Reasons why to drive a hybrid car - my experience with my new Toyota Prius V wagon.

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What I have learned in addition:

Now, in December 2016 I already have driven over 19 000 km with my Prius V wagon without any problems. I consider the Prius the most enjoyable car I have driven in Canada. I cake 1984 to this country and collected experience with domestic cars and many Toyotas.
My average fuel consumption between stops for refueling with about 36 liters has increased from 4.5 - 4.6 l/100 km to 4.7 - 4.8 l/100km according to the display and it is going up as colder it gets, similar to all my previous cars.
I have changed my style of driving and made excessive use of the air conditioning or now of the heater. I also try now not to be tail gated me or to have drivers in front of me who change continuously their speed.
When I was younger and my wife was healthy we loved to travel if we had the required money to do that. We prepared Internet travel guides using our journeys in the English and German language. Such trips would be a stressful nightmare with a purely battery powered car and certainly also and more costly with a plug in hybrid.
Wit our Prius V I do not see any problems even to go back to Labrador. Please visit my site about our trip to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The link is in the right column! Fuel prices there wer over $1.00 per liter many years ago.
I continued to check the Internet to see reviews of the new Prius in the English and German language. In addition I was interested what people think about plug-in hybrids and purely battery powered cars. I personally see for many reasons the long term future in the fuel cell.
I may prepare a critical web site in which I will not only show the advantages of this technology. I will not restrict my findings just on driving such car and the environment but also on the related economical; effects on Canada and Europe. I feel not competent to include our neighbour the USA at this time!
My decision to lease a traditional hybrid in Ontario has not changed and I enjoy driving it despite of that what even some of the so called testers write.
I am still shocked how much the German automobile industry is falling with new technologies behind their Asian competitors and how dependant they are becoming by having missed to built up the required production capacity required for the new technology.
I am also convinced that Germany missed to meet in many details the demands of customers in many countries. Except of Germany, some Indian states and countries such as Nepal, Myanmar, Burundi, Bhutan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Haiti, Mauritania, Somalia and Libanon all have sped limitations. Many thanks to KFZ Sachverstand.
Why do they offer worldwide cars which have electronic devices to limit the maximal speed to 250 km/h and which need the most expensive gasoline? Why was VW so arrogant that they believed nobody would find out the swindle with the pollution control system of their diesel engines? They should stop insulting German engineers like me with their dumb advertising!
At this time I only see a tiny niche market study in Canada for the presently offered battery powered cars.
I had started with a feasibility study for a very simple, low cost and light weight electrical powered three wheeler with two seats which can be charged like an electrical scooter at any electrical household outlet and in addition by a solar panel. I would love to proceed with that study with a college or anybody with more technical and financial resources than I have.

A change is mandatory:

To deny the global climate change is either a self-deceit or a lie.
However, it is also a fact that the earth went through several climate changes in the past which were not caused by humans and which can still occur. We still do not have any counter measures against those and we may never be able to protect us against all of them.
But all nations should work together to protect us as much as possible against those.
To do this we need governments with uses selected specialists with a proven background of their knowledge - even when they do not share the politics of their masters. A good leader is not afraid to use the services of specialists who know more about essential trades.
It is a fact that our resources on fossil energy will end sometimes in the future and that prices will go up.
I cannot see anything wrong to be prepared of that and do at the same time something to lower the damage to our environment. Naturally, that will cost also money, but that money should spend in research and new job creations without inventing new taxes to balance the budget. Governments have to learn to spend tax payers money wisely and to monitor that by a not government influenced agency could be one way to do that. Tax payers money would certainly better spend for such an organization than for some of the numerous administrative boards. We need a leaner and fast reacting government in Canada and also in Europe. People should preferable be employed where they really earn the money which they get - either for a company or the government and the tax payer. Some social services however must be exempted. You can not make money by providing those.
Unfortunately, it is became almost common sense in many countries to know that politicians are either lying to get elected or they are really dumb. Nothing is wrong when Canada and all its friends and trade partners prepare and discuss a scenario if the new US president realizes some of his plans - not all of them are bad! But many of them are not good for our future, such as denying the climate change produced by all of us.
By using modern technology we can ensure to keep our standard of living or even improve it. China is working on that and making progresses!
We should be willing to learn from other countries. Learning does not men to copy everything including all the mistakes which have already done there. I believe that especially Ontario did that because many of the wrong things which have been done here were done before in Germany. Another reason why we need people with an appropriate education and practical experience in their field of responsibility in our governments. There are enough examples which bring a proof that a poor management of a company can run this down as well as a weak and incompetent government can do the same for a whole country.
I worked as an engineer in a German aerospace company on a new project together with a Japanese company. That was an eye opener for me and I was really impressed.
I consider Toyota also as an pioneer in real innovation combined with a demonstrating of selling their products with a good margin of profit. Each company must make money to be able to stay in business without asking governments to bail them out. To honour Toyota and to do something for the environment and to meet my personal demands I choose to lease the Prius V.
After the scandal produced by VW a Diesel from them was out of question for me.

