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Old 06-18-2008, 09:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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MetroMPG -

Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Don't get me wrong, james: I think the Insight is an amazing machine.

I believe EV mode is one reason of several why Toyota has had so much more success with the Prius vs. the Civic hybrid. From a marketing perspective: without exception, everyone I've talked to who has driven a Toyota hybrid has commented on how incredibly "cool" low speed EV mode is.

Also: All Toyota hybrids are either theoretically or currently retrofittable as PHEVs with extended EV range. Non-EV mode Honda hybrids will continue to be ignored in that arena, and Toyota will continue to reap the marketing benefits of being associated with it. (Indeed, Honda's official stance is that they're not interested in PHEVs, which suggests they're not going to do EV mode in the new cars.)
I definitely think the marketing part is true. From a hypermiler POV, I am disappointed in the lack of a manual hybrid. Honda provided that in the Insight and "1st gen" Civic Hybrid, so I am biased in favor of those drivetrains. But, as usual, I am in the extreeeeeeeeeme minority of the driving public.

Unless there is a big price difference, I wouldn't be surprised of the next Honda Hybrid is forward-compatible to PHEV. Wasn't Toyota's original stance anti-PHEV?


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