Should I get a Prius type vehicle?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭✭
Have a lot more solar than I need. Could use the power to fuel a small electric car battery pack. Maybe even use that vehicles battery pack for the house when the battery falls to ~50%. 

Could take much nicer hikes involving much longer trips. Right now I frequently (every other day) spend about $5-6 for fuel for hiking in somewhat mediocre country. This area is dry, rocky, steep and full of cactus. More bear scat than deer and elk sightings. I like deer and elk sightings but I hardly ever even see tracks. Just bones. I'd like to explore more country without spending a fortune on fuel 
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
«13

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    Well you don't have more solar than you need if you regularly fall below 50%.
    Even the plug in Prius has less than a 5 kWh battery. 
    Great cars for fuel economy, wandering open roads. Great fuel economy, few better. Also very dependable cars often found on top 10 cars for dependability.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,508 admin
    Getting close to needing a new car too... The Prius has always looked neat for driving around the SF Bay Area...

    For Softdown, may want to look at the 4 wheel drive version--Has NiMH batteries for better cold weather performance:

    https://www.caranddriver.com/news/a24843141/2019-toyota-prius-awd-hybrid-photos-info/

    The all wheel drive version is around 200 lbs heavier and ~0.7 gallon smaller gas tank. No spare (tire repair kit supplied). Only 7 HP motor for rear axle... More to get you started on a hill--Turned off completely at >43 MPH. Roughly 5.0+ inches of ground clearance.

    https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/reviews/2019-toyota-prius-preview/

    There is the RAV4 hybrid:

    https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/reviews/2019-toyota-rav4-hybrid-review-super-bowl-commercial/

    8"+ ground clearance... And a tow rating.... Lower MPG. Not much more expensive?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,508 admin
    I should add that one reviewer of the Prius AWD said the FWD version + winter tires is just a good as AWD...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • wellbuiltwellbuilt Solar Expert Posts: 391 ✭✭✭
    I am thinking the same thing . 
     I travel 12miles one way to a small town .
    I also like to fish every other morning April to October and travel 8/10 miles in the spring and 16/18 miles in late summer and fall .
     My road is impassable by car 5/6 months a year . 
      We all drive heavy duty trucks now .
      I think it’s a great idea for summer use even if you need to add some more solar .
    Out back  flex power one  with out back 3648 inverter fm80 charge controler  flex net  mate 16 gc215 battery’s 4425 Watts solar .
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    With  the   fear  of being laughed at,  for short regular trips up to 14-20 miles and if you do have  extra  array and desire an electric car...
    There is a largely failed electric drive "Fortwo" car. They will quit importing them, not sure if they will quit making them. It has a 16-20 kWh battery and generally disliked...lol. Small slow underpowered, not a lot to like for most people. They fact that they are an electric car and often end up in families where someone 'won't' drive them, they have a low resale value and often can be found with low miles. We recently had 2 - 2016's on the market for under $6000, with 32,000 and 18,000 miles on them!

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,664 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I had a Chevy Volt here again this summer and I would like something like it. All electric for 50 miles and then a gas engine comes on. Easy to charge on 120 or 240. Chevy Bolt now as the Volt is gone now. Plenty of used ones.

    I really want something a bit more like a Civic where the back seat folds flat and 48x62 inch solar panels can fit in. This is nice because you could sleep back there in a pinch. Sometimes I have to go up into the mountains and can get stuck with weather. 

    Guessing a small truck with 100 miles range would be nice. At that point one could lose the gas engine and save some money.

    All of these vehicles are a bit scary in how they expose you to getting hurt in an accident. I would not want one in the Bay area for sure. Lots of people do.

     Great for rural, in my opinion. You hear everything.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • AmpsterAmpster Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    With  the   fear  of being laughed at,  for short regular trips up to 14-20 miles and if you do have  extra  array and desire an electric car...
    There is a largely failed electric drive "Fortwo" car. They will quit importing them, not sure if they will quit making them. It has a 16-20 kWh battery and generally disliked...lol. Small slow underpowered, not a lot to like for most people. They fact that they are an electric car and often end up in families where someone 'won't' drive them, they have a low resale value and often can be found with low miles. We recently had 2 - 2016's on the market for under $6000, with 32,000 and 18,000 miles on them!

