Keep in mind that the battery really weighs down the vehicle. On top of that you have to replace the battery eventually, and its not cheap replacing.
Do a little research I believe the Prius' battery is circa 99 pounds - really not heavy at all. As for replacement - yes, they eventually do need replacement and yes, the term "expensive to replace" is thrown around all the time... But, how many people actually looked up the price? It's circa $3000 from the dealer (the insight's battery is a little more) and I believe the warranty is something like 150K miles.... So if the battery did crap out at exactly that time -- that's 2 cents per mile for a battery that can be recycled.
So, battery - not heavy/doesn't way down the vehicle AND not, not cheap replacing (considering other thing's you're not paying for) <-- plus I love double negatives.
Lastly, there's plug in conversions for the Prius that add more weight, but get the vehicle over the 100mpg mark.... They're actually doing said conversion at the Maker Faire right now
As for the Tee Dee Eye Don't get me wrong about all of the above, it's a great diesel. You'll be hard pressed finding a used one for a decent price (very few people want to give them up) You're emissions won't be as great compared to... well, almost any other car (simply due to the reasons already stated). Which is a big deal for many of us.
Also remember that.... In summer diesel prices go down while gas prices go up... In winter, diesel goes up while gas goes down. It's really affected by the weather (you northern folks like warm houses ). I'm just saying this so current diesel prices don't get you're hopes up for prices 6 months from now
And finally -- the TDI holds resale value like you wouldn't believe. I haven't checked the numbers or anything, but it seems likely that it would be better than a Prius or Insight (unless it had an HOV exempt sticker ). Great if you want to sell, not so great when buying used
Also, the newer Volkswagens are plagued by mechanical and electrical problems, so I don't know if the new TDI's are going to last as long as a Prius or Civic.
I have a MkIV Jetta 2.0.... I have had none of the aforementioned mech/electrical problems (well, I did have a stripped oil drain plug) My clock recently rolled over 106K miles as I just finished a 3000 mile trip cross country. I can't speak for the newer MkV models -- but I'm not gonna lie -- VW + 1990's was not a happy thing. They WERE plagued with electrical problems which, in my opinion, is why there's a bad reputation. Now, as for the other engines (1.8T and VR6) -- they do have some weak spots (mainly coil packs) but nothing to give the car a complete black flag
That being said -- there's a LOT of TDI's with over 300K miles on the clock. And if these TDI's were terrible on maintenance, they wouldn't be so scarce/expensive to buy used
Time is the best teacher. Unfortunately it kills all its students.
The point of hybridization is to minimize low load engine operation because it's very inefficient for gasoline engines.
No, that's the point of multi-speed gear boxes. The point of hybridization is to re-capture the kinetic energy of a moving vehicle when decelerating, rather than using conventional brakes to convert it to waste heat. Batteries and an electric motor/generator are just a convenient way of doing that. The ridiculous amount of low-end torque you get from a hybrid's electric motor is not so much a design feature as an artifact of electric motors in general.
Depends on the gearbox. For the vast majority of automobiles, given their wide range of operating speeds and loads, a multispeed gear box will not, and clearly has not, minimized low load engine operation very well.
Of the "hybrid" Prius, the most important parts utilized when minimizing low load engine operation are the CVT'ish transmission, auto stop/start, and Atkinson cycle engine, which are primarily responsible for it's increase in mileage compared to other cars. Removing the pack would result in lower EPA city mileage, but not by a considerable amount based on my back of the envelope calcs. The majority of the mileage gains exhibited by a Prius, compared to a similar sized/featured car like a Corolla are thanks to the CVT/Atkinson cycle/stop&start.
I suppose from a semantic POV, these features aren't strictly limited to hybrid autos, but then again, hybrid autos themselves aren't hybrids in the conventional sense. They just have an onboard energy sink to allow for more efficient use of gas. But, that being said, hybrids are the only vehicles I know of that employ CVT/Atkinson cycle/stop&start features together.
Originally Posted by FormulaTwo
I think if i could get that type of FE i would have no problem driving a dildo shaped car.
I'm not sure VW is selling 2007 TDIs in the States because of emissions.
Model year 2007 VW TDI were and are for sale. Good luck in finding one, though. They weren't 50 state cars, but once the car is registered in one of the 45 federal emission states and has 7500 miles or more on the odometer it is legal for registration in all states.
Originally Posted by Wazabi Owner
Normal diesels just aren't green for tree huggers.
Good news folks, BMW is going to offer a 50 state legal diesel starting in 2008. If they do it, the other makers will HAVE to come out with competing products. Nobody really cares what VW does in the US, but if BMW comes out with a good 50 state legal diesel you know it's going to run like a scalded dog and get 20MPG better than their gasser will (for a premium price, of course), Mercedes and Cadillac will have to match them. Once Cadillac matches them, the entire GM lineup will see a diesel within 2 years, which means everyone will have to have one to compete. This may be the big spur to get biodiesel in mass production.
I seem to recall reading that the emissions issues in the US were related to the diesel fuel available here. Something about too much sulfur I think? Anyway, they've been having a hard time making catalytic converters that will operate properly on diesel exhaust. Sulfur poisons platinum and palladium catalysts, so that was probably it.
Pretty soon the diesel avalable for road use will be "ultra-low sulfur diesel", which has a lot less sulfur, and which may allow for some new technologies to be used on diesels. I think that the changeover occurs sometime in the next few months.