Diesel-Hybrid Dreams

Die-hard hybrid fans would like to see the technology used in all its many varieties: full-hybrids, mild-hybrid, micro-hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and biofuel hybrids. But we should be careful about slapping the word “hybrid” on too much sheet metal. All hybridizations don’t pass the three-part test of feasibility, appeal and cost. In Europe, where diesels represent half of the car market, the idea of diesel-hybrids periodically gets paraded out—mostly at car shows in the form of a concept vehicle—as the latest silver-bullet-du-jour.

The Citroën C-Métisse diesel hybrid was unveiled last year at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. It was obviously nothing more than eye-candy at the auto show, but less exotic diesel-hybrid concepts (see Citroen C4, Peugot 307, Ford Reflex, Ford C-Max minivan, and a Mercedes Benz S class diesel hybrid) continue to be dangled. The vision of a fuel-saving diesel-hybrid double whammy is too alluring for environmentalists to resist. TreeHugger.com, the excellent environmental blog, claimed that diesel-hybrids are “realistic and attainable prospects” and a “happy sight.” It makes sense, right? If hybrids save fuel, and diesel vehicles save fuel, then automakers could theoretically combine the two technologies to produce super-fuel-saving diesel hybrid passenger cars. In fact, the hybrid-diesel combo has been employed in city transit buses, military vehicles, garbage trucks, and delivery trucks for years. How hard could it be to downsize the approach to passenger cars?

Greenies were further encouraged when Japan Today reported in November 2006 that Toyota was planning to commercialize a diesel hybrid subcompact car as early as 2010. Should we temper our optimism when the sources for this story refused to be named? Let’s dig further into the diesel hybrid archive.

Rewind: Cost Matters

In March 2005, Wired Magazine ran an article entitled “Diesel Hybrids on the Fast Track.” John Gartner wrote that the regular gasoline-electric hybrids—you know, the ones that are actually being driven by the hundreds of thousands across America—are the current champions of fuel economy, but warned that the Prius and Civic Hybrid “may soon get lapped” by diesel hybrids.

The Wired article included details about GM’s Opel Astral Diesel Hybrid concept, promising 59 miles per gallon, and the Dodge Ram hybrid pickups, which DaimlerChrysler was going to release as a diesel hybrid with the goal of getting “better than 30 miles per gallon,” according to company spokesman Cole Quinell. Mr. Quinell also said that DamilerChrysler’s diesel hybrids, based on technology developed with General Motors, would be available in late 2007 or early 2008. The clock is ticking, and little if any news has come out about these vehicles.

In the final lines of the 16-paragraph Wired article—most of which casts the diesel hybrids as imminent prospects—Gartner gets to the bottom line: “Integrating both hybrid and diesel technology could add up to $8,000 to the price of the vehicle.” Six months prior to the Wired article, it turns out that Reuters reported the same sticking point for diesel hybrids: cost. “The main problem is that diesel hybrid cars cost too much to produce—thousands of dollars more than petrol-electric hybrids like Toyota Motor Corp’s Prius,” according to Reuters.

Robert Peugeot, vice president for innovation and quality at PSA/Peugeot-Citroën admitted to Automotive News in January 2007 that the company’s "challenge is to move from prototypes to an affordable car." He said the current estimate of a marketable diesel hybrid for $5,000 extra is "clearly too much." Andrew Fulbrook, powertrain analyst at CSM Worldwide, added, "I can’t see a point in the next five to six years where [diesel] hybrid systems will become a commodity."

Double the Cost, Not the Benefit

That same cost-payback criticism was waged against gasoline hybrids, but Toyota has achieved economies of scale with battery technology and has been offering incentives on Priuses, Camry Hybrids, and Highlander Hybrids. The result: Prius sells like hot cakes and adds to Toyota’s bottom line. GM also deserves credit for introducing the award-winning Aura as a mild-hybrid, which after taxes, comes within a few dollars of the conventional Aura’s cost. These vehicles are on track toward mainstream market acceptance, while combining diesel and hybrid technologies may always double the costs (and market risks) without yielding twice the fuel-saving benefits. The costs have to come much more in line before a carmaker will put such a vehicle into production.

Automakers know they have to respond to increased pressure for reduced emissions.  This is particularly true in Europe where diesels are popular and represent a significant environmental challenge. Carmakers and green-leaning car buyers are thirsty for solutions. But let’s get real. There have been—and will continue to be—winners and losers in the hybrid technology race.

