Hybrid cars discussion thread.


Canew

Senior Member
Jul 26, 2005
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#1
All,

In view of the publicity of the Toyota Prius braking problem, it has pinged my interest in hybrid cars.

In today's mypaper, it was mentioned that there are only about 70 3rd generation Prius being sold here in Singapore through Borneo Motors.

Here are some of my questions:
1. Why is the take up rate of the hybrid cars are so slow? It is because it is expensive? I remembered vaguely that the ROI takes very long?
2. Does hybrid car owners need to change the batteries after a few years? How much will the batteries cost?
3. There was once I saw an article stating that there are a few types of hybrid engines. Anyone care to discuss here?
 

Jed

Senior Member
Jan 19, 2002
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#2
1. Why is the take up rate of the hybrid cars are so slow? It is because it is expensive? I remembered vaguely that the ROI takes very long?
Don't know, really. I think they're a great idea and very well suited to Singapore. I looked at a Prius before I got my last (hmm or was it the one before...) purchase, I rejected it then because the mpg wasn't that much higher than what I was going to buy (a diesel, we don't have insane road tax on diesels here), but most importantly the hybrid makes it main savings in stop-start, under 30mph driving when it's running on electricity. I did, and still do, most of my miles above the threshold that basically I would be mostly running the Prius as a 1.5l petrol car. For which my diesel was more economical, more powerful, and had more torque.

But if I lived on London, or Singapore, I would certainly find the Prius a very, very tempting proposition.

I suspect maybe there's a stereotype attached to early hybrid cars (slow, not very good) that has stuck. Plus in general Singapore lags behind western countries when it comes to recycling and saving the environment and all that (probably on a government level too, there are some nice incentives to get a hybrid car in the UK - no congestion charge ie ERP, no road tax, fully tax deductable).
 

Jul 26, 2002
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Woodlands
#3
Prius costs more as well to a regular 1.5L car. While yes, you do get to save on the petrol but I think you only break even after a few years and since most Singaporeans change cars every 2 to 3 years, they just won't have the chance to enjoy the savings.
 

kelccm

Senior Member
Mar 2, 2004
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A village in a forest
#4
Maybe the design of Prius plays a part in turning off potential buyers. However I did notice quite a lot of hybrid Honda Civic on the road.
 

Ninja23XX

New Member
Jan 24, 2009
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#5
Hybrids are not really cheap.

I've been hunting for a car for sometime, and was looking through the prices since last week.

I've been to the showrooms, done some testing and reviews as well.


Lets see the comparision


Honda Civic Hybrid 1.3 - $84,000++

Cons:
Boot space is 10% smaller than the current Civic 1.8 i have. No rear folding seats as the batteries are housed behind the seats. Horrible looking rims, not a problem can be changed. Practical real time fuel consumption 17km-18km per litre. The 21.6km per litre as advertised is a result of ideal conditions and paper values. Start stop feature is good, but if you get stuck in a jam, you're going to use more fuel by having to start and stop the engine every few seconds as you inch forward. Slightly soft suspension, and a little road noise gets in.

Pros:
Cheaper road tax due to 1.3 litre engine. Cheaper insurance. Slightly cheaper servicing, as you will use lesser engine oil for the small engine. But Kah Motor's will jack up the price and kill you at servicing.

Conclusion:
Other than the petrol savings, road tax, insurance. If you drive mostly on highways, this car is very useful to cruise alone and save alot of fuel. And if you drive on small streets and can drive at low speeds, then a hybrid is very useful.


Toyota Prius 1.8 - $104,388++

Cons:
All most the same as the Honda Civic Hybrid. Just that the seats can fold. But most importantly, why put in a 1.8 litre engine? It makes no sense. Though you may still save on fuel, and have more power in the car, but your road tax is still high, insurance will be high as well. And a normal aspirated Honda Civic 1.8 can beat the prius in performance, yet give a consumption of an average 13km-14km per litre. The new prius gives a practical real time fuel consumption of 15km-16km per litre. The price is really high as well. And the design is horrid.

Pros:
Apart from the fuel savings, quiet cabin, i think there will be nothing else.

Conculsion:
It's an overpriced car. Plus the fuel consumption is nothing fantastic.


Volkswagen Jetta 1.4 TSI - $88,000++

Cons:
Nothing much to say about this car, except that it doesn't come with HID lights.:bsmilie: Slightly high price though. It's not a hybrid.

