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BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?

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Wesley S 08 Jan 07 - 01:42 PM
Amos 08 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM
Scoville 08 Jan 07 - 01:48 PM
Bill D 08 Jan 07 - 01:56 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 08 Jan 07 - 02:00 PM
Amos 08 Jan 07 - 02:01 PM
Don Firth 08 Jan 07 - 02:53 PM
Don Firth 08 Jan 07 - 02:56 PM
Wesley S 08 Jan 07 - 03:05 PM
gnu 08 Jan 07 - 03:18 PM
Big Phil 08 Jan 07 - 03:55 PM
gnu 08 Jan 07 - 04:07 PM
kendall 08 Jan 07 - 04:08 PM
Wesley S 08 Jan 07 - 04:16 PM
GUEST 08 Jan 07 - 04:28 PM
gnu 08 Jan 07 - 04:46 PM
Liz the Squeak 08 Jan 07 - 05:22 PM
dick greenhaus 08 Jan 07 - 07:02 PM
cobra 08 Jan 07 - 07:12 PM
The Fooles Troupe 08 Jan 07 - 08:13 PM
Big Phil 09 Jan 07 - 03:47 AM
mandotim 09 Jan 07 - 05:20 AM
gnu 09 Jan 07 - 06:41 AM
jonm 09 Jan 07 - 07:28 AM
skipy 09 Jan 07 - 07:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM
Arne 09 Jan 07 - 03:53 PM
Barry Finn 09 Jan 07 - 09:21 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Jan 07 - 02:40 AM
Barry Finn 10 Jan 07 - 01:01 PM
Amos 10 Jan 07 - 02:34 PM
Don Firth 10 Jan 07 - 02:44 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Jan 07 - 03:37 PM
Haruo 10 Jan 07 - 04:40 PM
Amos 10 Jan 07 - 04:42 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Jan 07 - 06:51 PM
Don Firth 10 Jan 07 - 07:05 PM
Arne 10 Jan 07 - 07:08 PM
SunnySister 10 Jan 07 - 07:10 PM
TRUBRIT 10 Jan 07 - 10:53 PM
Gurney 12 Jan 07 - 01:22 AM
Sooz 12 Jan 07 - 02:50 AM
Captain Ginger 12 Jan 07 - 05:58 AM
Grab 12 Jan 07 - 10:04 AM
JohnInKansas 12 Jan 07 - 02:34 PM
JohnInKansas 12 Jan 07 - 03:00 PM
Don Firth 13 Jan 07 - 03:06 PM
Ebbie 13 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM
JohnInKansas 13 Jan 07 - 05:50 PM

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Subject: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 01:42 PM

Just the other day we test drove a hybrid car – a Toyota Prius to be exact. I was surprised and pleased with what I saw. It looked small from the outside but it was surprisingly roomy inside. Although it didn't have a lot of trunk room I can deal with that { besides – I'm a mandolin player} . Between O and 40 it runs on it's electric motor and the gasoline engine kicks in at over 40 MPH. The gas mileage is rated at 60/50. At that rate a 15 gallon tank is going to last a long time.

Does anyone here own or have any experience with these new hybrid cars? Any ideas about the cost of upkeep?


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM

My MIL drives a Prius and is delighted with it. Being an early model, it had to go back for tweaks on two occasions, I forget why, but by and large she is thrilled with the car and with the mileage it gets her.

I think that rating is about 15% high, though.

There are discussion groups on the web of hybrid owners, and you might like to survey them for their actual MPG made good.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Scoville
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 01:48 PM

A friend of mine had a first-generation Prius that she liked but finally that finally started having electrical problems. I don't know if that's common or if hers was a dud, though.

