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      08-15-2007, 09:59 PM   #1
MIKEYMIKE
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OT: Thinking of getting a Hybrid Electric Car

I'm in the market for a new car and Iím seriously considering a Toyota Prius Hybrid. Itís about $30k. I might be able to swing getting a slightly used one for about $25k.

I'm not sure if the numbers add up and itís worth it to get from an economical stand point. I'm a student with limited funds so itís got to make sense on my wallet.

From an environmental and political stand point it makes a lot of sense. By reducing emissions that contribute to global warming (I heard cars are responsible for about half of the excess pollution and factories big business the other half).
Politically it makes sense because by reducing our dependence on foreign oil our policy won't get us in as much trouble over there. The current war in Iraq is the most obvious example.

I spend about 50 dollars a week on gas and I drive an average of 1,000 miles per month. Gas in Los Angeles is on average $3.00 a gallon. The majority of my driving is city and I get about 16 mpg with my current car.

The Prius hybrid is supposed to average 50 city and 60 highway. Let us assume I get the advertised 50 mpg city. If I drive 1000 miles a month how much of a savings in gas can I expect?

On a side note, I have heard it is rumored that you can modify the Prius to get more MPG. By adding extra batteries and even solar panels you can get more juice from the electric. However, I donít know how much more it would cost. It also makes me wonder if its only a few thousand more, guess two thousandÖwhy wouldnít Toyota implement this into their vehicles rather than leave it up to the aftermarket?

Maybe I would be better off just getting a regular fuel efficient car like a Honda Civic or Accord?
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      08-15-2007, 10:14 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEYMIKE View Post
I spend about 50 dollars a week on gas and I drive an average of 1,000 miles per month. Gas in Los Angeles is on average $3.00 a gallon. The majority of my driving is city and I get about 16 mpg with my current car.

The Prius hybrid is supposed to average 50 city and 60 highway. Let us assume I get the advertised 50 mpg city. If I drive 1000 miles a month how much of a savings in gas can I expect?
The math is not difficult.

BMW = 1000 mi/mo / 16 mpg = 62.5 gal/mo * $3/gal = $187.50/mo
Prius = 1000 mi/mo / 50 mpg = 20 gal/mo * $3/gal = $60.00/mo
Civic = 1000 mi/mo / 30 mpg = 33.3 gal/mo * $3/gal = $100.00/mo

FWIW, best bet to save money and reduce emissions is MOVE CLOSER TO WORK. Then keep the BMW and bike to work.
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      08-15-2007, 10:19 PM   #3
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The only catch about owning a hybrid is that you will need to replace the battery pack some 5 or 6 years down the road, and that will cost BIG BUCKS!! If you don't replace it, the car probably won't worth any money in resale. I also expect resale value to drop rapidly in the years leading towards the battery replacement.

Also that once warranty is up you probably have to pay thru your nose to get anything powertrain or drive line related fixed. Virtually every repair has to be done by the dealer.

Get a diesel! To me it makes more sense.
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      08-15-2007, 10:20 PM   #4
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hybrids are BS to make people feel better about themselves

a Civic or Yaris type small car (or a VW diesel if you can get them in your state) get about the same mileage without the environmental hazards of battery disposal in the future

your mileage figures on the Prius are off, the city rating is higher than the highway rating due to the use of battery power in city

The economy figures you post are also VERY optimistic

you'll probably see closer to 40 mpg on the prius, which isn't much better than conventional autos (yaris, civic....)

hybrids flat out don't save you money, they may make you feel like you're saving the world, but you're not.



if you only get 16 MPG in your 330, you can make signifigant gains in economy with just driving more sensibly... you should be able to get 23-25 MPG easily
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      08-15-2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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i was always skeptical about hybrid cars because those damn batteries they use are damn expensive when they need to be replaced....
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      08-15-2007, 10:54 PM   #6
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Since you live in Southern Cali, just buy a motorcycle. A hell of a lot more fun then any car and 40-50 MPG is real world with something that still has decent power. BMW motos have cats and are pretty clean running.
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      08-15-2007, 11:01 PM   #7
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i agree on the hybrids. if you're doing it for money reasons, i just don't think it's worth it unless you drive 40-50mi each way (and even then). battery replacement is around 3-5K (so the gas savings you thought u save is gone with this). oh...and the prius gets more like 45mpg. a friend of mine just got one and that's what she averages.

