Last post on May 23, 2001 at 1:42 PM
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Toyota Prius, Honda Insight, Hybrid Cars, Fuel Efficiency (MPG)
#110 of 257 Insight CVT and Prius in GT2
Feb 02, 2000 (2:00 am)
The brochure for the Honda Insight given to me this afternoon states that the CVT will be available as an option sometime later in 2000. That means a hybrid engine, and a hybrid transmission!
Since I drive 60-80K per year as a courier, the gasoline savings would be seen in about four to five years. People who drive long commutes daily, who put 30-40K a year or more on their cars, would see the gas savings well before the life of the car was up.
Interesting note: the Toyota Prius is available for 21,500 credits in the Playstation game Gran Turismo 2. It's strange to see the tachometer drop to 0 when braking or cornering with my finger off the accelerator. I was able to win a couple of races with it against VW Lupos and other small cars.
Feb 02, 2000 (2:05 am)
CVT is the rubber band transmission. It's a Continuously Variable Transmission, with no preset gears. See the January 1996 issue of Car & Driver for an explanation (Civic won 10 Best that year, and also Automobile magazine's Car of the Year), or maybe somewhere online might have it.
The Civic HX comes standard with a 5-speed, gets 37 city and 43 highway. The CVT has been available since 1996 on the Civic HX coupe, and it gets 34 city and 38 highway. Those are figures I remember from 1997 when I worked at the Civic factory in East Liberty.
#112 of 257 Europe Maybe . . .
Feb 02, 2000 (4:53 am)
Hydrids don't make sense in the US, gas is just plain way too cheap, even now. Even with the huge subsidies that are provided by maker, the numbers just don't add up.
I think Europe is the place they should be pushed - gas is 2 to 3X more expensive there. If they are offered there it will be interesting. The question is not whether people will want hybrids, but at what gas price? 3 bucks per gallon, 4, 5, 6, 10?!
Feb 02, 2000 (10:58 pm)
Hybrid cars will be used by environment conscious more than by money conscious in the USA since gas is cheap. There will not be big savings here in terms of money but when one would go back and think how much of the limited natural resource (gas) he/she burnt every week, the results would come faster. Small attempts like this are for advancements in the future. 5000 little Insights sharing road with 50000 Excursions (BTW, 95% of the time, both will have only one passenger) makes the "green" advantage insignificant. But, future Hondas could use the technology in the mainstream cars if the battery pack could become cheaper. Again, Hondas are not all there are, but then the rest will follow. It has to begin somewhere.
Feb 04, 2000 (4:42 am)
51 Insights sold in the USA in January 2000.
#115 of 257 hybrids
Feb 06, 2000 (2:45 am)
Few days ago I went to check out the 4Runner, (Chicago Suburbs) and my daughter noticed Toyota Echo. She was sold immidiately.! She said it is the right size and right amount of options. Even though it is sold below the manufacturers cost right now, it will pay off later. Not because of the environment (we don't have that much impact on it) but because of the loogic behind the the more economical car.
#116 of 257 hybrids
Feb 06, 2000 (2:50 am)
And yes another thing... some of the posters are talking about something they shouldn't be... If you are talking about Europe or Japan look at their market first. Not at the "USA Today" but at the source, like "Aautomotive News Europe" or "Japan Auto"
Feb 07, 2000 (3:58 am)
Toyota Echo is not the Toyota hybrid. Toyota Prius is. Echo replaced Tercel and comes with CVT transmission (same as in Civic HX).
Feb 23, 2000 (7:08 pm)
Seem to attract shoppers who are...well...,non mainstream. Was that PC?
Mar 24, 2000 (11:38 pm)
If these hybrid cars are allowed in the HOV lane (with 1 passenger) like the electrical cars in California, there might be quite a demand for them, at least in the SF Bay Area.