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It's pretty clear why more hybrids aren't being sold


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#1 OFFLINE   dalesky

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:09 AM

Practically every time I see a car commercial (which thankfully I usually can DVR past at high speed- Praise The Lord- or Directv), the way the vehicle is being driven is either unrealistic or dangerous. High speed, lots of noise, empty streets, getting away, really winding roads, etc. Not at all how people drive 99.9% of the time 

 

Auto reviewers are pretty consistent also, with their constant pitch for more horsepower, crying about the little 2.0 liter engines, compared to the much better 2.5 liter, etc. Know what I mean? The major criteria given for a bad review is often that a car is not fun to drive. Really, do most people want a fun to drive car, vs one that handles safely and gets good mileage and is reliable? Sure, it would be nice to get everything, but if a car is not dangerous, how about toning down the 'fun to drive' requirement?

 

I think most of the magazine and newspaper writers have lost sight of what a vehicle like a Ford Explorer or even the F150 really costs to drive. My neighbor sold his F150 (1 year old) because he couldn't stand getting 12-15 MPG and spending a hundred dollar bill to drive between Myrtle Beach SC and Ashville NC , One Way! 300 miles!  Seriously!  He now drives a Ford Focus Titanium hatch, and gets very good mileage. Oh, it is roomy, and fun to drive, and good looking.

 

Bigger, faster, bigger, faster, and on and on. Wow, what a rat race! Most car magazines pay little to no attention to fuel efficient vehicles, and constantly push the faster vehicles, larger engines and improved handling. Rarely even a mention of the positive trade off with a smaller engine and better mileage. To get good info about hybrids or electric vehicles you have to turn to other sources such as Autoblog Green or Green Car Reports. It’s as if the ‘regular’ magazines don’t want to consider alternatives to any significant degree.

 

It's as if there is no reason to even consider that much of America could benefit from the considerable savings in gas that are possible with hybrids. And really, isn’t there too much room in these giant vehicles for the usual one person who is in them? If they moved a lot of people and gear AND got decent mileage that would be different. Sure, car manufacturers make more profit with the larger vehicles, but do WE need them? Are we seeing enough information about what is really the more economical method of transporting ourselves?

 

Note also how the cars often look and drive. The Prius, and the horrible Honda copy of the Prius. Not very attractive, or quiet or good handling vehicles. The Lexus hatch/wagon thingy that is too small to be practical and does not get good mileage. The Prius has become the standard for hybrids, but most people don’t want to drive a car with that many compromises just to gain good mileage. Toyota is finally acknowledging that and also should be commended for their commitment to hybrid/electric technology. The Camry and Avalon are both excellent hybrids.

 

The half-hearted attempt to make a "mild hybrid" which is disappointing on its face. . The mild hybrids are often easily beaten by regular gas engine vehicles, so what's the point? Those types only end up giving real hybrids a bad name.

 

U.S. News and World Report has a ranking of hybrids. Here is how they rank from best to not best: Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Camry, Prius V, Prius, Prius C, Chevy Volt, Ford C-Max, and more.. The Volt is of course not the same as the rest, and in fact costs a lot more also. They seem to be getting the idea that normal sized sedans are the future, and that's a positive thing. There seems to be an emphasis on practicality, at least from this source.  Honda makes a great Civic hybrid and now is making an Accord Hybrid. Good on em! Another sedan that is practical and good looking.

 

The mileage figures given by the EPA are designed to be unrealistic, and thus they tell people that hybrids aren't what they appear to be. Naturally car manufacturers are going to try and tailor their cars to get the highest EPA figures, while knowingly being untruthful. Of course they then draw attention to their hybrids in a negative way, which seems counter intuitive. 

