Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

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Thread: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

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    6.2 Liter LS9 Supercharged V8 Premium Member ne_one's Avatar
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    Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?
    NY Times
    October 29, 2010
    By John Collins Rudolf

    How popular will electric and hybrid cars be in 10 years? Depends on whom you ask.

    According to a new report by J.D. Power & Associates, the auto industry analysis firm, the sales potential of electric and hybrid vehicles is “over-hyped” and “more hope than reality.” Globally, electric and hybrid vehicles will make up little more than 7 percent of all passenger-vehicle sales by 2020, the firm estimates.

    This year, just 2.2 percent of the more than 44 million vehicles expected to be sold globally will employ some kind of battery propulsion system.

    Other industry forecasts are far more optimistic. A 2009 report by the Boston Consulting Group, for instance, estimated that electric and hybrid passenger vehicles, together with those powered by compressed natural gas, could constitute 28 percent of the market.

    This more bullish outlook is shared by other industry analysts as well as by automakers like Nissan and General Motors, which have poured millions of dollars into developing gas-electric hybrids like the Chevy Volt and all-electric cars like the Nissan Leaf.

    Yet consumer research shows that many potential buyers are not ready to make the leap, J.D. Power said. Concerns include the cars’ reliability, power and performance, and how far all-electric models can travel on a single charge — so-called “range anxiety.”

    The significant price premium for electric and hybrid vehicles is another major sticking point despite the long-term savings consumers can expect from buying less gasoline.

    “Consumers will ultimately decide whether these vehicles are commercially successful or not,” John Humphrey, senior vice president of automotive operations at J.D. Power, said in a statement. “Based on our research of consumer attitudes toward these technologies — and barring significant changes to public policy, including tax incentives and higher fuel economy standards — we don’t anticipate a mass migration to green vehicles in the coming decade.”

    Full article at link.

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    Firebird Concept (the turbine one) Amphibian's Avatar
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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    Well of course it is.

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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    Hype. Making a complex machine far more complex (= more repair issues in 5+ years) for limited benefits.

    Not K-mart smart.
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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    Of coarse Hybrids are hyped. But no more than another product. It's called marketing.

    If you look at hybrid commercials they make it look like car companies are trying to save the planet. Truth is Hybrids are a small step in the right direction to energy independence and environmental sustainability. The Voltec is a much larger step but still not the ultimate end solution (but I believe has to potential to get us there). Technology is getting there but not there yet.
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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    Do hybrids get better fuel economy than cars of the same size with conventional internal combustion engines? Genuine question here.
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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    Quote Originally Posted by paul8488 View Post
    Do hybrids get better fuel economy than cars of the same size with conventional internal combustion engines? Genuine question here.
    That's rather vague, since there are many types of hybrids. But I can sight the real-world data of Prius as a rock-solid: Yes.

    27 MPG combined (22city/35hwy) is estimate for the 1.8 liter Cruze.

    50 MPG combined (51city/48hwy) is estimate for the 1.8 liter Prius.

    Add to that the cleaner smog-related emissions, there's not much left to debate anymore. Replacing a traditional 6-speed automatic transmission with a power-split device, motors, and battery clearly improves efficiency quite a bit.
    .

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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    I'd say it depends on gas prices, and taxes. Gov't is already trying to find a way to increase taxes on high MPG vehicles since the gas tax raises quite a bit less with them on the road. We'll see....

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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    As a former Prius owner, I can say that the fuel economy savings are real. Heck, I even beat the original 60 mpg rating twice while I owned the car, and still managed to drive more or less normally. I did, however, tend to stay off the interstate. However, if you're really saving money is another matter. When I bought mine, I was looking at cars in a similar price range. Against a B6 Passat and a modded GTO, the Prius had great mileage, and those were the other finalists. However, if I were simply looking for a car that size, I could have bought one for less, and the Prius would not have made financial sense unless gas prices got a lot worse, meaning to the tune of six dollars a gallon. I admit that gas mileage wasn't the main reason I bought it. I considered it a new automotive experience that I should sample, and when I did, I insisted on all the high tech toys (navigation, bluetooth).

    The Volt may come closer to paying for itself when you compare it to a Cruze with a similar amount of equipment, which would most likely be the LTZ. But even with the federal rebate, which isn't mentioned in the build your own site, that's about 10k to deal with. Financially, this isn't good enough to qualify as hype.

    One could argue with the results of transferring the manufacturing of the energy the car consumes from the gas engine to a coal fired power plant (my power is provided, I think, by the nearby nuclear power plant), or whether the small number of such cars on the road makes a real difference. I say that it at least a good idea to try not to pollute more than necessary. If a few small things can make a difference, why not do them?
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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    My concern about hybrids being hyped is that the government is forcing car companies to produce higher mpg cars because of CAFE. It runs up costs when you try to force technology, which a 35 mpg car CAFE requirement does, and even more so if the 60mpg CAFE becomes law.
    We could very easily end up with high mpg cars that people don't want and/or can't afford, all in the name of CAFE.
    I'd rather see government stay out of it, other than perhaps requiring manufacturers to produce at least 1 model that gets 40 mpg or 50 mpg, and put gas guzzler taxes on any car that gets less than 25 mpg in 2012, 26 mpg in 2013, 27 in 2014, and so on until gas guzzler status would be for cars that get less than 30 mpg. Same for trucks, but with the numbers 5 mpg lower.
    But if we had a national energy policy, none of the above would be necessary.

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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    Quote Originally Posted by tom3 View Post
    I'd say it depends on gas prices, and taxes. Gov't is already trying to find a way to increase taxes on high MPG vehicles since the gas tax raises quite a bit less with them on the road. We'll see....
    Wow the government is forcing the auto industry to rapidly increase fuel economy standards but then they want to tax us for driving them. What the hell is the point of the CAFE law then, to tax us into submission?

    Free market always works better in the auto industry. GM had plenty of fuel efficient cars before the collapse and they would have made just as many because of demand from customers rather then pressure from big brother.

    If the U.S. starts becoming like Europe I'm joining the Michigan militia and will sleep in a basement with my guns. That way if they want to come tax me for driving my geo metro they will have to "take it from my cold dead hands".

    The democratic agenda i more about helping a tree rather than a human being.

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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    The real question is not whether Hybrid's are hyped or not, it's will people pay for it in bigger and bigger numbers. I don't care about emissions, the government should remove all rebates and allow the free market to decide if hybrid's can move above 2.2% of the car market. They should drop gas guzzler taxes and let people decide how best to spend their money on a vehicle be it huge truck or sports car or hybrid or whatever. Obviously when you have an engine+electric motor&battery you will get better fuel economy, then an engine only vehicle. One can only hope that the batteries will hold up long term and nothing goes wrong with them because if not it could be damn expensive.
    Last edited by Tre-Tre; 10-31-2010 at 03:14 PM.

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    Re: Is the Move to Hybrids Hyped?

    These numbers won't mean anything if there's another huge gas price hike like there was in 2008 - especially if it's sustained. Back then, Toyota dealers were selling Priuses for several thousand dollars over sticker. At least with the Volt, GM will have something to sell should we find ourselves in this situation again.

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