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  1. #1
    Guest

    my highschool project

    Have you ever driven a hybrid or ridden in one, and what is it like?

    How do you get all of your information about hybrids?

    Do your experiences match the quotes and comments you have heard about them?

    What misconceptions do people have about hybrids that aren't true?

    How do you think hybrid vehicles could be better tested to be more accurate?

    Should hybrids be made or should we completely skip it to move on to greater technolgy like hydrogen or just electric?

    Why aren't hybrids as popular as they could be?


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  3. #2
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    my highschool project

    I've been driving my hybrid three and a half years and it drives a lot like any other small car - except it uses a lot less gas.

    I get my information about hybrids from this and other websites, car dealers, magazines, and most importantly, other hybrid drivers.

    My experiences match the quotes and comments (in part because I made them!).

    One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that you have to plug in hybrids at night - but that might change.

    Hybrids (and all other vehicles) should be tested in real-world conditions - not just on dynamometers.

    Hydrogen is a decades-away fairy-tale, and the electric grid doesn't have the capacity to re-charge every car if every car was magically transformed into an electricity-only car. And battery technology isn't quite ready for prime-time yet. Hybrids are a necessary intermediate step.

    Hybrids would be more popular if the manufacturers made more of them - particularly if they made more high-mileage models like the Prius and Honda Civic Hybrids, not dragsters like the Lexus hybrid or frauds like the Saturn hybrid with it bogus five-horsepower electric motor.

    (See my "Hybrid Commuter Stories" blog, starting at the bottom of http://www.hybridcars.com/blogs/index.php - or go to the beginning at http://www.hybridcars.com/blogs/hybrid-commuter/intro.)

    Good luck with your homework project.

  4. #3
    Guest

    my highschool project

    Have you ever driven a hybrid or ridden in one, and what is it like?

    **I own (actually my wife owns it) a 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid that we've owned for 3 years. It is pretty much the same as any other gasoline powered car except that it gets better gas mileage.

    How do you get all of your information about hybrids?

    **I get my information from many sources: Personal experience, websites such as this, discussion with friends and colleagues (part of my company does consulting for electric vehicles and battery systems and I know many people in the field as well).

    Do your experiences match the quotes and comments you have heard about them?

    **My experiences tend to line up pretty well with the comments I hear from drivers of hybrids although there are clearly a lot of misconceptions among those who have no experience. One big complaint is with the EPA mileage: I can certainly get the EPA values if I drive the EPA course, however, normal driving usually falls a bit short of EPA estimates - just like any other car.

    What misconceptions do people have about hybrids that aren't true?

    **I think the main misconception I hear is that hybrids are ugly and underpowered. This could be true, given the first batch of hybrids (Insight and Prius). The body styles were quite unique and some people didn't like them. Most of today's hybrids are certainly underpowered when compaired with most vehicles. These facts aren't necessarily so, since any car can be built with a hybrid drive train (electric + gasoline) and one can provide as much power as you like. In fact, increasing the power from the electric portion can actually be done with little impact to the fuel economy. The only issue is that the auto manufacturers have chosen to minimize the electric part in order to reduce initial costs and avoid threatening their existing business of selling high-performance cars at huge markups (business, not technological reasons).

    How do you think hybrid vehicles could be better tested to be more accurate?

    **I suppose that the EPA standards could be revised to be closer to 2006 driving conditions since they were written back in the late '70's when the maximum speed limit in the US was 55 mph and there were a whole lot fewer traffic lights on regular streets. I believe that the EPA estimates are ok for comparison between vehicles and this is very clearly spelled out. The only problem hybrids have is that their owners care what the mpg is and hybrids display the actual mpg.

    Should hybrids be made or should we completely skip it to move on to greater technolgy like hydrogen or just electric?

    **Hybrids are a great step toward vehicles that can be run off of renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, there is a lot of political and economic pressure from the huge businesses that control oil and auto manufacturing that is very averse to change. There were a few pure battery electric vehicles that were grudgingly developed by all of the major auto manufacturers in the late '90's in California. California had passed a law stating that a large percentage of the vehicles sold had to be zero emissions. Unfortunately, this was not very popular with the auto and oil industry who launched huge pr campaigns to convince people with no first hand experience of a few myths including:
    - "the electric grid doesn't have the capacity to re-charge every car if every car was magically transformed into an electricity-only car"
    - "battery technology isn't quite ready for prime-time yet"
    - that there was something wrong with having the ability to "plug in [vehicles] at night"
    - and that "hybrids are a necessary intermediate step"
    - the story that hydrogen would solve all the worlds problems if only enough money and time was spent
    As you can see, on sites such as these, even intelligent people continue to spout nonesense about which they know nothing except the propaganda they've been fed.
    Hydrogen may never be a real solution to anything but it was used as an excuse to kill the electric cars in the state of California in the early 2000's. It had great promise of delivering great things a long way in the future. In the mean time, while waiting for this great promised future, the auto manufacturers continue I drove a mid-90's technology battery electric car, the GM EV1 for 3 years before GM took it back and destroyed it. I can assure you that it met over 95% of my driving needs and had they implemented late '90's battery and charging technology, it would have met 100% of my on-road driving needs. It was fast (0 - 60 in under 7 seconds), economical (under a $ to go 100 miles), convient (I didn't have to go to gas stations - I charged at home, or while I was already at the airport, Costco, or the mall)

    Why aren't hybrids as popular as they could be?

