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Toyota Plug-in HV  (Source: response.jp)
Toyota gets governmental approval for Japanese public road tests of plug-in Prius

The Toyota Prius is already the world's most recognizable hybrid as well as the most efficient hybrid available in the United States (2008 EPA rating of 48MPG city/45MPG highway). Toyota is looking to improve the efficiency of the Prius even further with the development of a plug-in version.

The plug-in Prius, known as the "Plug-in HV," has been certified for public road testing by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Toyota also has plans to test the Plug-in HV in Europe and in the U.S.

The Plug-in HV features a larger capacity nickel-metal hydride battery pack and the ability to be connected to a household power outlet for overnight charging. With a fully topped-off battery, Toyota says that its Plug-in HV can travel 13km (8 miles) before the internal combustion engine (ICE) has to take over.

For comparison, General Motors says that its Volt will travel 40 miles on battery power, while the plug-in hybrid version of its Saturn Vue Green Line will travel 10 miles on battery power alone.

Lithium-ion battery technology -- as used on the Volt and Vue Green Line -- would give the Prius even greater range. However, Toyota has decided against the battery technology citing safety concerns.

Toyota's trepidation is understandable given Sony's troubles with lithium-ion notebook battery packs. That being said, General Motors doesn't appear to share the same apprehension towards lithium-ion batteries and at least one company has already retrofitted existing Prius' with lithium-ion battery packs to boost combined (city/highway) fuel economy to 125MPG.



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125MPG
By cobalt42 on 7/26/2007 11:25:24 AM , Rating: 3
And in the first 8 miles, this Prius gets INIFINITE MPG! Seriously, why are we measuring the fuel economy of a car with plugin capabilities in miles per gallon? It's beyond meaningless, though it is admittedly excellent for marketing.




RE: 125MPG
By Rovemelt on 7/26/2007 11:50:23 AM , Rating: 4
Yea, MPG is starting to become meaningless for this class of cars. Maybe it's time to measure efficiency in terms of total energy/unit distance. Even grams CO2/mile starts to become meaningless because it all depends on how the electricity is generated (nat. gas/oil/nuclear/solar/wind). The energy contribution from gasoline can be calculated based on the chemical oxidation reaction.


RE: 125MPG
By marvdmartian on 7/26/2007 12:02:09 PM , Rating: 1
Agreed. If I put a sail on my car, and take advantage of wind power to push my vehicle, can I then claim I get 500mpg when the wind is in the right direction?? Or let's claim we can get 1000mpg if the car is only ever driven down hill!! ;)

I can see the board meeting at Toyota, though, when someone comes out and says, "Hey, I've found a way to use Lithium Ion batteries that will give our vehicle better mileage, at a lower cost than the NiMH batteries we're using now!!"

(Others in the meeting): "Really?? Tell us, how did you get those batteries so cheaply???"

(First guy again): "Oh, I got a helluva deal from Sony, on some slightly used batteries........." hehehe


RE: 125MPG
By ertomas on 7/26/2007 12:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
I joined DT just to laugh at your comment! LOL!

For everyone disscussing on wich battery tech is cheaper/most efficient, etc, as the article claims, Toyota's decision was based on SAFETY issues regarding Li Ion batteries.

If a laptop battery can burn like it does I don't want to think how would a car with a huge pack of batteries AND gasoline burn!


RE: 125MPG
By Mattz0r on 7/26/2007 1:21:13 PM , Rating: 2
Safety doesn't seem to be an issue at all for Tesla...

http://www.batterypoweronline.com/images/TeslaRoad...


RE: 125MPG
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 2:02:02 PM , Rating: 1
Tesla doesn't have the deep pockets Toyota does. They can afford legal exposure that much larger corporations must avoid.


RE: 125MPG
By Mattz0r on 7/26/2007 2:42:04 PM , Rating: 2
Which holds very true when trying not to damage your brand, but I think legal exposure for Tesla could be just as damaging. Since they're a new entrant into the automobile market, any negative legal exposure could pretty much end any and all sales of the Roadster. On top of that, if I remember correctly, there have been some prominent names placing reservations for the Roadster, and any future models. Imagine the backlash if Arnold, or George Clooney, or any of the other 330 supposed celebrities who have placed a reservation for the Roadster end up dying in a fiery Lithium Ion explosion.

http://www.fevj.org/energy-news/?page_id=52


RE: 125MPG
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 2:56:47 PM , Rating: 4
> "I think legal exposure for Tesla could be just as damaging..."

A large tort award against Tesla could easlily put the company out of business. But that's not the point. Without a willingness to work with Li-Ion batteries, Tesla has no product at all. Toyota, on the other hand, is the world's largest automaker, with or without these batteries.

Tesla's experiment gives them a business model and thus a company...and it likewise risks their entire company (albeit a very small risk). Were Toyota to attempt the same, their comparitive gain would be far smaller, but their legal exposure could easily run into the tens of billions of dollars.

Small companies can take risks-- legal or otherwise-- that larger companies cannot.


RE: 125MPG
By fic2 on 7/26/2007 4:14:54 PM , Rating: 3
Depends - if it is Paris Hilton or Lindsey Lohan or one of the other drunken stupid psuedo-lebrities Tesla should get a big reward for helping Darwinism on it's way.


RE: 125MPG
By Anonymous Freak on 7/26/2007 4:11:29 PM , Rating: 2
The other big question is what is the total effective consumption in various circumstances?

For example, my wife has a 5 mile each way daily commute to work. They have an EV charging station in her work's parking lot. She would get "infinite" MPG driving to and from work.

