Hybrid Article off the net - Mercedes-Benz Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 11:30 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
DEATHERAGE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2001 SLK 230
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 1,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Hybrid Article off the net

The costly secrets of hybrid cars
Previews, showtimes, tickets and more on movies.msn.com
Car makers are rushing to bring out fuel-saving hybrid models. But they don't tell you that these hybrids won’t always save much gas -- though they cost substantially more.

Behold GMC's new hybrid, the K15 Sierra. This pickup truck scores a 3 on the EPA's 0-to-10 emissions scale, with 0 being the worst. It gets a whopping 18 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving. That compares with the 16 mpg attained by its non-hybrid sibling, the K1500 Sierra.

So what, exactly, is green or even fuel-efficient about this vehicle?

You might ask the same question about Chevrolet's C15 Silverado hybrid (19 mpg, compared to the regular C1500's 18). Even some of the new vehicles touted as significantly less gas-hungry than their peers still post mileage ratings that could be bested by a regular old Toyota Corolla with a headwind.

Meanwhile, drivers of cars that actually have impressive EPA mileage ratings complain that their real fuel economy is far less advertised.

A focus on performance
What's going on here? Are car manufacturers perpetrating a scam on unsuspecting consumers?

Not quite, car experts say. Any car maker has to balance fuel efficiency with performance, said Bob Kurilko of car-shopping site Edmunds.com. With the latest generations of hybrids, manufacturers are simply leaning more toward the performance side of the scale.

The earliest incarnations -- the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight, for example -- were stingy with gas, getting EPA ratings of around 60 mpg. But "they weren't much fun to drive," said Perry Stern, editor of MSN Autos.

"With the (hybrid Honda) Accord or the new Lexus RX, a buyer doesn't have to make that compromise," Stern said. "You get more power, and you get better fuel economy than other vehicles in the same class. It's not going to save tons of money at the pump, but you're not having to give up on fuel economy to get a more powerful vehicle."
Don't let retirement
sneak up on you.
Create a perfect plan.


Hard to justify
The problem is that car manufacturers are charging substantially more for these new hybrids than for their gas-using counterparts. Though the car makers tout extra performance, the bigger sticker price can make it harder to justify the economics of buying a hybrid.

For example, the hybrid Accord gets a combined 32 mpg, compared to the regular Accord's 24. But it also costs $3,300 more, Perry said.

Assuming you drive 15,000 miles a year and gas averages $2.50 a gallon, you'd be saving $391 a year on fuel. That means it would take you about 8 years to break even.

Related news and commentary on MSN Money
Related resources image
• Fill your tank with vegetable oil
• Keep your old clunker or buy a new car?
• MSN Autos: Car options: gas, diesel or hybrid?
• 14 ways to deal with $2-a-gallon gas
• MSN Autos: 2005's most efficient vehicles

Fortunately, the Accord is one of just five hybrid models that qualify for a $2,000 tax deduction (that's scheduled to fall to $500 in 2006, and disappear after that). That brings the "break-even" time down a little.

Hybrids with tax breaks
5 hybrid vehicles qualify for a tax deduction.

Cars that come with a tax deduction
Vehicle make and model* Model years MPG city** MPG hwy**
Ford Escape Hybrid 2005 36 31
Honda Accord Hybrid 2005 29 37
Honda Civic Hybrid 2003-2005 45 51
Honda Insight 2000-2005 61 66
Toyota Prius 2001-2005 60 51
* Vehicles approved by IRS as of Feb. 10, 2005. Other hybrids may be approved at a later date.
**EPA ratings for 2005 models.
Source: Fueleconomy.gov

The Lexus RX 400h, by contrast, isn't on the IRS list. And the luxury hybrid's sticker price is about $10,000 higher than that of the RX 330, the regular version of the crossover SUV. The hybrid clocks 31 mpg in city driving, compared to the gas-powered's 18 mpg

"The Lexus story is that the new hybrid gets 13 mpg better than the standard V6 RX, but also gets 38 more horsepower," Stern said.

Lexus is also trying to bridge the price gap by making standard some of the features that are optional in the gas version. But there's still a pretty big difference in price tags.

