Print 43 comment(s) - last by Dr of crap.. on Aug 26 at 3:50 PM

Honda looks to conquer all rivals with the Accord Hybrid

We reported in June that Honda was forecasting fuel economy numbers of 49/45/47 (city/highway/combined) for its upcoming 2014 Accord Hybrid. Well, it turns out that after further testing, the city number has been nudged up just a tad to an even 50 mpg according to TOV.
Even with the 50 mpg city rating, the vehicle will still have a combined fuel efficiency rating of 47 mpg, which is impressive in its own right. The Accord Hybrid easily beats the ratings of the other midsize hybrids and diesels on the market, and matches the combined rating of the Ford Fusion Hybrid (although the Fusion Hybrid, like its disgraced C-Max sibling, has encountered trouble meeting its EPA numbers).

The Accord Hybrid uses a 2.0-liter gasoline engine (141 hp), 124 kW electric motor, and a lithium-ion battery pack. The on-sale date for the vehicle is scheduled for October of this year.

Source: Temple of VTEC

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RE: versus diesel
By Solandri on 8/21/2013 1:53:50 PM , Rating: 5
My 2012 Passat TDI has around 16,000 miles on it with an average, according to the computer, of 45 MPG.

Diesel has about 12% more mass per gallon than gasoline. That is, if you refine a barrel of oil to produce only diesel, and refine a barrel of oil to produce only gasoline, you will get about 12% more gasoline by volume.

So in terms of how much oil you're using, you need to divide diesel mileages by 1.12 to compare to gasoline. It still does better than a gasoline engine due to the higher compression ratio (produces more usable work per gram of fuel, less waste heat), but not as much as you'd expect if you just compare the MPG figures. (Of course if you don't care about the environment, then the cost of diesel vs gas is what's going to matter, not mass of fuel burned. In that case diesel is usually pretty favorable.)
It gets significantly less mileage in the winter, probably due to a combination of winter fuel, denser air, heater use, and the time it takes the engine to fully warm.

It's probably the winter fuel formulation. Heat in a car engine is free - about 2/3rds of the energy in the fuel is converted to waste heat. Dissipating it into the cabin takes no more energy than dissipating it into the outside air. Denser air actually helps since you're able to pack in more oxygen per volume of cylinder.
A diesel hybrid would be something to see, in terms of combined MPG, eliminating diesel's weakness (stop and go, and especially short trips).

A diesel hybrid would be nice, but at around 40-50 mpg you're already pretty far into the diminishing returns for improving fuel efficiency. MPG is the inverse of fuel consumption, so a % improvement of a high MPG represents less fuel saved than the same % improvement at a low MPG.

e.g. Say you drive 12000 miles a year.

If your SUV gets 12 MPG you burn 1000 gallons in a year.
If you improve it 25% to 15 MPG, you burn 800 gal/yr.
Net savings is 200 gal/yr.

If your car gets 20 MPG you burn 600 gal/yr.
If you improve it 25% to 25 MPG, you burn 480 gal/yr.
Net savings 120 gal/yr.

If your car gets 40 MPG you burn 300 gal/yr.
If you improve it 25% to 50 MPG, you burn 240 gal/yr.
Net savings is just 60 gal/yr.

The rest of the world uses the inverse - liters per 100 km - instead of MPG to avoid this problem. If you list the above mileages in gallons per 100 miles, you'll see the same thing:

12 MPG = 8.33 gal/100 mi
15 MPG = 6.67 gal/100 mi (1.67 gal/100 mi improvement)

20 MPG = 5 gal/100 mi
25 MPG = 4 gal/100 mi (1 gal/100 mi improvement)

40 MPG = 2.5 gal/100 mi
50 MPG = 2 gal/100 mi (0.5 gal/100 mi improvement)

We really should be concentrating on putting diesels and hybrids into things like trucks and SUVs. Producing high-mileage econoboxes is the worst possible place to save fuel.

RE: versus diesel
By tng on 8/21/2013 3:04:06 PM , Rating: 2
We really should be concentrating on putting diesels and hybrids into things like trucks and SUVs. Producing high-mileage econoboxes is the worst possible place to save fuel.
Granted they should be extending this to pickups and even long haul trucks, but there are far more econ boxes out there and that is what is selling, so that is where the effort goes.

RE: versus diesel
By Samus on 8/21/2013 4:33:11 PM , Rating: 2
The problem with diesel engines, and the reason you don't see diesel hybrids, is because they can't run a miller-cycle combustion system like a petroleum engine. This would require a complete rework of how hybrid drive trains are developed. Currently, the electric motor acts as a starter, recovery, and propulsion motor. Diesels don't exactly start smoothly and like continuous service, not constant stop-starts (although UPS has implemented a creative workaround to this for their delivery trucks.)