If you're looking to buy a small, serviceable car with good gas mileage, look at the Matrix. I have a Pontiac Vibe, which is the same car; both are essentially Corolla hatchbacks. It's rated for 32/36 but on open highway driving I've gotten up to 41 (which, if you compare, is still the best mpg estimate of pretty much anything in that size/price range). Not as good as a hybrid but it's less expensive to buy and will never have any hybrid-associated problems. They're compact and the back seats fold flat so you can haul stuff.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 01:56 PM

I rode in a new Prius recently....it seemed fine. A friend drove us to a meeting, and we did both highway & city driving. I admire them....wish I could afford one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 02:00 PM

A friend who has been very pleased with his Prius for local driving here in the Florida flatlands recently took a trip to the North Carolina mountains and reported that the car didn't have enough power for mountain driving. He's planning a move to a mountainous area of Oregon in the relatively near future and is planning on selling the car before going.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Amos
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 02:01 PM

My personal strategy is to hold on to my old four-banger a while longer in the hopes that Toyota will finally unbend on the issue of rechargeable (plug and play) electrical systems in hybrids. This will cut the gas consumption even further, since my car sits in the parking lot during the brightest hours of the day while I work and could just as wlel be trickle-charging off a solar panel.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 02:53 PM

When we got our last car, the Prius wasn't out yet. We have a 1999 Toyota Corolla, which we bought new, and as of now, it has less than 20,000 miles on the clock. It's the second Toyota I've owned. The first one was a 1968 Corona. Between the two, I got a Honda Civic in 1982. Also an excellent car. All of them have been compact, peppy, easy to handle, easy to park, and very economical on gas and maintenance. Had the Prius been available, we would have bought one.

We have a friend who has a Prius and he loves it. He fills the tank with an eye-dropper from time to time and it just goes and goes, like the Energizer bunny (but a lot quieter: soft little hum, barely audible).

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Don Firth
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 02:56 PM

By the way, my friend has done some mountain driving around here (western Washington--just last week-end, in fact) and he says he's never had a problem with sufficient power. Under any kind of strain, the gasoline engine cuts in.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 03:05 PM

Speaking of quiet - the dealer said they now have a camera installed so that you can see behind you when you're backing up. He says that are so quiet that people walking don't see them coming.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: gnu
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 03:18 PM

I was thinkin 'bout gettin one a them there little "efficient" weehicles. Maybe a Smart Car. Might come in handy if my my truck breaks down. I could just whip down the buddy ramp and drive it right outta the truck box. 'Course, it wouldn't get me back where my 770# (dry) ATV would, but, it might get me to the gas station... if there's any gas left.

Then there's ones like the Ford Hybrid Escape with 4WD. I suppose you could get to the camp across the river and fish fry salmon with the batteries at the same time. Bzzzzz!

I paid $196.00 Canuck for a Chrysler Cirrus ignition tumbler last week. I think I will stay way from any kinda fancy new stuff. At least until the signal light bulbs are under a thousand bucks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Big Phil
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 03:55 PM

These hybrid motors are more damaging to the planet than small diesel engined cars. It costs more to maintain them, it costs more to get rid of them at the end of their life [huge battery, huge cost to dispose of environmentally] and 60 mpg with diesel is not obtainable with a hybrid.... and hybrids still kick out fumes when running in engine mode..
All things taken into consideration the hybrid is NOT the planet saving vehicle many are purchasing them for.......


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: gnu
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:07 PM

Shhhh... the yuppies won't buy them if you tell them the truth.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: kendall
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:08 PM

The Smart car gets up to 90 mpg.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Wesley S
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:16 PM

"All things taken into consideration the hybrid is NOT the planet saving vehicle many are purchasing them for......."

So what vehicle do you suggest? A horse? A Hummer?


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:28 PM

Deisel is the most efficient


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: gnu
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 04:46 PM

Wesley: Smart cars and similar, diesel, electric, hydrogen... maybe not quite yet, but...

The present hybrids are low end and certainly, for the most part, low tech that don't butter the biscuit in the long run. They are an attempt to make sales at the expense of the environment. Seriously, would you actually buy one of these puppies with the low tech battery systems that carry vitually no warranty?


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 05:22 PM

There will never be a sensible, alternatively fueled vehicle cheaply available until certain governments find a way of replacing oil and fuel revenues with something else.

