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* Posts by Bob Wilson

2 posts • joined 11 Feb 2008

French motorwonk savages hybrid cars

Bob Wilson
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$40 for rubish

Having paid the $40, I'm able to quote and criticize the original report, something despirately missing from the current reviewers including those selling this useless report:

The authors report on pp. 277 that "According to Ashley (2002), OEMs ""must subsidise current hybrid car models heavily to make them affordable"" " Unfortunately, the authors failed to report from "consumerguideauto" that, "Toyota officials recently told Bloomberg News that Prius is turning a small per-unit profit after some 75,000 worldwide sales as of late December 2001. Starting with 2002, the company will increase yearly Prius deliveries to the U.S. by about 40 percent to some 17,000 units." In fact, the author's figure on pp. 273 of "Sales of HEV vehicles in the USA" shows a greater than 10 fold increase between 2002 and 2006 with no explanation of how the 2002 "subsidies" are maintained.

The authors inflate diesel efficiency pp. 276 with "when comparing with modern diesel vehicles with high pressure direct injection and turbo charging, HEVs lose out when it comes to constant driving over longer distances." This well qualified and limited diesel, by no means the standard for all diesels, is further limited to only "constant driving over longer distances" as if cities and urban driving do not exist. It is a fact taken out of context if not by the authors but certainly by the reviewers making inflated diesel claims.

There are other errors including inadequate references, pp. 279 to "Les Echos, 5/10/206"; misleading appendices pp. 287 mixing models to mask hybrid efficiency with vehicle classes having no hybrids; or pp. 288 equating the "Smart for two CDI (diesel)" and a Prius for mileage as if payload was unimportant.

The paper flaws are only matched by reviewers who cherry pick whatever nonsense they wish to echo. Worse, there is no synthesis, no value added analysis but what appears to be a collection of disjointed and often dated references. Rather than advancing our understanding, this paper sweeps together a collection of outdated and improperly qualified reports with no synthesis. Thus they remain bewildered by a Chinese hybrid market rather than observing the obvious.

With this paper, I've bought $40 of rubish and would warn serious people away from this paper and the unethical panders of this poor excuse of for research. The authors Chanaron and Teske may be serious people but this must not be their greatest work.

Bob Wilson

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Bob Wilson

Circle of authority

This is a review of the original paper that requires a fee to read. But sometimes, refereed journals can suffer from circular authority and depart from reality. Commenting on a reviewer's summary is a waste of time but the comments posted have brought out a lot of emotional responses lacking facts and data that can be addressed.

As for hybrid batteries, USA patent 6,936,371 covers how Toyota approaches NiMH battery refurbishment. Full copies can be obtained via Google's patent service. I'm testing variations of this patent and one of my early tests indicate it works. As for traction battery recycling, I would rather deal with nickel and potassium hydroxide than lead and sulfuric acid. Given the amount of nickel in my battery, it has more salvage metal value today than when it was manufactured.

We have about 500,000 hybrids in the USA and the first models were sold in 2000. So far, traction batteries from accident salvage yards appear to meet our needs for 'worn out' batteries along with the occasional warranty replacement. This won't last forever but patent 6,936,371 shows how 'worn out' batteries can be rebuilt.

Toyota has already announced an operational profit on the Prius since 2004. Small wonder that last year's Prius sales in the USA were 181,000 and the Toyota Camry plant in Georgetown KY reports "1/3d of the Camrys they make are hybrids."

The ultimate test is the market place and regardless of individual opinions, the sales are hard to ignore. More importantly, GM has made a sea change towards adopting hybrid technology, following what Ford had already accomplished in their Ford Escape. Seeing 181,000 Prius sold in 2007 spoke much louder than a million words by hybrid skeptics.

Bob Wilson

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