trying to save $ for a Prius, but i figure by the time i have money for that the Honda Hydrogen Fuel Cell will, hopefully, be open to the public. pretty much, by the time i save up for the Prius, the new Honda hydro. cell should be ready for release. does anyone know when it will be ready for the full public to use? any info that isn't already on the site? i'd like to learn more about this car.
We have been left to believe that hybrid cars will save our planet as well as our pocket.
However I don't see why people are so obsess with them, they are suppose to be very efficient however i cannot workout how can two engines could possibly be more efficient than one.
Hybrid (electric-gas ones kind like the Prius) cars have a gas engine which under the right conditions (e.g. driving at lows speeds, in city like environments) will use the gas engine to recharge the batteries which at the same time are used to power an electric motor.
The thing is that i cannot workout how can that process be more efficient. The fact of the matter is that gas engines have an efficiency of about ~20% (which means that 20% of the total chemical energy in gas will be readily usable) therefore a regular gas powered car has about 20% of the gas energy available to move around (less than 20% since energy is loss in electrics and in friction in the gearbox and shaft etc)
However an electric car which have that 20% available from the motor have to recharge the batteries which have an efficiency of about 75-85% (lead-acid battery) which drops to 45-70% when you include all the circuitry used to charge it. Just for the sake of the calculations less assume is a super efficient circuit and the total efficiency is about 80%. This means that 80% of the 20% of the original chemical energy available in gas can be "delivery" by the battery to the electric motor. Now, electric motors are very efficient (about 95% for 50HP+ motors which would probably what would be used to power a car). This means that 95% of the 80% of the 20 % of the original chemical energy available in gas can be used to power the car when the electric engine is running. This ends up being ~15.2% (which is actually less since more energy is lost as friction within the mechanical components and to power the electric accesories in the car, but since those are the same components that would be present in a regular car lets assume thats sums up to 0 energy for both hybrid and regular cars)
This means that hybrid cars (electric-gas type) are nearly 24% less efficient than regular cars (15.2/20*100=24.) And in top of that it weights more than the regular car since it has the batteries and an extra motor (2932lb for prius and 2822lb for corolla even though the corolla is a bit bigger -couple of inches longer and wider-, that is 100lb extra which translates into 1%-2%)
Now how does a Prius manages to get the 45mpg it claims that it can achieve. First, 45mpg is an estimate and unless you drive in a perfect world with not having to break and where there is no air and no slopes etc it wont do 45mpg, second the engine in a prius is minute (1.4 – 1.5L depending on the model, which generates about 110HP) which is a pretty small engine, and the second things that helps in fuel efficiency is the technology that charges the batteries when the car is breaking, however those are things that we could have in regular cars and help increase the efficiency of those without making them hybrid (e.g. use the breaking energy -same technology that the hybrid but without the extra batteries and the extra electric motor) to recharge the regular battery (or maybe one a bit bigger than the regular battery) this will reduce the load in the engine by running the onboard accesories (such as satnav, cd, onboard computer, lights, power windows, power steering wheel, powerbreaks, abs etc) from the battery and not from the alternator which would significantly reduce the engines load.
Anyway regular cars or hybrids wont be around much longer, check on the Honda's hydrogen cell electric car, now thats the future………
Also keep in mind that the hybrid car is about 4,000-8,000 more expensive than the equivalent gas powered and if you think you saving the environment, think twice since the batteries contain lead which is toxic, and rare earth metals are used to manufacture the vehicle (are rare for one reason) and in top of that materials have to be imported from all over the world, guess what kind of fuel planes use?
34356, did you even bother in reading what i said? you cannot get energy out of the thin air if the gas engine is inefficient then the gas engine + electric engine MUST be less efficient than the gas alone since the energy available for the electric engines = total energy in gas – energy lost as heat and friction due to gas engine inefficiency – energy lost while charging the batteries due to battery's inefficiency (e.g. heat) – energy lost by the electric motor due its own inefficiency (e.g. heat, however this last one is very little ~5%)
Detroit Prius Connection- The unveiling of the 2010 3rd Generation Toyota Prius exclusively for the Toyota Prius Fans. Thank you Toyota for a great event !!!
Editor-In-Chief Angus MacKenzie takes a look at the 3rd generation of America’s most-loved green car, the Toyota Prius.
Read the story here:
LEARN MORE ABOUT TOYOTA HYBRIDS:
Guy walks into a Toyota dealer — sounds like a joke so far, right? Not quite.
Guy walks into a Toyota dealer looking for a 2008 Toyota Prius. He’s heard about hybrids for awhile now, and the Prius is one he knows by name. He vaguely recalls some celebrity bragging about taking one to the Academy Awards instead of a limo, and then there was that South Park episode, “Smug Alert” a couple of years back. And didn’t Al Gore’s own son make headlines for getting busted doing 100 mph in his Prius?
Something like that. Beyond the hype, Guy’s never really given hybrid cars much thought, much less gone looking for one. And even though he can afford a decent-size car or SUV, the price of gasoline has him looking for fuel economy in a serious way.
And there on the showroom floor, Guy sees a 2008 Toyota Camry Hybrid for almost the same amount of money as a Prius. Now what?
FOR MORE AUTO SHOW VIDEOS & NEWS VISIT:
2010 Toyota Prius. As the go-to symbol of environmental consciousness, the Toyota Prius enters its third generation with improved under 10-second zero-to-60 acceleration thanks to a more powerful version of its hybrid synergy drive gas-electric powertrain. At the same time, the 2010 Toyota Prius sees improved fuel economy with an estimated average of 50 mpg thanks in part to a low-drag super-slick new shape. For more new car reviews, interviews and automotive news visit http://www.kbb.com today.
Cars.com’s Joe Wiesenfelder walks you through the 2008 Toyota Prius.
Shot, produced and edited by: Sarah Gersh
CHECK OUT THE HYBRID VS. NON-HYBRID COMPARISON:
Consider this: The 2008 Toyota Prius base model costs 50 percent more than the 2008 Honda Fit base model. Then again, the Prius is 50 percent more fuel-efficient than the Fit when you look at the EPA’s figure for combined mpg. So how does this add up?
You could save ,425 right now by buying a ,420 Honda Fit instead of the ,845 Toyota Prius. Of course, if the price of gasoline goes higher, then the Prius with its EPA combined estimate of 46 mpg will pay you back for your investment sooner than you’d expect. Then again, the Fit with its EPA combined estimate of 30 mpg doesn’t carry the same penalty of higher financing charges, insurance costs and taxes as the more expensive Prius, plus the Toyota will be needing a new ,585 battery pack when the odometer shows 100,000-150,000 miles.
Which car is best? It sounds like the kind of question for one of those money magazines. Yes, we’ve painted ourselves into a bit of a projected-cost corner with this comparison of the base models of the 2008 Honda Fit and 2008 Toyota Prius, but we think we can get out without stepping on too much wet paint
Honda Civic Hybrid takes on the most popular hybrid of all time–the Toyota Prius!
From the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, Cars.com’s Kelsey Mays takes a look at the 2010 Toyota Prius. It competes with the Honda Insight and Ford Fusion Hybrid.