Fuel efficient cars

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robertts12
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Fuel efficient cars

Post by robertts12 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 7:44 pm


retiredjg
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Post by retiredjg » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:01 pm

I have some friends who have a Prius. I thought it was a luxury car! Had no idea till I saw this article that it was so cheap. Er, inexpensive. And what they said about the room inside is very true. Seems huge. jg

timid investor
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Post by timid investor » Wed Mar 12, 2008 8:11 pm

Fuel efficient cars are all well and fine but what matters to me is cost efficient.

I had to stop the display and Burst out laughing , the second car to be shown was a prius at 48 mpg estimated.

Even if you blindly accept this figure, my 2000 dodge neon gets an actual 40 mpg so big WHOOP.

Keep trying boys but until you are competitive on total cost, purchasers are just subsidizing feeling good and probably being snarky about it.

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MR_Rossi
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Post by MR_Rossi » Thu Mar 13, 2008 11:37 am

It's funny. My wife's 2001 Honda Civic EX averages 40 MPG when I drive it, but when she drives it, it's more like 35-37 MPG. We obviously have different driving styles, but I don't think the additional cost of the Prius warrants the purchase when compared to existing fuel-efficient gasoline cars.

jfssail
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Prius vs CivicLX

Post by jfssail » Thu Mar 13, 2008 12:39 pm

If you run the numbers, you will find that owning a Prius for 10 years, 120,000 miles will cost you about $3400 more as compared to total costs for a Honda Civic LX, which is a larger car.
I recently purchased a Honda Civic LX for $17,000, no tax. Best price for a Prius is $26,000. Assuming the Prius gets 46mpg and the Honda 30mpg and gas at $4/gallon, gas savings for the Prius is $5600. Then you have to figure the value of $9000 for the initial capital cost. Most of us expect to double our investments over 10 years , so your total differential cost is closer to $12400

Another item most people never consider is the value of the car after 10 years. I know the Honda will still be driving after 15 years, However the Prius Nickel-Metal Hydride battery has to replaced after 10 years. This battery used to cost about $2000 before the price of nickel sky-rocketed. Today, that battery might cost $6000. Care to guess its cost in 2018?

leonard
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Post by leonard » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:09 pm

Something does not seem right about the lack of increase in MPG for cars.

As I recall, in 1987 (or so) the chevrolet sprint (later geo metro) claimed 50 mpg by the manufacturer. I knew someone who actually got a calculated 55 mpg from a Chevy Sprint. Also, didn't VW rabbits/golfs get 45-50 mpg at one time?

Seems crazy that there are no cars around 20 years later that can at least match those numbers, let alone beat them. I realize internal combustion is an over 100 year old technology, but I would still expect some increases in efficiency over 20 years.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

jfssail
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Car Miledge

Post by jfssail » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:17 pm

Leonard, What you are forgetting is over the past 30 years our cars have gained a lot of weight, and horse power has gone-up across the board. I had a 1980 or so Honda Civic, 1500cc engine that gave me 40-42mpg on the highway. Todays Honda Civic has more Hp than my 1992 Accord, and weighs 1000 lbs more than my old Civic. Even so, my new Civic still gets me 36mpg on the highway

retiredjg
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Post by retiredjg » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:25 pm

I've thought the same thing Leonard. Instead of moving in what seemed to be the obvious direction, things went the other way! Compare some of the monster trucks today with a Ford Ranger from 1990. They must be twice as big! Other than farming activities, who actually needs a truck that big? Same for the SUVs. They have grown immensely! Unless you have 6 kids, most people don't need that.

I've just assumed it was a supply and demand thing. On the other hand, if a better choices (supply) had been available, maybe more people could have bought them.

Maybe it was a conspiracy by the big car makers? Just kidding. I think it is classic "head in the sand" trend. Sure seems like a shame though. We've got a lot of catching up to do.

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Justin618
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Post by Justin618 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:48 pm

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid Named 2008 Green Car of the Year
http://www.greencar.com/features/2008greencar/


If I didn't know differently, I would think this was an Onion article. :shock:

I'm looking forward to Honda introducing an Accord diesel - 12-15 reliable years of 40+mpg.

Justin

spacepilot
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Re: Car Miledge

Post by spacepilot » Thu Mar 13, 2008 1:55 pm

jfssail wrote:Leonard, What you are forgetting is over the past 30 years our cars have gained a lot of weight, and horse power has gone-up across the board. I had a 1980 or so Honda Civic, 1500cc engine that gave me 40-42mpg on the highway. Todays Honda Civic has more Hp than my 1992 Accord, and weighs 1000 lbs more than my old Civic. Even so, my new Civic still gets me 36mpg on the highway
I agree. Beside the heated seats, premium audio, rain-sensing windshield wiper, bigger engine, better insulation, a lot of the weight goes to making the vehicle safer. Airbags, ABS, stability control, more steel at the important places all help to keep the driver away from danger either by help him avoid accidents or protect him if an accident happen. Although Honda probably could make 45mpg Civics today if they did away with all the safety features, I think of the extra fuel cost I pay for driving a 35mpg but safer Civic as a form of insurance for my family. Now if they make stripper model Civic for $12,000, with a smaller motor and fewer amenities, but with all the safety features that its upper-scale models have, I would be all over it.

