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The Prius got beaten, AGAIN, in its own game

Started by tl123tsk, 06/23/2008 08:40AM
Posted 06/23/2008 08:40AM Opening Post

while few should take what these folks say seriously, that's some real sage advice in the end.

nonetheless, flame suit on 8)
Posted 06/23/2008 09:17AM #1
I just came back from a short vacation on the French Riviera. I learned something about cars and fuel efficiency. Despite high population density along the Mediterranean coast in cities like Nice and Cannes, traffic moves fast and efficiently. There was no gridlock, even at rush hour. Streets are narrow and tight, yet everyone drove like banshees. There are almost no stop signs on any of the streets, and very few traffic lights. Most major intersections have roundabouts, so traffic keeps moving, never stops.

Our host during my stay there drove a medium size Renault SUV, similar to a Ford Escape. The engine was a 1.8 liter turbo diesel, which ran an efficient 40 mpg in our urban driving and an incredible 60mpg during our country outing. He did not drive gently at all, in fact he drove in a manner that would scare most US drivers. I joked that he was preparing for LeMans, him and everybody else down there. Speed limits were 110km/hr around the urban centers and 130-140km/hr in the countryside (68mph and 81-87mph). Most of the cars were going faster than that.

To summarize, almost 90% of the cars in France are turbodiesels. Even though they are paying the equivalent of $8.00 per gallon, the efficiency of these small turbodiesels allows them to pay out of pocket the same or less than we do per driven mile. Even large cars like our dealer's Mercedes station wagon, get excellent gas mileage (around 35mpg city, 45mpg country) thanks to a powerful but efficient turbodiesel. These are clean running cars with none of the sooty exhaust and smell that we have in our diesel powered school busses and big trucks here in the US.

I would like to see new engine development here, coupled with electric traction for commuter cars. They don't have to be small dangerous cramped vehicles. With double or triple our present average gas consumption, we could go a long way to solving our energy crisis.

Posted 06/24/2008 07:35AM #2
The people who put that video out have several more bashing the Prius. Over the last 25 years I have owned a BMW, Volkwagen and Subaru before buying my Prius in 2007. My long term average over the last 3500 miles has been 53.5 mpg (as of yesterday morning). While I do not believe the Prius is anything more than a major step towards a rational design in automobiles, it is saving me a great deal of money over my other vehicles. Our other car is a VW Golf (1998) which gets about 33mpg, not bad but still not what the Prius gets and both of those cars are driven in the same way over the same terrain. I could pick driving courses which would enable my car of choice to do better than another vehicle, which is what the guys in the video seem to do.
Small diesel hybrids may in fact be a better choice, but with the difference in current diesel prices here versus 87 octane gas, the cost of driving the BMW and the Prius in the demo video changes the finish positions.
Anyhow, no flame here from me, just a different point of view.
Posted 06/24/2008 09:46AM #3
Speed, High horsepower, good handling, and high performance is all part of a cultural idea. And, as every good liberal doobie knows, you can't fight an idea. wink

I think Toyota needs to develop a better, faster, stronger Prius. The Supra prototype hybrid is pretty cool, but it uses too much gas.

I have several telescopes, but none are semi-APO, APO, or in anyway valuable.