 

Here's a Quote from Autogreen about the Ford Focus Electric:

 

In editor-speak, Ford may have buried the lead here. The US automaker, which sells the Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi Plug-in Hybrids as well as the Ford Focus Electric, was looking to get some press by letting the world know that drivers of its four production plug-in models put on 203,000 miles of electric-only miles a day, or the equivalent of eight trips around the earth. Which is all fine and good, but what we found more interesting is how quickly those plug-in drivers are learning to take advantage of their non-traditional drivetrain technology. Ford says that, while one in five trips by a new Ford plug-in hybrid driver is all-electric, that number rises to about one in three after six months of ownership. That's because the driver gets the hang of the car's all-electric range and begins to manipulate trips without having to dip into the gas tank. Collecting data through the MyFordMobile app, the company estimates that a plug-in vehicle driver takes an average of four trips between charges, and that the driver recharges the vehicle almost once a day. With the introduction of the two plug-in hybrid models this year, Ford has sold 7,352 plug-in vehicles through August. Through August of last year, Ford sold just 169 Focus Electrics. The figures for hybrids are even much more amazing.

 

To end on a (hopefully) positive note-  The world of hybrids is changing, as can be seen by the U.S. News list. Toyota, Ford, Honda, and Hyundai- all are doing great things with hybrids. Content, handling, technology attractiveness, and more, are drawing folks to look at hybrids.

I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but just needed to get if off my pea-pickin’ mind. Thanks for reading.

 


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#2 OFFLINE   corncobs

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:33 AM

What a write up !!!! I like it and agree 100% with you.
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#3 OFFLINE   dalesky

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 10:39 AM

What a write up !!!! I like it and agree 100% with you.

Thanks brother, and sorry that I tend to ramble at times.


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#4 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 03 October 2013 - 04:34 PM

Excellent, and spot on.  Ford definitely took the lead for Hybrid sedans with the Fusion, smart move, but really bad move on their marketing campaign. Makes me wonder how many lost sales happened due to their comparing the Fusion to a Prius. 


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#5 OFFLINE   tr7driver

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 01:32 PM

I don't know about all the marketing stuff.  I would have never bought a hybrid.  I thought maintaining a gasoline engine and an electric system would be a pain in neck.  I'm amazed how many people think I'm trying to make a political statement by driving one.  Then I started driving my sisters Milan Hybrid and eventually bought it from her estate.  I can't say enough good about it and have probably influenced more people to consider a hybrid than the tv commercials. 


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#6 OFFLINE   jeff_h

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:54 PM

I think one thing that could be added to the above is that those unfamiliar with hybrids may tend to think of the HVB as a regular car battery that will need replacement after 4-5 years and they think there will be a several-thousand-dollar repair staring them in the face -- we've seen the question of "how long is the hybrid battery supposed to last and isn't it really expensive to replace?" asked a few times by potential buyers here on this forum and this is THE most common question I get in person from others when talking about buying/driving a hybrid. 

 

So due to being scared by shelling out a few thousand more bucks for purchase, they are doubly-scared at the thought of shelling out another few thousand to replace that big battery -- sure it's an unfounded concern, but I think it keeps some from seriously considering a hybrid.


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#7 OFFLINE   Eddie Sessum

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 06:36 PM

If they marketed the hybrids with the 150k mile warranty in the carb states im sure they could sell quite a few more. 


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#8 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 08:11 AM

I think one thing that could be added to the above is that those unfamiliar with hybrids may tend to think of the HVB as a regular car battery that will need replacement after 4-5 years and they think there will be a several-thousand-dollar repair staring them in the face -- we've seen the question of "how long is the hybrid battery supposed to last and isn't it really expensive to replace?" asked a few times by potential buyers here on this forum and this is THE most common question I get in person from others when talking about buying/driving a hybrid. 

 

So due to being scared by shelling out a few thousand more bucks for purchase, they are doubly-scared at the thought of shelling out another few thousand to replace that big battery -- sure it's an unfounded concern, but I think it keeps some from seriously considering a hybrid.

If they marketed the hybrids with the 150k mile warranty in the carb states im sure they could sell quite a few more. 

