Hybrids are in

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Hearth Supporter
Nov 18, 2005
105,185
South Puget Sound, WA
Hybrids are the best of both worlds, not surprising that they're growing in sales..
 
It is great to have options for whatever circumstances you find yourself in. If I ever need another vehicle, and hybrids are available for my needs, I would look hard at a hybrid.
 
My plug in hybrid Rav 4 prime is just about 3 years old and no regrets. It gets great mileage even in gas mode and if its trip less than 40 miles round trip, it runs on electric power which I get for "free" as surplus solar generation. It also has a lot of passing power if I need it. It was rushed to market and has had one recall and another potentially major issue with a corroded power cable that Toyota will cover for up to 100K and 7 years that supposedly has been fixed on later model years.
 
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what i need is a 3/4 or 1 ton hybrid truck that matches or exceeds my current unit. That wouldd make me get on board. I do not have a mega monster unit, just a stock 20 year old diesel 3/4 ton pickup and I sure as H do not need all the nanny state doo dads.
 
We've been driving a hybrid in one form or another for the past 17 yrs. Each one has been better than the last. The only concern I have is dealer service. Toyota has this down pat. We had excellent service on our Prius, though the car only needed routine maintenance. The knowledge of repair at the big 3 dealers has been inconsistent. In one case, with our new 2013 Volt, their techs were learning (and making mistakes) on our car. Our 2018 Volt has been flawless with only routine maintenance.
 
Hybrids were not a big seller (in the US) over the last 10 years due to most buyers not seeing a value proposition. And BEVs cannibalizing sales to eco-minded buyers.

Now that EPA mandated fleet mileage regs are approaching 50 mpg, the makers are both making more hybrids and pricing them to sell, to avoid costly fines.


This is not a story of folks demanding hybrids and the makers supplying them. This is the makers making hybrids due to regulations, pricing them to move and buyers going 'Oh, these are actually nice!'

For example, Toyota is no longer selling a non-hybrid Camry in the US starting in the 2025 model year. :cool:

And Toyota finally ditched the NiMH in 2024... all Camry trims going forward use a 1 kWh Lithium battery.
 
I think it's more a case of buyers now not feeling they are early adopters. Hybrids have been out long enough to have a track record. Secondly, hybrids are a much better interim solution for many owners. They remove the range anxiety issue and are available in larger vehicles now like trucks. That and the general public is waiting for the promised next generation of batteries with greater safety, power density, and faster charging that is promised coming in the next few years.
 
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I think the only way to keep power outputs comparable to ICE while meeting mileage requirements is a hybrid. (Well you could always do a full BEV). The new Model 3 performance will be really hard to beat from a performance/cost perspective. It’s a nice balanced starting point that I’m sure will go over well with the go fast crowd.
 
Performance is seriously overated and pimped spec. Range yes, 0-60 in less than 6 seconds, no.
 
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Performance is seriously overated and pimped spec. Range yes, 0-60 in less than 6 seconds, no.
But 0-60 sells cars. Who cares about a non plugin hybrid’s range. I could get 215 miles on the interstate in my 92 4Runner. It was 200 miles home from college. One windy day I had to stop and fill up. But you had to make that decision 30 miles from home as that was the last gas stop. Almost every trip ended with the fuel light on.

I concede that with the possible implosion or halt of expansion of the Tesla charging network a plug in hybrid makes practical sense for most people. A 120 miles trip on the interstate I drove by 4 Tesla charging stations. I wouldn’t take any thing other than a Tesla out of town. Maybe the Hybrid Ram truck will be the electric breakthrough that turns the tide but I doubt it.
 
It's a lot harder to go and get a can of electrons if you run out of fuel and are stranding on the highway.
 
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It's a lot harder to go and get a can of electrons if you run out of fuel and are stranding on the highway.
Yep but many cars don’t even have a spare tire. So calling for road side assistance is just going to be a more frequent part of driving.
 
not if you get a plug in hybrid ...
 
Yes. Though I have not owned a car without one.
So I don't really get that. (I have driven one that was not at pressure, which was duly noted after I put it on on the interstate, with the kids behind a tree behind the guard rail waiting till I was done...)

