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His test was almost all highway driving, on a not broken in vehicle. Really the worst of all worlds for testing a hybrid.
Most of the adventage of a hybrid (if there is any) will be seen in the city, where maximum use of the electric is achieved.
 

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Agreed. Under identical conditions, the hybrid will almost always achieve better fuel economy. Consumers Reports tested the RX400h and achieved 26 or 27mpg combined. This is compared to 18-19mpg combined for the RX330. CR measures fuel economy over many thousands of miles, and is one of the more accurate tests out there in this regard.

The mags mainly test these vehicles on the highway (thats how they rack up 20,000 miles a year in their long term vehicles), so you are unlikely to get a good combined mpg figure from them either. Edmunds.com has a long term RX400h and they love it.

However, just because hybrids get better fuel economy does not mean they save drivers money. The increased purchase price usually means savings from gasoline will not be realized for 7-10 years. Right now they are "feel good" status vehicles, not that there's anything wrong with that!
 

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Actually, I have a problem with it.... When you consider what's possible in transmission and electronics technology, you can make a lighter vehicle, that does not need all those batteries and the associated problems with maintenance and disposal.

From what I recall (And please jump in to correct me, as I'm no expert and really do want to hear from people that are...) the point of a hybrid gas engine to electric, is to take power from the gas engine at it's most efficent rpm and create electricity for electric motors to move the vehicle.

Well with CVT technology and intelligent use of kinetic power using a flywheel, I believe a lot of those same efficiencies can be found without all the batteries...

However, electric motors with fuel cells, is a different story and that's the real future. Not hybrids.

But what do I know... :p

I see hybrids as a fashion statement.
 

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I see the main point of Hybrids is to IMPROVE some pretty cool technology. Think of what the auto industry has done for combustion engines. Now think of what it can do for electricity. Not just motors, but batteries, general storage of electricity and energy, etc. There are huge advancements there just waiting to be discovered.

Then, of course, branch into other forms, like hydrogen. Hybrid technology is just the start. It's the first baby step into a whole new world.

So no, hybrid technology as it is today isn't that wonderful. But just wait. We're on the verge of some very cool things.
 

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I agree that at this point in time hybrids are a fashion statement. Especially for the Lexus hybrids. I attribute that to the low number of hybrids on the road vs. regular gas engines. And given the cost benefit (or lack of) for hybrids lower cost for gas vs. added cost for the car itself.

But in the longer run, hybrids are paving the road to lower the usage of gasoline and other fossil fuels.
 

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I agree with all above, however there is starting to be talk about how long the battery lasts (5-7 years) and the cost of replacement ( $7-10000). When you factor that into a operating cost of the car the numbers do not seem as good.
 

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please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the batteries have a 10yr warranty.... at least on the Toyotas. But I too am concerned over the longevity of the battery... I mean look at all the disposable electronics out there with built in rechargeable batteries (ipod, palm pda's, etc.) They don't all last that long.
 
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