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Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hybrid Mania

I realize with more car makers producing ‘green’ car hybrids and ad campaigns to match, more unsuspecting consumers will be paying the extra thousands of dollars to have a politically correct vehicle. At first look it seems like such a soft fuzzy warm feeling to be oh so one with the earth while still driving a car. In reality, a closer examination of the hybrid’s power cell life-force, which does fail and needs to be recycled, makes this a bad choice for the environment or energy savings. The article I’ve linked to below highlights Honda’s problems with their Civic hybrid. To avoid replacing thousands of power cells under warranty, Honda came up with a software upgrade that reduces the hybrid to a much more expensive Civic without the power or the lifespan. The new software patch kicks in the trusty gas engine sooner to keep the power cell charged, thereby reducing gas mileage so you wind up driving a Civic with a built in $3,000 albatross waiting to strike. Although the manufacturers have lengthened the warranty into the eight and ten year range for the power cells, the recycling of failed power cells also consumes a lot of energy, requiring special recycling factories. Meanwhile, regular gas powered Honda Civic owners paid thousands less for their Civic - it gets great gas mileage, and if they do the usual maintenance, their Civic will last much longer while not requiring energy wasting plants recycling the very un-green power cells. The Hybrid Civic’s problems are a microcosm of the shortsighted ‘green’ movement. With all the hype and fortunes spent trying to be more environmentally friendly to appease morons in governments who have never held a real job in their lives, vehicle manufacturers have unleashed millions of environmental time bombs which will prematurely waste a vast amount more energy than they ever saved.
An added note I learned when attending hybrid classes. When one of these vehicles gets into a wreck, emergency crews have to be specially equipped to handle crashed hybrids, adding expensive gear on a massive scale to already cash strapped fire and rescue departments.


Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't know they had to have different rescue equipment. THat's likely to cause a serious problem.

BernardL said...

Because of the high voltage system, emergency crews have to find a way to disable the high voltage system before using the jaws of life or any other extraction equipment. I have this webpage with PDF emergency response guides from class one of the Toyota Techs had -

Here's an article with some real life safety problems in hybrid crashes.,0,5284201.story