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 07:02 PM

The problem with diesels, in the US at least, is that the oil companies won't make sufficiently-low-sulfur fuel for a modern diesel's emission control system to work. It's available in Europe, and the diesels work jes' fine--low emission, no big batteries, extremely well-proven technology, lots of power, good economy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: cobra
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 07:12 PM

My first (and only true) hybrid car was the van I drove in 1970. Hybrid is probably not the most accurate description. In fact it was a composite construction of three ex-GPO Morris Minor vans given to me by a current Westminister MP. He was clearly much less concerned about the niceties of the law in those days. I did not - and do not - complain, btw.

A cracking vehicle, its major drawbacks were that it needed a leg wrapped round the gearstick in any gear above second, else the bugger would pop out; it also njeede a judicious elbow placed so that the driver's door would not drift open on sweeping left-hand turns. A few tricky moments on the Limerick to Charleville road needless to say.

But, boy, what a great space for a double mattress!

Errrr....... does this meet the modren descripteration of hybrid? Good luck, so, Bridget.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 08 Jan 07 - 08:13 PM

The Ultimate 'hybrid car'?

ONE PIECE AT A TIME
Johnny Cash

Well I left Kentucky back in 49.

And I went to Detroit workin on an assembly line
The first year they had me puttin wheels on Caddillacs
Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
and sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

One day I devised myself a plan that should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunch box in my hand
Now, gettin caught meant gettin fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
And I'd have me a car worth at least a hundered grand

(CHORUS)
I'd get it one piece at a time
And it wouldnt cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come throught your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
Cause I'll have the only one ther is around

So the very next day when I punched in
With my big lunch box and with help from my friends
I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
I've never considered myself a thief
But GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years
The first day I got me a fuel pump
And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
Then I got me a transmission and all the chrome

The little things I could get in my big lunch box
Like nuts and bolts and all 4 shocks
But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddies mobile home

Now, up to now, my plan went all right
Till we tried to put it all together one night
And thats when we noticed that somethin was definitely wrong
The transmission was a 53
And the motor turned out to be a 73
And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone
So we drilled it out so that it would fit
And with a little bit of help from an adapter kit
We had that engine runnin just like a song

Now the headlights they was another sight
We had 2 on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of em come on

The back end looked kinda funny too
But we put it together and when we got through
Well thats when we noticed that we only had one tail fin
About that time my wife walked out
And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed right on down main drag
And I could hear everybody laughing for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed 60 pounds

(CHORUS)

Uh, yeah, Red-rider, this is the Cottonmouth in the sycho-billy-Cadillac, come on
This is the Cottonmouth and negatory on the cost on this machine here
Red-rider
You might say I walked right up to the factory and picked it up,
it was chaper that way
What model is it?
It's a 49,50,51,52,53,54,55,56,57,58,59 automobile
It's a 60,61,62,63,64,65,66,67,68,69,70 automobile


This is a Music Forum?


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Big Phil
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 03:47 AM

Wesley S

All things taken into consideration the hybrid is NOT the planet saving vehicle many are purchasing them for......."

So what vehicle do you suggest? A horse? A Hummer?

My response to you, life is for living, I have no time for tree hugging, planet saving hippies, I have run large 4x4 for the last 25 years and will continue to do so, its called my personal choice..

I have never left the shores of the good old United Kingdom, but I know many who have, some flying round in planes 4 or 5 times a year.

Wesley S Can you answer me this, who is damaging the planet the most,
4x4 driver or the globetrotter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: mandotim
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 05:20 AM

My Landrover is now mothballed and only used for towing and occasional stump-pulling. Regular car is a Renault Clio diesel. Averages 65 mpg week in week out, very low particulate emissions due to modern diesel technology. I looked at a Prius, but when you do the maths, the environmental impact is just too high overall. The idea that the US oil industry won't manufacture low sulphur diesel is a joke. It could be done tomorrow, with minimal fuss; it's just that the oil companies would sell less fuel overall if this happened, and they won't do that unless forced to by Government (as they were in the UK and most of Europe). The solution here is political; find a candidate who will push for this, and vote for them!
Tim


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: gnu
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 06:41 AM

Is there anyone who knows off hand if low sulphur diesel "waxes" at low temperatures? There are many parts of NA that get a tad chilly in winter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: jonm
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 07:28 AM

All diesel fuels wax, including low sulphur.

