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Yes, the Auris with a bog-standard engine is much cheaper than the Hybrid version. Same for the most basic Focus compared to a Prius. The point is that once you add an 'ecoboost' engine with turbocharging, high compression ratio, etc, you end up with a car which isn't that much cheaper than a Prius (look at how much the current ecoboost focus model costs). The 'eco' version of any car range always seems to be a few thousand pounds more expensive. Diesels, on the other hand, seem like a pretty good deal.
@Dollared, probably if you wanted to match trim levels, the T4 at 22780 is closer. The top model ecoboost focus is actually the Titanium X at 21250. Probably you wont get much change out of 2000 pounds once you add all the Hyboost bells and whistles.
In the UK, a Prius starts at 21055 pounds. The most efficient current Ford Focus (ecoboost 1.6 Titanium) is 19750 pounds. The 'Hyboost Focus' is substantially more complicated (supercaps and regenerative braking and so on) so it remains to be seen whether the Hyboost would end up being substantially cheaper than a Prius. Of course there are other reasons that the Hyboost might be preferable to a Prius.
It is embarrassing that people still repeat the long-debunked claim that volcanos emit more CO2 than fossil fuel burning. But of course you can claim anything if you are prepared to make up your own numbers. According to USGS (US geological services): 'Volcanoes release more than 130 million tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere every year.' 'Our studies show that globally, volcanoes on land and under the sea release a total of about 200 million tonnes of CO2 annually.' By the way, the estimates from CDIAC are in GtC (Gigatons of Carbon), not carbon dioxide. CO2 emissions are more like 35 billion tons. Of course, on million-year timescales geological processes are very important (this is what the link is talking about, although it doesn't give any numbers).
Mannstein, is this the consumer reports piece you are talking about: 'But its range is often not what its gauge might indicate. One staffer found that the range was rapidly reduced from 36 miles to barely 19 one frigid morning.' Seems to be talking about indicated range at part charge being incorrect, not overall range. Range dropping to half under extreme conditions seems to be more typical, which is what the rest of the consumer reports piece says. It would be more informative if people gave links for these kind of claims, and a quote.
The sales of the Prius outside Japan seem to have partly been limited by availability. 2010 year-to-date figures seem to be consistent with stable sales outside Japan but large growth inside, and an increase in global sales of 40%. Spinning this is as a 'dissapointing' result for the Prius or hybrids in general is a bit bizarre in the context of economic conditions. A year-on-year increase of 30% is pretty explosive.
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Aug 6, 2010