Hwy Hybrid?

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Old 08-28-12, 07:01 AM
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Hwy Hybrid?

Since moving out of the city, I've been looking off and on at replacing either my summer turbo car or our family van with something more fuel efficient. The van (07 grand caravan) only sees about 22mpg (UK) average and the summer car is about 33mpg (UK).
The drive is almost exactly 50 miles, 95% of which is hwy (50-62.5mph speed limits, 60-75mph driving speeds). The hwys are quiet enough that I set the cruise and not worry about traffic.

Looking around at the current available hybrids, I'm very disappointed that they are all geared towards city driving. In a lot of cases, hwy millage (based on the dyno testing schedules) is actually on par or worse than their straight petrol equivalents.

Has anyone seen any hybrids out there that are actually geared towards hwy driving?

As of now, I can't see any benefit in spending the extra money for something that is less efficient that a straight petrol engine.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 07:33 AM
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I think you have run into a situation where a hybrid may not offer the best fuel economy. Hybrids sine in stop and go city traffic where a constantly running gasoline engine is lease efficient. After all, the engine is really not needed when stopped in traffic. The highway with a constant relatively high power demand is right in the sweet spot for a gas or diesel engine. Running an engine to generate electricity to power an electric motor (fuel to mechanical motion to electricity and back to mechanical motion) adds inefficiency to the system.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 07:43 AM
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A hybrid on the highway is just a car with a smaller gasoline engine.

Personally, I would not buy one at all but you are right in that they are primarily designed for the city dweller.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 07:49 AM
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I think you are mostly tack on with your reasons.
Target marketing is probably one of the key reasonings.

In my testing with both the van and the car, I did note that the van on the hwy has an average load percentage of ~50% at about 75hp (computer calculated).
The car has ~28% load average at about 55hp (computer calculated).
Just some interesting facts, not really much value as each vehicle has a different computer chipset and programming, so calculations may differ and are only an estimate.

Side Note: I failed to mention, the summer car is an 08 Dodge Caliber SRT4 (2.4L turbo). The car hits 0 PSI boost at 35% calculated load in 6th.

The van is the 3.3L that should never have been mated with the transmission it has (don't remember transmission model).
 
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Old 08-28-12, 07:53 AM
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I think your summer car is more in line with the coming trend in non-hybrid cars - smaller engines with turbochargers. In your case, though, it's a performance car and doesn't see the mileage of something like a Chevy Cruze designed for economy.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 07:58 AM
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You have natural gas?


If I was in the market today I would probably go with the Honda civic NG. I see some refueling stations around the Quebec/Montreal area. Coupled with a home refueler I believe the car runs $25K. Plus tax incentives make it worth IMO.

2012 Honda Civic Natural Gas Overview - Official Site

Your cheaper then the states I think, but I need to do metric conversion.

Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance | Natural Gas Refuelling Stations
 
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Old 08-28-12, 08:03 AM
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I think your summer car is more in line with the coming trend in non-hybrid cars - smaller engines with turbochargers. In your case, though, it's a performance car and doesn't see the mileage of something like a Chevy Cruze designed for economy.
I can't agree with you more.
With a bit more tuning I could be in the high 30's for sure with my car. That being said, the car is useless and potentially dangerous in the snow, so...

With the numbers I pulled from my testing (not very scientific testing, but I have 45 minutes each way to amuse my simple mind), a smaller engine, proper mated transmission, and a turbo for when it's needed could be the ideal car. Really only need an engine ~30% more powerful then the calculated cruising range (can't run full out for too long without issues).

lawrosa,
No natural gas where I live. There is in town where I work, but not near my house.
That being said, compressed gases for vehicles never took off here. They had tried back a while ago with propane, but it failed because of fuel storage tempurature issues (local design temp battery limits is +/-40'C
 
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Old 08-28-12, 08:13 AM
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Well then I would be looking at non hybrid stuff. You can buy something like this for like 15k that may get you near 40 mpg.

2012 Chevy Sonic Hatchback | Small Car | Chevrolet


But thats just me. My horsepower days are over and I look for fuel eff.

The 2.2 l eco tech motor was the best engine GM made IMO. Timing chain, 32 mpg plus etc... The Saturns had them. Not sure if you have that car up there.

I have a 4 door olds alero with that motor and get over 30 mpg hwy. Stopped making them too.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 08:41 AM
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My hp and fast car days are also pretty much over. I still have this car because it is paid for, and reasonably good on fuel. I still like to use the power on occation, but those times are few and far between.

As for the cruize... we have those here and I would assume the 2.2L is an available option.
I'm still looking off and on as both by vehicles are in fairly good shape, and the fuel savings of a new vehicle won't cover the cost of new car payments.
Once the van starts to really act up, I'll be more seriously looking. I'm going to be watching Ford as the eco boost concept sounds promising on their smaller engined vehicles. Hopefully the smaller engine eco-boost engines fair better then the real world experiences a couple co-workers have had with the F150 series trucks.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 08:50 AM
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OK Mike I think if you get one of these,

Vortec Cyclone - Save Gas, Boost Horsepower

And couple it with one of these,

Prozone Fuelsaver Magnetic Fuel Saving Device

You could easily get 100 MPG!!!!!!
 
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Old 08-28-12, 08:55 AM
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Don't forget the throttle spacer.
 
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Old 08-28-12, 09:13 AM
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I have a Ford Fusion with the 2.5L I4 and a 6M transmission. It's geared low so that the driver isn't shifting in and out of 6th on the freeway often, so it does not get the same mileage the 6A gets - I see about 34 mpg on the highway and a friend with the 6A sees about 37 mpg. It's not a small car, either - I had five in it comfortably Saturday night. At least one model of the Focus (the next car down in size) is supposed to see 40 mpg highway.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 12:30 PM
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Some questions...

What's your realistic total daily range?
How often do you end up exceeding that total daily range?
When you exceed that range, why?

I ask because an electric car, if your daily range is less than an expected daily charge, would possibly be a good solution. Obviously if you drive into the city and then drive around before driving home then it wouldn't be, but if you commute in, park for the day, and commute out as the bulk of your driving, and if that's about 120 miles, then you might just be able to do it in an electric.
 
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Old 12-18-12, 01:26 PM
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My commute (directly to and from work) is exactly 160km (add 100M if I check the mail). In town shopping could be within the 120 mile limits, but would be iffy if cabin heat is required or traction during winter is an issue.
Total cost of ownership would kill off the benefits though. In my example in the other thread (picking on GM today), the Volt was 2.8 times the cost of the Chevy Cruze ($42,000 vs. $14,995). I was going to try and use Nissan for this example, but they estimate the Leaf to have a range of 160km (100 miles), so no checking the mail on the way home.
 
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