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Old 08-15-2008, 10:14 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.I.D.E. View Post
Check the resale values of high mileage cars of the types you are considering.

Would you rather have a Corolla with 125k, or a Prius?

You may be surprized at the value comparison.

regards
gary
A very good point Gary. Anyone buying a car who plans to sell or trade it in ... within 3 years or so should factor that in.

My sister (who works in auto finance) wanted me to buy a Matrix because they hold their value better just because it says Toyota vs. GM. For me, I know I will put a ton of miles on this car since I got it for work and will drive 30-40K miles per year on it for work alone. Resale wasn't a factor for me, but true it is for most people.

Your upfront purchase cost, whether buying a new at sticker or getting a good discount, or buying a used car at over book value ... as in the case of many fuel efficient cars on lots right now vs. buying one under book value all would affect a 5 year return on investment. Many dealers are charging up to $7K over MSRP for a Prius because they can due to demand.

I thought about all of that but it is tough to integrate into a spreadsheet like this without doing every single type of car to be fair.

But to answer your question, I personally would rather buy a used Corolla with 125K miles than a Prius with 125K miles. Why? The residual value on the Prius will be higher and it will be quite a bit more than a Corolla would. The Corolla engine is very proven and I wouldn't be surprised to see over 300K on this engine. The gas engine part of a Prius ... I'm not sure how long they last to be honest.... not enough data out there yet.

NADA Values
2001 Prius w/ 125K miles = $8,850 (EPA = 41mpg combined)
2001 Corolla w/ 125K = $6,050 (EPA = 31mpg combined)

Autotrader search
2001 Prius (within 300 miles of me), with over 100K miles
Average Asking Price: $9,359 (only 4 of them listed)

2001 Corolla (within 300 miles of me), with over 100K miles
Average Asking Price: $5932 (over 39 of them)

Using calculator to compare:



It would also be much, much harder to find a used Prius than the Corolla, and most dealer lots would charge over book value for the Prius, but under book for the Corolla.

I also worry about the batteries long term. I know there are some Prius cars out there with big miles on them and the batteries are still working ... but are they holding the charge good still at 200K miles without dropping FE ... I find it doubtful? I just had to replace my electric golf cart batteries after only 5 years. They are NiMH also and I use an auto charger system.

"Toyota says that for the best service life, the Prius battery likes to be kept at about a 60 percent charge. In normal operation, the system usually lets the charge level vary only 10-15 percentage points. Therefore, the battery is rarely more than 75 percent charged, or less than 45 percent charged."

So, Toyota claims the lifespan of their batteries will be longer than that of a regular NiMH battery because they keep an optimal state of charge on them. So does my golf cart ... still had to replace them... lol.
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Old 08-15-2008, 11:05 AM   #22
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Here's an article that shows good promise for longevity of the NiMH battery packs.

Motor Authority ? Toyota Prius taxi tops 340,000mi, dispels battery myth

"Two of the older examples have managed a lifespan of 350,000km (218,000mi) and 550,000km (341,000mi) before needing replacement of their nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. The only problem even at the end of their battery pack service life was a low voltage reading."

So if you ended up buying that used Prius with 125K miles on it ... and have to replace the battery pack in less than 100K miles like they did on one of the older cars in service ... you are looking at tagging on anouth $3,000 to that cost ROI.

An interesting Newsweek article states:

"Still, hybrids don't hold their resale value as well as their gasoline powered siblings."
Source: http://www.newsweek.com/id/138808/page/2

A really funny article about why you never ever want to let your Prius battery die completely: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articl...-ever-741.html
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2007 Vibe (base-5 speed man)
MODS = Added CC, 15% Tint, New wheels, Nav/DVD, Polk speakers, Infinity sub/amp, Console Outlet,
MODS = ScanGauge II, Perm. alum. grill block, belly pan, Removed antenna, Tire pres. 44 psi
Future MODS = Removable lower grill block, Clear fog covers, 195 deg. therm, Rear spoiler, Full belly pan
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:41 PM   #23
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A point about battery life,
Frequent use and frequent recharging helps maintain battery life, as does extended recharge time, such as a long daily commute. Infrequent use and short trips will reduce battery life.
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:05 AM   #24
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The hybrid manufacturers don't want consumers focusing on battery life, but that is not the only reason I don't like the gas electric hybrid.

Just look under the hood. Compare that to my 94 VX and you can see that the hybrids will be very expensive to repair, assuming they are worth enough to repiar in the first place.

I talked to an Insight owner while riding on the Jamestown-Scotland Neck ferry. They loved the 55+ MPG and didn't even mind the $5000 replacement battery, since they had saved soo much in fuel cost.

Batteries also deteriorate, so your mileage will fall off before the battery approaches its final death throes.

Also remember you have two powerplants, to add to the parts count. It would be interesting to see how many more parts a hybrid actually requires.

The manufacturers don't want us to keep cars for decade and drive them 250,000 miles, but the average car today is about 8 years old. My 83 year old mothers Eldorado is 10, and Pop's Mark 7 is 20. I dont think you will see many of todays cars reach that age.

In a few weeks Va Tech starts working with me on my "hybrid design". 25% fewer parts per vehicle, no battery or electric motor is necessary, unless you want your only source of power to be electric. Interchangeable power modules allow the same vehicle to be used for all electric city commuting, while still having a 500 plus mile range on the highway.

The manufacturers want you to either give up the highway car or buy one city and one highway car.

What they need to do is develop a simple vehicle platform that allows flexibility that simply doesn't exist today. the closest thing I have seen or read about is the GM skateboard concept with everything powertrain related on the skateboard, with body configurations that are fairly easily interchangeable.

High mileage "hybrid" motorcycles with real aerodynamics and regenerative braking will make the two wheeled option much more practical, with all weather capability and 250MPG.

$100,000 electric cars, and hydrogen fuel cell cars that cost many times more than 100K are simply not realistic. They are a rich mans toy, not practical transportation for the average worker in China. he wants a 100 CC motorbike that has all weather capabilities and can travel a week on a half gallon of gas, for $1500.

regards
badger
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:32 AM   #25
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I went from ~25 to ~35 in my old 94 accord. I was figured I was saving roughly $30-$50 per month. I don't have a "bad" baseline for my Civic. I tried, but it seems I cant drive that bad anymore.
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Old 08-16-2008, 06:39 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Markmysite View Post
Please read this thread and help to raise awareness out there.
Nice job, but could you add a 12.5mpg, and a 10 mpg to cover the gas-hog type vehicles. They seem to benefit more from just a few mpg....
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Old 08-16-2008, 09:09 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by slurp812 View Post
Nice job, but could you add a 12.5mpg, and a 10 mpg to cover the gas-hog type vehicles. They seem to benefit more from just a few mpg....
That's a very good point. Low mileage cars like my Durango that gets 13mpg, or an Expedition, 350 pick ups ... benefit the most from increasing their MPG. Even if they only get to 20-25mpg the fuel savings, carbon emissions to our environment, and our dependency on foreign oil are all greatly reduced.

It was after I read an article about how improving your MPG in an SUV makes such a huge difference that I started on my ECO quest for a smaller car. I've read that if everyone in the US got rid of their gas hog trucks that we wouldn't even need foreign oil anymore (not sure if that's true, but it seems very plausible).
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MODS = ScanGauge II, Perm. alum. grill block, belly pan, Removed antenna, Tire pres. 44 psi
Future MODS = Removable lower grill block, Clear fog covers, 195 deg. therm, Rear spoiler, Full belly pan
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