The following videos are an illustration of how much better a current generation Golf protect its passengers (by maintaining structural integrity) than its predecessors during a frontal accident.


Mk2
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CyzCswJ_tkk

Mk3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyU7oqPEFxs

Mk4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QgFpfmiMc4

Mk5 (current generation)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBgCuccFink

leonard
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Post by leonard » Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:38 pm

jfssail wrote:
Leonard, What you are forgetting is over the past 30 years our cars have gained a lot of weight, and horse power has gone-up across the board. I had a 1980 or so Honda Civic, 1500cc engine that gave me 40-42mpg on the highway. Todays Honda Civic has more Hp than my 1992 Accord, and weighs 1000 lbs more than my old Civic. Even so, my new Civic still gets me 36mpg on the highway
Sure, weight plays a part. Power driven accessories play a part. horsepower, sure, same thing. But, something still isn't right.

Take the Smart Car from Mercedes and compare it to the Chevy Sprint of 20 years ago. Roughly the same size, smart car may even be less weight. Both have/had 3 cylinder engines. The estimated MPG for the Smart Car is 40 mpg. Again, the Sprint was something like 50 mpg.

Also, the Chevy Sprint gas mileage I referred to above of 55 mpg was acheived in a Turbo model. So, I doubt horsepower was that different.

I know, this is hardly a controlled study of the issue, controlling for all variables. But, it just doesn't pass the smell test to me. Seems like not much effort has been made to get further gas mileage out of these ICE cars.
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

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cgold
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Re: Prius vs CivicLX

Post by cgold » Thu Mar 13, 2008 3:00 pm

jfssail wrote:If you run the numbers, you will find that owning a Prius for 10 years, 120,000 miles will cost you about $3400 more as compared to total costs for a Honda Civic LX, which is a larger car.
I recently purchased a Honda Civic LX for $17,000, no tax. Best price for a Prius is $26,000. Assuming the Prius gets 46mpg and the Honda 30mpg and gas at $4/gallon, gas savings for the Prius is $5600. Then you have to figure the value of $9000 for the initial capital cost. Most of us expect to double our investments over 10 years , so your total differential cost is closer to $12400
I ran an analysis of my own which paints a very different picture:

The MSRP of a 2008 Honda Civic LX is $17,760. This is the mid-level trim for the Civic.

The Toyota Prius comes in three trim levels: standard, base, and touring. The base level, which is the mid-level trim, has an MSRP of $22,475. I recently walked through my local Toyota dealer's lot and noted the vast majority of the Prius's with sticker prices between $22,000 - $23,000. You would have to buy the Touring level Prius, loaded with options (i.e. leather seats, Navigation system, etc) to arrive at the $26,000 price you mentioned. That's hardly a fair comparison to the Honda Civic LX trim.

Edmunds.com provides a useful calculation they call the "True Cost to Own". Its a 5-year calculation which takes into account depreciation, financing, insurance, taxes & fees, fuel, maintenance, and repairs.

The 5-year True Cost to Own for the 2008 Honda Civic LX is $32,430.

The 5-year True Cost to Own for the 2008 Toyota Prius Base is $36,967.

In terms of cost efficiency, the Civic beats the Prius by $4537 over the initial 5-years of ownership.

However, some states, including my own state of Colorado, provide a state tax credit for the purchase of an alternative fuel vehicle. The Colorado tax credit for a 2008 Prius is $2015.

Adjusting for the state tax credit, the Civic now leads the Prius by a mere $2522 over the first 5 years of ownership. Over a 10-year period that gap is likely to disappear as the fuel cost savings of the Prius continue to chip away at the lower initial cost advantage of the Honda Civic.

From a pure cost efficiency point of view, the Civic is the better option for those planning to own the car for 5 years. However, as the length of ownership pushes out past the 5 year mark the Prius becomes more and more attractive.

It's also worth noting that if the cost of fuel increases significantly in the near future, as many predict it will, the current cost advantage of the Civic will disappear rather quickly.

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robertts12
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Reduction of pollution

Post by robertts12 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:31 pm

Several posters have made calculations to discover if it's good or no to use a hybrid based on money. I have two impressions (not garantized I'm right): 1 - the money question depends strongly on the fuel price in the future 2 - if fuel remains steady, there's no big difference and depends on the interest rate we use in the calculations.
Hybrid cars have a big advantage that's not often in the newspapers, I suppose. The most pollution is produced when cars accelerate at low velocities, with hybrids just in this condition only the electric motor operates. So, hybrids are a big advantage for all people that breathe air of the cities.

