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  1. #1
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    Better gas mileage? Try Hypermiling.

    I won't start out by complaining about gas prices. But I have been thinking about what I can do to get better mileage, especially with a rack and a bike on the top of the car. While at some point I'll be switching to a hitch rack, I want to do something to get better mileage now, without buying a Prius. Almost by accident I came across an article on hypermiling on CNN:

    NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - You can get 35 percent better fuel mileage out of your current vehicle by using a device most drivers already have. That would be your right foot. Most drivers agonizing over the cost of gasoline fail to realize the enormous impact their driving style has on fuel consumption. During the last run-up in fuel prices, we wrote about Edmunds.com's tests of common fuel-saving driving tips. Some common tips, it turned out, had little or no effect on fuel economy. rest of article here:
    http://money.cnn.com/2006/05/01/Auto..._mpg/index.htm

    So after a bit of reasearch I adapted some of the techniques to my own driving and noticed an immediate improvement. Before, with just the rack, I averaged 23--24 MPG on the daily route I take to work. Adding the bike drops the MPG to around 22-23.

    Using hypermiling techniques, on the same route, I have been averaging 27-28 mpg, with the bike on the car. Not bad.

    I'm mostly using techniques like slow acceleration, coasting, keeping max speed to 65mph, and occasionally drafting a larger vehicle. I haven't checked tire pressure yet or tried any of the other techniques.

    Anyone else tried this?

    Some links:

    http://www.gasolinecreditcards.com/e...and-resources/
    http://www.gassavers.org/
    Last edited by TLL; 05-03-2008 at 03:20 PM.
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  2. #2
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    First link has no article, (for me), but the other ones are nice. Definitely some good things there to keep in mind.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info!

    My truck has a 4.7L V-8, and I normally get around 15 mpg. I will try this out!

    Some have told me I need to get rid of my truck, but honestly, I need it. I live in the country, and have a family of 5. I need the bed, towing capacity, and family space (quad-cab). It is excellent for me in all those catagories. Maybe this will help!

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    never heard it called hypermiling, but simple stuff like anticipating slowing and coasting down, not accelerating so fast have worked pretty well for me: getting 2-3 sometimes 4 more mpg overall and, according to my car's mileage meter better than that on the highway (I'm a little skeptical of that in fact, yesterday morning I cleared it as I got on the highway and it said I got about 36mpg average over 13 miles - according to subaru it gets 27 highway... but I'm not sure how I could confirm this, other than to do a tank average and compare it).
    One interesting thing, one bike on my T2 affects mileage more than I thought it would - lowering it by 2 or so from above.

    In the city it doesn't work so well - you usually can't coast down, I can't stand being that jerk that won't get moving at a light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules
    In the city it doesn't work so well - you usually can't coast down, I can't stand being that jerk that won't get moving at a light.
    Yeah, those selfish Prius jerks who go so slow that they cause everyone behind them to miss triggered traffic lights drive me nuts . #1 rule to improve city mileage - avoid stopping unnecessarily.
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  6. #6
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    I fixed the broken link, should work now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bob
    Yeah, those selfish Prius jerks who go so slow that they cause everyone behind them to miss triggered traffic lights drive me nuts . #1 rule to improve city mileage - avoid stopping unnecessarily.
    I won't start a rant on the Prius, but it kills me when they do 65 in the fast lane.
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  7. #7
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    I read about hypermiling on some eco-website, don't remember what it was called though. The one thing I thought was ridiculous was the tire pressures they had posted which were upwards of 70 psi. I'm all for getting better mileage, but cooking through a set of tires prematurely doesn't seem worth it, especially when you compare the money you save on gas compared to the cost of getting new tires twice as often. That said, I generally do run my tires about 5 psi more than whats posted inside the door, and it does help a little bit, while still keeping my tires wearing evenly.
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    On another note, I usually allow myself extra time when heading to work so I can drive between 55-60mph. At those speeds the engine is usually doing about 2000-2200 rpms which is definitely a sweet spot for my car. Combine that with a clean air filter, properly inflated tires, fully synthetic oil, and the hypermiling techniques mentioned above and I can get 6-7 better mpg. Right now, with the warmer weather (less warm up time for the engine), plus the higher energy summer fuel mixtures, I'm averaging around 38-39 in my civic with an Automatic. Another contributing factor is not filling up completely. Usually I just put 3 gallons in every few days, and because my car is usually only hauling me around there's almost no weight in the car (Remember the EPA estimates are done with 500lbs of passengers and cargo).
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  9. #9
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    I'm all for techniques that get you better mileage, but I HATE the term "hypermiling". It's just not driving like a moran! It's not any secret technique or something that requires training, practice, or special equipment, it's just driving! Why the stupid name for it?!


