Hybrid cars

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by John Gates, Nov 17, 2004.

  1. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Anyone here own a Hybrid car?

    Honda is producing a 2005 Accord Hybrid that should run about $30K.

    I have test driven the Civic Hybrid and was fairly impressed, though at $21K you'd have to drive a lot of miles to make up the cost difference vs. a standard Civic EX.

    I'm very interested in the Toyota Prius. Just saw one at a car show last weekend, and it was impressively roomy and very cool from a gadget perspective. At $25K fully loaded it's very expensive.

    I'm planning to sell my 03 Evo and buy something much more gas-efficient, and the hybrids have caught my imagination.

    Who owns one?
    Who wants one?
    Who thinks they are overpriced junk?

    Also curious about whether you can install aftermarket stereos and amps in these buggers without destroying their fuel economy. Ideas?

    John
     
  2. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

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    I'm interested too, esp. in the Accord one.

    I have heard that the batteries have limited life and are expensive to replace ... anyone know if this is true?
     
  3. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    I read that the folks at Toyota bench-tested the Prius battery pack to 150,000 miles without degradation, but that could be hype.

    Most of the hybrid cars, IIRC, have at least an 80K warranty on the battery portion. The electric motor should last pretty much forever.

    I have not heard any claims about the Honda battery pack one way or the other.

    John
     
  4. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    I can't imagine the batteries NOT being expensive to fix/replace. I'm holding off on the Prius for two reasons:

    1) I want to see some of these break down and get an idea of maintenance costs.

    2) I don't know about elsewhere - but in CA, they're talking about taxing us on MILES DRIVEN! If they start to do something like that, the tax break of the hybrid becomes worthless.
     
  5. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    Quentin,

    Wouldn't the tax on miles driven also apply to any standard car also? Seems like it should wash out of your analysis, assuming you would drive the same mileage either way.

    The maintenance issue is understandable. I'm not worried about breakdowns or cost of repair, as you can get an aftermarket 100K mile warranty for fairly cheap. BUT it seems that you'd have to know where the honda/toyota dealers are when you travel. No way any standard auto shop will know what to do with anything HYBRID.

    John
     
  6. Quentin

    Quentin Cinematographer

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    Yeah...I'll get taxed either way. But, California is talking about replacing the gas tax with this tax. So, if it happened (it's a long shot), then I wouldn't be saving money on gas with the Hybrid.
     
  7. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    the epa mileage on the accord hybrid isn't much better than the 4cyl accord, not enough to convince me on the cost difference personally.
     
  8. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

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    The new Accord seems to be a great car. Although it isn't the best looking car it's actually faster than a v6 Accord and gets much better gas mileage

    Brent
     
  9. DaveGTP

    DaveGTP Cinematographer

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    I read a good breakdown on the hybrids a few years back (I think it was Car & Driver). In some conditions the mileage can be not any better, or even worse, than a regular car (mountains sometimes, etc). For city driving the economy was good.

    But a little quick math should tell you if the extra MPG is worth the price (which they aren't yet, IMO).

    Take the # of miles you drive per year, divide by the mileage of each, and compare the numbers. See if the gas savings is worth it.

    There's been a lot of complaints from hybrid owners not happy with their REAL life mileage. The way the EPA estimates MPG is grossly out of date, and often inaccurate.

    That aforementioned car & driver article concluded that (including the tax break) you break even at about 100k. But that was 2-3 years ago. Not sure how much have changed since then.
     
  10. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Yeah i read an article in the paper few days ago saying it takes a LOT of miles to break even the premium you pay and the fuel savings.
     
  11. John Gates

    John Gates Second Unit

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    I did my own analysis comparing my evo to the honda hybrid. I factored in premium vs. regular gas, 20 MPG vs. 40 MPG, increased maintenance costs on the Evo (1000 for tires every 12 mos, etc), differences in payments.

    Not including insurance costs, I would save about $400 per month trading my Evo for a Civic Hybrid.