Rookie
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Post by Rookie » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:44 pm

I want to share some of my calculations, in case you want to shop around and got attracted with the fuel efficiency label.

These data are available online, I got these numbers from MSN web site for 2008 models. The price is lowest MSRP price.

Base MSRP price:
Prius: $21100
Corolla: $14405
With the assumption that both are bought in cash, no finance interest, gas at $4 a gallon, 12000 annual miles.
Price difference is: $21100 - $14405 = $6695.

If only used for local trips: Prius: 48 mpg | Corolla: 26 mpg
Annual Gas Cost: Prius: $1000 | Corolla: $1846
Saving per year with Prius: $1846 - $1000 = $846
Years driving to make up the price = $6695 / $846 = 7.9 years.

If only used for highway trips: Prius: 45 mpg | Corolla: 35 mpg
Anuual Gas Cost: Prius: $1067 | Corolla: $1371
Saving per year with Prius: $1371 - $1067 = $305
Years driving to make up the price = $6695 / $305 = 22 years

I used the same data to calculate for the Yaris, and it shows the years are 14.9 years and 32 years for city and highway driving respectively.

The $4 gas is conservative right now, but who know, it may get there.

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Bounca
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Post by Bounca » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:49 am

Thanks for all the numbers guys, this is helpful.

However, one thing about a Prius vs Civic debate still gets me. Until a longer mechanical track record for the Prius can be established, I'm staying away. I just fear unforseen, sky high repair cost of some of the new technology and mechanics behind the Prius.

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SpringMan
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Post by SpringMan » Fri Mar 14, 2008 6:05 am

I used to be a fan of diesel vehicles even though there are few choices here in the U.S. Now with the cost of diesel fuel much higher than gasoline, I am losing my interest in diesel. I once owned a diesel 4x4 pickup truck which consistently got 22 to 24 mpg. That may not sound good but it is for a full sized 4x4 pickup. The problem is the same as with hybrids, the initial cost is much higher than a comparable gas/non hybrid. Add to that the difference in fuel cost and diesel losses it luster. Cost to maintain may be higher too.
Regards,
Best Wishes, SpringMan

retengr
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Post by retengr » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:52 am

You don't have to look at the extreme mileage vehicles to see the problem. My 1998 Buick Regal routinely got 27 mpg--80% highway. That was very near the advertised highway number on the car. The EPA site adjusts these old mileage numbers to what they would measure using today's rating routine. The current Buick model gets the same numbers as my Regal did 10 years ago! No progress at all.

The car makers (ALL of them) find it easier to market power/performance/perks than to market efficiency. I guess that is our fault. The result is that the market will not produce a high efficiency vehicle in this country, except at the margins. If the current midsized Buick had made the same improvement over the 1998 Regal that the Regal made over my 1970 Monte Carlo (12-15 mpg, but I was younger then), the numbers would be over 35 mpg now.

Of the two ways to get the market to produce efficient vehicles over the entire spectrum (raise mileage standards or raise gas taxes, like in Europe), I favor higher standards that keep rising over time.

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Post by lasttoknow » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:24 am

Image

Those nickel metal hydride hybrid batteries are an environmental disaster.

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Milo Bloom
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Comparisons

Post by Milo Bloom » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:24 am

I think that some of the comparisons here do not actually compare
"apples" to "apples". For example, the comparison of a Prius and
a Corolla. The Prius has much more room than the Corolla and
can comfortably seat 4 adults. I think the better comparison
would be to the Camry or the Honda Accord. When that comparison
is made you will not find the price difference indicated in the Prius/Corolla comparion.

In addition, using $4 a gallon gas for 10-12 years seem rather unrealistic to me. The global desire for oil will likely continue thus the price of gas will more than likely increase during that period.
A goal without a plan is just a wish - Herm Edwards

cdelena
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Post by cdelena » Fri Mar 14, 2008 11:52 am

Bounca wrote:Thanks for all the numbers guys, this is helpful.

However, one thing about a Prius vs Civic debate still gets me. Until a longer mechanical track record for the Prius can be established, I'm staying away. I just fear unforseen, sky high repair cost of some of the new technology and mechanics behind the Prius.
I am familiar with a number of Prius owner experiences and have seen no reports of high repair cost due to normal use, BUT have seen two instances of huge repair costs after accidents. I wonder if insurance companies hike premiums on the model to compensate.

leonard
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Post by leonard » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:10 pm

lasttoknow wrote:
Those nickel metal hydride hybrid batteries are an environmental disaster.
What are we looking at in this picture?
Leonard | | Market Timing: Do you seriously think you can predict the future? What else do the voices tell you? | | If employees weren't taking jobs with bad 401k's, bad 401k's wouldn't exist.

jfssail
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Nickel metal hydride batteries/Disaster?