    That being said I've been more careful lately and just this week got my best tank ever in the 2005 Malibu, 34.4 mpg combined city/hwy. Not bad for a big car w/ a V-6, auto, and 100,000 miles (EPA rates it at 29 mpg hwy, 20 city, 23 combined).


    If I drive "normal" I will get around 30 mpg. I've flogged it before and ended up around 24 ish as well.

    What bugs me more than the term "hypermiling" is people that complain about their vehicle's gas mileage, yet drive like they are in the last leg of a Cannonball Run rally! I know guys that drive 85-90 mph and accelerate like John Force, then complain that their truck/suv only get's single digit gas mileage when it should be getting twice that. THERE'S A REASON DUMBASS!

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    That's funny to sell common knowledge under the name hypermiling. Is there a patent on it? I had never thought that accelerating less hard, less top speed or less weight in the car have any effect on the gas mileage. I still can't believe.

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    Oh yea, and I saw tire pressure mentioned. That one always kind of get me going, as you are now talking SAFETY. Reducing your contact patch as much as possible might help save some pennies at the pump, but it GREATLY increases your stopping distance in an emergency situation. There are a lot of variables that come into play (vehicle weight, payload weight, tire load range, rim width, etc). Just putting the tires to the max number on the sidewall is stupid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    Oh yea, and I saw tire pressure mentioned. That one always kind of get me going, as you are now talking SAFETY. Reducing your contact patch as much as possible might help save some pennies at the pump, but it GREATLY increases your stopping distance in an emergency situation. There are a lot of variables that come into play (vehicle weight, payload weight, tire load range, rim width, etc). Just putting the tires to the max number on the sidewall is stupid.
    Agreed. Whats funny is that a lot of people think "oh if 30 psi is good, than 60 psi must be even better"
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    Quote Originally Posted by karstb
    That's funny to sell common knowledge under the name hypermiling. Is there a patent on it? I had never thought that accelerating less hard, less top speed or less weight in the car have any effect on the gas mileage. I still can't believe.
    Ehhh, its just a buzz word. Every "new" idea has to have some new word conjured up. I mean....methods and techniques which help to improve your fuel economy..just doesn't roll of the tongue like Hypermiling!

    I mean the MTB industry is just as guilty. Who says "I ride less than Freeride and Downhill, but more than XC"....the cool thing to say is "I'm an All mountain rider!"
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-VegasMTBiker
    I read about hypermiling on some eco-website, don't remember what it was called though. The one thing I thought was ridiculous was the tire pressures they had posted which were upwards of 70 psi.
    Edmunds has a bunch of useful links on the subject, and actually tested some of the more popular techniques. They found that increasing tire pressure did little good and did not result in any fuel savings.

    Quote Originally Posted by karstb
    That's funny to sell common knowledge under the name hypermiling. Is there a patent on it? I had never thought that accelerating less hard, less top speed or less weight in the car have any effect on the gas mileage. I still can't believe.
    No, I don't think any patents have been applied for, and I think giving it a name is kind of silly as well. Sure sounds better than "crazy guy driving 55 in the left lane in his Prius" though.

    As far as the techniques go, many have been real world tested. They work. No belief required.
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    Oh yea, and I saw tire pressure mentioned. That one always kind of get me going, as you are now talking SAFETY. Reducing your contact patch as much as possible might help save some pennies at the pump, but it GREATLY increases your stopping distance in an emergency situation. There are a lot of variables that come into play (vehicle weight, payload weight, tire load range, rim width, etc). Just putting the tires to the max number on the sidewall is stupid.
    You have a point, but I bet driving the speed limit with overinflated tires is safer than speeding with properly inflated tires.

  16. #16
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    Slowing down the the speed limit, looking ahead and conserving momentum are the bigest factors to improve fuel economy.

    Other techniques are forced stop, ridge riding, drafting (not recommended), surfing, pulse & glide and putting your bike in the car and not on the rack.

    Modifications also include radiator blocks, hot air intakes, low rolling resistance tires, led lights, disabled power steering, removed ac, mirror removal, air dams, flat bottoms, Hybrid hacks (MIMA for the Insight), wheel skirts, racing disk hub caps and my favorite, boat tails.



