Newsflash! Prius Isn't the Only Hybrid!

Frank Williams
by Frank Williams
newsflash prius isnt the only hybrid

Looks like Honda, Nissan, GM and Ford need to slap their advertising agencies around. It appears some greenies don't know they make hybrids! From Ourgreenbabysteps blog comes this tidbit: "I ran into someone at work today who owns a Honda Civic Hybrid. I didn’t even realize there was another family hybrid car other than the Toyota Prius." Toyota probably also needs to increase the advertising budget for the hybrid Camry and Highlander, since they seem to be semi-unknown as well. I wonder what will happen when the blogger finds out he/she can even get a humongous SUV or all-American pick-'em-up truck with a hybrid powertrain. I'm thinking spontaneous cranial combustion.

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  • Kjc117 Kjc117 on Mar 03, 2008

    Just remember the Pruis is the only car designed to be a hybrid from it's genesis. The other "hybrids" are just an afterthought even the other Toyota models. This is why the other "hybrids" do not perform as well compared to the Prius.

  • KixStart KixStart on Mar 03, 2008

    Martin Albright: "But if you could burn less fuel and pollute less without a hybrid drivetrain, wouldn’t that be just as good (says the guy with the motorcycle that gets 55mpg on average?)" Sure. Point me to it. It would probably be cheaper than a Prius. What? Doesn't exist? Also Martin Albright: "Here’s an interesting question to ponder: What if Toyota made a non-hybrid version of the Prius, with a low-powered 4 cyl gas engine in place of the hybrid drivetrain..." Sure. Point me to it. It might be cheaper than a Prius. What? It doesn't exist? And there's the rub... The Prius uses three key technologies to get the fuel economy it does: Energy recapturing electric drivetrain components. Lower-power, higher-efficiency Faux Atkinson cycle engine. Radical shell design. Take away any of those and you have a car that gets... less. The electric drivetrain and energy recapture gives the Prius phenomenal city fuel economy, even under the worst stop-and-go conditions. You could probably approach this with a diesel, if you didn't mind switching the engine on and off all the time (I've tried this, it works but it's a pain in the neck and you end up getting honked at when you forget to switch on BEFORE the light turns green). On the highway, the faux Atkinson cycle and the shell improve high-speed performance. The reduced power from the Atkinson trick engine is offset by the ability to get some zing from the electric drivetrain. There's no "halo" here, the Prius is just really, really good at what it aims to do. Nothing else, yet, combines all these elements in quite the same way. I'm considering a Prius for my next new car. If something better is available for less, I'd consider it (or as good for less works, too). Of course, the Prius now has an edge in my view because it has a proven drivetrain and a solid history.

  • KixStart KixStart on Mar 03, 2008

    By the way, many bikes get fairly crappy fuel economy. Mine did very low 40's/mid 30's, depending. Fuel injection would probably make a difference but it seems far from universal and bike engines (if I recall correctly) spin pretty fast at highway speeds, which seems to me to sap fuel economy. They're also not particularly cheap, nor do they offer much in the way of crash protection. Trunk? No. Can you listen to your favorite CD's on the road? No. Keeps you dry in the rain? No. If you like to bike, fine! Enjoy it! I've done that myself in the past. But let's not pretend it's the same kind or level of transportation that you get with even a pretty thrifty car.

  • M1EK M1EK on Mar 04, 2008

    "Oh yeah, and a Prius is a social statement, especially when gas was selling at $2 or less per gallon. Until gas gets up to $5 per gallon, a Corolla or, staying within the Toyota brand, a 1st generation xB is a better economic decision" Lumbergh, you're FUDding again. Both those cars are smaller in both passenger space and cargo space - it's not remotely a fair comparison. (We wouldn't have gone to only one car if the one car was either of those).