Post by jfssail » Fri Mar 14, 2008 12:30 pm

I wouldn't worry about disposal problems with these batteries. Nickel presently goes for $15/lb, so these used batteries will be recycled like present day lead/acid batteries. Main difference being the value for the old core. While we get $10 for a lead core, the nickel metal hydride will be worth over $2000.
Thats the long term problem with this type of battery for hybrid vechicles. Can you imagine the future price for nickel if this type of hybrid expands to a significant portion of the car market.
Another item to keep in mind,if the widespread theft of catalytic mufflers today worth $100 at the scrap yard, what will happen to thefts of this type when cores from batteries are worth $2000 ?
That is one of the reasons for the development of Lithium batteries for cars

LedMizer
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Re: Comparisons

Post by LedMizer » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:30 pm

Milo Bloom wrote:I think that some of the comparisons here do not actually compare
"apples" to "apples". For example, the comparison of a Prius and
a Corolla. The Prius has much more room than the Corolla and
can comfortably seat 4 adults. I think the better comparison
would be to the Camry or the Honda Accord. When that comparison
is made you will not find the price difference indicated in the Prius/Corolla comparion.

In addition, using $4 a gallon gas for 10-12 years seem rather unrealistic to me. The global desire for oil will likely continue thus the price of gas will more than likely increase during that period.
Took the words out of my mouth. If you look at the EPA ratings, they consider the Prius a "mid-size" car.

Having owned a Prius for the past 2 years, I can speak first hand about the ownership experience.

I drive a lot of miles. 135 miles is my daily round-trip commute. My car was two years old last month and this morning I turned 78,000 miles.

I consistently average 54 miles per gallon. You will get better mileage with local driving as it will run more on the hybrid system.

I've done zero repairs to the car. I replaced the OEM tires and the windshield wipers at 60,000. I just had the alignment and brakes check at the dealer. They were like new. The car doesn't use brakes like other cars do.

I change the oil every 5,000 miles (on ramps in my driveway) with 3 qts. of Mobil One and one of the three cases of OEM filters I bought at a discount on E-bay.

I took at $2,000 tax credit the first year of ownership.

Best of all? I have a "Clean Pass" sticker that allows me to drive as a single in the HOV lane every morning and evening. Knocked a full hour off my commute.

From a purely monetary perspective these cars do not work for everyone. You must run the numbers. I would not be concerned with "new technology" worries. Remember, new to the USA is not necessarily new to the world. These cars are being used as taxis in many cities with "zero" problems. The battery is warranted to 100,000 miles but the % of failures seen just doesn't warrant concern. When have you known Toyota to put out a bad car?

If you are truly interested, check out a web site called PriusChat.com There are some "greenies" on there that promote the car, but for the most part you will find like-minded individuals that promote the economics as well.

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Adrian Nenu
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Post by Adrian Nenu » Fri Mar 14, 2008 2:13 pm

Hyundai Accent, Chevy Aveo, Honda Fit and Nissan Versa, Ford Focus, Kia Rio5 can be had for under $15k. All average +30 MPG. Great deals & MPG for such low prices.

Adrian
anenu@tampabay.rr.com

bearcat98
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Re: Comparisons

Post by bearcat98 » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:09 pm

LedMizer wrote:
Milo Bloom wrote:I think that some of the comparisons here do not actually compare
"apples" to "apples". For example, the comparison of a Prius and
a Corolla. The Prius has much more room than the Corolla and
can comfortably seat 4 adults. I think the better comparison
would be to the Camry or the Honda Accord. When that comparison
is made you will not find the price difference indicated in the Prius/Corolla comparion.

In addition, using $4 a gallon gas for 10-12 years seem rather unrealistic to me. The global desire for oil will likely continue thus the price of gas will more than likely increase during that period.
Took the words out of my mouth. If you look at the EPA ratings, they consider the Prius a "mid-size" car..
Amen.

Although the Prius is actually slightly shorter than the Civic or Corolla (and thus easier to park), it's roomier inside (closer to the Camry than to the Corolla, equal to the Pontiac G6). And the hatchback design offers greater flexibility and is roomier than anything cheaper.

Frankly, the hybrid system doesn't help much on freeway driving...the Prius has such good freeway mileage for the same reason it's roomier for its size: its design was optimized for efficiency without concern for whether it looks funny (and yes, the shape reduces drag; it's not just so Prius drivers can look "progressive"). If there were a non-hybrid version (which would be even roomier inside), I'd own it (I do a lot of freeway driving, very little stop-and-go stuff).

Of course, the Civic and Corolla are fine cars (the Mazda3 is pretty good, too). They're reliable and fuel-efficient. They're also safe and comfortable, two attributes that increase expense and weight (and, thus, fuel economy).