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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    ...Reducing your contact patch as much as possible... is stupid.

    Sorry to take you out of context, but those words just spoke to me. Thats why I bought a 29er!
    I heart my 29er

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728

    What bugs me more than the term "hypermiling" is people that complain about their vehicle's gas mileage, yet drive like they are in the last leg of a Cannonball Run rally! I know guys that drive 85-90 mph and accelerate like John Force, then complain that their truck/suv only get's single digit gas mileage when it should be getting twice that. THERE'S A REASON DUMBASS!
    +1. I love the guy that has a huge, lifted F150 with 33's, that has to be the first guy to the next red light. Not only does he waste gas, he works his brakes. I am a conservative driver that times my lights as to not use the brakes and maintain momentum. It is nice to see a bunch of the regulars I see on my way to work that now follow me, rather than pass me and watch as I stroll by as the light turns green

    A few simple practices save a bunch of gas, and in many cases, actually save time as well. I always leave plenty early to avoid driving over 60mph.
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    I love this quote from Mr. Teardrop Civic.

    "Since retrofit LED headlight kits are still several years off, I want to investigate installing a switch to kill one of my headlights and/or a dimmer control to reduce the headlight's intensity and power drain for situations where I don't need the full intensity of the headlights for visibility."

    The very definition of taking things too far. Gotta love the zeal, not so much love for the craftsmanship .

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  20. #20
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    That is kinda silly...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bob
    I love this quote from Mr. Teardrop Civic.

    "Since retrofit LED headlight kits are still several years off, I want to investigate installing a switch to kill one of my headlights and/or a dimmer control to reduce the headlight's intensity and power drain for situations where I don't need the full intensity of the headlights for visibility."

    The very definition of taking things too far. Gotta love the zeal, not so much love for the craftsmanship .

    http://forum.ecomodder.com/showthrea...90.html?p=2110
    Turning off 130 watts of light when it takes 12000 watts to pull a car along at freeway speeds doesn't sound like much savings to me. This kinda reminds me of the weight weenie forum. Although I can appreciate some good weightweenie-ism, some of those guys are nuts.

    Back when I was involved in car racing, we did do a hack to cut the alternator at full throttle. Dunno if it saved any significant amount of energy.

    *edit*

    I did see this guy's modded Civic before. Got me thinking about some mods myself. Lowering the car a bit, making an underpan for the engine bay, blocking off some of the radiator grille. There is a lot of useless opening in my grille. I can prolly do a few mods without changing the way the car looks.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 05-05-2008 at 11:21 PM.

  21. #21
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    I practice hypermilling frequently now. higher tire pressure does help in increasing mileage. I put in extra 10psi in my car tires all the time.

  22. #22
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    Don't forget taking a chop saw to your Geo.



    It has the added benefit of making a roof rack actually convenient.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Bob
    Don't forget taking a chop saw to your Geo.



    It has the added benefit of making a roof rack actually convenient.
    That is sweet!

  24. #24
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    Unfortunately saving gas can get difficult when the two routes you have to get to work either include bumper to bumper highway construction traffic, then open highway, or open straight secondary road that leads to 5 stop lights all in a row.

    Ugh... I need to move out west, I'd easily be able to get 40mpg.

    (Drives an Escort ZX2)

  25. #25
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    For alot of people on the road it would boil down to not driving aggressively. Drive the speed limit, no top fuel launches, and lose the "me first" attitude. I'm not sure of the tire inflation issue really helping. As long as the tire is inflated to specs, you will get the most you can from them. I've checked this personally and have seen no difference in mileage. Tire weight does make a difference, just like on our bikes it takes more energy to turn over a heavier tire. You'd be surprised to see how much tire weight can vary from one model to the next for a given size.
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    I'm thinking of turning my Auto-X wheels in my daily drive wheels and slapping on some skinny 185/65-15's that will last a lifetime.

    Considering I'm in school, and the cost of gas going up, and the lack of time or desire to auto-x currently...I'm better off devoting time to riding and fuel saving.

    Although that may go down the drain when I inherit my father's Jeep Cherokee...although I'll use that for riding...so it balances out...right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaintPeelinPbody
    Unfortunately saving gas can get difficult when the two routes you have to get to work either include bumper to bumper highway construction traffic, then open highway, or open straight secondary road that leads to 5 stop lights all in a row.

