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Old 08-08-2006, 11:40 AM   #1
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Buying a hybrid to save the enviroment? Think again.

http://www.reason.org/commentaries/d...20060719.shtml

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But despite all these drawbacks, hybrids are at least better for the environment than say?.. a Hummer, right? Nope.


Spinella spent two years on the most comprehensive study to date ? dubbed "Dust to Dust" -- collecting data on the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a car from the initial conception to scrappage. He even included in the study such minutia as plant-to-dealer fuel costs of each vehicle, employee driving distances, and electricity usage per pound of material. All this data was then boiled down to an "energy cost per mile" figure for each car



Comparing this data, the study concludes that overall hybrids cost more in terms of overall energy consumed than comparable non-hybrid vehicles. But even more surprising, smaller hybrids' energy costs are greater than many large, non-hybrid SUVs.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:52 AM   #2
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The major factor for that is that they used a life cycle for the Prius at 100,000 miles and the Hummer 300,000 miles. It would be interesting to see the actual number of mile before they go to the boneyard. The US auto makers will be flashing this information around. Go hug a Hummer and thank the driver for saving the environment.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:57 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by zpiloto
The major factor for that is that they used a life cycle for the Prius at 100,000 miles and the Hummer 300,000 miles. It would be interesting to see the actual number of mile before they go to the boneyard. The US auto makers will be flashing this information around. Go hug a Hummer and thank the driver for saving the environment.
You make an excellent point. I do wonder what the real lifespan of a hybrid is. I DO know that that batteries (at least in the insight) start going out after around 100k, but I have serious doubts that:

1) Toyota, who (like Honda) has historically had cars that last for over 200k before having ANY problems,would produce a car that only gives 100k miles.
2) GM, who historically has a car that can last for around 100k can suddenly produce a car that can last 300k.

What I believe we have here is a clash of cultures. The Eastern culture (Japanese - Toyota) will give you a lower number than they really expect. American culter (GM) always overcompensates for smaller sales.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:09 PM   #4
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Would the Hummer last 100k and Prius 300k instead, we could all agree what the real toxic energy hog was.

I've heard this same argument used to discredit the pure EV. The person making the arguement often never acknowledges how long an electric drive system will actually last, 500,000-1,000,000+ miles.

The batteries on the Prius are NiMH. They're actually holding out quite well, even after 250,000 miles in a few examples on Yahoo Groups. There are examples of RAV4 EVs passing the 150,000 mile mark with no degredation in capacity or performance yet.

This battery would outlast most internal combustion engines in a hybrid or pure EV, perhaps even twice over. Chevron Texaco has that patent now and prevents large EV-suitable batteries from being produced and sold to small companies and hobbyists.
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Old 08-08-2006, 12:30 PM   #5
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let a computer handle a battery that is programmed for long life = good results

let a human handle a battery = its dead before one knows it

that is why humans are not in charge of the battery while driving the car. Toyota claims the battery WILL last the lifetime of the veichle but there are a few cases where the battery poops on you.

Examples: http://hybridcars.com/hidden-costs.html

in the end, just treat the battery like your children and nothing will go wrong! those who DO run into battery problems its just how they drove the car (super agressive driving?) and where its parked (aka in the sun for long periods of time?)

remember batteries are humans, they like to feel what we are feeling too!
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Matt Timion
1) Toyota, who (like Honda) has historically had cars that last for over 200k before having ANY problems,would produce a car that only gives 100k miles.
2) GM, who historically has a car that can last for around 100k can suddenly produce a car that can last 300k.
I hear this argument against US auto-makers constantly.

I just sold my 1991 chevy s-10 truck on Monday. Mileage at time of sale was 301,501 on original engine and auto tranny. Ran well enough that untill i bought my new car i was running it 70+ miles a day.

My position is that if a vehicle is maintained properly, and driven with care, there is no reason that the vehicle should not be able to surpass 200,000.

This leads my logic to two possible conclusions, both of wich can be easily proven or disproven in certain cases.

1) Foreign cars are better maintained than domestics
2) Domestics are driven under more sever conditions.

I'm not saying by any stretch that US vehicles are as well built as Foriegn cars (i DID buy a toyota), but i feel something is amiss if one vehicle can ONLY achieve 100K and the other can achieve 300K
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Old 08-08-2006, 02:06 PM   #7
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What I've experienced with domestics vs. foriegn cars:

1. A family friend owns an s10 with 600k on it.
2. There are quite a few million mile civics that I've heard of an people routinely turbo, supercharge, and run nitrous on 200k plus civic engines with no issues.
3. Guy I worked with was drunk driving his prelude with no oil in it (he forgot to put the bolt in, cuz he was drunk) at 80-100 mph for 1:30 or so and the engine ran fine once he realized what he did and put some oil in the car.
4. All the mechanics I worked will said that domestics are not built to last, in fact, that no cars were anymore. Except, they said, for hondas and toyotas. They said this with regret, because they only drove domestics, but after working on thousands over cars over a few decades this is what they learned based on the problems they saw.
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Old 08-08-2006, 03:58 PM   #8
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My friend just bought a used 2005 Prius and loves it - haven't measured the internal EMR yet but that is on the list - replacement battery is $2000 she says.

What I like about the report is that the SCION XB was the lowest cost dust to dust HA HA !! I LOVE IT!!! and I lowered my operating cost with higher MPG and Synlube!!!
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Old 08-09-2006, 04:34 AM   #9
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My position is that if a vehicle is maintained properly, and driven with care, there is no reason that the vehicle should not be able to surpass 200,000.
Right on, chesspirate.
If anyone thinks differently, they could go work at any private auto auction facility in the country and easily see the light on this subject.
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Old 08-09-2006, 06:33 AM   #10
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Except around here where you die of old age trying to drive that many miles on these 25-35 mph roads and that's if the car doesn't rust out from under you before then.
I may get my Geo into my driveway at home if my brother decides to remove one of the 3 wrecks sitting there for over 12 years to make room for it - then we will rebuild from scratch the horn for the front right suspension. Registration runs out this month - inspection last month.
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