The comment about the Tahoe was interesting. Honestly, the biggest reductions in gas usage don't come from turning 40mpg cars into 45mpg cars; they come from turning 10mpg cars into 15mpg cars. The Tahoe, hybrid or not, is an oversized, overpowered, overpriced, overweight station wagon that, in most families, serves exactly the same purpose as a minivan, but less well. But putting a hybrid drivetrain in a single Tahoe will save more gas than turning several Civics into hybrids.
Last edited by bearcat98 on Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

retiredjg
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Re: Comparisons

Post by retiredjg » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:45 pm

bearcat98 wrote:The Tahoe, bybrid or not, is an oversized, overpowered, overpriced, overweight station wagon that, in most families, serves exactly the same purpose as a minivan, but less well. But putting a hybrid drivetrain in a single Tahoe will wave more gas than turning several Civics into hybrids.
I agree for the most part. It does, however, make a GREAT work vehicle when you carry a lot of equipment and require 4 wheel drive to get to your work locations. I would not have one as a personal vehicle, but really loved having one as my work truck. I didn't think it was overpowered though. It was "just right". jg

Rookie
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Re: Comparisons

Post by Rookie » Fri Mar 14, 2008 7:11 pm

Milo Bloom wrote:I think that some of the comparisons here do not actually compare
"apples" to "apples". For example, the comparison of a Prius and
a Corolla. The Prius has much more room than the Corolla and
can comfortably seat 4 adults. I think the better comparison
would be to the Camry or the Honda Accord. When that comparison
is made you will not find the price difference indicated in the Prius/Corolla comparion.

In addition, using $4 a gallon gas for 10-12 years seem rather unrealistic to me. The global desire for oil will likely continue thus the price of gas will more than likely increase during that period.
Here is my reason why Prius cannot be compared with Camry (4 cylinders):

Engine size: Prius: 1.5L; Corolla: 1.8L; Camry: 2.4L
Torque: Prius: 82lb-ft, Corolla: 122lb-ft, Camry: 161lb-ft
Horse Power: Prius: 110 hp; Corolla: 126 hp; Camry: 158 hp

Base on the specs, the Corolla engines are bigger than the Prius and the car has better performance. Prius has extra electric motor to give the engine extra push when needed, this extra electric motor costs the extra. Camry engine is way too big to compare in this case. I do not know about apple and orange, but I think it should start from the engine. Prius is the same class with Camry because the room size, but the engine is actually in Corolla class.

blood_donor
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Post by blood_donor » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:12 am

Economics my son.

Gas has been relatively cheap for the last 20 years. Efficiency improvements, which have been significant, have gone into more HP and bigger cars that weigh more but still get good acceleration. It's whar we all wanted. It used to be that a 9s 0-60 time on a family sedan, which was packing 150 HP was decent. Now it is underpowered, and Hondas and Nissans offer 7s cars with 250HP on tap.

leonard wrote:Something does not seem right about the lack of increase in MPG for cars.

As I recall, in 1987 (or so) the chevrolet sprint (later geo metro) claimed 50 mpg by the manufacturer. I knew someone who actually got a calculated 55 mpg from a Chevy Sprint. Also, didn't VW rabbits/golfs get 45-50 mpg at one time?

Seems crazy that there are no cars around 20 years later that can at least match those numbers, let alone beat them. I realize internal combustion is an over 100 year old technology, but I would still expect some increases in efficiency over 20 years.

blood_donor
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Post by blood_donor » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:20 am

Also, a Civic is 5x more fun to drive than a Prius, and is nicer looking too. I didn't like the way the regenerative brakes felt on a Prius I tested once, and handling wasn't special.
Bounca wrote:Thanks for all the numbers guys, this is helpful.

However, one thing about a Prius vs Civic debate still gets me. Until a longer mechanical track record for the Prius can be established, I'm staying away. I just fear unforseen, sky high repair cost of some of the new technology and mechanics behind the Prius.

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Sphinx
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Post by Sphinx » Sat Mar 15, 2008 5:01 pm

lasttoknow wrote:Image

Those nickel metal hydride hybrid batteries are an environmental disaster.
I'm guessing this image is of the Sudbury, Ontario nickel mine. For what it's worth:
From http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/200711 ... ailbag.asp

...

Getting back to the Prius's nickel metal hydride battery, laments about its other environmental iniquities were largely based on reports of environmental devastation from nickel mining in Sudbury, Ontario, where 10 percent of the world's nickel is mined. The problem is that these reports described Sudbury 30 years ago, not today. Yes, nickel mining is a nasty business, but in the 1970s, Sudburians started to clean up the mining mess and make huge strides in rehabilitating their environment. As Canadian Geographic declared recently in giving one Sudbury group an award for restoration, "Once derided for its barren landscape, Sudbury, Ontario, has experienced an environmental makeover since the 1970s. Today, the former industry-blighted moonscape has been transformed."

