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I was reading an article in popular science recently that briefly compared the available and upcoming hybrids. The article referred to the insight and HCH as "soft hybrids" stating that since these vehicles are gas powered with electric motor assist, they aren't true hybrids.

I test drove both prius models, the insight and an HCH before i bought this amazing vehicle a year and a half ago. I clearly remember the toyota salesman who was in the seat next to me while i was giving the prius 05 a whirl explaining to me why the insight wasn't really a "hybrid".

sure the insight isn't independently powered by both gas or electricity in given driving situations.. fine. my mirror doesn't tell me where the sun is in the sky. my arm probably wouldn't be quite so fatigued at night if i could just adjust the radio volume from the steering wheel. Most of all, I'm ashamed to admit that my car key is just that.. a key.

But! when i hear prius drivers gloating over their 48 mpg commute i just thank my gut for not being swayed by that toyota sales person as i get 65MPG at 70MPH @ $3.00USDPG in my "soft hybrid" insight. softly, without trying.
 

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Regardless of some peoples definition,the fact that the Insight has two power sources means its a hybrid regardless of how the sources are used.
New terminology to categorise the different types ie: soft or plug in hybrid will be appearing as we progress,but they will all be hybrids by definition if using more than a single power unit.
These comments usually come from the same people who refer to electric motors as engines.

DGate
 

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robgobbler said:
But! when i hear prius drivers gloating over their 48 mpg commute
I believe most Prius owners are getting on average more than 48mpg. Comparing the Insight to the Prius is like comparing apples to oranges. A better comparison will be the Prius to the new Civic Hybrid.

I've known and understood the Insight was electric assist long before I bought mine. I was just interested in gas mileage and they didn't have a 5 speed at the time. Doesn't really matter to me what the media or anybody wants to call the technology.
 

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Regardless of what kind of hybrid name the automotive world settles on in the coming years, the insight was the first hybrid available in this country. I still consider it one of the most sophisticated cars available today. The overall design and technology is amazing, and its so much fun to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Dgate said:
Regardless of some peoples definition,the fact that the Insight has two power sources means its a hybrid regardless of how the sources are used.
My sarcasm might not have shown through too clearly (I thought it was dripping)

but .. yes. multiple sources of power regardless of whether each can be used independently makes the vehicle a hybrid.

there are a zillion priuii (palm sanders as my gf calls them) on the road out here in the bay area and many people i speak to are flat out convinced that the prius was on the road first, and gets far better mileage than the insight. The general consensus from the prius owners I have spoken to is that it is an accomplishment to sustain a 50mpg daily average in a 2nd gen prius. :roll:

i just can't help but believe that there's a connection between the somewhat misleading terminology technology magazines are choosing to refer to these cars as and the ignorant preconception many people seem to have.

frankly i think honda could potentially steal the ball from toyota with this new 06 Civic hybrid if they would just put an espresso machine in the marketing department.
 

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I was reading an article in popular science recently that briefly compared the available and upcoming hybrids. The article referred to the insight and HCH as "soft hybrids" stating that since these vehicles are gas powered with electric motor assist, they aren't true hybrids.

That article was badly written. There is a term already, no need to make a new one. The Insight is a MILD hybrid. Its funny that a mild hybrid is gets the most MPG, but its just so well engineered. The term hybrid is misused by GM and its hybrid V8 pickup truck. Its not a hybrid at all. It does not power the vehicle with electric at all. It just uses the electric to reduce the demand of the accessory drive. It also allows for engine shutdown but thats about it.
GM is going to add more insult to the hybrid name next with its BAS (Belt Alternator Starter) hybrid system for a few of its small cars late next year. Again basically an engine cutoff system. Its not even a mild hybrid.
 

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it has a gas engine AND electric motor, it's an arguement that will go down with "Which came first, the chicken or the egg?"


hy·brid ( P ) Pronunciation Key (hbrd)
n.
Genetics. The offspring of genetically dissimilar parents or stock, especially the offspring produced by breeding plants or animals of different varieties, species, or races.
Something of mixed origin or composition.
Something, such as a computer or power plant, having two kinds of components that produce the same or similar results.
A word whose elements are derived from different languages.
 