Reliability of a car was another major reason for my choice:

I had to trust the following statistic. In addition I checked reviews of the Toyota hybrids. With a few exceptions they confirmed the reliability of the Toyota hybrids. I did not consider dumb personal statements about the design at all. Those people should apply with their ideas for a job in the automotive industry!
Built in safety was also essential to select a car.

Comparison of a "classical hybrid car" with battery powered ones and those using fuel cells:

• Because I have only practical experience with my Toyota Prius V I use this for that purpose

• My Prius has a high efficiency 4-cylinder combustion engine with 98 hp and 1800 ccm. In the sixties the new BMW 1800 had 90 hp which and the car was at that time to be very powerful.
Toyota reduced the power output and optimized the engine with respect to fuel efficiency and reliability, but is still more powerful than the old BMW engine of the sixties.

• I do not need a more powerful car in Canada with all the speed limits and the acceleration gave me thanks to the electric motor never any problems. For me driving without the stress of finding always a charging station for a only battery powered car and to wait in line to wait again until it is charged is more important than to burn rubber. Not having a garage and doing the charging under bad weather conditions at home is another reason to stay away from this technology at the present time.

• Similar to false claims with fuel consumption car makers also claim unrealistic achievable ranges for purely electrical powered cars. I am not willing to switch of a heater in winter or air condition summer in order not to be found immobile on road and pay for a towing service.

• I am aware that in Europe many young people have other priorities than to own a car. In smaller countries with more people a better infrastructure has been developed. I am a handicapped senior and live in Canada and I need car which a can use when I need it.

• I did not include conventional cars in my competition. The reputation of the also fuel efficient diesel powered cars has been destroyed by the criminal acts from VW and I believe they will not any longer offered in North America.

• Because of the higher price of plug-in hybrids and the inconvenience by charging them I was not even willing to consider them - even when certain governments try to promote them by wasting tax payers money. Germany is one example for that stupidity!

• Has anybody tried to drive with a battery or fuel cell powered car a long and steep road as you find them in mountains? I am interested to learn more details about such an adventure especially downhill when the battery is fully charged and the mechanical brakes must be used.

• For that reasons I a hybrid car similar to my Prius is the best choice if you want to reduce environmental hazards until fuel cell powered cars are available for a reasonable price and have a proven reliability. Canada has already done lots of actual work in the field of the required technology and should proceed with research together with suitable partners which are willing to invest in our country in order to create jobs for our young people.

• This must be done without raising or creating new taxes, such as a carbon tax. All of our governments have to learn to work more efficient.