    One of the reasons for the low price for the used Smart For Two is that the battery is leased for about $60 per month. I have had two and they are great cars for short distances and small parking spots.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    With  the   fear  of being laughed at,  for short regular trips up to 14-20 miles and if you do have  extra  array and desire an electric car...
    There is a largely failed electric drive "Fortwo" car. They will quit importing them, not sure if they will quit making them. It has a 16-20 kWh battery and generally disliked...lol. Small slow underpowered, not a lot to like for most people. They fact that they are an electric car and often end up in families where someone 'won't' drive them, they have a low resale value and often can be found with low miles. We recently had 2 - 2016's on the market for under $6000, with 32,000 and 18,000 miles on them!

    2019 is the last year that Smart will sell vehicles in the U.S."  Parts availability will be an issue. As well as finding someone who works on them. Working on electric cars is a real specialty. Electrocution is a real possibility without special skills and knowledge and equipment. 

    Scotty Kilmer on Ebay has a good video on hybrids. They are good in town - great for Uber drivers. They lose all of their mpg advantage on the highway and may even be under powered - think Prius. 

    The batteries are very expensive and that likely negates mpg savings for perpetuity. 

    A guy once told me that Ford Fiesta's get incredible mileage. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    I should add that one reviewer of the Prius AWD said the FWD version + winter tires is just a good as AWD...

    -Bill
    That is interesting. I have wondered if FWD offers real world two wheel drive. Never checked myself but have noted far superior winter traction. 

    4WD is actually real world 2WD unless one buys posi or lockers. I've heard that AWD is not as good as 4WD but one hears a lot of crap for sure. Subaru is reputed to have AWD down but repairs are expensive due to sophistication. 

    I think an little old econo box may be my best bet. Drove my big truck with 488 to my local winter favorite hiking spot. It is only 5 miles away .Someone built a very small house on top of the back of the road and blocked the road with their smallish backhoe. Guessing that BLM gave away another few thousand acres to some connected individual. I've seen that a few times. Old maps from the 90's can get a hiker in trouble. I was greeted with a double barreled 12 gauge last year after BLM gave away another section of land. One sees the public restroom and tends to think public land - since the map says it is public. Too much trouble to put up a sign I guess. Best to run hikers off with guns. 

    But it is easier to give away sections of land to the connected than manage it. Government tends to be low energy unless - oh never mind. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • MarkCMarkC Solar Expert Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    I've had a used Nissan Leaf for almost 4 years.  Depending upon your range needs (essentially the  battery condition), you might find one for well under $6000.  Most of the really cheap ones will have around 10, maybe up to 15 kWh left in the battery - at 4 miles/kWh, with 90% charging (max), you will get 30 to 45 miles - but no steep mountain climbs!  Easy to charge overnight with the included 120 VAC charge controller - or set up your own direct solar charger.  Just a thought as they are a great reliable, fun car.  I live in suburbia, and it's essentially the only car we use (we have an older SUV), plus it has paid for itself.
    3850 watts - 14 - 275SW SolarWorld Panels, 4000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy Grid tied inverter.  2760 Watts - 8 - 345XL Solar World Panels, 3000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy GT inverter.   3000 watts SMA/SPS power.  PV "switchable" to MidNite Classic 250ks based charging of Golf cart + spare battery array of 8 - 155 AH 12V Trojans with an  APC SMT3000 - 48 volt DC=>120 Volt AC inverter for emergency off-grid.   Also, "PriUPS" backup generator with APC SURT6000/SURT003  => 192 volt DC/240 volt split phase AC inverter.  
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭✭
    Buying to save money on gas isn't too likely to work out unless one spends a lot less than $3000. Insurance, maintenance, plates, tires etc. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • MrM1MrM1 Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭✭
    MarkC said:
    Depending upon your range needs (essentially the  battery condition), you might find one for well under $6000.  Most of the really cheap ones will have around 10, maybe up to 15 kWh left in the battery - at 4 miloes/kWh, with 90% charging (max), you will get 30 to 45 miles 
    So if I find one for around 6k the furthest I'll likely be able to drive is 30-45 miles on a single change ? Seems a lot for such a short distance. No thanks. I'd stick to gasoline.   
    REC TwinPeak 2 285W 3S-3P 2.6kW-STC / 1.9kW-NMOT Array / MN Solar Classic 150 / 2017 Conext SW 4024 Inverter latest firmware / OB PSX-240 Autotransfomer for load balancing / Trojan L16H-AC 435Ah bank 4S connected to Inverter with 7' of 4/0 cable / 24 volt system / Grid-Assist or Backup Solar Generator System Powering 3200Whs Daily / System went Online Oct 2017 / System, Pics and Discussion
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,072 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My company runaround was a Nissan Leaf, drove it for 3 years 160 000 Km, it was fully charged every morning before use as well as frequent top ups during the day when available, the range drop was something i noticed, it would do 100Km with 20% left on the gauge. All this was city driving taking advantage of dynamic breaking as much as possible by anticipating traffic light changes. 

