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Josh,

Great find. Sounds like GM is making the proper moves in this tough economic situation. Fortunately for all of us, they are developing vehicles that will not only help GM remain solvent, but help our overall economy as well. Consumers will be able to reduce or eliminate their consumption of oil by using E85 and / or electricity.
 

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I mentioned 5 months ago GM should shut down some of their Lines.

I wish they would have done it sooner and saved some money. Jason you are correct about the Toyota system being a hoax. A local salvage yard had a wrecked prius that they sold the motor out of and it went into a 06 Scion XB and got 41 mpg. The EV side of it in the prius may help get 5 or 6 more miles per gallon it seems. Presently I am pissed at Ford at the moment because they didn't let a Ultra low emission 1.3 liter Mazda 2 5 door Hatchback(scion look alike) come to the USA which gets rated 54 mpg. I hope Ford goes Bankrupt with their very stupid decisions. A lot of people are suffering because of high gas prices somewhat needlessly. I cant understand these outlandish decisions.
 

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Jason you are correct about the Toyota system being a hoax. A local salvage yard had a wrecked prius that they sold the motor out of and it went into a 06 Scion XB and got 41 mpg. The EV side of it in the prius may help get 5 or 6 more miles per gallon it seems.
Jeremy,

It's great that someone's confirmed that the regenerative breaking system of the Prius performs in line with similar systems from GM. I suspect that the Scion isn't the most aerodynamic vehicle with which to make comparisons, so the 5 to 6 mpgs delta is probably more realistically 2 - 4 mpgs - in line with the delta between standard and hybrid versions of GM vehicles.

Anyway, the Prius isn't a bad vehicle, it's just a bad baseline from which to develop an EV, as the parallel hybrid configuration doesn't really provide comprehensive all electric propulsion systems. (By comprehensive, I mean all speeds / load conditions.)

I really feel Toyota is missing out on an opportunity to sell high mileage nonhybrid vehicles by not offering that amazing Atkinson cycle engine in small cars.

Eventually, Toyota is going to have to develop a series hybrid to position themselves for the future BEV and PFCV vehicle market.
 

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jww, People are suffering from high gas prices because they have built their lives around cheap gas and require cheap gas to keep their lives affordable. I live 3 miles from work and am not at all bothered by high gas prices (well, they may cause the economy to tank... can't escape that). I could have purchased a bigger house further away but I'm not stupid enough to rely on the kindness of oil tyrants to keep my commuting costs low.

I get a really good laugh out of fools driving GM's fullsizers whining about gas prices. Did they think the universe owed them cheap gas or what? Did they think there was some supernatural force refilling everybody's oil wells? Did they not notice that OPEC raked us over the coals in 1973? Some people are just slow learners.

jmh, Don't get all excited, that Prius engine didn't get 41mpg in the city in that Scion. But you do strike me as exactly the kind of "executive level" guy that would make a decision based on an unsubstantiated net rumor.

The proof is still in the pudding. The Toyota Prius AND the Ford Escape give amazing fuel economy in town. They do better on the road because they can live with a low-power engine/high efficiency and use the hybrid system to deliver performance. It's not magic, it's just something that GM couldn't be bothered to do.

You can always tell an "executive" but you can't tell 'em much.
 

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I get a really good laugh out of fools driving GM's fullsizers whining about gas prices. Did they think the universe owed them cheap gas or what? Did they think there was some supernatural force refilling everybody's oil wells? Did they not notice that OPEC raked us over the coals in 1973? Some people are just slow learners.
dag - so much hate in you. Why do you care about what other people are doing, feeling, saying? Are you upset because no one is patting you on the head for living cheap? No chics giving you the time of day for pinching pennies?

jmh, Don't get all excited, that Prius engine didn't get 41mpg in the city in that Scion. But you do strike me as exactly the kind of "executive level" guy that would make a decision based on an unsubstantiated net rumor.
The report of the Atkinson engine's performance merely substantiate's what all the other information was saying - regenerative braking systems add very little to a vehicle's mileage.

The proof is still in the pudding. The Toyota Prius AND the Ford Escape give amazing fuel economy in town. They do better on the road because they can live with a low-power engine/high efficiency and use the hybrid system to deliver performance. It's not magic, it's just something that GM couldn't be bothered to do.

You can always tell an "executive" but you can't tell 'em much.
GM used regenerative braking systems on their trucks and SUV's in the hopes of maintaining sales of their highest profit vehicles. For the smaller car market, GM is wisely leapfrogging the parallel hybrid approach for a series hybrid approach, which allows them to eventually sell BEV's and PFCV's. It is the best positioning for GM regardless of how well it pans out. Ford and Chrysler, in spite of offering very small cars made by "partners", are much more poorly positioned.
 

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Hendler, just how dim are you? "GM used regenerative braking...," in other words, built a parallel hybrid system (which is, so far, a dismal marketing failure), closely followed by "wisely leapfrogged the parallel hybrid approach."

