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Discussion Starter #1
Since there is so much publicity about everyones else's hybrid on the market, I would be interested to know if anyone on this forum has tested them?
If so which makes and what is your oppinion?
At this moment in time I couldn't say who has a readily available hybrid for purchase other than Honda and Toyota.I hear a lot of hype but are these other hybrids on the market?
I'm a little fed up with the smoke and mirrors show from the industry and media somebody enlighten me.

DGate
 

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I drove my mom's Toyota Camry hybrid for a few days and wrote up a review here:

http://www.insightcentral.net/forum/vie ... mry+hybrid

As far as non-Toyota/non-Honda hybrids, I believe there's a Ford Escape hybrid that is produced (I believe Ford licensed Toyota's hybrid technology, but I could be wrong) and I think there's a Chevy truck "hybrid" out there that basically has the auto-stop feature (electric motor to start the car), and nothing else about it is hybrid.

That's all I know, and it ain't much. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Lets put this in perspective,I do not consider a vehicle that has only autostop a hybrid since all vehicles have always had this capability if one chooses to manually shut down and restart.
Neither do I consider regen capability a hybrid unless the end results enables it to assist in acceleration or move the vehicle.
If these trumped up systems only provide an autostop while being good doe's not in my book qualify them for hybrid status.
A hybrid should use two or more power sources for moving the vehicle plain and simple.
Another mis-use of the term is in a diesel locomotive configuration.
In this system the traction motors are merely acting as a transmission system for the diesel engine gen set. Shut down the diesel and its dead,only if you introduce batteries or overhead pickup wires or another type of power source doe's it become a hybrid.
This confusion as to what constitutes a hybrid has become a playground for the media and is mis-leading the public.
I am not deriding the last two contributors with these definitions since it is most informative to know about the fake hybrids as well.

Please when responding explain the systems(Mild-PHEV-Parallel-Series-Series/Parallel)) so everyone will know if its a true hybrid/or otherwise.
And only on the market at present not projected.

DGate
 

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The general public doesn't want the term Hybrid to be clearly defined. They don't want more terms to learn or think about. So it gets simplified.

And they all get called Hybrids...

Which is 100% correct use of the word Hybrid.

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The problem is that the term hybrid is too vague on its own.

A hybrid by definition is just a combination of two things into one thing. Nothing more.

A Hybrid Flower is a single flower that is the combination of two other flowers.

Just saying a Hybrid doesn't tell you if you are talking about flowers , cars, sharks , dogs, bacteria, or what.

The term hybrid by itself does not distinguish or tell you what is being combined and in what way.

If you say a hybrid, you have not given enough information to correctly and accurately say what it is you are talking about other than a single thing that is somehow a combination of two other things.

Mild and Full are worse descriptors for being clear and accurate as a mild orange could be talking about the color, or the flavor, or the nutrition , or any number of things.... A Mild Hybrid Flower also doesn't clearly or accurately tell you what you are talking about.

To accurately and clearly describe what you are talking about the term Hybrid should be connected in the conversation with more information to allow you to know what is being hybridized and in what way.

For instance a Flex fuel vehicle has a hybrid fuel system... so it is correct to call it a hybrid... but it is not a hybrid electric vehicle.

A HEV, without any additional information you do not know if it is a Hybrid as in the way Trains use one type of engine to produce the electricity for the second engine... the way the insight Gasoline motor and electric motor are hybridized together.... or the way the Prius hybridizes two separate motors in a hybrid drive train.... etc...etc....

To accurately and correctly describe what is being hybridized to what and in what way... you will make it too complex.... you will loose your audience.... and the only people that would care... already know the technical details about the object and do not need the additional term either.... the technically concerned people know the Insight as soon as you say Honda Insight... Defining the type of hybrid becomes a waste of time and energy.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
IamIan Wrote:
Just saying a Hybrid doesn't tell you if you are talking about flowers , cars, sharks , dogs, bacteria, or what.

Since this is a car forum we are discussing cars.

I am not trying to convince the general public on the definition of hybrid.

Can we get back to the thread?

DGate
 

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I didn't think I was off topic?? My bad.

The thread is about the variety of other non-toyota or non-Honda hybrids.

The question was raised about what is called a hybrid.

We can go by the car companies definition of what a hybrid is:
This would include anything the car companies call a hybrid no matter what features it has or does not have.

It was suggested that we break from the car companies use of the term hybrid in our choices of what we consider a hybrid:
I was exploring the effects of making our own determination of what we will consider a hybrid.

If we are going to pick and choose what hybrids we are happy to call a hybrid. I would think it would be best to think about and discuss our criteria for choosing.

Otherwise I would say we go back and just accept any vehicle the car company calls a hybrid as a hybrid.

if we accept the car companies hybrids as hybrids:
A good link is to:

http://autos.yahoo.com/green_center-fue ... cars-cars/

For non-Toyota and non-Honda:

Already posted:
Ford Escape Hybrid.
Nissan Altima Hybrid.
Saturn Vue Hybrid (not a full hybrid)
Chevy Silverado Hybrid out or coming very soon.

Added:
Chevy Hybrid Malibu
Mercury Mariner Hybrid
Lexus RX 400h Hybrid
GMC Sierra Classic 1500 Hybrid
Saturn AURA Hybrid

Future to come many more not yet available to buy as far as I know.
 

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My fiancee has had Ford Escape Hybrids since 2005 as her company car. We had a 2005 Escape Hybrid for three years and this past August the lease was up and her company gave her a 2008 Escape Hybrid. (This matters since the 2008 is redesigned, although the engine not so much.)

Both vehicles performed an average of 35 MPG. The hybrid model is a huge improvement over the non-hybrid Escape which averages 17 city/22 highway.