Yet, you said road side assistance will go up. I said not for PHEVs - as I presume (spare tire) behavior won't change for owners switching to a PHEV, meaning that assistance calls would have the same frequency.
Or are you saying PHEVs come standard *without* a spare tire (b/c space is used by batteries)?
That would be a step backwards, imo.
 
We've been driving a hybrid in one form or another for the past 17 yrs. Each one has been better than the last. The only concern I have is dealer service. Toyota has this down pat. We had excellent service on our Prius, though the car only needed routine maintenance. The knowledge of repair at the big 3 dealers has been inconsistent. In one case, with our new 2013 Volt, their techs were learning (and making mistakes) on our car. Our 2018 Volt has been flawless with only routine maintenance.

This is a big concern of mine. I was looking at some several years ago and I would have had to go to Massachusetts as the closest place for certified service. That is a minimum of 50 miles for me just to the state line, much less where service actually was at. I'm sure that distribution is much better now.

BUT, at the same time, I'm still 30 miles away from any dealer/service besides Ford (which is 2 miles from me), so I am either limited in my choice or have to be comfortable that it is unlikely the vehicle would need to be towed that far. Don't laugh, last time I had a vehicle towed 2 miles (smashed windshield), it cost $85 - at that rate it would be close to $1,300 to be towed 30 miles.
 
This is a big concern of mine. I was looking at some several years ago and I would have had to go to Massachusetts as the closest place for certified service. That is a minimum of 50 miles for me just to the state line, much less where service actually was at. I'm sure that distribution is much better now.

BUT, at the same time, I'm still 30 miles away from any dealer/service besides Ford (which is 2 miles from me), so I am either limited in my choice or have to be comfortable that it is unlikely the vehicle would need to be towed that far. Don't laugh, last time I had a vehicle towed 2 miles (smashed windshield), it cost $85 - at that rate it would be close to $1,300 to be towed 30 miles.
AAA or a third party service agreement that includes towing. Dealership talked me into one. Rolled the cost into the loan. Interest rate was low in 2013. 90k miles later I’m pretty sure I got a lemon or I drive my cars hard or both.
 
My Rav 4 Prime Hybrid is 5.5 seconds zero to 60 and very impressive for highway passing. Considering I used to have a GMC Syclone for a few years which was the fastest pickup truck for quite a few years and definitely optimized for zero to 60 https://www.caranddriver.com/review...ne-vs-ferrari-348ts-archived-comparison-test/ the Rav 4 Prime is pretty impressive. For the 99.99 percent of the time I did not need zero to 60, I appreciate the 40 MPG highway (regular) of the Rav 4 versus 17 MPG (premium). I also get 40 miles of "free" EV driving for around town off of surplus solar.

My Rav 4 is a compliance and PR car rushed to production to meet CA standards and prove that Toyota was in the EV game to some extent. One trade off was in order to fit the battery, a portion of the space normally reserved for a full sized spare was cut off making it too shallow for a full sized spare. A full size will fit, it just sticks up out of the floor a couple of inches and some folks willing to lose more space out back do carry a full size. They did supply a full diameter alloy spare with a reduced width. Its a lot better compromise than a normal reduced temp a spare or the dreaded fix a flat. The battery design is "ancient" almost three years old and my guess is with the current increase in battery density, a newer battery pack may not have to eat up the spare tire well and with clean sheet a full sized spare could be accommodated. When playing the economy game especially with small vehicles things like a full size spare make a small but noticeable difference in fuel economy so they tend to get left out. Ultimately if the consumer expects and is willing to pay for a full sized spare a company will fit one in. I think other folks would rather carry fix a flat and use up the space that is there and put in more batteries to extend the range. Its trade off that every car maker makes.
 
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It seems to me that our dependence on having a spare tire onboard has been reduced significantly with the advent of TPSMS (one of the "nanny state doo dads" that @blades mentioned above). Most of our flats have resulted from small object penetration with a subsequent slow loss of air that used to result in a stranding when the tire became unusable. Nowadays I'm alerted to the air loss and can take action to avoid a flat. It's been quite a while since I've needed to put a spare on.
 
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Roofers nails on the highway got me. Ran over it heard the rhythmic ticking, thought it was a stone. 1 minute later the air pressure sensor alarmed.
 
