View Full Version : I guess we have a ways to go

12-08-2006, 03:36 PM
Before green cars are here to stay;

Nissan Exec: Hybrids Still An Unprofitable Proposition

POSTED: 8:07 am PST December 8, 2006
UPDATED: 8:31 am PST December 8, 2006

WASHINGTON -- A Nissan executive said hybrid vehicles may be getting a lot of attention, but not many paying customers.

Dominique Thormann is Nissan North America's senior vice president for administration and finance. Speaking Friday in Washington, he said hybrids today are "not a very viable economic proposition."

Hybrids currently comprise less than 2 percent of the U.S. market. Thormann said people don't want to pay more for hybrids, although they can get a tax credit of up to $3,600.
Nissan isn't abandoning hybrid technology. The Japanese automaker recently showcased its first hybrid-powered vehicle, an Altima sedan, at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Production begins Monday.

12-08-2006, 03:53 PM
My dad bought a Prius (sp?) last year. Been a great car for them and suits their needs.

Me, I'll stick with my full size Z71....Which gets 19+ mpg on the highway. :yes: :yes:

Last Tango
12-08-2006, 04:06 PM
I would love to be able to buy one of the new Mercedes-Benz E320 BlueTec or the E320 FlexFuel cars. Just a wee bit out of my price range. But I understand that the C-Class will soon also offer these same engines (we currently own an '03 C240 sedan). Then I can drive by McDonalds and get a Big Mac Combo and a tank full of bio-diesel, then it will smell like French fries inside and out.

12-08-2006, 10:00 PM
Toyota is the farthest ahead in this technology. My daughter bought a hybrid Camry, a company car for which she gets her payment, insurance, and per mile expenses reimbursed. So for her its a win-win, and she feels good about "doing her part".

It's similar to ethanol...which will have, according to most experts, either very little or no impact on our consumption rate. Or, like drilling in the ANWR, which will have a very minute impact on the amount of oil we have to import.


12-08-2006, 10:46 PM
Tony, you maybe right on both counts.....but I'm all for offering or trying newer technologies.
Of course the ideal hybrid would be a three cylinder direct injection turbo Diesel running continuously at its most efficient operating speed driving a generator. The car would be electrically driven. You would use a battery bank for quicker acceleration or passing, or moving slowly around town. As of yet, no one is building this car.
I think Americans have a phobia about Diesels. I also think they don't like having "GREEN" things pushed on them. It's probably about personal consumption. Maybe a better case needs to be made to make hybrids more appealing. Right now, probably the the market is at saturation for the segment of the market who actually want one.
It's obvious nothing much is going to change about oil demand until a true fuel cell car is available and that car, or truck, or bus is still 10-15 years away, not only the car but also the hydrogen infrastructure. Then there's the 15 or so year wait for the cars on the road to be replaced.
Maybe we need to be drilling in ANWR in the mean time.

12-09-2006, 10:04 AM
I'm not really sure why automakers aren't pushing diesel engines more. Hybrids are very clean and somewhat efficient, but with the low sulfur diesel, and common rail high pressure injection working as well as it does, I can see no reason to not keep pushing forward with development.

FWIW my 2004 GMC 2500HD gets 23 mpg NOT towing anything and keeping the speed right around 65. I think that's fairly respectable for a truck that size.

Also, my 1987 Mercedes-Benz 300D TurboDiesel gets 35 mpg; again that's on the highway keeping the speed reasonable. What's truly amazing to me, is that's 35 mph with 230,000 miles, mechanical injection, and 20 year old technology.

With VW TDI engines getting real world 48 mpg, They definetly compete with hybrids, especially in colder climates. I believe that the Roadtrip's have one, I'm sure he can attest to this.

12-09-2006, 12:19 PM
Yea, I would have to agree with you guys about the Hybrid. My Dad bought a LEXAS RX400H and the sticker (among being WAY to expencive) said I believe 28 city and 25 hwy. It has yet to make either claim.
My Dad is retired and it would seem he has nothing else more important than to prove this car wrong. He has tried getting close to the claimed milage a number of times and its at least 5 mph off on both sides.

Just my two cents worth...


P.S... if anyone would like to buy this car, then let me know. Has like 6k miles and other than that it is a nice car.

It is also to small for him, so he just go a LX 470. The RX is in the garage if anyone wants it.

12-09-2006, 01:42 PM
I don't want the Lexus (already have one), but where is that Cobra you promised me?

12-09-2006, 02:05 PM
It will be ready the first or second week in Jan. This is another car that is going away in 07.

Two many cars and not enough Staples to drive them. Most of them I can't even get into without a shoehorn:):):)

roadtrip se
12-10-2006, 04:00 PM
Hybrids have proven to be a disappointment to anyone who is driving one to get mileage and not just to make a green statment, especially for those who use them as highway commuters, where the gas side of the set up has to run harder to keep up to speed killing the mileage advantage that these cars have built in. They do make great city cars. Ironically, hybird cars that don't LOOK different from other similar models in that manufacturer's line-up, don't sell. The Toyota Prius sells, the Honda Accord doesn't, so why are people REALLY buying hybrids? And the biggest unanswered question, what happens to your economy and enviromental friendlisness, when you have to pay to replace all of those dead batteries and the old ones go to the dump?

With all the green hype, people tend to turn their nose up at diesels, due to their perception of diesel being dirty, although a case can be made that anything that burns less fuel has got to be better for the environment, based on green logic. Ironically, the Europeans have been running small displacement diesels as city cars in big numbers for years.

Diesel is going to have a future here in the states. Heavy truck and VW TDI drivers should have more choices shortly. We have one of both, the Excursion get 20-22 at times and the Jetta gets 48-50. And at 80K+ miles, the Jetta is just getting broken in!

Honda, Mercedes, Chrysler, Ford, VW, BMW, and many others are all prepping diesel alternatives at different price points to take advantage of the cleaner low sulfer fuel and other low pollution technologies coming available. The Honda engine looks to hold the most promise as compared to the blue-tec, because the Honda technology requires no extra maintenance from the owner to burn clean, while the blue-tec requires a urea fill-up to get the same benefits. Interestingly, Toyota just invested in Isuzu to get their hands on diesel capability, aknowledging that they do have a gap in their gauntlet, especially with their new full size truck coming out in the next few months.

I have even seen a couple of Hybrid-Diesels powertrains running around Detroit in prototype form here in Detroit. If this thing ever makes it to market, I wonder what the greenies will do then?

I will hold my thoughts on ethanol for now, but lets just say I am not convinced.

Hydrogen is ten to twenty years away, as admitted to by those manufacturers actively developing the technology.

It will be great to have more diesel choices in the next few years.

12-10-2006, 05:27 PM
I remember my dad's old Rabbit diesel; got high 40s. He mounted the spare on a hatch bracket, installed a jump tank in the spare tire well, and had almost a 1000 mile range.:eek!: That was cool!! The AC wasn't though; he installed an AC clutch disengage switch on the throttle linkage to drop out the AC when he was at full throttle. Without it, accelerating up to highway speed took forever.


12-11-2006, 12:42 PM
I now own three diesel powered vehicles, a 2000 F-250, a 2000 VW Jetta TDI with 190,000 miles and a new Jetta TDI with 1200 miles. Only if I let the truch idle in sub-zero temps will I see milage below 14. Towing the 22 home from Little Rock,17.2. My 2000 Jetta will get over 700 miles per tank (14 gal I think) and my brides new Jetta 40 point something on the first tank (6 speed auto). Not a fan of hybrids yet, battery replacement/disposal issues on the top of the list and ethonal is just not the way to go, less MPG with more $ per gallon.