I drive between 25 and 100 miles a day for my job, with the only plug in opportunity overnight to begin 'fully charged' at the beginning of each day. Depending on my drives for the day, I would get anywhere from "very high" (let's see, 25 miles, minus the first 8, equals 17 miles on gas, at 50 MPG (my Prius average,) is 1/3 gallon; 25 miles divided by 1/3 gallons is about 75 MPG 'equivalent',) to barely over my current average of 50. (Again, same basic math, about 54 MPG for 100 miles.) And on a cross country drive, after the first couple hundred miles, it's effectively the same MPG. (Drove 1500 miles a couple years ago with no opportunity to recharge.)

Plus, you have to add in the 'cost' both monetary and environmentally, of recharging. I do pay an extra few bucks a month on my electric bill for 100% 'renewable' energy, so I wouldn't have any extra environmental cost of plugging in, but the electricity to recharge isn't free in money.


RE: 125MPG
By Comdrpopnfresh on 7/27/2007 4:36:48 PM , Rating: 2
8 miles is pitiful. a decade and a half ago we had fully electric cars which managed a range of 100 miles. Which is over 2 days worth of typical driving for an average American. It charged to full capacity in 8 hours, and 80% in 2-3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Motors_EV1


RE: 125MPG
By encia on 7/29/2007 3:07:03 AM , Rating: 2
Toyota has the RAV4-EV and sold them to customers (unlike GM).


Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By 91TTZ on 7/26/2007 2:13:03 PM , Rating: 1
I keep seeing people posting outrageous mpg ratings like "125 mpg" when referring to hybrids. The car DOES NOT get 125 mile per gallon of fuel burned. They're posting a misleading number.

The car might get 80 miles on battery power alone and then another 45 miles on a gallon of gas. They add the figures up and claim that it got 125 miles on one gallon of gas. This is highly misleading because fuel had to be burned to charge the battery in the first place. In my example, the car actually got 45 mpg. Let's not forget that the battery is only electricity storage, and the electricity is produced by the car's engine or the power plant if it's plugged in, both of which need to burn fuel.

You cannot count the distance traveled on battery power alone as "free energy" as if no fuel was burned to produce that electricity.




By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 2:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
do you need a hug?


RE: Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By johnnyangelb on 7/26/2007 3:02:17 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget the regenerative braking.


RE: Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By 91TTZ on 7/26/2007 3:09:11 PM , Rating: 2
Adding a larger capacity battery is not going to make the regenerative braking any more effective, since even the original battery has plenty of capacity to store the electricity generated by that.

Besides, the highest mpg ratings are for highway, where you aren't stopping and going all the time. I can see that helping the city mileage a little bit, but hardly the highway mpg.


RE: Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 3:19:20 PM , Rating: 3
> "Besides, the highest mpg ratings are for highway, where you aren't stopping and going all the time."

Actually, many hybrids have higher city mileage than they do highway....primarily, because of the regenerative braking.


RE: Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By Kuroyama on 7/26/2007 7:10:19 PM , Rating: 2
That is a common misconception (apparently shared by the EPA tests). Consumer Reports, and most Prius owners such as myself, would report that highway mileage is actually better than city mileage. The regenerative braking just makes the improvement in fuel economy bigger in the city than on highway. For instance, the latest Consumer Reports figures
http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/buyingleas...
have the Prius at 35mph city and 50mpg highway, while the next closest non-hybrid (the Yaris manual) gets 26mpg city and 42 highway.


RE: Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 7:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
> "That is a common misconception "

Its not a misconception, but it is heavily influenced by driving patterns...much more so than highway mileage. To get the full benefits of regenerative braking, one does have to drive a bit differently, with longer, gentler braking periods.


RE: Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By Kuroyama on 7/26/2007 11:03:26 PM , Rating: 2
The braking is not why city mileage is better than highway, it is the moderate speed. If I drive 40mph on a lightly trafficked road with few stoplights then I can get 60+mpg on my Prius. Actually, with occasional short hills at ~40mph I can do even better than that because the engine runs at near optimal efficiency going up the hill, and then coasts back down.

The regenerative braking helps keep the mileage from being too bad, but the acceleration required to recover from a stop more than makes up for the stored energy. This should be obvious, because to recover the momentum the vehicle had before braking you will require at least as much energy as was gained by slowing the car down, or else you'd have a perpetual motion machine.


By masher2 (blog) on 7/27/2007 10:42:32 AM , Rating: 2
> "The braking is not why city mileage is better than highway, it is the moderate speed"

But moderate speed alone doesn't trump stop-and-start driving. Which is why all cars without regenerative braking post lower city mileage figures. And yes, regenerative braking doesn't recover all the energy lost from stopping...but it does recover a large enough fraction to allow the gains from that "moderate speed" to trump highway mileage.

Or rather, it does if one brakes slowly and carefully at every stop...which most drivers need to be trained to do.


RE: Please stop posting incorrect mpg ratings.
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 3:25:45 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, if you plan on highway driving hybrid cars are useless, and could potentially be the same or lower mpg of the same model car (i.e civic) because the battery is so heavy (can add 500lbs or more to a car) and the electric engine is never used, even if it does recharge during breaking.


By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 3:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
damn i need to learn to read, he was saying the opposite.
MPG is only higher for gasoline cars on the highway(momentum.. yay for physics), at least when comparing the difference between city and highway, where city driving always gets lower mpg when using gasoline cars whereas the difference for hybrids is much closer.


By Kuroyama on 7/26/2007 7:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
There are some ridiculous statements as you mention. One of the worst such claims is the "500 mpg car":

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7037844/site/newsweek/

However, smaller figures like 125mpg figure more often come from effective mileage in terms of either the cost of the energy or the total amount of fuel required to generate the energy (ie. the gas + the fuel to power the plant that made the electricity). There are many calculations out there that a plug in car uses only something like half the energy of even a hybrid car (and this includes transmission and other losses).