In any case, Prius batteries, which contain 32 pounds of nickel each, require only a fraction of the world's supply. More than 94 percent of the 1.55 million tons of nickel mined each year is used for stainless steel, alloys, and electroplating. So the batteries for the one million hybrids Toyota has sold so far have required only one percent of the world's annual nickel-mining production. Since the estimates on nickel recycling indicate about 80 percent is being reused, a million Priuses' share of newly mined nickel would really only be about two-tenths of one percent.

...
-+-
-+-
-+-

Last year I lost my old Ford Escort to a reckless driver and had to buy a new car. I live in Los Angeles, where highway traffic is mostly stop-and-go, and my current workplace is 25 miles away. After looking at my options, I bought a used 2002 Prius to replace my Ford.

My Ford only acheived 33MPG on rare, traffic-free highway drives. During the average daily commute in wretched Los Angeles traffic on the freeways, however, it got a paltry 24MPG, at best. I always had to fill up the tank twice a week, because my weekend fill-up would run out by Thursday.

During a 25-mile trip on congested Los Angeles freeways, my Prius averages 48MPG. I can go a week-and-a-half without filling up, if I want. This saves me not only gas, but also time and fuss.

I strongly recommend the Prius for those who must deal with long commutes in Los Angeles traffic.

:D

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Waiting for the Honda Civic 2.2 i-CTDi

Post by Urvile1 » Sat Mar 15, 2008 6:47 pm

I agree with with the person noting MPG over the years. I know we have heavier and faster cars, but so much technology has happened in the last 25 years, it is hard to believe this is all we have.

I'm also a little jealous of Europe. Check out the Honda Civic 2.2 i-CTDi on YouTube. I sure do wish we could join our European brothers when such cars are introduced into the market. It took about five years for the Smart Car to get here.

Also, if you are interested in this, go to Google video & check out the movie, Who Killed the Electric Car. Interesting flick.

Warner
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Post by Warner » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:46 pm

xprize foundation is sponsoring a competition for clean and super-efficient cars that people want to buy, ~$10m prize (lot's of google money). More here.

Jack
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Post by Jack » Sun Mar 16, 2008 3:25 am

Sphinx wrote:
lasttoknow wrote:
Those nickel metal hydride hybrid batteries are an environmental disaster.
I'm guessing this image is of the Sudbury, Ontario nickel mine.
Yep, I remember seeing those moonscape views of Sudbury myself back in the 1960s. The whole town looked like that. In fact, the Apollo astronauts trained there, although more for its unique geologic features rather than its moonscape. It's hard to blame the Prius for something that happened over half a century ago.

btenny
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Electric Cars coming soon......

Post by btenny » Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:24 pm

Try going to www.evworld.com and read a few articles. According to what I read by 2010 we will finally begin to see a real revolution in car mileage. This is when Toyota and Honda and GM and others will introduce the first plug-in hybrids. These cars are being tested today in Japan and England. Several companies are selling conversion kits today for Prius sedans and other vehicles and the result is a car that will go 50-100 miles on single electric charge. This cost equivalent is about 120 MPG or better dependning on how much you pay for electricity. Plus in cities like London the cars are free of congestion taxes and Zero polluting. In cities like LA and Phoenix this is what is needed to really cut the air polution.....

Bill

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ualdriver
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Post by ualdriver » Sun Mar 16, 2008 4:58 pm

Hymotion http://www.hymotion.com/ is supposedly going to make plug-in versions of the Prius and Ford Escape for general consumption soon. I think I read that Toyota plans on making a plug-in version of the Prius with lithium ion batteries (which will be higher capacity than the current batteries used by Toyota) in the next few years that is supposed to boost fuel milage considerably. Chevy promises the Volt http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/ around 2011, which supposedly will allow one to drive the first 40 miles on electric power only.

I would guess that owning a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would considerably reduce pollution (engine not running when stopped and/or perhaps at low speed in traffic) , especially in a state like IL that gets alot of its electricity from nuclear power.

Anxiously awaiting a reasonably priced PHEV........

ualdriver

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Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:35 am

Jack wrote:
Sphinx wrote:
lasttoknow wrote:
Those nickel metal hydride hybrid batteries are an environmental disaster.
I'm guessing this image is of the Sudbury, Ontario nickel mine.
Yep, I remember seeing those moonscape views of Sudbury myself back in the 1960s. The whole town looked like that. In fact, the Apollo astronauts trained there, although more for its unique geologic features rather than its moonscape. It's hard to blame the Prius for something that happened over half a century ago.
The photo is also radically out of date.

Sudbury has one of the best land reclamation projects in the world.

That space is mostly greened over, now.

