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Old 01-30-2020, 04:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
Let's say the car needs a new battery at 200,000 miles. At $4k, that adds $0.02 per mile to the operating cost.

At 52 MPG and $3 gallon gas, the cost in fuel per mile is 0.06 per mile

At the non-hybrid 34 MPG and $3 gas, the fuel cost per mile is $0.09 per mile.

So, you've got a $0.03 per mile spread between the hybrid and non-hybrid version, with a battery perhaps costing only an extra $0.02 per mile. It still pencils out in the favor of a hybrid.

This particular vehicle aside, hybrid technology makes more sense the larger the vehicle becomes. It would be an absolute no-brainer to go hybrid in an SUV or truck, but makes no sense at all in the Gen I Insight, for instance.

The other thing is that hybrid technology is as much about improving performance as it is improving fuel efficiency. The upcoming RAV4 Prime is going to have 300+ horsepower making it the most powerful in its class, while also being the most fuel efficient.
The OP cites the hybrid vehicle requires premium fuel. Doesn't that bump it up to ~$0.45/gallon difference? It's more expensive than that if you factor in the environmental costs of mining that extra lithium, cobalt, etc. Not to mention the couple of extra thousands a hybrid cost over the regular version.


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Old 01-30-2020, 05:45 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galvatron1 View Post
The OP cites the hybrid vehicle requires premium fuel. Doesn't that bump it up to ~$0.45/gallon difference? It's more expensive than that if you factor in the environmental costs of mining that extra lithium, cobalt, etc. Not to mention the couple of extra thousands a hybrid cost over the regular version.
The extra cost is already factored in, because you get 200k miles out of the initial purchase. The replacement cost is basically unimportant because what car has much value left after 200k miles?

The environmental argument is weak. Mining a small amount of materials for a hybrid and using it over the course of 200k miles is insignificant compared to "mining" the extra fuel consumed by a non-hybrid.

As I said, if you want to argue that a Gen I Insight would be cheaper over the lifetime of the vehicle and possibly more environmentally friendly, I'd probably agree. Get to the size of a Toyota Camry or larger, and I disagree.

... and all that only addresses half the reason to go hybrid, as I said. Performance is the other reason.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:16 PM   #13 (permalink)
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My gf 2007 corolla lasted 450k miles. If that was a hybrid, given your example of 200k miles per pack(Toyota only warrantied batteries ~80k-100k miles back then, failure could happen far sooner than 200k miles, after the warranty expired) best case scenario that would have ran through 3 battery packs in its lifetime, adding $8k to the cost of ownership on batteries and the 3rd pack would have only lasted 50k miles before that car was totaled by a deer. Bad for the environment, going through 3 battery packs and all that mining of lithium & cobalt for one car, not using that last pack to full potential, bad for your wallet coming out with an extra $8k in batteries with only 50k miles of usage on the 3rd pack. Not to mention the few extra thousand dollars a hybrid costs at the dealership over a regular version. If it required premium fuel like that Camry hybrid, tack on an additional $.40/gallon which adds significantly to the cost of ownership over that 450k miles. So a car can still have 250k miles more worth of service than the 200k miles you claimed that a car has no value over. Some Toyotas have reached 1 million miles. That could be 5 or more battery packs if it's a hybrid, considering how less efficient a car gets over time.

Environmental impact:

lithium requires 500k gallons of water for every ton of lithium carbonate extracted. In one area of Argentina, 65% of the fresh water is used in this process, leaving the farmers high & dry there. In tibet where there's a bunch of lithium, they have had a lot of leakage from these ponds that pollute the ground water of the people living there. Realize mining has always been a filthy process. There's all kinds of suits in the American west from the crap that the mines left behind when they went out of business, leaving it just sitting there, cuz while they're bankrupt, they don't have to fix anything now. When the mining companies leave, they leave just miles and miles of contaminated salt rivers and mounds of debris

Hybrids Excel in smaller, aerodynamic vehicles. That's where the biggest mpg gains are seen. Hybrids make less cost effective sense in really big and heavy vehicles because they require much bigger batteries to move all that extra weight around, fight more drag are much less efficient & bigger batteries cost way more money & have a bigger environmental toll. You're paying for more battery while getting less efficiency. Many modern day EVs haven't even lasted more than 5 years, some as little as 2 years. That's not environmentally friendly, changing a battery pack every 2 years.

Once battery packs last at least the lifetime of a car that would be a good start. Million mile batteries are coming soon, as well as cobalt free, solid state non-flammable nonelectrolyte batteries, with faster charge time & higher energy density. . Now we're getting somewhere, with broader applications and have a greater benefit & perhaps more cost effective possibilities. The future looks bright for EVs & may win the zero emissions/alternative fuel wars. I think EVs are currently the cleaner of alternative fuel sources such as CNG & hydrogen fuel cells, which rely on fracked gas.