Pros:
German quality is shown. Everything is well build. Plus the engine has a displacement of 1.4 litres, a 7 speed gearbox. Practical real time fuel consumption is about 14km-15km per litre. Road tax is low, insurance is low. Servicing once every 15,000km. 3 free servicing included by Volkswagen. Uses only 1.5litres of Engine Oil. Quiet ride.


For me, i prefer getting a car, that has a more efficient engine, rather than start to mix with batteries and motors. If we can improve the efficiency on engines, then we can reduce the need for a higher fuel consumption and lesser release of pollutants into the air.

The technology for the syncronation of the motors and engine on the hybrid is still being developed. Once the technology has reached the optimum level, then a hybrid car will be able to produce very good mileage. Right now, hybrids just give out mileage slightly better than our petrol companions.
 

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Ian

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Feb 20, 2002
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#6
One of the biggest drawbacks to Hybrids is the energy input Vs fuel savings. This measures the amount of energy that is required to build the entire vehicle vs the energy savings of the vehicle, both in terms of power and so called greenhouse gas emissions. When you do this comparison the Prius etc show up very poorly compared to the best of the conventional vehicles. With that said the next generation of hybrids using hydrogen fuel cell technology will be a dramatic advance.

What really is needed though is a small hybrid with good range that's suitable for use in the major Asian cities where 99% of the people aren't going to leave the confines of the city. The same applies globally. Something that's using lightweight construction and is akin to a golf cart on steroids. Ultra high fuel economy, the ability to carry 4 people and as little steel and weight as possible. It amazes me that no one's come up with one as yet.
 

Canew

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Jul 26, 2005
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#7
Wow! Thanks to all that have given their input on hybrid cars. Very useful information indeed. Furthermore, it is real life inputs.
 

#8
What really is needed though is a small hybrid with good range that's suitable for use in the major Asian cities where 99% of the people aren't going to leave the confines of the city. The same applies globally. Something that's using lightweight construction and is akin to a golf cart on steroids. Ultra high fuel economy, the ability to carry 4 people and as little steel and weight as possible. It amazes me that no one's come up with one as yet.
Tata Nano? (With a reworked motor of course)

The main reason why we haven't seen "sub sub compacts" is due to the safety issues that smaller and lighter cars have. Nobody wants to ride a car that they know won't protect them from a lamp post. That, and the sterotypical "big car = better" mindset.
 

eyes

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Nov 15, 2003
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#9
For me, i prefer getting a car, that has a more efficient engine, rather than start to mix with batteries and motors. If we can improve the efficiency on engines, then we can reduce the need for a higher fuel consumption and lesser release of pollutants into the air.
Actually the most efficient engines are of the diesel type. Unfortunately they pollute more if they're fed with diesel fuel (don't confuse diesel engines with diesel fuel, they're 2 different things). The closest adaptation of a diesel engine fed with petrol is the Mitsubitshi GDI years ago, but sad to see they stop developing it...
 

Big Kahuna

Senior Member
Dec 15, 2004
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#10
At the end of the day, consumer are looking into value and ROI, at current price....I felt buyer are taxed for being environmental friendly....how many of those people around in this world? I would if I am a millionaire and have a few spare cars in my garage :embrass:

Another problem is there is no proven track record on the effectiveness of a Hybrid car, otherwise law makers would mandate all public transport operators to run them since they clocked the most milleage and perfectly suitable in stop start driving condition :thumbsup: It's not so difficult for SBS, SMRT, Comfort, Citycabs etc to build up a fleet of Hybrids, but so far I only read a small cab operator done that, why wouldn't the big one???

As for batteries...it boils down to manufacturer claim, and me too are yet to know anyone who is driving a hybrid car and can provide a truthful feedback :sweat:
 

Jul 26, 2002
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#11
Actually the most efficient engines are of the diesel type. Unfortunately they pollute more if they're fed with diesel fuel (don't confuse diesel engines with diesel fuel, they're 2 different things). The closest adaptation of a diesel engine fed with petrol is the Mitsubitshi GDI years ago, but sad to see they stop developing it...
Is that still true? European car makers have diesel engine versions of their petrol models and those are meeting the environmental standards over there.
 