By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 7/27/2007 3:11:17 PM , Rating: 2
If I put 10 gallons of gas in my Camry Hybrid, and I drive 400 miles, then I get 40 mpg, regardless of when the car is on full electric, or gas, or both, since the electrical energy stored in the batteries is the result of the regenerative braking, which is the result of the momentum imparted by burning the gas in the first place. If I did not put gas in my car, I would not go anywhere on the batteries.

BTW, I get about 40 mpg highway in my Camry Hybrid, which also debunks the assertion that hybrids are useless on the highway. That is pretty good for a largish mid-size sedan with leather and nav carrying a couple adults and their luggage in comfort. Yeah, I could drive an Echo and get the same mileage, but I'm not an eastern european at the height of the cold war either.


GM is not the problem.
By Mitch101 on 7/26/2007 2:03:44 PM , Rating: 3
In GM's defence I have to say they make excellent cars but the problem I have is with the Dealerships Repair centers and the forcing of proprietary parts and services that only the GM dealers have access to. For me personally if it werent for the dealerships ripping people off constantly with thier scams then I would look into getting another GM vehicle.

I cant tell you how aggrivated when my Wife got her car serviced at a GM dealership and there was a $15.00 charge which didnt make sense. When I called about it they said it was a service technicain tool and work clothes charge. This means its a fee they give to their technicians for thier tools and jumsuits to repair the vehicles and keep clean. WTF!!! What is next a Scissor fee when I get a haircut? Its BS like this that makes me sick. I have received sickening estimates from dealerships and when I have taken the vehicle to a my local guy the cost is nearly a third less than the dealership. GM dealerships dont even seem to cut rotors any more and then they overcharge for them. My local guy said they arent warped and had them cut with plenty of life left in them but the GM dealership said I needed new ones and they couldnt be cut and they wouldnt be safe if they cut them. LIARS! Finally I had a noise coming from my engine which to me sounded like it was a valve tap. The dealership told me I should trade in the car or it would need a new transmission and the car isnt worth it. My local guy found 2 loose bolts on the transmission were causing the noise.

If you want to question my local source for repair over the dealership I live in a town called Mooresville, NC also known to NASCAR as RACE CITY USA where my mechanic is certified from DALE EARNHARDT's school.

As I said before the reason I wont buy from GM is not thier cars but the dealerships which are looking to make a ton on selling cars and then ripping you off for years to come in servicing them.




RE: GM is not the problem.
By michal1980 on 7/26/2007 2:14:43 PM , Rating: 1
you have a bad dealer.

and if you think replacement costs on gm parts are bed, japanish companies are much better, and euro parts, wow.


RE: GM is not the problem.
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 2:31:24 PM , Rating: 2
ya i know heh, try going to the VW dealer. I swear those crazy Germans put everything upside down just so that you had to lift the engine to fix anything. I remember a friend going in to fix a gasket and had to get the engine lifted, which happened to be more than the car was worth ;)


RE: GM is not the problem.
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 5:22:01 PM , Rating: 2
"and if you think replacement costs on gm parts are bed, japanish companies are much better"

I think the point a lot of people here are trying to make is you rarely need parts on most Japanese cars.


RE: GM is not the problem.
By Hoser McMoose on 7/26/2007 5:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I think the point a lot of people here are trying to make is you rarely need parts on most Japanese cars.

Tell that to my Nissan currently in the shop for a new $400 power steering pump :(

I *do* like Japanese cars in general and I've had very good luck with them. In fact the Nissan is just being repaired now so I can sell it after buying a new Acura. However replacement part costs on Japanese cars ARE definitely higher then on American cars, especially GMs. The Cavalier/Sunfire is probably the best example here. The damn things aren't very reliable and break down a lot (plus they drive like a brick on wheels), but replacement parts for them cost next to nothing!


RE: GM is not the problem.
By michal1980 on 7/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: GM is not the problem.
By FITCamaro on 7/26/2007 5:02:30 PM , Rating: 2
I've only been to the dealer with my Cobalt to investigate things I thought were issues but weren't. None of it cost me a dime and the service techs were great.

And work at a dealership is ALWAYS more expensive than a local garage. The question is do you have reputable local guys. If yes, take it to them. If not, you're stuck going to the dealership.


Cost?
By Tegeril on 7/26/2007 12:39:43 PM , Rating: 2
Uh..so..what is the cost of plugging in the car overnight? Electricity isn't free.




RE: Cost?
By Hoser McMoose on 7/26/2007 5:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
Cost is a lot less then gasoline. You're probably looking at only a few kWh worth of electricity. The article doesn't state exactly how big the battery pack is except that it's bigger then the 1.3kWh used in a standard Prius, but obviously not by too much since the range is only 8 miles and the Prius uses a pretty low-powered electric motor (something like 50 or 60kW). I would toss out a guess of 2kWh.

Electricity rates do vary quite a bit from one place to another, but $0.10/kWh is fairly typical. That works out to $0.20 for electricity. For comparison, if we assume 50mpg, than that 8 miles would take 0.16 gallons of gasoline, which at $3.00 a gallon works out to $0.48.


big oil is in their pocket
By Samus on 7/26/2007 3:34:31 PM , Rating: 2
Toyota isn't using proper technology because they are big enough to decide what their customers want, and there is little fear of them lossing any business out of it.

What I'm saying is, if they make a car that gets 125MPG like LTC was able to using alternative battery technology, they will piss off a lot of their investors.




RE: big oil is in their pocket
By TomZ on 7/26/2007 9:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously you don't know anything about Toyota. Not competitive? Toyota is out for being nothing but the biggest and the best.


