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Old 04-14-2012, 07:25 PM   #31
Tony Curcio
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Default Re: Is the Hybrid really the solution?

A Prius really is a sh_t box. It is not the only hybrid, and far from the best, only one of the first. Toyota keeps them ugly because that appeals to a market segment consisting of organic vegetarians that are making a political statement with said sh_t box.

But the question asked was, "are they the future"?

At The 24 Hours of Lemans, there will be hybrids and in past years there have been"flybrids" entered by Toyota in Prototype and Porsche in GT. They are dumping millions into energy recovery systems, such as a lightweight, high rpm flywheel system that keeps spinning from its own momentum, both while running, and after shut off to continue charging the battery pack, hence the name, flybrid.

The Toyota will have electric motors on each wheel, two will power wheels, two will be spun by the wheels to act as alternators, and thus recharge the batteries while in motion. One journalist asked if having motors on each wheel could be used as a form of traction control, which is illegal in that form of racing. Fair question.

There may also be an all-electric that will have super-capacitors for energy storage, I think instead of batteries, or maybe in addition to. This car is not expected to be anywhere near the lead lap when the race is over, but they do think it will run competitive laps in between extended pit stops. The long stops will be needed for re-charging. Why they don't just swap out the battery packs is beyond me.

Last, a Belgian company is working toward developing a hydrogen powered race engine, also for Lemans. The biggest engineering challenge comes from sealing the engine. Hydrogen being lighter than air, it seeps out everywhere, the valve guides, the ring gaps, they even have to keep the injector rail pressure low because of seepage. This, in turn, limits the rpm. Who knew. But these sound like solvable issues. The real challenge will be making it affordable.

Ground transportation is definitely going to be different sooner or later. But that doesn't mean it has to be boring.
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Old 04-15-2012, 11:24 AM   #32
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Default Re: Is the Hybrid really the solution?

My wife drives a 2008 Toyota Highlander Hybrid. Its a SUV not quite a big as a Tahoe with three rows of seats. She purchased it new when her 1999 300M was getting long in the tooth.

It was the only car she could find that could meet her requirements of something that was not as low as the Chrysler, she liked driving and got better fuel mileage than the 300M.

Since the battery is typically never either fully charged or fully discharged, in the real world battery life appears to be very good with 200,000 miles plus reported.

The car accelerates very well, if you add up the horsepower of the three electric engines and the gas engine I think its over 400 hp although the computer does not let you use that much, I think Toyota rates the package at over 300hp.

It gets better mileage in town than on the road and better mileage in the spring and fall. This is because the gas engine runs more in the winter and the AC (which is electric) drains the 400v battery more when the gas engine is off. Mileage in town ranges from around 23 to 27. On the road around 22. When we take it to Colorado in the summer it does well in the mountains as it will top the batteries off going down the passes.

Over all its a very interesting car that has served us well. What will we replace it with? Hard to say as that will be many years off and as mentioned earlier there could be many different choices.

Bill
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Old 04-15-2012, 12:11 PM   #33
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Default Re: Is the Hybrid really the solution?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry 6674 View Post
Driving a prius is the closest thing to casteration a man could deal with without feeling the knife.
I'm usually pretty good with words. Do some writing, etc. In all my efforts, I have never been able to adequately describe a prius or other like vehicle, in so few words.
Harry... you must be a decendant of old Bill Shakespear ?
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:14 PM   #34
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Default Re: Is the Hybrid really the solution?

I am an avid fan of Top Gear (the real one) and they often preview new cars being introduced in Britian and Europe.

Last year they previewed a VW Golf with a small turbo diesel that got 75 mpg and many other cars that were in the 50mpg range.

We don't have these cars for various reasons but mostly because of emissions and safety rules. Since global warming has been exposed as based on falsified documents and we have probably "over-relied" on safety, why don't we let these cars into the U.S. and save a lot of gas?

JimR
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:34 PM   #35
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Default Re: Is the Hybrid really the solution?

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Originally Posted by treessavoy View Post
I am an avid fan of Top Gear (the real one) and they often preview new cars being introduced in Britian and Europe.

Last year they previewed a VW Golf with a small turbo diesel that got 75 mpg and many other cars that were in the 50mpg range.

We don't have these cars for various reasons but mostly because of emissions and safety rules. Since global warming has been exposed as based on falsified documents and we have probably "over-relied" on safety, why don't we let these cars into the U.S. and save a lot of gas?

JimR
We do have a turbo diesel VW Golf (and Jetta) here. It's rated in the mid 40s mpg I believe but they say you can get over 50 on the highway, and it's got decent hp for its size. Also, remember the UK gallon is equal to 1.2 US gallons, which makes mpg higher over there.

Also, these diesels are remarkably clean, more so than most gasoline engines
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Old 04-17-2012, 09:31 AM   #36
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Default Re: Is the Hybrid really the solution?

Tony Curcio and 340 Cuda, you get it.
And Harry 6674 prius comment, you get it too.
They are here to stay.
And Toyota is the leader who sold ford and nissan the tech they now use, and providing jobs around our great country. I think they retooled the truck factory in Texas to provide American made hybrids too.
My father fought in Korea in 1950, 51, 25th Infantry Tropic Lightning, a very tough time to be there. I wonder what his conservative mind would have thought of all this import domestic trading. He was a CFO before passing in 1978. He always drove a Ford, a domestic with Irish roots.
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