// Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate - Page 4
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  1. #31

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    "Number two, your claim of NIMH battery packs containing toxic cores is AN OUTRIGHT LIE!!!!! I get very tired of lying scumbags like you making shit up like that only because you're just too stupid to find the facts. NIMH is 100% non-toxic. I'm going to repeat this 100 times to try to help you out. "

    I'm a certified firefighter with Hybrid vehicle fire and rescue training as well as hazardous material training. I couldn't just let this misinformation stand, because I believe people should be properly informed. Half of the things I see could be avoided if people just took some time to learn a little bit more about what's going on with stuff. NiMH batteries contain KOH as the electrolyte solution. Potassium hydroxide is poisonous, causes burns to skin and eyes, affects soil and groundwater ph and reacts fairly poorly to being involved in a fire. I wouldn't suggest you eat it or handle it and neither does anyone who knows anything about it. It probably wouldn't be good just let it sit around in the environment either. I researched it in 5 minutes and provided sources. Anyone expecting to be taken seriously, with a point to make, needs to do the same.

    Check out the basic information:

    Scroll down to Potassium Hydroxide solution and click link:
    (this one is in the standard for responding to Haz-Mat emergencies-- note the word TOXIC right at the top)

    And for real information about biodiesel, including EPA stuff, check out:

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  3. #32

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    I actually have both Hybrid & Bio-diesel.

    I have a Toyota Prius as the main family car doing about 2500km / month. Doing shift work means that some days my wife and I are both driving the same car to work.
    Is it a "small car" - no, it's really quite spacious and suits us well for 4-5 people.

    We also have a Toyota Coaster as a camper van (it's the 20 seat bus originally). This we run on straight biodiesel whenever we can. We usually take this on long trips - often over 1000km and can not usually find biodiesel away from home and have no trouble swapping around.

    Here in Australia biodiesel is most often made from Canola oil (known as rape or rapeseed in USA) and is very clean. It does leave a slight fried food smell!

    We also have a car running on LPG - the stuff typically used for a gas barbecue. I understand that while this is common in Australia, it is rare elsewhere. This is also much cleaner than gasoline but requires a cumbersome large pressure tank which limits it's usage to a large sedan as putting the tank into a small hatch wastes most of the cargo space.

    We find the biodiesel van great for long cruising and the hybrid Prius great for stop start commuter travel.

    Until we have Star Trek technology (or 'Back to the Future') to put a pocket fusion reactor in a car there is likely to be no single solution and we need both hybrid and bio fuels to make the most of what we have.

  4. #33

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Go Hybrid!

  5. #34

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    If Potassium Hydroxide as found in hybrid battery packs is such a grave danger, why then is the recommended course of action in the unlikely event of a spill (remember these are essentially "dry" cells, not wet batteries like lead-acid) simple dilution with liberal amounts of water? That's what both the Ford and Toyota first-responder training manuals say to do...

    The facts are... there is a small amount of KOH embedded in the paper dilectric in the NiMH cells. Under rare circumstances some of the KOH might leak out. The course of action recommended for dealing with such a spill is the liberal application of water.

    There are several other chemicals present in every automobile, hybrid or not, which pose a much greater risk to driver, first responder, and the environment than do NiMH cells.

  6. #35

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    The Prius on the hyway with the cruise set at 80 and the AC on gives me 52mpg. Around town and with AC on and the ambient 90 degrees I'm averaging 54mpg. What a pleasure to travel 370 miles on a steamy summer day and fill up with a litttle over 7 gallons.

  7. #36

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    I am looking for someone who would like to buy used cooking oil for bio-diesel.

  8. #37

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    What they never tell you is that the reason that the Prius get good mileage is that they have an Atkinson cycle (5 cycle) engine instead of an Otto cycle engine (4 cycle). The Prius info mentions it once with no explanation. In short the Atkinson gets much better gas mileage but has poor low end torque. An electric motor developes maximum torque at zero RPM.

    Some physicist at Harvard have been putting larger batteries in the Prius and claiming 100 too 180 MPG. They charge the battery at night at home. This doesnt work with Hondas since they bolt the motor to the flywheel so if the motor runs the engine turns. There are some cities in Europe that forbid gas/diesel engine in the core of the city. European Prius have an extra switch on the dash to force electric only. This is a simple mod that Toyota doesn’t seem to approve in this country. If you Google Atkinson cycle remember it is from the 1880s and what Toyota does is a very different implementation. Mazda sold a non Hybrid Atkinson engine in Australia a few years ago.

    The coming thing with diesels in Europe is to cut the engine to 2/3 the displacement (1 liter vs. 1.5 liter) and add an electric motor to a supercharger (not turbo). The supercharger comes up to speed in 300 milliseconds. You can’t run a supercharger more than a few seconds or you are towing a cop. 12 seconds to 60 MPH is nominal today. This is a much simpler mod to a stock car than going electric hybrid.

    There are three companies that I know of that make motors for electric cars like Jones described. They run in the neighborhood of 80Kwatts (107 hp) each. They are water cooled. Two of them would be more than enough for a sedan. Four in an SUV would be wild. Last time I called one of them it turned out that they were not in production. One of them is in a group of 4 companies that are going to make an all electric car (plug it in at night).