Hybrid cars are designed for "average" driving usage. If your balance of town driving, open roads and high speeds is right, it will work beautifully : battery only around town, engine plus recharging battery on the open road and engine plus battery power at high speed. If you spend too much time on motorways/freeways, then the little petrol engine will be called upon to recharge the batteries as well as power the car with no reserve and your consumption will fall into the low teens (UK figures for gallons; may be single figures for US gallons).

People who drive 50/50 urban and out-of-town but rarely go over 60mph will find the Prius economical. If you do high mileages on motorways, it will cost (and be noisy). If you spend a lot of time around town, the petrol motor will kick in eventually to recharge the batteries.

The most eco-friendly solution at present is a small diesel car on fuel grounds alone. Taking into account the production and disposal costs, the hybrids are way down the league.

I have been driven in an early Lexus hybrid and I'm fascinated why more of these are not involved in accidents. The fooling around you do with the extra power gauges on the dash to maximise use of the electric motor and prevent the petrol engine cutting in, the constant watching of the power reserve indicator..... Gadgets!


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: skipy
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 07:40 AM

My car is a hybrid, 1/2 tipo & 1/2 skip!
Skipy


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM

Can you get mongrel cars? I'd think they might be friendlier and more reliable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Arne
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 03:53 PM

Yes. RX400h.

Ride my bike whenever possible (and my honey and I ride the tandem for fun), but we use the RX400h to lug heavier stuff, bikes, and the kids and all when going skiing, or if I need sump'tin to put the kayak on (the '85 MR2 wasn't going to work for that).

Cheers,


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 09:21 PM

We just bought a new 2007 Prius last month & are tickled to death with it. With my wife's new job doubling the milage (120 miles p/day) it's costing us half of when she traveled half as much & that was with the Matrix we traded in. It's a bit roomier than the Matrix but the cargo space isn't as high. Were getting 45-50 mpg on the highway, don't know about the city though. It is very quite.
I was looking for something a little larger but there's not much in the way of choices. I already posted in another thread my thoughts on what the government thinks about reducing the use of fossil fuels. It's an insult to the American consumer what the Auto Industry offers the public but I don't expect much from these cozy bedfellows.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 02:40 AM

By coincidence, and article in today's issue of my local newsrag touted a "new study" that it claimed "refuted the prior study" that indicated that hybrids were not significantly cheaper to drive than conventional vehicles.

Since it gave no traceable identification of either study, and since both studies appeared to have been made by agencies with a "substantial interest in the results" I won't try to quote what was said.

The newer study, that claimed that "total lifetime cost of ownership" did favor the hybrids, relied on retention of market value (high resale price) five years after purchase. As much of the "economy" associated with a purchase now relies on substantial government studies, which may or may not be around in five years, I think it's a bit of a stretch to put a lot of faith in being able to recover your investment sometime much later. Without continued subsidies, at nearly present levels, I wouldn't expect a particular vigorous resale market, although it the current situation might persist long enough that one might cash in on it now.

As there is little resale market now, and a five year old hybrid of the kind they discussed probably will need a full new set of batteries by then, I think they're much too optimistic on the resale recovery.

Of course, buying a "five-year-car" is so much more expensive overall than the ten or more year use pattern of most of us here(?), that the comparisons are biased - out of our context - from the start.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Barry Finn
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 01:01 PM

We have a 10 year warranty on the (Prius) battery & the car, parts & labor. Of course it cost a little extra but the return of our last 10 yr warranty pays for a good portain on this new one which if not used (like the last) returns to us, infull, at the end of the 10 yrs or when we get rid of it (which happened when we traded in the Matrix).