Bzzt. They didn't leapfrog it, they spent a ton of money on it, failed at it and are now moving on to The Next Big Hail Mary Pass.

And, while it certainly helps the overall efficiency of the vehicle, the Atkinson cycle engine can not provide 48mpg in town. That's due to the regenerative braking and electric propulsion. Priuses routinely operate in electric mode, refilling the battery from braking effect. Those of us who keep our eyes (and ears) open, have seen them do it. Can't help it if you're not well-informed.

As for my remarks on lifestyle, choices and planning... tough.

I find it amusing in the extreme that one of the companies that chose to be an enabler of our overdependence on petroleum by offering more and more fuel-inefficient monsters is now regarded by some as our savior. Where was GM's concern for the economy or the environment when they were deciding which vehicles to build in the '90's? What was the point of the Precept (and all the federal money behind it)?

By the way, the Scion xB is ordinarily powered by Toyota's normal 1.5L engine, which develops 108hp and 105 ft-lbs of torque at 4200rpm. The Atkinson cycle engine from the Prius develops 76hp with 82ft-lbs of torque. You might give some thought to what that means to the performance fo this rumored rebuilt xB.

Then again, you might give some thought to quite a few things. Or anything. But I'm not holding out much hope for that.
 

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dag,

The Toyota / Prius fanboy in you is showing. GM has greenlighted production of the Chevy Volt, which is a giant step in the direction of BEV (battery electric vehicle) and PFCV (plug-in fuel cell vehicle), which eliminate the use of petroleum. Considering that Toyota only recently said that they will investigate a series hybrid, who is really the greater enabler of the petroleum industry?

I understand that "regenerative braking" is intended for low speed city driving - the big tip-off was the word "braking". I guess you needed a little more prompting.

If you want to displace petroleum, you have to add significant electricity storage capability and full-speed, all-EV propulsion - neither of which is available in the Toyota Prius. Therefore, not only is the Prius enabling the petroleum industry to survive, they don't even have a baseline platform from which to develop a BEV or PFCV.
 

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As I said, I'm a fan of "works" and "affordable." None of that applies to GM, so, yes, I probably am a Toyota fan.

And the discussion at hand - regenerative braking - I understand perfectly well. You show no sign of understanding that the rumored xB with the Atkinson engine will a) perform poorly and b) get decent but unspectacular city fuel economy.
You said, "I really feel Toyota is missing out on an opportunity to sell high mileage nonhybrid vehicles by not offering that amazing Atkinson cycle engine in small cars." And Toyota's missing out on nothing because the Atkinson alone won't do it.

If the Atkinson is such a whiz-bang cure-all, where's GM's?

And you said, "If you want to displace petroleum, you have to add significant electricity storage capability and full-speed, all-EV propulsion - neither of which is available in the Toyota Prius."

Displace how much? To what end? At what cost? You've answered none of these questions. There's no advantage to eradicating petroleum use; the stuff is used because it's useful. There are huge advantages to reducing its use, even dramatically. Switching from a Malibu to a Prius cuts one's petroleum use by a third, without any particular cost. The vehicle's about the same price, it has roughly equal capabilities, it just uses a third less fuel (except when it does even better). Toyota's shipped quite a few of these. What's GM done, except promise something tomorrow?

By the way, GM lost $3billion last quarter. How many tomorrows does GM have left in it?

And how much will the Volt reduce petroleum use if, at $40K, no one wants it?

One final thought and then I'll let you have the last word. I don't have unlimited time for your foolishness, after all.

When will the Volt make a difference? I can get a 48/45mpg Prius today. By January or so, the 53/48mpg Prius will be available. Soon after that, a 7-mile AER Prius (Toyota has these on the road today). A media reporter on the conference call today asked about the Volt rollout (posted elsewhere on this site). GM declined to discuss specifics beyond very few in 2010, few in 2011 and a significant ramp up in 2012 (beginning or end of 2012? Not specified). Which technology will be doing the most to reduce our petroleum dependence through 2011? Answer: HSD.
 

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Displace how much? To what end? At what cost? You've answered none of these questions. There's no advantage to eradicating petroleum use; the stuff is used because it's useful.
Make up your mind. In one post, you decry the enabling of the petroleum companies, then in the next, you admit petroleum is useful.

And how much will the Volt reduce petroleum use ... ?
Excellent question. In GM's presentation, using LA driving patterns, they indicated that the Volt would reduce petroleum consumption by 80%.
 

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Good points being made

In all regards, you guys both have great points on these issues.
I am a auto insurance adjuster that worked the claim on the totaled
Prius. It was sold to a salvage yard for 3k. A 19 year old who blew up his engine in the XB hot rodding it and had his father buy the Prius engine to
put in the XB. The mileage of 41 mpg is what I was told the swap got
by the mechanic who test drove it after installation for 200 miles who is a friend of the family. The swap wasn't easy for the mechanic. All I can say is that Toyota Prius is the best stepping stone till we get a true BEV as far as economy is concerned. Hopefully soon fuel economy labels will
be obsolete when buying a new car.

Amen
 
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