OT: Hybrid cars make no economical sense

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depends on the price of gas. the battery supposed to last 150k and warrantied 100k. last check the battery is $3k. down another $1k from the time i checked before. i think it's going to be like any new electronic product. starts out high then drops down to reasonable.
you gotta remember it's a toyota. the battery may wear out but the rest of the car will last. I'm on the 3rd generation prius and they got a bunch of the bugs worked out on this one. these are nice cars for $22k
we didn't get the prius just for economic reasons. no regrets. talk to other owners and check consumer reports of you don't believe me.
olddog
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With the performace and interior space of a $15K car.
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I'd compare them to a Camry but better because of the hatchback. Have you even been in a 2005 Prius? Nothing personal but you sound like you don't know what you're talking about.
Olddog
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On Sat, 13 Dec 2008 21:10:23 -0600, AZ Nomad

Well, I suppose if you are fat, your need for more interior space and power to drag you around is justified, AZ.
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Zootal wrote: ...

Last year, of approx 10,000 bbl/day crude imports, 7,900 bbl/day were from non-Persian Gulf sources. (EIA data)
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Send it to the Canadians, you mean.
It will probably surprise you to learn that Saudi Arabia is *not* the principal source of oil imported into the U.S.
We get nearly as much from Canada as from all of the Middle East combined.
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Rick,

I'm a big supporter of any technology that reduces the impact on our environment, and while I think hybrids are a step in the right direction, there are many better ways to reduce polution and save money.
Regardless of the vehicle you drive, try driving less. Combine trips instead of driving to the store everytime you need something. I have a simple rule that I never drive my car unless I have at least two errands to take care of while I'm in town. Whenever possible, I try to wait till I can take care of everything in one trip.
If you live in town, try walking or riding your bike instead. You'll save gas, reduce polution, and get much needed exercise. Of course, that's not an option for many people, including folks like myself who live 10 miles from town up a steep mountain road.
If you must have a new vehicle, choose something smaller and more economical. You don't need an SUV or a Hummer just to get back and forth to work.
You also don't need to buy a truck just because you want to haul things. I still drive a 1976 VW Rabbit. Gets 25mpg on average, and carries a family of four plus groceries. I bought a small utility trailer 18 years ago that allows me to haul plywood, lumber, barkdust, furniture, garbage, or whatever. It works great for 99 percent of my hauling needs, doesn't contribute any additional polution, requires very little maintenance, and is covered by my car insurance. For the remaining hauling needs, I either have the item delivered, or rent a truck for that task.
Consider using mass transit. Even though we live 10 miles from town, my wife and daughter still take the bus to work and back. By only driving down to the bus stop instead of all the way to work, they have cut their gas usage in half. Not to mention the wear and maintenance on the vehicles. They have also both commented on how much less stressful their commutes are by not having to drive in traffic everyday. Instead they enjoy a good book, listen to music, or enjoy conversations. (I work from home, so my commute is zero). My wife's employer provides the monthly bus pass for free, and my daughter pays less than $5 a month as a college student. But even if we had to pay the full bus fares, it would be less than the parking fees and associated fuel costs.
Whenever possible, fix your old vehicle instead of buying a new car. It is almost always cheaper to repair an old car than the costs associated with a new car, taxes, licensing, etc. From an environmental aspect, you won't be using all the energy and materials that go into building a new vehicle. I've been driving the same vehicle for nearly 20 years, and barring an accident, I see no reason why I couldn't keep driving it another 5-10 years.
Personally, I'm still waiting for the full electric vehicle that can run 40 miles a day on a charge. That would cover 99 percent of our needs, and could be recharged using green energy purchased from solar and wind generation. There would be no infrastructure changes needed, unlike hydrogen or ethanol vehicles. I've seen many prototypes that can do this now, they just need to get the cars into production at a reasonable price. A simple towable generator could provide for extended trips, an idea I saw MANY years ago and still not put into use.
Of course, I'm not going to pay $30000 for a car, even if it's a hybrid or electric. That's more than we paid for our first home, and will be worth less than half that in 10 years. There's just ZERO economic sense to buying a new car at todays prices. We've never paid more than $3000 for a used vehicle, and even if we put another $5000 in repairs over the years, that isn't even close to the cost of a new vehicle today. Not to mention all the money wasted on loan interest rather than just paying cash for a car.
Regardless of what future technology comes along, a little standardization would go a long way to reducing costs and polution. For example, have one or two battery pack designs that can be used in any vehicle. Kind of the vehicle equivalent of the AA or 9-volt battery. Consider the situation of headlights today. Back when headlights were a standard 7" round light, you could go down to any auto store and pick up a replacement light for $20 or less. Now it seems every vehicle has a unique headlamp design based on looks alone, that costs hundreds of dollars, and doesn't light the road as well as the old round versions did. A standard battery pack design would improve recycling, make it easier to obtain replacements, and reduce the need to manufacture multiple designs that sit around in warehouses.
Just my random thoughts...
Anthony
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HerHusband wrote:

    Come on, that's even better for the tough guy points! Some cities obviously get better grades for cycling and mass transit than do others. When I visit my in-laws in Seattle, I'm amazed at the number of cyclists. Drivers also give cyclists more respect than here in New York, and most buses seem to have bike racks. You know that Seattle is hardly flat terrain.     In New York, we have terrific mass transit, but still the city will not properly fund it to encourage more use. In the current economic climate, the answer seems to be cut back on mass transit and increase ticketing of cars for parking infractions.     I think as Americans we have an attachment to individual right to own vehicles (any survey will tell you that the majority of commuting autos are single-occupancy, and the amount of waste is enormous. There has got to be the sense that we are all in this together--not just those of us who choose to live on the coasts. Otherwise, we'll be surprised again when they ration gasoline like they did in '73. We have no inalienable right to continue to waste fuel. We can realize that now, or be forced to accept it later.
Steve

