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View Full Version : Bought a hybrid



6288
01-21-2008, 10:20 PM
I'd like to say it was because I'm "green", but I really needed a car in our stable that gets good mileage, and I'm a sucker for neato technology. I've had this car (Nissan Altima) for a little over a week, 411 miles, just reached half a tank. Still riding on the dealers fill up.

I wonder if there are any other hybrid owners out there. Looking for the good (and bad) stories.

Steve

KathyC
01-22-2008, 05:26 AM
How fast can you go in it?

6288
01-22-2008, 08:38 AM
Actually the car is pretty quick. It's just a 4 cylinder, but with the added 40hp electric, it goes from 0 to 60 in 8 seconds. It has a CVT tranny, (constant velocity) which means it never shifts. It takes some time to get used to it. I had it up past 90mph on the test drive, it did not seem anywhere near reaching it's top end at that point. The gas engine shuts down under 40mph if not needed. There are stretches along my commute where I have been solely on electric for several miles.

I'm surprised at the number of people out there that are unfamiliar with hybrids, at work when I mention I have one, I'm always asked if I have to plug it in at night.

spyboy
01-22-2008, 09:01 AM
I test drove a Ford Escape hybrid last year, and when I got it out on the highway and "punched it" the engine revved up over 5,000 rpms which kinda freaked me out. I know Ford is definitely not a leader in hybrid technology but I hope that's not how much hybrids operate.

Has anyone made a hybrid pickup truck yet? I was hoping Toyota would.

Mike D
01-22-2008, 09:42 AM
Continuously Variable Transmission: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuously_variable_transmission

List of hybrid vehicles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hybrid_vehicles

As I understand it (which is probably not that much), the key to hybrid efficiency is in the handoff between the gas and electric motors, which are most productive at different speeds/torques. The Hybrid Synergy Drive seems to be the most successful implementation of this technology to date: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Synergy_Drive

Brad
01-22-2008, 10:44 AM
We have been looking at the Highlander hybrid - good towing capacity.

6288
01-22-2008, 11:25 AM
The Hybrid Synergy Drive seems to be the most successful implementation of this technology to date: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_Synergy_Drive

Nissan purchased their current hybrid technology from Toyota. One reason I went with Nissan is the tax credit is still at 100% ($2350), wheras Toyota has sold too many (over 60,000) in some models and the tax credit is significantly reduced. Our government wants us to use alternative technology, but apparently only to a point.

mrohssler
01-22-2008, 11:33 AM
We just bought a Highlander Hybrid. Excellent Vehicle. Excellent performance and gas mileage. Mileage not as great as the sedan hybrids but very good for a midsized SUV. Will keep you updated as we have it for a while. Going to test it on a trip up Mount Washington in the early summer. My only concern is the imobilizer system because of the radio waves on the summit. I know remote door locks do not work up on top. Will see I guess.

spyboy
01-22-2008, 12:30 PM
My door remotes worked (I think, now I can't remember) when I was up there in August. I have a 2007 Toyota Tacoma.

You'll generate some nice energy on the way back down with those regenerative brakes. I guess you don't have to worry about overheating?

K

spyboy
01-22-2008, 12:32 PM
You can see a few of early hybrids & full electric vehicles (from the early 1900's) at the Owls Head Transportation Museum in Maine.

Nothing is new with autos, although the car manufacturers would like you to believe it :)

[QUOTE=Mike D]
List of hybrid vehicles: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hybrid_vehicles

donnellyvj
02-02-2008, 01:56 PM
yeah, i sell Fords and the CVT is the reason for the RMPs going so high. Buying a Hybrid SUV of any sort is for the green aspect. Gas mileage like a prius just won't happen with SUVs (yet). I always ask are you looking for gas or green. I don't want people to be upset getting high 20 low 30s. If its gas go focus.

Sound like the Nissan is sweet. Enjoy!!!! But, its not 4X4.

6288
02-02-2008, 03:42 PM
Sound like the Nissan is sweet. Enjoy!!!! But, its not 4X4.

Ya, but I have an F-150 (4wd) and my wife has an Explorer (4wd) so we are covered in that area. What we really needed is something that gets better than 15mpg around town!

donnellyvj
02-02-2008, 03:49 PM
I have a F150 too and I love it. I know what you mean about the gas. If you want better MPG car car car. Im sure you know that. AWD Taurus X or pre-owned Freestyle. mid 20mpg!

spyboy
02-02-2008, 05:55 PM
I had an Explorer for 10 years. Bought it in Vermont, it went to Texas, out into New Mexico (up to 8500 feet in Ruidoso, NM) and through 5 hurricanes in Florida (only to have the timing belt break and eat my engine). I replaced the engine and got another 8 months out of it, then decided to "upgrade" to a Toyota Tacoma. So far I'm really loving this new truck, but I think ANY new vehicle is better than a 10 year old one.

