Hybrid Toad

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Steve CDN

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What are the prospects of using a hybrid car as a toad?  Sales promotions are increasing and tax incentives are being offered so as the price of gas increases, a hybrid is looking more a interesting.

Can they be towed on all fours?  Do they need modification for towing? 
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I'm sure it depends on the make/model of hybrid and its drive system.  Most hybrids have a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) and front wheel drive, but that doesn't disqualify them for use as toads.  They might need lube pumps, though.

I saw a guy  towing a Ford Escape hybrid and he said it needed some mods, but I don't have any details.  But then, all Escapes with automatics need mods for towing anyway.  The only statement I can find from Ford about towing an Escape Hybrid is that it can be towed like any other vehicle, which doesn't help a whole lot.  There is a 4 wheel drive system for the Escape, including the hybrid, but it is a fully automatic system (without a neutral)  that normally operates in front wheel drive mode.

 

Steve CDN

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Hi Al,

Do you have an Escape Hybrid?  If so, would you share your reasons for getting one?  What does it require for recharging while parked overnight?
 

Ron

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Steve said:
Hi Al,

Do you have an Escape Hybrid?? If so, would you share your reasons for getting one?? What does it require for recharging while parked overnight?

Additional questions:  What is the life expectancy of the batteries and what will it cost to replace the Batteries?
 

JGarrick

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Ron said:
Additional questions:? What is the life expectancy of the batteries and what will it cost to replace the Batteries?

I found this at hybridcars.com:

How often do hybrid batteries need replacing? Is replacement expensive and disposal an environmental problem?

The hybrid battery packs are designed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 miles, probably a whole lot longer. The warranty covers the batteries for between eight and ten years, depending on the car maker.

Hybrids use NiMH batteries, not the environmentally problematic rechargeable nickel cadmium. "Nickel metal hydride batteries are benign. They can be fully recycled," says Ron Cogan, editor of the Green Car Journal. Toyota and Honda say that they will recycle dead batteries and that disposal will pose no toxic hazards. Toyota puts a phone number on each battery, and they pay a $200 "bounty" for each battery to help ensure that it will be properly recycled.

There's no definitive word on replacement costs because they are almost never replaced. According to Toyota, since the Prius first went on sale in 2000, they have not replaced a single battery for wear and tear.

About.com estimated replacement batteries at $2,000 - $3,000. Road and Track reported a dealer quote of $3420 for replacement batteries for a Prius, but also noted that by the time most people start needing replacements (8 years or so), the cost will probably be down to around $1,000 due to economies of scale in manufacturing.

I found another reference indicating that Toyota has reduced the warranty period to five years.
 

AlGriefer

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Steve said:
Hi Al,

Do you have an Escape Hybrid?? If so, would you share your reasons for getting one?? What does it require for recharging while parked overnight?

Hi Steve,

Sorry for the delay;  I've been hanging around with Tom and haven't been able to see the screen forthe past few days.  ;D

I don't have one, but I've been thinking of getting the Mercury Mariner because it get pretty great mileage; it's not terribly expensive, and it gets good to excellent performance.  It works like the Prius and there is no external recharging required; it charges the batteries either from the gas engine or by regenerative braking from the driveline.

I've read the owner's guide, but am not sure if the batteries get charged when braking while towed.  that would be nice!

Al
 

Pierat

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Just saw this thread. In case anyone researches this in the future: a 2005 Toyota Prius manual says that the car cannot be towed four wheels down. They do illustrate towing with the front wheels up, but there are specialized conditions for doing so and they recommend talking to your dealer or a good tow operator. FWIW, the Prius cannot tow anything itself, either. If anyone has used a Prius as a toad, please let me know!
 

Steve CDN

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Another option is to look at a AWD car and use a float trailer.  It's not my favorite option, but I wonder if there are any floats being made that are easy to manipulate?
 

Rollie

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Just saw this in USA Today 
http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/reviews/healey/2006-09-14-green-line-healey_x.htm
The article says it is towable all four down.
 
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