Prius hybrid
Plug in hybrid
Purely Battery powered
Fuel cell
Comparable to a diesel
More expensive
Still too expensive, but should get cheaper
Too expensive
Service life
Probably also good
Questionable because still under development
Not yet known
Excellent (proven)
Not as good
Still questionable
Not yet known
Existing infrastructure for powering the car
Very good
Not as good
Still very poor
Almost not existing
Excellent, no restrictions compared to a gasoline powered car
Needs a long time to charge the battery, waiting time on charging stations can be expected
Needs a long time to charge the battery, waiting time on charging stations can be expected as well as stress to find them in time
Refueling can be compared with a gasoline powered car, but the required infrastructure is still almost not existing
Effects on tourism
Lower fuel consumption may help to travel more, restrictions which may be introduced to ban gasoline or diesel powered card from entering cities because of high pollution levels may not apply
Longer travel times if you want to keep the battery always charges, no restrictions when high pollution levels allows cities to ban gasoline and diesel powered cars are as suitable as gasoline powered cars, but without causing any pollution.
Who wants to follow right now the charging stations when planing a trip by car? Can you get service in case of a break down?
Not feasible yet at all.
Effects on the job market
After Toyota has moved the production of the Corolla to Mexico the company should be motivated to manufacture hybrids in Canada. An essential prerequisite is that the new US governments does not put up any road blocks
The same applies also for plug-in hybrids
I believe that purely battery powered cars will not help to create jobs in Canada. An exception could be a very simple and low cost vehicle which is suitable for shopping trips. I will issue a preliminary draft of a feasibility study, but to proceed I need support from an university or a college.
Canada has already done quiet a bit in this sector and gained a good reputation. We cannot proceed to create more administrative jobs or becoming and extended work bench like a third world county - research is important for creating in the future jobs for our young people. It is not a problem to built robots which can produce and turn over hamburgers!

Some thoughts what we could do in Canada to make our environmental cleaner and creating jobs:

I am not afraid to face critic or inputs about things which I may have missed. Brainstorming is part of successful team work, but not hateful and absolute stupid remarks as you can find in many reviews and even in the so called social media. To hate and to create hate does not solve any problems. Jealousy falls in the same category. Wars are a proof of that.
The duty of any government is to take care of its country and spend taxpayers money wisely to keep all essential services in place.
Employment, environment are part of this and if a new idea comes up the first step should not to raise taxes or make more debts. My experience is that there always ways to save money. I cannot raise my pension to pay for my electrical bills which are going through the roof in Ontario. I have to cut somewhere other expenses as tough as this may be - and I did so.
Top learn from others is essential. We did this in the industry and whole countries did it. Just look at Japan and both Koreas. North Korea unfortunately only in the military sector.
To learn does not mean to copy everything including mistakes already being made. Ontario had a chance to act smarter by screening things better.
Finding excuses for not achieving a task is of no help. A good leader or manager has to find solutions. He should be well if he has a good track record and demoted or fired with a ridiculous severance pay if he fails. I am confident that everybody could name some of those people - but please without hate! Somebody put them in this positions before - voters included!

Use more hybrids like my Prius
Less carbon will be produced and especially in cities the breathing air will become cleaner. Respirable dust which is already a major health hazard in cities all over the world will be reduced.
Fuel saving and less maintenance may help to pay off the higher prices
Don;t drive a hybrid like a sports car
Energy used for acceleration is always lost
That applies to every type of car
AI am not aware of any major Canadian car maker. But we have Magna a major worldwide supplier to the automotive industry. Magna claims: "Magna supports innovative thinkers"
So lets all of us get started thinking. I will do that in my promised feasibility studies.
The task should be to create jobs in research and development as well as in manufacturing in our country.
I believe that our government should introduce limits for energy consumption of the various typ of vehicles step by step. This would allow the industry to develop the needed cars. These tests should be based on an easy to check test procedure - which can be done by everybody in order to avoid cheating by the manufacturers. They have to pay fines if caught doing this.
I recommend that the first step of these new regulation should be based on what conventional hybrids and purely electrical powered cars already achieve.
I am aware that government incentives for buying electrical cars - especially Plug-ins - are a waste of tax payers money without having an essential affect on the climate. They should be stopped and the money should be used for research. This does not apply only apply for Canada. But we should act now with all the debts we already have! Involve universities and colleges. That is more important than to teach students how to make beer or cook a meal.
Canada should become more active in the hydrogen technology. We already have some companies with a good international reputation. But more is needed and new challenging task should be evaluated. I am thinking for example to create hydrogen by using salt water and wind power. That could open new markets.
Guiding and preparing our young people in high tech jobs must go hand in hand with establishing such an industry.
Hydrogen is certainly in a long term the future when it is produced by renewable energy. I will update my old study about production of hydrogen in Newfoundland. It could be exported from this island when the required requirements for save transportation are in place.
I do not share the new upcoming trend to self driving cars and trucks. Some companies see a chance to make more money with those, but expensive law sews can be expected. Just check out what VW is facing!
Not only hackers will see a chance to demonstrate what they can do, but also terrorists will be excited about this technology. I do not see any way how to protect people against attacks using remote controlled trucks or cars.
Instead of that cars should be equipped with s system wich brings a vehicle to a hopefully save stop in case the driver get an heart attack, dies, falls asleep or is drunk.
Such a system would really improve safety by reducing certain accidents.
I was a motor bike fanatic and I would never want to be driven in a bus or vehicle without a driver. When I tested the GPS system in one of my cars in our area it guided me very close to the destination, but it became totally confused. Just try the same or check the Internet.