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 02:34 PM

Phil:

It is a personal choice, of course. It's just a sub-optimum one, unless you have genuine logistical justifications you haven't mentioned. And comparing the plane passenger who HAS no choice on how to make the distance viably with an auto buyer is just specious rationalizing, you know, not to mention illogical and meretricious.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 02:44 PM

The problem with diesel is that it's still oil.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 03:37 PM

There's always bio-diesel, of course.

Unfortunately several "studies" indicate that the fertilizer to grow the corn required to make the biodiesel actually consumes more petroleum than would be required to make a quantity of petro-diesel equal to what the corn will produce. And growing corn requires enormous amounts of water - compared to other crops, and can't be grown productively on much of the available "farmland" for that reason.

Probably the main "wild card" in the hybrid game is the performance of the batteries being used in most of them. (Performance includes cost and useful life, of course.) There's little actual experience with any of them in the specific kinds of service required, but most agree that "better" is needed.

Most of the "informed opinion" I've seen indicates that current hybrids are most useful for those who make mostly short distance use, with about 40 miles (64 km) per day being the limit of really effective use. There are several choices of hybrids, with slightly different range capabilities, of course; but the intended use has a strong effect on how much one saves. Efficiently doesn't terminate abruptly if one exceeds the "magic numbers," but does tend to wither away as daily mileage increases.

My "home town" has bragged about a report showing that it ranked number 10 (of 500 medium to large) US cities for "shortest average daily commute to work" at 38.7 miles (round trip). Even those commuting "only" 39 miles for work are likely to run an errand or two almost daily, so even here average miles driven daily would likely be (much) over 40 miles. The currently available hybrids seem ill-suited to most US drivers' usage on the basis of useful range.

(Note also that in many of the US places where the commuting distance is less than here no kind of personal vehicle is really useful since there's no place to park at most destinations.)

The progress being made is encouraging, but one must have the situation that fits the available performance before it becomes an economic advantage to have a hybrid. Performance is good enough for many people to use a hybrid, but for most drivers here the "just because I want one" factor has to weigh in pretty strongly.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Haruo
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 04:40 PM

It's a fallen world.

Haruo


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Amos
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 04:42 PM

If we are going to start thinking system-wide, which is really the only rational approach, we should examine the recoverable energy in human and animal waste bio-processing.

Ten billion turds a day is a lot of methane and recoverable fertilizer!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 06:51 PM

But Amos -

In our great plains where maybe a density of 3 cows per acre is feasible, won't one burn more fuel picking up the chips than is produced by processing them?

Teaching all those cattle that they have to "go to the pit" to dump is going to be extremely difficult, especially when one considers the number of wives who complain that hubby can't piss inside the pot in their own home facilities.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Don Firth
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 07:05 PM

Take your shovel and head for Washington, D. C.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Arne
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 07:08 PM

JohnInKansas:

By coincidence, and article in today's issue of my local newsrag touted a "new study" that it claimed "refuted the prior study" that indicated that hybrids were not significantly cheaper to drive than conventional vehicles.

The EPA will issue new stats (based on more realistic testing scenarios) that will knock down hybrid mileage proportinately more. In part, this is due to the prior regime of driving the hybrids like they are supposed to be driven (no jack-rabbit starts, anticipating and slowing down, etc., that allow the hybrid to save and use the kinetic energy).

But I try to drive the RX400h like it is supposed to be driven, and I get pretty close to the (old) published figures. My partner says I'm pissing off the other folks on the road, but what's their hurry?

Getting 27 MPG out of a SUV (that has 4WD for snow to boot) is OK by me.... It's not the 30 MPG I got from the '85 MR2, but it burns less oil, and carries a bit more.

Cheers,


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: SunnySister
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 07:10 PM

I drive on a "wing and a prayer"... does that count as a hybrid??

