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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
1/31/20 9:55 a.m.

Is that Prius now old news? 

Discuss. 

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
1/31/20 9:57 a.m.

Yes.

 

(MOFW)

 

Edit:  Yes to the subject header that is.  Hybrids still have a place.

morello159
morello159 Reader
1/31/20 10:00 a.m.

For an only car? Yeah, probably a hybrid. 

I hope if I get married some day my wife is into cars. Ideal garage would be a gas truck (to tow the race car/do truck things/long trips), electric sedan (Model 3, etc) and a race car.

NickD
NickD PowerDork
1/31/20 10:02 a.m.

I don't think so. The EV charging network is getting better, but still isn't fully developed (example, according to the EV people, my dealership has the only Phase 3 charger between Albany and the Canadian border, but we keep it under lock and key for only our service shuttles) And there are people, like me, that crack off over two hundred miles at a time and don't want to have to repeatedly sit around for at least 30 minutes while it charges. 

mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise Dork
1/31/20 10:02 a.m.

Depends where you live.

 

amongst coastal elites, Prius has been old news for a while

all my non car buddies who used to do Prius to care for the environment , have all moved on to Tesla . Around here Prius have been sitting on lots for ever.
 

Some of the very senior (think AARP+), diehard Prius owners have all moved to Rav4 hybrid 

nimblemotorsports
nimblemotorsports Reader
1/31/20 10:10 a.m.

A hybrid truck has always made sense and still does, yet they have never really taken.   

A plug-in hybrid even.

It is odd given that, EV trucks are now getting attention.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
1/31/20 10:13 a.m.
mr2s2000elise said:

Depends where you live.

 

amongst coastal elites, Prius has been old news for a while

all my non car buddies who used to do Prius to care for the environment , have all moved on to Tesla . Around here Prius have been sitting on lots for ever.
 

Some of the very senior (think AARP+), diehard Prius owners have all moved to Rav4 hybrid 

If you take the founder out of your post- right now, the solution is still very regional.  Mostly because of how energy is produced.  In terms of CO2 produced, CA is good for EVs.  Whereas in many mid-west states, that's not so much true.

But the other thing that I always like to note- every improvement made to EV's benefit hybrids the same or better.  Faster EV charging = more energy harvesting for hybrids.  And until the quantum leap in battery technology happens, having a smaller battery set + two engines (one gas, one electric) is still cheaper than pure EV.  Especially as you scale up the size of the vehicle and what it needs to do.

From what I've seen, even the most optimistic pure EV prediction has 70% of cars in 2030 with an ICE in them.  Maybe the pure ICE cars will be a very small part of new cars, but they will still be in the majority of new cars made.

There is a decent possibility that the quantum change in battery tech will happen- where the materials are a whole lot cheaper and safer and lighter.

As for the "super charger" idea, yea, physics.  Pumping 130 MJ/min rules.

GIRTHQUAKE
GIRTHQUAKE HalfDork
1/31/20 10:15 a.m.

Despite the availablity of RV parks for charging, I think it'll be at least another 5 years before charging infrastructure is good enough before I say hybrids aren't needed.

I think they absolutely have a place with trucks and always will.

sleepyhead the buffalo
sleepyhead the buffalo Mod Squad
1/31/20 10:17 a.m.

it's 300 miles to the inlaws, 600 miles to South Bend, and 900miles to Sebring from where I live.  I'd still rather have a Hybrid at this point, so I can do any of those trips in a single day at the drop of a hat.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/31/20 10:17 a.m.

If (and that's a big "if") I was ever to even consider buying a vehicle with electric motors in it, it would absolutely, positively, have to have an internal combustion engine in it, if for nothing other than to soothe me with its sounds and smells.  And of course to motivate the vehicle in the unlikely but altogether too possible event that the batteries become exhausted.  The ICE is like insurance, you know?  You might never need it, but it's good to know it's there.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/20 10:23 a.m.

To me, hybrids are the awkward middle ground. More complex than an EV and an ICE combined with the cost and mass of both powertrains. It's the DVD/VCR combo. The one advantage I can see is that they allow ICE vehicles to use regen to claw back some efficency, but at a heck of a cost. They're just too much of a compromise, meaning they're not really good at being either.

I think pure ICE and pure BEV is the end game. I don't buy the "range extender as insurance" concept, I have never had to carry a jerry can of fuel with me for a gas car even when I've been bouncing around in the trails in Colorado and Moab in a 50 year old 10 mpg truck.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/31/20 10:23 a.m.