Energy consumption:

Naturally I am aware on the fact how most car manufacturers swindle with fuel consumption or the range of battery powered cars. I also read that some of those companies had even to reimburse customers.
In addition some of the test procedures are not realistic and they even do not ban certain manipulations when the tests are carried out.
I believe the new test cycle used now in Canada is a step in the right direction.
So far the average fuel consumption with my Prius V is even below that which Toyota posted. However, it is mandatory to know how to drive a hybrid car and you must do it. My daily driving is mostly in cities and on regional roads. On highways the hybrid technology itself does not provide a significant advantage.
Other measures such as aerodynamic, rolling resistance, size and weight of the wheels, designs of the combustion engine are affecting the efficiency. Toyota did a good job by considering all those aspects. On purpose I did not want the larger wheels which are also offered for reason not understandable to me - sometimes size matters!
However, due to my age and the fact that I am handicapped now I choose the wagon which is not as fuel efficient as the normal Prius, but offers more convenience to me.

No car is perfect:

Toyota claimed for a long time in Germany "Nichts ist unmöglich" which means "Nothing is impossible". Naturally, certain things are impossible to achieve. But I am surprised that Toyota missed certain details which could have been done without increasing the manufacturing costs or others with a minor effect on the sales price.

• I have to stop the car to switch on safely the electric heated seats or to turne them off.

• I had a complain with all previous cars with thew blind spot in the left mirror. I gladly would have paid a little bit more, by not having that blind spot in the Prius

• Because of the aerodynamic design you cannot see any longer the curb in front of you. A friend had an expensive body job on his Chrysler product because he had hit the curb. Toyota should do some brainstorming to find a low cost solution to prevent that.

• I am handicapped and must use my Prius even for very short trips To do those I have to back out from my drive way on a very busy road which can take quiet a bit time. The combustion engine is always running to charge the battery and trying to warm up. Running the engine without moving the car, has the effect that you have an unlimited fuel consumption on 100 km. You could empty a few fuel tanks full of gasoline without moving the car at all.
For that reason many cars shut off the combustions engine when you stop the car - my Toyota has also this feature, but it is sacrificed in my situation. I do not know how Toyota programmed the fuel consumption monitoring when you do not move the car with a running engine, but it takes very long time until the excessive average fuel consumption which is indicated on the monitor goes down. I believe that some more work on the control system could bring some additional fuel saving in cases like mine.

• It is a shame that the brake disks are corroding badly. Driving a Prius properly uses the generator for braking. Parts which deteriorate without using them should be replaced on warranty by more suitable ones.

Prius V, my experience, operation, meine Erfahrungen, Bedienung

Left" Our house with the drive way. The normally busy road.

PriusV, my most typical driving in Ontario

Our Prius.

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