You are not wrong and price parity is not going to happen.
What the greenies neglect to consider or do not have the rationality to
do, is that it takes considerably more energy to manufacture a hybrid
which is basically a hidden pollution cost. For a driver like you or
me, a hybrid would cause more pollution than a non-hybrid. The car
would wear out and batteries would need replacement before any positive
effects were seen.
I do know a gal who owns a hybrid and drives about 50,000 miles/year.
Then the hybrid is worth it.
You misspelled "know but choose to ignore so their ideas don't look
really bad". The same as focussing on "tail pipe admissions" for
electric cars and studiously ignoring (especially in the Midwest) the
pollution that comes with electrical generation to recharge the cars.
Those are the dangerous ones. If maybe 20% of the population is
functionally illiterate, then what percentage is technically
illiterate. It has to be considerably higher. Those that know but
choose to ignore are preying on the ignorant to get what they want.
Also, unfortunately, only about 5% of our congress consists of either
scientists or engineers and they just follow the crowd.
Oh, fun, arm-chair, back-envelope calculations.
Those that know but
Unfortunately, Congress doesn't follow the crowd. If they did, we'd
have never gone to Iraq and the CEOs,financial wizards, and Neocons
wouldn't be running roughshod over the economy.
But actually, Congress does follow the scientists and engineers who
work for the large defense contractors evenly spread throughout their
states. That's why we have wonderful boondoggles like the "missile-
defense" system, spend half of all discretionary spending on defense,
and other things like lasers which will cost about $350000 per enemy
The idea that the greenies are the powerful bloc controlling the
dialogue is the ridiculous one, and I wonder what kind of illiteracy
it is that can't compare the money behind the anti-green interests
versus the money behind the green ones. Is it some sort of math or
some sort of emotional weakness?
The battery pack is the main concern I have with them, and the complex
control systems which are likely to make the car difficult and expensive
to repair when it gets older. People look at the operating cost alone
and forget all the additional energy required to manufacture the extra
components including obtaining the raw materials, energy required to
dismantle and recycle the materials at end of life, and the likely
shorter overall lifespan due to the higher cost of major repairs. I'm
not convinced there is any net savings, financial or environmental.
I ran some numbers a while back and found that gasoline would have to be
something like $15/gallon for it to make economic sense over driving my
already long paid for car which gets decent though not spectacular fuel
economy. Instead, I combine trips, keep my car well maintained, and ride
a bicycle when practical. If I were to buy a new car I'd look at a TDI,
similar fuel economy as a hybrid, simpler, cheaper, no battery pack.
When I was a kid we had a diesel car that got 50-60mpg, and it was a LOT
cheaper than a hybrid that gets 35-40 mpg.
My admittedly limited knowledge of the technology tells me that you
can't make a blanket statement about fuel cost or mileage. My
understanding is that the battery is charged by recovery of energy from
the braking system. If this is so, there should be essentially no
increased fuel economy on open road, no-traffic driving.
Mileage is considerably reduced in conventional cars in "city" or stop
and go driving. If the braking system recycles any of this wasted
energy, the mileage differential of a hybrid in the city should be
lowered. So this probably makes sense only as a car for urban or
congested areas--if you're looking at fuel economy.
It does seem like a mongrel technology to me. I should really ride my
Mark & Steven Bornfeld DDS
Yes the electric motor only runs in stop and go situations, highway
cruising is all gas engine. The dealer told me in Chicago expect the
battery pack to be good through 5 winters (60 months max just like any
other car battery). In sub zero weather the 5 year old battery is
risky. If you live in the city and still need to drive, it becomes
more economical, but that is not my situation nor is it the situation
of most suburbanites.
Here is some interesting stuff, my crappy 1997 Neon is very good fore
a lifetime environmental cost and the Hybrids are cfostly and the
battery issue of manufacturing and disposal makes them very bad. Of
course if the technology improves things could change a lot.
It is a mongrel technology, but I tend to view it more as a stepping-
There are also different types of technology. For example, the Honda
Civic hybrid uses a 1.3 liter engine that can't be found in other, non-
hybrid, civics because the engine simply can't move the weight of the
car by itself. So, when you need a little juice on the highway (or
anywhere for that matter) the electric motor kicks in, allowing you to
drive a heavy 4-door sedan using a tiny gas engine.
So, RickH again misleads the community by stating that "the electric
motor only runs in stop and go situations". that is simply untrue.
Kudos to the salesman that suckered him into the surplus vehicle they
had laying around though! I'm sure when they have a few hybrids in
stock that they need to move the salesman will have a different story.
Some credit to RickH for the story about the "knowledgeable, honest"
car salesman! First time buying a car RickH?
Actually the clincher was that they refused to install just a small 1
inch hitch on the hybrid. I'm leery to begin with because a friend
had a 2001 Prius, I saw him later in 2004 and he explained was having
the batteries changed (shortly after the 3 year warranty ran out).
Plus I saved over $4000 and got the all-gas vehicle at a great price.
Considering gas is below $1.50 a gallon that 4k will go even farther.
I assume you're addressing Rick. I have insufficient knowledge of the
numbers on hybrids to comment. BTW, I drive an '01 Camry 4 cyl. The
acceleration is adequate. I haven't checked the mileage in a while, but
it's not great in the city--almost certainly below 20 mpg.
Probably with all things added in you would save about 10 to 20000 over 10
years with the hybrid. The reduced demand for gasoline would also keep the
fuel price low if every one did the hybrid and battery thing. It would
probably also impact the cost of heating oil. More power generated from wind
and solar would also do the same thing for conventionally produce
I don't think you're wrong or right - it's your decision. What I would
like, though, is a government that considers the issue, hopefully much
more in depth than any one individual can, and comes up with a policy on
the issue, e.g., if hybrids are really a worthwhile thing, then the
government could subsidize their purchase so that your price issues
become less or disappear altogether.
Maybe it depends on your perspective? The little 4-cylinder Miata I
drove for 12 years needed to be filled up every 7 days to cover my
commute. The Hybrid I drive now needs a fill-up every 19 days for the
same commute. I don't think we need to start another thread in
search of mathematicians for those numbers, do we?
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