    Ugh... I need to move out west, I'd easily be able to get 40mpg.

    (Drives an Escort ZX2)
    Is bike commuting possible?

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    It seems that a large number of people I get behind behind have already adopted the slow acceleration part of this, albeit because they are on their cell phones and not paying attention.

    I suppose this would be a great thing on nice, open roads, but in larger cities I think it would be counter productive. In Charlotte most of the major roads are parking lots for a 2-3 hour span each morning and evening. One of the major contributors is people taking so long to move through intersections at light changes that only a few cars make it through at a time. All we need is for people to be trying even harder to slooowly accelerate when the lights change. I'm sure overall fuel economy will be boosted when 50 or more cars spend an extra 5 minutes sitting at every light in town because we've dropped the number of cars making it through an intersection by half.

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    I wish.

    Unfortunately, school is 22 miles away and work is 14 miles away, both would require me to ride through areas that are high traffic and low-berm.

    When I transfer schools next year I'll try to rent someplace closer to school.

    My situation is difficult because I'm not good at working and going to school, but I pay off my Fall semester in cash, which empties my saving, which would keep me from renting. I take out loans for the Spring semester, get a part time job, and start building savings again, working 40-50 hours a week over the summer. This makes paying $500-800 a month in rent very difficult.

    This semester I worked 25-30 hours a week, had 17 credits, and almost didn't pass two classes. Calculus and Accounting 2 pwned me. This summer I'll have a Associates Degree in Business.

    Next year will be nothing but science and geography! (Going for Environmental Geography at a 4-year university)

    It's either I pay rent and ride to work/school, or I live at home and drive to work/school. Current fuel costs per month are only like $200, if that. If I were to live closer to school, the GF would always want me to come to her, in which case I'd still be spending money on gas.

    I wish I could live bike-only, but thats a bit unrealistic right now.

  30. #30
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    Around here when only a few cars can make a light it's because the next light is backed up that far, not because people don't accelerate hard enough. It's because there are just too many cars on the road, not really that people are not aggressive enough. More carpooling would help the situation!

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    my car gets 35-38 which is ok, but im getting a bike just for commuting, one job is 28miles away,other job is 15 miles away, school is 7-19 milesaway(depends on class location), and my fire station is 2 blocks away.

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    The distance isn't so bad its the traffic at the time I would need to ride in thats the problem.

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    I find driving slow so boring. I generally cruise around 85. If it was legal I'd cruise at 105 or so.

    When coasting in gear, most modern cars shut off- or nearly shut off- the fuel injectors until you get down to idle engine rpms. If you're in mild stop and go traffic you can keep a low gear to provide easy acceleration and substantial engine braking.

  34. #34
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    I've already been doing these techniques for years. I would also add getting behind a large truck on the interstate to save fuel. I usually don't have the patients for that, but it will definitely save a lot of gas.

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    That's drafting. If you're paying attention it's reasonably safe I guess.

    Do note that rock chips in the paint are basically guaranteed. They kick up a lot of ****.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    Turning off 130 watts of light when it takes 12000 watts to pull a car along at freeway speeds doesn't sound like much savings to me. This kinda reminds me of the weight weenie forum. Although I can appreciate some good weightweenie-ism, some of those guys are nuts.

    Back when I was involved in car racing, we did do a hack to cut the alternator at full throttle. Dunno if it saved any significant amount of energy.

    *edit*

    I did see this guy's modded Civic before. Got me thinking about some mods myself. Lowering the car a bit, making an underpan for the engine bay, blocking off some of the radiator grille. There is a lot of useless opening in my grille. I can prolly do a few mods without changing the way the car looks.

    Your right, saving 130 watts is only a 1% improvement and kind of silly, but like your appreciation for weightweenie-ism, if you have enough 1% gains, soon they start to add up to something substantial.

    Pimpbot, you must be a engineer because 12,000 watts right on for a car like the Prius going 65 mph. For those who dont know 12,000 watts it is is 16 hp. So, watt do you need 100 + hp for?? Answer: acceleration and gradability. If you would except modest acceleration, then you could have a much more efficient smaller engine.

    A more significant variable is weight. Size is the biggest driver of weight. Even with the same steel construction a smaller car is going to weigh less, and have a smaller crossectional area, for less drag, and smaller tires for less rolling resistance. The problem is that Car companies building larger, faster, and heavier cars so that you can buy them as status symbols and fuel economy has tanked even though we have better technology (Ford).

