What should I know about...batteries, leaving the car off, things that we take for granted with gas engines that may leave me stranded somewhere out of ignorance about hybrids? Does anyone know who makes the batteries, and whether they are dry or wet? How much they cost when they need replacing? The Toyota Highlander schematic on their website (very good one) indicates that they will use like 10 batteries around the wheels to run the braking system and otherwise throughout the car. That will be a lot of batteries to buy someday. And can we replace just one at a time?
Seems like buying stock in any battery manufacturers who are public who make the batteries for the hybrid gas/electric car makers might be an idea worth asking our finanical advisors about.
Last question: I'm in the market to replace my good ole tight-as-a-drum, trusty '93 Accord EX at 170K, mainly because I'm traveling more by car, and want a little bigger, safer road car with more carry space. A station wagon would be wonderful too, but so far am favoring the Highlander and Escape hybrids when they come out. Would prefer to not wait till next year, but can.
Seems to me that the automobile manufacturers are definitely pursuing alternative fuel souce vehicles in a serious way, and may almost completely be making alternative vehicles in the next 10 years. Some have working fuel cell model cars now in their test labs, and are selling them to small fleet users in the orient and other places where they use mini-cars due to high gas prices.
Do you think as I do that buying a non-hybrid or a non-diesel car now would not be a good decision if you can afford to wait?
As hybrids are more and more accepted and hydrogen and other fuel source cars come out and are accepted, any car you have with a traditional gas engine that only gets 20 or so mpg around town will have little value on the resale marekts. Any comments?
I've heard that the engine in the Civic Hybrid does not stop while you're idling at a light. So it is a true hybrid like the Escape is? Maybe that's why the Escape will probably get 38 or so mpg around town. What are you owners getting on your Civic Hybrids in city driving?
Seems like the Ford Escape will be the early leader, and will be released this fall in NY/NE area, which I'm going to visit in October and could pick one up while up there maybe.
Does anyone have any thouhts on other alternatives, continuing to wait, or going with a diesel like the new Jeep Liberty is coming out with in September? It's the same diesel that VW uses in the Jetta, Golf, and probably Passat. The VX Passat diesel reviews well, but is very hard to get without going to Europe to pick one up, and is not rated but 27 mpg around town. Not enough to buy a new car for. The Jetta does not rate well with Consumer Reports, though it's diesel was great fun to drive, especially with a 5-speed stick. Smoothest transmisison I'd ever driven, and my Toyota Celica has a pretty good one itself.
No clear cut decision seems to be at hand for moi. Help!!!