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Discussion Starter #1
Anybody heard rumors about future *production car* plans (not prototypes)? Will Honda be making another car that gets over 70 mpg?

Or, like the 1970s, will insight be considered a "marketing flop" and we'll never see a 70+ mpg car again?

.

Personally, I'm leaning towards the latter... people don't want super-efficient wonder-mobiles like the 70mpg insight or the 90 mpg Lupo. They prefer "normal" 40-50 priuses and civics and jettas.
 

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Maybe not 70, but a doable 50-60 mpg. "FIT"

I've already managed to average over 40mpg (40.4) to be exact with my INSIGHT WANNABE. (One tank average with 4K on the odometer).......Not hypermileing!

It's highly possible with a HYBRID system installed to the std. 1.5L engine.

Of course it will never replace the little red rocket. I still drive the rocket a lot and it's my favorite.

I stated a long time ago, that there would be a HYBRID FIT to replace the Insight, and I'm still sticking to that theory.

Willie
 

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As long as we're making suggestions to Honda (they probably read the posts here before making a final decision), . . . I would like a Hybrid S2000 with an all aluminum body-frame (similar to the Insight), but with a top that either folds down (soft top) or retracts (hard top, more aero).

That's what I would like. That would combine my Insight with my Miata, and I could have only one car!

Best Regs,
Rick
2006 CVT
1997 Miata M-Edition
 

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"That would combine my Insight with my Miata, and I could have only one car!"

I've threatened to do something like that, if I ever manage to have free time and spare money at the same time. Find a wrecked Insight, and a Del Sol with a blown engine. Transfer the Insight power train to the Del Sol body, and voila! The Honda Insole!

But seriously, I think Honda would be making a marketing mistake if they try to go for a cheap hybrid. Instead, they should target the high end, and aim for something with similar pricing to Porsche or S2000, but 70+ mpg and performance. Somewhat along the lines of the way the Tesla people are marketing their car, to people who expect to pay $50-100K for their cars. That builds market, and supply lines for more batteries and hybrid parts, and maybe it will keep idiot writers from automatically comparing hybrids to the lowest priced non-hybrid.
 

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Honestly I think that Honda is worried about the Koreans and Chinese. Hyundai is definately working on a hybrid and the Chinese make the magnets and batteries for the existing hybrids. If Honda can produce a cheaper than Civic hybrid that gets better than Civic mileage and has bigger than Insight room, it should sell like the proverbial hotcake. Toyota will not be able to follow suit without abandoning their overly expensive hybrid synergy drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
james said:
Instead, they should target the high end, and aim for something with similar pricing to Porsche or S2000, but 70+ mpg and performance.
No. I want a car for the common people... one that WE can afford, not something only Bill Gates can own. If you (james) desire performance, there's the Accord Hybrid with it 0-60 six-second acceleration.

"<Product strategy >
"New Dedicated Hybrid Vehicle
"Honda is now developing a new dedicated hybrid vehicle suitable for family use..... will enable Honda to offer this vehicle in 2009 at a price level lower than the Civic Hybrid."


If Honda could sell a Civic Hybrid-type car for $15,000, I'd buy it. (Alternatively a Toyota Yaris Hybrid for $15,000... I'd buy it.)

"New Clean Diesel...meeting the U.S. EPA's stringent Tier2 BIN5 emission standard requiring NOx emission levels equivalent to a gasoline-powered vehicle." ----- I'd buy this too if the price was right.
 

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Clett
I agree with you, it is only a matter of time. Moving the hybrid power train towards the electric side of the mix will bring the MPG well into the 70-80MPG range, once the batteries are available at a lower cost.
The question of weather people will buy them remains to be seen, as many of the SUV and pickup truck driving people don't seem to care about the gas that they use.
I was in the grocery store parking lot the other day, and there was a hummer on one side of me, and a huge pickup on the other.
They both sat there idling in the parking lot while the wife’s were in doing some shopping. What were they thinking?
:(
 

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I can't see Honda making another Insight. It costs too much to manufacture, too much to support, and they hardly sell any at all (there were 300 sold in ALL OF CANADA...Canada is a big place...).

If they do make an "Insight 2", I would love to see it as a true sports car. Same 1 liter lean burn gas engine, but a 100KW assist. Put the whole drivetrain in the rear with an all independent suspension and gear it for acceleration in the lower 3 gears and economy in the top 3...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Insight would have sold great if it had 4 seats. Just need to replace the bulky battery with a compact civic-type battery to make room for the seats, stretch the body 1-2 inches longer, and you'd have an Insight 4-seater that still gets 65 on the highway (it's aerodynamic), but 50 in the city (heavier weight impacts mpg). BINGO! You now have an Insight II that is family-friendly and will sell like hotcakes.
Mike Dabrowski 2000 said:
Moving the hybrid power train towards the electric side of the mix will bring the MPG well into the 70-80MPG range, once the batteries are available at a lower cost.
So I'll have $5 a month gas bills and $1000 a month electricity bills.