In addition, the smelter is one of the cleanest in the world.

Regulation does work to improve the environment.

Valuethinker
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Post by Valuethinker » Mon Mar 17, 2008 4:38 am

blood_donor wrote:Economics my son.

Gas has been relatively cheap for the last 20 years. Efficiency improvements, which have been significant, have gone into more HP and bigger cars that weigh more but still get good acceleration. It's whar we all wanted. It used to be that a 9s 0-60 time on a family sedan, which was packing 150 HP was decent. Now it is underpowered, and Hondas and Nissans offer 7s cars with 250HP on tap.

leonard wrote:Something does not seem right about the lack of increase in MPG for cars.

As I recall, in 1987 (or so) the chevrolet sprint (later geo metro) claimed 50 mpg by the manufacturer. I knew someone who actually got a calculated 55 mpg from a Chevy Sprint. Also, didn't VW rabbits/golfs get 45-50 mpg at one time?

Seems crazy that there are no cars around 20 years later that can at least match those numbers, let alone beat them. I realize internal combustion is an over 100 year old technology, but I would still expect some increases in efficiency over 20 years.
2 kinds of economics then:

- price elasticity of demand: gas was cheap so not a concern to car buyers

- Game Theory - if the guy driving next to you has a bigger faster car, then your Nash Equilibrium (your best move, even if suboptimal, given the move of your competitor) is to drive a faster, heavier car

What has been at work on the American highways is exactly what John Nash would have predicted (see the movie 'A Beautiful Mind'-- the scene in the bar).

veryanya
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Post by veryanya » Tue Mar 18, 2008 10:46 pm

I have a 2006 Prius and I like it. Got the most basic version for around 22,000 I believe, and along with that a pretty good tax credit (maybe around 2,000, I don't remember for sure now)

I am getting around 42-55 mpg, 42 when it is colder, closer to 55 when it is warm and sunny out. I think this is because the engine cat shut off and doens't need to warm. I am in the midwest, it would do better in California. I like it, especially with the rising gas prices. I mainly got it because of the lower emissions because I am trying to do my part to help the environment..

plus, it is incredibly roomy, people are always surprised.

plus, it is light blue and SO CUTE. heh heh. :)

apparently it can go up to 104 miles per hour, my dad told me he checked last time he took it out on the highway...although I personally never speed..

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Post by Valuethinker » Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:45 am

ualdriver wrote:Hymotion http://www.hymotion.com/ is supposedly going to make plug-in versions of the Prius and Ford Escape for general consumption soon. I think I read that Toyota plans on making a plug-in version of the Prius with lithium ion batteries (which will be higher capacity than the current batteries used by Toyota) in the next few years that is supposed to boost fuel milage considerably. Chevy promises the Volt http://www.chevrolet.com/electriccar/ around 2011, which supposedly will allow one to drive the first 40 miles on electric power only.

I would guess that owning a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) would considerably reduce pollution (engine not running when stopped and/or perhaps at low speed in traffic) , especially in a state like IL that gets alot of its electricity from nuclear power.

Anxiously awaiting a reasonably priced PHEV........

ualdriver
Me too on the PHEV. We may have a while to wait: the challenge is the battery technology.

At what time of day you charge would have a big impact on the CO2 emission. Here in the UK, where we use (some homes) electric storage heaters, you can get an 'Economy 7' rate which only draws on power at night. My parents in Canada likewise have a rate which allows the power company to turn off the air conditioning for 30 minutes every 2 hours-- which they do during summer peaks (around 4.30pm-- hottest time of the day, and also the part of the day when the early shift gets home and turns on the TV etc. whilst the majority of offices and factories are still running).

In the middle of the day ('mid merit' in power terminology, as opposed to 'peak' and 'baseload') in the midwest of the USA, much of the power most likely comes from coal (peak power typically comes from gas, because you can fire up a gas turbine in seconds, whereas it can take hours with a coal-fired power plant and nuclear availability is scheduled months in advance).

A lot of the economy advantage of a Prius comes because it uses regenerative braking, and because an electric motor is quite an efficient way to deliver torque to the wheels (compared to an internal combustion engine, which rotates too fast, and needs complex gearing).

So if one spends a lot of time in stop-go traffic, they are almost ideal vs. a conventional internal combustion engine car.

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ualdriver
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Post by ualdriver » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:41 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Me too on the PHEV. We may have a while to wait: the challenge is the battery technology.

At what time of day you charge would have a big impact on the CO2 emission. Here in the UK, where we use (some homes) electric storage heaters, you can get an 'Economy 7' rate which only draws on power at night. My parents in Canada likewise have a rate which allows the power company to turn off the air conditioning for 30 minutes every 2 hours-- which they do during summer peaks (around 4.30pm-- hottest time of the day, and also the part of the day when the early shift gets home and turns on the TV etc. whilst the majority of offices and factories are still running).