    The latest battery technology on the shelf is Lithium Polymer. There are three companies working on using nanotechnology to make Lithium Metal Polymer (don’t ask, I am an EE not a chemist) that they claim can be charged to 80% in three min. That’s a fast lunch for Jones. The “gold standard” is to get a range of 300 miles between charges/refuel/whatever. If you want to have some fun figure the size cable you need to charge that battery in 10 min. Then figure the size cable going into the filling station. Its going to be some time before they get close to 300 miles for a price that is affordable. A bigger battery in a Prius is here now it just won’t go over 20/30 miles between charges or engine turn on.

    The same nanotechnology works for catalyst for fuel cells which are the “final solution”. They need hydrogen. Hydrogen is not a primary fuel the like oil. You don’t mine hydrogen. It is best as way to transfer energy from one place to another. You can reform gasoline to get hydrogen but you only gain a bit of efficiency in that a fuel cells maximum efficiency is over 80% where as the maximum efficiency of a gas engine is about 25%. Minus the reforming loss.

    35 years ago I heard that Fairchild was working on a way to put a liquid on silicon in the sunlight and directly disassociate water into hydrogen and oxygen. If you Google “artificial photosynthesis” you will find that there are lots of people (i.e. CSIRO) working on this, both organic and inorganic. This converts sunlight into hydrogen! When you burn it you get water, fuel cell, Otto cycle engine, steam engine or whatever. Now that is going to make a difference to just about every thing in the world. Talk about culture shock. BMW gave a presentation to the local chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers on the 35 of their finest that they had modified to run on hydrogen. They don’t have to wait on fuel cells. They are ready for production.

    Find the April, 2005 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine, page 33, Stephen L. Gillett, Ph.D, on “Artificial Photosynthesis”. A section of desert 75 miles by 75 miles will produce all the energy that Saudi Arabia exports daily. It would take less water than a comparable sized agricultural operation. And it could be seawater! Now if you run that directly into your local power plant you have de-salted sea water and generated electricity for those that run all electric! You can store hydrogen for use at night. If you generate your electric try with photovoltaic silicon you have a “night problem”.

    Look at all the other programs that CSIRO is working on – if half of them work there will be more change in the next 50 years than in all of history. We can have a renewable world that is cheaper than today. We don’t realize just how much man has messed up the world. At the time of Christ North Africa was the bread basket for Rome. Scotland was forested until the Norwegians cut it all down in the year 800. Now the North of Scotland is a wet desert. This goes on endlessly. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but it is in Silicon Valley, not Iraqi.

    Ga Tech

    William Jones did you know Dr Walter in Sautee?

  9. #38

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    I'll try to kill two birds with one stone.....In various places aling this thread there have been discussions of diesel based hybrids. In other parts of this thread opinions were expressed that GM and Ford don't know how to do a hybrid vehicle.

    This article from May 2004 addresses both issues....

    GM Delivers Nation's Largest Hybrid Bus Fleet to King County
    235 hybrid buses to save 750,000 gallons annually

    GM Hybrid bus in Seattle.SEATTLE (May 27, 2004) — The largest order of hybrid buses in history will start going into service this week in the Seattle area, thanks to the advanced technology of General Motors and the environmental leadership of King County.


    The system that is used in the buses is being scaled down for application in the next generation of GM large SUVs. GM is co-developing the system with DCX who will also use it in some of their SUVs.

    GM actually has 3 hybrid systems developed and is working on others. Part of the reason you don't see them on the road yet is that there is so much integration required with other vehicle systems (brakes, electrical, chassis) that it is more prudent to target the development and release of hybrid systems with the launch of new vehicle architectures. Since the Prius is only available in hybrid configuration, Toyota was able to avoid the complication of developing a vehicle flexible enough to support convetional gas ICE, diesel, and hybrid. They've apparently dealt with that issue in the release of the R400h and Toyota Highlander.

    GM will be introducing a lower priced hybrid SUV based on the Saturn VUE in the very near future, followed by a couple mid sized sedans, followed by the redesigned large utilities.

  10. #39

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    In real world testing diesel always beats hybrids. Bio diesel is a nice alternative if it's available. The big argument I think is the environment. To produce the battery packs for hybrid vehicles requires alot of strip mining depleting the earth's natural resources. Once the batteries are depleted disposal of these presents another issue. Hybrid vehicles are apparentley being tested to see if the magnetic fields being created from the large battery pack and electric motor could be hazardous. Magnetic fields of the nature can cause tumors especially with prolonged exposure. I see the diesel route to be alot safer until we embrace the Hydrogen age. Not the hydrogen fuel cells those will be used in vehicles to replace the battery and alternator system. The future very soon will dominated by the internal cumbustion Hydrogen engine. The only pollution free renewable fuel source.

  11. #40

    Hybrid vs. Diesel Debate

    Good grief -- did I just stumble onto the National Enquirer web page by mistake? The "information" in the post above has been debunked so many times, in so many places, even on this very web site, that it's not worth repeating yet again here.

    Diesel has advantages and disadvantages. Hybrids have advantages and disadvantages. Let's continue the discussion, rather than subjecting everybody to tabloid-quality misinformation.

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