News Archives | Strange Ideas
10/14/2005 Alt Energy. Prius Recall.
I'd heard the rumors. Seems they were true. The gas engine in the Prius sometimes shuts down on the freeway. I had trouble starting mine when I rented one. Turns out I was just doing it wrong.
"Toyota is recalling 160,000 of its popular Prius hybrid cars because of an electrical / software problem that could cause the engine to stall. ... Toyota suspects a computer glitch. The problem can shut off the gasoline engine but is not regarded as a safety issue because drivers can still count on the hybrid's electric motor to steer to the side of the road. " - more
8/17/2005 Alt. Energy. Can you trick a Prius into getting 300 MPG?Some bloggers have said the numbers don't add up.
A Californian outfit, Energy CS, in Monrovia, CA has converted two Priuses to get up to 276mpg on lithium ion [ Saphion which are safer ] batteries. ... He was inspired to alter his car, he said, after learning that Asian Prius models had a "stealth" button enabling them to be switched to electric-only mode until they hit a certain speed. The electronic tweaks he performed "fool the hybrid system into thinking the battery is fully charged" so it uses battery power at all speeds, rather than just during deceleration." - telegraph
3/16/2005 Alt Energy / Strange Happenings. (woai) 'Baywatch' cop busted in bid to save electric cars.
GM is shipping EV1s to be crushed. "Baywatch" actress Alexandra Paul and another woman were arrested Monday after blocking the path of trucks hauling GM's pioneering EV1 electric cars to Arizona to be destroyed, police said.
"The company said the cars never became popular enough to turn a profit, and that they must be destroyed because there isn't a large enough supply of the car's 2,000 parts. That could make the vehicles unsafe and lead to lawsuits, GM contends. ... GM has declined the group's offer to pay a total of $1.9 million for the vehicles. "
"GM's EV1 was cute, quick and fun to drive. It could manage 70-90 miles on the energy equivalent of a half-gallon of gas in its 1200-lb lead-acid battery pack, and nearly twice that with a much more expensive NiMH pack." - carconnection
The EV1 may be gone, but the Prius is still going strong. I still want one.
"Toyota, which acknowledges that demand has been much higher than anticipated, will increase Prius production dramatically in 2005 -- from 10,000 a month to 15,000. It also will raise the price $580 to $20,875 starting in September." - aiada
2/28/2005 Alt Energy / Technology. Super Electric Vespa. A visitor to the site writes:
"Xenophilia: I was wondering if you could help get the word out about a revolutionary new EV that will be released in 2006. It cruises at over 60mph and goes up to 70 miles on a single charge would be the national average electricity cost. Of course, no noise or emissions. The website is www.vectrixusa.com , and here's an insider image of the bike's new design. I've ridden the VXe and it's amazing. ... PS: I am not a Vectrix employee, I just want the VXe to be available here."
Looks cool, and going 70 miles for around for 34 cents is amazing. Of course, you have to figure in the $8,000 price tag and the cost of replacing the fuel cell, but it still seems like a great deal for those quick hops around town.
10/5/04 Alt Energy / Reader Comments:
"I saw a car on your site but this one might beat it."
4/1/04 Hybrid Prius. I heard a rumor that the top speed of the 2004 Toyota Prius (gas and electric hybrid) was 80 mph. This is not true. It can do over 100 mph without much trouble according to our sources. Here are some photos from the road (and one from a race track?) from a reporter who tested it for us.
The 2004 hybrid vehicle has plenty of power and it can go as fast as you like.
Passing people is no problem. Getting 60 miles per gallon of gas is also no problem. The Prius does have a slighly longer stopping distance than the 2003 Infinity G35 and it would probably not win a drag race head to head with one, but our driver who loves to drive fast had no problem with the power of this hybrid car.
The Prius is excellent, fun to drive and good for the environment.
Most people ask where you plug it in. You don't plug it in. You never charge it, you just fill it with gas. The brakes and the gas engine charge the big battery. There is also a small auxillary battery used to start the car.
There is a trick: you have to have your foot on the brake to start it. The car has an automatic transmission. When you get close to it with your electronic key, the door unlocks automatically. The best part is knowing that you are saving lots of money because you get up to three times as many miles from each gallon of gas compared to the others on the road. Since the world starting to run out of easily obtainable oil, this is a very smart and environmentally friendly car to own in the next few years as prices soar! Verdict: Get one!
1/2/2004: Electric Vehicles: Here is a link to info on electric vehicles.
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