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post #21 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 07:29 PM
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i believe the requirement for a gas/electric hybrid set by the US gov is that the car can't be plugged in and it must regenerate energy on its own
 
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post #22 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 08:17 PM
 
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I've not heard of any U.S. Government rules or regulations on the use of the term gas/electric hybrid (other than the tax deduction that just says the car must be able to use an alternate fuel such as electricity).

Also, in just 3 more months we'll know there's a battery on the market that can live through more than 4 years of intensive use. Pikachu's battery is not showing any signs of weakness yet. Actually, we already know there are batteries in Japan that have been running around in Prius for over 6 years.
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post #23 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 09:58 PM
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The quote about 4 year batteries...usually the way I've heard it is that if you use 100% of the battery it will last x years, and if you use 50%, then it will last x/.5 or twice as long.

So the reason why Toyota's batteries will last longer than 4 years may be that they are using less than 1/2. Of course this ratio might be different for different batteries. Lead-Acid in particular doesn't like to be cycled down and thus if you use 100% depth of discharge, it won't last long at all.

This is fine for the Prius to only use 40% of its charge or whatever, but if you wanted to price a plug-in hybrid, you'd have to take into account the depth of discharge in how long it will last.

For example, suppose you decide that 10kwh will take you 50 miles and that is the size you want. Furthermore this battery pack, 10kwh, will cost you $2000. You'd have to realize that if you are deep cycling it, it will only last 4 or 5 years. You could cycle it half way, but then you'd need twice as big a pack to last twice the amount of time.
 
 
post #24 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-03-2004, 07:59 PM
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Originally Posted by kennyb
A plug in hybrid would allow you to use mostly electricity on short trips. Say for under 50 miles. Then you could plug it in at night... Does anyone know if they have one in the works or have one in Japan?
We had not just a hybrid, but a pure electric car. It was available in California, you didn't have to go to Japan. you can google for "GM EV1" or you can stop by http://ev1-club.power.net/ to visit an enthusiasts club.

GM manufactured it in the 90's. People liked it. They have recalled and scrapped them all, every single one. GM states that there was no market, but the people who leased them say that GM would *not* sell them at any price.

GM also says that it makes no economic sense whatsoever to make or try to sell hybrid vehicles. (REF: http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pi ... UIfPIpOiJc) I say that what Japan did to Detroit in the 1960's is nothing compared to what they are going to do in the 2000's. Last time they only had a superior product for a superior price. This time they also have name brand recognition, a solid reputation, and dealers and parts availability everywhere.
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post #25 of 30 (permalink) Old 07-06-2004, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by kenmce

We had not just a hybrid, but a pure electric car. It was available in California, you didn't have to go to Japan. you can google for "GM EV1" or you can stop by http://ev1-club.power.net/ to visit an enthusiasts club.

GM manufactured it in the 90's. People liked it. They have recalled and scrapped them all, every single one. GM states that there was no market, but the people who leased them say that GM would *not* sell them at any price.
The didn't scrap them all. GM employees working in their alternative propulsion research group still drive them around. I live less than 1/4 mile from there & see these EV1's driving around all the time. FYI - they also drive electric S-10's around.
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post #26 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-19-2004, 04:42 PM
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AFAIK, Toyota see the Prius as a stepping stone to greater things... They have stated that they are working on fuel cell technology and would aim to replace the petrol (gasoline) engine with a fuel cell system. This might explain why they are less interested in further development of battery technology.
 
post #27 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by kenmce

We had not just a hybrid, but a pure electric car. It was available in California, you didn't have to go to Japan. you can google for "GM EV1" or you can stop by http://ev1-club.power.net/ to visit an enthusiasts club.

