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Old 09-27-2011, 07:14 AM
 
161 posts, read 488,749 times
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2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid

it intrigues me, unlike the volt (too expensive for my budget) or the leaf (i am worried about being stranded because the battery needs charging).

we are probably going to buy a new (or new to me) car next summer and have been researching. at the top of my list was a vw golf tdi, but now the prius is interesting to me.

your thoughts?
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:26 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,588,451 times
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I think it's a poor "me too" attempt at getting in on the plug-in market. The original cost estimate of being $2,500 more than a standard Prius would never pay off economically versus a standard Prius, but having the cost come in at $6,800 more (counting in the $2,500 Fed credit) makes it completely pointless. Even if you drove on electric ONLY you would never make up that cost differential.

By the numbers: the 2012 plug-in Prius | VentureBeat

Quote:
Prius Plug-In (100 miles): $6.12
Standard Prius (estimate, 100 mi): $6.98
Difference per 100 miles: $0.86
Difference per 10,000 miles: $86
Difference per 100,000 miles: $860
If your goal is to reduce your carbon footprint, then driving electric only does that very well, from the same source:

Quote:
Greenhouse gases (CO2) per 10,000 miles:
Standard Prius: 1.98 tons
Prius Plug-In: 1.18 tons
However, smog forming emissions are WORSE for the plug-in model, so it's not cut and dry. Again, from the same source:

Quote:
Smog-forming pollution per 10,000 miles:
Standard Prius (NOx + NMOG): 0.66 pounds (std Prius)
Prius Plug-In (NOx): 5.85 pounds
So, it will never pay for itself, EVER. The electric range is next to useless for the majority of people and pretty much the only reason you would buy one is to cut your CO2 emissions by 40% or so when driving on electric. If you think the Volt is overpriced for what it does, the Prius plug-in is a total rip-off.

In total economics the standard Prius would be the better choice, especially if you do a lot of city driving. If you do a lot of highway, the Golf TDI isn't a bad choice, but there are other options out there like the new Civic HF and Civic Hybrid as well as the Ford Fiesta SFE, Ford Focus SFE and Chevy Cruze Eco. Over 5 years the Golf TDI would be the better choice in total cost versus the non-hybrid gas options, but the hybrids still win the total cost battle over 5 years. The non-hybrid gas options are a better choice in total cost at the 3 year mark if you do a lot of highway driving, but don't pay-off over 5 years versus the diesel or hybrid.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:28 AM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
14,773 posts, read 18,005,925 times
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No, the only appealing highly efficient car for me is the Audi A3 TDI. I plan to pick one up used when they start coming off lease. The hybrids are ugly as sin and cars I would never want to own.

Well, there's also the Tesla, but not exactly affordable or practical.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,514,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
So, it will never pay for itself, EVER. The electric range is next to useless for the majority of people and pretty much the only reason you would buy one is to cut your CO2 emissions by 40% or so when driving on electric. If you think the Volt is overpriced for what it does, the Prius plug-in is a total rip-off.

In total economics the standard Prius would be the better choice, especially if you do a lot of city driving. If you do a lot of highway, the Golf TDI isn't a bad choice, but there are other options out there like the new Civic HF and Civic Hybrid as well as the Ford Fiesta SFE, Ford Focus SFE and Chevy Cruze Eco. Over 5 years the Golf TDI would be the better choice in total cost versus the non-hybrid gas options, but the hybrids still win the total cost battle over 5 years. The non-hybrid gas options are a better choice in total cost at the 3 year mark if you do a lot of highway driving, but don't pay-off over 5 years versus the diesel or hybrid.
Never buy a new car to save money or make money on. If saving money is your goal, then a $400 used cavalier will be the best choice.

You buy a car lie this to support the tech involved. As such, I'd still rather buy a Volt, or more accurately, I'd rather lease a Volt as the price is about the same as a well equipped average sedan, but you can commute on all electric if you want while still being able to take longer trips without having to have a second car to do so, unlike the Leaf.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:51 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,588,451 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
Never buy a new car to save money or make money on. If saving money is your goal, then a $400 used cavalier will be the best choice.