The best current diesel hybrid implementations are using the diesel engine to generate electricity and run electric motors (think Fiskar Karma/Chevy Volt, but with a hybrid). This hybrid system has been around for over 100 years, it started in locomotives, and has since transitioned to marine applications, buses, and short-distance trucks.

Then you need to consider the added costs of a diesel, cold-weather performance (although the hybrid batteries could be used to power a block warmer when temps drop too low) maintenance (especially the stupid urea tanks now) and varying quality of fuel which affect all sorts of things (NVH, performance, efficiency, fuel system)

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/2013 9:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
All good points, although fuel quality varies with gasoline, too -- particularly when it comes to how much, if any, ethanol is added to it.

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/2013 9:14:45 PM , Rating: 2
The NY Post is saying maintenance on hybrid buses is such a problem that they're planning to retrofit buses with diesel engines.

RE: versus diesel
By drewsup on 8/22/2013 4:50:06 AM , Rating: 2
Wow, someone better tell Citroen about this not being feasible,

How sad is it the French are leading the way in the holy grail of hybrids.

RE: versus diesel
By Samus on 8/22/2013 5:39:34 AM , Rating: 2
Dude did you even read that article? They complain about the very things I mentioned are hurdles with diesel hybrid technology, specifically judder during power plant transition, unexciting drivability and marginally better fuel economy than a base diesel.

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: versus diesel
By mrwassman on 8/21/2013 3:34:36 PM , Rating: 3
America has had hybrid bus transportation for a while:

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/13, Rating: 0
RE: versus diesel
By Spuke on 8/21/2013 5:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
They are diesel hybrids.

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/2013 9:13:11 PM , Rating: 1
The MTA’s electric revolution is grinding to a halt. The agency hasn’t purchased an electric-diesel hybrid bus in three years, and as many as 389 — 23 percent of all its hybrids — could be retrofitted with new diesel engines soon, MTA officials revealed to The Post.

... hybrids haven’t worked very well, an insider says. Maintenance workers “constantly” have to repair hybrid engines.

“The electric-traction motors are burning out,” the source said. “They’re so expensive to replace that it’ll be cheaper to stick a diesel engine in there.”

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/2013 8:50:24 PM , Rating: 1
I guess in bizarro world, innocuous posts about diesel vehicles deserve to be dramatically downrated.

RE: versus diesel
By retrospooty on 8/21/2013 3:37:14 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, but your figures are using 12,000 miles per year. Which is close to the "average" but anyone that only drives 12000 per year would be nuts to buy a hybrid. That isnt who its for. Its for people that do like 50,000 miles per year or more. When you get into high mileage it makes more and more sense.

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/2013 3:56:52 PM , Rating: 3
Hybrids are a particular improvement in efficiency for city (stop and go, traffic jam) driving, right? That could mean fewer total miles but a big improvement in emissions and fuel usage.

RE: versus diesel
By retrospooty on 8/21/2013 4:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
It depends of the hybrid in question and the vehicle you compare it to. They generally get great mileage on the highway too.

RE: versus diesel
By superstition on 8/21/2013 9:07:36 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, but so do diesels. The main advantage, therefore, of gasoline hybrids is in city driving, an area where diesels comparatively don't shine.

RE: versus diesel
By retrospooty on 8/22/2013 8:28:31 AM , Rating: 2
True... Diesels's definitely have their strengths as well. I would love to see more options in the US.

RE: versus diesel
By Dr of crap on 8/26/2013 3:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
NO no no, hybrids use LESS gas for short trips, city driving. Therefore hybrids work best for in city commuting. That is why the Volt says it is for those htat only drive 40 or less miles per day, no gas being used.

RE: versus diesel
By Monkey's Uncle on 8/22/2013 6:57:18 PM , Rating: 2
Your calculations break when you consider the cracking process used for oil refining. Refining a barrel of crude produces not only low viscosity products like gasoline, but also products like diesel, naphtha, base motor oil, gear oil, grease and tar. It all comes from the same barrel of oil - Nothing is wasted.

Keeping this in mind the percentage a barrel of crude that will crack into gasoline is about 35-42% depending on the type of crude (lets call it 38% average). Light crude will produce the highest percentage of gas while heavy crude produces the lowest. Diesel and its close cousin Heating oil make up 23% of that same average barrel of crude. Between the two we have refined 61% of a barrel of crude into motor fuels. The rest goes into kerosene and other heavy viscosity products.

Of course after the cracking process the fuels will go into further refinement to break them down into grades, filter out things like Sulfur and to mix in additives like ethanol.

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