For most drivers, probably over 95%, the EV is just fine. 

 

For instance, I take one trip every 2-5 years that an EV would cost me more than 20 minutes in added time. For that 1 trip every 2-5 years, I could take a rental, but would prefer to have an ICE option - hybrid or traditional. 

Realistically, about the only common use case that an EV isn't appropriate for anymore are those who street park/park in parking garages/lots without a charging option. This is assuming that the rest of users can get one set up at their house, which is completely reasonable. Which is somewhat surprising to me, I used to think they were perfect for urban and suburban, but the reality is that they're even better for rural drivers. 

Wicked93gs
Wicked93gs New Reader
1/31/20 10:26 a.m.

I will continue to pass on EVs(Hybrid still makes sense). The laws of physics haven't changed in 100 years....gasoline still packs more specific energy per lb than batteries. I will reconsider if they ever make a battery with a better energy to weight ratio...but I just don't want to drive a 4000lb car regardless of how much torque it puts out, at least from a performance standpoint. From a daily commuter standpoint I might build a 150+ mile range(unlikely that I would buy a factory one) EV....probably more of a chance of that than buying a hybrid actually. I just don't feel EVs are worth anything as anything other than commuter cars....and under no circumstances would I ever own one as my only vehicle(just look at CA recent PG&E fire-preventing rolling blackouts as a perfect reason why...or blackouts in general)

trumant
trumant New Reader
1/31/20 10:27 a.m.
mtn said:

For that 1 trip every 2-5 years, I could take a rental, but would prefer to have an ICE option - hybrid or traditional.

This seems like an untapped business opportunity for EV makers. I'd be much more inclined to buy an EV, if the purchase/lease came with a certain number of rental miles of an ICE car suitable for road trips with at home/extremely convenient drop-off. 

LifeIsStout
LifeIsStout Reader
1/31/20 10:30 a.m.

The first charging network that makes a deal with a national gas station brand and has chargers installed at existing locations will make the biggest difference in allowing for a pure EV route.  I live in Seattle, which is great for having an EV (I don't own one myself, but plenty of friends do), but if you go to eastern Washington, the conversation changes, as you couldn't get across the state without hitting a charging station or two.  

shane86
shane86 New Reader
1/31/20 10:34 a.m.

I'd say it's about the person and their activities.  

As someone who would regularly up and hop on a road trip, EV as my only car wouldn't be a great solution. I know i'm about to hear "but the infrastructure..." it may be more there than it was, but it's still adding potentially hours to even half day journeys.  

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I loved my volt. day to day with my short suburban to urban commute and plenty of shopping in between, it would go months before i'd hear the engine, let alone have to fill up. It's also the same car I loaded up and drove for 8 hours to indy for PRI, 10 hours to Winnepeg for a Deadmau5 concert, 20 hours to help a friend pick up an M3, and nearly 30 when I moved halfway across the country to LA.  

Plug-in hybrids with a reasonable amount of range are the best middle ground imho, but  because they require signifgant amounts of both worlds, they easily land on the more expensive side of things. I need a whole gas engine, transmission, and effectively a whole EV car rolled into one? youch.

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
1/31/20 10:37 a.m.

It's 1050 miles from my house to the hotel in Gainesville and I do the return trip in one go. I'll need a hybrid, otherwise a 200 mile EV will do me just fine 99% of the time.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
1/31/20 10:41 a.m.

I think until people can wrap their heads around the idea of not needing to go to a gas station the majority of the time, hybrids will have their place.

Considering pure EV vehicles get more range per charge than my ranger does per gas station fill up, I think a lot of people's range anxiety is a figment of their imagination. 

It's always my go to argument, but One Lap. Long highway hauls mixed with flat out track driving, and the Teslas managed to keep up. Another year or two they probably won't even need to go out of their way for charging. 

STM317
STM317 UltraDork
1/31/20 10:42 a.m.

My PHEV allows me to do half my commute, and all of my weekend errands around town on electrons. The ICE means I can take on a trip of any distance with no concerns and limited planning at the drop of a hat. I can fully charge with a normal 120v outlet in a regular overnight period. With a full charge and a full tank of fuel, I've got over 600 miles of range if needed.