More Hybrid News...

  • Joseph M.

    still talking about ICE. internal combustion engine technology. why. it’s old. it’s time has come to pass. it’s the era of Plug-In Cars. the batteries are here! see the batteries being used in the Phoenix Motors SUT truck. 20 year life span, no heating problems, very safe, charge in one to ten minutes. we all need to be talking and building full Electric Vehicles. Burning any fuel other than electricity is just a bunch of hot air. because thats what those engines create and waste, useless hot air. The Electric car is the future now. think about the fuel cell car, the car of the future, nothing more than an electricity powered car, but getting it’s energy from the fuel cell/hydrogen. we can plug-in our electric cars today. everyone has access to electricity. even today with the most advanced battery on the market in the Phoenix Truck, those batteries can be charged at home over night, six to eight hours with regular 110volt electricity. if your home has a special plug with 240volt plug(an electrician and install this for you), you would achieve a 3 to 4 hour charging time. with the 400volt(special charging stations now being built across the country), you would have access to the 10 minute charging, giving you from 135 miles range up to 250 miles per charge, depending on what battery system you go with. I think this is the edge of the envelop. cutting edge, and very very exciting.

  • sara greene

    And just where will all the electricity electric cars demand come form? Coal fired plants? How GREEN is that?
    Let’s go 100% nuclear and then we can afford electric vehicles for sure?

  • Gerald Shields

    I don’t like Mild Hybrids. The only good thing about them is they’re cheaper. You mean I got to pay a premium to help reduce this nation’s dependence on foreign oil and limit CO2 emissions?! B.S! I want the full hybrids for the same price as the regular ICE!

  • Donald J Lewis

    You still don’t get it, do you?

    People want large cars, they want SUV’s A diesel Hybrid will provide the very high fuel economy and so it costs $50,000 They DON”T CARE.

  • Jim Howard

    I sold my Hummer H2. I would buy another if it were a diesel Hybrid with 30 MPG even if it cost more. I bought a toyota Yaris. 12,000 less than Prius. That is alot of gas for the MPG difference between the two.

  • Hal Howell

    I got a Prius and a fairly good deal. My first fill-up shows that I got 43,2 mpg. Hopefully, as time goes on and careful driving that will increase. The tax savings is less but will still be welcomed. Anyway, the car is living up to expectations. I think its true that people are looking for alternatives. The price does need to come down to make this a real viable option. I for one would enjoy having an electric only car. Once again U.S. automakers are dragging their feet. Maybe they continue to produce ICEs is that its so ingrained they can’t see past it enough to go with the idea of electric via plug-in. What’s stopping them from producing what most of us need, a car that goes about 50, is all electric and has at least a 40 mile range. Most people could get to work every day or even go shopping and that would satisfy their basic transportation needs.

  • Paul Richards

    People who say electric vehicles are polluters because of coal fired power plants miss the point. Electric vehicles cost 1/10th the cost per mile of gas vehicles. That is alot less pollution per mile. And of course some people have solar panels on their houses and can kick the gas pollution habit entirely. There is no helping people who “don’t care” when it comes to saving the earth. The islanders who cut down the last tree did not care either. And look where that got them.

  • sean

    Yeah, electricity produced in mass in the plants at a much higher effiency than in small ICE in cars. Besides, electricity can be produced by alternative sources: solar, hydro, nuclear, etc. What I think maybe the best is a plug-in electric car with re-generative braking system to capture the energy usually wasted. The car should have available batteries to store that energy. The car will produce nothing of pollution. We only deal with production and waste of batteries and some forms of pollution in producing electricity but as I said the plants are much more efficient and can use alternative sources.
    It’s not too hard. Winners are consumers, losers are oil companies and if they donate too much in election campaigns, you know what will happen. (Sigh)

  • Dave K.

    Even here in the south where wind doesn’t blow and solar suffers from many cloudy days I can still buy green power, give me a plug in car! I’ll never be able to buy green gasoline. Even biodiesel (let’s face it, a fuel with a NOX problem) is only available in a couple of places in all of metro Atlanta, I can plug in at home.

  • nicole

    hey i like this car it looks really fast..I wish that i could have a car this nice..I only have a 5oo$ sun bird it sint this nice at all it is ugly..well seeya later..

