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got2escape
3rd Gear

Registered: Dec 2004
Location: somehwere... out there
Posts: 369

jumping the gun

since my wife and i got the escape and eally like it and the value.

sure we miss our F-150 but it got a lot less mileage.

some interesting things: way easy to park the escape

decent fuel mileage

quite a lot of room.

any way

we were actualy supposed to buy a hybrid, but got the 6 instead. I like it LOL

any way in our conversations and reflection and future plans

we are sure to get a hybrid. OR our we..

ahh. . . the infamous question- or perhaps the million dollar question

do you guys really ever think a total electric will arrive?

when i think of the atkins (LOL) hybrid motor- i think ..man a electric can't be far behind!

but we all know the gas componaies would never let it happen.

and I assume the gas companie, the insurance companies, and the auto makers all share the same bed

any way i wonder if it will ever happen


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got2escape is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 08:22 AM
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02 wht trib
Platinum Member

Registered: Feb 2002
Location: Canton,MS
Posts: 1255

I don't see it happening in our lifetime esp with all the oil connections our highest polictical ao's have.


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02 wht trib is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 08:37 AM
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HybridArchitect
Hyperdrive

Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 11309

They've already tried all-electrics and the technology is not there to store sufficient energy for the longer ranges and load requirements that most drivers want to have. I'm not sure if it ever will be...

That said, the University of B.C. uses all-electric vehicles for some of their on-campus maintenance vehicles and the regional district uses trolley buses (all electric) for many of the major routes (where overhead lines are strung).

For inner-city commuting, all-electric could work, but once you hit the highway it is not happening. I believe other technologies will arrive to provide better hybrid solutions than the current gas-electric (diesel, hydrogen, something else?). Hybrids promise the best of both worlds... reduced battery weights and longevity (by maintaining optimum charge via another power source) coupled with trusted combustion power sources that have readily available fuel/infrastructure.

Maybe if solar cell technology was to advance dramatically... they are now building opaque panels into building curtain wall systems that are power generators, and there could be a vehicle where all the surfaces are similarly enabled (some miracle paint, or other coating?). Then maybe, just maybe, an all-electric could become viable.

(P.S. -- remember, with current electric vehicles that have to be plugged in, the power has to be generated somehow. Where coal or gas-fired power plants exist, the net impact on the environment could be a saw-off!)


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HybridArchitect is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 10:01 AM
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Bilbo
Platinum Overdrive

Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Ohio
Posts: 3406

Well, mostly agreeing with HybridArchitect but for a few things,
I don't think that the technology is here for what we really need. Increases in efficiency are going to be made in the future with generating electricity as in solar cell, wind, hydro-dynamic and other means. Then, improvements will come in the storage of this energy (batteries) and again in the implementation of it (elec. motors and transmissions)
Just as a hypothetical thought, Imagine the possibility of a battery the size of a lunchbox that would fuel your all-electric SUV for a year.
The necessity for the change in technology will be the catalyst for improvements and future changes. We have relied on oil for so long that it's hard to imagine other means of propulsion. We have modified the internal combustion engine to be just about as efficient and clean as we can because modifying existing technology is cheaper than going to a totally different fuel-propulsion system. There have been others. You of course know that at one time, engines that were driven by heating water were a perfectly viable and efficient means to get us moving. I take that back, they are still using that means on military aircraft carriers. .....at any rate who knows, they may eventually revive that concept again for private transportation. I can't see solar cells being efficient enough in the near future. Maybe in some areas where the sun shines more but around here right now, we get a lot of dark.
The research seems to want to go in the direction of hydrogen fuel cells. That is a plentiful source of energy that may just work out but if we are actually running out of oil, then we are going to be making an abrupt change soon (within a few decades or less) and this would include the demise of most all gasoline internal combustion, including the beloved hybrid vehicles.

I have come to the conclusion that although hybrid vehicles are more efficient than traditional all-gas types, their effect on gasoline useage worldwide will have a minimal impact on the global oil shortage and the time it takes for the world to reach a crisis point because of the following reasons. One has to think about the time that it is going to take for automobile companies to have their hybrid technology fully implemented since they at this time are striving for one or maybe two vehicles in their line-ups at best. Escape hybrids still aren't even available in most of the continent and the rest of the world ot to mention other types. I have seen the Toyota Prius hybrids here and maybe a Honda, but the number of any type of hybrid that I have noticed in my area can be counted on one hand. It may take ten years or more before their use is of a substantial amount. -Say 50% hybrids by 2015 would be optimistic but may not be realistic. Auto companies seem to be going for HP rather than fuel efficiency in the hybrid useage because they believe the customer wants his car to be faster than his neighbors and they couldn't care less about how much oil is used as long as it doesn't empty their wallet. Consequently, the tech isn't being used to save fuel as best as possible but also to exploit as much of the vehicle's energy to keep it's 0-60 accelleration numbers competetive. Emerging Asian countries such as China are increasing sales of current non-hybrid automobiles at an exponential rate and their oil consumption will be soon surpassing North America.
All that being written, I would probably buy a hybrid if the option were feasable in my circumstance.


