Why Assume Hybrid Means EcoNut? ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Why Assume Hybrid Means EcoNut?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Why Assume Hybrid Means EcoNut?

So, I was searching for mention of hybrid cars and I came across a post that had the following points to make about the 'lousy implementation' of hybrids.

  • They’re frighteningly expensive, especially considering what you get for your money
  • They usually have HYBRID in 40-inch letters on the side and the back so that you can show everyone else on the road how much you care about the environment and how much they don’t
  • They’re all uglier than Quasimodo with a bad case of bed-head, so even those who can’t read the 40-inch letters know what they’re seeing

Then the writer went on to mention the Dust-to-Dust study, which I think is garbage science. So, I posted the following:
Hybrid cars are not really more expensive than any other car. They are a few thousand more than the conventional car they are built off of, but you make up the difference in cost in gasoline savings. It takes anywhere from a year to 5 years to do it, but it does happen.

The Hybrid badging is important to safety personnel, if nothing else. They need to know what type of car they are dealing with in case of an emergency. And why not trumpet what type of car you are driving? You think people who drive Land Rovers or convertibles aren't looking for some attention? Why not be proud of your car?

And as for your third point, if you don't like the looks of a Prius, there's the Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Nissan Altima Hybrid, there are two Lexus: 450h and 400h, the Ford Escape Hybrid, the Mariner Hybrid, the Civic Hybrid and the Accord Hybrid. Are they all ugly cars in your opinion? If so, what type of car are you looking for?

And as for the CNW Marketing Dust - to - Dust study that article is based on, its all garbage. Please don't reference it. Even they backed off on the claims they made. As an example, they saidthe Prius would last 100,000 miles, while the Hummer will last 300,000 miles. Do you really think a Toyota car will last just 100,000 miles?
For my trouble, I got the following snarky comment back:
OK, I'm in a dilemna. So I'll let the readers decide. Al Gore's cousin wrote a rather lengthy talking-points "refutation" of my post. Should I approve the comment and then mock him, or just deny it?
Now, I did not mention environmentalism at all or the low emissions of hybrids. So what's with the Al Gore comment? While I could have provided references for my comments, it usually isn't worth it in a comments section to do so. I was annoyed by what seemed to me to be a childish response and, to be honest, the 'refutation' comment. So I left a snarky message in reply:
Either method would be easier for you than truly debating the topic. But hey, it's your site.
I was hoping he would rise to the challenge and have a real conversation about hybrid cars. But instead, I was banned from making comments. Once again, he assumed I was an environmental nut.
Well, the only comment that I got back was a snarky one from Al’s cousin, who is under the mistaken impression that I wish to debate the religion of environmentalism.
And I thought blogs were great for creating conversations. I thought that was the whole point of blogs.

Well, if he had chosen to talk to me about it, I would have pointed out he was assuming I wanted to talk about environmental issues, while I hadn't talked about them at all. I would have preferred to talk about our addiction to oil. I would have, once again, talked about how you can save money in the long run by driving a hybrid car. I would have talked about how republicans should love hybrid cars.

But I wasn't given a chance to.

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2 comments:

Brendt said...

I thought that [conversation] was the whole point of blogs.

And yet you're still blogging while 38 of your 42 posts for June go without a comment? That's tenacity.

While some blogs are solely for the generation of conversation, not all are. And some bloggers do not wish to get into it on every last topic on their blog.

I apologize for assuming that you are an eco-nut. Your points were so strident and mantra-like, that I made a wrong assumption.

But, since you're championing conversation, I have a few questions/issues to discuss.

In your first sentence, you state that hybrids "are not really more expensive than any other car". In your second sentence, you state that "[t]hey are a few thousand more". Which is it?

I did not realize that the hybrid badging was important to safety personnel. Why is this? Are there extra risks/dangers to accident victims and/or safety personnel when dealing with a hybrid than with dealing with a conventional car?

You ask, if I "think people who drive Land Rovers or convertibles aren't looking for some attention?" Never said that, nor will I deny your assertion. But how does comparison to others validate your viewpoint?

And why not trumpet what type of car you are driving? Why not be proud of your car?

Um, I'm thinking, maybe because it's a thing.

On the ugly factor, you're right -- they're not all ugly anymore. Someone in marketing must have been given a clue for Christmas. I have retracted that statement on my blog post. But you gotta admit that the early hybrids were ugly enough to make an Amish grandmother swear a blue streak.

As to the mileage life of the Prius, a quick search shows that CNW explained how it came to that figure. But, no, I don't "think a Toyota car will last just 100,000 miles", if it's a conventional car. I have no idea (beyond the facts that CNW presented) as to what the lifespan of a Toyota hybrid will be.

But I wasn't given a chance to.

Someone call the ACLU -- I'm violating your free-speech rights.

Mike said...

That's tenacity
That's why I've been trying to reach out to other bloggers and start more conversations. But, at the same time, since this blog is more along the lines of an informational blog, I don't expect to see very many comments on it. On my puzzle blog, however, I see a lot of comments every day. That one is a lot more conversational in nature.

I apologize for seeming stringent. But, I did think you were way off on all three of your points (and still do).

Hybrid cars cost a few thousand more than their conventional counterparts. But when you look at the base MSRP of the Prius ($22 - $23K), you can't say that it's really that expensive for a midsize sedan. So, I was trying to make both points. Sorry if I was confusing.

Are there extra risks/dangers to accident victims and/or safety personnel when dealing with a hybrid than with dealing with a conventional car?
Hybrid cars have a strong electrical current running through an orange wire. Safety personnel are trained to look for that hybrid badging so that they know not to cut into it. This is similar to how they would avoid cutting into airbags.

Also, since hybrid cars run silently when running off of the battery, EMS have to be extra careful in making sure the engine is turned off. They should always turn the car off in an accident, but with a hybrid, they need to be sure they did it.

There are safety precautions set in a hybrid that aren't done in a conventional car. The battery, for instance, is shut off in case of an accident.

But how does comparison to others validate your viewpoint? If you feel that you should not be proud of a thing, then there's nothing I can say about that. I might argue that some people are proud of polluting less with their cars. Others are just proud of their stance on using less gas, which means they are helping the US in its addiction to oil. In other words, it's not the thing, but the idea.

As to the mileage life of the PriusGiven that Toyota has guaranteed the Prius for 100K miles, I'd say that they, at least, feel that it will last that long. There have also been hybrid taxis running in New York and SF for well over that mileage. Hybrids have also been on the road for about a decade now. If they weren't going to last, we would have heard about it by now.

Someone call the ACLU -- I'm violating your free-speech rights. A little melodramitic on my part, but not out of line.

If you're going to run a blog, you should expect to see others on it trying to make their points. For you to ban me for being a little 'snarky' seemed almost childish.

And I admit it, I was annoyed and frustrated since my ability to communicate my points was cut off. I would think that would be understandable.

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