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Poll: How do you feel about hybrid electric vehicles?

I plan on buying one! 22 (27%)
Cool idea, but they're just not practical enough yet. 34 (41%)
Nice idea.... for someone else... 12 (14%)
Screw hybrids, gimme a 70's mustang! 3 (4%)
Other? 12 (14%)
   Discussion: How do you feel about hybrid electric vehicles?
lawrence · 17 years, 8 months ago
if they made them normal looking and a reasonable size. the ones I've seen so far I find highly uncomfortable and downright hideous.
nate... Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Have you checked out the Honda Civic hybrid?

It's exactly the same inside as the regular Civic sedan. Very comfy.

Also, it has a cool feature where once the gas engine is warmed up, you can set it to shut off completely at idle.
So you pull up to a red light... and it's just silence.

I'd actually consider it if it had more features... sunroof, etc...
check it out
lawrence Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Civics are way too small for me. I drive a Camry, and on occasion, I've had other people driving it and had to sit in the back seat and found it very uncomfortable. the back seat of a Civic would just be painful.
nate... Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Ohhh.. yeah, I don't really consider back seats very much.
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
actually it isn't. I looked at it when I bought my civic. It has no room in the back for where the trunk should be. It essentially has two engines and the second one has to go somewhere. The honda dealer told me that they only sell a couple a year because it isn't practical.
nate... Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
What do you mean?
The one I checked out had a plenty-large trunk.

What model year did you look at?
Gordondon son of Ethelred Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
2002. Did it have a back seat?
Paul D. Beasi Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Standard Civic has 12.9 cu. ft. cargo
Hybrid Civic has 10.1 cu. ft. cargo

My car has 14.3 cu. ft. and I wish the trunk were bigger. :)
nate... Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
You're thinking of the Insight.. not the civic.

The hybrid civic has a back seat, AND a good truck. The only drawback is that you can't fold down the rear seats to have a passthrough from the trunk to the passenger compartment.
Starfox · 17 years, 8 months ago
They still haven't gotten it to work efficiently for anything over a compact sized car. When they get the SUV hybrid working I'm sure it will take off.

And I want fuel cell technology damnit! I want Mr. Fusion. Stick my garbage in it, power it for a month! We need to quit subsidizing and regulating both the power industry and the oil industry to get this stuff started.

And why is it, some of the most ardent environmentalists don't drive hybrids?
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Because a lot of the most ardent environmentalists are poor.  Heh.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
The Honda Insight MSRP is $19,000.

The Toyota Prius MSRP is $20,000.

Given that the IRS will give you a behavior engineering $2,000 tax deduction for buying one, they aren't that expensive for any environmentalist that has an average paying job.

And I'm referring to some of the so-called "leaders" of some of the larger environmentalist organizations. (The head of the friggin' Sierra Club drives a TRUCK fer crissakes).

The local enivornmentalist nut in our office got really pissed when I asked him why he doesn't drive a hybrid car. I found it amusing to watch him try and justify why he drives a Nissan.
Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

Wow.  I didn't realize how affordable they are.

I don't drive one because I don't drive at all.  But even if I did, I probably wouldn't drive one of the hybrids because I'm a big guy...and it's uncomfortable for me to ride in one, let alone try to operate one.

Starfox Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
That's my main complaint against them thus far. I can't fit into them either. And they also don't make any 6-cyl or 8-cyl models which are essential for Dallas-Fort Worth driving. Need some get up and go.

So, when they make a midsize hybrid, then I may consider getting one provided the price isn't too bad and the crash test data is excellent.
Rachel ::hearts:: london Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

i'm a pretty devoted environmentalist - vegetarian organic, recycling, all that.  hybrids are fantastic, i'm gonna buy one as soon as i can.  however, i'm a college student, my $4000 geo metro set me back for ages.  they're cheap compared to like an SUV, but still too much for little old me  :(  and yeah, some "environmentalists" are quite the hypocrites, or just plain silly.  ppl like that give environmentalism a bad name, when really it's the only thing that can save the planet.  pretty sad really.

