Why a Prius ?

nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
This is a discussion thread, so why do people drive a Toyoata Prius ?
I believe it has a figure of around 59 mpg, which is good but not brilliant, I drive a Citreon C4 1.6 HDI Diesel engined car which has a manufacturers figure of 71 mpg. I regulary achieve 65 mpg. It is the same size car as a Prius. This diesel engine is also fitted in Renault, Peugeot and Ford models with similar MPG figures. Like for like these cars achieve better MPG that a Prius and cost less to puchase and use less of earths precious resources especially those batteries which we all know will fail some day! So apart from styling and personal choice not withstanding there are more energy efficent greener cars out there so why drive a Prius

Comments

  • Lefty WrightLefty Wright Solar Expert Posts: 111 ✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    I agree that small diesel engines can get great fuel mileage.

    But in places like California, my home, they are not sold because of air pollution problems. So hybrids like the Prius are the only answer for fuel efficient vehicles for urban driving.

    City driving is where the Prius gets it's best mileage. From what I understand, on the open highway, where the electric motors are not in use, the prius gets the same mileage as conventional cars with small gas engines.

    While on the subject of fuel economy; I recently did some work on my '96 Ford Escort that has improved my gas mileage so much that I'm having trouble believing it.

    I often take a 300 mile trip. The first 200 miles is up the Central Valley on a straight, flat, highway with no stops. I stop and fill my tank at the same station every trip. It used to take 7 or 8 gallons to fill the tank until I noticed the car was using more gas. Up to 12 gallons.

    I did a tune up (plugs, plug wires, filters, oxygen sensor, etc.) and the first time I took that trip I couldn't get more than 5 gallons of gas into the tank.

    That works out to 40MPG. I thought that was an anomaly. Maybe the station's gas nozzle was defective or something, but it now happens that way every time.

    I have been making this trip at least once a month for 30 years in several different vehicles and this is the best fuel efficiency I have seen in any vehicle I've owned.

    My Escort is not an especially fuel efficient car and I don't know what happened to make it use so little gas. But I'm happy about it.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    Wow I wasnt aware that you cant buy a modern direct injection diesel small car in Calafornia, the majority of family sized cars and even the bigger new Mercs BMW and Audis are nearly all diesels in Spain 8)
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,417 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?
    nigtomdaw wrote: »
    Wow I wasnt aware that you cant buy a modern direct injection diesel small car in Calafornia, t8)

    1) Cause all the EV-1's got crushed.

    2) It's to protect the quality of air, while unregulated NAFTA 18 wheelers come thru here, belching clouds of smoke.
    I'm not cynical. Haa haa haa ....
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  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    read something recently (yahoo?) asking the question why prius does so much better than other hybrids: largely they account for this by saying it's the unique appearance which makes a statement , that appeals to the type of customer buying. they surmise that competitors hybrid models do not offer the unique appearance, just the higher pricetag. i would add to that that they have the best mileage ratings of the hybrids currently being marketed

    i realize thats not your question per sey but this was somewhat related
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    A. Never read anything on Yahoo.
    B. Not kicking Toyota previous car was a Toyota Previa had for 5 years loved it, very reliable !
    C. My question was basically there are better greencars out there, cheaper and alot more economical,
    D. I stated Styling and design not withstanding,

    Its just people think they are making a..... I care about the envioroment green statement when there are numerous better options in modern diesels.

    I save the planet more fuel and natural resoures by driving a 65 real world mpg low carbon output DI Diesel than the petrol hybrid Prius, and have more cash left in the bank.
    Which is important because Im not a film star or celebrity.

    Question still stands Why a Prius ?
  • Robin GudgelRobin Gudgel Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 58 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    We load up our prius with as many as nine E-Panels and drive down to UPS everyday. I have trouble believing that those deisels will hold that much cargo.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    You're in Spain, and most of us here on this forum are in the US. Availability, cost, taxes, emissions laws, “bad rap”, and culture may help answer your question.

    I don’t believe there’s a car available here in the US with a small diesel motor. The smallest available may be a 3.0L V6 turbo in a Jeep. The fuel economy isn’t particularly good: 25 mpg highway, or ~9 l/100 km. Also, diesel fuel is not always readily available. I’m not sure about which is the chicken and which is the egg!

    When available, diesel engines are typically an extra cost option. Diesel fuel is usually more expensive per gallon here in the US.

    The US doesn’t have a direct displacement tax on motors like many European countries. Here, the tax is indirect: larger engines usually mean higher fuel expenses, but that's the same no matter where you are.

    While we have federal emission laws, some states have enacted even stricter limits. Diesel motors seem to have a tough time meeting these limits.

    The typical US consumer view is that diesel fuel is smelly, diesel motors are noisy, diesel motors often belch thick clouds of dirty black smoke, and that “diesel” is associated with nasty people at truck stops. Diesel powered cars are also thought of as slow. General Motors did nothing to help any of this when they tried to sell a converted gasoline engine as a diesel a couple of decades ago.

    In short, diesel a serious image problem here in the U.S. That’s too bad, because one of the finest cars I’ve ever driven was a BMW 730 TD I rented in Germany in 2001. It was equipped with a 3.0L in-line six turbo diesel, and it average 25 MPG (~9 l/100 km) on the autobahn. 8) Except for the "odd" fuel smell, it was virtually impossible to tell it was a diesel.

    Americans like cheap gas, clean exhaust, convenient fuel, quiet cars, automatic transmissions, air conditioning, power brakes, power steering, electric windows, and fast acceleration. That culture is changing a bit as out gas prices have risen to ~$3/gallon – about ½ that of fuel cost in Europe – but diesels don’t "appear" fit that bill. They’re cleaner, quieter and more powerful than they used to be, but it’ll be a while before they meet pollutions standards and then catch on here.

