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  #1  
Old 01-28-2003, 11:50 AM
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Hybrid cars safe?

I was curious with all this energy (no pun intended) and money being poured into hybrid technology, I'm wondering how much safety is being considered? The Civic hybrid has its battery pack behind the rear seat - how safe it this in an accident? Larg cells of sulphuric (sp?) acid right behind the rear passengers? Is there some other kind of battery technology here that I'm not aware of that isn't as potentially harmful like batteries in our gas-guzzlers?

I realize cars already have a larger tank full of combustable fluid, but I wonder about adding additional, larger resevoirs of corrsive/hazardous liquids

Also, anyone notice the link to hybrid technologies on mbusa? Can't remember where I clicked to find it, but it'll be interesting to see to what DC will go this direction since the Japanese are putting so much R&D into it. DC seem's hesistant from reports I've read because of their current diesel-technology. Actually, I understand this is the reason hybrids aren't catching on in Europe - they've had high-performance, and fuel efficient diesels for years now....

Regards,
- Ryan

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  #2  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:00 PM
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It's all emissions...the Japanese are attacking the problem with hybrids, while the Europeans are attacking it with diesels. The Europeans IMHO are succeeding. With their diesels, they're getting the same fuel economy (a Jetta TDi gets the same mileage as a Prius), they don' thave to deal with new technology, and unlike the Japanese hybrids, the Europeans are making money when they sell their diesels (I heard once that the Japanese have to mark their hybrids down as much as 50% to make them affordable).

I came to the conclusion years ago that it's just about impossible to make an econobox safe, so that coupled with the fact that I don't fit in them has made me decide to never buy a Japanese car.

I have a feeling that, as soon as something else comes up, the Japanese will stop seling the hybrids...me thinks they won't truely catch on (notice that, while some other manufacturere played with them some, I think only Toyota and Honda are producing any)...
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  #3  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:02 PM
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Fuel cell safety

They run on hydrogen. Can you say "Hindenburg."
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  #4  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:03 PM
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not according to the nytimes...

http://nytimes.com/2003/01/28/business/28HYBR.html

This is what got me thinking on the subject to begin with Warden, GM, Ford, and Dodge appear to have stuff in the works.

I agree wholeheardtedly with you though!

Regards,
- Ryan
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  #5  
Old 01-28-2003, 12:13 PM
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My undertsanding is that the bateries are NimH or Lithium Ion batteries like your cell phone, and sealed units.

People said that about gas tanks located at the back of the car, too.

The technology is incredible, and I'm so glad to see we're on the right track SOMEWHERE. When the price comes down some, I'll buy one.
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  #6  
Old 01-28-2003, 01:30 PM
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I couldn't read the article I guess I have to subscribe...

And that's interesting that you comment on the Big 3 having something in the works. Bakc in '98, I remember hearing rumors that Dodge had a diesel-electric hybrid Intrepid that they were looking at marketing, but that was the last I had ever heard of American manufacturers doing anything about it...

John, just wondering, how biodegradeable are those types of batteries? I ask 'cause I had a treehugger Engoish teacher a few years back who was talking about how much of a disaster electric cars would be for the environment simply 'cause of how the acid would leak out of the batteries when the cars were disposed of. OTOH, she was one of those extremists who wants ALL cars off the road RIGHT NOW... but from what I gathered, in the long run, pure electric cars could actually do more environmental damage than gasoline-powered cars...

Al I can say is go diesel!! Cleanest of 'em all...
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  #7  
Old 01-28-2003, 01:42 PM
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The acid isn't dangerous, if you dilute it enough you can drink it. Its the lead thats bad. You'll have to recycle it but that process can be riskey.

Right now electric is the cleanest. If you figure the dirtest an engine is is when its cold and when its accelerating, and ideling if you conside milage. Generators don't do any of those. That alone gives them an advantage.
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  #8  
Old 01-28-2003, 01:45 PM
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All electric cars are NOT zero emissions. You have to examine the entire "stream" of energy. The energy produced to charge the batteries has some sort of emissions related to it.

If you live in an area of the country where coal is the primary source of your electrical power, and the coal fired generation is old and dirty, why bother driving an electric car?

Right now, the interesting technology is self contained units like fuel cells or hybrids. Hybrids offer real efficiency gains, right now. The problem where I live is the cold. Hybrids don't like it, especially systems like Toyota's where the electric motor provides drive force. In cold weather, the gasoline engine must run all the time to ensure that the occupants have heat.

The Honda system uses the electric motor as an assist, not as primary drive force, and suffers less in the cold.

Also, all current battery technology has cold limitations. Cold weather reduces their life, their efficiency, and this in turn reduces the advantage of hybrid/electric technology in certain climates.

In fact, if you look at highly efficienct gasoline only cars like the Civic or Echo, they are very close to hybrids. The price difference makes the hybrids unattractive. The real key to reducing fuel consumption RIGHT NOW is legislating lower sulfer levels in diesel fuel, and importing superb European turbo diesel cars/trucks. VW sells a car capable of attaining 3L/100 km's (80US mpg) in city driving, and I undertsand it's a much better driving experience than the hybrids. Of course, there are emission problems with diesels, but they are so much cleaner than even gasoline cars of just a few years ago.

An ML270CDI gets the same mileage as a family sedan even though it weighs as much as an S-Class and a motorcycle together.
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  #9  
Old 01-28-2003, 02:51 PM
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Re: Heat, minor correction

Electrics and hybreds use a heat pump to generate heat. Thats just an air conditioner running backwards.
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2003, 03:23 PM
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Well you can't dispose of the car without properly disposing of the battery anyway. In fact, it's against the law to improperly dispose of batteries here.

Kuan
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  #11  
Old 01-28-2003, 03:31 PM
mbz380se
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http://www.osa.go.jp/anzen/html2001e/as123.htm

For anyone who continues to believe that the Prius is a tin box; here's the safety ratings:

-Sam
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2003, 06:45 PM
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My local Honda dealer told me last week , that the hybrids have to registered with your local fire department as possible hazard spill potential. Also that follows the next owner.
Also the dealer said Toyota does not have to.
The Honda is the two passenger, Didn't asked about the Civic
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2003, 06:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim Anderson
The acid isn't dangerous, if you dilute it enough you can drink it.
Isn't that how they make Coca-cola?

Kuan
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2003, 05:40 PM
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I have never heard of a Honda being registered with our Fire Department.
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  #15  
Old 01-29-2003, 06:05 PM
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Didn't Pinto's have to be registered with the fire department

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