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  1. #11

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    boy you're lucky you don't live in california! we hit $2.50 a gallon last summer, and as recent as just before thanksgiving this year i saw gas at $2.50 and $3 a gallon out in the desert! i bought $5 worth to make sure i got home without a problem... ~ and i HATED paying that price!

    expect gas to continue going up more then any thing else!

    see ya

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  3. #12

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    I just had a couple of points.

    One, hybrids are a small portion of the current market and will continue to be so for the near future. However, keep in mind that in reality, there are only three vehicles that are avialable accross the country currently. So even though hybrids make up less than 1% as more vehicles are offered, the percentage will increase. Also, one could just look at the Prius which is increasing their allotment to 100,000 in 2005 (which I think will sell quickly). This doesn't sound like much in comparision to 17 mill. cars sold yearly (or something along those lines). But, when you compare this 100,000 to the 400,000 Camry's sold yearly (best selling sedan) you get a better comparison.

    Two, $5,000 premium is more than I have ever seen for a car to become a hybrid. None of the vehicles are selling for $5,000 more simply because of being a hybrid (often times more features are standard--like leather, etc--see HAH). The cost of making vehicles will go down as technology and volume moves forward, just like any other complicated product.

    Three--Performance is not hampered by hybrids, as evidenced by the HAH, Escape Hybrid and the soon to come Lexus and Toyota SUV Hybrid.

  4. #13

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    I should have added a caveat, I am a 2004 Prius owner and do think hybrids are worth it now.

    If you don't want to drive an econobox like the Echo, Geo Metro or something similar and get good or even great mileage.

  5. #14

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    Of cource, it depends on what is meant by "worth it".

    From a standpoint of personal finances only, then the monetary "worth-ness" of a hybrid may be debatable, depending on which hybrid you buy, how much you paid, how long you will keep the car, how many miles you drive, the MPG you achieve, etc.

    From a standpoint of "worth-ness" towards the planet, the environment, and the advance of a technology which might ease our unfortunate reliance of foreign oil, then I would contend that hybrids are "worth it" today. I don't mind one bit paying a little bit more money to help our country, and the planet, get itself into a little bit healthier position regarding fossil fuels than is currently the case.

    Let's see: paying an extra $1500 in order to cut down on emissions, use less gas, promote a new and hopefully beneficial technology, and to try to keep the US out of more mideast wars? For me, it's worth it, independent of whether I personally recoup any of that cost or not.

  6. #15

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    Quoting myself: "Of cource, ..."

    Of "course", maybe I should have used that money on a good spell checker... :-/

  7. #16

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    Bob Lutz of GM this week made some comments on HEVs from the OE's view. He said that GM could never make a good business case to invest in HEVs. But, he also said the the "PR" value is priceless and GM now recognizes that they can not ignore the HEV movement. So GM is investing in HEV technology and will be bring HEVs to market.

    It is not that HEVs will make profits for GM. It is that selling HEVs will keep GM's image green and keep GM from losing sales to OEs that offer HEVs.

    Toyota and Honda are forcing the other OEs to get into HEVs. That's "OK". It is good for our planet, good for us and for our kids. Hybrid technology makes IC engines more efficient; less fuel will be used, less emissions will be created. The competition will bring the cost down and the performance up, and HEVs will be an even better value for future buyers.

    It is great how competition, technology, and commercialization are acting in the marketplace to improve our world! Too rare an occurrence!!!

    Cost effective HEV technology? Just keep watching those taxi cabs.....


    P.S. That 2005 Honda Accord HEV, what a sweet car!! Excellent design and execution. Can't wait for the Lexus R400h.

  8. #17

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    i hate doom & gloom predictions, but a short while back i worked for an energy saver light bulb company (the "twister" fluorescent bulb guys). the claim supposedly was that we ~ the world ~ really only have some 25 years more of easily obtainable oil. after that we need to get the next harder stuff out of the ground.

    that's not a lot of years to me.

    for GM to say there's not a justifiable reason to invest in hybrids means they are only looking at the short term issues.

    today i can go to the corner & buy gas.

    will i be able to in 25 years?

    i'd certainly rather use oil for higher end applications - lubricants, plasitcs, etc; then just burn it up.

    small steps get you where ever you want to go.

    small steps in the wrong direction got GM into 3rd or 4th place too...

    see ya

  9. #18

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    I read something about GM's stance with respect to hybrid vehicles. I don't agree it, but I do understand their position on a grander scale. It seems that GM, as well as a great many of the American automotive OEM's, are really putting their eggs in the hydrogen fuel cell basket, and thus they see hybrid technology as a stopgap solution to the fossil fuel problem. This is kinda why they have not opted to really develop a "ground up" hybrid engine, but have chosen to modify some of their engines to use hybrid-type components.

    I'm sure they see the petroleum fuel problem as easily as the next guy, but they have chosen to invest in hydrogen fuel-cell technology, which is much longer off in the future than hybrid cars.

    I'm sure there's plenty of oil for a generation or 2; 25 yrs is probably a bit of an exaggeration (although I'm still getting an Insight within the year). And I'm sure that the big oil companies are in bed with the big automotive manufacturers, and together, they are resisting the "alternative fuel" movement. But I'm also pretty sure that they see the writing on the wall. They do see the end of the fossil fuel era. They just aren't sure what to do yet. I'm guessing that when hybrid vehicles are "a thing of the past" and fuel-cell vehicles are all the rage, GM will be high-on-the-hog, and that's probably what they are planning for.

    Unfortunately, companies like Toyota and Honda are taking advantage of technologies that are readily available and marketable today, and that will definitely eat into GM's market. I know I'm a die-hard Camaro driver, always have been, always will be. But this summer, I'm gonna buckle down and get an Insight. American OEM's just don't have what I want anymore. (Discontinue the Camaro? What were they thinking??) And until fuel-cell technology comes to the lay-man, GM probably won't get my business back.

  10. #19

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    it's nice to hear ~ albiet 2nd hand ~ about GM's plan, but unless they have a very quiet offering up their sleeve they are looking at 7 to 10 years before any fuel cells are released to the car dealers!

    that's a lot of lost oportunitie$$$$ by not getting hybrids out there.

    and i suspect by then the honda's & toyotas might still provide a hybrid with the new fuel cells.

    it's simply handy to use both technologies. even if the electric is a backup.

    or maybe by then they might perfect the electric to simply use a steady stead motor to drive an electric generator - then run everything off the electric.

    it'd sure be fun to have a true powerplant car in the garage & plug it into my house to dump fuel cell energy into the home energy system.

    maybe that's the true future of a hybrid car?

    that sure is competition - and cheaper - then solar home electric systems!

    see ya

  11. #20

    When Hybrids will be worth it.

    HI All! I am writing from Canada where we have a 50% gas tax. Our prices right now are equivilent to about $3.00 Canadian, or right now, $2.60 of your funny money per gallon. right now I drive an echo but would love to buy a Prius. I think the problem with the hybrids right now is a catch 22. People who can pay big bucks for a vechicle with all the comforts and the technology don't need to worry about gas prices and usually don't care about the environment. But if you drive an economy car the total savings in gas between that and a hybrid is negligable. I would like to see a hybrid compact car or stripped down mid size. A Prius without the features would be nice. Can't wait fir the plug-ins. Seeya!

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