    I bike most places, but when I drive, I drive a Honda Insight. For me, 55 mpg is bad. I have to be accelerating hard and driving fast for that to happen. I was amazed when I bought this 8 year old car. It is fast. The insight is 2 seconds faster to 60 mph than the Prius and has a top speed over 125 mph. My best is 74 mpg going north on Hyw 101 towards San Carlos in traffic at 55 MPH in the slow lane. At that speed at a constant throttle, the engine will go into lean burn, and instant MPG will go over 100 mpg.

  37. #37
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    A small, weak engine won't automagically get you good mileage. Remember that.

    I drove a 90 something hp protege for a while. Even babying it I got low to mid 30s mostly highway.

    Too bad I get high 20s while not babying my 250hp sports car (Sees 16psi, 7250 rpms often). 36 is my highest.

    And hybrids suck for most people.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    I was amazed when I bought this 8 year old car. It is fast.
    No. Just no.

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    Would dirt cause wind drag on the car hence reducing mileage?

  40. #40
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    If you mean having dirty paint I would say it's unmeasurable by normal people.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Picard
    Would dirt cause wind drag on the car hence reducing mileage?
    It does in GT4

  42. #42
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    WHy is that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Epic_Gamer

    And hybrids suck for most people.
    'splain, please. The only downsides I can think of off the bat is 1) initial price and 2) no new cars available with a stick.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    'splain, please. The only downsides I can think of off the bat is 1) initial price and 2) no new cars available with a stick.
    3) Unproven longevity
    4) Maintanance difficulties

    While "most people" don't fall in this catagory, people like my gf's dad do. Every vehicle they own they'd had since brand new, and he does all his own work. This includes their 1973 Chevy K20, 197? Chevy Vega, 1981 Transvan camper, 1989 Oldsmobile, mid 90's Astro, late 90's Buick, and probably more I can't remember. Is a hybrid going to last 35 without major costly maintance like the pickup? Or will it go through a half dozen battery packs that may not even be available 20 years down the road? And can he change them at home, or is a slew of specialty tools needed to keep the average Joe-grease-monkey out of there?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    3) Unproven longevity
    4) Maintenance difficulties

    And can he change them at home, or is a slew of specialty tools needed to keep the average Joe-grease-monkey out of there?

    I dont see Longevity or Maintenance a problem. Currently, its the battery cost. The Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) has both maintenance issues. Think of all the wear items that dont last the life of the car:

    Engine Oil, transmission Oil, spark plugs, belts, air filter, oil filter, fuel filter, pvc valve, egr valve, coolant, water pumps, timing belts, seals, clutch, valves, more...

    I have been told that it is about $1000 to replace a Miata belt at 60000 miles (the spec in the manual) . (I never put that many mile son my Miata before I sold) The hybrid batteries will last about 15 years, by that time, you will have spent the cost of today's high cost battery in maintenance on a $30 belt. Just the belt. That is because it take so much labor to maintain the ICE.

    The "keep it simple, stupid" engineering solution is the Battery Electric Vehicle for your regular commuting. The battery is the only maintenance item and it is a Line Replaceable Unit (LRU) that does not take a lot of labor, disassembly, and adjustment, like a valve adjustment or a timing belt/chain replacement. Just flip the breaker on the pack to kill the voltage. That is what the Insight and Prius hackers do.

    So, once they solve the battery cost problem, maintenance on HEV and BEVs will be simple and cost effective. Battery cost will go down because car companies know that they have to electrify vehicles to stay competitive and meet CAFE , EPA and fuel economy demand. The Volt, Prius III , Aptera, Tesla, Think, Karma, Phoenix, ect are examples of this. Read Automotive Engineering, a SAE mag.

  45. #45
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    The first thing to go on a car's drivetrain is usually the automatic transmission. Well guess what, hybrids don't have an automatic! The Prius uses a planetary gearset with no clutch. That setup should last the life of the car.

    Same goes for the electric motor. No wear/tear. The hybrid bits are warrantied long enough so that by the time they're out of coverage you've had scads of problems with your typical American car. Every single "normal" car I've owned has given me problems long before the drivetrain quit.

    I'll take a gamble on something as reliable as a Toyota hybrid that might go kaput at 200k miles vs. something like an American pickup truck which will last forever but requires endless trips to the mechanic to keep it doing so. Quantity is not quality!