  • jason

    i found that this site is very helpful towards my understanding to hybrid cars.

  • jason

    still talking about ICE. internal combustion engine technology. why. it’s old. it’s time has come to pass. it’s the era of Plug-In Cars. the batteries are here! see the batteries being used in the Phoenix Motors SUT truck. 20 year life span, no heating problems, very safe, charge in one to ten minutes. we all need to be talking and building full Electric Vehicles. Burning any fuel other than electricity is just a bunch of hot air. because thats what those engines create and waste, useless hot air. The Electric car is the future now. think about the fuel cell car, the car of the future, nothing more than an electricity powered car, but getting it’s energy from the fuel cell/hydrogen. we can plug-in our electric cars today. everyone has access to electricity. even today with the most advanced battery on the market in the Phoenix Truck, those batteries can be charged at home over night, six to eight hours with regular 110volt electricity. if your home has a special plug with 240volt plug(an electrician and install this for you), you would achieve a 3 to 4 hour charging time. with the 400volt(special charging stations now being built across the country), you would have access to the 10 minute charging, giving you from 135 miles range up to 250 miles per charge, depending on what battery system you go with. I think this is the edge of the envelop. cutting edge, and very very exciting.

  • Christina

    I found this site to be very helpful,towards my learning of Hybrid technology.

  • Matt

    I’m all for electric plug in cars, but there are many problems that still need to be solved, beyond the technology in the cars.

    For example, what happens if people began buying electric plug in cars in high quantities? Can our electrical grid handle the added burden of families charging up their cars daily? What would happen to the price of electricity?

    I know we all want drastic changes (I know I do), but things need to evolve at a more reasonable pace to make this work. There is no denying that all electric vehicles are the most viable option for the future. I just hope that the population recognizes that it will take a massive increase to our electrical generation capacity to get there. That change needs to begin happening now, rather than waiting until the price for electricity gets so high that people revert back to gasoline (whose price would have plummeted due to low demand). And hopefully that doesn’t mean the creation of more coal fired power plants.

    In addition, how viable are electric plug in cars for city dwellers? If a car needs to be charged every day or every few days (and possibly overnight), how does someone in an apartment accomplish that? Running an extension cord down the block wouldn’t exactly get the job done. This would require the construction of electrical “filling” stations, where a customer would have to pay a premium to purchase electricity. At least building electrical stations should be much easier than something like hydrogen, and take up far less space than a typical gasoline filling station.

  • Neil

    Talking about problems not having enough electricity is a joke.

    GE has produced a solar panel that if 7% of Arizona was covered then it would produce enough electricity to run the entire country. Just imagine if every state had panels on large sprawling malls/shoping areas, homes etc? This is of course is not even including wind power, wave power, geo-thermal power stations etc.

    Granted it would be harder in cities for electric cars to charge, there are plenty of suburbia america which could drastically reduce dependence on oil.

    Also I changed all the light bulbs in my house to the Halogen light bulbs and it is saving approx 20% on energy costs. Everyone reading this can make a difference by just buying these light bulbs (I suggest buying from Costco or Sams where you can buy 8 packs for around 12 dollars). They paid for themselves after 2 months and last much much longer. Just DO IT!

  • Roger

    um…halogen bulbs are some of the worst energy hogs….you must be referring to compact fluorescent (CFL).

  • Matt

    Installing solar arrays is an option, but it is not an immediate option. If someone has a plan to load every rooftop in America in the next two years to prepare for the onslaught of electric plug in cars, I’d love to hear it. Not that it will help to charge cars overnight without a technological breakthrough in cheap, reliable battery storage systems. If America follows Germany’s lead we may just get there, but that doesn’t look too likely.

    I’m all for solar, and I think it has massive potential. We will get to the point where renewables account for a majority of our electricity generation, but I was trying to think ahead of the game wearing the hat of a realist. Rather than waiting around for all electric cars, a person may be better off buying a hybrid now, since it generates its own electricity through moderate gas usage.

    Sure the price of gas may continue to climb, but as the economy shifts to higher electrical usage due to the introduction of feasible plug in electric cars, gas prices should fall as people flock to this technology. Since the electrical generation capacity will not be able to keep up with that surge in demand, the person who needs to buy a little gas to run an electric car would have the economic edge over someone who is forced to plug their car into an outlet; at least for a while.

