Should I buy a hybrid?

Discussion in 'Wheels, Wings, Mud, and Water' started by toxcrusadr, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Figured that out after I posted that. It takes longer of course (I think something like 13 h @ 120V vs. 4.5 h @ 240V). If I plugged it in as soon as I got home from work, it would have time for a full charge at 120V before I left the next morning. Eventually I'd add a 240V outlet if I bought an EV just for the flexibility, but it's not a pre-requisite if you can charge on 120.
     
  2. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Well-Known Member

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    E85 sees the most improvement on forced induction cars (turbo, supercharger). It's terrible for a naturally aspirated motor. Boosted cars will actually get a power boost due to it's superior detonation resistance, thus can run more timing advance. Although under boost it'll get even worse fuel mileage. Also, E85 quality varies significantly right now.
     
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  3. Shadowdog

    Shadowdog Super Member

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    The 2016 Chev Cruze is a totally new car so may be more reliable. and I think the Equinox has been pretty good. C&D got 52 MPG on the HWY at 75 MPH!
     
  4. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

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    Battery replacement costs are still too high.
     
  5. Imanoldee

    Imanoldee AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    ^^^^

    Aaahh,
    But where will they be in, say ten years?
    Lower, me thinks.
    Just a thought to add to the calculations.
     
  6. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Super Member

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    I know this dates way back to the beginning of this thread, but with a little thought, I felt it relevant to address

    I used to do this too--drive 'em until they drop--partly because I couldn't afford a new car every few years (hell--I couldn't even afford a "new" car), but you could maintain and repair vehicles yourself or use a local mechanic/shop. Now, with all of the high-tech features, this has become a dealer-only situation, and a seemingly "minor" issue is solved by swapping out a $3800 computer control module--ouch. My uncle and I have both adopted the program of drive them until the warranty is running out and replace them.

    No manufacturer--repeat, none of them--actually make any significant money on hybrids and EVs. They get Federal credits and kudos in the public opinion, but due to R&D and production costs (for a limited number of units), even the higher sticker price doesn't even cover enough to justify production. Many manufacturers have scaled back, or even scrapped their hybrid/EV programs--and cheap gas has placed even more pressure in that direction. All of the "big three" are converting economy car plants to production of trucks and SUVs.

    As we all know, VW has taken a HUGE hit due to "dieselgate", and are scrambling to survive, financially--so a hybrid program that makes no money is not a viable option at this point. The cars may have been very good and well-liked, but what VW needs right now are profits--and hybrids aren't it. That is most likely why the vehicle has been discontinued. The German government is not as generous as the US government in bailing out failing businesses--especially under these circumstances.
     
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  7. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good stuff '73.

    People in general are short-sighted IMO. Just because gas got temporarily cheaper does not mean there is any more of it on the planet - quite the contrary. I've been thinking about how fast we're sucking up the finite supply, ever since I was in high school in 1980 reading Amory Lovins. I've driven this MX-6 since '04 because dad passed away and mom didn't want it, and it was a cool car. If none of that had happened I'd probably have bought a much more efficient car in '05 or so when gas spiked up to $4+/gal. I'm still willing to spend some extra $ if it means high efficiency.

    I'm keeping my 4WD Ranger BTW, that I use on weekends to haul stuff. Seemed like a better approach than trying to do it all with one vehicle. I like my setup pretty well.
     
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  8. savatage1973

    savatage1973 Super Member

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    Agreed--especially about the short-sightedness. Gas will and is going to go up to near $5 a gallon in the not too distant future. Producers cannot continue this production/price war forever before the stockholders and bean counters start to get pissy. Hell--here in PA, the minute that gas prices dropped, the state gov't stepped in and took advantage of the price drop to slap an additional ten cent per gallon "road tax" on all road use fuels--figured most people wouldn't notice, since it was still a lot cheaper than it was 6 months ago.

    So now that you're stuck in that 6 or 7 year loan on your $50K+ gas guzzling SUV that you didn't need anyways, and gas hits $5 a gallon--what are you gonna do now? How you gonna feed both it and your kids?

    Granted, there is a relatively finite supply of fossil fuels, but technology for extraction and refinement/conversion has advanced substantially. There are old "capped" or "abandoned" wells that are producing more now than they did in their heyday, and fuel efficiency is increasing dramatically, so things are improving on a relative basis, compared to 40-50 years ago.

    As for your new car choice--as much as I dislike Fords (just a personal thing), I have to respect the new EcoBoost technology used in the newer models--zippy performance and great gas mileage (if you keep your foot out of the turbo all the time). I have friends with the Focus and (larger) Fusion models, and they are nice cars, and have been pretty much trouble-free. One of my guys wife drives a Lincoln MKZ (pretty much a full-sized car by todays standards) with AWD and the 2.0L EcoBoost, and you would swear there was at least a V-6 or small V-8 under the hood--no "barn burner", but no slouch either and gets great mileage.

    Happy Hunting!!!
     
  9. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    For me, the math is important. In a high cost of fuel area of the country, or a very high miles city driving situation at 50 MPH or less, the Hybrid might work. In a situation which less miles are driven, or interstate or hauling is involved, the hybrid likely won't pay back the cost of purchasing and maintaining it. EcoBoost is not too new, it's called elsewhere a Turbo, and demands higher octane fuel and religious attention to timely maintenance. Simple and low maintenance has virtues for many. Some of us need happy medium.
     
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  10. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    For me (being in commercial vehicles) it's TCO (total cost of ownership). This takes into account fixed costs (purchase price amortized, depreciation, insurance, taxes, registration fees, etc.) and variable costs (fuel, tires and other maintenance, mileage-based depreciation, etc.). There is always a residual value at the end also.

