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Re: [hreg] Sunday Article about Plug-in Hybrids

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  • SBT Designs
    What most media fails to mention about these cars is the battery replacement that will be required three to five years down the road. It won t be cheap and
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 15, 2005
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      What most media fails to mention about these cars is the battery replacement
      that will be required three to five years down the road. It won't be cheap
      and the expense could consume the savings in fuel. Still, one of my
      customers has a Prius. She drove 200 hundred miles and the indicator needle
      did not move from the F position on the gas gauge.

      Steven Shepard
      SBT Designs
      25581 IH-10 West
      San Antonio, Texas 78257
      (210) 698-7109

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Robert Johnston" <junk1@...>
      To: <hreg@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 8:41 AM
      Subject: RE: [hreg] Sunday Article about Plug-in Hybrids

      > Great post! Thanks.
      > This is a creative way to extend the bridge from gas to electric vehicles.
      > The trick for electric is energy storage. Extending the hybrid concept
      > further makes sense, and if it can be customized by consumers based on
      > driving habits (how many batteries do you need?) that would be nice. The
      > author is correct, in my opinion, in his comments on the hydrogen vehicle.
      > Unfortunately, I think greens have promoted the hydrogen economy too
      > strongly instead of emphasizing transition technologies.
      > Robert Johnston
      >> -----Original Message-----
      >> From: hreg@yahoogroups.com [mailto:hreg@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      >> Clifford
      >> Sent: Monday, August 15, 2005 6:24 AM
      >> To: hreg@yahoogroups.com
      >> Subject: [hreg] Sunday Article about Plug-in Hybrids
      >> I cut & pasted the whole thing, sorry if it still has ads or
      >> unwanted links. I am not all that savy on this stuff.
      >> Clifford
      >> By TIM MOLLOY, Associated Press Writer
      >> Sun Aug 14, 4:22 AM ET
      >> CORTE MADERA, Calif. - Politicians and automakers say a car that can
      >> both reduce greenhouse gases and free America from its reliance on
      >> foreign oil is years or even decades away. Ron Gremban says such a
      >> car is parked in his garage.
      >> It looks like a typical Toyota Prius hybrid, but in the trunk sits
      >> an 80-miles-per-gallon secret - a stack of 18 brick-sized batteries
      >> that boosts the car's high mileage with an extra electrical charge
      >> so it can burn even less fuel.
      >> Gremban, an electrical engineer and committed environmentalist,
      >> spent several months and $3,000 tinkering with his car.
      >> Like all hybrids, his Prius increases fuel efficiency by harnessing
      >> small amounts of electricity generated during braking and coasting.
      >> The extra batteries let him store extra power by plugging the car
      >> into a wall outlet at his home in this San Francisco suburb - all
      >> for about a quarter.
      >> He's part of a small but growing movement. "Plug-in" hybrids aren't
      >> yet cost-efficient, but some of the dozen known experimental models
      >> have gotten up to 250 mpg.
      >> They have support not only from environmentalists but also from
      >> conservative foreign policy hawks who insist Americans fuel
      >> terrorism through their gas guzzling.
      >> And while the technology has existed for three decades, automakers
      >> are beginning to take notice, too.
      >> So far, DaimlerChrysler AG is the only company that has committed to
      >> building its own plug-in hybrids, quietly pledging to make up to 40
      >> vans for U.S. companies. But Toyota Motor Corp. officials who
      >> initially frowned on people altering their cars now say they may be
      >> able to learn from them.
      >> "They're like the hot rodders of yesterday who did everything to
      >> soup up their cars. It was all about horsepower and bling-bling,
      >> lots of chrome and accessories," said Cindy Knight, a Toyota
      >> spokeswoman. "Maybe the hot rodders of tomorrow are the people who
      >> want to get in there and see what they can do about increasing fuel
      >> economy."
      >> The extra batteries let Gremban drive for 20 miles with a 50-50 mix