    **Toyota and Honda are having huge success selling their Prius, Camry, and Civics. These are probably the most popular cars on the market today. The only problem is that the car manufacturers are not producing very many of them in order to keep the price high (supply and demand). If the auto manufacturers start putting hybrid engines in all their cars and quit charging the premium prices, I'm sure they will completely replace all conventional Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) powered cars. The Accord Hybrid as well as the Ford Escape and Toyota Highlander hybrids aren't selling as well as the Prius, however, I believe this is because the fuel savings isn't pronounced enough to warrent the high prices the dealers are asking. They are still selling quite well if you compare them with any other particular car model. I believe that high powered hybrids should be available in all car models, with choices of pluggability and the amount of battery range. I also would like to see pure-electric as an option but I'll be happy to see plug-in hybrids evolve to this point when people realize that there is no real need for the ICE once they offer electric range of over about 120 miles.

  5. #4
    Guest

    my highschool project

    I own a 2005 Civic hybrid, and I love it. I drive a lot, and only buy gas every 2-3 weeks. It is smaller than my last car, and very easy to drive.

    I get information about hybrids from the news. There are many stories in the media where I live (near Washington DC), especially when gas prices were high. I also am interested in environmental issues, and there is lots to read on those types of web sites.

    Sometimes the comments are negative, and my experiences do not match them - I think the extra money I pad for my car will be returned in gas savings in 5 years (which is a typical length of time people keep their cars). I don’t always get the promised mileage - I drive to work on highways, and all cars get their best mileage at about 50 mph.

    I think a big misconception is that the batteries are so polluting the cars aren’t worth it. While it is true these batteries have some nasty chemicals, all batteries do, and some manufacturers have battery recycling programs. Also, the steel and plastic in very large vehicles is also a tremendous waste of resources (especially the water used to make them). Every thing is a trade-off, and reducing dependence on foreign oil and making the limited supply last is important to me.

    On testing, US EPA is actually changing the way they test auto mileage (the mileage of all vehicles is over estimated; hybrid drivers just seem to notice their mileage more). Read about it here http://www.epa.gov/otaq/actions.htm

    Hydrogen offers many promises, but it is still a long way down the road: hydrogen takes a lot of energy to make, and they need to figure out how to put a hydrogen gas station down the street from everybody - that means building pipelines to carry it, and trucks that can transport it. We’ll use lots more oil before they figure it all out.

    Electric cars had some “perception problems,” and never really took off (sadly). I think the next generation will be plug-in hybrids - you can go about 60 miles after charging your car overnight, which is more driving than most of us do in a day. But, for long trips, there is always a gas engine.

    Hybrids are not as popular as they could be because they are expensive - they all have fancy add-ons, like leather seats and navigation systems, which add cost. I would like to see the car makers produce a “basic” car (like a Civic DX) with a hybrid engine.

    Another reason they are not as popular as they could be is that people don’t know much about them. High school projects like yours can change that very fast. Good luck, and keep us posted on how it goes.

  6. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    0
    1./Have you ever driven a hybrid or ridden in one, and what is it like?
    Never have even been close to a Hybrid Automobile..but have seen two models.
    2./How do you get all of your information about hybrids?
    This website FORUM is my first view of Hybrid ownership.
    3./Do your experiences match the quotes and comments you have heard about them?
    This FORUM seems ready to fly..Green Vehicles need "wings".
    4./What misconceptions do people have about hybrids that aren't true?
    I don't think I have heard any dis-agreement that the Hybrid should be the vehicle of tomorrow.
    5./How do you think hybrid vehicles could be better tested to be more accurate?
    I don't think TESTING is the issue as much as CHANGE in the Market Place of transportaion.
    6./Should hybrids be made or should we completely skip it to move on to greater technolgy like hydrogen or just electric?
    I personally would prefer the 100% All-Electric Automobile..but I think the Satisfaction of Driving needs some performance ISSUES to be kept from the OPERATORS of these vehicles.."technology" demands technological people..this is not a real place for Basic Driving.
    7./Why aren't hybrids as popular as they could be?
    The Car LOTS are full of BALLOONS....<<--there's a period in there somewhere.[end]

  7. #6
    Guest

    i want to make a hybrid car

    i want to make a hybrid car as a project for my clg can any one suggest me smthing plz

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