I agree! So many ppl have asked us that too! They're concerned about the costs of replacing the battery after a few years. When I tell them that the body will rust away before the HVB fails they don't believe me. I also highlight that all the hybrid components, including the hybrid-specific computers are covered by the 8yr/100k warranty (10yr/150k in CARB states). Sadly many media sites continue to report that HVBs only last 5 years even though that has been proven false. That falsehood was somewhat started by the automakers though. Not wanting to overpromise and then disappoint Toyota set the expectation early on that the HVB might need to be replaced. They said it would last at least x amount of time/miles. Sadly most ppl understood that as it would last a maximum of x time/miles and thus spread that falsehood. Nissan did the same thing early on with the Leaf. I agree that in CARB states especially should they advertise the long warranty on the hybrid components.

 

My dealer tried to tell me i needed to buy their extended warranty to cover the hybrid components because they would be out of warranty after the 3yr/36k period. The Finance guy seemed to not believe me when I told him that they're covered for 8yrs/100k. I had carefully read in advance the warranty information to understand exactly what is covered under that 8/100 warranty. I warned my parents before they picked up their Energi not to fall for the dealer's lies and told them that if they wanted a warranty they could buy it much cheaper from Flood Ford online and that I would help them. Still my dad didn't believe me and fell for the dealer's lies. The Finance guy told them that "there is no special hybrid warranty. The hybrid components are only covered for 3yr/36k." They believed him and paid a few thousand dollars to extend the warranty out to 5yr/60k. When I showed them that the dealer had lied they cancelled the warranty and got a refund minus the $100 cancel fee. :backtotopic:

 

Anyhow, the hybrid components warranty is unknown to many and if other dealers act like mine and try to lie and tell consumers that "there is no hybrid components warranty" then consumers won't buy hybrids.

 

I agree with what Dale says about commending Toyota for their committment to hybrids.


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#9 OFFLINE   dalesky

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 10:22 AM

I agree! So many ppl have asked us that too! They're concerned about the costs of replacing the battery after a few years. When I tell them that the body will rust away before the HVB fails they don't believe me. I also highlight that all the hybrid components, including the hybrid-specific computers are covered by the 8yr/100k warranty (10yr/150k in CARB states). Sadly many media sites continue to report that HVBs only last 5 years even though that has been proven false. That falsehood was somewhat started by the automakers though. Not wanting to overpromise and then disappoint Toyota set the expectation early on that the HVB might need to be replaced. They said it would last at least x amount of time/miles. Sadly most ppl understood that as it would last a maximum of x time/miles and thus spread that falsehood. Nissan did the same thing early on with the Leaf. I agree that in CARB states especially should they advertise the long warranty on the hybrid components.

 

My dealer tried to tell me i needed to buy their extended warranty to cover the hybrid components because they would be out of warranty after the 3yr/36k period. The Finance guy seemed to not believe me when I told him that they're covered for 8yrs/100k. I had carefully read in advance the warranty information to understand exactly what is covered under that 8/100 warranty. I warned my parents before they picked up their Energi not to fall for the dealer's lies and told them that if they wanted a warranty they could buy it much cheaper from Flood Ford online and that I would help them. Still my dad didn't believe me and fell for the dealer's lies. The Finance guy told them that "there is no special hybrid warranty. The hybrid components are only covered for 3yr/36k." They believed him and paid a few thousand dollars to extend the warranty out to 5yr/60k. When I showed them that the dealer had lied they cancelled the warranty and got a refund minus the $100 cancel fee. :backtotopic:

 

Anyhow, the hybrid components warranty is unknown to many and if other dealers act like mine and try to lie and tell consumers that "there is no hybrid components warranty" then consumers won't buy hybrids.

 

I agree with what Dale says about commending Toyota for their committment to hybrids.

That dealer should be reported, and I would talk to he owner. They are breaking the law by withholding  fee to cancel.

On the way into the Amsterdamairport a few minutes ago I noticed MANY wind powered towers. There is such a different ethos and commitment in Europe to responsible use of energy!

On the way to Italy for 3 weeks, so will be posting very little.


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#10 OFFLINE   GrySql

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 11:00 AM

 

On the way into the Amsterdamairport a few minutes ago I noticed MANY wind powered towers. There is such a different ethos and commitment in Europe to responsible use of energy!

On the way to Italy for 3 weeks, so will be posting very little.

