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Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act of 2001. Senate Bill 2617. Hearing 7/30/02.
<http://www.asashop.org/legis/SB2617.htm>

Interesting bill that requires the car manufacturers to make public all information required to repair/mod an automobile. The idea is that independent mechanics are squeezed out by undocumented computer systems. Also, to facilitate the development of non-OEM parts.

“Such information shall include--
(1) information necessary to integrate replacement equipment into the vehicle; and
(2) other information of any kind used to diagnose, service, repair, activate, certify, or install any motor vehicle equipment (including replacement equipment) in a motor vehicle.”

The Trade Secret loophole is daunting, but if this bill passes our sandbox could get a whole lot bigger.
nathan
 
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This bill would be a gift from the automotive gods. In my opinion certain car manufactuars are becoming a bit shifty. Ive recentlly researched both the Toyota and Honda hybrids, and there are several drastic differences between the two models. The most striking difference is the nature of the fuel economy, the prius is most efficent in city driving, but the insite/civic works best for highway driving, just like a CONVENTIONAL vehicle.
Other differences are the voltage; Prius=238 Insite=12 (just like a CONVENTIONAL vehicle). I have been a loyal Honda owner since I was 16 years old, and I have often comminted on Honda being the best auto maker ever, so of course I tested there vehicle first. It wasn't easy but I finally found that they use a continuous mesh starter motor, this seemed like an attempt to produce a fake hybrid. A starter motor adds a negligable amount of power to a gasoline engine. (Try running your car off of the starter, I did)
You might think they use a better motor but recall voltage(V) is equal to resistance(R) multiplyed by current (I), and power(P) is equal to V * I, so solving power in terms of voltage one obtains: P = V^2 / R, so to increase the power into an electric motor one must transform the voltage.
I do have more detailed calculations for power output as well as preliminary experamentally results on variations in electromagnets, but to avoid being even more long winded, I will conclude by saying it would have saved me alot of time if the Honda dealer would have been legally obligated to answer one damned question about the vehicle he was attempting to sell me. The Toyota dealer was very helpful, although the Prius is infinitely more complex, I would like to know more about the circuitry, but at least I know it is a real hybrid, with a real electric motor.
Screw Honda,
 
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This bill would be a gift from the automotive gods. In my opinion certain car manufactuars are becoming a bit shifty. Ive recentlly researched both the Toyota and Honda hybrids, and there are several drastic differences between the two models. The most striking difference is the nature of the fuel economy, the prius is most efficent in city driving, but the insite/civic works best for highway driving, just like a CONVENTIONAL vehicle.
Other differences are the voltage; Prius=238 Insite=12 (just like a CONVENTIONAL vehicle). I have been a loyal Honda owner since I was 16 years old, and I have often comminted on Honda being the best auto maker ever, so of course I tested there vehicle first. It wasn't easy but I finally found that they use a continuous mesh starter motor, this seemed like an attempt to produce a fake hybrid. A starter motor adds a negligable amount of power to a gasoline engine. (Try running your car off of the starter, I did)
You might think they use a better motor but recall voltage(V) is equal to resistance(R) multiplyed by current (I), and power(P) is equal to V * I, so solving power in terms of voltage one obtains: P = V^2 / R, so to increase the power into an electric motor one must transform the voltage.
I do have more detailed calculations for power output as well as preliminary experamentally results on variations in electromagnets, but to avoid being even more long winded, I will conclude by saying it would have saved me alot of time if the Honda dealer would have been legally obligated to answer one damned question about the vehicle he was attempting to sell me. The Toyota dealer was very helpful, although the Prius is infinitely more complex, I would like to know more about the circuitry, but at least I know it is a real hybrid, with a real electric motor.
Screw Honda,
Ken
 
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Hi Ken,
It would sure be nice if more Honda and Toyota dealers knew what they're selling, but for the hybrids, you usually have to find the one salesperson at the dealership who's been specially trained. Your Honda dealer definitely misinformed you. Although both the Prius and Hybrid Civic have small 12V batteries, the Prius never uses it to start the engine and the Hybrid Civic only uses it to start the engine on the rare occasion that the driver let the hybrid battery run down. The Hybrid Civic's hybrid battery is 144 Volts, not 12 (and the Prius hybrid battery is 273.6 volts, not 238). The Hybrid Civic has one brushless synchronous motor/generator rated at 13.4 HP, while the Prius has two, the larger rated at 44 HP.