Maybe I'm taking the easy way out, but the focus of defining a hybrid should be performance. While not all hybrids, like the Insight and Prius, have a comparable non-hybrid model, many cars do. I don't consider a vehicle that gets an extra 1-2 MPG from the non-hybrid model to be a hybrid regardless of what technology is used.

On the other hand, if Ford doubled its city MPG by putting a hamster on a wheel in the engine of its Escape Hybrid, Ford can call it a hybrid all they want and I won't complain. :lol: 35 MPG is pretty amazing for a SUV.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
IamIan wrote:

[If we are going to pick and choose what hybrids we are happy to call a hybrid. I would think it would be best to think about and discuss our criteria for choosing.]

How about the fact that before Prius and Insight the majority (buying public) had never heard of a hybrid car.These two companies put the term "on the map so to speak" some eight plus years ago.
Ever since the press has been educating buyers on the systems used in these two cars.
However now with the US trying to play "catch up" it seems any mediocre "half baked" compromise system qualifies for the term hybrid even if it is only autostop. This will only confuse and hurt further acceptance of the real hybrids (my term) and muddy the waters.

In your list what is the Saturn mild hybrid system?
And why can't I find any reference to the system used in the new Malibu or Saturn in the link?
DGate
 

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florida_gators said:
Maybe I'm taking the easy way out, but the focus of defining a hybrid should be performance. While not all hybrids, like the Insight and Prius, have a comparable non-hybrid model, many cars do. I don't consider a vehicle that gets an extra 1-2 MPG from the non-hybrid model to be a hybrid regardless of what technology is used.
True, there are other ways to improve MPG and make a green vehicle than hybrids.

Although the question would quickly become what kind of performance you want.

A Natural Gas vehicle or a bio-diesel vehicle are more green than a gasoline vehicle. This holds true no mater what the cost of the vehicle or the fuel or what kind of speeds and performance you get from the vehicle.

But of course the greenest vehicle is a Bicycle ... it is also the most efficient .... the cheapest .... if you have to drive in allot of traffic, it might be the faster too....

I think Hybrids are a nice way to baby step into more advanced technology... They improve your MPG today and push the envelope just a bit more.... bit by bit you keep improving.... so any hybrid would continue to push that envelope... even just making the auto-stop idle feature standard on all cars would be a massive improvement nation wide in fuel use and greening up the nations vehicle fleet a bit.
 

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Dgate said:
And why can't I find any reference to the system used in the new Malibu or Saturn in the link?
Because the link is not to a technical web site.

It lists for the general public cars that are called HEV by the car company that makes them.

The Malibu details are easily found with a web search.
Uses NiMH Battery for the Hybrid system.
Gives Auto-Stop Idle , Charge, Assist.
It seems to use electric motor connected via a belt to the ICE for assist and for auto-stop idle. I do not know if it has regenerative braking or other advanced options. The assist seems limited to about 6 HP.

The Saturn Details are also easily found with a web search.
Uses NiMH Battery for the hybrid system.
It gives Auto-Stop Idle, Assist during Acceleration , and does offer Regenerative Braking.

The Insights IMA at 144V and up to 100Amps can give well over 12HP of assist. At 50Amps about 6 HP of regenerative Braking.
 

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IamIan said:
even just making the auto-stop idle feature standard on all cars would be a massive improvement nation wide in fuel use and greening up the nations vehicle fleet a bit.
And aside from the gas the auto-stop feature would save, many people forget about the noise pollution it would avoid as well. I recently took my 90 Firebird out for a drive, and other than cringing at the 22 MPG it consumed during the trip, I felt as if I needed to bring ear plugs.

Imagine sitting at a red light in downtown Manhattan during rush hour if everyone had auto stop...
 

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IamIan said:
True, there are other ways to improve MPG and make a green vehicle than hybrids.
yes, but this is also which "green" you are talking about: green for the environment(emissions) or green for the wallet(MPG)
IamIan said:
But of course the greenest vehicle is a Bicycle ... it is also the most efficient .... the cheapest .... if you have to drive in allot of traffic, it might be the faster too....
this would be great if i didnt work 25 miles away from home :(
IamIan said:
I think Hybrids are a nice way to baby step into more advanced technology... They improve your MPG today and push the envelope just a bit more.... bit by bit you keep improving.... so any hybrid would continue to push that envelope... even just making the auto-stop idle feature standard on all cars would be a massive improvement nation wide in fuel use and greening up the nations vehicle fleet a bit.
i agree totally agree there...were moving in the right direction, and thats better than moving backwards, right?
 

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I drove the Civic hybrid. It felt like a more luxurious Civic. The Prius felt like a big American car to me. The throttle and brakes seemed a little too sensitive for my taste.
 

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A big American car that gave me 56mpg on a 100km round trip to the beach and back last weekend.
 

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that twike is awesome, cept i would not survive a day in my daily commute with that car...i drive over the most dangerous stretch of highway in the US per mile driven(as per a CT state trooper)...the stretch of I-95 from new haven to the new york line
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I am surprised after almost two hundred hits from what I assume to be hybrid enthuiasists only four responses addressing the original question have appeared,Plus some sparing over the term "Hybrid".

Has no one else tried the other hybrids and are ready to give their oppinion :?: I realize this is an Insight forum but the others since they employ similar technology are within the realms of the forum rules.

DGate
 

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OK, OK, twist my arm. I've actually driven the Prius (old model style) as well as the Camry Hybrid (which I mentioned in my first response).

My impressions of the Prius were not as good as the Camry Hybrid. I thought it drove like a golf cart -- steering, acceleration, and all. That's actually why I ended up buying the Insight, as a matter of fact. I hated my mom's Prius so much, but loved the technological concept, that I went with my favorite car company, Honda, and got my first Insight.

Love it so much, I got a second one! :D
 
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