    In the meantime, we have a few small cars available – some hybrid like the Prius, some regular ol’ gas – that deliver 40 MPG (~6 L/100 km) or better. For us, that’s pretty impressive!

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,634 admin
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    My wife "came with" a diesel Rabbit (~1982 or so model). Ran fine, got 45-50 MPG.

    Eventually had problems with keeping a head gasket on the car, and eventually had problems with smoking.

    I took out and tested the injectors (shop said they were fine) and eventually replaced the injector pump--still no reduction in smoke.

    Eventually, when we changed over to low-sulfur diesel, within two tank fulls, the injector pump seal just self destructed (hence replacing the pump in previous paragraph).

    Eventually spun a rod bearing and decided to give up on it (~180,000 miles and good sized repair bills).

    I guess the low sulfur diesel fuel is the next step for particle traps to help the diesel pass our current emission requirements.

    In our area (SF California) diesel has been, at times, cheaper than regular around here (still over $3.00 per gallon).

    The Prius (from what I understand) was originally designed to be a very low emissions vehicle and not really a high mileage car. Using the batteries to reduce idling and low speed stop and go stresses on the engine (where emissions are worst).

    The fact that the Prius gets pretty good mileage, especially in city driving (not that much better for highway), was a happy accident for Toyota. They had the car available just as gas prices spiked. I don't think they planned on this model being so popular.

    I looked at the Prius after it had been in the US for a year or two (older body style, smaller engine?). None of the dealers had one available for a test drive (saw one ready for customer pickup) and the sales guy knew less than nothing about the whole "hybrid" thing.

    Honda's (now discontinued) Civic hybrid seemed to be designed more for offering extra power with a small engine--did not seem to get that much better fuel economy.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    "I don’t believe there’s a car available here in the US with a small diesel motor."

    jim,
    do you remember brock saying his diesel pickup truck got around 70mpg? i don't think his was a big engine.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    There have certainly been cars with small diesel motors available in the U.S. in the past. VW's, for example. I don't believe there's anything available in current production that's smaller than the Jeep's 3.0L TD.

    Regards,
    Jim / crewzer
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,417 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?
    crewzer wrote: »
    There have certainly been cars with small diesel motors available in the U.S. in the past. VW's, for example. I don't believe there's anything available in current production that's smaller than the Jeep's 3.0L TD.
    Jim / crewzer

    Not avaib in California

    Only larger pickup trucks (exempt from some of the smog laws) can you get diesels.

    I've heard some rumor that mid-2008 may change.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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  • Patman3Patman3 Solar Expert Posts: 62 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    Volkswagon Jetta is a clean diesel around 45mpg with an air conditioned glove box. Diesel has more energy per gallon than gas, which is just a byproduct of oil. Prius still gets ALL it's energy from gas/oil that's why we are allowed to have them and can't have any EV-1's or a pluggable Prius. Get a Tesla Motor car.
  • nigtomdawnigtomdaw Solar Expert Posts: 705 ✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    Thanks for your replies it certainly opened my eyes as to why its seems a popular choice mainly because youve been starved and regulated out of the options

    In the last 5/7 years diesel engines have come on leaps and bounds

    My engine is 1600cc (1.6L) producing a repectable and nippy 110 bhp. it will do 120 mph.... Creezer it also comes comes with PAS, Climate Control (Better than Aircon), CL, Alarm , Laminated Acoustic glass side windows, electric windows, Cruise control ,Slow speed control, ABS, SRS, parking sensors, auto headlight activation, automatic ws wipers, 6 CD Changer , Onboard Trip MPG computer, low profile alloy wheels and the top 5 star saftey award .....just because its a diesel doesnt mean no gadgets or luxury,security or safety. No auto shift sorry only available on petrol models
    Yes we pay a premium of approx $1800 dollars for diesel over petrol equivalent but still cheaper than a Prius.
    You cant tell the difference against a petrol engined car for noise when in the car, can slightly when stood outside the car.
    No black smogging emissions and my CO2 output is second lowest it all vehicle classes for UK for annual vehicle road tax purposes.
    71 mpg Manufacturers Figures, 65 mpg real life world figure.

    I wasnt aware of the poor image of diesels, big surprise ! and the posts mentioned on the VW Golfs are fair enough but that is 20/25 year old technology and yes the early golf diesels and petrols had head gasket problems in Europe as well.

    As for load carrying capacity the Prius isnt a tardis and has the extra burden of storing and hauling those batteries round. so load capacity is really a non starter .

    I asked the question as we get a lot of celebs and stars who live in the USA on UK TV Chat and motoring shows who all seem to own a Prius amonst there fleet of cars.

    But I think the question has been answered well, as a european asking a question on an American/Canadian based board its availability, regulation and public image that provides the answer, the same goes for renewable energy equipment thats why I shop for my gear in USA and Canada you dont know how lucky you all are when it comes to choice availabity and price on RE gear !

    Love the forum thanks Nigel;)
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,417 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?
    nigtomdaw wrote: »
    as a european asking a question on an American based board
    Love the forum thanks Nigel;)

    This is an American based board ?
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?

    "This is an American based board ?"

    it is as our sponcer, northern arizona wind & sun, would be out of arizona.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Why a Prius ?
    Volkswagon Jetta is a clean diesel around 45mpg with an air conditioned glove box.
    I don't believe the 2007 model year Jetta is available in the U.S. with a diesel. However, VW's website suggests that a 50-state legal Jetta turbo-diesel will be available for the 2008 MY. :cool:

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
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