// A manual hybrid with decent hp - Page 3
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  1. #21

    A manual hybrid with decent hp


    Don't get me wrong here. I own an HCH purely because it has a manual transmission so I fully understand what and why you want it. I'm just sharing the technical details with you.

    I also agree with your statement that your "satisfaction as a customer" "Should be a company's top priority" but unfortunately, it isn't. Whether or not you are like me, who wants the technology that will save the world or like you who want's the old stuff doesn't really matter to them. They will sell you what they think will bring them the most profit. Sadly, enough, they suffer from a 'group-think' that seems to prevent them from even seeing what will bring them a profit.

    At least they aren't ripping the manual transmission HCH's away from people and destroying them as they did with my EV1 and Honda did with their EV+. They just won't sell you one.

    As I occassionally have to remind my wife: Manual transmissions are obsolete. You'll have to get used to it eventually. We rushed out and bought the manual HCH because I realized then that it would be the last manual hybrid. It will give my wife another decade or so of manual transmission driving while being fairly energy efficient. I'm sorry we hadn't met earlier so I could warn you as I did my wife.

    There is no use for a transmission of any kind in future cars. Transmissions waste energy. The only reason there are transmissions in hybrids is that the transmission makers don't want to go out of business. You're being sold something you don't need. They might as well keep providing a hitch for horses as provide a transmission.

    Go ahead and buy a diesel if you like but I'm not sure I see the benefit. You aren't going to save any money and you aren't going to save the planet with diesels.

    Sorry but I wish I could tell you what you want to hear. I'm just the messenger/observer I can't get you the car you want anymore.

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  3. #22

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    I was one of those people who swore that they would never buy an automatic. I love the direct connection that you feel with a stick shift. When I was deciding if I should buy my 2004 Prius, that had been one of my BIG entries on the"con" side of my tally sheet. When I got my Prius and the "novelty joy" began to wear off, I realized that for my normal commute, I did not miss the stick shift one bit. It makes no difference on the highway and now that I look at it objectively, clutching and shifting my way though traffis is a pain that I am happier without!

    To get my fix of good, old fashioned, power at your fingertips, stick shifting, I suggest that you do what I did and get a classic sports car as a second car. Depreciation is next to zero, if it is an antique and not used as a daily driver, insurance is dirt cheap (less than $100/yr for me!), and the smiles per gallon are much higher than your average modern manual.

    By the way, after two years, the "novilty joy" of my Prius still hasn't worn off!

  4. #23

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    I've loved my manual shift cars. And I love my Escape hybrid with its eCVT.

    I can't imagine what the Escape hybrid would be like with a manual transmission. The engine turns on and off at will. Would you shift everytime the engine went on or off? And sometimes the computer turns on the air conditioner to cool the battery. Would you sometimes downshift then?

    It would be nutty, in my opinion.

  5. #24

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    ex-EV1_driver - as you said, I kind of expect the HCH to have been the last manual hybrid. I guess time will tell for sure. My aim in getting a diesel isn't to save the planet. It's to get a fairly efficient car that has a manual transmission to last me for as long as it will run. Similar to you and your wife buying the HCH manual. That said, if Biodiesel blends become more readily available, perhaps I can help save the planet too...

  6. #25

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Thanks for the clarification on manual hybrids. I almost resigned on HCH manual and went to get a Prius. However, the dealer had a 05HCH manual...now, that's gotta be a sign. So, I went ahead and bought it

    I am kind of paranoid though, I keep hearing all these clicking noises (coming from the clutch, I think) and I can't help feeling that it's going to break down on me soon

  7. #26

    A manual hybrid with decent hp


    Don't accept any clicking noises or such from the clutch. Our HCH5M has a very smooth clutch. There must be something wrong.

  8. #27

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    This Reply is in response to ex ev1 owners coment that he didn't see the benefit a diesel engined car would provide as far as economy and low emissions. Well just because he doesn't see the benefit doesn't mean it doesn't exist. First of all, diesel engines are more efficient than gasoline engines. There's more power in diesel fuel than in gasoline and thus diesel engines are roughly 25-30% efficient where as gasoline engines are something like 15-20% efficient. This means more power and miles per gallon. Secondly, diesel engine technology has come quite a long way since its introduction and diesel engined cars and trucks have become drastically quiter, cleaner, and more efficient. All this coupled with the advent of biodiesel would provide for a clean burning renewable resource that is easily manufactured, cheap to produce, capeable of recycling what is otherwise a waste product, can be made from multiple different materials, and can be used in existing vehicle technology with little or no modifications. Not to mention the fact that diesel engines last longer on average than gasoline engines an can be easliy run for extended periods of time with out the risk of overheating. Volkswagen's TDI equipped vechicles have been noted to have EPA ratings of something like 36 city 43 hwy and up depending on models, and individual owners have reported mileages as high as 55 mpg or so. So if these don't seem to strike you as benefits from diesels then suit yourself. But hybrid technology is still in its infancy and demonstrates other environmental concerns besides exhaust emissions. What happens when hyrids represent a large portion of the vehicles on the road and these vehicles begin to need battery replacement. With each of these hybrids contain something like 200+ pounds of nickel metal hydride batteries, it's going to be really interesting to see how they plan to safely recycle them all. Just some food for thought!

