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Re: [T3] Hybrids

Yes and no.  The Prius type "parallel" hybrids get much better economy at slow
speeds, and do only OK in freeway driving (real world for a 1st gen Prius is
38-40mpg, not the 50+ they advertise).  However, "series" hybrids, esp. the
Honda Insight, get very good mileage on the freeway.  The Insight does 65-70mpg
on the freeway, and the Civic hybrid does 50mpg. 

Granted, even at $3/gallon, a 25mpg Type 3 v. a 70mpg Insight, it takes quite a
while for the Insight to recoup the costs of buying the Insight.  If I commuted
by car every day, that would be about 10,000 miles each year, or 400 gallons at
25mpg, or 143gallons at 70mpg, or $1200/year v. $430/year, or a $770/year
difference.  The price difference between these two is about $20K, or about 25
years of daily commuting to make up the difference.  Clearly, hybrid v. 40 year
old car loses. ;-)

Of course, the Insight is also going to emit about 1% of the pollutants of the
Type 3, as well, so it's not just all about money.  

IMHO, hybrids are only just scratching the surface of what's possible.  A
parallel type hybrid with a 500cc engine making 30hp (not hard to do) and an
electric motor making another 30hp would be able to match a Type 3 on sheer
power, but the torque of the electric motor would be much greater, overcoming
the tiny amount of torque from the 500 so it could pull up hills, and still
squirt away from the stoplight decently.  Yet, while cruising, the 500 would
allow 70-80mpg without the fancy aero of the Insight (which has a 1.0L engine).
 A typical sedan right now only requires about 15hp to cruise at 70mph, which
could be delivered with an engine as small as 250cc, if tuned up to motorcycle
class levels.  Torque for acceleration could be provided by an electric motor
that's only used during acceleration, who's batteries would be charged by the
gas engine during cruise.  

--- Richard Green <rlgreen@industryinet.com> wrote:

> I hope people have looked at the MPGs. City driving is where the big 
> difference is. Highway MPG's is the same or a little less than the auto 
> tranny. Do a lot of highway driving, save the money and fix up your type 3.
> Richard
> -- 
> Richard & Joyce Green
> Problem Peke Fosters & Dog Rehabilitators
> Senior Small Dog Forever Home
> New Ulm, Tx
> alternate email address that we can get anywhere.
> tx_small_dog_fosters@yahoo.com
> As you slide down the banister of life, may the splinters never point in the
> wrong direction. 
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> List info at http://www.vwtype3.org/list | mailto:gregm@vwtype3.org
> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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