I don't understand hybrid cars

Discussion in 'Planes, Trains & Automobiles' started by Agovita, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. What's the appeal? I seriously do not get this at all. You take a car, take away it's power, put in a little gas engine, put in a bunch of batteries that need to be charged, and call it a car.

    Great. Problem: two thirds of the worlds electricity is made from coal, oil, and natural gas. So, two thirds of the battery power *(not literally, but pretty much) of your vehicle, is still coming from fossil fuels, right?

    Thus, your car that's getting '60-70' mpg, is only getting that with the assistance of an electric engine, essentially fueled by fossil fuels. It seems pointless to me. :confused:

    Enlighten me
  2. Well its not like you plug it in to charge it.... The car is charged via the gasoline engine and regenerative braking technology.
  3. To some degree this is dependent on the car's powertrain design. Sounds like you're thinking of the Prius, which can function on either the combustion engine (which kicks in at a certain higher speed) and/or the batteries. It's an energy design I'm not real fond of for that reason. The Volt, which is due for release next year, actually has an electric engine with batteries charged by a gasoline generator. What this means is that the power of the car is less dependent on moving parts of a mechanical engine to transfer power to the wheels. The Volt actually performs comparable to a Charger SXT according to the info so far, and there are more designs released or being developed that rival some sports cars.

    Also depends on where you live somewhat...I know in my area more than 85% of the energy comes from nuclear and hydro, and less than 5% is fossil-based. Though hybrid car technology is really transitional. People are delusional if they think that the economy will suddenly switch to all-electric and clean(er) energy. Both because it will take a long time for the power grid to keep up with both the demand for increased power and cleaner fuel, and electric car tech isn't good enough to completely replace gasoline while still being commercially viable. Ongoing research through market power, pretty much. I imagine we'll see all-electric cars being viable with fusion power, if not sooner.
  4. #4 plsfoldthx, Oct 7, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 7, 2010
    Are you saying it's not a car?

    What's your point? You're using less energy to get from point A to point B... what's there to understand? No one said it doesn't use fossil fuels. Even electric cars can be dependent on fossil fuels if a coal plant generates your electricity.

    Getting really good gas mileage is pointless to you?

    I don't know who told you that hybrids and electric cars don't use fossil fuels. No one ever claimed that. The POINT is to REDUCE the use of fossil fuels NOT ELIMINATE and stop having to pay outrageous prices at the pump.

    Second, it's not 60-70 mpg, it's more like 50 which is more than twice the fuel economy of your average car.
  5. Lower pollutants in the air too
  6. Hybrids, in my opinion, are an absolutely genius invention. All that kinetic energy being wasted as heat. Whoever thought you could just harness it by adding an electric engine. You don't need to change your lifestyle or find an electric charging station. Just go on as you normally would. It's all about an easy transition.
  7. I love this! Forgot to mention it, but as always, the best, most genius ideas, are the most simple and logical.

    Yes, I was thinking of the Prius, in specific; seeing as there are hundreds surrounding me.

    Also, that was a general world wide figure. I looked it up before I posted, so I'd have at least a semi-respectable generalization. I know that many countries and regions are much more in the renewable energy swing than the majority of the U.S is.

    No, in fact I'm not

    That is my point. You are using energy, created by fossil fuels, converted into electricity.

    No, it's ridiculous how low of mileage we get out of vehicles. There are better ways than hybrids though. And, many hybrids on the market SUCK. Europe, anyone? Passat BlueMotion Sets World Record By Traveling 1526 Miles On Single Tank - Ecofriend

    I'm pretty sure I've heard it claimed that electric cars don't use fossil fuels.

    I want GREAT mpg, 50 is not great. 50 is 6 more than a 2002 honda civic HX. I'm really not impressed.

    "http://www.automobile.com/2003-volkswagen-1-liter-concept-car.html" This would impress me.

    That aspect I did forget to mention. Obviously, moving sources of pollutants out of urban areas and into more localized areas can help a lot with health problems, etc. I'm all for it!

    I'm just completely unimpressed with the mpg gains we've gotten.
  8. Well, that's a different point than that they are useless.

    Of course they could be more efficient, but if we take that path, we could honestly being doing lots of things better, but humans don't tend to take the most logical efficient path generally speaking.