    Driving one is not the same as a gasoline vehicle it takes time to get used to, much like diesel it's all about torque and understanding how to maximize efficiency. Unfortunately most don't care nor have an understanding of this, keeping the battery as fully charged as possible without frequent deep discharge is key to the life expectancy of a lithium battery, another facor many are ignorant of.

    The only way I would own an electric only vehicle is if it were new and I lived in the city, which I don't. Since my midsized pickup can easily return 40+ MPG on inexpensive 20% bio diesel that suits my needs better.

    As a side note Toyota actually bought back several running Prius taxis which had done over 400 000Km  to evaluate them, so it would appear they are reliable.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • MarkCMarkC Solar Expert Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Buying to save money on gas isn't too likely to work out unless one spends a lot less than $3000. Insurance, maintenance, plates, tires etc. 
    I've done a detailed cost comparison including all that you have mentioned, plus depreciation and have saved several thousand dollars.  HOWEVER, my situation involves a large SUV, that I do need for business purposes and is quite a bit more expensive to operate.  Also, I am able to extend (reliably) the life of the SUV - so I delayed the purchase of a new one for several years ($$$'s).  Bottom line, it may not be for everyone, however, for me, not one regret driving around a large go-cart (again, think fun) rather than the behemoth Suburban (and I can park in one shot).  

    The main purpose in buying was to experiment with the battery for energy storage for my solar system (cheapest Li battery at the time by far), but two things happened.  It was a like-new car that was useful and fun, plus solar charging was worked out, however, getting the energy back is a much more difficult proposition (unlike the PriUPS).  With bi-directional CHAdeMO protocols, this is about to change (commercially).
    3850 watts - 14 - 275SW SolarWorld Panels, 4000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy Grid tied inverter.  2760 Watts - 8 - 345XL Solar World Panels, 3000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy GT inverter.   3000 watts SMA/SPS power.  PV "switchable" to MidNite Classic 250ks based charging of Golf cart + spare battery array of 8 - 155 AH 12V Trojans with an  APC SMT3000 - 48 volt DC=>120 Volt AC inverter for emergency off-grid.   Also, "PriUPS" backup generator with APC SURT6000/SURT003  => 192 volt DC/240 volt split phase AC inverter.  
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,664 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Agree MarKC and if the car lasts a long time you could really be ahead. When my little town was shut down due to wildfire all of the gas stations lost utility power for 2 weeks. I was driving the chevy volt around and not concerned about gasoline.

    Everyone talks about how expensive it is to live offgrid. That is true for 5 years or maybe 10. We are looking at close to 28 years now and it certainly is inexpensive at this point. Compounding over time.

    It does take money and time to make money for sure.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,241 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 11 #17
    A little off topic..maybe, but one of the great bargains out there are Nissan Leafs off lease!  They are great cars if you only need 50 mile range (second car?). They can be had a few years old of 1/3 the price of new, still with lots of warrantee left.  I would buy one in a heart beat if Susan’s Prius were in need of replacement. (175,000 trouble free KMS). If I lived in town full time it would be a no brainer with a grid tied system.  Transport cost, even at market rate KWH is far cheaper than and ICE car, and if you get those kwh from your PV it is nearly free.

    Tony
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,664 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tony, Leaf is the car that MarkC is talking about here. I have always thought the problems that were had with the Leaf were early in production, the cars did not have active cooling in the batts.  Chevy avoided this with LG and they probably should last longer in warm places. Probably not a problem up where you are ;) Lost capacity in winter is a big issue with any battery.

    "Electric car battery packs inevitably lose some of their capacity over time after some use.

    It’s generally fairly limited to a few percentage points, but when it comes to the Nissan Leaf, some owners have been experiencing more significant degradation.

    Nissan Leaf guarantees roughly 66% capacity over 100k miles/96 months while a recent study shows that with the original 24 kWh pack lose about 20% of their capacity over 5 years.