Aug 28, 2008
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singapore, northeast
#12
forget toyota. boreno motors bring in thaliand made toyota. crapz, buy japanese price for thailand built cars.
honda also, recalled http://bit.ly/a9KALa, kah motors also another one, bring in thailand made scrappy metals.

anyway back to hybrid? what for? incentives given no substantial.
if u want enviornment friendly, go ride a bicycle. or take public transport.
hybrid are for hypocrite, claiming to be enviornment friendly..
ahhhahaha...

just my few cents worth... mai smoke me.. whhaaa
 

eyes

New Member
Nov 15, 2003
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#13
Is that still true? European car makers have diesel engine versions of their petrol models and those are meeting the environmental standards over there.
I know you're talking about Euro Star emission standards. But it would be even cleaner to have diesel engines taking petrol.

forget toyota. boreno motors bring in thaliand made toyota. crapz, buy japanese price for thailand built cars.
honda also, recalled http://bit.ly/a9KALa, kah motors also another one, bring in thailand made scrappy metals.

anyway back to hybrid? what for? incentives given no substantial.
if u want enviornment friendly, go ride a bicycle. or take public transport.
hybrid are for hypocrite, claiming to be enviornment friendly..
ahhhahaha...

just my few cents worth... mai smoke me.. whhaaa
Actually taking public transport is not all that environmental friendly. There's a consequential cost- especially high if the bus stop and train station is far from your destination. Furthermore working backwards, buses are on diesel fuel and trains source their electricity from natural gas stations. It may be efficiently consolidating energy uses but overall, the significance on pollution between car use and bus/train use are little when compared directly.

Unless of course we got the energy from some kind of sustainable source like solar, nuclear, wind, tidal or geothermal.
 

Ian

Senior Member
Feb 20, 2002
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#14
Tata Nano? (With a reworked motor of course)

The main reason why we haven't seen "sub sub compacts" is due to the safety issues that smaller and lighter cars have. Nobody wants to ride a car that they know won't protect them from a lamp post. That, and the sterotypical "big car = better" mindset.
Tata Nano be damned!

I agree on the big car = better mindset. I drive a large 4WD and by Singapore vehicle standards it would be massive and horrificaly expensive to both purchase and maintain. Oddly enough it's also highly fuel effeceint provided you drive sensibly.

Actually smaller and lighter cars do not have to have any safety issues, if they are properly designed and constructed. Go take a look at any F1, F300 or other formular (eg Formula Ford in Australia etc) the cars are lightweight and extremely safe. While it's impractical to suggest building road vehicles to the same standards of driver safety it's more than feasible to produce a safety cell at low cost that will protect the passengers with minimal additional cost. The use of innovative designs and materials would also assist greatly. Sooner rather than later someone will do it.
 

Sep 28, 2008
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#16
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/hybrid-car2.htm

i think many people have some misconception abt hybrid cars.


check this out.
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/hybrid-car2.htm
http://www.carbuyingtips.com/hybrid-cars.htm

hybrid cars are generally more efficient as their gasoline engine is small 1.0 - 1.5 usually.
moreover hybrid cars recover energy when breaking.

are they more cost effective? seriously im not too sure abt this one. but in the long run definately. but how long is the long its probably a few years, by then u have sold your car
 

mohgui

Senior Member
Jan 31, 2005
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La La Land
#17
eh... buying a car got ROI meh? a car depreciates its value every year. how to get back what is spent? or is there something i do not know of? sorry for my ignorance.
 

Aug 28, 2008
590
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singapore, northeast
#18
in essence. dun waste time on hybrid
unless lta dun impose any ARF !
which is impossible!

I drive a large 4WD and by Singapore vehicle standards it would be massive and horrificaly expensive to both purchase and maintain.
unless u are filthly rich , else i see no point in paying more road tax to the garmen, paying more motor insurance to the insurance company.

and hell, why do u need 4WD in singapore? unless u tell me u live ontop of bt timah hill, everyday u climb up down the hill in 4wd.
else 4wd is overkilling in singapore roads.


The main reason why we haven't seen "sub sub compacts" is due to the safety issues that smaller and lighter cars have. Nobody wants to ride a car that they know won't protect them from a lamp post. That, and the sterotypical "big car = better" mindset.
not true.
any car can wrap lamp post.
it not about the car
but the driver.
give an idiot a ferrari, he is still an idiot.
 

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Sep 28, 2008
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#19
not sure if these counts as small cars? but i see quite alot of these in europe. none in sg though

 

Aug 28, 2008
590
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0
singapore, northeast
#20
not sure if these counts as small cars? but i see quite alot of these in europe. none in sg though

u r bro. do your homework.
there a few SMART (hybrid) car on the road.
very rare. but definitely not none.
that is not exactly small.

but this SQEV is!

http://cars.st701.com/articles/view/3591
 

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