      >> of gas and electricity. Even after the car runs out of power from
      >> the batteries and switches to the standard hybrid mode, it gets the
      >> typical Prius fuel efficiency of around 45 mpg. As long as Gremban
      >> doesn't drive too far in a day, he says, he gets 80 mpg.
      >> "The value of plug-in hybrids is they can dramatically reduce
      >> gasoline usage for the first few miles every day," Gremban
      >> said. "The average for people's usage of a car is somewhere around
      >> 30 to 40 miles per day. During that kind of driving, the plug-in
      >> hybrid can make a dramatic difference."
      >> Backers of plug-in hybrids acknowledge that the electricity to boost
      >> their cars generally comes from fossil fuels that create greenhouse
      >> gases, but they say that process still produces far less pollution
      >> than oil. They also note that electricity could be generated cleanly
      >> from solar power.
      >> Gremban rigged his car to promote the nonprofit CalCars Initiative,
      >> a San Francisco Bay area-based volunteer effort that argues
      >> automakers could mass produce plug-in hybrids at a reasonable price.
      >> But Toyota and other car companies say they are worried about the
      >> cost, convenience and safety of plug-in hybrids - and note that
      >> consumers haven't embraced all-electric cars because of the
      >> inconvenience of recharging them like giant cell phones.
      >> Automakers have spent millions of dollars telling motorists that
      >> hybrids don't need to be plugged in, and don't want to confuse the
      >> message.
      >> Nonetheless, plug-in hybrids are starting to get the backing of
      >> prominent hawks like former CIA director James Woolsey and Frank
      >> Gaffney, President Reagan's undersecretary of defense. They have
      >> joined Set America Free, a group that wants the government to spend
      >> $12 billion over four years on plug-in hybrids, alternative fuels
      >> and other measures to reduce foreign oil dependence.
      >> Gaffney, who heads the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Security
      >> Policy, said Americans would embrace plug-ins if they understood
      >> arguments from him and others who say gasoline contributes to oil-
      >> rich Middle Eastern governments that support terrorism.
      >> "The more we are consuming oil that either comes from places that
      >> are bent on our destruction or helping those who are ... the more we
      >> are enabling those who are trying to kill us," Gaffney said.
      >> DaimlerChrysler spokesman Nick Cappa said plug-in hybrids are ideal
      >> for companies with fleets of vehicles that can be recharged at a
      >> central location at night. He declined to name the companies buying
      >> the vehicles and said he did not know the vehicles' mileage or cost,
      >> or when they would be available.
      >> Others are modifying hybrids, too.
      >> Monrovia-based Energy CS has converted two Priuses to get up to 230
      >> mpg by using powerful lithium ion batteries. It is forming a new
      >> company, EDrive Systems, that will convert hybrids to plug-ins for
      >> about $12,000 starting next year, company vice president Greg
      >> Hanssen said.
      >> University of California, Davis engineering professor Andy Frank
      >> built a plug-in hybrid from the ground up in 1972 and has since
      >> built seven others, one of which gets up to 250 mpg. They were
      >> converted from non-hybrids, including a Ford Taurus and Chevrolet
      >> Suburban.
      >> Frank has spent $150,000 to $250,000 in research costs on each car,
      >> but believes automakers could mass-produce them by adding just
      >> $6,000 to each vehicle's price tag.
      >> Instead, Frank said, automakers promise hydrogen-powered vehicles
      >> hailed by President Bush and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger,
      >> even though hydrogen's backers acknowledge the cars won't be widely
      >> available for years and would require a vast infrastructure of new
      >> fueling stations.
      >> "They'd rather work on something that won't be in their lifetime,
      >> and that's this hydrogen economy stuff," Frank said. "They pick this
      >> kind of target to get the public off their back, essentially."
      >> ___
      >> On the Net:
      >> CalCars Initiative: http://calcars.org
      >> Email Story IM Story Discuss Printable View RECOMMEND THIS STORY
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