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  1. #71

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    Good points. I didn't think about the lower energy requirements of diesel refinement. Can a diesel engine start/stop like a gas engine? What other fuels can a diesel engine run?

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  3. #72

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    Diesel engines can run on your used motor oil, transmission fluid, veggie oil... People put all kinds of stuff in there old Merecedes diesels. I don't think many TDI owners do that though.

    You don't necessarily have to have an engine that starts and stops. Just set it up as a dedicated energy source for your electric motor like trains do. I'm not convinced that starting and stopping of the engine is a good thing myself. I would venture to guess that that cuases alot of wear and tear on the engine, causing it to wear out sooner than if that feature didn't exist. So you squeeze a few extra MPG's out of it, but at an increased failure rate. We'll see down the road how long these engines last.

  4. #73

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    VW tested a very high-mileage versio of the Lupo with a small TDI diesel engine in the hopes of making a "3 liter car", that is, 3 liters/100 km fuel consumption. That's 79 mpg folks!

    They succeeded and one trick was to have the engine automatically shut down if stopped at a stop light, and then relight when you pressed the accelerator to go.

    My experience with our two diesels is that well-maintained, warm diesel engines will fire instantly. Even deep cold starts go OK (I'm talking down to -40) with modern glow plug technology, though I admit the engine sounds like crap for several minutes. And you do have to take some precautions like turning off unnecessary electrics to make sure all the battery juice goes towards cranking the engine. In "normal" cold weather though, say down to -25, no special precautions are needed. We don't even have block/engine heaters, and we live in Canada.

  5. #74

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    Is the Prius as safe a car as the new VW Jetta claims itself to be? Does anyone have any reports to refer me to? I am sold on the fuel/electric technology as a step toward a better use of our resources and I need to feel safe on the roads with all those "tanks" that could run amok at any moment on their way to the coffee shop.

  6. #75

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency


    Just jumped over this site.

    I'm from Denmark and I am the proud owner of an Audi A2 3L(3L stands fore 3 litre car car = it uses 3 litre diesel to drive 100km)

    If you have any qustions about this car, pleace feel free to send me an e-mail. And I will answer.


  7. #76

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    there is a lot of misconception on fuel efficiency and hybrids. The theory behind hybrids in the city is that by reclaiming a lot of the kinetic energy from the brake system, and returning it to the battery for use on acceleration from a light, and also "coasting" like a bike rider to a stop will more closely emulate never having had to stop. You reuse some of the braking energy towards your acceleration.

    The biggest thing about fuel economy isn't what powertrain, diesel, electric, hydrogen, hybrid, whatever, or even the size of the engine-it is the weight of the car, and the speed at which it is travelling.

    It takes a certain amount of energy to move a weighted object, even with 100% efficiency. (cars get only 11%)

    Hybrid cars from the Japanese were designed from the ground up to be fuel efficient (Insight and Prius).
    The other cars (Civic, Explorer, etc) were not initially designed to be fuel efficient, and are being "retrofit".
    They are not going to be so efficient. Incidently, the acceleration of the Insight can be much greater, the electric motor is only ever used at half capacity (an oversize motor running slower is more efficient-why they went with that size motor). The car is capable of accelerating much faster, but the engineers decided that it would defeat the purpose of the vehicle, so they made a design consideration.

    So, the number one reason for poor gas mileage is weight, and heavy cars are usually poor designs with less thought given to them, structurally as well as mechanically. Think of racing bikes and you'll understand what I'm talking about. Heavy cars equal cheap, easy to make, just like bikes.

  8. #77

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency


    Weight is one factor but as you hit speeds over 50 mph, you also have to factor in aerodynamics. Drag increases with the square of the speed, and over 50 mph it becomes a very important contributor. The "from the ground up" hybrids like the Prius or Insight (and probably the new Civic) were designed with aerodynamics in mind. High square vehicles like the Escape or Highlander were not.

    Mike G.

  9. #78

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    here's my bit. I'm not a tree hugger i just hope i'm making a statement when i get my prius "i want somthing different!". detroit has always said u want crazy horsepower, u want shiny rims, u want 0-60 in -2seconds, listen to those pony's, whatever. "I" don't recall saying any of those things. people pay out extra coin for thier leather seats, trail package & power windows. ok, i'm paying a little more for a hybrid because IIIIIIIIIIIIII, I WANT a very efficent vehicle. I WANT to move away from petroleum as much as possible. I WANT to see hybrid technology expanded. I WANT a prius! if detroit makes 1 better i'll buy it. i prefer 2 buy american, but i will not wait till 2010 to buy a detroit car when toyota has 1 now.

    I also believe for those of us that are environmentally friendly that it would be very damaging if everyone ran out and bought a hybrid today, because think of the up stream production. When these vehicles are made what goes into the environment? I don't know? I've been driving my chevy for 10.5 years. I plan to drive it into the ground & then buy the most efficent vehicle i can find (don't get those ineffeccient hybrids). trying 2 gain max usfulness out of both vehicles i guess.

    As far as getting your money back, i hope i'm not the only 1 that see's this but it's always calculated on a 5 year plan. why? That's about when the payments are up & u can finnaly enjoy the car. i've had my chevy 10 years & trust me i got my $ back& i plan to do the same w/ a prius.

    I think big industry is in a panic, b/c if america has such a massive swing in mindset (conserve, efficiency, use for max life) the economy will flux in turn & they will loose big$$. Big oil has led the US economy, & if we as a whole adopt plug in hybrids w/ multi power sources, big oil will not be in control. I will, when "I CHOOSE" to fill up the tank or "I CHOOSE" to plug it in or "I CHOOSE" to use solar panels. "I CHOOSE"..."WE WILL CHOOSE"!
    thank u 4 allowing me to rant...peace out fern

  10. #79

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    I could not agree more with Fern. I will be buying a Prius in the spring. I also would prefer it if there was an American auto that was similiar but there is not. Yet. GM and Chrysler are slow to react and Ford is still ramping up. I will be curious to see how the Fusion hybrid turns out.

  11. #80

    Reality check- hybrids, fuel efficiency

    What really sucks about all this though is that the cost of fuel wil go up faster than the prodution of efficient vehicles. because most gasoline taxs are used to repair our roads, so to maintain the same availability of funds for road repair, the price of fuel will go up even faster. Only the ones that jump on the hybrid wagon first will get any real finnacial savings (as far as fuel cost/gallon). so somwhere down the line fuel + taxesm will be $10/gallon just to repair roads or the taxs will be added on when you purchase the vehicle & that could cost $1000's for the life of the vehicle. i don't want another loan just for road repair. Maybe i should just go all electric? the government wount figure any of this out for 10-15 years anyway, they'll have meetings about who to blame as appossed to actually doing anything.

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