    Interestingly, the same study shows that Nissan’s more recent 30 kWh battery pack loses capacity more quickly than the older pack:"

    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,241 ✭✭✭✭
    Dave,

    I heard the same about early edition Leafs.  The newer ones seem to have a better record, and Nissan warrants them well, even in the used market.  All that said, they are so dirt cheap (used) for what you get off lease in particular, if if some battery issues are present. A new factory fresh Leaf battery is ~$5k, not cheap, but if you get a $30k for 10, with 85% of it’s battery life left, even budgeting a new battery in future, it still is a bargain.  Other costs of operation are so minimal.  Tires, brakes very rarely, and odds and ends.  Compared to almost anything else on the road, dollar for dollar, per mile I bet it would be hard to beat.
    The reason they “depreciate” so fast is that people buy them for the tax credit, and with the current “cheap” price of fuel, people want Explorers to grocery shop!
    A sample AutoTrader page:https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/Used+Cars/Nissan/Leaf/Bellingham+WA-98225?makeCodeList=NISSAN&listingTypes=USED&searchRadius=100&modelCodeList=LEAF&zip=98225&startYear=1981&endYear=2020&sortBy=relevance&numRecords=25&firstRecord=0&marketExtension=true
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Not getting much change back from $3k on replacing a timing chain on my ICE car tomorrow.  TNo timing chain on a leaf. 

    A leaf won't tow a trailer (far) though.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,241 ✭✭✭✭
    I think a leaf makes sense for a real urbanite, or as a second car.  If I only could afford on car, I would buy a good Corolla over anything else!  Tony
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,508 admin
    And there is the practical math... $30,000 car (and taxes) vs 10,000 gallons of gasoline (@ $3.00 per gallon).

    How many years will 10,000 gallons of gasoline take you with your old beater. (obviously, there is still "fuel" required for the new car, vs repairs for the beater)...

    Not sure that a new car ever "saves" money. But if you don't want to do the maintenance/breakdown thing, and get 40+ MPG to reduce trips to gas station (and/or having XX Gallons of backup fuel at the ranch)...

    And there are other issues with some of the "new car" mfg getting spare parts:

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=tesla+repairs+and+parts+difficulties

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,996 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 12 #23
    softdown said:
    I think an little old econo box may be my best bet. 
    softdown said:
    Buying to save money on gas isn't too likely to work out unless one spends a lot less than $3000. Insurance, maintenance, plates, tires etc. 
    If you think about buying an econo box, I can not recommend more highly the Toyota Echo.

    I had 2 of them from 2004 -  2018, One had 42K when I bought it the other had 112K. the first one was a 2002 purchased in 2004 and I drove it almost 10 years, it had over 240K when I parked it, The motor and drive train were still fine and I had recently driven it to Florida from Missouri, Lots of other issues but mostly cosmetic. This was a 5 speed manual, I regularly got close to 50 mpg!!! I managed 50+ on one trip to Florida from Central Missouri. Just before parking it I had driven to Fort Collins CO. I had to stop and get gas in Junction City KS. I say I had to, but I was just under 1/4 tank showing and I had traveled almost 520 miles. Literally down hill and with a 30mph tall wind, and me upset (services for an uncle) I was driving slow. I filled the tank the next day and over the 2 tanks I got 58 MPG! After having my new car for 3 years and it sitting in the yard only moved a couple times and not started in over a year. Stripped of its good tires,  I jumped it off on 3yr old gas   and drove it on 2 donuts and 2 tires with separated belts to a guy's party where they put 10#  of cordite(?) under it and taught it to fly!

    It flew fine, but didn't land well.


    The 2nd Echo had 120K when I got it and in 2004 and I drove it 120K over 4 years and sold it running, have recently gone to Florida Thanksgiving and Christmas. I had kept it for 6 months to see how my Scion XB (basically a tall boxy Toyota Echo until 2009) It  was an automatic and never got the dramatic gas mileage, but  40-42 regularly.  I never did any mechanical work to the engines,  drive train. I drove many miles on gravel roads and didn't even have wheel problems. Just general maintenance. The coils do go out on these and I replaced all 4 on the original, the 2nd never had a problem, though I stole a coil off it for the Scion (same motor) so I would  consider that a 'known problem'.

    If you can find one of these little econoboxes, the economy will impress you.
    Estragon said:
    Not getting much change back from $3k on replacing a timing chain on my ICE car tomorrow. 
    BTW - A real oil soaked timing chain, didn't touch it in either car! Not a timing belt often found in small cars.



    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • MarkCMarkC Solar Expert Posts: 180 ✭✭✭
    Flying car - gotta love it!

    Another note - My Daughter (still) has a Prius (my PriUPS experiment - 150,000+ miles) and it has been the best, low maintenance vehicle ever in our entire family.  HOWEVER, when she got in my Leaf and saw the quality and felt the fun factor, she had to have an EV - eventually bought a Model 3 (honestly would not have been my choice, but she doesn't always listen to me).