    The savings is a bit more going for a 2 year old regular gas Civic (about $60 more per month) because the payment is lower, though gas mileage is not as good.

    Interesting analysis tho.

    John
     
  12. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    Why can't buying a hybrid also be about appreciating the technology that goes into them? Why can't it also to be your vote with your wallet to encourage future development? Why can't it be to further ease the "environmental footprint" of the car you drive to work everyday?

    Lots of reasons to go hybrid, besides just "when am I going to break even?" How many of you did a watts/buck analysis when purchasing your home theater gear (or again, when upgrading it for the eighth time in 3 years)?

    I'll be giving the Accord Hybrid a good look when it arrives. Although, I don't really need a new car right now, when I have a perfectly good Accord that's paid for. I am interested in the tech- particularly looking forward to ultra capacitors moving in where batteries are now.
     
  13. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Because from an economic standpoint something like a VW TDi makes much more sense, it gets better mileage than the hybrids.

    I've read articles that say the way the EPA rates cars is beneficial to the hybrids and the real world mileage is really much less, but there are always people that dispute that.
     
  14. JohnCZ

    JohnCZ Stunt Coordinator

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    The battery, main control modules and hybrid componants have an extended warranty. I believe its 100K miles for the Prius.

    Like a few of you have said...it depends on your yearly mileage and the price of gas. Its still a premium to go to Hybrids, for now.

    J
     
  15. John Berggren

    John Berggren Producer

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    I have owned my Honda Civic Hybrid since July of 2002.
    I love it. I have no complaints save that it doesn't have a remote pop for the trunk.
    My mileage is incredible, and the car runs like a dream. I generally get about 42/3 in the city and 55 on the highway.
    With gas hovering near the $2.00, and likely to continue an upward trend, I can't imagine buying a non hybrid vehicle today.
    I wouldn't mind getting the Honda Fuel Cell vehicle, but they aren't testing it in NC.
     
  16. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Gas is on a downward trend at the moment. I don't believe it will return to where we were at this year for a long time if at all.

    I'm not convinced a hybrid is yet the way to go. The Hybrid SUV's are selling VERY well though apparantly so i don't think they will be a failure. If anything all of this new developement and whatnot will lead to better advantages and more advances in those cars making them better for those of us who wait.
     
  17. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I have a friend who has had a Honda Insight since it first came out. His battery came with an 8 year warantee and he has had no problems with it so far. I have another friend who just got a civic hybrid and she has had no problems so far either.

    Toyota is coming out with the Highlander hybrid shortly and Ford has a model of the Escape out with one. Toyota has also mentioned (I believe also referenced in another HTF thread) that they want to put a hybrid motor option in all their models...

    I still would rather ride my bike. [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  18. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    This is the most ridiculus and stupid idea I've ever heard of. This basically amounts to giving a huge tax break to fuel inefficient vehicle owners. So the guy with the Hummer who drives 10,000 miles a year pays the same tax as the guy with the Echo. Are our lawmakers really this stupid?
     
  19. Kevin_Spradley

    Kevin_Spradley Stunt Coordinator

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    I had a Prius for a rental car back in May and really enjoyed driving it. Over the week I had it, I averaged 45-50 mpg for city driving. My coworkers and I were simply amazed at the technology and the cool display inside the car. The display would show where the power was coming from as you were driving. Then it also shows the batteries being charged just from the rotation of wheels, no gas power being employed. This typically happened when driving over 50 mph and getting off the accellerator a little. It had suprising pick-up for a hybrid, but there seemed to be a very small lag sometimes before it would really kick.

    Just my $0.01
     
  20. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    not entirely true, hybrid owners geta 2,000 (I believe) dollar federal deduction, plus state incentives, like in CO if I buy a prius I get to deduct the cost difference between the hybrid and the standard version, the echo I assume.

    Not that I'm agreeing with a per-mile tax...
     

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