Material science hasn't stood still, so the turbos are better at handling heat.
Toyota and Ford hybrids don't have an automatic in the traditional sense. Mechanically, they are a single speed manual without a clutch. The computer controls engine and motor inputs to vary the effective ratio.
The first Insight and early Civic hybrid had a manual, but they suffered from early battery failure. Drivers were able to ,well, 'lug' the battery and overdraw from it.
That's always been my point too, most of the electricity they use comes from burning fossil fuels anyway, but having a vehicle that has zero emissions in a crowded city urban environment within close proximity of humans is better than the fumes from petrol or diesel cars.
You hear and read that about a lot or "renewable energy" devices but what did it cost environmentally to produce that electricity and same for the manufacture and disposal of solar panels.
You have to look at the whole picture, not just what is coming out the exhaust pipe that instant.
Whole picture includes many details.
Non-plugin hybrids generally come out ahead over their life time. The fuel saved, and less brake work to a small degree, and what gets reused or recycled, will cover the extra environmental cost that want into their manufacturer.
In regards to plugins, just moving the emissions out of the city can mean a big health and quality of life improvement for residents, even if the power generator is dirty. It is easier to monitor, regulate, and clean up emissions from a few central, sationary sources than from thousands of tiny, mobile ones.
Electricity can also be made cleaner and increase the renewables percentage over time. With a non-plugin, the ICE and emission equipment wears over time, getting dirtier. Then renewable fuels are still a tiny portion, and then needed gasoline and diesel will come increasingly more costly, energy intensive, and dirtier sources.
Then there are the national security advantages in the US's case of switching from a foreign energy source to domestic ones. Look what effect the Saudis have had on world oil prices in order to hurt political and economic rivals. Tar sands and shale oil are the economic ones. Shale oil exploration is stopping because of the ow cost of crude, and the current wells will only last 18 months or so.
More city driving -> Hybrid. More highway driving -> Diesel vehicle.
True to some extent yes, however people who drive diesels have noticed they have benefits in urban environments. The low down torque and acceleration makes for brisk manouvers, away from traffic lights and or overtaking. And of course diesels use less fuel when idling than an ice. Diesel hybrids in my opinion offer the best of both worlds.
Agreed, Diesel hybrid car if there were any right now I would have bought it. I dont see that happening here in US anytime soon. I see cars with bigger electric motors generating more torque and gas fuelled range extendor attached to them (similar to bmw i3 and volt to some extent) being a more practical approach for future cars to reduce emissions. I think pure electric drives accelerate from 0 (wheel spin is irritating sometimes) well also have good highway capabilities.
I've been a diesel lover since the first time I realised I needed half as much money to cover the same amount of miles as in a petrol car. However, after hearing Mk1 Honda Insight and Mitsubishi PHEV owners in forums here, I would like to try either of those as my next car. Sort of academic for now (barring a lottery win, or netting an international customer!) as I will be keeping my Hyundai i20 for the next 8 and a half years to justify the cost of buying it from new. I guess a new Mitsubishi Outlander Diesel PHEV would be the sensible choice, but I absolutely love the look of the 1st gen Insight, especially in green with those silver wheels! I'm not interested in power and speed, though four wheel drive capabilities will be useful.