An Interesting Position on Hybrid Cars

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chu Gai, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    The following, appeared on November, 30, 2005 in the Wall Street Journal. It was written by Holman Jenkins as a fictional letter from the Toyota Corporation. He questions whether Toyota's hybrids are really all that green or that they create the illusory, comforting feeling in consumers and what's really going on is that Toyota has found a way for its dealers to make more profits. What do you think?
     
  2. Bob McLaughlin

    Bob McLaughlin Screenwriter

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    I find this sentence to be comparable to the argument that kids sometimes make to their parents when the parent tells the kid to eat their vegetables because kids are starving in some third world country. Kids will often retort that it doesn't help the starving kids whether they waste food or not.

    It's flawed logic. The idea isn't "saving" petroleum, just slowing our rate of consumption, and becoming less dependent on petroleum. A more fuel efficient machine of any type, (whether hybrid car or not), reduces our dependence on petroleum, and reduces the control that the big oil companies and cartels have on our lives.

    Or maybe some people like being at the whim of foreign countries and a handful of corporate entities?
     
  3. Jimi C

    Jimi C Screenwriter

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    I think the point is that even while driving the Prius you are still "at the whim of foreign countries and a handful of corporate entities", because the car still runs on petrolium.
     
  4. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    Give me a turbo diesel any day over the over-hyped hybrids.
     
  5. Jason Harbaugh

    Jason Harbaugh Cinematographer

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    It also points out that getting a Prius to save money on your gas bill won't happen when you factor in the premium you pay for the car itself.

    Personally I haven't even thought about getting any hybrid car based just on how they all look. Every single one of them is fugly.
     
  6. Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Screenwriter

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    I guess I haven't paid enough attention to hybrid cars. I was under the assumption the actual average gas mileage was about 60 miles/gallon and no that isn't enough to justify the additional cost from a return on investment standpoint but if some wealthy people feel like driving a modest little car, then there is some benefit to society. I drive a standard transmission 4-cylinder because of fuel economy and if I was wealthy, I would drive a hybrid. The way I look at things is that inefficient SUVs and other big cars are the problem, not that some people choose to drive modest little cars, including hybrids. I am not sure I understand the point of that article, yes we need alternative sources of energy but hybrid cars sure aren't preventing that, just efficiently getting around with what we have.

    Chris
     
  7. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    I still want a vintage VW beetle and convert it to run on Biodiesel (restored cars are recycled cars). And during the summer I can still ride my motorbike: 50+mpg and will outrun anything short of a Ferrari.
     
  8. Paul McElligott

    Paul McElligott Cinematographer

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    With the exception of the Prius, all current Hybrids look almost exactly like the equivilent normal car.
     
  9. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    There have been so many threads on this forum stating most of what is stated in that piece of satire... For one, hybrid econoboxes seems like a waste of R&D money. Everyone loves trucks and SUVs. 10mpg more from a civic hybrid vs. regular civic is not nearly as valuable as 10mpg more on my Dodge Ram Hemi. In town, that would be (LITERALLY) a 100% improvement. Manufacturers need to figure out how to make these huge vehicles get better mileage. I have no guilt about driving one and am willing to foot the bill for the fuel, but if we want to decrease consumption, we're starting at the WRONG end of the spectrum. Also, EPA ratings and CAFE standards are a total joke. The EPA ratings arent even close and CAFE standards are poorly enforced in general and ESPECIALLY so in the "light truck" segment (pick-ups and most SUVs).
     
  10. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    10 to 1 that was written by a laid-off Delphi engineer.[​IMG]

    How are these people driving these vehicles?? I have a close-to-home, real-world example. My folks had a 2003 V6 Highlander. The best they could do on the highway was 23mpg. A few weeks ago, they traded it in on a 2006 Highlander Hybrid. Why? Because they frickin' felt like it- which is typically why most suburbanites buy crew cab F350s.[​IMG] But I digress...

    They took this vehicle, with just 106 miles on it when they left my house, on a trip to Charlotte, and averaged 30mpg.

    So, comparing the same vehicle, how is it that there are no tangible fuel savings?
     
  11. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer

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    The 2005 Toyota Highlander V6 4X4 3.3L 230HP gets 18/24 mpg. The 2005 Toyota Highlander 4X2 2.4L I4 160HP gets 22/27 mpg.