If you like wind towers, we have 13,000+ here in CA, with just about the highest kWh price for electricity anywhere in the USA.*

Enjoy your trip, sounds like a beauty!

 

 

 

 

*My latest bill, plugging in an Energi definitely wouldn't help me much.

 

ScreenShot2013-10-01at65216PM_zpsbbaa907


Edited by GrySql, 06 October 2013 - 11:02 AM.

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#11 OFFLINE   Skydogz

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 12:31 PM

I don't know about all the marketing stuff.  I would have never bought a hybrid.  I thought maintaining a gasoline engine and an electric system would be a pain in neck.  I'm amazed how many people think I'm trying to make a political statement by driving one.  Then I started driving my sisters Milan Hybrid and eventually bought it from her estate.  I can't say enough good about it and have probably influenced more people to consider a hybrid than the tv commercials. 

I bought one for my daughters first car (an 03 Prius) and enjoyed it so much that I got myself a 2014 Fusion Hybrid. I am LOVING it.

BTW my TR7 saved my life, built like a tank.


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#12 OFFLINE   HenryVIII

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 01:13 AM

I'll add another one, they are relatively slow and still have some drawbacks that can counteract it's positives.

 

I would love to see a higher hp hybrid sedan.


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#13 OFFLINE   Eddie Sessum

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:06 AM

There are many higher he hybrids. Just not from ford. Ford is really the only one who is making enough hp and still getting very good mpg compared to the others that look good. They are in a segment of good looking very high milage that others aren't in at this time as none of the Toyota other than the Avalon look good. And it's more expensive by far.

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#14 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 09:07 AM

I'll add another one, they are relatively slow and still have some drawbacks that can counteract it's positives.

 

I would love to see a higher hp hybrid sedan.

The FFH has plenty of power. We've driven ours through the Rocky Mountains twice on road trips and there was no issue climbing the steep grades. We drove hundreds of miles of two-lane highways across Canada and did plenty of passing with no issues. 188 hp is a lot of power. And with all the torque of the electric motor you can accelerate quickly. Why do you need more power? Part of the low fuel economy overall of all vehicles sold in the US is that Americans tend to want more power. That power isn't needed except on the rarest of occasions and the rest of the time just ends up wasting gas because the ICE is too large and thus burns more fuel.

 

As was commented in another thread: a 2.0L turbo rated at 250 hp will burn more fuel under high loads than a 3.0L V6 rated at 250 hp. At a low power demand, say the 25 hp or so that's needed to maintain your speed on the freeway the 2.0L turbo will use less gas. That is the justification for smaller turbo engines. But a 2.0L non-turbo rated at 141 hp (the ICE in the FFH) will use even less gas while still providing more than enough power for that situation.

 

Think about this, how often do you use anywhere near the maximum power your engine provides? If you like to floor it for fun then you might quite often, but how often do you really need that much power? Likely never. Even in an emergency maneuver situation you aren't likely to notice the difference between the 188 hp of the hybrid compared to the 240 hp of the 2.0L Ecoboost turbo. Thus, the extra power of the 2.0 Ecoboost is a waste of fuel.


Edited by hybridbear, 08 October 2013 - 09:09 AM.

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#15 OFFLINE   acdii

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:20 AM

I find the HyTi has plenty of power for what it is. It moves if you floor it, drains the pack fairly quickly, but it moves! 

 

As a few others on this site have shown, the Fusion is their daily driver, they have a fun car under wraps for when they feel the need for speed. I do to, its my Flex EB. 

 

 

BTW if you want a high performance Hybrid, 120K will get you one.  Be prepared though for only getting 20 MPG. 


Edited by acdii, 08 October 2013 - 10:23 AM.