    You could argue that homes and businesses will get much greener and add solar panels in masse, but I think that is unlikely within the next 10 years. The building industry is way behind the automotive industry in making environmental strides. Right now, home efficiency is only increasing due to individual homeowners who are willing to pay the high up front costs for the long term benefit. Even with solar prices coming down (which many argue they won’t due to the high demand in Europe for silicone), it will be decades before the building industry is actually moving to reduce the energy usage of homes and business. What it would really take is for builders to begin building new homes with green technologies, which currently isn’t happening. The few builders who are constructing “green” neighborhoods certainly aren’t using solar panels and solar hot water heaters; at least not the ones I have seen.

    You can talk all day about new technologies, but the practicalities of the economy always get in the way of immediate change. We can either complain about those realities and how inadequate they may be, or figure out a way to deal with them and move forward. The bottom line is that not everyone cares that much about the environment and not many people feel there is even a problem with the status quo. The only way to create change for those of us that do care is to make green technologies feasible and cost effective, so that people would be foolish not to purchase them.

  • William Thomas

    Why do I have to retype my message because of the security code below?

  • Bio-dieseler

    Bio-Diesel is a cost effective way to commute. With fuel costs soaring, It would brreak our dependance on terrorist oil..
    Stop feeding terror !!!!!!

  • David

    When are our car manufactures going to wake up and do what is good for everybody? Is it going to take terrorists taking over the middle east and causing gasoline prices to skyrocket before they build something more reasonable? Hybrid’s are a start but it is not where we need to be. Hopefully we will wake up soon to stop our dependence on countries that do not like the United States and can’t wait to see our destruction.

  • scott
  • DMC

    I get frustrated when people say the public just doesn’t care about pollution and global warming. We all care at some level but how much will we pay for it? If you asked any person with a job if he or she would give a dollar to reduce pollution by 1% globally, they would do it in a heart beat. In contrast if you asked any person if they would give $10,000 to reduce pollution by 0.00000000001% globally, it may take a lifetime to get a yes.

    Sometimes the reluctance is not just a financial trade off but emotional. It would take a lot more for me to give up my V8 for a 4 cylinder hybrid than someone that just drives because they have to get to work. I’m glad to see that automakers like Chevrolet are not leaving us big car fans out in the cold…or is it heat in this case….now having a V8 hybrid. Gas savings are gas savings.

  • HJS

    Add a excess profit tax to the oil companies, and use this money to offset the higher cost of the hybrid. As production goes up unit cost will go down. One other thought, where do all of the spent batteries go?

  • Mitchel

    My job requires me to haul loads upwards of 1250 pounds once a week.

    I work for a newspaper and I carry back the papers after they have been printed (we do not print our own).

    I can tell you right now that there is no way I could trade in my Dodge Ram 1500 (which, BTW, is a 2005, so it’s as efficient as it can be) one ANYTHING other than another pickup.

    I, for one, welcome the mass introduction of Diesels. People are so caught up on NOx that they fail to understand that there are A LOT of different pollutants produced in the burning of fossil fuel. A lot more than just NOx (which, BTW, the new diesel standards in the United States, when combined with new exhaust technology, will be cut to almost nothing).

    ON THE WHOLE (which is the way any person worried about the environment, myself included, should consider things) Diesel is a lot friendlier (I won’t say much friendlier, no burning of fossil fuel is particularly friendly) to the environment than Gasoline.

    Diesel vehicles (especially when they are lightweight cars or 1/2 ton trucks) get much better mileage. The engines themselves last much longer (meaning there is a much lower need to expend the energy, expense, and material that goes into rebuilding them over time), consume less lubricating oil, AND are more friendly to alternative fuels (such as vegetable oil).

    I understand the desire to switch to electric vehicles, believe me I do. In fact, I DO NOT believe we will EVER see the mass adoption of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, I don’t. The reason being that the production of Hydrogen will ALWAYS take many times the energy than the vehicles themselves would need. I believe electric vehicles will ALWAYS be cheaper then Fuel Cell vehicles and will use much less electricity on the whole.

    I do think, however, that the idea of Diesel Hybrid IS a good one. Combing an engine that already gets good mileage with a way to make it even better is always a good idea.

