05-19-04, 08:23 PM
05-19-04, 08:23 PM
05-19-04, 09:31 PM
a good sign for hard core diesel fans like myself
i need to find my article on the camless diesel cummins made or was it navastar
05-19-04, 10:04 PM
Another interesting article from Automotive News:
COMMENT: Civic Hybrid and Prius are overrated
By Richard Truett, Automotive News
May 19, 2004 9:46 AM
Engineers have done a masterful job with the gasoline-electric Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius. Those cars are technical marvels, probably the most advanced and complex production cars ever made.
Each company’s public-relations department has whipped up a media frenzy for what is, frankly, a complex and expensive way to squeeze a few more miles out of a gallon of gasoline.
Honda and Toyota PR types obviously know that the mainstream press and even some automotive reporters (who may be great business writers but who aren’t technically savvy) wouldn’t look much further than the EPA’s mpg ratings for the Civic Hybrid and Prius.
Automotive News tested both cars extensively for about three weeks and learned what many disappointed Civic Hybrid and Prius owners are finding out: Neither car lives up to its promise or consistently achieves fuel economy near its EPA rating.
Not many vehicles match their EPA ratings exactly, but they usually aren’t off by more than 10 percent. The fuel economy for the Civic Hybrid and Prius was all over the map.
The EPA needs a testing procedure specifically for gasoline-electric hybrids that provides a realistic measurement of the fuel economy. And Honda and Toyota must do a better job of telling customers that they most likely won't get anywhere near the EPA ratings.
Mpg isn’t spectacular
One Automotive News driver commuted 200 miles a day on interstate highways. Several other drivers used the cars in stop-and-go city traffic.
So how did our test cars perform?
Both cars did OK in keeping up with traffic. You wouldn’t call the acceleration sporty, but the cars proved capable.
The Prius is clearly the better car. The styling is terrific; the utility is excellent. As always, Toyota’s quality is superb. The Prius is solid and tight and Lexus-like quiet. Because it can run on only the electric motor, it’s more fun to drive.
The Civic Hybrid also has some nice touches, including the cool blue electronic instruments and a nicely designed interior. It is EPA-rated at 46 mpg city/ 51 highway. Our test car delivered about 37.6 mpg in city driving and about 44 mpg on the highway.
The Prius has an EPA rating of 60 mpg city/51 highway. One staff member drove the Prius 331 miles in combined city-highway driving and got just 39.8 mpg. Most other drivers recorded 44 mpg to 48 mpg in city driving and about 40 mpg on the highway.
Those are not breakthrough, real-world fuel-economy milestones. Several other cars that are less complex technically -- new and old -- can equal or surpass those figures and achieve real-world fuel economy that is much closer to their EPA ratings. The 1988 Honda Civic CRX HF, for example, got close to its EPA ratings of 50 mpg city and 56 mpg highway.
I’d go with diesel
I have long said that if you just want to go far on a gallon of something, diesel makes the most sense. Many compact European diesel cars, such as the Ford Focus and Peugeot 307, get better fuel economy than the Civic Hybrid and Prius.
I’d rather get an honest 50 mpg with a diesel car and not have to worry about burning out battery packs or having a car with an engine and a motor.
Tailpipe emissions are another supposed reason why hybrids are good for us. Well, the Civic Hybrid and Prius are not too special in that regard, either.
The regular production Ford Focus with the 2.3-liter engine, which is rated as a partial zero emissions vehicle, can match both hybrids in tailpipe emissions.
Hybrid trucks make sense
Here’s the bottom line: The Civic Hybrid and Prius are overrated. I'm not saying that gasoline-electric technology has no place. It does.
Hybrid cars, as they are configured today, work best in Japan, where diesel is all but banished and where heavy traffic and long periods of idling make the best use of gasoline-electric technology.
I agree with General Motors’ reasoning: For vehicles sold in the United States, hybrid technology makes the most sense in the biggest, gas-guzzling SUVs and other trucks.
The only GM hybrids on the road are a few hundred gasoline-electric pickups for fleets. GM is producing hybrid power trains for city buses, but they aren’t as sexy as the Civic Hybrid and Prius, so they don't get much attention from the mainstream press.
Too bad GM CEO Rick Wagoner’s dictum that GM will be a fast and lean company hasn't resulted in hybrid power trains for Cadillac Escalades, GMC Yukons and Hummer H2s.
Richard Truett is an Automotive News staff reporter. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
05-19-04, 10:33 PM
thats why i still wonder why we dont see a common rail direct injection diesel in a hybrid setup ....fuel quality is still a big hurtle , but i dont even see them in europe
diesel is much more suited to hybrid than gas engines