I think that hybrids still have a place. Especially as a way to introduce electrification to new market segments. We see this occurring now with upcoming PHEV Rav-4, Jeep Wrangler, etc. And at some point PHEV trucks are likely to be an option as well.

A PHEV also means smaller battery, which means either less overall mining for materials, or it means you electrify more vehicles for the same amount of mined materials. If we're trying to make a more positive environmental impact, we need as many vehicles to be cleaned up as possible. I think PHEVs do that better than BEVs. I'd rather have 2 or 3 PHEVs on the road, using 100% of their EV range on their 30 mile daily commutes than a single BEV doing its 30 mile commute and using 10% of its battery capacity while the other 90% of that lithium sits unused most of the time.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/20 10:44 a.m.
Wicked93gs said:

I will continue to pass on EVs(Hybrid still makes sense). The laws of physics haven't changed in 100 years....gasoline still packs more specific energy per lb than batteries. I will reconsider if they ever make a battery with a better energy to weight ratio...but I just don't want to drive a 4000lb car regardless of how much torque it puts out, at least from a performance standpoint. From a daily commuter standpoint I might build a 150+ mile range(unlikely that I would buy a factory one) EV....probably more of a chance of that than buying a hybrid actually. I just don't feel EVs are worth anything as anything other than commuter cars....and under no circumstances would I ever own one as my only vehicle(just look at CA recent PG&E fire-preventing rolling blackouts as a perfect reason why...or blackouts in general)

Fun fact: the Model 3 Dual Motor weighs almost exactly the same as an E39 M5. Performance numbers are also extremely close and the rated EPA range is almost identical. They're surprisingly similar cars in a lot of ways. 

Most people's complaints about EV use are the same as when it comes to buying trucks. "What if I need to tow 10,000 lbs? The weedy little Tacoma will only pull 6800, it's basically useless". It would be interesting for everyone to sit down and actually tabulate how many trips they took this past year that were over 250 miles in one leg, and how much a 20-30 minute charging stop would have affected the trip versus a 15 minute fuel stop. Yes, I keep time logs when I'm on work trips, that's a legit fuel/pee stop elapsed time. It may turn out that most of the objections are more theoretical than actual. I've posted before about my own trips - running to Vegas and back in an EV (500 miles through deserted Utah/Nevada) would not be any different than an ICE in terms of elapsed time. If you take the next leg from Vegas to LA into account, it still doesn't change.

DirtyBird222
DirtyBird222 UberDork
1/31/20 10:45 a.m.

The current batteries in EV aren't the solution. The materials required to produce the current crop of batteries for EVs comes at a serious cost to humans and the environment; but, your reusable shopping bag is saving turtles so theres that. 

If we are strictly talking cars and not the negative impacts of throwing lead acid batteries into the ocean, I think hybirds most definately still have a place. Plant yourself in an rural town in America and you'll soon realize there isn't a charging network to compliment your EV. Lets take a look at San Angelo, TX, a town of approximately 100k people with zero interstate highways intersecting it (a fun fact all local residents will tell you). Oil and farming money are great there, there's an abundance of car dealerships and chain restaurants, the closest major airport is 3 hours away in Austin, TX, and absolutely zero Tesla charging stations at the moment. So as others have said, once that infrastructure of charging is in place I can see small auto hybirds possibly dying out since they aren't the flavor of the week anymore. At least from the looks of this map in Central/West Texas you could make a road trip and charge up while getting some McDonalds. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/31/20 10:47 a.m.

If you live in San Angelo, you don't need a Supercharger. You charge at home. You only need the Supercharger when you leave. That's what a lot of people miss.

According to that map, you can go in almost any direction (starting with a full battery, as you always do when leaving home)  and there's a Supercharger within a fairly decent radius.

iceracer
iceracer UltimaDork
1/31/20 10:47 a.m.

A hybrid would be essential to me.

 

MotorsportsGordon
MotorsportsGordon HalfDork
1/31/20 10:54 a.m.

In the future though it could be that both hybrid and ev could be potentially replaced by other alternatives like hydrogen etc.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 MegaDork
1/31/20 10:59 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:  I don't buy the "range extender as insurance" concept, I have never had to carry a jerry can of fuel with me for a gas car even when I've been bouncing around in the trails in Colorado and Moab in a 50 year old 10 mpg truck.

And that's pretty much because you can't swing a cat without hitting a gas station in nearly all of the places you're likely to get in a car.  When charging stations are as ubiquitous, I might reconsider.

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