Great websites to start learning more about these cars:

Prius: http://www.channel1.com/users/graham
Honda: http://www.insitecentral.com

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Thanks Robert,
I will definintlly look into those sights. Also to clarify I am absolutly satisfied with the Toyota Dealership, they were able to answer most of my questions, I do understand that they are salesmen and not engineers. My frustration was directed totally at Honda, the dealer kept trying to "give me a great deal" , even though he could not specify the voltage or horsepower of the Civic Hybrid motor. In contrast I think that the Toyota design is an absolutly a work of art. My only complaint is that Toyota has put perfect electric system next to a less than average gasoline motor. I think they made this sacrificed in order to get the emmisions so damned low, since the high compression ratio would likely eliminate the emmission of Hydro-Carbons.
I know the hybrid motor is without a doubt superior to a pure gasoline motor, and at this point the Toyota design could easily become an option on the entire line of models, just like a CD player or sun roof. For instance, a hybrid celica could probably get at least 40 mpg, look great, and outperform anything on the road. The Rav4 pure electric vehicle, appears to be none other than the prius system at a higher voltage, the system should work for a wide range of vehicles, I wish that it was applied to purposes other than low emmision s, most people couldn't care less anyway so why compete for a very small market that they already dominated.
Ken Cooper
 
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Hybrid choices

I wonder whether the detune of the engine, to get SULEV emissions, was to try to get partial Zero-Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) credits in California. I have no proof of this, but it seems to make some sense.

It will be interesting in the future to see how hybrid technology is deployed and marketed. Imagine a Celica with a not-much-smaller engine and an electric motor... drag racers would be in heaven.

... Mike
 

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Ken, there are a few peculiar statements in your post that I'd like to take a closer look at.

You say "Toyota has put perfect electric system next to a less than average gasoline motor". What on earth do you mean? The Prius engine is superbly crafted for the application and is exactly matched to the electrical system. It has a peak efficiency of 37% and a broad range of output power over which efficiency is above 35%. (This is not to say that the Honda hybrid engine is any less superb.)

You say "I think they made this sacrificed [sic] ...". There was no sacrifice. The design goals of the car were economy and low emission with acceptable performance.

You say "... the high compression ratio ...". The Prius engine does not have a high compression ratio. The figure of 13 that is often incorrectly given as the compression ratio is the expansion ratio. For an Atkinson engine they are different. The compression ratio is variable and less than 10.

You say "The Rav4 ... appears to be none other than the prius system at a higher voltage". This is completely untrue and leads me to believe that you do not understand the Prius power train at all.

You seem to think that a hybrid power train would be a good way to make a powerful car. It isn't. The power-to-weight and power-to-volume of a hybrid is nowhere near what is achievable with a conventional Otto cycle internal combustion engine.

Of course, none of this has got anything to do with the original subject of this thread.

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Re: Hybrid choices

Mike, the engine was not de-tuned, it was engineered from the ground up for efficiency and low emissions. It has the necessary power output and no more. This is the whole point of hybrid power trains.

A "Celica with a not-much-smaller engine and an electric motor" will have to haul around a lot of weight in batteries as well and will get pooped on by a properly designed performance car. Electric dragsters turn in twelve second quarter miles and compete on their own terms but not with Otto cycle internal combustion engine powered dragsters.

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Dear Graham,
I appriciate your clarification about the atkins motor, that really had me puzzeled. In my mind when you drive an "economic" car it is because you made a sacrifice to save money. I will also concied that the gasoline motors are nice, but take the civic for example, it gets close to 50 mpg give or take, In 1992 my parents bought a civic LX with a 1.5 liter engine that was considerably stronger than the the new hybrid, and got around 40 mpg. You claim that the new civic is fine tuned for economy, in 10 years they have improved milage by 20% and given up about 30% of the horsepower, in my mind that is just wrong. My point is that the addition of of an EM motor assist to that 1992 civic would result in comprable mileage with the new civic.
You also claimed that I do not understand the prius power train at all, if anything I do not understand the RAV4 power train at all. Either way you do seem confident that I was in error but you did not give any reasons for your conclusion, the reason I described the Prius as being similar to the RAV4 is that if I was wrong, someone would explain the difference.
I will admit that I am lacking in knowledge about these vehicles, but not by choice, and that is what this topic was about in the first place.
Ken Cooper
 
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Ken, although we're still off the original thread, you raise good points for discussion.

The new hybrid Civic is a great deal bigger than the 1992 Civic that got 40 m.p.g. I don't know why car models grow year-by-year, but they do. So, Honda have improved the economy by around 20%, made the car bigger and actually have not given up anything like 30% in performance because of the addition of the electric assist. It is not true that adding electric assist to the 1992 Civic would improve its mileage. The assist only comes into play when you demand more power than the engine can supply, so in most situations you'd be driving on the regular old engine. The extra weight of the motor and battery would give you a heavier car, so you'd be worse off, not better. In city driving, regenerative braking would offset this a bit, but the whole point of hybrids is to use a smaller engine that is more efficient for a larger proportion of normal driving.

Regarding the RAV4 EV, the power train is pretty simple. You have a nice big electric motor/generator instead of an engine and a battery instead of a fuel tank. In the Prius, you have an engine, two motor/generators, an epicyclic gear set to combine the power from these three, a fuel tank, a battery and some really, really complicated software. If you are interested in the details, you should visit my Web site.

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Graham,
Sorry about my last message, right after I clicked submit I noticed your web link, you do make some excellent points. I have been searching for over a month now, and yours is the first web sight I have found that actually explanes the Prius. That car is a real work of art, I could not bring myself to buy one without understanding it. Well, I can't thank you enough for the info, perhaps after I finish reviewing your web sight I will continue debating, but for now I must determine what I am talking about.
Ken Cooper
 
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