this would take a long time. The tax credit may not apply if you pay amt or have other credits.
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070211/COL07/702110674/1002

My short commute might be good for a plug in hybrid when they make them but I don't want to buy an Prius and have somebody rebuild it.


That rebuild would void the warranty. At least the battery warranty.

Toyota was very strict in launching its' Priuses that the battery pack would have enough cycles for the vehicle life (or at least the warranty life). The sticking point with a plug in hybrid is that that problem hasn't been solved yet.
Valuethinker
 
Posts: 25001
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:07 pm

100% Hybrid by 2020

Postby CyberBob » Wed May 16, 2007 10:13 am

Toyota’s vice president in charge of powertrain development made the bold claim that by 2020, hybrids will be the standard drivetrain and account for “100 percent” of Toyota’s cars.

Link to article at MotorAuthority.com

Bob
User avatar
CyberBob
 
Posts: 2921
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 3:53 pm

Re: 100% Hybrid by 2020

Postby Valuethinker » Wed May 16, 2007 11:12 am

CyberBob wrote:Toyota’s vice president in charge of powertrain development made the bold claim that by 2020, hybrids will be the standard drivetrain and account for “100 percent” of Toyota’s cars.

Link to article at MotorAuthority.com

Bob


He must be discounting diesels, or non-hybrid diesels.

The Japanese were slow to 'get' diesel technology, the European manufacturers moved a lot faster:

- official government policy to encourage diesels eg by lower fuel duty

- low sulphur diesel (see below) became available sooner in Europe

- air pollution controls in Japan and US are much tighter on particulates. Diesel cars aren't yet meeting the US standard (next year though)

That said, there are some decent Japanese diesel cars now (in Europe).
Valuethinker
 
Posts: 25001
Joined: Fri May 11, 2007 12:07 pm

Insight Owner

Postby sajego » Mon May 21, 2007 1:34 pm

I've owned my Honda Insight for 4+ years now. I bought it lightly used for $13k (15k miles). I look at similar cars on eBay and they are selling for $8-10k!

The Insight has been perfect for me as I don't like to chauffeur people around... I've had 2 people in my car a few dozen times... and I've regretted not being able to have 3 people in my car maybe Once. But that's me.

I get 65 mpg AVERAGE and can go 600 miles between fill-ups (10 gallon tank).

There were thousands of hybrids in Northern VA (Washington, DC) because they let them use the HOV lanes alone up there.
User avatar
sajego
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun May 13, 2007 12:48 pm

Postby catDaddy » Mon May 21, 2007 9:21 pm

While The Market has an important role to play in solving the problems our transportation systems have created, it cannot simply do it on its own. Doing harm with unpriced externalities is often encouraged by The Free Market. The diseases caused by pollution are not priced into the products that create them, and the treatment of those diseases generates profit that The Market considers beneficial.
User avatar
catDaddy
 
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:42 pm

Previous

Return to Personal Finance (Not Investing)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: 3CT_Paddler, bloom2708, bricklin, #Cruncher, deanbrew, Gus, kenyan, linakin, nimo956, ReedMan, tacster, technovelist, Yahoo [Bot] and 97 guests