You buy a car lie this to support the tech involved. As such, I'd still rather buy a Volt, or more accurately, I'd rather lease a Volt as the price is about the same as a well equipped average sedan, but you can commute on all electric if you want while still being able to take longer trips without having to have a second car to do so, unlike the Leaf.
I agree with you 100%, but it seems like the OP is trying to make a financial choice as much as a tech choice. Even in the realm of supporting tech, I still can't justify the Prius plug-in as much as I can justify the Volt, that while expensive, does at least represent a leap in technology. At least with the Volt you can have an electric car that will satisfy the majorities daily needs while still providing unlimited range with the engine. The payoff doesn't matter since there are no other cars like it.

In the case of the Prius plug-in you are spending a LOT of extra money for an extremely minimal gain and something people have been doing with their Prius' 3rd party for many years.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
3,869 posts, read 12,536,532 times
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I thinks it's a boondogel.
It's a I feel better because someone told me it is green when it is not.

I'll save money on fuel? electricity is your fuel. did you get it for free? What was burned to create your electricity?
What waste is generated from the generation of your electricity?

lobbyist
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Pikesville, MD
5,229 posts, read 11,514,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snofarmer View Post
I thinks it's a boondogel.
It's a I feel better because someone told me it is green when it is not.

I'll save money on fuel? electricity is your fuel. did you get it for free? What was burned to create your electricity?
What waste is generated from the generation of your electricity?

lobbyist
Electric cars can take advantage of any emerging tech in electricity generation, from coal to nuclear, to hydro to wind to solar. They are essentially future-proof. It's also easier to keep a centralized pollutant source clean than a million individual point sources, and it's been proven that even the dirtiest coal plant in the US now is cleaner per mile than the aveage ICE car. And they are only getting cleaner wheras teh cleanest an internal combustion car will be is the first day, and get progressively dirtier as time goes on.

On top of that, even at current electric rates (no pun intended), a car like the Volt or Leaf cost s less to operate on electricity than the best gas car, especially for commuting. I could run a Volt or Leaf all week for $1.50-2.00 in electricity, charging at night, while the best gasoline powered hybrid, at 40 mpg city, would cost me triple that. Over the course of the year, an electric car would be 1/3rd the running costs of a gas hybrid or diesel.

Any objections to the EVs overpowering the current grid are baseless, as well, as even at max production capacity, it would take 30 years to replace even half the cars in the current US fleet, so no, EVs are not going to be physically able to take over anytime soon, even if everybody in the country decided they wanted one tomorrow.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:44 PM
 
Location: Out in the stix
1,586 posts, read 2,453,902 times
Reputation: 1000
I think I'm happy I still drive an F-150
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,426 posts, read 42,847,058 times
Reputation: 11526
Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc63 View Post
Electric cars can take advantage of any emerging tech in electricity generation, from coal to nuclear, to hydro to wind to solar. They are essentially future-proof. It's also easier to keep a centralized pollutant source clean than a million individual point sources, and it's been proven that even the dirtiest coal plant in the US now is cleaner per mile than the aveage ICE car. And they are only getting cleaner wheras teh cleanest an internal combustion car will be is the first day, and get progressively dirtier as time goes on.

On top of that, even at current electric rates (no pun intended), a car like the Volt or Leaf cost s less to operate on electricity than the best gas car, especially for commuting. I could run a Volt or Leaf all week for $1.50-2.00 in electricity, charging at night, while the best gasoline powered hybrid, at 40 mpg city, would cost me triple that. Over the course of the year, an electric car would be 1/3rd the running costs of a gas hybrid or diesel.

Any objections to the EVs overpowering the current grid are baseless, as well, as even at max production capacity, it would take 30 years to replace even half the cars in the current US fleet, so no, EVs are not going to be physically able to take over anytime soon, even if everybody in the country decided they wanted one tomorrow.
With smart grid technology, one would plug in his electric car in the evening, but it may or may not start charging immediately - the car or it's charger would be instructed to wait till power was available, so maybe your car would charge up between 1 and 3 AM. There is a predictable reduction in power demand over night anyway, so the power to charge electric cars is available right now even on a "dumb" grid.

It's a pity the "plug in" version of the Prius costs so much more, I think people have converted their own Prii (that would be the plural of "Prius", right?) for much less than $6500. Apparently a current Prius will only go a few miles on battery power alone.

I would think the damn thing could have solar panels in the roof to take advantage of that both during cruise and, given some "knowledge" of where it is and where it's going, or the driver pushing a button when say 2 or 3 or whatever miles from destination, it could "intentionally" deplete the battery, then charge it up using the solar panels.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:18 PM
 
Location: New Jersey
2,715 posts, read 9,145,266 times
Reputation: 1383
I am holding out for a hybrid Hummer.
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