also, if you can find a used prius with the carpool sticker, that's cool. they are out of carpool stickers so if u get a new one, you can't go to the carpool lane.
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      08-15-2007, 11:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
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hybrids are BS to make people feel better about themselves

a Civic or Yaris type small car (or a VW diesel if you can get them in your state) get about the same mileage without the environmental hazards of battery disposal in the future
Not to mention the environmental impact of gathering all the hazardous resources necessary to manufacture the batteries. I fully support conservation, alternative energy R&D and implementation, recycling, etc., but the Prius isn't the environmental revolution it's made out to be. It might be a step in the right direction, but that remains to be seen.
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      08-15-2007, 11:17 PM   #9
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Most people who own hybrids are HIGHLY educated individuals with higher than average income. I support your decision, but keep the BMW.
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      08-15-2007, 11:25 PM   #10
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people keep brining up the fact about replacing the battery like i did before, but when you think about it you may have to replace it in 4-5 years thats not bad because who the hell is going to keep a hybrid for more then 3 years? its just one of those cars you keep around for a couple of years and then let go of but thats just my .02
FWIW my cousin has one and he saves a lot of money by getting 50+ mpg unlike us who only get 25 and thats if your lucky.
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      08-15-2007, 11:32 PM   #11
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Listen, my brother has one and he loves it. He gets an average of 50 mpg... Sometimes it goes down to 48 mpg, so don't let anyone tell you that it's not economical. He did exactly what you said; He bought a used 1 year old one for $23,000 and trust me he saves a lot of money on gas.

It has a 12 gallon fuel tank @ 50 mpg; that's 600 miles for one tank of fuel!!!! That's pretty damn good if you ask me...

Oh and the batteries have a 10 year warranty. The car also has a 6 year powertrain warranty that covers the car bumper to bumper. I'm about to get one myself for my daily driver.

And I agree with you about both the political and environmental reasons to use less oil. Let's just say global warming is not man made but a natural occurrence, we still need to get off the oil. We don't realize it but every time we fill our cars a portion of our money goes to those crazy fuckers in the Middle East.

If we really want to fight this war on Terrorism, we should all ,as a country, try to give the least amount of our money to those psychos in Arabia. The only money maker for terrorists is oil. It's not like they have other money making industries... Have you ever heard of an Arab computer company, car company, biotech company, etc? Probably not because all they have is their oil and the day we stop using it will be the day that part of the world will be irrelevant. Think about it, if those Iranians stopped selling their oil, do you think that they could afford those nukes?
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      08-15-2007, 11:53 PM   #12
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I'm in favor of anyone willing to sacrifice performance for the benefit of the environment. It's simply bizarre that others would discourage you, but hey, do what you want, especially when its a good thing to do.

Folks can argue about the negatives like batteries, but in the long run, energy shortage/global warming will make those seem like small potatoes.

When they make the Tesla affordable and a little larger, then it'll be an easy decision for me.
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      08-15-2007, 11:57 PM   #13
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It has a 12 gallon fuel tank @ 50 mpg; that's 600 miles for one tank of fuel!!!! That's pretty damn good if you ask me...
hybrid's will not get 50 mpg on the freeway...............


heck my 325 has a 16 gallon tank, and gets 30 mpg on the freeway, and how many people get a range of 16*30=480 miles right???

plus you guys are forgetting the most important part...

have you ever driven a prius? they're god awful, I wouldn't drive one if is used ZERO gas and never had to be plugged in.
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      08-16-2007, 12:21 AM   #14
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The gas/electric hybrid is a total "feel good" solution. A diesel/electric hybrid would be better. Also, be sure to read up the real world MPG people are getting with their Prius's. It sure isn't 50 city and 60 highway! I think the best you are going to do with mixed driving is around 40 to 45. Some are seeing as low as 34 MPG! My 335i is averaging 20 MPG in mixed driving right now.

Lastly, let's look at some "oil" facts. Yes, we are a nation that imports our oil by and large. Do you know the country where we get the most oil from? Saudi Arabia? NOPE! Iraq? NOPE! Anywhere in the middle east? NOPE!!!! The largest exporter of oil to the USA is Canada! Saudi Arabia ranks #3. This is total petroleum imports, but Canada still holds the crown for Crude too. Mexico holds the #2 spot in total petroleum exports.

Out of the Top 15 countries that export oil to the US, only 3 are in the middle east. The Top 15 exported an average of 9,634,000 barrels per day of crude oil to the USA in May 2007. Those Top 15 account for 93.6% of all crude oil imports to the US. Out of that, the middle east contributed 2,077,000 barrels, or 21.6%. Iraq exported a grand total of 341,000 barrels per day, or 3.5% of the total. Yeah, we went to war in Iraq for 3.5% of the total. Puh-leeeeze.

Canada, Mexico and Venezuela account for almost 48% of the oil exported to the US by those Top 15. What makes me more angry than the oil coming from the middle east? The oil coming from Venezuela!! Hugo Chavez doesn't deserve a single dime from us.

The source for the oil facts: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/p...nt/import.html
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      08-16-2007, 01:21 AM   #15
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By the way, I just asked my brother to check what his average mpg shows on his on board computer. It says 49 mpg. The computer doesn't lie...



Quote:
Originally Posted by scollins View Post

Canada, Mexico and Venezuela account for almost 48% of the oil exported to the US by those Top 15. What makes me more angry than the oil coming from the middle east? The oil coming from Venezuela!! Hugo Chavez doesn't deserve a single dime from us.

The source for the oil facts: http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/p...nt/import.html
I here ya. Giving our money to Chavez isn't that cool...