-Won't show up in America
By giantpandaman2 on 7/26/2007 12:37:50 PM , Rating: 2
This probably won't show up in America until there's an advance in battery technology longevity. Plug in hybrids are extraordinarily hard on their batteries, and, if I recall correctly, they won't last the required amount of time for a car sold in the US. I wish I could recall the article I read it in, but that's the reason why Toyota hasn't made a plug-in already. All current Toyota hybrids keep their batteries at around 40% charge so the batteries can last a very, very long time. Lithium batteries might do it...but considering that my notebook batteries have never worked very well after 3 or so years, I'm not holding my breath.

As for the whole NiMh thing...Toyota personally recycles all batteries for any Prius serviced at a Toyota dealership. Which is probably 99.9% of them, considering most outside shops can't service a Prius. So what's the big deal?




great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: great..
By michal1980 on 7/26/2007 11:15:56 AM , Rating: 2
wow GM is damned if the do, and damned if they dont

amd more improtantly, it tells me alot about you, when on a story mainly about toyota you choose to rip GM.


RE: great..
By WillieEvercome on 7/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: great..
By michal1980 on 7/26/07, Rating: -1
RE: great..
By FITCamaro on 7/26/2007 12:27:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
So According to your logic, GM should only switch to Li-Ion batteries AFTER toyota does?


Of course. Only Toyota is allowed to pioneer new things.

And also for the record, my "plastic throw away" 2006 Cobalt SS has nearly 37,000 miles on it after 18 months. Still on the original tires, brakes, belts, hoses, etc.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 12:41:00 PM , Rating: 2
your first comment is right on the button..

but your second..

there has to be a reason GM has gone from the biggest automaker in the world with over 50% of the worlds sales to less than 25% of americas.. The quality of their vehicles has dramatically fallen, theres no debating this. you also named off things that still work that are not plastic and never will be ;) Nobody is saying your car sucks.. but it is still a 2006 thats pretty new, and being the SS could be made with higher end parts.


RE: great..
By hannibal da mekanikabull on 7/26/2007 1:00:24 PM , Rating: 2
"there has to be a reason GM has gone from the biggest automaker in the world with over 50% of the worlds sales to less than 25% of americas.. The quality of their vehicles has dramatically fallen, theres no debating this. "

A very good and very true point.

Americans are not "un-American" and buying Japanese cars because they naturally have a disdain for American cars... We would all like to buy American, of course. The issue is that GM, Ford and Chrysler have been so bad, and such poor quality for so long that most people just gave up. I have also given up listening to thier standard "this one is built to last, built better rhetoric that comes with each new generation of junkyard bait they release. ENOUGH!

I cannot beleive that the GM, ford and Chrysler cannot design a car that will last, it HAS to be a conscious descision. They have decided that if they build a car that lasts 10 years, they lost a customer for 10 years, and decided to make cheaper less reliable cars that fall apart in an effort to boost sales. This of course gave rise to Honda and Toyota as eventually people started to learn.


RE: great..
By Ringold on 7/26/2007 1:14:25 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Americans are not "un-American" and buying Japanese cars because they naturally have a disdain for American cars...


I was in Indiana a couple weeks ago and heard of as many people directly employed by Subaru and Toyota as I did the 'Big 3', and all the buzz wasn't about GM or Ford planning to hire but how everyone couldn't wait for Honda to open it's new plant, 'cause everyone wanted to apply. The locals knew exactly how many positions would open up and were ready to apply.

And one of the first giant lighted advertisements I saw after getting off the plane? A picture of a Honda that bragged it'd been making cars in America since 1986 or 1987.

Anyway, QFT.


RE: great..
By Oregonian2 on 7/26/2007 1:47:44 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The quality of their vehicles has dramatically fallen, theres no debating this.


Perception certainly is this. GM (and Ford too I think) claim their cars are very reliable and similar to that of highly regarded Japanese makes, at least in terms of the numbers. But they've had a heck of a time with perception by the public. People buy based upon perception and they filter what they see to reinforce their previous perception no matter what's really happening. And for this reason you're right that there's no debating the issue because facts are irrelevant and one's biased perception isn't something usefully debated. Their reliability was indeed poor at one time and so it's their fault that they're stuck with the perception no matter what they do now. Note that this is one of the faults of even the CR surveys -- the answers are partially based upon perception.


RE: great..
By FITCamaro on 7/26/2007 3:40:00 PM , Rating: 1
My 2nd car, a 1987 Camaro IROC-Z 305 TPI, worked fine as well. Was all stock. I had to rebuild the transmission but the car had sat for 3 years and when it was driven, it was driven extremely hard. Not to mention it was over 15 years old. So hardly a sign of poor quality.

Cars last as long as their owners allow it. People who take poor care of their cars will be repaid with a car that doesn't last as long. My parents 2003 Hemi Durango has over 75,000 miles on it(probably even more than that now). Still running strong and without any issues. It's been to the dealership a few times for minor service issues but thats all.

I'm not saying my car isn't a newer one. But many people have this assumption that American cars break right after the warranty is up. Mine hasn't had a single issue and likely won't as long as I continue to take care of it and not beat on it. My cars will continue to be American only. The price is right and the quality is great.