When it was "new" in April :) (I bought it with 700 miles on it)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spyboy70/2222246031/

And last week when I did some upgrades to the exterior last week (already has 20,000 miles on it, yikes!)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/spyboy70/2222242731/

Breeze
02-02-2008, 06:21 PM
As I work at the Auto Road Tollhouse in season, I'd like to chime in.

None of the MANY hybrids that have made the trip to the summit have had a problem on the upbound ride, nor have we heard any stories of electronics problems at the summit caused by microwave or other interference.

I will caution that we flagged out the Hybrid Synergy Drive Toyotas for a week or so last summer because of POSSIBLE downbound issues. Auto Road staff got an HSD Highlander and an HSD Camry on loan for an "experienced driver's" trial on the road and a special handout was created for Toyota drivers with the Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

With any CVT system , essentially there is no automatic or manual transmission downshift capability. Combine that with the Hybrid Drive, the only option is to select the B ( braking) option, which places all the braking force needed squarely on the braking system. It is all too possible to come DOWN the AR quicker than advisable, and meet the age old ( common) enemy of overheated brakes, so now we just caution to be aware of overheating brakes ( and it is really Same Old Same Old Stuff).

Your car isn't smarter, no matter what you think or have been told. Be truly careful. Driver is totally tasked to maintain safety and awareness

Yes, you'll maximize regenerative braking energy coming down, but the brakes are still disc brakes you are tasking and nothing about them is hugely different from a non hybrid car with a REAL transmission--- a CVT transmission is just not the help you'd get from Automatic Low or Manual 1st/2nd.

Its totally doable, not dangerous, just requires that you keep your mindset on your brake temperatures and driving safety, not on your gas mileage or green rebate $$. There are lots of stops on the way down Mt Washington Auto Road, many of them have impressive lookouts and/or short walks to take in more of the scenery. See it, experience it, and stay safe.

How hot can your brakes get while descending Mt Washington??

Hot enough to totally fail ( the only auto fatality on the AR <1984> was from brake failure downbound on the last mile of lower mountain. )


Hot enough to melt your hubcaps off...

Chevy Lumina and Ford Focus cars ( the budget rental fleet favorites) routinely throw their plastic hubcaps on the last mile downbound. Brake heat melts the plastic hubcap clips and the hubcaps simply fall off, littering the woods. At times we actually get the ALL 4 ONE Visual Comedy ( WTF???? LOLOL !!!!!) of all 4 hubcaps falling off the same vehicle at the same time at the gas pump at the bottom of the mountain.


Cars don't navigate the Auto Road, its all about the driver.

Breeze

Charlie
02-02-2008, 09:49 PM
thanks for the info
last year we saw some one putting water on there brakes at one of the pull offs :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: not smart

does the braking apply to your hiking shoes when coming down :D

spyboy
02-02-2008, 11:18 PM
Charlie,

that's "breaking" as in the sound of one's blown out knees from years of hiking & skiing :)


does the braking apply to your hiking shoes when coming down :D

Charlie
02-03-2008, 09:53 AM
Charlie,

that's "breaking" as in the sound of one's blown out knees from years of hiking & skiing :)
don't tell brad this he loves water skiing and hiking .

is water skiing just as hard on your knees as snow skiing

donnellyvj
02-04-2008, 08:34 AM
I worked for enterprise rent a car after college. One day this older lady was returning her rental and when she pulled in all 4 hub caps melted off in the parking lot. I asked her to show me how she drives. Sure enough 2 feet were in action. So, i know what what your saying about hot brakes.



As I work at the Auto Road Tollhouse in season, I'd like to chime in.

None of the MANY hybrids that have made the trip to the summit have had a problem on the upbound ride, nor have we heard any stories of electronics problems at the summit caused by microwave or other interference.

I will caution that we flagged out the Hybrid Synergy Drive Toyotas for a week or so last summer because of POSSIBLE downbound issues. Auto Road staff got an HSD Highlander and an HSD Camry on loan for an "experienced driver's" trial on the road and a special handout was created for Toyota drivers with the Hybrid Synergy Drive system.

With any CVT system , essentially there is no automatic or manual transmission downshift capability. Combine that with the Hybrid Drive, the only option is to select the B ( braking) option, which places all the braking force needed squarely on the braking system. It is all too possible to come DOWN the AR quicker than advisable, and meet the age old ( common) enemy of overheated brakes, so now we just caution to be aware of overheating brakes ( and it is really Same Old Same Old Stuff).

Your car isn't smarter, no matter what you think or have been told. Be truly careful. Driver is totally tasked to maintain safety and awareness

Yes, you'll maximize regenerative braking energy coming down, but the brakes are still disc brakes you are tasking and nothing about them is hugely different from a non hybrid car with a REAL transmission--- a CVT transmission is just not the help you'd get from Automatic Low or Manual 1st/2nd.

Its totally doable, not dangerous, just requires that you keep your mindset on your brake temperatures and driving safety, not on your gas mileage or green rebate $$. There are lots of stops on the way down Mt Washington Auto Road, many of them have impressive lookouts and/or short walks to take in more of the scenery. See it, experience it, and stay safe.

How hot can your brakes get while descending Mt Washington??

