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Old 03-25-2010, 12:41 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Old Mechanic View Post
I think we all understand that there is a huge difference between mass produced cost per unit and what it sells for as a replacement component. You would be better off to buy the whole Prius than to buy the electric motor, battery, and planetary gear set differential as replacement parts.
Automakers charge high prices for model-specific replacement parts because they can. If you look at generic parts like 12-volt batteries, shock absorbers, and tires, the prices are more reasonable. Then consider that hydraulic motors aren't specialized components used in one line of automobiles, they're generic parts used in all sorts of industrial equipment. You just go to an industrial parts catalog - or do a search on "industrial hydraulic motor" - and order.

So it seems that there would be a lot of applications for lightweight, efficient hydraulic motors (and other parts) without building them specifically for cars. So I'd think that someone with a better motor design could sell it without having to start a car company, while anyone wanting to build a HH car ought to be able to buy all the components for a prototype drive train off the shelf for not too many thousands of dollars, install them in say a Metro chassis, and have a working demo model to show investors.
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