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The San Diego Alternative Energy Meetup Group Message Board Cars & Transportation › diesels vs hybrid vs CNG vs ??

diesels vs hybrid vs CNG vs ??

A former member
Post #: 67
Here's a link to some information about the life of the batteries in a Prius....


It's good news...they are warrantied for 100K or 150K depending on where you are. Plenty of anecdotal stuff that they're good over 250K.

I surfed around and found prices ranging from about $1500 to $6000 for replacement - pretty large range - I suspect the real number is toward the lower end of that range.

What I've never been able to understand is the price difference in diesel from place to place. In 2004-2005 we took a road trip around the US and up into Canada/Alaska. In some places diesel was more than regular, some places less - what are the things that influence that?
A former member
Post #: 254
Thanks for the detail Diane. I'm glad to see somebody using math here.

You'll notice the article does not reference the source, presumably Honda, with an URL.
With more than 100,000 Honda hybrids on the road, the automaker told Newsweek that fewer than 200 had a battery fail after the warranty expired.
There are so many questions unanswered here, for instance:

  • Why are they using numbers from Honda rather than Toyota?
  • How does Honda know fewer than 200 batteries failed after warranty? Seems to me the owners of failed batteries would go to their shop. The shop would say your warranty has expired. The owners would then go away. Perhaps this less than 200 refers to the number of owners that did not stop at that point and decided to make a crusade against Honda. If this is the case then Honda could only be seeing 1 out of every hundred failures.
  • What is a "failure"? These terms are usually defined in legalize terms so that very little is actually considered a "failure". They could say your batteries are expected to only hold some very small percentage of their originally rated charge. They could include a clause stating the battery must have had scheduled maintenance at authorized Honda centers every 3000 miles and or 3 months whichever comes first to qualify under the failure clause.
  • So more than 100K cars on the road and fewer than 200 failing past their warranty. Come on wake up?! All batteries will fail, in fact are expected to fail, at some point past their warranty. Unless of course they have defined "failed" in some exotic way that makes no sense. Or that Honda is not notified when the batteries have expired. Perhaps most of those 100,000 Honda hybrids on the road are still under warranty and in fact only 200 are over their warranty period?

We need a Ralph Nader to force the car industry to show us the actual numbers. As it stands now we get bogus numbers with no sources by writers who would have trouble, dare I say "fail", any logic puzzle.

At some point in the future we should expect to see a database containing all the information that gets stored in the memory of the autos. So we should see who made the batteries, the mileage vs the charge retention, when certain cells had to be replaced, when the entire battery had to be replaced, etc.. This information is probably already being retained and uploaded to their corporate databases so engineering and marketing can make informed decisions. We as buyers need this information too. Wouldn't it be great to make a little query that extracts how long a Prius would get us back and forth to work, 10 miles away, if it were stored outside in standard San Diego weather? Or even better yet, a program that allowed you to upload your own batteries data and compares it to other similar drivers allowing you to know just exactly how long your batteries will continue to last. It would not be hard to do and I suspect it would be very profitable for the honest car companies...
user 7198327
San Diego, CA
Post #: 4
thanks for all that responded to this post. I've been without a car for 6 weeks now and have been driving my wife nuts trying to decide what to get. After test driving all the mentioned vehicles, I narrowed it down to a Prius or VW TDI. I've been on waiting lists for both and decided that whichever one came up first, I would buy.

On Friday (8/15) I called around to a few VW dealerships looking for information and was able to buy an 09 Jetta TDI demo model that day. I'm pumped about the vehicle so far...

Also, if anyone has any advice about biodiesel with this car...I'm all ears. VW claims that only B5 is supported, but I've read that B20 will probably be fine (its the "probably" is what worries me). I'll likely stick to B5 (if I can find any) until I hear otherwise. Anyone know of any B5-B20 suppliers in San Diego? I'm going to check with Pearson, but I've heard they only sell B99...

After I've had a few weeks to test the car out, I'll update this posting with some details about fuel economy and such...

thanks again
A former member
Post #: 68
Congrats on your new car!

Pearson only sells B99. We run B99 in our '04 Ford F250 with no problem. (However it's out of warranty - so we don't have that to consider.)

You might want to check out the So Cal Biodiesel yahoo group. There are some folks with experience with VW TDI on that group. http://autos.groups.y...­

Bill S
Fair Oaks, CA
Post #: 235
Congrats on getting the TDI! Keep us informed on it's performance. I'm getting an Aptera, but am disappointed at delayed schedule for the hybrid, I could be tempted to get something else.... As for Diesel, my concern is higher cost of fuel and potential trouble finding a station... Let us know if Biodiesel works. Also, what is different about this TDI that it can pass CA emissions????
user 7198327
San Diego, CA
Post #: 5
Bill, the new VW TDIs are using an enhanced particulate filter and post-injection to burn up any material captured in the filter. This is supposed to reduce emissions to acceptable levels (Tier 2 Bin 5) without the use of urea (as Mercedes does)...

As for mileage, my first tank numbers weren't great...approximately 33 MPG combined. But I'm not sure how full the tank was when I got the car, so the numbers are likely a little better at least. I've read that others are getting in the low 40's, so I'm hoping my next tank will be much better...

As for BD, it seems that VW didn't build this engine to support it very well. Though they claim blends up to B5 are supported (which isn't much)...I've read numerous articles about oil dillution concerns after only 10k on B5. In particular...see this article...http://www.biodieselm...­

Anyways, I was hoping to start running BD soon, but am going to hold off until I hear something more positive about running it in this engine. If anyone knows any more about this, please let me know...
A former member
Post #: 15
How about some Veggie Diesel?­
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