    I don't like the Prius either, but atleast it's a small step towards making transportation more efficient, if only by using the idea as a selling point and making it trendy in society to "be green":rolleyes:
  9. I think that's exactly what frustrates me, Per Waui, is that it is now fashionable to make a half-assed attempt at being ecologically friendly.
  10. 50mpg is not hard to get out of a gasoline engine though.

    which is why i don't understand hybrids.

  11. That's the roundabout point I've been trying to get at. :smoke:
  12. ^^A lot of it has to do with America's attachment to big and powerful vehicles. Amusingly, most of the more powerful cars are made and used in Europe, since USA enforces street-legality so certain car models can't outrun police. It's also argued that despite three major oil-based energy crises in the country so far, oil companies have resisted efforts to make cars more fuel-efficient by leveraging against the auto industry so they can sell more product.

    I agree it's sad that being green has become a popularity buzz. At the same time hybrids are a stepping stone to energy storage and efficiency research.
  13. I don't see whats not to like
  14. Mmm, what is that??

    I like the Tesla Roaster too :wave: [​IMG]
  15. Normal diesel cars are more fuel efficient than hybrids. Top Gear did a test where they drove a Jaguar S-type diesel, a golf diesel, and a Prius and the Prius ran out of gas first, the Jag coming in last. And diesels give you more fun than a hybrid, so obvious choice is diesel.

  16. It all depends on how you drive, for city driving (stop and go) electric are more efficient. It also takes way more oil to make a gallon of diesel than a gallon of gas, so as oil prices rise you are more likely to see diesel prices rise.

    I have been doing my research because I am looking at getting a new Toyota Hylander Hybrid or a Volkswagen Turag TDI.
  17. They're test was legit because they started in a Geneva, stop and go. Then got to highway, then had stop and go for the whole time they were in England, Dover to Manchester. And the Hybrid ran out of gas soon after getting to England. When they got to Manchester, they examined the S-type's gas tank and figured they had another 100 miles to go. They went like 1,100 miles on one tank, which ended up being like 74 MPG or something.
  18. I had a 2008 Ford Escape hybrid for around 75,000 miles. At first I thought the car was really cool and I was digging the silent factor driving around town. It got great gas milage. Around 33-34mpg in the summer, 27-29 in the winter. Drove like a tank in the snow, despite the super hard tires. After around 55,000 miles, the seats started to become really uncomfortable because they were wearing down.

    Then while driving at 60 mph down a very crowded highway during rush hour in June, my car made a dinging noise and then the words "Stop Safely Now" appeared in the display and the engine turned it's self off (still had power steering and brakes). This happened around 65,000 miles. As it would turn out, the water pump that cools the battery died, and Ford wouldn't cover that under warrenty. Cost me a grand to get that replaced. I spent the next 6 weeks on the phone with Ford, and finally settled with them where they'll cover 70% of the repair cost. I was really disapointed that Ford didn't stand by their hybrid product.

    I unloaded the Escape for a turbo charged Volvo. Only during the last 6,000 miles or so did I really notice how badly the Escape handled, especially in the corners and exit ramps. It's just balenced all wrong. I'm getting around 20mpg now. I can live with that to have a car that's much more comfortable and fun to drive.
  19. I perfectly understand hybrids. What i dont understand is why they have to be so slow and boring. CRZ sport hybrid? Please. My 10 year old Jetta is faster than that, easy
  20. i had the same view towards hybrids until very recently. basically, hybrids are expensive(so much for saving gas money) and they pollute heavily manufacturing the batteries(so much for eco-friendly). i just saw one big paradox at first.

    but from what i understand, we are in a transition phase since fossil fuels will have its limits. now we dont know if fully electric cars will be the future, but thats what car companies are investing in these days... of course not their whole line of cars, but a select few as experimental projects or so to speak. no company wants to be left out and in lack of electric technology if (god forbid) if electric cars really become the future.

    so in a way, i understand what these engineers are aiming for, but i still disagree with the whole concept. as far as im concerned, fossil fuels will still last for a damn good while. and eventually, i believe scientists will develop a new power source, something more efficient than electricity. i would personally just stick with gasoline and wait it out for a better answer

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