And the reason GM doesn't sell as many as before is because today is a different world than 30 years ago. People used to buy quality no matter what the cost. Now they buy the cheapest thing they can find. Also there is far more competition today than then. There used to be 5 car companies. Now there's 9. Today's environment is also different. Then people wanted the most powerful thing they could find since gas was cheap and no one cared. Today people drive farther than ever before to get to work so smaller cars are more popular which the imports have more of. Many people don't buy American because they hear nothing from people but that the quality is poor. My parents though would never buy another Toyota since the one they had was a piece of shit. Does that mean all of them are? No. Many people are still just caught on the idea of the 80s and early 90s, and still base their opinions off what other people say instead of seeing for themselves. Consumer reports and other type magazines have been anti-American cars for years. I personally don't care what I have to say. I read a Car & Driver review of the Acura RSX, the Saturn Ion Redline, the Cobalt SS Supercharged, the Subaru WRX, and the Dodge SRT-4. The RSX won none of the tests they did. But it was awarded the win out of all the cars simply, and this is their words, because its an Acura. Yeah, no bias there.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 12:50:20 PM , Rating: 5
" my "plastic throw away" 2006 Cobalt SS has nearly 37,000 miles"


I am glad you are happy with your car, but only a GM fan would consider 37k any kind of accomplishment. GM (and for and Chrysler as well) have lowered the bar so low that we tend to lower our expectations of what should and shouldn't be. I have owned Camaro's, Mustangs, Caprice, Trans AM's, Saturn, as well as friends and family with a whole slough of other american cars, and they almost all fall apart after a few years and 50k miles. Although I loved it, my worst car ever was a Camaro Z28. Great balls, but a monthly trip to the dealer(when under warranty) and repair shop (when warrantly dried up made me see the light... I came to the point about 5 years ago that I cannot afford to buy an american car anymore because they fall apart. My wife and I's last several cars have been Honda/Acuras and I have not visited the repair shop once in over 5 years other than scheduled maintenance. Now on an Integra with 110k miles and never once broken down, or had need of repair. I have friends with well over 200k, and same story.

I will never EVER but an American car as long as I live. GM is a joke, and I do agree with the plastic throw away car comment above. Dont agree? chekc your Kelly blue book value and see if you can figure out why Honda and Toyota hold thier value over the years and GM cars drop like a rock from day 1.


RE: great..
By FITCamaro on 7/26/2007 3:52:41 PM , Rating: 2
37,000 miles in 18 months is quite a bit of driving. Most cars don't see that kind of mileage for 2 1/2 to 3 years if not more. Which is longer than most people even keep their cars these days.

And if you were having to take your Camaro to the dealership that often, it was you. I know plenty of people with 20 year old cars who haven't been to the shop or dealership that much. My dads 2002 Trans Am WS6 Collector's Edition has been to the dealership once because the horn was messed up. Thats it. I know plenty of Camaro and Trans Am owners who's cars are well over 100,000 miles, some 200,000, on the original engine and transmission without a problem.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 4:09:15 PM , Rating: 2
"And if you were having to take your Camaro to the dealership that often, it was you."

OK buddy. Yes, I admit, it must be the way I drove the car to need a fuel pump, a water pump, 2 alternators, a solenoid, leaky manifold, blown head gasket, computer replacement, even the dam door locks were replaced for malfunction. My good friend with a Trans Am WS6 "Ram Air" (I believe that was what it was called) had to replace tranny, door, starter, alternator, and a whole slough of other annoying crap all under warranty...which is extremely short 36k miles.

"I know plenty of Camaro and Trans Am owners who's cars are well over 100,000 miles, some 200,000, on the original engine and transmission without a problem."

I find that incredibly difficult to believe, but if you say so... whatever, enjoy your car.


RE: great..
By Verran on 7/26/2007 1:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
OMG!! Thirty-Seven Thousand miles?!?!?! That's unbelievable! That's fantastic! That's a full 1,000 out of warranty! You must be ecstatic!

[/sarcasm]

Wow, it is beyond sad that you consider 37k to be any sort of accomplishment. Let us know when you break 150k, then you might perk a few ears in the Toyota/Honda crowds.


RE: great..
By porkpie on 7/26/2007 1:27:19 PM , Rating: 2
Does a Jeep still count as an American car? Mine has 219K miles on it, and has never needed anything except for a water pump.


RE: great..
By GoatMonkey on 7/26/2007 3:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
I've got 115K on my Mustang. I've had 1 repair covered by a factory recall. And another that was the fault of a stupid mechanic. The car has been great. At least a couple of times a week I have random people walk up and tell me that they think my car looks awesome, you don't get that in a Honda.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 4:25:33 PM , Rating: 2
"At least a couple of times a week I have random people walk up and tell me that they think my car looks awesome, you don't get that in a Honda."

Actually you do. I get it all the time in my 2001 Integra, and it is nowhere near the top end in looks or performance. Try a TL, TSX, RL, S2000, MDX, or even NSX. All great looking and performing cars that both hold their value and DONT fall apart.


RE: great..
By GoatMonkey on 7/26/2007 5:14:38 PM , Rating: 2
I can see it in a s2000 or NSX. Any other and you're full of it.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 5:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever... physical looks is all subjective. If someone came in and said a 77 Pinto is better looking than your Mustang and my Integra, you cant really say its not true.

However, I DO constantly get compliments on my Integra GSR, as well as offers to buy it and it is stock, no mods at all, except new rims. My first car was a Mustang, and I do like their design.


RE: great..
By Spuke on 7/26/2007 6:52:20 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that GM and Ford fell off the quality truck for a while and people gave up them. They really have improved in the last few years. At least, that's according to various JD Power and Associates reports.

Here's the Midsize Car Initial Quality Study:
http://tinyurl.com/2af8fk


RE: great..
By 16nm on 7/27/2007 1:15:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Here's the Midsize Car Initial Quality Study:
That's the problem, isn't it? Initial quality reports are worth crap. I want to know how well it will hold up in the long run. We will see in 10 years how well the current cars coming out of Detroit hold up. Then, how will we know the quality of their future cars. Some cars have been good, most are bad. It's this inconsistency that's going to sink them.

I once read a report that said the current US cars are as reliable as German cars. Well, that may be an improvement, but I can tell you from owning several German cars, they are absolute turds on the road. They break all the time and they are god awful expensive to repair. Then we have the Koreans. Anyone remember the Hyundai Accent? What a turd!

Only Honda and then Toyota are what I will consider at this point.


