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Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Lexus RX 400h, Hybrid Cars
#566 of 627 How long can we find stuff to make hybrids?
Sep 02, 2009 (4:54 pm)
As hybrid cars gobble rare metals, shortage looms
Wed Sep 2, 2009 2:08am EDT
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Prius hybrid automobile is popular for its fuel efficiency, but its electric motor and battery guzzle rare earth metals, a little-known class of elements found in a wide range of gadgets and consumer goods.
That makes Toyota's market-leading gasoline-electric hybrid car and other similar vehicles vulnerable to a supply crunch predicted by experts as China, the world's dominant rare earths producer, limits exports while global demand swells.
Worldwide demand for rare earths, covering 15 entries on the periodic table of elements, is expected to exceed supply by some 40,000 tons annually in several years unless major new production sources are developed. One promising U.S. source is a rare earths mine slated to reopen in California by 2012.
Among the rare earths that would be most affected in a shortage is neodymium, the key component of an alloy used to make he high-power, lightweight magnets for electric motors of hybrid cars, such as the Prius, Honda Insight and Ford Fusion, as well as in generators for wind turbines.
Close cousins terbium and dysprosium are added in smaller amounts to the alloy to preserve neodymium's magnetic properties at high temperatures. Yet another rare earth metal, lanthanum, is a major ingredient for hybrid car batteries.
Production of both hybrids cars and wind turbines is expected to climb sharply amid the clamor for cleaner transportation and energy alternatives that reduce dependence on fossil fuels blamed for global climate change.
Toyota has 70 percent of the U.S. market for vehicles powered by a combination of an internal-combustion engine and electric motor. The Prius is its No. 1 hybrid seller.
Jack Lifton, an independent commodities consultant and strategic metals expert, calls the Prius "the biggest user of rare earths of any object in the world."
More to the story
Oct 30, 2009 (9:21 pm)
The 2010 Camry really looks like a great update to an already outstanding Toyota vehicle. Has anyone test drove one yet? I'm hoping to schedule a test drive at my local CT Toyota dealer - Gale Toyota. Please let me know anything you can about the engine responsiveness and gas mileage.
#568 of 627 Not Recommended by CR Re: TCH rocks the hybrid world (LOL) [larsb]
Feb 07, 2010 (8:03 pm)
CR pulled it's recommended rating for 8 Toyota's. Consumer Reports pulls ratings of recommended on Toyota's
quote Buffalo News
The Japanese government has ordered Toyota to investigate the 2010 Prius braking system, and the U. S. government said it would probe the Prius’s brakes, too. Of 171 complaints filed by 2010 Prius owners with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 111 involved brake problems, the agency’s database shows, and at least two led to driver injuries. -end
#569 of 627 Prius Recalled
Feb 09, 2010 (9:10 am)
Toyota Motor Co. launched a global recall today of 437,000 hybrid vehicles, including its popular Prius hybrid, as the world's No. 1 carmaker sank deeper into a quality crisis that has battered its image, hurt sales and triggered an onslaught of lawsuits.
The recall, to address complaints that the cars' brakes momentarily slip or give way, hits Toyota and Lexus brand cars in North America and three other continents.
#570 of 627 New? Too much mileage = Not new???
Feb 09, 2010 (10:39 am)
Does~ 200 miles on a new/unsold 2010 model make it "less than new"?? I'm told it was not used any sales rep or previously sold. Should I ask for better price, longer warranty, anything or nothing? Is this cause for concern?
#571 of 627 BEWARE GAS TAX INCREASE
Feb 11, 2010 (12:14 pm)
Just today the Rand Corp. issued a report, the gist being that the federal gasoline tax of 18.5 cents per gallon is insufficient to meet current highway maintenance needs. Their solution is to eliminate the federal tax, and charge all users a fee based on actual mileas traveled. Hybrid owners, especially the Prius, are akready paying a hefty premium for improved mileage and for reduced emissions. The premium of course is the base price difference between hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the same vehicle. We don't deserved to be taxed extra for driving more miles, just because we get better mileage.
If this idea becomes law, gas guzzlers with low mileage, will pay less for gas than hybrid owners who travel more miles and use less fuel. In addition there is no guarantee that states won't increase their gas taxes.
#572 of 627 Re: BEWARE GAS TAX INCREASE [cheryl06prius]
by PFFlyer@Edmunds HOST
Feb 11, 2010 (1:27 pm)
The wear and tear on roads is proportional to miles driven (for a given weight vehicle) and has nothing whatsoever to do with fuel mileage. If someone decides to drive more miles, simply because they're getting better mileage than they would with some other vehicle, that's their choice, correct?
I would also assume that any such "use tax" would also be based on the weight of vehicles since heavier vehicles are harder on roads.
I can't speak for your situation, but I do almost no driving that I don't have to. I combine trips whenever possible and don't just "go for a ride". If my car suddenly got 100% better gas mileage, I don't think I'd change a thing. I'd just enjoy the little bit of extra cash in the budget!
#573 of 627 CR-Z hybrid on the way to the showrooms soon...
Mar 19, 2010 (6:58 am)
Can't wait to test drive one of these:
As the world’s first hybrid with sporting intent and a six-speed manual box, the Honda CR-Z has been worth the wait.
Britain’s love affair with hybrid cars is growing ever stronger – but until now, our obsession has been built on machines that offer low CO2 and high mpg, rather than great performance. So, can this bullet-shaped new 1.5-litre hybrid coupé be the car to put that right?
