thowing gasoline on troubled waters
audiguy at gmail.com
Thu Aug 12 11:54:42 EDT 2004
I recently went looking at hybrids again and decided that a nice TDI
would be better. (though I still don't own one). You can bet that when
I buy a fuel efficent car, I'll be heading to VW.
On Wed, 11 Aug 2004 21:31:45 -0400, Huw Powell <audi at humanspeakers.com> wrote:
> > As gasoline prices climb
> Actually, prices have been fairly stable. But, the dollar has tanked
> against other major currencies.
> >> THE HIDDEN COST OF HYBRID CARS
> >> Hybrid cars are hitting our roads in ever increasing numbers as
> >> purchase prices come down and fuel prices go up. But the substantial
> >> hidden costs of owning a hybrid car could make it a financial time bomb.
> Gee, didn't we always know they used batteries?
> >> Owners of 'environmentally friendly' hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius
> >> and Honda Insight may be hit with a bill for up to $7000 when their
> >> car's battery dies less than eight years after purchase.
> >> "A replacement battery on the Insight retails for $6840," said Honda
> >> spokesman Mark Higgins.
> and from lower in the article:
> >> Toyota lowered the price significantly on the Prius battery pack,
> >> from
> >> $4500 on the first model to around $3000 on the latest version
> >> Toyota's manager of alternative fuels and specialized vehicles, Vic
> >> Johnstone, concedes the batteries, like the car itself, are built to
> >> last less than a decade. "The life of the car and the battery are
> >> supposed to be the same... around 8 to 10 years," he said. "We're not
> >> expecting to replace them [the batteries]. In fact we only hold one
> >> [replacement] battery in stock nationally."
> > Interesting - buy this car and expect to discard it in eight to ten
> > years . . . ! Average Prius sells for $24,000, so you have an annual
> > cost of ownership of between $2,400 and $3,000.
> Most new car buyers don't keep them for their "lifetime" anyway.
> >> Despite the dramatic price drop, hybrid ownership remains a nod to
> >> better fuel economy, not financial savings. CarPoint's review of the
> >> Prius, published in October, compared the hybrid's fuel consumption to
> >> a similarly specified Toyota Corolla, and reached the conclusion it
> >> would take 15 years before the Prius' fuel economy paid off the extra
> >> purchase price.
> doesn't that analysis depend on a hidden assumption (or two) - one, the
> cost of fuel for the time involved, and two, the number of miles driven
> per year?
> >> Add battery replacement every eight years to this equation, and
> >> replacement parts costs as the vehicle exceeds its planned life of ten
> >> years and components wear out, and owners have no chance of ever
> >> seeing a dollar back.
> OK, so they are perhaps not "cheaper" in dollars to drive than a
> Corolla. But no car actually gets you money "back" (unless you buy it
> used and sell it for more...).
> > Conclusion - these vehicles are an EXPENSIVE way to "feel good"
> But far cheaper than, say, an SUV, which people also buy to "feel good"
> > After a careful look, I'd suggest these vehicles be avoided - they ain't
> > no bargain, and the cure appears worse than the disease.
> Nickel was described, a few paragraphs below the scary word "toxicity"
> as "mildly toxic." Sure, you don't want a landfill full of the stuff,
> but we plate things with it all over the place. And it *is* reclaimable.
> > Give them ten more years to solve the problems, then come back and try
> > again.
> Sounds to me like a poorly written article sourced mostly from gasoline
> industry handouts.
> Huw Powell
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> quattro at audifans.com
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