RE: great..
By Jkm3141 on 7/26/2007 12:34:36 PM , Rating: 2
Wow enjoy your plastic cars for the remaining 15K miles they will survive. I however am totally enjoying my Steel 85 Toyota Supra with 205K miles and will enjoy it for a lot longer.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 1:08:14 PM , Rating: 1
no offense buddy but the pre 94 supras / celicas were pieces of shit, looked cool but one of the worst cars made by toyota EVER! I would even go as far to say they are worse than most 80's GM's


RE: great..
By Oregonian2 on 7/26/2007 1:49:24 PM , Rating: 2
I used to have a Toyota Corolla once upon a time, it was a piece of crap reliability wise. Replaced it with a Chrysler mini-van which has been a zillion times better.


RE: great..
By CU on 7/26/2007 1:12:59 PM , Rating: 2
My Chevrolet 1990 c/k1500 had 190k when I traded it in and it was running fine. I have no doubt it is well past 200k by now.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 1:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
its a truck.. nough said.. gm has a fine line of trucks.. especially when it comes to durability.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 1:25:38 PM , Rating: 3
agreed. American trucks are OK, the cars are crap.


RE: great..
By michal1980 on 7/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/07, Rating: 0
RE: great..
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 2:43:58 PM , Rating: 2
Michael1980 is correct; the gap between US and Japanese cars is not as wide as some appear to believe. According to the latest Consumer Reports data, Japanese cars average 11 problems per 100 cars, US automakers 16 per 100, and European makers 19 per 100.

Those are average numbers, of course, and there's a huge amount of variance by nameplate and specific vehicle. Which means its not at all uncommon for a particular domestic car to be more reliable than a particular Japanese one, despite the slightly lower overall rating.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 3:17:22 PM , Rating: 2
and i understand that, but #1 this gap has only been made smaller because of the pressures of companies like Toyota, to make a quality cars.#2 He claims Toyota is worse than north American cars, which is just plain untrue. #3 12% vs 19% problem rate is still a big in my eyes, and shows US automakers are still lagging behind in quality


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 4:12:39 PM , Rating: 2
"the gap between US and Japanese cars is not as wide as some appear to believe. According to the latest Consumer Reports data, Japanese cars average 11 problems per 100 cars, US automakers 16 per 100, and European makers 19 per 100."

I would be interested to know the timer period involved in this study... The more time goes by, the more American cars (and more importantly the parts that they are built with) fall apart.


RE: great..
By DeepBlue1975 on 7/26/2007 4:36:53 PM , Rating: 2
Excuse me, but 11% vs 16% accounts for a 50% increase in probability of failure.
According to your numbers, american cars are 1.5 times more likely to be in trouble than japanese ones...

Just wanted to point that out, I'm only quoting your own numbers, which are very contradictory with your saying.
I guess statistical aberrations are measured and minimized in that kind of reports. Well, at least they should be. Statistical analysis is a very well known subject today as to have it done the wrong way by a supposedly impartial report.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 4:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
"Excuse me, but 11% vs 16% accounts for a 50% increase in probability of failure.
According to your numbers, american cars are 1.5 times more likely to be in trouble than japanese ones..."


I am 100% sure that if the tests were extended to do 10 year runs, the gap would be 5-10x more likely to fail on average.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 4:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
"in the 80's maybe, 90's the started turning around. today, the quality of a gm product and that of toyota and honda are nearly the same. esspically in terms of dependability."

I would REALLY like to see one quality report (not funded by "the big 3" that backs that data up over ANY time period.

I DO know the big 3 keep stating that is the case for the past 15 years, but independent reports unanimously disagree.


RE: great..
By johnnyangelb on 7/26/2007 2:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
My 1995 Pontiac Sunfire has 218000k miles and counting.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 11:24:50 AM , Rating: 1
I only speak of GM because they are comparing the millage on batteries of the two cars. GM will have the major advantage on this front, but only because of the use of lithium-ion, which as i explained is worse for the environment in the end than the extra bit of c02 will ever be.

They should stick with conventional batteries until they have a viable solution. More R&D into new types of batteries would help, instead of their stupid hydrogen ventures which is way ahead of its time.

I have nothing to rip Toyota here for anyways, they are doing a good job, and although their car is ugly as hell,
i think they are headed in the right direction.


RE: great..
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 11:49:16 AM , Rating: 5
> "of the use of lithium-ion, which as i explained is worse for the environment..."

Lithium-ion batteries have a smaller environmental footprint than the NiMh batteries used in the Prius.

> "More R&D into new types of batteries would help"

GM is an automaker, not a battery maker. Basic research into battery technology is outside their purview.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 12:13:44 PM , Rating: 2
NiMh, NiCd, and lithium batteries are all toxic when thrown out, it just depends on how much. It usually requires a large amount of NiMh batteries to be considered toxic, and you can usually throw away small amounts of NiMc batteries. The same can not be said for lithium batteries, which let out toxic electrolytes and is also very flammable which creates the biggest problem releasing toxins into the air that are much worse than what is going into the ground and usually have to be recycled in a specific way.

And yes GM is an automaker, and being a car company they are responsible for at least 50% of c02 emissions in the states.
So i would say, yes it is within their purview. In fact there is no real need for large high capacity batteries in a mass market other than the automotive industry right now. So if its anyones job, its the auto manufacturers.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 12:24:22 PM , Rating: 2
well apparently i am a moron, you are right masher NiMh batteries are worse. But they are usually recycled where as Lithium batteries are usually not because the recyclable material in them is essentially useless or more expensive to extract than they are worth.


RE: great..
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 12:32:49 PM , Rating: 4
> "well apparently i am a moron, you are right masher NiMh batteries are worse..."

You're not a moron by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, the mere ability to admit a mistake (and thus not perpetually repeat it) puts you head and shoulders above most forum posters. :)


RE: great..
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 12:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
> "and being a car company they are responsible for at least 50% of c02 emissions in the states..."