Yeah I'm exaggerating ;-) , but I'm skeptical about this whole "plug-in hybrid" deal. I'm not really saving money if I end-up with high electric bills. If a plug-in hybrid comes along, it would have to get at least 150 mpg before it could be declared "more economical to run than an insight".

The insight gets 70mpg *purely from gasoline* without any hidden costs in your electric bill. THAT'S what more cars should be doing.

;-)
 

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Aaron Cake said:
I can't see Honda making another Insight. It costs too much to manufacture, too much to support, and they hardly sell any at all (there were 300 sold in ALL OF CANADA...Canada is a big place...).

If they do make an "Insight 2", I would love to see it as a true sports car. Same 1 liter lean burn gas engine, but a 100KW assist. Put the whole drivetrain in the rear with an all independent suspension and gear it for acceleration in the lower 3 gears and economy in the top 3...
Mmmmmmmm. I'd definitely buy that!
 

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If you're looking for a sports car for the higher-end market, check out the all electric Tesla Roadster. If I had $100,000 lying around, I would buy one in a heartbeat.
 

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"No. I want a car for the common people... one that WE can afford, not something only Bill Gates can own."

But realistically, the only way to get to that point is to bring down the cost of the components that go into making such a car. Not just the batteries, though that's a major factor, but everything. The best way to do that is to have a profitable market for limited quantities, then expand the market as cost comes down.

If you look at history, just about every new technology starts out as
an expensive luxury that only a small percentage of the market is willing to pay for. Why should hybrids be any different? Based on the realistic costs of production, the Insight should have been priced a lot higher than it was, and I can't help but wonder if it would actually sold better if it had been. Look at for instance the Mini Cooper: nowhere near the technological sophistication of the Insight,
yet they sell well at a (IIRC) higher price.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
james said:
"No. I want a car for the common people... one that WE can afford, not a $80,000 sportscar only Bill Gates can own."

If you look at history, just about every new technology starts out as
an expensive luxury that only a small percentage of the market is willing to pay for. Why should hybrids be any different?
True but the hybrids have already passed that point. Toyota is making $21,000 priuses and profiting. (Presumably Honda is also profiting from the Civic.)

We've already passed the point of 'expensive' and are now down to 'common man affordability'. The logical next step is an economy hybrid at around $14-15,000, as Honda is doing in 2009.
 

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ElectricTroy said:
So I'll have $5 a month gas bills and $1000 a month electricity bills.
It all depends on how much you pay for your electricity.

Let's assume you pay $3 per gallon for gasoline at 70 mpg, that works out at 4.3 cents per mile for fuel costs.

A rule of thumb for electric conversions is that you divide the mpgs by 10 to get how many miles per kWh it should manage. So the 70 mpg Insight should get 7 miles per kWh on electric power.

If you pay 10 cents per kWh for your electricity, that works out at 1.4 cents per mile for electric costs.

If you bought one of these:
http://stratobox.com/wind-turbines/images/renewable-devices-swift.jpg

Which produces on average 12 kWh per day (enough for 84 miles EV range per day in the Insight), at a cost of $2,000 for the turbine over a 25 year life, the cost of home-made electricity is only 1.8 cents per kWh or....

0.26 cents per mile electricity costs in a converted Insight.

Is that cheap enough for you? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Frankly? No. ;-)

(1) I question your 142 watts/mile estimate. Typical EVs get around 350-400 watt-hours/mile (measured at the meter by EV owners), and there's no reason to think insight will be much better, especially when you take into account heat/resistance losses through the Garage charger. (2) Using the more realistic 350 wh/mile, that's 3.5 cents per mile...... no better than gasoline's cost.

(3) I have no room for a windmill; also no wind. And (4) My MAIN point (which I failed to convey before) is that I'm concerned about false-advertising. The folks who designed the modified Prius+Plugin car say it gets 70-80 MPG. That sounds great, because they don't bother to say how much electricity the car uses! False-Advertising. Subtract the electrical usage*, and you're back down to a ~45 mile/gallon-equivalent car. No better than the current gasoline-only Prius.