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#16 OFFLINE   corncobs

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 10:31 AM

Or buy a Tesla Model S P85 not a Hybrid but awesome FE and plenty fast!
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#17 OFFLINE   HenryVIII

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 12:59 AM

The FFH has plenty of power. We've driven ours through the Rocky Mountains twice on road trips and there was no issue climbing the steep grades. We drove hundreds of miles of two-lane highways across Canada and did plenty of passing with no issues. 188 hp is a lot of power. And with all the torque of the electric motor you can accelerate quickly. Why do you need more power? Part of the low fuel economy overall of all vehicles sold in the US is that Americans tend to want more power. That power isn't needed except on the rarest of occasions and the rest of the time just ends up wasting gas because the ICE is too large and thus burns more fuel.

 

As was commented in another thread: a 2.0L turbo rated at 250 hp will burn more fuel under high loads than a 3.0L V6 rated at 250 hp. At a low power demand, say the 25 hp or so that's needed to maintain your speed on the freeway the 2.0L turbo will use less gas. That is the justification for smaller turbo engines. But a 2.0L non-turbo rated at 141 hp (the ICE in the FFH) will use even less gas while still providing more than enough power for that situation.

 

Think about this, how often do you use anywhere near the maximum power your engine provides? If you like to floor it for fun then you might quite often, but how often do you really need that much power? Likely never. Even in an emergency maneuver situation you aren't likely to notice the difference between the 188 hp of the hybrid compared to the 240 hp of the 2.0L Ecoboost turbo. Thus, the extra power of the 2.0 Ecoboost is a waste of fuel.

 

No need to be defensive about what I said. I'm referring to hybrids in general. I was making a point where buyers simply overlook hybrids for that point. Remember, I was very close to buying a FFH, but decided that because I'm merging 2 vehicles (1 fun car and one boring as hell Toyota Corolla) the Fusion Ti AWD fit that bill better. I have fun in my car and I pick and choose where I want to have fun with it. But not right now, too many deer out here at the moment.

 

I've had FFHs blow past me on the highway because I usually drive the speed limit and dirve in the right lane.

 

Here's a few other reasons why hybrid vehicles are still not as popular.

 

  • They are still too expensive (compared to their base model counterparts)
  • Adds a lot more complexity to the vehicle that some people don't want to be bothered with
  • Not enough aftermarket powertrain infrastructure
  • Not enough charging station infrastructure
  • Cost of battery replacement - remember, it WILL fail - but that's much down the line
  • People are still skeptical
  • Too many compromises in some cases for interior space.
  • People are slow to change and generally stick with what's safe
  • The Prius hybrid "eco-low-coefficent-of-friction-max-efficiency" design has run its course and is dated.

 

People agree with me. Where I live where hybrids have a major distinct advantage over their all-gas powered counterparts (2 major beltways and several highways that link them with plenty of traffic), I still see plenty of 2.5L base model, and 1.5/1.6L 2G Fusions and all gas vehicles. And I've seen a LOT of 2G Fusions around here. Maybe there are people that do not want to compromise on trunk space...

 

Cars like the FFH are making driving a hybrid more fun. It'll take time but it'll get there.

 

Regarding commercials, slow doesn't sell. That's why companies like Ford choose to advertise MPG numbers. Because those that are interested mostly in MPG will gravitate to it and be sold on that alone.


Edited by HenryVIII, 09 October 2013 - 03:35 AM.

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#18 OFFLINE   hybridbear

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 09:03 AM

 

No need to be defensive about what I said. I'm referring to hybrids in general. I was making a point where buyers simply overlook hybrids for that point. Remember, I was very close to buying a FFH, but decided that because I'm merging 2 vehicles (1 fun car and one boring as hell Toyota Corolla) the Fusion Ti AWD fit that bill better. I have fun in my car and I pick and choose where I want to have fun with it. But not right now, too many deer out here at the moment.

 

I've had FFHs blow past me on the highway because I usually drive the speed limit and dirve in the right lane.

 

Here's a few other reasons why hybrid vehicles are still not as popular.

 

  • They are still too expensive (compared to their base model counterparts)
  • Adds a lot more complexity to the vehicle that some people don't want to be bothered with
  • Not enough aftermarket powertrain infrastructure
  • Not enough charging station infrastructure
  • Cost of battery replacement - remember, it WILL fail - but that's much down the line
  • People are still skeptical
  • Too many compromises in some cases for interior space.
  • People are slow to change and generally stick with what's safe
  • The Prius hybrid "eco-low-coefficent-of-friction-max-efficiency" design has run its course and is dated.