In the middle of the day ('mid merit' in power terminology, as opposed to 'peak' and 'baseload') in the midwest of the USA, much of the power most likely comes from coal (peak power typically comes from gas, because you can fire up a gas turbine in seconds, whereas it can take hours with a coal-fired power plant and nuclear availability is scheduled months in advance).

A lot of the economy advantage of a Prius comes because it uses regenerative braking, and because an electric motor is quite an efficient way to deliver torque to the wheels (compared to an internal combustion engine, which rotates too fast, and needs complex gearing).

So if one spends a lot of time in stop-go traffic, they are almost ideal vs. a conventional internal combustion engine car.
They're great in stop and go traffic too because at slow speeds the gas engine isn't even running! I can't imagine how many cars right now as I type have their engines idling at stop lights in just Manhattan right now! What a waste.

Your points about coal fired plants/natural gas fired plants that provide electricity above the baseline nuclear needs is understood, but I thought that I have read from several sources that even if a PHEV received its electricity from the "dirtiest" type of electric power plant (coal), that is was still more efficient (from a pollution and overall efficiency standpoint) to power a car that way than it is to power a car with a traditional, gas powered engine.

I often wonder though.......if 10, 20 years from now everyone had a plug-in PHEV, what happens when everyone plugs in their car at 5 or 6pm when they get home? I doubt the grid here in the U.S. could take it!!

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Post by Valuethinker » Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:53 am

ualdriver wrote:

So if one spends a lot of time in stop-go traffic, they are almost ideal vs. a conventional internal combustion engine car.
They're great in stop and go traffic too because at slow speeds the gas engine isn't even running! I can't imagine how many cars right now as I type have their engines idling at stop lights in just Manhattan right now! What a waste.

Your points about coal fired plants/natural gas fired plants that provide electricity above the baseline nuclear needs is understood, but I thought that I have read from several sources that even if a PHEV received its electricity from the "dirtiest" type of electric power plant (coal), that is was still more efficient (from a pollution and overall efficiency standpoint) to power a car that way than it is to power a car with a traditional, gas powered engine.
I'd have to dig out the research. I think that is roughly right. An ICE is c. 20% efficient at converting energy into propulsive energy, a coal fired power plant is c. 35%, transmission losses are 7-8%. Electric motors are a lot more efficient (but I forget how much).

Also the gasoline has to get to the filling station, which is a considerable inefficiency in and of itself.

There's a whole 'nother world there. Remember when Heathrow (LHR) was nearly closed because the fuel dump blew up? That dump is over 50 miles from Heathrow (north by north east, roughly), connected by a pipeline. There was a network of these built between airfields all over the UK, so if we ever went to war with the Russians, the USAF could keep its bombers fuelled.
I often wonder though.......if 10, 20 years from now everyone had a plug-in PHEV, what happens when everyone plugs in their car at 5 or 6pm when they get home? I doubt the grid here in the U.S. could take it!!
Actually the proposal is the reverse: solar and wind power power powerpacks all day, and then at peak times, they draw down on them-- grid runs in reverse.

The electric utility would pay you for the privilege of using your battery pack as a storage device. Probably by giving you free recharging at other times.

You would do this because if your battery pack is flat, the engine will simply turn on and charge it.

In terms of the problem you identify, the solution will be power rates, and control devices, which encourage consumers from not consuming during peak periods. Peak power pricing is already being tested, and control devices already exist (signalled via the power line). Hence my parental power tariff.

The grid already does this by 'brown out' ie a voltage dropoff when under stress, but more formal 'smart grid' control is already possible.

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Post by ataloss » Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:46 pm

I went with the Civic. Lower cost, more power, and proven technology vs the Prius

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robertts12
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Antro solo:150 mpg. Really?

Post by robertts12 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:42 pm


Ricola
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Post by Ricola » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:21 pm

I am still driving my 16 yr old Volvo. Very comfortable, built like a tank, a lot of room, and 30 mpg on the highway. :)

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Post by smeyerinwayne » Mon Mar 23, 2009 6:45 pm

2004 toyota prius. 65,000 miles. no $ repair other than regular maintenance. great car!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sullivanke
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Post by sullivanke » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:54 pm

Rent the movie entitled "Death of the Electric Car" Dont think it has been mentioned yet in this thread. It is right on target as to what is being discussed here. They go into detail about how American Car companies missed the boat when it came to producing more fuel efficient cars. Instead we kept spitting out gas guzzling large SUV's and such. True in that a lot of this was consumer driven but the reason the big 3 are on the verge of failing and now depending on tax payers bailout is an environmental root cause. All the while, other car companies were turning out smaller, more fuel efficient cars and running circles around us.
Bottom Line: we are more addicted to fossil fuels then well ever care to realize and there is simply to much money to be made with oil.

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