The daring Honda CR-Z will hit UK roads in June, and with prices set to start at £16,999, the CR-Z is aiming to reinvent the sector. It has a 0-60mph sprint time of less than 10 seconds, and an emphasis on performance that has been missing from petrol-electric rivals.
To find out more, we headed to the scenic southern Japanese island of Shikoku foran early first drive.
Under the skin, the new CR-Z is loosely based on the latest Insight – but as you soon discover, the car is much sharper, quicker and, most importantly, more entertaining.
Away from the line, you can feel a tautness in the suspension that isn’t evident in the family-oriented Insight saloon – which is a good thing. As you start to slip through the manual gears and up the pace, the newcomer quickly proves itself to be well balanced and very responsive.
Up front, the 1.5-litre hybrid feels punchy, while the six-speed manual box – the first in a hybrid since the original Insight was sold – is quick, precise and fun to use.
All of which comes as a bit of a revelation, a relief even, when you consider how things could have turned out. At motor shows and preview events, rumours had spread about the model’s likely weight and a power shortfall.
But the CR-Z is proof that a car can be much more than the sum of its parts. Many expected Honda to deliver a hard-edged, high-rev performance machine, but the CR-Z is anything but.
Although it’s sporty, that focus on balancing pace with a green nature hasn’t gone away. With combined fuel economy of 56.4mpg and a 117g/km CO2 output, the CR-Z is about more than thrills.
The formula this time sees a Jazz-based 1,496cc i-VTEC engine coupled to a small electric motor. Total power is 125bhp, while torque peaks at 174Nm.
As you drive, you find the CR-Z’s star act is its easy, low-rev urge, with that extra boost from the electric motor providing a helping hand, especially below 2,000rpm. And this driveability is key, because the 1.5-litre engine starts to get loud as the revs climb past 5,000rpm. Keep the throttle to the floor, and you soon reach the 6,500rpm limit. So this car is no modern-day successor to the brilliant late Eighties VTEC CR-X, with its 8,000rpm maximum.
Still, as with the Insight, the hybrid drivetrain is seamless and smooth. With Honda’s IMA hybrid system as it is here, you can’t run on electric motor alone, which will hamper the new car’s appeal to some motorists.
Credit to Honda, though, for the way the CR-Z handles.
It’s shorter and wider than the Insight, set lower to the ground, and gets its own stiffened chassis and suspension set-up, plus a set of 16-inch sports tyres.
Through the twists and turns of some entertaining mountain roads, the car felt nimble, and there’s a consistent, linear feel to the steering and turn-in. Yet ultimately, it’s predictable and safe rather than thrilling. There’s a fair degree of understeer and body roll on the limit, and the ride is firm but well controlled.
Honda will be more interested in telling you about the wealth of modern technology on board, such as the clever 3-Mode Drive System. Dashboard buttons give you the choice of Sport, Normal and Econ, which alter settings for the throttle feel, transmission and electric power-steering depending on how you want to drive.
The speedometer ring also changes colour to suit (red, blue or green). This is just one of several neat facia gizmos that monitor your driving style.
The CR-Z’s cabin is a mixed bag. It offers a superb, sporty driving position and impressive seat support. But not everyone will appreciate the busy cabin design, with its large, retro-style pods either side of the wheel. The overall finish is good, bar some cheap plastics inside the doors.
Unfortunately, the minimalist back seat area is barely usable for adults, while for the driver, rear three-quarter vision isn’t great. On the plus side, there’s a reasonable load space, with the hybrid battery housed beneath the boot floor.
When it hits dealers in the UK, the CR-Z will come in three model grades (S, Sport and GT), with prices ranging from £17,000 to £20,000.
On Japanese roads, the car acquitted itself well, even if it’s not quite the performance model some might have hoped for. In its home market, orders are flooding in – and Honda’s pitch for the car, as a new “hybrid café racer”, sums up the CR-Z well.
#574 of 627 This is new
Jul 22, 2010 (9:25 am)
Very interesting pricing on the MKZ Hybrid:
Gas version and hybrid version selling at same price - very cool....
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid will cost exactly the same as its conventional counterpart when it goes on sale this fall.
In a fairly unprecedented move, Lincoln will sticker its first hybrid with a starting price of $35,180, matching the price of its gasoline-powered sibling. Carmakers traditionally add a premium to pricing to offset development costs for hybrid technology and to increase profit margins.
The MKZ hybrid will get 41 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway. The car is loaded with features from Ford's technology bin, including Smart Gauge with EcoGuide, Sync and MyKey.
Lincoln says the MKZ hybrid undercuts its closest competitor, the Lexus HS 250. The MKZ hybrid uses Ford's second-gen hybrid technology that mates an I4 engine with battery-driven motors.
With the pending demise of Mercury, Lincoln is getting more resources and attention, and its product lineup is expected to grow in the coming years with new and refreshed models including its first small car and a unique V6 engine.
My question is: why would ANYONE buy the gasoline version with lower MPG when they could get the hybrid at 41/36 for the same price?
#575 of 627 Re: This is new [larsb]
Jul 23, 2010 (3:56 am)
Do they have the same performance? Can they both tow the same load? Do they both have the same transmissions? Are they equally complicated?
While I would expect to go for the Hybrid, each persons needs/wants are different and we should respect those differences
, even if they are wrong.