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  1. #1

    Default Hybrid rental cars

    Where is the best to look to rent a hybrid car for a road trip? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Haven't Seen It

    I can't think of any time I've seen hybrids offered as rentals from the major chains. You might find them at some of the very large rental places, but I think your best bet would be looking for a company that focuses on specialty rentals - and expect to pay a hefty premium too.

  3. #3
    RoadTrippers A & R Guest

    Default

    We have 700 of them in my works carpool.
    400 Hondas and 300 Toyotas.

    We also have 800 of the standard driveline versions of the same cars in the fleet too. Econo 4 cylinders.
    Fuel burn was closely watched and recorded.
    A little better city MPG, but the hybrids gave about the same as the standard driveline equiv on the road.

    Might be a wash of any savings.

  4. Default Hybrids for city...

    Hybrids work really well in stop & go city driving. That's where they excell in improving the mileage of the car -- the electric motor kicks in and accelerates the car up to speed, and then stores power back into the battery when the car brakes through a regenerable system. The gas engine runs at a constant speed to keep the battery topped off.

    But current generation of hybrids are designed that you need the engine to kick in for additional power when the car gets over a medium speed -- like 40 or so, if memory serves.

    So if you're commuting to and from work in rush hour traffic or running errands around the community, the hybrid works really well at maximizing your fuel economy

    If you're travelling a longer distance or at a higher rate of speed, like on a road trip or on the super highways, then the motor is going to be running pretty strongly all the time. This causes some hybrids to see a *lower* mileage on the highway than in the city...

    So.. if you're going on a road trip, a hybrid may not be the best choice. If you really do want to minimize the gas burned per passenger, go for a smaller car with a smaller gasoline engine, and run it at a moderate speed on the highway. And depending upon the trip and number of passengers, a larger car with lower mileage may make more sense if you can avoid taking a second car.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Larrison View Post
    Hybrids work really well in stop & go city driving. That's where they excell in improving the mileage of the car -- the electric motor kicks in and accelerates the car up to speed, and then stores power back into the battery when the car brakes through a regenerable system. The gas engine runs at a constant speed to keep the battery topped off.
    Larrison, this is the first time I hear this. I was shopping for a car last year and asked in another forum about hybrids. I was told that, because I have such a short commute (under 5 miles RT 4 days a week and light use during the weekends), and I live, work and socialize in the same city, a hybrid would probably not work for me. I was told that a hybrid works best with long-distance driving. What you are saying goes against this.

  6. #6
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Long distance=Gas

    macandal, it would appear that you got some definite incorrect information. Hybrids on long distance trips use more fuel than they do inner city.

    But, Larrison is right, they're designed for the stop and go of the city.

    -Brad

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Larrison is correct

    If you look at the EPA estimates, hybrids often do better in city than on the highway. The first two hybrids, the Prius and Honda's Insight, were this way. Some of the newer models based on existing cars still skew a little higher on the highway.

    The reason hybrids do better in town is because of how they are designed. When you are driving at a slower speed, you can use the electric motor more, and since there is also more breaking, there is more time where the battery is being recharged.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thanks guys for clearing this issue for me.

    One more question, why don't hybrids come in manual shift? They're all automatic? The Honda Civic did, for one year only, come in automatic and manual, but they discontinued it after that. This was probably 4 years ago. Why? And now that I'm at it, lately I've been shopping around for cars again, what would you guys recommend? Thanks.

  9. #9
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Transmissions: My theory

    I'm not 100% certain, but it may have to do with too much loss of power when shifting that makes hybrid makers choose an Automatic only setup vs. Manual/Auto options, or at least something along those lines.

  10. Default Another way to look at this...

    Quote Originally Posted by macandal View Post
    Larrison, this is the first time I hear this. I was shopping for a car last year and asked in another forum about hybrids. I was told that, because I have such a short commute (under 5 miles RT 4 days a week and light use during the weekends), and I live, work and socialize in the same city, a hybrid would probably not work for me. I was told that a hybrid works best with long-distance driving. What you are saying goes against this.

    macandal --

    There's another way to look at this. If you buy a hybrid, you pay a premium for the hybrid setup. If memory serves, its around $3000-5000 per car. If you drive a longer distance per week (or per year), the gas savings add up, and you end up paying less overall since you get better mileage. However, if you only drive a few miles per week, you'll probably never make up the price differential from gasoline cost savings. You're only driving maybe 1000-2000 miles per year which means you probably won't ever pay off the price differential for owning a hybrid.

    So.. a hybrid pays off when you do a lot of driving per year, versus not doing much per year.

    Looked at a bit sideways, that's sort of saying that a hybrid works best for long distance driving (per year). Which is sort of what you heard.

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