    P.S. Manual transmissions are the only transmissions worth building, screw automatics and CVT's as far as I'm concerned. They are great technological achievments and their interworkings are quite intriguing but they have no place in any car or truck that I want to drive.

  9. #28

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Gear Head. I hope no one misinterprets me as being against diesel. The only downside I know of to diesel when compared to gasoline is its emissions. I also am fully in your camp with manual transmissions. If you've got to have a transmission and use an ICE, then a good, solid manual transmission is best (except when you pull your left hamstring muscle like I did last week that makes clutching a real pain). Granted, hybrids are in their infancy and are meeting strong resistance from the incumbent ICE auto industry (at least they aren't being killed like the EV's were). One nice thing about a good EV is that they don't even need a transmission. I believe that current hybrids only have transmissions in order to preserve that part of the car company. The added complexity really isn't necessary if they design the cars right and it would increase their overall efficiency if they'd design around the transmission.
    Battery recycling isn't much of a problem. We currently recycle many of tons of lead-acid batteries each year for ICE vehicles and NiMH and Li aren't nearly as toxic as lead or sulpheric acid neither are even classified as a Hazardous Material, the main motivation to recycle is economic. Unlike lead-acid starter batteries in ICE vehicles, however, NiMH and Li-ion propulsion batteries can easily last 150,000 miles so the replacement period is much less as well. Remember, batteries and electronics are pretty simple things compared to transmissions, turbo-chargers, and all the stuff necessary to make a TDI efficient and clean. They have very high reliability and efficiency naturally and they're only in their infancy today.
    To me, the ideal future ICE powered car will have a super efficient constant-speed, constant-load diesel to augment a primary electric propulsion system that can be plugged in to the grid to charge at home. This way you can operate off of electricity (generated from any one of a number of energy sources), dino-diesel, bio-diesel, or vegetable-oil. It will be nice having many choices.

  10. #29

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    Gear Head: It is a bit surpising to see a protagonist for mechanical technologies to reject new development like CVT (which is really over 30 years old) and commonly found on scooters and the like. New transmissions are now comming out such as they are used in races cars, and ironically have been used in farm tractors for decades, where each gear has its own electro/hydraulically controlled clutch pack, these transmissions have all the advantages of a manual transmission with zero slip, no torque converter and high efficiency. They are found on some expensive exotics like Ferrari, Porsche, but VAG, BMW and Daimler Chrysler and Honda (Acura) are begining to offer them in everyday cars with up to 7 gears (Daimler Chrysler "R" and "M" Class). As the number of gears increase, in farm machinery up to 20 gears +, it will be difficult to actuate the clutch and shift fast enough to keep up. As for complexity, unfortunately technological progress seems to be linked to it.

  11. #30

    A manual hybrid with decent hp

    For those "stick" lovers....I'm with you. I recently saw the movie, An Inconvenient Truth, and I've been doing a lot of research on hybrid cars. I think (and this has no fact or research base to support it...just an opinion) that car companies could care less about the environment. They know with gas prices the way they are and more publicity about how the EVs were killed, and people wanting more environment friendly vehicles, these are the reasons they are building the hybrids--when it comes down to it, they want to make money. They KNOW there are those of us that want a complete package...an environmentally friendly car, with good gas mileage, and a MANUAL transmission (or at least, a gear to shift). But I don't think they plan on giving us what we want anytime soon, because they know the stick lovers are going to "stick" to their guns and keep buying the old technology that ensures them not losing money. Maybe I'm far off base here, but I still think car companies were not offering hybrids out of having a good conscience.

    That being said, I'm with everyone else--I've ALWAYS said that I will never own an automatic...I hate them. I really do. I've driven a stick shift my whole life and I am used to them. But, like Lilly said, it's more than just the "fun" factor. Coming from Virginia where we get more ice than snow, being able to drive a stick has pulled me out of some tough situations that I know would have ended badly if I were in an automatic. Having control over a car is important. Sometimes I don't want the stupid thing to change gears, and I want to keep it in a lower gear for a reason--like driving over snow and ice. Keeping a car in a lower gear ensures that it will not go over a certain speed, and automatics just don't work that way. I like having control, that's what it comes down to, even more than the fun factor. Yes, stick driving can be a pain in traffic--try driving through rush hour on 95/495 in DC area with a stick--it sucks, but I love my stick, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. I've driven automatics before and I just don't like 'em.

    I don't really know if I'll buy a hybrid or not, for the time being, they are still entirely too expensive for me to even think of one. But I take comfort in knowing that even with my little 5 speed Saturn, it's at least better on the environment than the Hummers I see or the Expeditions, etc.

    I would love to eventually own an environmentally friendly car, but I'm not willing to shell out 20 grand for a car that is still new and still might show some hiccups in its design a few years down the road. I'll wait until they become more predominant in the car market, and eventually become more affordable to even consider giving up my stick shift.
    But that's just my two cents.

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