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Stripey

hybrid/electric cars

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Having just read about the Tesla 100% electric car going into production Tesla Motors - acceleration & torque (0-60 in 3.9 seconds) I've been looking into the availability of hybrid/electric cars in the uk.

There are quite a few Toyota Prius on the second hand market at very affordable prices, an alternative seems to be the hybrid Honda Civic which is a bit more expensive. I was wondering if anyone here has driven or owned either of these and what they thought of it. I don't really like the idea of driving an automatic (which they all seem to be) but then again a 1.5l car that will do 50-60mpg and run off self-charged electricity when in the town sounds very appealing.

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I don't really like the idea of driving an automatic

I thought the same until I drove a toyota hulix surf with auto box, found it really easy to get used to and great for driving in towns and for towing. I still like manuals just as much as i did, especially my four gear lever'd, 20 speed landrover! if you've never driven an automatic give it a go, mines 12 years old and has all sorts of gadgetery for controlling the gears so the new ones should be pretty good.

as for hybrids I've got a few none environmentally friendly ones (18mpg diesel anyone) but i'm still looking out for info on a Gas Turbine engined car i saw years ago at a motor show, dont know how economic it would be but turbine's can run on anything flammable! Same as russian long stroke, low compression engines that the russian army used in thier trucks, they are carburator engines but can be run on 50% petrol/50% vaigly flammable waste fuel. I've only seen >7litre versions of these tho so not much use for pottering about town......

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Having just read about the Tesla 100% electric car going into production Tesla Motors - acceleration & torque (0-60 in 3.9 seconds) I've been looking into the availability of hybrid/electric cars in the uk.

There are quite a few Toyota Prius on the second hand market at very affordable prices, an alternative seems to be the hybrid Honda Civic which is a bit more expensive. I was wondering if anyone here has driven or owned either of these and what they thought of it. I don't really like the idea of driving an automatic (which they all seem to be) but then again a 1.5l car that will do 50-60mpg and run off self-charged electricity when in the town sounds very appealing.

If your looking for a hybrid, go online and check real world economy figures for cars like the Prius, the stated near 60MPG is widly disputed, most people realising more like 35-40 MPG. Also worth looking at is real world c02 footprints. Production of cars like the Prius create massive localised c02 at manafacture. Pound for pound, modern 1.4 turbo/supercharged diesels create much less of an overall 'footprint' and better real world economy (and also readily available as manuals). Depends on your take on emissions though i suppose, im not doubting that driving a Prius would contribute to cleaner city air than driving a diesel, but not as green overall as percieved.

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If your looking for a hybrid, go online and check real world economy figures for cars like the Prius, the stated near 60MPG is widly disputed, most people realising more like 35-40 MPG. Also worth looking at is real world c02 footprints. Production of cars like the Prius create massive localised c02 at manafacture. Pound for pound, modern 1.4 turbo/supercharged diesels create much less of an overall 'footprint' and better real world economy (and also readily available as manuals). Depends on your take on emissions though i suppose, im not doubting that driving a Prius would contribute to cleaner city air than driving a diesel, but not as green overall as percieved.

From what I've read on the internet that "pound for pound" study seems to be widely regarded as flawed...presumably the efficiency will go up depending on how you drive aswell. Lots of people seem to be claiming more like 40-50mpg.

I'm less concerned about co2 production footprint than I am about getting a car which isn't going to cost a fortune to run, but isn't a 3 door 1.0 rollerskate either.

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From what I've read on the internet that "pound for pound" study seems to be widely regarded as flawed...presumably the efficiency will go up depending on how you drive aswell. Lots of people seem to be claiming more like 40-50mpg.

I'm less concerned about co2 production footprint than I am about getting a car which isn't going to cost a fortune to run, but isn't a 3 door 1.0 rollerskate either.

Although i dont disagree that some people will be getting 40-50mpg from their Prius, i do also trust independant studies that realise the result closer to what i originally stated (there are some quite in-depth ones relating to prius vs other small eco cars regarding fuel/c02).

But in all honesty if you are mostly concerned with MPG over c02, then you will get plenty of diesels that arent small (rollerskates), slow but are reliable and capable of running over 40mpg.

I own a 1.9tdi Skoda Fabia VRS, its tuned for brisk driving, has proper poke in the upper gears due to massive torque. My car computer says average fuel consumption at 42mpg at the moment, and its never driven with over caution. On long journeys its easy to sit at about 55mpg.

I would guess some decent 1.9tdi's from VW group, that arent in such a high state of tune would give a regular 50mpg and arent in the small rollerskate group of cars.

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Don't have any hard evidence to back this up, but I would suspect that the rarity of hybrid cars would probably result in relatively high servicing costs. I'd expect that at the very least, you'll be forced into using the dealer for servicing. If this is the case, the extra cost for servicing, may offset any savings on VED.

As pointed out already, how you drive makes a massive difference. I drive an impreza and have managed to eke out an extra 50 miles per tank, by keeping the revs below 3000 as far as possible, turning off A/C when not required etc.

One of the criticisms of the Prius is that it has no grunt.....if that means you're going to spend the whole time at high revs with your foot planted so as to get it moving, the fuel economy will suffer hugely and I'd be sceptical about whether it would remain more economical than a decent diesel.

On that basis, I'd struggle to argue against a VW-group TDi as a good trade-off between power, economy and reliability.

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IIRC one major issue with older hybrid cars is the cost of replacing the batteries - Apparently they don't last that long & can be very expensive indeed.

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Guest Tam o' Shantie

too much of a fad.

look at engines like the tdi 130 that VAG fits into all their cars, the torque from it is highly impressive and fabia vrs gets close to 50mpg. people are ignoring the fact that while all electric car development goes on, engineers are developing new technology for existing fuels for performance and fuel economy that you really couldn't believe 5-10 years ago.

a bmw 5 series with a 2.3l engine gets a quoted figure of 38 miles to the gallon. its 187bhp pushes the 1500kg car to 60 in 7.9 seconds. pretty fucking impressive.

I think a lot more development is needed and we will see some interesting cars in the next few years, but in the meantime for aynbody who doesn't fancy spending 15 grand on a new car that has good fuel economy, there are a variety of diesel cars, not to mention lightweight ones, that can be purchased for a third of the price. fuck the tesla, get a 10 year old lotus elise and feel 0-60 in 5.6 seconds out of a 119bhp rover k series engine ;)

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