    3850 watts - 14 - 275SW SolarWorld Panels, 4000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy Grid tied inverter.  2760 Watts - 8 - 345XL Solar World Panels, 3000 TL-US SMA Sunny Boy GT inverter.   3000 watts SMA/SPS power.  PV "switchable" to MidNite Classic 250ks based charging of Golf cart + spare battery array of 8 - 155 AH 12V Trojans with an  APC SMT3000 - 48 volt DC=>120 Volt AC inverter for emergency off-grid.   Also, "PriUPS" backup generator with APC SURT6000/SURT003  => 192 volt DC/240 volt split phase AC inverter.  
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 476 ✭✭✭✭
    @Photowhit ; I am betting that it was Tannerite or a chemical twin. No burn marks around the carcass provides the main clue.
    That stuff is cheap, clean and effective for blowing stuff up, like big tree stumps - without starting a fire like incendiary products do. I generally use 4-5 lbs. because 10 lbs. creates a truly massive reaction.
    The problem is that we cannot discuss how to trigger it, without triggering someone. :):smile:
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,962 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Triggering...grrr... I'm triggered  >:)
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭✭
    Photowhit said:
    With  the   fear  of being laughed at,  for short regular trips up to 14-20 miles and if you do have  extra  array and desire an electric car...
    There is a largely failed electric drive "Fortwo" car. They will quit importing them, not sure if they will quit making them. It has a 16-20 kWh battery and generally disliked...lol. Small slow underpowered, not a lot to like for most people. They fact that they are an electric car and often end up in families where someone 'won't' drive them, they have a low resale value and often can be found with low miles. We recently had 2 - 2016's on the market for under $6000, with 32,000 and 18,000 miles on them!

    40+ mpg from a Toyota Echo sounds quite attractive. There are currently three for sale on Craigslist - Colorado. Around $3000, around 15-18 years  old, around 100,000 - 175,000 miles. 

    175,000 miles is a bit much for a four banger in my mind. I figure something much over 140,000 might need a engine or trannie at some time in the too near future. Unlikely - perhaps. But automatic transmissions can cost thousands. Engines - forget about it. 

    Think I'll look for one with a dent or two. I don't care much how it looks. Three very active dogs tend to have their way with nice things anyway. This is really a car for trips, with the dogs, to more interesting country for hikes. 

    I don't mind driving to another state with a trailer. If someone hears of a deal - I am all ears. Gas mileage and low price are the objectives. I don't care if it is missing a bumper or has a couple "reasonable" dents. I'm all about the mechanics. 

    Just fixed a 2006 Ford F-150 that was $1900 at a salvage yard. Ford makes good trucks. Needed brakes and some front end suspension work. I hate struts but "whacha gonna do"? 

    Partial to Hondas and Toyotas for dependability. Subaru has that all wheel drive thing going. Much as I would prefer American manufacturing, they "lost their way" on many vehicles. I'm too old to be learning how important dependability is. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,241 ✭✭✭✭
    My ‘05 Corolla with a five speed gets consistently over 40 mpg at 70-75 mph.  175,000miles (I bough it used with 125k) still on the original clutch!  Great car, great fuel mileage, easy (and cheap) to work on.

    tony
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭✭
    icarus said:
    My ‘05 Corolla with a five speed gets consistently over 40 mpg at 70-75 mph.  175,000miles (I bough it used with 125k) still on the original clutch!  Great car, great fuel mileage, easy (and cheap) to work on.

    tony
    Funny how Toyota and Honda pursued making  better cars and now dominate the American car market. Better cars help  sales? Who could have seen that coming? 

    They hold their value so well that I am looking at some dents in order for this to make sense with those two manufacturers. A low mileage econo box from any number of manufacturers is likely to hold up for awhile. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,394 ✭✭✭✭
    Got a Dodge minivan that I have worked very hard for 185,000 miles - now has almost 200,000 miles. The MPG isn't bad really - but the ground clearance seems to be about 3-4". I play with the idea of larger tires at times, it has 215/75/15. It would take 245/75/15 to really make a difference and that would probably rub. The minivan has been very good to me but I have worked it hard and it shows. Pretty well have used it like a truck. Minivans are immensely practical vehicles. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,241 ✭✭✭✭
    Sienna mini van if a mini van works for you.  Great vehicle, comfortable, good mileage, not cheap to buy but cheap to run.  Also available in AWD butyou pay a huge price and fuel penalty for and AWD one.  Followed closely by the Honda Odessey.

    Tony
Sign In or Register to comment.