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On Dec 11, 2:31pm, Mark & Steven Bornfeld

Who decides what is wasted fuel? Who decides who can travel alone and who must travel in groups? I think the market is both the fairest and coldest arbitrator of that. Forcing not market-based change in itself is wasteful, as eventually, after all the social manipulations are over, a market must be made to sustain the new way of life in a natural manner. Free of a govt constantly telling you what is right which is unnatural.
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RickH wrote:

    Sink or swim. I get it. I think they did that in Sparta too. So we'll wait until people are willing to pay for public transportation. If you don't like the smell of commuting with other people, maybe you can work from home.     Those well-off enough will always have options. Those that aren't--well, let them eat free-market cake!
Steve
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On Dec 11, 4:05pm, Mark & Steven Bornfeld

Public transportation does not exist in my town to get me to the towns I work in, did the govt drop the ball on that one? Would I walk the 3 miles to get to a bus for the 2 hour commute in sub-zero temperatures if public transportation did exist? Never. Not everyone is packed like sardines into NYC where it's easy to say things like "just take public transportation". I'm not sinking, I'm swimming by providing my own transportation at my own expense at market prices, certainly NOT wasting it or getting it for free. So people on the "coasts" are the only ones with a sense that we are "all in this together"? For crying out loud the govt just air-lifted and dropped 700 billion dollars of the US treasury on NYC, so its easy for you to feel "we're all in this together" now. I just feel shafted.
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RickH wrote:

Are you suggesting I'm a supporter of public transportation because of the financial bailout? Or what? Nevermind...
Steve
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You think we live in a free market? dream on dude....... The oil companies control our every move. We get electric cars when they say we do, or it's revolution in the streets that will bring it about. Oil is wealth, too much is invested in black gold to let the free market decide it's fate. They might dangle a carrot in front of you, to give the illusion you have a choice, but you don't. BTW, Rick the Govt. is like a loaded gun. You can accomplish allot of good with it or allot of bad, it depends how you use it.
Govt. intervention is exactly what is needed at this point. Oil executive aren't going to change, simply out of the kindness of their hearts! We'll see if Obama is made of the right stuff.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

If it weren't for the "oil companies" (one, actually), you'd be reading this by the light of a whale-oil lamp.
This would be acceptable to the environmental crowd inasmuch as whale oil is a renewable resource.
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Rick,

Yeah, I hadn't considered the towing situation with a hybrid, which would be a deal breaker for me also. Thanks for the info!

What if you drove your plug-in electric to the nearest mass transit and took that to work?
Taking the bus here only adds about 15 minutes to the commute each way, not much different than heavy rush hour traffic. The most annoying thing lately is our buses haven't been sticking to their schedules very well. My wife sometimes waits around 20 minutes past the scheduled pickup time. Annoying, but so far the advantages have outweighed the disadvantages.
Obviously, there are going to be situations where an all electric vehicle wouldn't make sense. Towing a trailer for one. Or folks who drive 200-300 miles back and forth between major cities (though a towable generator could solve that situation). But it would be a great solution in most cases, even if you had a second gas guzzler for those "special needs".

My wife is always trying to get me to buy a newer car. :) I just don't see the need. Mine starts and runs great, gets as good mileage as most current vehicles, and has been very reliable. It's just transportation afterall. It's fun to drive and gets me from point A to point B the same as any car would.

I have over 400,000 miles on my 1976 Rabbit now, but that doesn't mean much. After all the repairs over the years, there's very little of the original car left... :)

I was excited to see hybrids when they came to market, but the price was the deal breaker for me. Especially knowing the batteries are going to fail at some point and need replacing.

Depends on where you live. Around here the main sources of electric are hydroelectric, wind power, and a bit of solar. Any extra is generated with a natural gas turbine. New wind turbines are popping up daily, and there's a plan to put a big wind farm on a nearby mountain. There's also some geothermal and ocean power being researched nearby.
Anthony
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On Fri, 12 Dec 2008 16:00:57 +0000 (UTC), HerHusband

A 1976 Rabbit is a death trap compared to any modern vehicle. It's not a small difference, either.
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On Dec 12, 11:42am, snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

So? Don't wreck and it's not an issue. I'd love to have a German- built A1 Wabbit. (still miss my '84 GTI and '84 'roccet)
nate
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wrote:

Brilliant plan!
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

It's been working for me so far. I've been driving little kraut-burning death traps since I turned 16 and I'm still alive - and in fact haven't had any incidents other than the love tap from behind in traffic - despite living in an area where people really do seem to try to kill you on the road for the last decade or so; either a) I'm an exceptionally skilled driver or b) not wrecking really isn't that hard; it's just that some people can't be bothered to expend the minimal effort required to achieve that goal.
nate
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wrote:

You really believe this? Wow!
Here's a little clue: You aren't the only one on the road, and S**T happens.
I knew four very nice people who were killed instantly while driving along in virtually no traffic in broad daylight on a 6 lane divided highway. They were in a VW in the slow lane driving 55 mph. One of the new Beetles. What happened? A driver in a pickup truck in the opposite lanes, which were separated from them by a 300 foot wide grassy swale, had a medical emergency brought on by drugs and booze. His truck went off the road, across that huge expanse of grass, and as it came up the slope to their side, became airborne. Came at them without any warning and took the roof and their heads right off in an instant. I don't think any car would have saved them, but no amount of "careful driving" would have saved them either.
YMMV
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