:)

--SunnySister- zooming in and out at work


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: TRUBRIT
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 10:53 PM

My husband drives a 2005 Prius -- party line around here is that it takes away my guilt for driving a big gas guzzling Lexus but reading all these notes I am thinking that comment isn't very helpful!!!. One good thing about the Prius is that my teenage son, when he borrows it, gets a kick out of getting the highest possible mileage and actually called home once to proudly report he was averaging 50 mpg   (for non Prius drivers, it has all kinds of neat information screens that tell you all sorts of useful info about the car as you drive). Anyway, as my son's nickname is Leadfoot, that does not seem to me to be a bad thing!! It's a small car but fun and easy to drive.

TIP: when you borrow it to take out a real estate client, you come across much more professionally when you remember to push the button to start it rather than panicking because you think you have lost the key!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Gurney
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 01:22 AM

Throwaway comment from a magazine, possibly Popular Mechanics: "The Prius would probably get a better mileage if you took out the electrics!"

Biodiesel? A pal sometimes runs his car on french-fry/chip oil, and it smells like it. Is Amos' suggestion is taken up, please send warning of the route.....


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Sooz
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 02:50 AM

An interesting news item in today's Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;jsessionid=FHVZBUTYPVBWHQFIQMFCFGGAVCBQYIV0?xml=/news/2007/01/12/nmotors12.xml


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Captain Ginger
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 05:58 AM

A shame that one of the biggest car makers doesn't seem to give a hoot for hybrids and is confident we'll all be back guzzling gas pretty soon, if this extraordinary piece of crap from Chrysler's chief economist is to be believed.
If true I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but can only agree that it does indeed show the "yawning gap between mainstream opinion on climate change among the educated elites of Europe and America."


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Grab
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 10:04 AM

I'm one of the software engineers responsible for the Ford Escape hybrid. Actually I was responsible for the safety side of it - because it decides itself how much engine and battery it needs, if the main software went haywire then Bad Things could happen, so there's independent backup software in there to check on the main software and pull the plug if things go wrong. (And before anyone invokes the spectre of Microsoft on the chances of software going wrong, I'd mention that only about 5% of our time was spent on writing the software - the rest was spent on testing and analysing the crap out of it.)

I have to say I wouldn't buy one myself. Two reasons for having a large, powerful car - either you particularly need it, or you particularly want it. I don't fit either case. The Escape isn't large by US standards, but it'd be about the biggest thing on the roads in the UK until you start looking at vans and trucks. It's not a proper 4x4, but then there aren't many SUVs that *are* proper 4x4s, really. If I needed a 4x4, I'd buy one, probably a Toyota or something else similar that's got bulletproof mechanicals.

It's a nice bit of kit though. The pedal response is hugely improved over an automatic. Put your foot down and it goes, no hanging around for the auto gearbox and torque converters to think about it. (By the way, US drivers, here's an idea. Save yourselves 5mpg with no hassle by getting yourselves manual transmissions instead of crappy automatics, why don't you?)

The battery problem with hybrids *is* a problem, and will continue to be so until we get a better way of storing electrical energy. Still, they're designed for a 10-year life, and most cars don't last longer than that these days. The bodywork might make it, but the interior will almost certainly have packed up, and the engine will be dead too. Seems to me that if your engine is dead anyway, whether the battery pack is or isn't is kind of immaterial.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 02:34 PM

"...guzzling gas pretty soon, if this extraordinary piece of crap ..."

???


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Jan 07 - 03:00 PM

Captain Ginger's link goes to a pretty good article, but I'd urge people not to believe that the Chrysler "economist" speaks for the majority, or that in fact he speaks for anyone in the US. He's a "european executive" who happens to be working for a company with headquarters in the US.

The comment about GM's economist predicting lower oil prices is given a little more emphasis than justified, since the majority of economists, in all industries, are predicting lower oil prices for the immediate future. If he's wrong, a lot of others are too (which is not at all unlikely).