GM manufactured it in the 90's. People liked it. They have recalled and scrapped them all, every single one. GM states that there was no market, but the people who leased them say that GM would *not* sell them at any price.
The didn't scrap them all. GM employees working in their alternative propulsion research group still drive them around. I live less than 1/4 mile from there & see these EV1's driving around all the time. FYI - they also drive electric S-10's around.
 
post #28 of 30 (permalink) Old 10-28-2004, 07:59 PM
 
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Hmm, guess I must have jinxed myself with that post back in July. Pikachu's battery made it 4 years and 2 weeks, then I took it in for that battery inspection campaign. I'm not sure what they found, but it's taking a long time to fix (15 days so far). First they had to order a "buss bar", then "additional parts", now they're waiting on "acid" to refill it

I'm hoping it's just the customer rep who doesn't understand that a NiMH battery is filled with alkali and getting acid near this will be somewhat more excitement than they're probably used to.

Anyway, due to the extensive sounding nature of the repairs (who knows what they're really doing in there), I think my battery life experiment has come to an end. I have observed that the battery can last at least 4 years, but won't be able to contribute longer observations to the Prius experiment.

I'm sure glad the special campaign is on Toyota's nickle.
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post #29 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-23-2005, 11:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by artman67
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Originally Posted by V8Cobrakid
I think the prius needs solar panels. Mercedes has a solar panel system on there car (it's small, and between the front moonroof and the rear glass roof on certian models. It's designed to run a car cooling system when it's parked. So, Mercedes gets solar power. The prius could do this too. On the plus side, Toyota would have a larger solar panel area due to the absense of a rear sun roof.
Hey they stole my idea ... ok maybe they had it before me

No more leaving the windows cracked on hot days ... makes perfect sense
I beileve the first mass-production vehicle with a solar "ventilation" was the Mazda 929 (the long, swoopy design from the early nineties) and it worked very well, but it didn't have enough oomph to operate the HVAC -- I'd guess you'd need a trailer loaded with PV cells to run the a/c.

One of the joys is leaving the Prius for ten minutes and coming back to a cool car on a 90 degree day ... but I have given up leaving the dogs in the Prius since I heard of a Prius self-igniting and burning to a crisp.
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post #30 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-23-2005, 12:07 PM
 
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If a car ran from electricity "off the grid" it would be burning coal -- the largest single source of "greenhouse gases."

Conversely, if a Prius ran off an electricity source that was reliably derived from renewable sources (solar, seismic, ocean wave, tidal, Earth heat) I'd like to think your average Prius "adopter" would willingly go out of their way to "top up" on energy not derived from fossil fuels.

As a marketer, I could imagine "life style" companies choosing to make renewable-sourced electricity available at their retail locations for their shoppers, perhaps at a subsidized or even free basis.

As for convenience, the car could take up energy off induction circuits, requiring no physical contact and could even charge while in motion. This would work well in known "stop-n-go" or "slow-n-go" congestion points, such as waiting for toll-booths, bridge and freeway ramps or entering and leaving high-density parking facilities. In this way, f'rinstance, you could circle your way up or down a few levels in a parking garage, not making a sound, not generating carbon monoxide and therefore creating a much safer, cleaner, healthier place for everyone involved.

If induction circuits were documented in the navigation system, you could plot a course to maximize your energy pick-up, reducing fuel consumption and emissions ...

Why doesn't the government think ahead past the next election process and make this happen? Why do we see almost every road either dug up or recently sealed over yet there's never a thought to putting electricity lines underground (to improve road safety, reduce the cost of maintenance, prevent wind-fall outtages ...) and at the same time look at ways to introduce better energy solutions for mass transit -- why not have a credit card system where electric induction circuits for buses can "sell" energy to passing hybrid vehicles? As long as it's as cheap per mile as gas, why wouldn't I buy it instead of making it myself the gas/petrol engine?

Imagine how quickly a "lean margin" industry such as taxis would convert their fleets from LPG/CNG to hybrids or pure electric vehicles -- they could share an induction grid/network with electric light rail, underground, buses, shuttles, you name it.

Any employer with more than 500 employees in the same zip code is willing to offer shuttle services to their employees and their families -- it's a win-win for the employee and the employer. I know, for example, Google does this today and it is by no means a big employer ... imagine if these giant employers migrated their tens of thousands of employees (each) to a hybrid/shuttle/mass-transit solution? Even if the major employers had only a 10% success rate, this would translate to millions of "overnight" users of the new infrastructure. It's just not that hard to figure out how to make the move, it's the motivation to move that seems to be hard to reach.
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