    The 2.4L I4 Highlander gets better mileage than the V6, so if they would have traded the most fuel efficient version of the Highlander for a hybrid there would have been very little if any fuel savings. Even if all else being equal the hybrid version gets six more mpg I'd call it no tangible fuel savings considering the hybrid costs $10,000 more than the standard version.
     
  12. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Not to mention the batteries will need to be replaced after eight years (or sooner), to the tune of about $3,500.
     
  13. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    The typical Prius comes with an option package that brings the total cost of the car to over $27,000.

    That makes the new Civic with 30 City, 40 Highway (with automatic), look pretty good. The Civic would be $17,000.

    $10,000 buys an awful lot of gas if you drive the typical 12,500 miles a year.

    If gas hits $5 a gallon in the next 10 years, there is going to be a revolution in this country.
     
  14. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    Where were you six months ago? [​IMG]
     
  15. GordonL

    GordonL Supporting Actor

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    Friend of mine drives a Civic hybrid. When he first got the car he was only getting maybe 42mpg mixed city/highway. He wasn't too happy about that. Now he's getting around 47-48mpg - a bit closer to the rated 49/51 - simply by changing how he drives. He mentioned the biggest change was using the cruise control more often and driving less aggressively.
     
  16. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    I am seen similar arguments over and over again regarding the perceived fuel savings when purchasing a hybrid. One may never realize the payback in fuel savings (unless they keep the vehicle for a long time), but what these vehicles do is reduce oil consumption when compared to an equivalent non-hybrid vehicle.

    It is more of a lifestyle option and for that reason it does not make sense to look at these purchases strictly from a dollars and cents standpoint.

    J
     
  17. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I disagree. There is not a finite amount of oil consumption. What you dont put in your hybrid, I put in my Dodge Ram, or China/India uses it. As long as world oil consumption is increasing, all you are doing is moving the "end of supply" date by a VERY insignificant and completely meaningless amount. If it makes you feel green to drive one, go for it, but you're not saving the planet.
     
  18. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Charles,

    I am not sure how you can disagree with reality, but go for it!!! If you buy a Toyota Hybrid Highlander it will reduce your personal consumption of oil when compared to the normal Highlander. If one needs a larger car due to practical reasons (family, cargo hauling, etc.), why begrudge them for choosing the Hybrid over the standard model?

    Yes, world consumption is one the rise, and your Dodge is a gas guzzler but what difference does that make in one's own decision? Taking the attitude that whatever one does makes no difference in the grand scheme of things is self-defeating and shows no vision for the future.

    As I posted, which you obviously didn't read, hybrids are a lifestyle option and cannot be measured in dollars and cents. If a person decides to purchase a vehicle that reduces their oil consumption in a particular model line, that is their own perrogotive. Just like some people decide to buy SUVs, trucks, luxury vehicles, covertibles, or whatever flavor of vehicle their heart's desire.

    (By the way, I work for an oil company, own a Ford truck and a Chrysler Car, and have yet to even consider purchasing a Hybrid (mainly due to economics), but I don't begrudge those who do, which Charles seems to be doing with his "Green" and "Saving the Planet" comments).

    J
     
  19. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    What I failed to make clear is the core of my opinion that people make "good" decisions for the wrong reason. If you want to drive a hybrid, fine but dont fool yourself. Also, you have to realize that the materials that are used to make the batteries are also finite and ultimately poluting, but for some reason, people feel free to ignore that. I dont care that people drive hybrids but dont act like truck/suv drivers are the devil and they're saving the planet. They really arent accomplishing much of anything. I object to the "attitude" is what it comes down to.
     
  20. Francois Caron

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    I remember many years ago that fuel ratings were determined using methods that had absolutely nothing to do with real world driving conditions, making them all incredibly inaccurate. How are these fuel consumption ratings being determined today?

    The fake letter was a fun read and shows a bit of insight on how the auto industry really works. Personally, I've never trusted the auto industry as a whole because they seem to use the most deceitful tactics to sell their products compared with all the other industries out there, from the moment you walk into the showroom to the day the junker heads to the scrap heap. The fake letter demonstrating how a hybrid car may be more of a marketing gimmick than a true environmental choice actually strengthens that point.
     

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