I think it's more a case of buyers now not feeling they are early adopters. Hybrids have been out long enough to have a track record. Secondly, hybrids are a much better interim solution for many owners. They remove the range anxiety issue and are available in larger vehicles now like trucks. That and the general public is waiting for the promised next generation of batteries with greater safety, power density, and faster charging that is promised coming in the next few years.

I will half agree. Early adopter? The tech has been in the field at scale in the US for 23 years. Lot's of other auto tech has been adopted more quickly than that. Ofc, with expensive and heavy NiMH batteries hybridization was expensive, and so a lot of buyers either didn't want to pay for it (unless they has a good use case for it) or were worried about replacing $$$ batteries.

Now even Toyota is using lithium batteries (a new tech for them), but that 1 kWh battery pack shouldn't cost more than a few hundred $$$.

So hybrids have gotten much cheaper, and the tech evolved recently.
 
It seems to me that our dependence on having a spare tire onboard has been reduced significantly with the advent of TPSMS (one of the "nanny state doo dads" that @blades mentioned above). Most of our flats have resulted from small object penetration with a subsequent slow loss of air that used to result in a stranding when the tire became unusable. Nowadays I'm alerted to the air loss and can take action to avoid a flat. It's been quite a while since I've needed to put a spare on.

I was very worried when my first car didn't have a spare... so I lugged a donut around in the back of my LEAF for 3.5 years, never needing it. After than I have driven since 2016 without a spare.

I picked up a rusty wood screw in the tread in 2019, on a long road trip, and only saw the flat after I had parked overnight. I inflated it and started home, and lost air at an increasing rate while driving.

I stopped at a rest area, pulled out the screw, inserted a 'bacon' plug, reinflated, and was on my way faster than I could've changed a spare. And drove the tire like that for another 20,000 miles before it was worn out.

I'm a believer... tire plug kit and inflator yes, and call a tow for anything bigger that that can't fix.
 
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It's a lot harder to go and get a can of electrons if you run out of fuel and are stranding on the highway.
I'm a believer... tire plug kit and inflator yes, and call a tow for anything bigger that that can't fix.
Agreed. We haven't had a spare in a primary car for the last decade. A flat may be fixable on site or at least at the nearest garage. That's not so for a dead primary battery in an EV. The distances in the midwest or west between charging options can be great and the odds of an AAA truck with a charger are still slim in a lot of locations there. That could mean a tow of 100 miles and then only to find out that the only thing the garage can offer to plug into is a 110v outlet. At best, the charger in Eastern WA or OR will be a 6.5kW unit unless one is only driving on a freeway of which there are none in eastern OR. And that is assuming it is working.
 
Agreed. We haven't had a spare in a primary car for the last decade. A flat may be fixable on site or at least at the nearest garage. That's not so for a dead primary battery in an EV. The distances in the midwest or west between charging options can be great and the odds of an AAA truck with a charger are still slim in a lot of locations there. That could mean a tow of 100 miles and then only to find out that the only thing the garage can offer to plug into is a 110v outlet. At best, the charger in Eastern WA or OR will be a 6.5kW unit unless one is only driving on a freeway of which there are none in eastern OR. And that is assuming it is working.

Still not sure why I would ever have a dead battery (working but at 0% SoC I assume) at all, let alone 100 miles from a DCFC.

Worst case is I decide to 'white-knuckle' a 100-150 mile leg of a trip (leaving less than 20 miles buffer) AND hit some extra load not predicted by my route planner (massive headwind? temp drops 20°F instantly?) AND don't notice and compensate (by, for instance slowing to 55 mph from 75 mph).

Say all three of those things happen, and I end up stranded a few miles from a DCFC. I call for a tow... a few miles to the DCFC, and I'm back in business. No?

OR

I white knuckle into the DCFC with 10 miles on the dash, and NONE of the DCFC stalls are working. And the next DCFC is 20-30 miles away. Hmmm. Fortunately, most such stops have L-2's that can charge me at 7 kW (or 20 mph). So I don't need a tow, just need to take a nap for an hour or two to get enough charge to get to the next DCFC.

The 'NONE chargers working' would only occur in practice if they were taken offline. And in that case, I would've gotten a notice of that when I routed to that station, preventing the occurrence.

OR

You are talking about that route you take in the Mountain West with very sketchy DCFC coverage. Yeah... I wouldn't drive that one!