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  #41  
Old 26.03.2012, 12:07
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

Hybrids work best in cities - or on local journeys. They fail in Switzerland because:
1) A lot of local journeys are done by public transport, foot or cycle.
2) Switzerland is smaller and people don't drive so much from shop to shop.
3) Outside of the cities Switzerland is mountainous. A low powered petrol engine shifting a heavy car, up a hill, is inefficient.
4) Hybrids sell based on fuel saving costs - the Swiss are low mileage users - so the fuel saving costs are minimal.
5) High mileage users are autobahn drivers - where a mid-powered diesel is more efficient.
6) The Swiss see through the "green" credentials of a hybrid.

You need more??
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  #42  
Old 26.03.2012, 12:41
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

What makes the difference is culture.

- Americans(US) drive automatic cars.

- Americans want the maximum power(drag race) and don't care if the car is big, heavy, or can take a tight corner or not(American automotive engineering is seen as inferior and less sophisticated by Europeans). So the normal citizen there will not look at a car the same way an Italian(that's sure) will do.

- Americans are more open minded and will drive anything unusual if they think there is some value in it. They are not as brand dependent as Europeans. For example a company like Aptera motors(they are broke now) with their three wheeled car would have had NO CHANCE here in Europe.

So to conclude, Hybrid cars will become the norm here ONLY when a car manufacturer(German) will design and produce a good one.


p.s: Hybrid cars in Italy are used for taxis. And no, I'm not European, but African and i have studied mechanical engineering here.
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  #43  
Old 26.03.2012, 12:44
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

Because there are not that many of those around

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They're expensive?
Prisu is approx CHF 30k

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- The Swiss love Skoda Octavias and VW Golfs, which are both quite efficient.
An Skoda Octavia is approx CH20k. For the 10k difference you can buy enough gas to run the Octavia for 100'000 km.
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  #44  
Old 26.03.2012, 12:47
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

Another factor has to do with the fact that we have Top Gear here:



and other examples like that
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Old 26.03.2012, 13:12
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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Buying a Hybrid is trendy in the US now. That's all. Hybrids are NOT the solution to global warming and apparently Swiss people know that (well most do).

hybrids are not that "environmentally friendly" as they are advertised!!!
But they are better than regular cars. If you converted the fuel economy, I got less than 5 liter/100 km for a four door car. This was even better if you were not at traffic lights. I agree that it is not the final answer, but isn't it better than a regular combustion engine or diesel fuel car?
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  #46  
Old 26.03.2012, 13:19
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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The green alternative here is just don't own a car. Public transport, walk, or bike. Having a car is not necessarily a norm here, esp. if living in a city.

And for those activities/professions where delivery or driving is a necessity in CH, you see a lot of natural gas cars around here these days for say the electric company, and the city owned publci vehicles.

Unfortuantely some people cannot get around the idea of living without a car, and think a hybrid will save the planet. Ok, a hybrid might be better than a gas guzzler, but by walking or talking the train as an alternative does a lot more.
I an ideal world yes. But some of us don't live in a place where using public transport is not always an option. If I want to eat a meal and see a movie, forget it because the last train I can get is around 22:00 from Bern, so it's gotta be the car. It takes me over an hour to get to work during normal operational hours, and 22 minutes by car. I agree that if you live in a metropolitan area, PT is the best answer. But it just cant work for everyone.
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  #47  
Old 26.03.2012, 13:39
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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Actually I have the impression that are as many hybrids here as anywhere else. They particularly seem to have taken off in the last year or two. When I first got one, people were regularly coming over to have a look, whereas they now seem quite familiar with.
In Switzerland you can find a statistic for everything. Here are the numbers for 2011:


Petrol: 3'301'501, Diesel: 827'094, E-Cars: 1'044, Hybrid: 22'032, Others: 11'332 = Total: 3'301'501

source: Bundesamt für Statistik
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  #48  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:19
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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In Switzerland you can find a statistic for everything. Here are the numbers for 2011:


Petrol: 3'301'501, Diesel: 827'094, E-Cars: 1'044, Hybrid: 22'032, Others: 11'332 = Total: 3'301'501

source: Bundesamt für Statistik
Interesting total, especially next to the number of petrol fueled cars. .
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  #49  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:30
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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But they are better than regular cars. , but isn't it better than a regular combustion engine or diesel fuel car?
No they aren't....