    After this is all put on a spreadsheet there must be a pro/con list to look at things needed and wanted such as (do I really need) towing capacity, cargo capacity, safety, convenience, dependability, range, seating capacity, type of use (regular and occasional), expected length of ownership (years), will it be a primary vehicle and displace another vehicle, other considerations. Everyone's needs are different. If its specialized use (electric only for example) requires that I will occasionally need another vehicle that too needs to be considered (and I can rent during business hours).
     
  11. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Good stuff. On the cost of ownership, i was thinking it would be nice to have some kind of a measure of parts and repair cost. Nobody thinks about how much tires and starters and radiators cost when they buy a car.
     
  12. SaturationPt

    SaturationPt AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I owned my first quattro for 20years (in storage for the latter half of that) and 200,000 miles including track miles and at least 10k miles over 100mph. It was expensive new, but other than tires, one exhaust system, one set of brakes and a lot of fluid/filter changes it never cost me any maintenance. I keep things nice so that's part of it, .. but the point is that I was able to amortize the purchase cost over many years and miles. Same thing with my last Mercedes diesel, at 300,000miles still had original belts and hoses, sold for a very good price because of condition.

    I'm hoping that my current Mercedes diesel does the same, lots of miles with no part failures and reasonable maintenance and high residual, ... the only way I can justify new cars for me to drive (the Wife's cars are a whole different justification scheme, more emotion and less financial).
     
  13. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yeah that's what makes the calculus so complicated. You can compare the cost of brake pads between two cars and it will tell you something, but you don't know if the starter is going to last 200,000 miles or crap out after 50,000. That's where those Consumer Reports annual used car charts are handy - at least you can see which systems people have worked on a lot for which year of the car. And looking at those charts from 10,000 ft., you can get an idea what brands are just reliable as heck vs. which ones require constant repairs. I've never gone wrong buying cars off those charts since the 80s.
     
  14. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Well-Known Member

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    Turbos may not be new, but there have been significant advances in supporting hardware for turbo systems, even in the last few years. Better fuel mgmt computers, direct injection, twin scroll, variable vane etc. Turbos nowadays are significantly more reliable, and higher performance than they were. Turbos used to be notoriously difficult to drive fast because the power would come in like an afterburner after a certain rpm. Modern turbo cars you either don't feel the sudden kick, just a linear shove, or it comes in so early it feels like a small block v8. There really isn't much extra maintenance, turbos are cooled and lubricated by motor oil, and now some are cooled by coolant as well. Both you would continue to change on the same schedule. Modern turbo cars will keep oil/coolant flowing through the turbo after shut down automatically to cool them. Direct Injected variants may require intake manifold cleaning due to no fuel being injected in there to clean carbon deposits, but that's probably a once every 50k job.
     
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  15. jlh3rd

    jlh3rd Active Member

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    I bought a 2013 Camry hybrid. I get the advertised average of 41 mpg. The standard camry gets 28 mpg average. I have about 54,000 miles on the car. At $2.60 a gallon, I’ve saved about $1600 on fuel. About what the hybrid cost me over a standard Camry. My brakes pads have not and do not need replacement anytime soon,practically no wear. I’m also able to extend my oil changes as the motor doesn’t work as hard.....so, little savings that add up. I keep my cars forever until something like rust eats them up.
    If fuel goes up, I’ll save more.......if the battery goes anytime soon after warranty, It’ll be a break even or less situation.......
     
  16. soundboy

    soundboy Super Member

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    The Cruze is quite solid; feels substantial when compared to, for example, a Toyota Corolla. My sister drives one as a her work car. She had it when it was new and put over 30,000 miles on it within 2 years. No problem at all.

    Disclaimer: I had a Chevy Chevette from my younger days, therefore I would never buy a Chevy. The Cruze had me reconsidering.
     
  17. rogerfederer

    rogerfederer AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    sounds like you drive regularly and a fair amount of miles so this may not happen to you... i bought a 2007 camry hybrid and did just fine when i commuted regularly to work (50 miles/day, 5x/week). then i started working at home and then the metro came out to my town so i commuted that way. the camry started sitting a lot and that is when my problems started. battery went bad, used 3rd-party refurbish and that battery kept going for almost 2 yrs, but then bad again. 3rd-party battery people said you really need to drive 100 miles a week to keep the nickel-hydride battery happy, which i was not doing.

    solution: i sold the camry (after yet another battery refurbish) and now have a 2017 volt. so far i like it; basically a poor-man's tesla with a gas engine to boot. lithium-ion batteries don't have the same problem -- you can let them sit, no minimum miles, etc. they can charge on a 110 volt outlet and there is a gas engine when you run the battery. nice acceleration when you are on the battery and the steering and braking are tight.
     
  18. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I seriously thought about the Volt, it's the 'series' hybrid instead of 'parallel' so it is more close to a full electric. The engine only runs a generator and is not connected to the transmission directly. I'm not really looking at new cars though, more like late model used, and there just aren't any of them.
     
  19. rogerfederer

    rogerfederer AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    you might try a late model volt via carvana. they will deliver for a fee. i did buy one from them but returned it when my mechanic found a bunch of rust underneath (was a MI car). you definitely need the CARFAX report when you buy used.
     
  20. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm very skeptical of buying a car remotely without driving it and having my mechanic go over it. I really don't see how people can do that with such an expensive and complex machine that's been subjected to prior use. I'm just funny that way.

    CarFax, though, definitely. :thumbsup:
     

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