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Old 02-19-2009, 12:47 PM   #71
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

Saabman, as I'll bet you're already aware, your emissions comparison is valid only insofar as you are carrying all 12 passengers in that van. I.e., the Chevy is capable of carrying a bunch of people at a CO2 emissions level that approaches the level (again per person) of the Prius. But when I drive my '93 E350 SMB, normally there are only two of us in it - the same two who normally run around locally and on non-RV trips in the Prius. Actually, we bought the Prius because of its low emissions; the better gas mileage is icing on the cake.

Chris, I take your point and don't have a detailed response, but in general the carbon footprint of making a Prius is about the same as that of making any car its size. As to junking it, so far Prius owners seem to keep their cars a long time (at least around here), and the batteries last well over 100,000 miles.

Also of interest is that Saabman is using a CO2 figure of 104gm/km for his Prius. Some publications now are saying that the 2010 Prius low-emissions model will be at about 90gm/km. We've just installed a grid-tied PV system that should meet almost half of our home's electrical energy needs. Thus, when the plug-in Prius with new battery technology becomes available, our Prius-use carbon footprint can get even smaller. With all this said, we feel pleased (not pious) to use the Prius but do not feel one bit guilty (or impious) when we go on bigger-footprint trips in the SMB. It'll be a LONG time before true hybrid technology can effectively power something as big as our Sporty.
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Old 02-19-2009, 01:37 PM   #72
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

Hi All,

OK it is a specific situation and my plan for conversion will only be able to seat 8 but will be able to sleep 5 (I hope) might be tight

But it was just a nice thought and actually bring another perspective...

on the footprint of the Prius I don't know either and car manufacturing apparently are one of the rare industries which don't undergo the same controls as other industry... (not sure of that but heard and read on the web...)

What I would say is battery fabrication and disposal is a delicate process but then again all car have batteries...

In the UK they studied the impact of a 1947 mini and a 2007 or 8 mini and compared the whole cycle over an equivalent life span... what came out of it was the massive quantity of electronic components and the load of plastic in the new mini...

But then that is not just CO2 but all other pollutants and there I reckon we are far from measuring what the impact is...

But as I intimated I am a bit of a poker on this subject
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Old 02-19-2009, 02:00 PM   #73
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

I am not attacking the notion of reducing one's carbon footprint. I'm all for it and I too have done many things to reduce mine...I hope. I just grow weary of the incomplete "science" used by those who need validation of their efforts and resort to things like buying carbon offsets and numerous bumper stickers to proclaim their status.
How many batteries are there in a hybrid? I have 3 in my van and will use them for at least as long as a hybrid.
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Old 02-19-2009, 03:36 PM   #74
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

Chris, the Prius uses a multi-cell, NiMH battery pack that is never meant to be fully charged or fully discharged. NiMH batteries in, say, cell phones have shortened use lives if they're continually drained totally and then recharged up to as much as they can take. Toyota's approach is to manage the charging of the batteries by the motor or by regenerative braking so that the battery charge fluctuates up and down by about 15 percent, in the upper third of the charge range. Here's a link to a New Zealand site with pretty full info on the Prius battery: http://www.cleangreencar.co.nz/page/prius-battery-pack.
As to longevity, there have been over a quarter million Priuses (or Prii) sold in the U.S. Toyota claims that not one battery pack has ever been replaced due to failure. The only replacements they've sold were to refit cars that had been in accidents. The company claims that battery life depends more on mileage than on how old the battery is. The battery packs test out as lasting at least 180,000 miles. There are Prius taxis running in Canada with over 200,000 miles on the original NiMH battery pack, with little or no degradation in battery performance. Of course, each Prius has its own, separate lead-acid battery for starting the gas engine and operating the accessories. Congrats on being able to keep your van's batteries going for this many miles! How do you do it?
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Old 02-19-2009, 04:01 PM   #75
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

Very intersting on batteries... I have had to change my Pajero (Montero in the US) battery after 12 years... not sure about the mileage though
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:24 PM   #76
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

I will let you know about the batteries in another 95,000 miles! My 92 BMW has 133k and is still on the original battery. Moderate climate,don't run it dead. Start with a an expensive battery. There are so many variables.
My hearing aid batteries last for about 36 hours. Cost a buck a piece. Now there is a hearing aid that stays in your ear canal for 3 months without a new battery. Why can't I get those batteries?

I guess my original thought has gone missing but what I really want to know.... is there ultimately a tipping point where the disposal of used/damaged hybrid batteries begins to erode the gains in less carbon emissions. Will a conventional vehicle of the same weight and general construction ultimately have had the same footprint as a hybrid when they go to the salvage yard after 20 years and 200,000 miles?
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:53 PM   #77
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

To the original question, I was at 15 mpg average, and dropped to about 13 when I added a rocketbox!
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Old 02-19-2009, 08:19 PM   #78
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?



To add a little more to what Psomaki has said....

There have been very detailed studies done comparing the lifetime (cradle to grave) cost (in dollars and to the environment) of hybrid vs non-hybrid vehicles. The Prius gets thrown in this equation a lot because it is currently the only purpose built hybrid. When you look at equal lifetimes and equal miles, the Prius wins hands down over the ICE vehicles.

The Prius battery state of charge is kept betweem 40% and 80%.
Remember those laptop batteries you saw catch on fire? THose were batteries that we being charge to a higher SOC. with lithium and NiMH batteries heat is the enemy. Heat will age the battery. Toyota knows more about batteries through their work with Panasonic than any other automanufacturer on the planet. They have avoided the heat by avoiding the SOC above 80%.

When the SOC is forced above 80% the computer starts using the battery to spin the ICE even when it is not needed just to bleed off the extra charge.

BUT hybrids are not for every situation, as we all here can confirm. Our Prius can't do what our SMB can do.

.....so we drive the Prius daily to get the 52mpg, and we drive the SMB for fun and get the 14mpg...
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:33 PM   #79
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

My Chev. Extended van w a 350 gas engine gets: ~16.0mpg traveling 65 mpg and ~14.7mpg same speed but with a loaded roof rack. The figures are based on fuel economy averaged over 6000 miles.
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Old 02-20-2009, 07:13 PM   #80
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Re: how many miles per gallon do you get?

Not directly related to MPG, but close......

While driving up 395 earlier this week I noticed that diesel fuel prices were the lowest posted price at nearly every station along the way. First time I've seen this relative price situation in about 3 years. Just last summer, diesel was consistently the highest posted price. Around town diesel prices remain above other gasoline grades, but even there the differential is narrowing.

Rob
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