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Old 01-31-2020, 11:53 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galvatron1 View Post
... best case scenario that would have ran through 3 battery packs in its lifetime, adding $8k to the cost of ownership on batteries and the 3rd pack would have only lasted 50k miles before that car was totaled by a deer.
You don't know what you're talking about with regard to expectations from a battery. 3 batteries over 400k would average 133,000 miles per battery. There's plenty of examples of Prius batteries going 200-300k miles. In 400k miles, I'd expect to use 2 batteries; the original, and 1 replacement. The whole car would be used up after that and have no value. Basically all vehicles with 200k miles on them are worth $1k as long as they run. Cars with 400k miles are worth the scrapyard value.

I've already conceded that it probably doesn't make sense in smaller vehicles, but for some reason that is unclear to me, you seem to imply that no hybrids make sense either financially or environmentally.

Regarding the Camry and premium fuel, I bet it can run on regular, and I bet the manual states that as well. You generally just lose some top end performance and some insignificant efficiency due to timing being retarded. I've done a lot of experimenting with my Acura, which recommends premium, but can run on regular. I can measure no difference in fuel economy, and barely notice the difference in performance (though I can tell if my wife filled with premium or regular just on driving characteristics). The other thing you're ignoring is that engine compression can be increased when running higher octane fuel, which increases fuel economy. It isn't just $0.3 per gallon down the drain; it's a higher performing engine that gets better fuel economy.

Quote:
Hybrids Excel in smaller, aerodynamic vehicles. That's where the biggest mpg gains are seen. Hybrids make less cost effective sense in really big and heavy vehicles because they require much bigger batteries to move all that extra weight around, fight more drag are much less efficient & bigger batteries cost way more money & have a bigger environmental toll. You're paying for more battery while getting less efficiency.
You've got that exactly backwards. The Gen I Insight gets just about the same MPG with a completely disabled EV assist, running only on the ICE. That's because it's so lightweight that little is lost by braking.

Hybrids have a faster return on investment the larger the vehicle is, even if that means the battery and motor(s) have to be bigger. Recovering the kinetic energy of a 7,000 pound vehicle when it stops is way more important than recovering the energy from a 1,800 pound vehicle. Turning off a 6L engine instead of idling it is way more important than turning off a 1L engine. Downsizing the ICE engine in a large vehicle and supplementing the loss in power with a motor makes way more sense than in a small vehicle.

Your argument about larger vehicles being less efficient is obvious, but besides the point. As long as people buy them, they should be made as efficient as reasonable. It's a pointless debate, because we could always say that riding a scooter is more efficient, and that riding a bicycle is more efficient than that. Most people don't want that, so it's a pointless discussion.

Quote:
Many modern day EVs haven't even lasted more than 5 years, some as little as 2 years. That's not environmentally friendly, changing a battery pack every 2 years.
Show me 1 EV model that averages 2-5 years for the battery pack, then we can take you seriously. Again, I have no idea what your agenda is to bring up worst case catastrophic scenarios for hybrids and then pit them against best case 1-off stories of ICE vehicles going a million miles. Perhaps you can explicitly state what your agenda is so we aren't left to guess.

I expect plug-in hybrids to increase in popularity as a bridge to EVs. It combines the strengths of both technologies while minimizing the cost of the most expensive part; the battery. Not only that, but some like the RAV4 Prime qualify for the full $7,500 federal tax credit. It's going to cost less than the regular ICE version (after subsidies), while having way more power and fuel economy. The battery cost to manufacture will be less than $2,500, and provide enough range to accomplish 90% of the miles on electricity only. Electricity costs 1/3 as much as petrol per mile. That pencils out nicely both in the pocketbook and environmentally.
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galvatron1 View Post
If it required premium fuel like that Camry hybrid, tack on an additional $.40/gallon which adds significantly to the cost of ownership over that 450k miles.
The Camry Hybrid takes regular gasoline, not premium.
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Old 01-31-2020, 07:15 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post

Notable about the Camry hybrid:
[*]high-compression engine requires premium fuel
OP stated it required premium fuel. If it doesn't, that's great & remarkably more affordable.

Toyota did a incredible job, introducing a 50+ mpg Camry in 2018. A mainstream midsize sedan to achieve such a bump up in efficiency at such an affordable price & extremely reliable is quite remarkable. Toyota hybrids appear to extend the useful life of smaller battery packs, reducing individual cell strain w/ ICE.

Thank goodness solid state batteries, million mile motors & million mile batteries are on the horizon to improve upon the foundation Toyota has established. Perhaps Toyota may add a 100% pure EV Camry to the Camry lineup, when those items become available.


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