    BUT, I wish (and I mean no disrespect to the people above or below) people would stop talking about the future. I’m tired of hearing that “we shouldn’t do this when this is better”. That way of thought basically means we will NEVER do anything because there will always be something better just down the road.

    Diesel is better than Gasoline TODAY. IF every vehicle in the Unites States could magically be equipped with a Diesel engine, we wouldn’t import a single barrel of oil today. This constant waiting for bigger and better plays right into the hands of people who like things just the way they are.

    Just my 2¢.

    (P.S. I can’t WAIT to get my hands on a Dodge Ram Diesel Hybrid! 30mpg, here I come!)

  • GB

    I’m waiting for my dream car–a diesel hybrid capable of burning biodiesel with plug-in capability for local travel (30-50 mi).

    The vehicle will be versatile like an SUV, but need not be massive. Those that feel inadequate driving to the mall in anything that weighs less than 3500 lbs could be shipped to the biodiesel plant for rendering.

    Re NOX: because emissions from biodiesel are far lower in every category except a slight increase in NOx, it is natural that Big Oil has focused our attention on NOx. NOx emissions depend on the fatty acid composition of the feedstocks used to produce biodiesel, and it is possible that in the future this problem can be resolved by germplasm improvement in feedstocks. The problem could be easily resolved by converters in the exhaust, but this would prohibit use of high-sulfur, particulate belching nasty ole’ fossil diesel.

  • MD

    Everyone overlooks part of a common argument: That if your hybrid car costs $X more (let’s say, $4000) than the cost of a regular ICE vehicle, then you would have to be buying $4000 worth of fuel until you BREAK EVEN with the cost of the hybrid. NOBODY REALIZES that this $4000 is PART OF THE VALUE OF THE CAR, and the car is WORTH more accordingly. $4000 worth of fuel is worth $0 AFTER you’ve bought and used it. $4000 in added initial costs for a hybrid vehicle means you have a car WORTH $4000 more. Yes it will depreciate as the vehicle depreciates, but the initial argument that you have to buy $X worth of gas in order to break even for the added costs of a hybrid, is just wrong.

  • Stephanie

    I have a 2006 Prius. I have 2 complaints.. one it is to close to the ground. It does not clear the curbs when you pull in to a parking space.I also bottom out when I come across a dip in the road. I have to come across it sideways.
    my second complaint.. can Not drive it with the windows down. To much pressure on the ears.

    I love the car. I enjoy driving it.

  • lg

    i can’t wait to get my hands on a diesel hybrid so that i can power it with bio-diesel. using recycled and renewable fuels while getting great mileage sounds great to me. anyone know more about this idea?

  • Dan Browne

    The purely economic argument of “a hybrid costs e.g. $4000 more than an ICE so you have to save $4000 in fuel to break even” is addressing the wrong point.
    Sure over the course of time there will be fuel savings. The big advantage is that you don’t DEPEND on gasoline or diesel.
    I for one remember the spike in gas prices that happened after hurricane katrina. Having to wait two hours in line to get gas.
    With a plug in electric oil shocks are a minor inconvenience.

    Moreveove: The Department of Energy did a study that our current electrical grid could handle 80 MILLION plug in hybrids just on electricity we’re ALREADY PRODUCING EVERY EVENING but WASTING because it’s not being used.

    Also: work out how many plug in hybrids the government could have put on the road for the cost of maintaining troops abroad to defend our access to foreign oil?

    Alright: I’ll do the math for you:
    $300 billion = 300,000,000,000 / 40,000 (assuming 30K for a prius plus plug in upgrade at 10K) = 7.5 MILLION plug-in priuses.

    That’s about equivalent of the daily entire output of Iraq’s oil.

    This is a no-brainer people.

  • pl

    Well Nissian , as my uncle read is trying to make a diesel hybrid, which Toyota should do if they want to be still the leader in hybrids and fuel economy, well i think Nissian should make it because diesel makes better mileage, and with diesel you can make bio-fuel with waste vegetable oil which is far by the best fuel besides electricity, by the way, the Prius is a hybrid that when you brake, the electricity charges up the most. All for now!

  • red

    i think hybrid cars are a great thing for helping our environment. in the long run i think they will help global warming.