An article that I saw within the last couple of days and unfortunately didn't bookmark indicates that new limits on "pounds of carbon per mile" are being proposed for the Euro Common Market countries that most european auto makers are predicting may drive them all out of business. The proposed limits actually may be in the "sounds good but can't be done" class of things, although it will be a while before anyone knows. (The specific limits appear to be tailored to the much greater use of diesel personal vehicles in europe?)

In better news(?) US Congress to consider carbon caps proposes to impose better regulation on industrial and generating plants' emissions. Too soon to tell whether anything will happen; but at least there's an overdue interest.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Don Firth
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 03:06 PM

Anybody see NOW with David Brancaccio last night (or is that much too "liberal?")? Brancaccio interviewed Willie Nelson, who is heavily into promoting bio-diesel fuel.

Here's more.

Now I'm quite sure that someone is going to present all sorts of statistics showing how this has an even worse environmental impact than drilling for oil. But—the main sources of bio-diesel are substances that are usually just disposed of, which, in itself, is a problem.

Have you ever counted the cost, both environmental and directly financial, of drilling for oil? Remembering, of course, that even after the geologist's evaluation, one usually comes up with about twenty dry holes before actually finding a producing well—and that isn't always a gusher.

And what are we going to use when the oil runs out? Which is predicted to be in about forty years. [We don't like to face that melancholy fact, do we?]

On the program, Willie Nelson mentioned something about having a bumper-sticker that said, "Bio-Diesel. No War Necessary."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: Ebbie
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 04:36 PM

I have two friends who have bought the Ford Escape hybrid. Both of them are trying to figure out how to get rid of it.

The one's fuel mileage started out with getting 27 mph back in August. From there it has gone down to 18.6 for a whole tank and often during travel it registers 16.5.

This friend has taken it in numerous times to the shop where he bought it and they put it on the monitor. They have finally agreed that there is something wrong with it.

However, this latest time they told him that they are putting in an official disclaimer that Juneau, Alaska, is NOT a good market for this particular car. Most people here don't put on 10,000 miles a year on their cars - more often 7,000; our roadways are limited and most people live within 5 miles of their jobs. This friend lives just 2 1/2 miles away his store.

The reason this friend bought the car in the first place was because of the offered mileage: 29 open highway, 33 city. As he told them he was getting 17, 18 mph with his Expedition.

The other friend is not happy with it for a number of reasons. The first thing he did on a trip was to shred a tire- and had to replace all four tires. They all have to be the same brand and exact size and with the same amount of wear on them. He was in Canada at the time and the price wass much higher than it would have been in the US.

He's getting under 20 miles a gallon around town, which for him is problematic; he is a house painter and is on the road a lot.

That said, they both like a couple of things about it. It takes hills easily, it handles well and the quick acceleration is a plus.

The first friend has been told that he can turn it back in under the lemon law; the second friend has told him he'll give him a thousand dollars if he helps him get rid of his.


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Subject: RE: BS: Anyone here own or drive a hybrid car?
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 13 Jan 07 - 05:50 PM

By accident I walked in on a PBS show about Bio-Willie yesterday. Unfortunately I didn't get a program title, but it was a pretty good one.

It must be noted that biodiesel, as being pushed by Willie, is not intended as a "replacement" for petro fuels to solve the problem of excessive petroleum consumption. It's sole real purpose is to provide local sources of fuel, and local production, as a market for farm products. As being sold, it still is a mixture of bio and petroleum products. It's being used by sufficient consumers, mostly long-haul truckers and some farmers, to be encouraging; but can't, at present, be assumed to be assured of ultimate success or survival.

At present, as indicated by the PBS show, there are only 24 "truck stops" where one can buy it, almost exclusively in Texas. (I didn't get a date on the show, so that number may have changed but probably not by much.) The show indicated that at outlets where it's available, only about 30% of truckers thus far choose to use it, and some distributers are saying that's insufficient to justify continuing to offer it, so there will be a "long pull" to get sufficient market and demand established to assure that it survives.

We're hoping.

John


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