I understand that we in the U.S. don't get all our fuel from the Middle East, but it still doesn't matter. We all know The Middle East is selling Billions upon Billions of dollars worth of oil. I remember reading something that Saudi Arabia earns $500 million dollars a day in oil revenue!!!! Let's not forget that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia...

If we want to fight the terrorists and end our wars over there, someone has to come up with a way to power our world's cars with something other than oil...But until then we should all try to use the least amount of fuel as possible which by doing so will save us some money. Forget about the environment, I'm talking just about winning this war on terror thingy

Check out this video of a French company who is about to sell small cars that run on only on compressed air:


They're ugly as hell but could you imagine if millions of people had engines that ran on air? What would Chavez, the Saudi Royal Family and Iran do?:rocks:
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      08-16-2007, 04:29 AM   #16
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Quote:
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hybrids are BS to make people feel better about themselves
Agreed. In general, people buy hybrids to make it look like they care about the environment, not because they actually care about the environment. If they actually cared about the environment, they'd move out of their McMansions and be biking to work. Hybrids are just a way to make them feeling good about THEMSELVES and ease their conscience. Hybrids do very very little for either the environment OR our dependence on oil. You can get 45-50mpg with a good diesel that costs half the price of a Prius.

Another thing for the OP, until this year, Prius was advertised at 60mpg city and 51mpg highway. That is being dropped this year to be more inline with what it really gets, 50mpg city and 45 mpg highway. If you do a lot of city driving, the Prius makes more sense because at low city speeds (under 32 mph), the Prius is running off of the electric motor. But once you are over 32mph, the electric motor can't power the wheels and you are running solely off of the gas engine, just like any other car.
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      08-16-2007, 04:50 AM   #17
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As mentioned by others, the Prius will not get anything near the stated mpg if it is a value rated by the current EPA. Starting next year, or MY2008 hybrids, their mileage would plummet because of the revised rating methodology. While the traditional non-hybrid vehicles will only be affected to a much lesser extent. In fact, this revision in methodology of obtaining an EPA is because of the over rated hybrid fuel consumption level.

I have to agree hybrids are over-rated in terms of 'environmental friendliness'. First, it takes much more of the world's limited resources (energy, material, etc.) to produce a hybrid compared to other cars. And this use of resource will eventually lead to emissions. Using hybrids, if it does really reduce emissions, is just re-allocateing the pollution to elsewhere. ie. Battery manufacturers/car factories located in Japan/Canada/USA.

Some research even have gone as far as saying the Toyota Prius will consume more energy compared to a Hummer over its lifetime. ie. The hybrid is more environmentally damaging compared to a Hummer! Of course, this is only one report and results can always be manipulated to show anything.

My Recommendation: If you are really concerned about fuel consumption and environmental protection, look at the Honda Civic, Toyota Yaris/Corolla, VW Diesels or the new Mini Cooper. All are very fuel efficient vehicles.
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      08-16-2007, 04:56 AM   #18
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From what I know, Toyota is currently the best in this arena. I have friends with the Prius and Highlanders. They do not financially make sense over their gas counterparts, especially with gas going below 2.50. I've often heard $5 gal. is where they will shine. But we all know hybrids are not simply a mathematical equation like health care, they give their owners a lot of satisfaction, not to mention the ability to use the car pool lane as a SOV. The OP sounds like someone who would benefit from a hybrid purchase. GL!

p.s. I wonder if anyone has stuck a synergy drive emblem on their gas powered Highlander in Cali.?
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      08-16-2007, 05:02 AM   #19
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Buy a diesel

Electric cars are not ready for the mainstream yet. Diesels are where to go if you want to save $$$.
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      08-16-2007, 05:04 AM   #20
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Oh yeah and dont forget a Prius will be a lot faster.....J/K i remembered this post that DasBlitz had found.....

http://priuschat.com/index.php?showtopic=16201
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      08-16-2007, 06:08 AM   #21
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So, instead of posting in the OFF TOPIC forum, you just preface your thread title with OT: ?
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      08-16-2007, 08:33 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thinbev View Post
By the way, I just asked my brother to check what his average mpg shows on his on board computer. It says 49 mpg. The computer doesn't lie...





I here ya. Giving our money to Chavez isn't that cool...

I understand that we in the U.S. don't get all our fuel from the Middle East, but it still doesn't matter. We all know The Middle East is selling Billions upon Billions of dollars worth of oil. I remember reading something that Saudi Arabia earns $500 million dollars a day in oil revenue!!!! Let's not forget that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia...

If we want to fight the terrorists and end our wars over there, someone has to come up with a way to power our world's cars with something other than oil...But until then we should all try to use the least amount of fuel as possible which by doing so will save us some money. Forget about the environment, I'm talking just about winning this war on terror thingy

Check out this video of a French company who is about to sell small cars that run on only on compressed air:


They're ugly as hell but could you imagine if millions of people had engines that ran on air? What would Chavez, the Saudi Royal Family and Iran do?:rocks:
I understand electric, hybrid and/or diesels, but the compressed-air engine -- just don't think this is a going to be a winner no matter who builds it.
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