  • crasher

    Why use pistons, when turbine technology is so much dependable, and efficient

  • Manso, António

    Marrying diesels with Hybrid technology will provide the best of two worlds with already existing technologies. I am european and like so many europeans I drive dayly, a diesel car,in this particular case a Mercedes Benz C100 Cdi, turbo assisted . Although it is a comparatively heavy vehicle, I get around 5.3 litres per 100 kms (please convert that in miles per gallon )at a stabili-sed speed of 120 km/h.
    It is not obvious for me that diesel hybrids need to cost excessively if you can do without clutches, gearboxes, diferentials,drive shafts and the like.What you get is a plug-in electrical car equipped with a diesel generator. The generator will always work within an optimal setting for the diesel performance. The supression of so many parts will help contain costs,no?

  • Brian Beerbower

    Towards the end of the article it says the estimated $5000 extra for a diesel-hybrid engine is clearly too much. I say why so? If you can get the fuel savings of one of these vehicles overa conventional engine it will be worth the cost. Say if you drive a Diesel truck that currently gets 16 mpg and you could bump that up to 30 mpg, you would be cutting your fuel costs in half and with diesel currently between 3.50 and 4.00 a gallon those are huge savings. Let’s say you drive 16000 miles a year. Divide that by 16 mpg and you use 1000 gallons of gas a year. Multiply that by 3.50 and you have $3500 a year in gas bills. Now if you had the hybrid diesel and you drove the same amount it would only be 533.3 gallons a year or around $1867 dollars a year. Thats a fuel savings of $1634 a year. Divide 5000 by 1634 and that gives you 3.06 years you would have to keep the vehicle to pay itself off. Talk about savings. Even if our government could have a $2000 subsidy to buy a diesel hybrid to help our environment faster, that would be only 1.84 years to offset the cost. These numbers are low. If there was a hybrid diesel on the market now, I would shell out the extra dough to not only have the gas savings for myself but also to feel good about myself reducing my environmental impact.

  • trinidad zepeda

    as a trucking company i have idea to save diesel fuel on big rigs. to help on the cost of fuel ph.# 956 451 0518

  • Paul

    All electric vehicles aren’t for everyone; only about 90% of us could drive one without any inconvenience at all. I work with 10 people in my office and every one of us could easily commute in an all electric vehicle (BEV). Using 10 year old technology, BEV’s can travel 125 miles on a charge (Toyota RAV4 EV). I drive the longest distance to work @ 35 miles each way. I could easily make it back and forth with enough reserve to run errands during the day. Plus I could put an electric outlet outside my office and charge up while I work. The Toyota RAV4 EV had 79 mph (governed) top speed and drove just like any other RAV4 only quieter and with no exhaust pipe. Some of the few RAV4 EV’s still on the road have over 100,000 miles on them with the same batteries. I would gladly pay more for a BEV to be able to pass every single gas station and emission inspection station I come upon. Seldom do I drive more than 125 miles in a day. If I need to take a long trip I would just use my VW Jetta TDI (diesel) and get 46 to 50 mpg. If half of the people would use a BEV to do all their mundane driving such as commuting, soccer practice, shopping, etc. then there would be plenty of fuel for the trucks, RV’s and other recreational vehicles to use at a much cheaper price and we wouldn’t have to import 1 barrel of oil. Just my 2 cents.

  • Gary

    I would buy a diesel hybrid pickup truck in a heart-beat even at $10,000 extra.

    I would also buy a BEV for the “mundane” driving around town

    I also recommend pushing for tele-commuting from a home office. With current technology it can be almost like being there!

  • Henry C.

    I wanted a diesel hybrid to be able to burn vegetable oil in an emergency, but the hybrids I’ve seen fall into the same trap.

    That is, the electric motor has to carry the weight of the combustion motor when it is not running and lowers efficiency. This dead weight is the same flaw with 8 cylinder cars switching to 6 or 4 cylinders while cruising.

    The GM EV showed that a purely electric car could have adequate pickup on the highway. What I want is a tiny diesel motor to charge the battery for a good electric engine!

  • bill travis bob and brandon

    hey we’re all students in a technical school for automotive and we need to do a power point presentation for the class. we were wondering if anyone had any info on hybrid vehicles or a powerpoint already prepared. if so we’d like anything you’re willing to offer. thanks in advance


  • Channoff

    What does everyone thing about the Aptera vehicle at 300 mpg and 130 mile range on electric only? 30k is a bit expensive, but I am seriously considering one when they become available outside of CA.