There's a smaller gap between the hybrid and gas versions of the Ford Escape. The all-wheel-drive hybrid costs about $28,000, compared to $26,000 for a gas version with similar performance.

Now, the savings realized by today's performance-conscious hybrids could get a lot more compelling if gas prices rise over $3 a gallon and stay there, as some predict. But the numbers could start working against you if gas prices sink.

The new hybrids
Car makers will introduce at least 15 new models over the next few years.

Hybrid cars on the horizon

Manufacturer Model Type ETA
Dodge Ram Hybrid Full-size Pickup Later in 2005
Lexus RX 400h Mid-size SUV Just introduced
Mercury Mariner Hybrid Mid-size SUV Later in 2005
Toyota Highlander Mid-size SUV June 2005
Saturn VUE SUV 2006
Nissan Altima Hybrid Mid-size Car 2006
Chevrolet Equinox SUV 2007
Chevrolet Malibu Mid-size Car 2007
Chevrolet Tahoe (AHS II) SUV 2007
GMC Yukon Hybrid (AHS II) SUV 2007
Mazda Tribute Hybrid SUV 2007
Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid (AHS II) Full-size Pickup 2008
Ford Fusion Mid-size Car 2008
GMC Sierra Hybrid (AHS II) Full-size Pickup 2008
Mercury Milan Hybrid Mid-size Car 2008
Sources: Fueleconomy.gov, J.D. Power-LMC; Energy & Environmental Analysis (EEA); manufacturer Web sites.

Do they deliver on mileage?
Then there's the issue of whether these cars actually get the mileage they claim. This is actually a pretty big deal with the vehicles that are the most fuel-efficient: the Prius and the Insight. Owners have been yowling for years that their mileage isn't anything like the EPA's numbers.

"I drove a Prius for a week and never saw 60 mpg," Perry said. "I averaged around 42 mpg."

Now, that kind of mileage should make any Hummer driver blush. But it's not that much better than a fuel-efficient small sedan, like a Honda Civic. (The EPA clocks the Civic with Honda's "Lean Burn" engine technology at 36 mpg city, 44 mpg highway.)

So while hybrids might not be a scam, they are pretty expensive for what you're getting.

That's largely because hybrids are still a bit of a novelty act. As more models are introduced in coming years and competition heats up, at least some of that premium for hybrid technology should evaporate, predicted auto writer Terry Kosdrosky of Crain's Detroit Business.

In other words, if you're thinking about a hybrid, consider waiting a few years. (You do run the risk of missing out on the current tax deduction. There's a movement in Congress to extend the deduction and keep it at $2,000, but there are no guarantees.)

Rolling forward
If you're in the market for a car now, here are a few thoughts:

Consider all your alternatives. You don't have to go hybrid to get better-than-average mileage -- and you don't have to stick to small cars, either. FuelEconomy.gov keeps a list of the most and least fuel-efficient vehicles in each class of cars. You might want to take a look at today's diesel cars as well. The diesel versions of Volkswagen's Beetle and its Jetta and Passat Wagons were named the most fuel-efficient in their class.

If you're going to buy one of the "tax deduction" hybrids, get going. The waiting list for Priuses is six months long in many areas. You need to take possession of the vehicle before the end of the year to get the $2,000 deduction.

Whether you buy hybrid or not, consider ways to reduce your fuel consumption. Those ways haven't changed much since the energy crisis of the early 1970s:

* Avoid jack-rabbit starts and stops; rapid acceleration wastes gas.
* Keep your speed to 60 mph or less.
* Reduce your trips by carpooling, combining errands, walking or biking.
* Use public transportation.
* Keep your tires properly inflated.
* Replace clogged air filters.
* Clean out your trunk (the more weight you carry, the worse your mileage)

ASP Pulley Kit, Valentine One Radar Detector Hardwire, Momo Shift Knob, Huber Optic Tint, Vario Roof Commander, Cross Driller Rotors, Porterfield Powderless Brake Pads.
DEATHERAGE is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
DEATHERAGE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2001 SLK 230
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 1,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
honda

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/overview.aspx?modelid=11567&src=LeftNav