Hot enough to totally fail ( the only auto fatality on the AR <1984> was from brake failure downbound on the last mile of lower mountain. )


Hot enough to melt your hubcaps off...

Chevy Lumina and Ford Focus cars ( the budget rental fleet favorites) routinely throw their plastic hubcaps on the last mile downbound. Brake heat melts the plastic hubcap clips and the hubcaps simply fall off, littering the woods. At times we actually get the ALL 4 ONE Visual Comedy ( WTF???? LOLOL !!!!!) of all 4 hubcaps falling off the same vehicle at the same time at the gas pump at the bottom of the mountain.


Cars don't navigate the Auto Road, its all about the driver.

Breeze

h2oeco
02-04-2008, 06:12 PM
I bought a hybrid Highlander in July of 2006, and like it a lot. The day after I got it, I opened up the dash to put in an adapter for my iPod, two days later, I drove to the Florida Keys, picked up a boat, and brought it back - no trouble. Also took the boat back down to Florida in the fall, again no trouble. As was said, good mileage, but, not as good as a hybrid sedan. Re: the Ford Escape Hybrid, at one time, I was told that it had an older-generation Prius hybrid system that was licensed from Toyota - no surprise that it is/was underpowered...

Currently coming up on 30,000 miles...

Ed

Brad
02-04-2008, 08:30 PM
I bought a hybrid Highlander in July of 2006, and like it a lot. The day after I got it, I opened up the dash to put in an adapter for my iPod, two days later, I drove to the Florida Keys, picked up a boat, and brought it back - no trouble. Also took the boat back down to Florida in the fall, again no trouble. As was said, good mileage, but, not as good as a hybrid sedan. Re: the Ford Escape Hybrid, at one time, I was told that it had an older-generation Prius hybrid system that was licensed from Toyota - no surprise that it is/was underpowered...

Currently coming up on 30,000 miles...

Ed
This is nice to her. We have been looking at the Highlander.

6288
02-04-2008, 09:02 PM
Re: the Ford Escape Hybrid, at one time, I was told that it had an older-generation Prius hybrid system that was licensed from Toyota - no surprise that it is/was underpowered...


Ed

I dunno, my Altima is built on the Toyota technology, It's pretty fast for a mid sized sedan 4 banger, 0 to 60 in 7.2 seconds. On my test drive the sales type said punch it (on the highway), so I did, it went from 70 to 90mph pretty quickly, at which time I let up. The weirdest thing was that it never shifted. It was the test drive that put me over the edge in my purchase decision.

Mike D
02-04-2008, 10:21 PM
It will be exciting to watch the hybrid industry develop. Will they become ubiquitous? or will they just bridge the gap from conventional cars to full electric, fuel cell, or other alternative vehicles?

spyboy
02-04-2008, 11:06 PM
Develop? Hybrids were at the turn of the century, it's the oldest industry for cars. Ok, maybe not, since there was that 80 year hiatus.

Hybrids are an intermediate step, that's why some companies like GM are trying to avoid them and go right to hydrogen fuel cells.

I don't know if anyone watches "e2" on PBS, but it's a pretty good series. They recently had an episode about the Volt electric car and where the auto industry is going. The biggest problem is the auto giants have too much invested in old technology and can't just switch. It really does take an upstart to make the leap of faith with technology and money. Then perhaps the big companies will just buy them out, once it's successful.

The X-Prize for a 100mpg car has no challengers from the big auto makers. The speculation is that they don't want to get beat out by an upstart (again, just wait until the upstart wins then buy the technology).

So, we're the little guys here, let's build a car!

Kirk



It will be exciting to watch the hybrid industry develop. Will they become ubiquitous? or will they just bridge the gap from conventional cars to full electric, fuel cell, or other alternative vehicles?

6288
02-05-2008, 07:48 AM
It will be exciting to watch the hybrid industry develop. Will they become ubiquitous? or will they just bridge the gap from conventional cars to full electric, fuel cell, or other alternative vehicles?

I believe they are currently bridging the gap. One reason I pulled the trigger now is that, from what I have read, there will be no alternatives in production for at least 3-5 years. The next product to market will be the "plug-in" hybrids. I figure in 3-4 years I will re-evaluate and see where they are at, and what progress has been made with lithium-ion batteries.

At this point in time, if you are considering a hybrid, there is no reason to wait for the next technology. This is it for the next few years.

donnellyvj
02-05-2008, 10:54 AM
Make sure you check on how to jump start your hybrid. I know that the prius need to go to a dealer for a trickle charge if the battery dies ( leave your lights on or smoething). This would bug me. I know that with the Escape you can jump start like any other car or truck.

mrohssler
02-17-2008, 01:30 PM
Breeze, Have you had any issues with the other CVT cars. Most of the car companies like nissan and honda are going CVT not just in hybrids. Just wondering if there have been any other issues with non hybid cvts some of which do not have the braking option.

Charlie
03-21-2008, 01:54 PM
well did any one get there hybrid and how is it doing and what did you get