  • Nathan Skit

    I love your post while searching Google ; Google matched my query to your post almost word for word i share your thought and submit> some time soon WE THE People Are going to need this. if They the profiteers have there way we may never see the benefits of this kind of conceptual thinking.
    WE THE PEOPLE MAY NEED TO SEEK THIS ON THE LARGE SCALE BY starting on the small scale and forcing them to help US THE PEOPLE get to ware we should already be.


    I am a mechanic and I feel that the Hybrid vehicles are really good not only for our environment but also is a lot easier on the pocket book (money). But then I also feel that if everyone goes out and buys this new Hybrid that there will be a new and even better vehicle tomorrow I also feel that let the vehicle be out for awhile before you buy one so that everything that is going to go wrong goes wrong let the manufacturers work the kinks out and see if it is really safe to be out there. There is a lot of voltage under the hood (about 250 to 650 volts depending if its off or if its running) and also the battery in the trunk, when one of those goes out after its 10 year garentee thats about $4800 just for that battery. What about the cost to repair it if something goes wrong and considering the fact that there are not very many places that will work on the vehicle let alone there are practically nobody that is certified to work on them not even to maintain them. The gloves that is required to wear when you are touching anything under the hood is like $250 and they have to be replaced every 6 months if I owned a Hybrid I would be scared to even check the oil or even the water afraid that I would die from the high voltage.

  • Tim G

    @ Jessica Sandoval:

    Your fears regarding the high voltages under the hood of a hybrid/electric car are entirely unfounded. Electricians run this risk daily when wiring new houses for things like electric stoves and clothes dryers.

    All it takes is a little common sense, and a little training. You say that you are a mechanic. If so, then you are certainly familiar with unplugging the airbag connectors and the standard car battery before doing any electrical work on the engine, correct? Don’t touch the spark plug while the engine is running, stuff like that.

    That seems easy enough to remember. Just think of hybrid/electric cars as having a much bigger battery, and much bigger wires. They are plainly labelled, and some are even colored a bright orange color with warning labels all over them. Just be careful when you handle them, and don’t touch the + to the -. In fact, don’t touch the + or – at all.

    There are plenty of service centers nationwide that are certified to repair hybrid/electric cars. Auto manufacturers would not sell these kinds of cars unless they were sure that the dealerships could handle their repairs.

    As for the glove replacement, I personally know arc welders who handle these kinds of voltages for a living who have NEVER replaced their working gloves.

    I guess the bottom line is, if you’re not dumb, then you won’t have a problem.

  • Gabriel Patterson

    I didn’t read every post so I may be repeating this… but diesel engines do not have spark plugs and all the maintenence problems as in ICE. Therefore the car companies are pulling the wool over your eyes… YES, the cars may cost a bit more upfront but you are not going to be crawling to them for as many spare parts either. Any decision by the “Big 3” is made on economics on their behalf. Don’t be fooled into thinking that something is not feasible because they said so. Who killed the electric car in the late 90’s again? Diesel hybrids are possible and a little California school named San Diego State University built one and I am sure there are others. You are gonna tell me a small engineering dept can come close to doing what no large companies are able to do? I hope that Japan and VW make these so there will be another “I told you so” moment in the future. The execs should really all be fired.

  • this guy

    Yeah, and we’ll put the plants a couple miles out from YOUR house. Sound good? You dont have a problem with THAT right?

  • Hyderabad

    Senseless. Totally senseless. What happens when you’re taking a vacation in your totally electric car and you need to juice up? You pull over and wait 3 – 4 hours for a “fill-up” ??? You’re out of your mind.

  • Jonny wonder

    Renewables will account for a majority of power? You must be including nuclear as renewable or you’re sorely lacking in scientific knowledge .

  • Tony

    Most modern diesels will do 60 + mpg some smaller cars get 80+mpg with out hybrid technology. the leaf in the uk is £28k the same size diesel about £12k.

    the Prius is okay for a town but out of town it has useless fuel economy of only about 40Mpg

  • adamabraham

    Overall power output did not compare well with conventional steam locomotives, although the performance on gradients was good because of the gearing. During the trials it was used successfully with coal trains and it proved very efficient in terms of fuel used, because the waste heat from the diesel power was recovered. baby bad

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