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Bilbo is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 03:30 PM
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FLCalling
Platinum Overdrive

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Eastern Iowa
Posts: 2112

Autoweek on Speed Channel last night.

There was an article about the Escapes. They seemed to reserve judgement on the Hybrid. MSRP was $3,400 over the regular V-6 (without taking into account factory and dealer discounts on the V-6) -- 15% premium just on MSRP.

They also reported that they got 17 MPG on the Escape over a 10 mile test run in traffic, according to the onboard computer -- no comment as to why, just the facts.

Autoweek said that Ford could not get more unit volume due to constraints in whomever is manufacturing the little batteries that make up a large part of the hybrids go juice.

Autoweek stated that starting the hybrid under light throttle does not start the gas engine and when speed increases the gas engine comes on with a minimum of feeling it. They did not state that if the air conditioner is on that the gas engine is on all the time.

For the 25-35% premium that has to be paid for the Hybrid, it is still an auto for the wealthy and has no applications for those who are on a limited budget. Quite an expensive toy at this time.
There are no non-loaded Hybrid models, just premium optioned ones.

On a related note: Mercury's Escape based Mariner will also come out with a Hybrid model, if the Escape Hybrid proves out. However, the Mariner will be a USA only product. Mercury must be in a lot of trouble as the local LM dealer has dicounts on the 2004s of 25-30% on some models.

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FLCalling is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 05:17 PM
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HybridGirl

[shift] 1st Gear!

Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 106

Heavy sigh...FL Calling, as usual you pass in misinformation.

quote:
They also reported that they got 17 MPG on the Escape over a 10 mile test run in traffic


Mysterious to me, except that when I picked up my Hybrid the onboard computer initially showed about 17 mpg. This increased gradually into the 20s during my first tank of gas, but still was inaccurate by a huge margin even by the time I filled. My fill demonstrated 30.9mpg for the tank, and after resetting the computer it immediately jumped into the 30s. The computer has been very accurate on the second tank of gas, within 1 mpg of what my calculations revealed at the second fill. I don't know what the reason is for the initial low readings on the computer, but it did happen.

quote:
They did not state that if the air conditioner is on that the gas engine is on all the time.

Probably because that is not true. If you set the A/C on MAX, your statement is true. With the A/C on any other setting, the compressor runs when the gas engine runs and shuts off when you are on electric. It is somewhat less comfortable than what one is used to with an A/C, but nothing you can't live with.

quote:
it is still an auto for the wealthy

I would not think of a $30,000 car as an auto for the wealthy. Do you think of the standard Escape as an auto for the wealthy? Does another $3400, the number you quote, suddenly make it so terribly expensive, when you compute that to a difference in monthly payment? Hybrid Escape costs about the same as a low-end Explorer, and I don't think most people think an Explorer is a car for the wealthy. Take a look at average retail prices on automobiles these days.
If this was the Hybrid Lexus, which looks like it will fall into the $45,000 - $50,000 range, you would have a point.


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HybridGirl is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 05:59 PM
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jimmyjohn
Hyperdrive

Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Big Sky Country
Posts: 20359

I really don't think we'll see it. Too many factors against it. Enjoy your Scape and don't worry about the future. What comes down the pike will supprise all us. Good luck


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jimmyjohn is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 06:16 PM
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jeffes
Platinum Member

Registered: Feb 2003
Location:
Posts: 565

Actually, "full electric" vehicles have been around for longer than internal combusion engine vehicles - the electric motor is the older technology, BTW.
The issue is power storage & delivery. As long as batteries are chemical reactions, a fuel driven system will deliver a better power/weight ratio with some limited negatives.
Hybrids are an excellent compromise that deliver good power with a outstanding power utilization.
Let's not dive into bizarre theories @ "gas companies" and political figures - that simply opens the door for certain posters from, er,... red states.
J

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jeffes is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 06:45 PM
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zman5588
2nd Gear

Registered: Feb 2003
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 268

I think car manufactures will bypass the full electric and jump to hydrogen vehicles. It seems like every week there is some kind of advancement in solid fuel cell that brings the price down. Three of the biggest car manufacturers (GM, Toyota and Honda) are staking their futures on it. Especially Toyota!

