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MiscellaneousHybrid Hype?
Posted by Anonymous on 2006/5/23 9:28:20 (1928) reads

Mike - I really feel that your readers are not well informed about the pros & cons of hybrid (electric) vehicles. It seems that the (younger?) folks are all to ready to opt for a hybrid Jeep (or Prius) without weighing the shortcomings, and there are many. This article from MSNBC/Newsweek is very well written, with well-informed commentary.

NOTE from Mike: It's an interesting article - worth a read if you're interested in hybrid vehicles. The article also mentions CRD Grand Cherokees in Europe...

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MarkH
Posted: 2006/5/24 16:05  Updated: 2006/5/25 12:17
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 And that's why we've settled on gas

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Transpower
Posted: 2006/5/26 11:27  Updated: 2006/5/26 11:27
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 Re: And that's why we've settled on gas
Also, take a look at the Satz engine described in the book Theory and Design of the New Rational Combustion Engine. It's advertised at www.transpowercorp.com. The Satz engine is a rotary positive displacement hot gas regenerative engine--essentially a modified gas turbine engine that can use much higher temperatures and which therefore would be vastly more efficient.

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myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2006/5/24 15:22  Updated: 2006/5/24 15:22
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 Extensive survey
I would like to also see a more extensive survey of what Jeep owners want out of a future JEEP...

Would Jeepers want a Gas Engine?
Turbocharged?
Supercharged?
2 stroke?
4 stroke?
Direct Injection?
Diesel?
Stirling Engine?
Light Hybrid?
Heavy Hybrid?
Electromotive Drive? (no transmission, transfer case, or driveshfts, just electric motors)

My vote goes for a Willys 2-based Off roader with a Stirling Genset powering a Hydraulic Hybrid Drivetrain with 4 wheel independent suspension and dual electric/hydraulic portal hubs at each wheel, (stretched out of course to the extreme ends of the vehicle to maximize footprint and require the lowest possible mileage rating), and battery backup to travel 20 miles on electric-only power (great for amphibious excursions).

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Josephus
Posted: 2006/5/26 1:01  Updated: 2006/5/26 1:08
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From: Pennsylvania
Posts: 265
 Re: Extensive survey
After reading about 1/2 of the links in Marks post, I would answer HotWheels with small turbodiesel/backed with hydralic hybrid assist for $600 option.
Let's face facts, torque is key in almost every off highway scenario, and it is what kicks you in the butt and makes you say "whoa" wen you drop the pedal.
All of the V8 and V10 engines that we hold dear are loved because of their torque. If we were HP junkies we would be driving a juiced import car.
Admittedly, I am not familiar with the Stirling engine design, durability is my concern for any new technology used as the primary means of propulsion.
Hybrid anything as a backup means to assist and provide redundancy. Just make sure the internal combustion will get me home when all the new-fangled gizmos fail because I drowned them in 20" of water (electric portal hubs).
Lastly DCx should work out a deal with the EPA: EPA lets DCx run with the BlueTec and DCx will offer their HHD option to foster the technology.

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myhotwheels22981
Posted: 2006/5/23 23:05  Updated: 2006/5/23 23:05
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 Simple Hybrid
I'm glad to see this article, after having talked about the advantages of a Hybrid Jeep so much in the past.

I think people are misinformed about Hybrid systems.
First of all, like any other component in a car (paint, drivetrain, emissions, etc), just because the hybrid battery pack is only warranted for 100,000 miles doesn't mean it is going to fizzle out at 100,001 miles. That would be like saying that your car is going to die at 36,001 miles because the warranty is only for that long.

Peak battery charging is what ruins battery life. Unlike other batteries, hybrid battery packs will last longer because they are never 100% fully charged or fully discharged. They hover somewhere around the 85% charged level, and ususlly don't dip below 20%.

If Jeepers want simplicity, do away with the drivetrain completely, put hub mounted electric motors at each wheel, and have Stirling Engine turning a 3kW generator to supplement the 300 V battery system, or dare I say it, The dreaded Hydraulic Hybrid Drivetrain which would get 40 MPG on road and be UNSTOPPABLE off road?

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MarkH
Posted: 2006/5/24 8:46  Updated: 2006/5/24 8:56
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Posts: 494
 Re: Simple Hybrid
Even better than 100,000 miles... the (Toyota) battery packs are supposedly designed for the "life" of the vehicle. If you don't bump up against anything solid, that can be quite awhile.

The point is people may not want to keep the vehicle past that point and risk the exposure of a ~$5K dealer bill, after they've waited for ~100K miles just to "break even". If you have to shell out, that sort of kills most of the reasons for getting a fuel efficient hybrid in the first place.

Maybe the aftermarket will get on board and produce cheaper replacements at ~$1K a whack --then this issue goes away...

Hey Mike, You've had polls on diesels (or not) and hybrids (or not). How a bout a more extensive one on diesel vs. E85 vs. hybrid. vs. Stirling (a.k.a. the "hot air" engine) vs. trilithium crystals (I can dream too) vs. whatever?