A mid range efficient diesel will return as much mpg as various hybrids plus a new diesel from germany has been made there and simply shipped, it has not had nickel mined in one area of the world, batteries with very hazardous chems made and shipped to another to be integrated with a manufacturing process in another and then finally shipped to the destination country.


This doesn't seem very "green" to me for a start and what happens with the cells when they die and need replacing? How are these disposed of and have you seen the cost of the replacements in the car? HUGE!!!!!

As far as efficiency it is how you drive. DK's shinny new Alpina will use less fuel pottering to keep up with a Prius that is trying to get to that late meeting.

AND... when the first really working and viable fuel cells *soon* are out this will be redundant tech and thus worthless; so a good way to loose your pants on a sale in a year or two.
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  #50  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:38
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

In Switzerland they have erdgas. The greenest fuel for a car (methane, or natural gas in the US):
CH4 + 2 O2 → CO2 + 2 H2O
Impossible to find in the US, which is a shame because with little modifications you can use it with normal pertrol engines.
It's pretty common in Italy and Germany as well.
I have a GPL hybrid car (a mix of propane and butane), it's kind of rare in Switzerland, but common in Italy and France.
GPL is the second greenest fuel after erdgas.

Last edited by titius; 26.03.2012 at 14:51.
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  #51  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:41
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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Buying a Hybrid is trendy in the US now. That's all. Hybrids are NOT the solution to global warming and apparently Swiss people know that (well most do).

hybrids are not that "environmentally friendly" as they are advertised!!!
But they are better than regular cars.
Absolutely NOT.

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If you converted the fuel economy, I got less than 5 liter/100 km for a four door car. This was even better if you were not at traffic lights. I agree that it is not the final answer, but isn't it better than a regular combustion engine or diesel fuel car?
Maybe over the time you OWN the car. But NOT over its entire life cycle. DUST TO DUST.
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  #52  
Old 26.03.2012, 14:56
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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But they are better than regular cars. If you converted the fuel economy, I got less than 5 liter/100 km for a four door car. This was even better if you were not at traffic lights. I agree that it is not the final answer, but isn't it better than a regular combustion engine or diesel fuel car?
You just don't get the arguments mentioned before?

- you need a LOT more energy to build hybrids than normal engines. So when doing the right thing and looking at the complete bill do they score worse than most average EU cars.
- the battery manufacturing process is quite the opposite of "eco friendly", outright dirty stuff.
- you will get a BETTER milage with a Diesel engine. I used 6 litres when driving my dads old E 270 before and an e series is something else than a Prius! The current 250 is supposedly around 5 litres, so is a BMW 520d and the upcoming MB 300 allegedly has a target of 4.4 litres! But that is a different league from the hybrids available, so if you take a car of similar size and weight of a Prius - a four door Golf for example - can you not only get some crap driving baseline model with the same consumption, but the top end GTD (that's a GTI gone Diesel... an absolutely fun ride). If you really want to go green, go for the eco version and you are below 4 litres.

And the thing nobody mentioned: Hybrids are crappy rides. Heavy and underpowered. If you kick them a bit, the consumption goes through the roof... and efficient Diesels are not only greener but offer much more fun.

In short: hybrids are less popular because Swiss people like good engineering.
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  #53  
Old 26.03.2012, 15:10
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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I an ideal world yes. But some of us don't live in a place where using public transport is not always an option. If I want to eat a meal and see a movie, forget it because the last train I can get is around 22:00 from Bern, so it's gotta be the car. It takes me over an hour to get to work during normal operational hours, and 22 minutes by car. I agree that if you live in a metropolitan area, PT is the best answer. But it just cant work for everyone.
Again this likely comes down to a cultural thing. Most swiss I know go to great lengths to find housing in a decent public transport communting distance to where they need to go. For students, there needs to be walking distance or public transport to schools, and CH designs it as such.

I perceive this as general difference in values/culture, as in the north american, "I" must have everything and "I" come first, vs. the we are all in this together, and greater emphasis on policies and practices for the greater common good in Europe, rather than the individual.

Of course there are exceptions of people having to drive, but I consider this more the exception and not the norm (except perhaps the expat community where everyone earns over 120k, drives a 4x4, and complains that CH is not acomodating to their lifestyle).
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  #54  
Old 26.03.2012, 15:24
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

yeah but Diesel engines are no saints:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_Particulate_Matter

Even if now they use Filters to capture PM10 Particulate, and then postcumbust it when the filter is full, the truth is that this process produces PM2.5 particulate which is even worse than PM10.