A girl named Becca · 17 years, 8 months ago
Well, I chose "I plan on buying one" because I've concluded (based on the few I've ridden in and my highly limited knowledge about cars, etc.) that they're the greastest things since sliced bread and I desperately want one.  However, I won't be buying myself any car for at least a couple years, and the first one I buy will probably be a junky car that'll run until I have enough money to invest in a real one.  By that point, I'm sure hybrids will have improved, so maybe I should have chosen the "not practical enough yet" option, but I do want to get one eventually and I'd get one now if I had the money, so I went for door #1.  (Though I suppose the no money issue would contribute to them not being "practical," technically...)
iPauley Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
*watches the becca metronome tick back and forth* ;)

Actually, I voted the same way, for largely the same reason (except I already have the "junky car," which in my case isn't all that bad).

-- Pauley
hkath · 17 years, 8 months ago


If I had money, I would think about things like that. Since I don't, I tend not to even pay attention to the subject. It's less painful that way when I get on the subway at seven in the morning for my eight-thirty class across town.

George E. Nowik · 17 years, 8 months ago

toyota, at one point, made a decent mid-sized hybrid vehicle.  it looked like a decent car, too.

however, the argument that a "car doesn't look nice" is probably the steamiest pile of pure animal shite that i have ever had the misfortune of laying my eyes upon.  is our society so cosmetically centric that a good idea will be killed on the spot simply because the design isn't considered "pretty?"  if we have fallen so low as that, then there's really no point in stopping other countries from generating weapons of mass destruction: our minds are already gone. (:

 -= george =-

Rachel ::hearts:: london Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

yeah george!  tell it like it is baby!

nate... Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
Unfortunately, the prius blows. :(
While I generally like toyota.. I drove that.. and it just feels..... sloppy.
That's the only word I can put to it.
Starfox Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
I'm an engineer, I like functionality and efficiency over looks. So I like the concept of a hybrid engine (but still, I want my Mr. Fusion car damnit!), but it isn't that functional right now. Efficient yes, functional no.
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

true.  it's not really working very well.  i like some of the ideas that are coming up, but what if the design doesn't look pretty?  i think looks are a pretty poor reason not to contribute to some semblence of conservation of planetary resources...

now if the dang thing just doesn't work too well, they shouldn't've put it out in the first place. (:  however, let's get the research going to make something better.

 -= george =-

lawrence Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
ah, so you're the kind of person who would buy an Aztek. I was wondering about those. :)

seriously, though, why is the argument "the steamiest pile of pure animal shite?" people buy cars for any number of reasons, and appearance is one of them for a lot of people. I want a car I want to look at, and that's practical for my purposes. I'm not going to buy something that's environmentally ideal if I otherwise don't like it.
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

and that is why our race will eventually fail. (:

 -= george =-

lawrence Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
only not. because it's possible to design things that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. the two aren't (or shouldn't be) mutually exclusive - kind of like the obviously untrue generalization that attractive people are unintelligent.
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

well, that's true, but we've made the mistake of assuming that car dealerships are able to put the two together into one nice lump sum.  they've sure failed thusfar. (:

then again, the hybrid cars were a bit of a failure anyway due to just plain poor design.  i hope that their failure sparks a need to further research the prospect.  it's a darn good idea to have some kind of alternative to a limited supply of fossil fuel (one can only dig so deep).

 -= george =-

lawrence Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
really, I don't see why they can't just take existing car bodies and make hybrids out of them. there's nothing wrong with the current gasoline car styles, but they seem to think that hybrids should somehow look all "futuristic," kind of the way pretty much all solar powered cars look completely ridiculous.
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

well, the solar powered cars weren't even remotely functional as a commuter vehicle.  there was no bloody space in the things, and unless you enjoyed lying down while you drove your car and preferred straight lines only and no curves, it was kinda pointless. :D  an experiment, but little more than that.