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Yesfan70
Posted: 2006/5/23 16:39  Updated: 2006/5/23 16:39
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Posts: 17
 Re: Hybrid Hype?
Along with what you guys (and gals) already mentioned, the part about SUV hybirds caught my eye. I had been hearing rumours about GM doing away with the H2, then I saw it as a possible hybrid model for next year. Wonder what the truth really is.

Not that I care, just curious. Besides I planned on getting one of those "Hummer recovery vehicle" spare tire covers for my soon to be purchased Jeep.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2006/5/23 17:03  Updated: 2006/5/23 17:03
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Posts: 190
 Re: Hybrid Hype?
GM recently discontinued the H1, but considering what a cash-cow the H2 is for them, I don't see them doing away with it any time soon.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2006/5/23 14:58  Updated: 2006/5/23 14:58
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From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: Hybrid Hype?
How many people nowadays actually own a vehicle from brand new to 100K miles?? IMHO the ONLY real-world benefit to current hybrids is they use less gas than their petrol counterparts. They certainly won't save you any money long-term due to the high cost to "upgrade" to the hybrid powertrain. Sure, you might save some $$$ at the pumps, but you pay for it up front in the price of the car. And you may be putting out less pollution, but in the grand scheme of things you're also dealing with increased environmental concerns and costs with production and disposal/recycling of the battery packs, especially when you consider that some of these cars are going to get wrecked on the road. And if you are lucky enough to get to that 100K mile payoff point, your batteries are out of warranty and you face a potential $3500+ cost to replace them.

I found the comments by the Prius owners bragging about their 40-50mpg averages to be quite funny, considering you can pretty easily get that kind of mileage out of a TDi Jetta.

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RUBICON
Posted: 2006/5/23 21:27  Updated: 2006/5/23 21:27
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 Re: Hybrid Hype?
Well my Cherokee is about to hit 120,000 miles, so I guess I am a minority.

Personally, I don't want to see a Synergy Drive-like hybrid system in any Jeep. If they are going to do hybrid, use a hydraulic hyrbid system.. it would be more reliable, less costly, and doesn't require the heavy, long-term polluting battery packs.

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MarkH
Posted: 2006/5/23 14:19  Updated: 2006/5/23 14:20
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From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 simplicity, reliability and function
All things considered, I'd much rather have a JK with a gas or diesel engine, save the extra $3-4K for fuel (& accessories) and avoid any surprise maintenance costs for the hybrid powertrain. Isn't THAT what Jeep stands for: simplicity, reliability and function?

Up to $5K if the battery pack craps out?? That even makes a new tranny sound cheap!

And up to 100K miles to breakeven on the initial added cost? (IF that's all the added cost there is...)

If the best Hybrid warranties are for 100K miles, there's gonna be a lot of used Toyotika Prii for sale when they hit 99K miles.

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hal2814
Posted: 2006/5/23 12:02  Updated: 2006/5/23 12:02
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Posts: 49
 Re: Hybrid Hype?
I'm still not very clear on the shortcomings. You do make back the extra money you spent on gas at 100K miles. The used value is a question mark but so is the used value of any new model vehicle. Gas mileage isn't as good advertised but it never is. There is the disposal of some battery packs at about 100K but it seems to me if they are recycled properly (like regular automotive batteries are) then battery disposal would be seriously outwieghted by the reduction in emissions. And if you think that CRD is going to have a lot of torque, just wait until a comparable electric motor is handling the low range.

Are hybrids the answer to everything? Of couse not. But I can certainly see why they are popular.

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dfischer_5619464
Posted: 2006/5/23 12:09  Updated: 2006/5/23 12:09
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From: Sound Beach, Long Island, N.Y.
Posts: 2
 Re: Hybrid Hype?
As an alter-ego to my lifted '00 Wrangler Sahara, I own a '05 Civic Hybrid. If I stomp on the gas I do get poorer mileage than listed. However, if I am careful and attentive I FAR exceed the mileage listed. My personal best is 58 mpg for an entire trip of about 500 miles. As for the abtteries, I have read articles that say they really can last indef. in normal use. I usually don't keep a car that long anyway (Jeep notwithstanding), I go through cars every 2 years. So many cars, not enough time or money - but I do the best I can. the civic Hybrid was a greta choice - I may keep it a while - especially with gas at 3.45/gallon here on the island.

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Transpower
Posted: 2006/5/23 11:03  Updated: 2006/5/23 11:03
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 Re: Hybrid Hype?
There was a story on CNBC by Jane Wells a few days ago which stated that Prius owners are selling their used hybrids for MORE than what they originally paid...

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highdesert
Posted: 2006/5/24 0:41  Updated: 2006/5/24 0:41
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Posts: 34
 Re: Hybrid Hype?
After having driven a corporate Prius for a couple of years, we purchased a VW TDI. Approximately the same mileage, but the TDI is a driver's car whereas the Prius was simply a complex econobox. The TDI will hold fifth gear and accelerate through the mountains where I am downshifting in the Cherokee to just maintain speed. Once one has driven a modern diesel, it's really difficult to think gasser or hybrid.
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