I agree though that Diesel engine are the most efficient, not sure they are green or good for human health.

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You just don't get the arguments mentioned before?

- you need a LOT more energy to build hybrids than normal engines. So when doing the right thing and looking at the complete bill do they score worse than most average EU cars.
- the battery manufacturing process is quite the opposite of "eco friendly", outright dirty stuff.
- you will get a BETTER milage with a Diesel engine. I used 6 litres when driving my dads old E 270 before and an e series is something else than a Prius! The current 250 is supposedly around 5 litres, so is a BMW 520d and the upcoming MB 300 allegedly has a target of 4.4 litres! But that is a different league from the hybrids available, so if you take a car of similar size and weight of a Prius - a four door Golf for example - can you not only get some crap driving baseline model with the same consumption, but the top end GTD (that's a GTI gone Diesel... an absolutely fun ride). If you really want to go green, go for the eco version and you are below 4 litres.

And the thing nobody mentioned: Hybrids are crappy rides. Heavy and underpowered. If you kick them a bit, the consumption goes through the roof... and efficient Diesels are not only greener but offer much more fun.

In short: hybrids are less popular because Swiss people like good engineering.
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Old 26.03.2012, 15:44
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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with their three wheeled car would have had NO CHANCE here in Europe.
Sure about that?



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  #56  
Old 26.03.2012, 15:47
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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yeah but Diesel engines are no saints:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diesel_Particulate_Matter

Even if now they use Filters to capture PM10 Particulate, and then postcumbust it when the filter is full, the truth is that this process produces PM2.5 particulate which is even worse than PM10.

I agree though that Diesel engine are the most efficient, not sure they are green or good for human health.
They are not green, but they are the most efficient. The point is that we have a limited amount of resources left and using them in the most efficient way till we have the technology to get along afterwards is the key. The only truely green mode of transport besides walking is a bicycle.

Unless it is made in Taiwan and shipped all the way to Switzerland as most are...
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Old 26.03.2012, 16:06
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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I perceive this as general difference in values/culture, as in the north american, "I" must have everything and "I" come first, vs. the we are all in this together, and greater emphasis on policies and practices for the greater common good in Europe, rather than the individual.
I have to call you on this BS. No matter where you come from economic/convenience factors are the drivers. Here, cars are expensive to maintain, insure and park. Availability of parking is also a big issue for short trips to shopping areas. An already existing good public transport infrastructure is another incentive to avoid car ownership. But still, nice attempt at some "seppo" bashing.
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  #58  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:15
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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I have to call you on this BS. No matter where you come from economic/convenience factors are the drivers. Here, cars are expensive to maintain, insure and park. Availability of parking is also a big issue for short trips to shopping areas. An already existing good public transport infrastructure is another incentive to avoid car ownership. But still, nice attempt at some "seppo" bashing.
In the larger cities, true, but for the rest far from the reality.

While at 18th place, it's still ahead of most of Europe, and Lichtenstein has almost as many per capita as the US!

Tom
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  #59  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:24
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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They are not green, but they are the most efficient. The point is that we have a limited amount of resources left and using them in the most efficient way till we have the technology to get along afterwards is the key. The only truely green mode of transport besides walking is a bicycle.

Unless it is made in Taiwan and shipped all the way to Switzerland as most are...
Well I prefer CNG or methane or or natural gas or erdgas, as you want to call it.
Also I prefer the sound of a petrol engine to the one of Diesel engine.
Methane is produced even by farting or burping of cows!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flatulence#cite_note-24
"While livestock account for around 20% of global methane emissions,[25] 90–95% of that is released by exhaling or burping.[26] Only 1–2% of global methane emissions come from livestock flatus"
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  #60  
Old 26.03.2012, 16:27
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Re: Why So Few Hybrid Cars?

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.....is apparently nicknamed "the Superstack" because of the amount of pollution it puts out; the area for miles around it is a wasteland because of acid rain and air pollution.....

Side note and slightly off topic, the The Superstack is named as such because it's the 2nd tallest chimney in the world, and for 15 years the tallest. It has been accredited to lowering ground level pollution in the area. A feat recognized and awarded by the United Nations.

A very good example of how information becomes misinformation. Very much like the "Environmental saving" benefits of hybrid cars.
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