    As for the battery cost argument, once there is a market for battery replacements I'm sure competition will step in an drive down the cost of the packs. In the meantime you have saved how many thousands of dollars in $4/gal gasoline again?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Killroy
    I have been told that it is about $1000 to replace a Miata belt at 60000 miles (the spec in the manual) . (I never put that many mile son my Miata before I sold) The hybrid batteries will last about 15 years, by that time, you will have spent the cost of today's high cost battery in maintenance on a $30 belt. Just the belt. That is because it take so much labor to maintain the ICE.
    I've also been quoted $750-$980 to replace the timing chain in my old Toyota's 22RE. I've done several and have it down to about 4 hours time and under $150 for upgraded parts (stock replacement parts are a bit over $50).

    So hybrids are cheaper because batteries will last longer than a timing belt. But don't these hybrids also have an internal combustion engine, just like a regular car? Plus a whole electric powertrain on top of that. Sounds like a little more complicated of a system to me.

    I agree electric will eventually be the way to go. I don't think it's quite there yet, and we will need to get electricity from cleaner sources first (wind, solar, hydroelectric, and, I'll say it, nuclear). Trading internal combustion for more coal burning plants just doesn't do it for me.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam728
    I've also been quoted $750-$980 to replace the timing chain in my old Toyota's 22RE. I've done several and have it down to about 4 hours time and under $150 for upgraded parts (stock replacement parts are a bit over $50).

    So hybrids are cheaper because batteries will last longer than a timing belt. But don't these hybrids also have an internal combustion engine, just like a regular car? Plus a whole electric powertrain on top of that. Sounds like a little more complicated of a system to me.

    I agree electric will eventually be the way to go. I don't think it's quite there yet, and we will need to get electricity from cleaner sources first (wind, solar, hydroelectric, and, I'll say it, nuclear). Trading internal combustion for more coal burning plants just doesn't do it for me.

    What I was trying to say about hybrids is that the weakest link is the ICE. Hybrids have both a ICE and the electric drive train making the system more complicated. Commutes should ditch the ICE and go pure electric BEV. A Prius size BEV would get well over 150 MPG Equivalent energy of electricity tank pump to wheels. A light BEV would get 170 MPGe.

    About the source of electricity: I agree the country sould use more wind, solar, geothermal, SMALL Hydro, and recycled Nuke.

    Everyone should know that even if you are charging a BEV with 100% coal, BEVs emit half the Green House Gases (GHG) that the average Gas ICE. Charge with Califonia Energy or Photo Voltaics on you roof, even better.

    Can brew Gasoline on your roof?

    Note this is for PHEVs or REEVs from EPRI



    I would like to have a BEV, but my bike is even better than any car.

  48. #48
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    I wish I could bike to work, but I really don't fancy the 2000 foot elevation gain over 4-5 miles.

  49. #49
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    I'm going to be doing a 1200 mile trip this week (leaving tomorrow) and I'll be keeping track of my fuel consumption. I drive an 07 Honda Fit sport manual trans. The trip will be just me with two bikes and the stuff I'm going to need until July. I'm planning on keeping the bikes inside the car for fuel economy savings, but I'm going to have the rack on the roof (Thule rack with fairing and 2x sidearm carriers) because I'll want it for shorter trips once I'm at my destination.

    The drive will involve pretty constant, but light A/C use and lots of stereo use (XM receiver + 200watt 6speaker oem stereo).

    I do not anticipate driving faster than 70mph, except maybe in the short stretch of WV I"ll be passing through in the vicinity of Wheeling as well as through Indiana. I'm not sure of the speed limits in any other states I'll be driving through (IL, KY, TN, AR, TX). I'll be using cruise control almost exclusively, except in heavy traffic. I anticipate 36-37mpg, but I'm going to see if I can push 40. Without the roof rack, that would be easy, I think. It's more of a challenge with the extra drag.

  50. #50
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    This is why I own a diesel Mercedes, and am purchasing a trans-ester reactor kit to turn vegetable oil (bad for engines, regardless of what you may have heard) into biodiesel (good for engines).

    If my fuel costs half as much as your fuel, the fact that I'm only getting in the high 20s MPG means less

    I sold a 2003 Civic Hybrid and bought the 83 Mercedes, and a bunch of other stuff, with the proceeds. I'm much happier. Even though the thing only has 63 hp at the crank, back when it was new.

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