 

People agree with me. Where I live where hybrids have a major distinct advantage over their all-gas powered counterparts (2 major beltways and several highways that link them with plenty of traffic), I still see plenty of 2.5L base model, and 1.5/1.6L 2G Fusions and all gas vehicles. And I've seen a LOT of 2G Fusions around here. Maybe there are people that do not want to compromise on trunk space...

 

Cars like the FFH are making driving a hybrid more fun. It'll take time but it'll get there.

 

Regarding commercials, slow doesn't sell. That's why companies like Ford choose to advertise MPG numbers. Because those that are interested mostly in MPG will gravitate to it and be sold on that alone.

I wasn't trying to sound defensive. I was just trying to show why the addiction Americans as a whole have to power is unnecessary and wasteful.

 

Remember that the base 2.5L Fusion and the 1.6L Ecoboost Fusion have less power than the hybrid. I agree that there are compromises on space. But that's one of the reasons we chose the FFH over the Camry Hybrid, the way that Ford packaged the battery works better for our needs than how Toyota did it.


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Current Vehicles

2013 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium - White Platinum Metallic

2013 Ford Focus Electric - Ice Storm

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Previous Vehicles

2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE x2

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#19 OFFLINE   KLH

KLH

    Fusion Hybrid Member

  • Fusion Hybrid Member
  • 175 posts
  • Region:U.S. Northeast
  • Location:United States
  • Current Vehicle:FFH SE
  • My Hybrid's Year:2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 03:46 PM

Here's a few other reasons why hybrid vehicles are still not as popular.

 

  • They are still too expensive (compared to their base model counterparts)
  • Cost of battery replacement - remember, it WILL fail - but that's much down the line
  • Too many compromises in some cases for interior space.

Regarding commercials, slow doesn't sell. That's why companies like Ford choose to advertise MPG numbers. Because those that are interested mostly in MPG will gravitate to it and be sold on that alone.

Amen, brother. Amen. 

 

Just reiterating:

 

#1 reason - (Way) More expensive than gas version

#2 reason - Slower doesn't sell. NO American wants a slow vehicle. FEW Americans will tolerate going slower for gas mileage

#3 reason - Compromising on anything. Losing space? Having to replace a battery??? 

 

Newest reason to not buy an ICE-based vehicle? Safety. There's a new rumor going around that if you get into an accident and require jaws-of-life, they can't be used on EVs because the jaws may cut the powerline and electrocute everyone. If anyone gets beyond the first three reasons, this is the nail in the coffin. But it shouldn't be. Emergency personnel are now more knowledgeable about how to address EV cars in accidents.

 

The smartest thing for manufacturers to do is to market EVs as safer than ICE vehicles. Then market them as the smarter choice.

 

Until then, the only people who will buy EVs will be early adopters and those who want high gas mileage over anything else. For the record, I fit both profiles... so I bought the FFH.


Edited by KLH, 14 October 2013 - 03:59 PM.

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-KLH

2013 FFH-SE in Tuxedo Black with everything (MFT, BLIS, ACC, NAV, APA, MRF, LUX, RVM)

Always bet on (Tuxedo) Black...


#20 OFFLINE   SteveB_TX

SteveB_TX

    Fusion Hybrid Enthusiast

  • Fusion Hybrid Member
  • 933 posts
  • Region:U.S. Southern Plains
  • Location:North Texas
  • Current Vehicle:Our stable: 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid SE, 2013 Ford F-150 XLT Ecoboost Super Crew
  • My Hybrid's Year:2013

Posted 14 October 2013 - 05:24 PM

 
Just reiterating:
 
#1 reason - (Way) More expensive than gas version


Not true for the MKZ. Hybrid and gas models are the same price.
  • acdii likes this

White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat

Light Dune Leather interior

All of the bells and whistles (without that silly panoramic roof).

 

 

 

 

 





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