 -= george =-

George E. Nowik · 17 years, 8 months ago

we've had quasi-electric hybrid thingies for a long time tho, haven't we?  otherwise, i can't figure out what exactly it is that those two arms are for that attach to all those wires from the busses other than to make cooked goose out of ... living goose.

or is this on a bus that runs hybrid without the necessary attachment to craploads of gorgeous cable on the downtown seattle city street grid?

 -= george =-

George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

they better damn well build a freakin' monorail.  they charged me $95 on my tabs as a "Monorail Tax".  if this turns into another research project where nothing gets done, i swear i will take a paintball gun to someone in olympia and light them up like a christmas tree.  this will be .. what ... the third time that money was paid to "research" a project where nothing got done to help traffic issues?

we want light rail, damnit.  light rail looks damn cool and does not detract from the value of a neighborhood.  thus sayeth me.

 -= george =-

no one · 17 years, 8 months ago
Hybrid schmybrid, the age of fossil fuel powered vehicles only started a short while ago, relatively speaking, and won't last much longer.

Bear in mind that about 80% of fuel production stems from reserves discovered before 1970 something. Unless surprisingly large reserves are discovered again soon, those of us who forgot how to walk, will have to relearn.
George E. Nowik Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

while there's nothing wrong with walking, i doubt that the human race is going to be silly enough to continue relying on fossil fuels as their main source of go-go juice forever.  scientists have enough noodle to come up with something better as long as they have the funding to do the research.

at least, i hope they do.  if not, then we're gonna be two-footin' it to work.  or maybe fuel will only be available for commuter vehicles like busses and such.  oh wouldn't that be rich.  the only way to get around fast being mass transit ... i would positively laugh heartily at people with $75,000 cars. (:

 -= george =-

Starfox Back · 17 years, 8 months ago
The problem is we have more than enough petroleum reserves in the world to last us for a long while yet (can't remember the exact figure, but it's something like 50-75 years). Also given that there are still massive deposits of oil that are left untouched (i.e. under the Siberian tundra) you can bet that some of the human inovation is going to be put towards coming up with ways to access that oil.

Again, I forget the exact statistic, but I read something where we only have access to a small fraction of the total surmized oil deposits in the world.
Arbie Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

Gas reserves... now there is a topic. Kind of like talking to economists about how to prevent inflation or weathermen about what tomorrow will be like, talk to 10 of them get 10 answers. But regardless of how many years of reserves we have left the issue is whether we can environmentally afford to unlock that much carbon (and lock up that much oxygen etc).

Coincidentally, yesterday I saw a local news item about a Ford hybrid that is making the rounds (it was in Victoria, BC yesterday). It is a plug-in-electric/ hydrogen fuel cell combo. The fuel cell technology they use is made here in the Vancouver area by Ballard Power Systems. Strictly for show (for now) as of course, hydrogen storage and distribution is an issue. The Ford dude said they figure the infastructure and regulatory issues would be worked out by 2012 or so. I suspect it could be sooner if the work Ballard is doing on making fuel cells work with relatively "dirty" fuels like natural gas pans out. Actually I believe there is research being done both to modify natural gas to a more hydrogen rich state as well as use the less pure form as it is.

Michael (foof) Maki Back · 17 years, 8 months ago

Well, even when *those* are gone, we'll still have oil.  We've got billions of barrels of oil tied up in oil shale and tar fields.  Right now, it's not financially viable to get at that oil.  When the easy-to-utilize oil is all gone, that will change.

I think things are going to hum along like they are for some time.  I think gas prices are going to steadily go up for a long time to come.  I am reminded of my dad saying in the '80s that if cigarettes ever reach $2 a pack, he'd quit.  He didn't...and neither will drivers when gas reaches $5 or $10 a gallon.

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