ASP Pulley Kit, Valentine One Radar Detector Hardwire, Momo Shift Knob, Huber Optic Tint, Vario Roof Commander, Cross Driller Rotors, Porterfield Powderless Brake Pads.
DEATHERAGE is offline  
post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
DEATHERAGE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2001 SLK 230
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 1,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
lexus

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/overview.aspx?modelid=11603&src=LeftNav

ASP Pulley Kit, Valentine One Radar Detector Hardwire, Momo Shift Knob, Huber Optic Tint, Vario Roof Commander, Cross Driller Rotors, Porterfield Powderless Brake Pads.
DEATHERAGE is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
DEATHERAGE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2001 SLK 230
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 1,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
ford

http://autos.msn.com/research/vip/overview.aspx?modelid=11254&src=LeftNav


ASP Pulley Kit, Valentine One Radar Detector Hardwire, Momo Shift Knob, Huber Optic Tint, Vario Roof Commander, Cross Driller Rotors, Porterfield Powderless Brake Pads.
DEATHERAGE is offline  
post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 11:33 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
DEATHERAGE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2001 SLK 230
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 1,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
goverment link

http://www.fueleconomy.gov/

ASP Pulley Kit, Valentine One Radar Detector Hardwire, Momo Shift Knob, Huber Optic Tint, Vario Roof Commander, Cross Driller Rotors, Porterfield Powderless Brake Pads.
DEATHERAGE is offline  
post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-08-2005, 11:51 PM
BenzWorld R170 SLK Host
 
Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 2002 SLK32 AMG
Location: Chandler, AZ - USA
Posts: 2,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Hey Deathy, did you see the article in the Arizona Republic about a month ago?

The article was about how hybrid fuel economy suffers when the A/C (or the defroster, which also uses the A/C compressor) is on. It showed that the real-world fuel economy of the 5 hybrid vehicles they tested dropped by 23 to 40% when the A/C compressor was running. If I recall correctly, the Ford Escape hybrid dropped only 23% while the Prius dropped over 40%. In any case, the fuel economy always became worse than a comparible gasoline-engine equipped vehicle.


Brian
'02 SLK32 AMG, Firemist Red, Alpaca/Charcoal, K4, CD changer
Brian_R170 is offline  
post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2005, 05:15 AM
430
BenzWorld Elite
 
Date registered: Oct 2002
Vehicle: SLK32, ML430
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 6,349
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Hey Deathy, did you see the article in the Arizona Republic about a month ago?

There was an article a couple of months ago in Road & Track or Car & Driver comparing Hybrids to other small fuel efficient vehicles esp. Diesel. The hybrids did not do so well. Add in the premium people are paying and they are even worse on a dollar per mile cost basis.

430 is offline  
post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2005, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
 
DEATHERAGE's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: 2001 SLK 230
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Posts: 1,226
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
RE: Hybrid Article off the net

Yea I saw all this and was ammazed, wanted to share. I had this idea that the Hybrid was all omighty 60mpg! wupp any gas cars ass.

They are getting there I think we still have a lot of work to do tho.

ASP Pulley Kit, Valentine One Radar Detector Hardwire, Momo Shift Knob, Huber Optic Tint, Vario Roof Commander, Cross Driller Rotors, Porterfield Powderless Brake Pads.
DEATHERAGE is offline  
post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2005, 08:30 AM
BenzWorld Elite
 
Kirill's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jul 2003
Vehicle: 01 SLK 320 MT6
Location: Lake In The Hills,IL
Posts: 4,477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Hybrid Article off the net

Smart should be at 60Mpg with out any Hybrid complications.

Kirill
Kirill is offline  
post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 05-09-2005, 03:26 PM
BenzWorld Extremist
 
Miked619's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: SLK in brilli silver
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 854
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to Miked619 Send a message via MSN to Miked619
RE: Hybrid Article off the net

yeah but calling smart cars, actual cars is kinda pushing it. Im sorry but damn thats too damn small and runnin 600cc engine w/a whoppin 54hp I will pass. Id take my chances on a ducati that produces more power. I agree the hybrids have come a long way, but still have a ways to go. 3 star crash rating just isnt high enough anymore w/how many bad drivers are around.
Miked619 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Roadster Forums > R170 SLK-Class

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 

Title goes here

close
video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome