The car can operate in all-electric mode all the way up to 47 MPH which not only saves fuel but keeps things whisper quiet. That high all EV mode contributes to an expected range of on one tank of gas of 700 miles, one heck of a long drive if you ask us.
Based on that, it can run electric-only and use no fuel as long as there's enough battery left (up to 47mph). It will eventually use fuel to recharge the batteries, though...it's not a plug-in hybrid.
I'm sure the community will produce plug-in modifications, first as a DIY then as a product sold by a third-party company.
i don't fully understand hybids. the electric motor stays engaged up to 47 mph. so, does this mean if someone were to drive X amount of miles staying under that, no fuel would be used?
Ford and Toyota hybrids are parallel/series hybrids. The system could just use the electric motor to move the car, but is mostly the ICE and motor work together to power the wheels. I was able to keep my Prius in all electric up 41mph, but that was crawling along with the help declines. The battery also only held enough charge for a mile or two of pure electric.
The successful fuel efficient hybrids aren't just fuel misers because of the electric side. They also downgrade and/or atkinsonize the ICE so that when the it is running, it is running in the peak efficiency range. The motor helps the what would be considered an underpowered engine move the car at a permformance level people have come to expect and accept in their vehicles.
This means 39-40 MPG if it is 5+ MPG over the Camry hybrid. 40 MPG SUVs would mean we could do away with foreign oil entirely with a few more modifications to our general vehicle base.
Get the Chevy Volt into the picture (also a series hybrid) for passenger vehicles and then we could get off foreign oil entirely. Think about it - 40+ MPG for nearly every passenger vehicle on the road - let the Middle East and Russia sell all their oil elsewhere if they even can.
Looking to trade for an early 1988 Honda CRX HF (Pillar mounted seat belts)
I agree, it would be great to see 40+ mpg from all vehicles (passenger vehicles). I assume commercial vehicles would still get less because of towing and carrying capacity.
but the volt now has a price tag of 40k or so which is out of my price range and most of the people I know. personally, I think that 30k is pushing it for an SUV. there again, I am cheap and have relatively inexpensive vehicles.
even if I could triple my mileage, I couldn't justify spending 40k on it. I do feel like the dependency on foreign oil is lessening and I feel like hybrid technology will help with that.
I am actually looking forward to the new prius (3rd generation) and the new insight. one of the big selling features of the insight is the price which has been rumored to be around 17-18k but time will tell on that one too.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
The general public is willing to spend $30k or $40k easily enough. Just look at the quantity of cars on the road that were that expensive when new.
I'm more optimistic about the Volt. It looks like it will offer a lot of value that the Prius doesn't (less funky looking, more aggressive -- looks are very important; size; plug-in and electric-only), in the beginning it will be subsidized, and after a few years its price will lower. I'm not likely to buy a $40k car, but if I could afford it (not right now or anytime in the forseeable future) I'd be happy to buy a $25k car (30mpg V6 2010 Camaro, please). If the Volt can pay for itself on my 80mi/day commute, it could be a strong contender.
0%, 5-year loan
$25k car: $416/mo
$35k car: $583/mo -- $167 more per month
Miles per month (27 days * 80 miles): 2,160
Gallons@30mpg: 72 ($122 at $1.70, $288 at $4/gal)
Gallons@50mpg: 43 ($73 at $1.70, $172 at $4/gal)
If I never plug it in, the total cost per month is increased by $firstname.lastname@example.org/gallon or $51/month@4/gallon.
If I can't charge at work, that means my morning commute will cost $15.12/month. The afternoon commute will cost $email@example.com/gal or 86/mo@4/gal. Total fuel cost is $50 to $100 per month, halfway paying for itself at $1.70/gal and fully paying for itself at less than $4/gallon.
If I can charge at work and have to pay, that means my whole commute will cost $30/month.
If I can charge at work and don't have to pay (a distinct reality, I work at a college and the publicity would be worth it to them as well as to large companies where other folks work), my fuel will cost $15/month.
...an then there's subsidized PV for my house, too...
you're right about more people being interested in the volt than we probably expect. I personally can't put that much of an initial investment into a car. my wife and I took one of our teens to the prom (he had a date but not drivers licinse...long story) anyway we rented a cadillac DTS to take them in. that was a smoothe car. I think they run about 45k. I really liked it but waaaaaay out of my price range.
another concern (and this is more for GM) is that you can take a prius right now and convert it over to plug in for about 3k (that is if you do the work yourself) and about 10k if you pay someone to do it. that bumps up the price of a prius from around the 22k new to 32k (if you get it professionally done). given this information, it wouldn't be hard for toyota to offer something like that in the future that would possibly make the volt obsolete or at least not cost effective. you do still have the people that will drive chevy and nothing else (I am not one of them).
also, the 3rd gen prius is being unveiled in a few days. can't wait. I have heard rumors but I am more of a facts guy. I want to see what toyota says about it.
the good thing about the volt, fusion, prius, insight, and all the rest of the hybrids are that there is now a choice. now you can chose which brand you want and at what price you want to pay.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
If everyone adopted more fuel efficient vehicles such as hybrids or EVs, not only would it help get the U.S. off the oil addiction bandwagon, but it would also reduce CO2 emissions. Not to mention that it sure would be good to to undermine political undesirables such as Vladimir Putin (Russia) and Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), who would lose most of their clout without oil sales.
Simplicity is the glory of expression.-Walt Whitman