I expect the plugin-hybrids to get a TRUE 70+ miles/gallon-equivalent (taking into account both gas and electrical usage). And I'm hoping the government will step in, and force these plug-in priuses to list the gallon-equivalent per mile. Not 70 mpg, but 45 mpg-equivalent.

* trivia:

The EV1, the most-efficient electric car ever made (for sale/lease), is only equal to a Prius in cleanliness (50-51). The Insight and Civic CNG combustion engines actually scored higher (55-56). Source: ACEEE.org/greenercars.org.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
February 2006: "Honda Motor Co. plans to sell a hybrid version of the subcompact Fit in the U.S..... Honda predicts that the small Fit hybrid will produce better fuel economy than the Honda Insight or Toyota Prius, perhaps in the range of 85 miles per gallon...... with a price of approximately $11,790." Continued here: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2 ... a_fit.html

I WANT ONE!!! :lol:

EDIT - Looking at this picture, I don't see how the tiny 1.0 liter insight engine could move this car down the road. It doesn't look very aerodynamic. http://automobiles.honda.com/images/200 ... 4FRONT.jpg

EDIT #2:
I did some more research and now I'm disappointed. The Fit will be using the larger-size 1.3 liter engine of the Civic, and only get 55-60 mpg, with a cost of $16-17,000. That's good news for Honda, but I was hoping for a car to beat the Insight's record. (shrug)
 

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ElectricTroy said:
(1) I question your 142 watts/mile estimate. Typical EVs get around 350-400 watt-hours/mile (measured at the meter by EV owners)
That figure is about right for the many home-made conversions that use 1860s technology (lead acid) which is very inefficient and not representative at all.

More modern EVs do much better - Lithium-Ion in particular can have a charge/discharge efficiency of >97%, so very little is lost during charging.

Lithium is also of course much lighter than lead-acid, and with the reduced internal resistance, more efficient still in EV use.

That's why lithium EVs like AC-propulsion's T-zero get up to 6 miles per kWh (160 Wh/mile). The current Prius conversions use about 200 Wh/mile in EV mode, although that could be improved upon.

ElectricTroy said:
there's no reason to think insight will be much better
There is every reason to think the Insight will be much better.

It's lighter and more aerodynamic than, say a RAV4 EV, so will take far less energy to push along (regardless if from a gasoline or electric engine).

Like I said, the established rule of thumb is to divide the mpgs by 10 to get miles per kWh. (For example, the RAV4 gasoline might get about 33 mpg, but the EV equivalent manages 3.3 miles per kWh. Darrelldd drives gently in his RAV4 EV and typically manages 4 miles per kWh, but when 'hypermiling' can manage up to 5.2 miles per kWh. An Insight EV would do MUCH better than this).

For those interesting in seeing more RAV4-EV running cost and consumption figures, please see here: http://evnut.com/rav_data.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #20
clett said:
ElectricTroy said:
(1) I question your 142 watts/mile estimate. Typical EVs get around 350-400 watt-hours/mile (measured at the meter by EV owners)
That figure is about right for the many home-made conversions that use 1860s technology (lead acid) which is very inefficient and not representative at all.
Okay, I don't want to start a debate (it's off-topic). But let's just say: I WANTED TO BUY AN ELECTRIC back when they were still selling them. I found the claims (high-efficiency) and the reality (no more efficient than my insight) to be vastly different. Also waaaaay more than I could afford... I don't have $45,000 laying around to buy an EV rav4.

I understand your viewpoint. You like electrics and you're biased in favor of them, so you try to present the best figures possible. You ignore the 300-350 watt-hours/mile averages, and instead look at the ideal conditions. You are like a marketer, trying to present the best possible image.

Understandable.

But I'm an engineer. Electrical. I prefer to deal with the nominal and the worst-case, since that's my job. I don't see any EV-insight or EV-prius doing better than 350 watt-hours/mile, on the EPA driving schedule. (Aside: John Wayland converted an Insight to a Lithium-powered EV. What kind of figures is he getting for efficiency?)
:-D
P.S. Tzero gets 250 watt-hours at the meter, due to losses converting the A/C to D/C & resistive losses inside the charging station. ----- When you put on the generator-trailer, for >50 mile journeys, it only averages 40-45 miles per gallon of gasoline burned. ----- And the batteries have to be replaced every 2-3 years; in terms of expense that's almost like buying a new engine every 2-3 years. (Again, putting on my engineering cap and looking at the reality of the situation.)

P.P.S. And (4) My MAIN point (which I failed to convey before) is that I'm concerned about false-advertising. I'm hoping the government will step in, and force these plug-in priuses to list the gallon-equivalent per mile. Not 70 mpg, but 45 mpg-equivalent.
 
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