About Hybrid Car Review ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: About Hybrid Car Review

Friday, March 30, 2007

About Hybrid Car Review

Hi, and welcome to Hybrid Car Review. My name's Mike and I started this blog back in November of 2005 in an attempt to learn more about hybrid cars. I really didn't know all that much, but I was curious and wanted to find out more. Hopefully, I've put together a nice resource for you to use in your search for information about hybrid cars, the current marketplace and any pros and cons in this new technology.

Basically, I do this as a hobby, not as a full time job. I probably spend too much time working on this site, but I feel it's worth my time.

If you came here looking for some information, but can't find it: Please leave a comment on this page, or any other page for that matter. I may know the answer, I may be able to point you in the right direction at another site, I may have already posted it somewhere, or I might just take some time to write a new post about your question. If I'm available and have some time, I'll try to answer your question as soon as possible. Hey, it can't hurt to ask.

You can stay up to date by subscribing to my feed. I use feedburner to keep track of those reading my words through RSS.

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Anonymous said...

I live in Virginia, and I am looking to get a 2007 Lexus 400h to drive on HOV. I searched through DMV and VDOT websites, the 2007 400h model is not on the list as one of the qualified cars. I even called DMV, but the person answered the phone was not able to tell me why th 2007 model was not on the list. Now if the 2007 Toyota Highlander Hydrid is on the list, shouldn't 2007 400h be on the list also? They are the same build with same gas mileage.

Mike said...

I absolutely agree with you. It should be included on the list since 1) other 2007 hybrids are on there and 2) the 2006 version is included and 3) some of the other 2007 hybrids on the list are very comparable to the RX 400h.

I can think of two reasons why it's not. The first is simple bureaucracy procrastination. It just hasn't been approved, yet. In which case you should keep pestering them until they do so.

The second possibility is they were waiting for the recent changes in the EPA guidelines for HOV access approval. But the proposal does allow the RX 400h in (although it does disqualify the 450h). So again, it may be they have been procrastinating.

Perhaps the committee that updates the list hasn't met yet?

Tom Farmer said...

Mike - Thanks for your blog. I appreciate your work and have enjoyed learning about hybrids.

Suffice it to say that I am more of an environmentalist that I was when I purchased my last vehicle, a 2002 Toyota Sequoia. The Sequoia is going great at 75,000 miles, but I would like to drive something a little more green.

I have heard that a car consumes much more fossil fuel in its manufacture process that it will ever consume going down the road? Is that true and if so, doesn't trading my Sequoia for a high efficency car become a wash for the environment? Should I drive the Sequoia until it drops and then get a more eco-friendly form of transportation?

I have also heard that the environment cost of producing the batteries for the hybrids outweigh the benefits of the higher efficiency. Is that true?

Finally, I am reviewing individual models and am interested in the Civic hybrid. I am also interested in the Honda Fit, not a hybrid but nonetheless a highly efficient vehicle. What do you think are tradeoffs of getting a hybrid vs. getting a very efficient gas vehicle?

Thanks for your time and thanks again for a great website. I will check it out regularly.

Tom Farmer
Rome, GA

Mike said...

Tom, I wouldn't trade in your vehicle just yet. I am not an environmental expert, but that car you own will not leave the road just because you don't own it anymore. Although newer cars will emit less, I do not believe (again I'm not an expert in manufacturing emissions) you would emit less than you would 'cause' by buying a new vehicle.

The battery concerns you have probably come from the CNW Marketing study that is often quoted for its Prius vs Hummer comparison. In it, and in subsequent 'reports' from others, people talk about the harm from mining nickel and point to a mining facility in Canada and the harm it caused. But to blame hybrids for that is foolish, given how little hybrids use of the total nickel output. As for the long term effects of hybrid batteries, they are fully recyclable. Toyota even has a $200 bounty set for each of its batteries to make sure it is sent in for recycling.

Mike said...

As for the smaller vs hybrid question. I would go smaller first. Not only will you save yourself some money on your initial purchase, you will also save money by getting great gas mileage. There's nothing magical about hybrids that allow you to emit less.

Hybrid engines (can) give bigger cars better gas mileage, thus making them better for the environment than their counterparts. But smaller cars that get great gas mileage are just as good.

Not all hybrids were designed with fuel economy first mentalities, however. The Accord hybrid was designed to give the driver more power for less engine, a philosophically different type of efficiency.

If the environment is your first concern, look for the most fuel efficient car in the class of cars you are considering. So, if you can fit your life into a Fit, then by all means. If you need a larger vehicle to fit your life into, then just make sure fuel efficiency is a top priority. If you do that, then a hybrid vehicle will probably be your most likely choice.

Tom Farmer said...

Thanks, Mike!

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