I attached a few articles for reading pleasure


http://www.fool.com/news/mft/2004/mft04101907.htm
http://www.fool.com/News/mft/2004/mft04100109.htm


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zman5588 is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 07:14 PM
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HybridArchitect
Hyperdrive

Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 11309

> jeffes stated:
> Let's not dive into bizarre theories @ "gas companies" and political figures - that simply opens the door for certain posters from, er,... red states.

Hey, I'm from a red state according to FL -- Soviet Canukistan (AKA Canada), and I didn't go near the political/capitalist commentary

As to FL's comments... HybridGirl has already pointed out most of the usual inaccuracies. I just want to add that you do not have to purchase an Escape Hybrid "loaded." The base order in the computer when I did my order in early-July was for a FWD with no options. I was able to select exactly those items that I wanted -- in my case AWD, safety package, leather package, cargo cover, 110V power outlet etc.

All of these increased the cost of the vehicle accordingly... similar to what you would encounter on any automobile.

As to the 17 mpg figure -- simply bizarre and not to be believed given my (and the other hybrid owners posting) experiences. Similar to HybridGirl, my mileage computer was also pegged at terrible mpg when I picked it up (something ridiculous like 13 mpg!!!) but this was soon left behind.

It did take awhile to achieve the high-20s/low-30s that we now post, and I have already noted that my wife has not changed her driving style, making our experience relevant to "real-world" conditions. With the recent heavy rains, the defroster is also on more than off, meaning that the ICE cannot shut-down as often.


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HybridArchitect is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 09:04 PM
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rmp102
Hyperdrive

Registered: Jul 2003
Location: Metro New York
Posts: 6279

The oil industry has alot of clout ....... I believe they will snuff out any serious effort to undermine their business.


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rmp102 is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 10:02 PM
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HybridArchitect
Hyperdrive

Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Posts: 11309

> rmp102 noted:
> The oil industry has alot of clout

In some parts of the world (USA included?). But, there are other countries where innovation beyond the ICE can proceed without this problem -- the Japanese are one example with their movement into hybrid technology and production in the mid-1990s.

That nation is almost entirely dependent on imported oil and I believe that their engineers are working on solutions to reduce (or, dare I say, eliminate?) consumption of oil wherever possible.

Certainly the American manufacturers have been criticised for their slow adoption of hybrid technology and ties to big oil may be part of the reason (though FL will point out that they are merely "protecting" us from "smoke-and-mirrors" technology that is doomed to fail).

I believe that the oil companies will not be able to maintain their grip for much longer -- it is a bit like Kodak and their initial resistance to digital photography (now they are downsizing from 35mm quickly) or Sony and the Apple iPod (Sony once ruled the market for portable music with their original Walkmans, then let the current move to MP3 flash- and hard-disk based players pass them by while they touted the mini-disc format).

Time will tell


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HybridArchitect is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 10:42 PM
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jeffes
Platinum Member

Registered: Feb 2003
Location:
Posts: 565

HA,
"Soviet Canukistan"???? Now that's funny!!!! I like it!
Actually, "big oil" is really pushing for the "hydrogen economy"...
they want "H" to come from petrochemicals - and to use their products to power hydrogen production. E/M is investing heavily into hydrogen systems research ...
J
PS - the "early" MPG reading is derived from the final prodction/shipping process. I don't know @ the Escape, but I do know that another brand's hybrid battery pack is "final charged" by the gas motor during preship, giving a very low MPG figure - basically an "idle" MPG, in other words. This would also explain the figures you've given for the Escape, but I don't know this for a fact.
J

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jeffes is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 10:54 PM
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got2escape
3rd Gear

Registered: Dec 2004
Location: somehwere... out there
Posts: 369

The drag in our situation is HYBRIDS are not a major improvement for traveling. For inner city- you bet

but we travel a lot and if the 4 cylender and the hybrid arer comprable- then it's almost a mute thing. (we have the 6 BTW)

i would rather the focus be on long distance- if you think about it the situation is backwards- with inner city- you can charge readily if so desgined

but on the freeway 500 miles away is where non charging would be crucial...in a way hybrids seem backwards in utility to me

still the inner city benies are a plus


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got2escape is offline Old Post 12-13-2004 11:07 PM
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