This isn't correct. In 2005, the US produced 7,147 MMT of CO2 equiv. The entire transportation sector combined (which includes many sources other than automobiles) was responsible only for 27% of that. The production of meat alone is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than are personal autos.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 1:11:36 PM , Rating: 2
ya.. i definitely pulled that number out of my ass, I just thought it would be really high and i did not want to look it up so i said 50% haha.

but meat eh? how does meat produce green house gases? the methane let out when they are killed? would be really cool to know :)


RE: great..
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 1:23:23 PM , Rating: 2
Methane, both directly and indirectly, along with the energy use required to produce animal feedstocks. Cows and chickens require tremendous amounts of food, which has to be grown with petroleum-based fertilizers, harvested, shipped, and processed.


RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/26/2007 1:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
"Cows and chickens require tremendous amounts of food, which has to be grown with petroleum-based fertilizers"

Is there actually a reason that we HAVE to use petroleum based fertilizers. Most American farmers do because it is cheaper. To hell with the consequences


RE: great..
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 1:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
> "Is there actually a reason that we HAVE to use petroleum based fertilizers"

Producing fertilizer is an energy-intensive process...and you have to get the energy from somewhere. In addition to the raw energy requirements, you need vast amounts of hydrogen which is most economically extracted from fossil hydrocarbons.

Theoretically you could dispense with the hydrocarbons entirely, but due to the need to use less efficient chemical processes and inefficiencies in converting the various forms of energy required, the resultant product would be many dozens of times as expensive and its doubtful whether its environmental footprint would be any lower.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 1:33:49 PM , Rating: 2
thats insane, so even if every person in the united states started using a hybrid car, how much emissions could actually be lowered, considering of that 27%, transports, big trucks/ vans will never be hybrids(or pointless to be a hybrid) and you would have to think a lot of these emissions come from those types of vehicles. Adding to the problem, hybrid vehicles still let out greenhouse gases.

Possible proof hybrids are not the solution?
thoughts anyone?


RE: great..
By Spuke on 7/26/2007 7:03:34 PM , Rating: 2
Some semi-truck manufacturers have begun producing hybrid versions of their trucks.

My opinion on hybrids is that you are just changing one source of emissions for another less visible one (power companies). Honestly, I think hybrids are just a feel good for the average person.


RE: great..
By Kuroyama on 7/27/2007 10:34:53 AM , Rating: 2
Um, how does my Prius change the power source to the power company, considering it gets 100% of it's power from gas?

As far as plug-in cars are concerned, it is entirely possible that generating the energy at an efficient power plant, transmitting it to my house, and then storing it in my car battery might still be more efficient than generating the energy in my tiny car engine. In fact, the few calculations I have seen on the issue seem to come up with a rough doubling of efficiency (and let's leave the "batteries are evil" debate for somewhere else, as I'm just referring to your "power company" argument).

The "hydrogen car" idea is pretty much the same concept, just using hydrogen as the medium of energy transfer from the power plant, rather than electricity + batteries.

If the power plant is significantly more efficient then my car engine then hydrogen, plug-in hybrid, or whatever may be good ways to use less energy.


RE: great..
By encia on 7/29/2007 4:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
RE: great..
By retrospooty on 7/27/2007 12:05:21 AM , Rating: 2
I know UPS just bought a bunch of hybrid trucks for thier delivery routes, and Semi trucks exist as well, so the possibility exists. It could take an awful long time though, and there are always more efficient energy sources around the corner that are being worked on.


RE: great..
By encia on 7/29/2007 3:14:39 AM , Rating: 2
According to http://www.asahi.com/english/Herald-asahi/TKY20070...

Toyota is also testing a plug-in Prius with lithium-ion batteries.


RE: great..
By Chudilo on 7/26/2007 11:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
Do some research before you complain about things. Lithium ION batteries are the most ECO friendly batteries of all time. Better then the common Alkaline or Lead Acid batteries.
Lithium ion is even used in pharmaceuticals for treating mental disorders


RE: great..
By sandytheguy on 7/26/2007 11:38:27 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
And what do they think they are going to do with all the dead lithium batteries.


Recycle them?


RE: great..
By Rovemelt on 7/26/2007 11:45:46 AM , Rating: 3
Lithium ion batteries are considered to be safe enough to put into municipal waste and aren't nearly environmentally hazardous as lead acid and cadmium containing cells. Although in my view, there should be some sort of recycling program for them. Currently, there is little scrap value to LiIon batteries, so companies aren't jumping on recycling them.

I'm hoping that the NiCad batteries going into these vehicles will be recycled...

We'll always have a need to balance environmental impact vs needs, and right now, more efficient vehicles trump landfills filled with Li batteries (which can be recycled in the future).


RE: great..
By Spivonious on 7/26/2007 11:50:55 AM , Rating: 1
Oh, and NiMH are any better? Get a life.

As for the article, going 8 miles on electric alone is cool and all, but not very useful. When will the auto companies ditch this hybrid thing and go with an electric motor with a gas generator? That is so obviously a better choice and much less complex.


RE: great..
By FITCamaro on 7/26/2007 12:21:52 PM , Rating: 2
What you mean like the Chevy Volt?


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 12:29:20 PM , Rating: 2
Technically its still a hybrid, it can actually use 4 different sources of energy so says the gm site (electricity, gasoline, E85 or biodiesel).. Its main selling point is that the gas engine wont turn on for 40 miles, which is more than the commute to work for most people..

but then again what is considered a pure hybrid anymore... a prius sure isnt.. guess this isnt either


RE: great..
By Hoser McMoose on 7/26/2007 6:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
The GM Volt is a series hybrid, which is precisely Spivonious was describing.