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Wasabi owner said:
<snip>

A word whose elements are derived from different languages.
Ah Ha :!: The Key ;)

We're not speaking the same language. :p

Similar to the old mirco/mini/mainframe computer definitions as the permeutations and power factors grew, the definition blurred.

Not quite the same with hybrid cars but I think you get my point.

Call 'em what you want. If your not driving one I'll beep and wave the next time I pass you at the pumps :!: :D
 

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To me a hybrid is a hybrid is a hybrid. I know when we wave to Prius owners they stick their nose up in the air :) but still. They are a hybrid, I suppose you have to figure out a way to catagorize different types of hybrids but I like the IMA & HSD, not "full and mild"
 

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They are both hybrids, the Prius is a Parallel system Where they can be used independent and the Insight is a Series system where the engine must be used.

If two forms of energy are being used to propel the vehicle then it's a hybrid.
 

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They are both hybrids, the Prius is a Parallel system Where they can be used independent and the Insight is a Series system where the engine must be used.
No, the Prius is known as a series/parallel hybrid or full hybrid. The Insight is a mild parallel hybrid. I dont think of that as in insult, the Insight is a GREAT car.

A series system would have a small ice generator running an all electric drivetrain. The engine would never directly power the wheels.

Here is a reference <though apparently its not perfect!>

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_electric_vehicle
 

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The new Civic will achieve similar mileage to the Prius. It is a simpler system than the Prius. Because of the compact design of the IMA system it can be redily transplanted into existing frames. This is Honda's game plan. The HSD system allows Toyota to easily convert their hybrids to plug in designs. This is Toyota's game plan.

Both systems represent superb engineering!
 

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Neither the Insight, nor the Prius, nor any of the other currently produced "hybrids" are actually hybrids. Regardless of whether they use an electric motor and battery pack or not, their only source of power is gasoline since they cannot be grid charged. To charge the batteries, you put gas in the tank. Therefore, they are not hybrids. "Mild hybrid" is the best term I have heard to describe the current hybrids. It's still somewhat inaccurate, but it's good enough.
 

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Sheeze. This reminds me of the argument about whether Pluto is a planet or not. Who cares what the Insight is called! Here is what I call it, "The car that gets the best gas mileage of any current production vehicle." To shorten it we'll use an acronym: TCTGTBGMOACPV".

:)
 

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Aaron Cake said:
Neither the Insight, nor the Prius, nor any of the other currently produced "hybrids" are actually hybrids. Regardless of whether they use an electric motor and battery pack or not, their only source of power is gasoline since they cannot be grid charged. To charge the batteries, you put gas in the tank. Therefore, they are not hybrids.
That is just incorrect. The term hybrid refers to what propels the car, not where the energy comes from. By your definition a vegimobile is a hybrid if it has both a diesel tank and a vegi oil tank. But its not, its a duel fuel. Also a real hybrid does generate electricity via regenerative braking so the second source of power is the normally wasted motion that would have been turned into heat in a conventional car.

http://hybridcars.about.com/od/hybrids101/a/whatisahybrid.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_car
 

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Discussion Starter #18
jbrasure said:
Sheeze. This reminds me of the argument about whether Pluto is a planet or not. Who cares what the Insight is called!
I don't think this is an arguement one bit, it's an interesting topic, and many people are mislead by the terminology, which is why i felt compelled to get some people talking about how rediculous it is.

honda does not rely on buzzwords to sell their cars. It's just a shame that so many people don't know what they're missing because they've been mislead.
 

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I'm going by the EV enthusiast definition. This says that in order to be a hybrid, each system must be able to function on it's own, as well as in combination. So the vehicle needs to have a grid charged battery pack, and the ability to move under "EV mode" as well as "gas mode". The ultimate source of electricity in any of the current hybrid is the gas tank, there is no other way to charge the batteries. Regen only works because the gas engine has supplied power to accelerate the vehicle.

But it is largely a matter of opinion it seems, since mainstream media has corrupted the term. Generally when I explain the Insight and other "hybrids", I make it a point to call them "mild hybrids" and say how nice it would be to have real hybrids with grid charging capability.
 
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