The internal combustion generator on the Volt, whether it's a gasoline, E85 or diesel engine is used purely to provide electricity for the electrical motors. It is not connected to the drive train itself as is the case with the Toyota Prius (parallel hybrid).

While this idea of using a gasoline generator to charge batteries to power an electrical motor might seem a bit odd at first, it is actually a HUGE step forward. It allows for a MUCH simpler and more efficient engine to be used since it runs at a constant RPM. You also eliminate the need for a complex transmission on your engine, it's just a straight generator. Good electric motors are usually about 95% efficient, so there is little loss there, and they have a HUGE rpm range where they are almost right at their peak efficiency. Usually they can be couple with an extremely simple two-speed transmission to get the full speed range required for typical driving.

As Spivonious said, it's a MUCH less complex design then the Prius and more efficient to boot. The GM Volt gets about the same fuel efficiency running off it's gasoline generator as a Prius, but it does so with a 160hp electrical engine vs. a 117hp gas/electrical combo.

The downside is that they are VERY dependent on good battery technology, and I fear that we may still be a good 10-15 years away from reaching the stage where the batteries are truly ready for prime time. Certainly the Li-Ion batteries found in laptops aren't going to cut it!


RE: great..
By masher2 (blog) on 7/26/2007 7:35:21 PM , Rating: 2
> "Good electric motors are usually about 95% efficient, so there is little loss there..."

True enough, but the coulometric charging efficiency of the batteries is the real loss factor. NiMH is a real loser here, with about 1/3 of all electricity generated being wasted just on the charge cycle. Li-Ion does a lot better...which is why I assume all the true series hybrids have used that particular technology.


RE: great..
By encia on 7/29/2007 3:38:23 AM , Rating: 2
Without the electric motor being enabled, an active ICE can NOT move the car. Refer to
http://homepage.mac.com/inachan/prius/planet_e.htm...

Hint: Move ICE controls to max.

Toyota Prius is a series-parallel hybrid. Depending on the driving conditions, the Prius switches between series or parallel modes.


RE: great..
By encia on 7/29/2007 3:41:52 AM , Rating: 2
To clarify, "Without the electric motor being enabled, an active ICE can NOT move the car" refers to Toyota Prius.


RE: great..
By encia on 7/29/2007 4:16:04 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The internal combustion generator on the Volt, whether it's a gasoline, E85 or diesel engine is used purely to provide electricity for the electrical motors


Refer to http://www.greenenergynetwork.com/media/studies/pr...
Prius Gen 1, running E85.

quote:
It is not connected to the drive train itself as is the case with the Toyota Prius (parallel hybrid).

Prius is a series-parallel hybrid.

Refer to http://homepage.mac.com/inachan/prius/planet_e.htm...
Inactive electric motor and active ICE will not move the Prius. The electric motor must be active to move the car.

quote:
but it does so with a 160hp electrical engine vs. a 117hp gas/electrical combo

Toyota has a working (in active real world racing) Hybrid-Supra with 150KWatts electric motor (rear) with super-capacitors.
http://priuschat.com/Toyota-Hybrid-Supra-participa...

quote:
As Spivonious said, it's a MUCH less complex design then the Prius

Complex for whom? For GM or Toyota?

Refer to
http://www.bizrate.com/learningtoys/brand--tamiya/...
for Tamiya's planetary gearset toy.


RE: great..
By Oregonian2 on 7/26/2007 1:54:44 PM , Rating: 2
One also needs a lot MORE NiMH battery than the equivalent amount of Lithium battery. :-)

In any case, "Lithium" batteries aren't all the same. The technology Panasonic (I think it was) came up with was inherently fire-proof (coming to laptops near you soon). Etc.

GM just signed battery development contracts with a couple companies, I'm sure these issues are in the specs.


RE: great..
By Netscorer on 7/26/2007 11:51:12 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think they are even reducing CO2 emissions that much. Car still needs energy to drive, and if that energy is derived from the electrical outlet it has to be generated somewhere first. If I am correct, US is still predominantly generates its power from the coal burning plants which release the very same CO2 in the atmosphere.
So I can see financial gains from using plug-ins (municipal electricity is cheaper then the one generated by running internal combustion engine) but I don't see any environmental gains at all.


RE: great..
By Rovemelt on 7/26/2007 1:19:08 PM , Rating: 3
I saw an analysis once that broke down CO2 emissions and electric travel for a variety of electrical sources. The CO2 emissions certainly depend on the CO2 emissions of the power plant and their choice of energy source. However, even with using coal (the worst in terms of CO2 emissions) to generate the electricity, the electric vehicle still produced less co2 emissions per unit distance traveled and less over the total lifetime of the car. This is because the electric motor is far more energy efficient/distance traveled than an equivalent car gasoline engine and most power plants are more efficient at producing power than a car's engine.

Here's a ref, albeit slightly dated:

Tahara, Kiyotaka et al, "Comparison of CO2 Emissions from Alternative and Conventional Vehicles." World Resources Review v.13 n.1 (2001), pp. 52-60.


RE: great..
By FITCamaro on 7/26/2007 12:20:26 PM , Rating: 2
Ah ok so a lithium-ion Prius would be ok but a GM vehicle with them, shame on them?

And like nickel-metal hydride batteries are any less toxic?


RE: great..
By bhieb on 7/26/2007 12:46:39 PM , Rating: 1
You're right the 3 Cadillacs I've owned have sure sucked, utter pieces of crap </sarcasm>.


RE: great..
By omnicronx on 7/26/2007 1:41:33 PM , Rating: 2
and what about the 3 beemers you could have had for the same price ;) </nonsarcasm>


RE: great..
By Andrwken on 7/29/2007 11:23:38 PM , Rating: 2
See masher's post above. They have a higher rate of failure. Why would he do that?


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