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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Honda, where do we start? Before I my Ridgeline, I owned an Odyssey that was loaded and much loved. When we moved to Hawaii I wanted something a little more masculine and functional so I ordered a Ridgeline RL. Loved the in truck bed storage, 5 star crash rating, unibody construction, Odyssey engine, and roomy interior.

On the other hand I’d often wonder why Honda didn’t manufacture a “lumber/sports rack” or provide attachment points for after market manufactures. I believe you missed a huge opportunity to attract sportsmen, contractors and workmen.

Here is my beef, I’m getting 13 mpg! The Ridgeline has always been dealer serviced and I’m a family man not a speed demon. Feeding this beast is killing me!

In looking for a replacement I have discovered the Toyota Highlander Hybrid that has been on the market as long as my Ridgeline.

Here is my suggestion:

• Why make a Ridgeline Hybrid using similar technology as the Highlander.
• Put an extended range battery in the trunk – this is key!
• Offer a rigid folding tonneau cover with integrated photo voltaic cells.
• Aside of looking cool and protecting what ever is in the truck bed this tonneau cover would improve wind resistance, charge the batteries and improve mileage.
• Market this Hybrid as the best mileage extended range mid size truck and don't forget the sports/lumber rack mounting points!


If you can do this Honda will regain its Ridgeline truck sales footing, market credibility and brand loyalty. You could dominate this sector! :cheerleader:Now if you take my advice, I hope you wont mind giving me one of the new Hybrid Ridgeline! http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/images/smilies/cheerleader.gif
 

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Love your ideas. Offer it in all trim levels. Don't want to have to buy navi and leather with these options. Would price it at Escalade level!
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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I, for one, have zero interest in a hybrid vehicle. I intend to own for the long term, and from what I've gathered, hybrids offer no advantage and their resale is adversely affected. This would be another niche vehicle, at best.

I want my trunk so I can use it! Not fill it up with an expensive to replace battery pack. In addition, the tonneau has not been shown to offer any mpg improvement.

Regarding your poor mileage, I'm betting you drive frequent short trips. Would that be accurate?
 

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What! Give up the trunk for batteries? You gotta be kidding.
BTW batteries are not energy sources anyway. They just store energy that you get from electrical power generating plants. Think about where that comes from in Hawaii and your KWH cost.
 

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Electrical/hybrids etc, may have a place in smaller commuters. In heavier duty vehicles that rely on utility and cargo space, more efficient engines like the Eco Boost make more sense.
 

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Keep in mind, most consumers are not that educated about automotive technology, and they are the ones unknowingly willing to accept less for their money.
They just see Hondas a 'nice cars that seem to last a long time'.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your replies folks! We have a lot of differing opinions here. Sorry if I was confusing.

Speedlever, the Ridgeline keeps its engine and gains electric motors powering front or rear. The vehicle could run on battery power at low to mid range speeds then the engine kicks in. As for hybrid resale values our Ridgelines already have a strong resale (see consumer reports) and this option could only improve that.

As for you tonneau covers not improving milage (by smoothing out air flow) you may be swayed by this (http://www.realtruck.com/resource-center/research-guides/tonneau-cover/tonneaus-improve-gas-mileage/). If not remember its just a novel idea/option offering a way to help charge the cells and hide whats in your bed.

RollinHonda I agree with you and wish Honda could adopt some of Fords EcoBoost technology for increased power. According to MotorTrend the Ford F-150 EcoBoost Rated at 16 MPG City, 22 Highway.

dk miller - The Ridgeline would keep its engine & charge its own battery (google Toyota Highlander Hybrid to see how they do it). I would gladly give up my trunk space for better mileage. If I bought a Highlander I would go from 13mpg to 27mpg. My question is why can't Honda do this. They would increase the trucks power, increase its mileage, and performance. Win win win.

Thank you all for your thoughts! Lets hope Honda is reading! http://www.ridgelineownersclub.com/forums/images/smilies/action-smiley-035.gif
 

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2008 Ridgeline RTS in Billet Silver Metallic
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Thomas,

While I appreciate your enthusiasm, I am not as enamored of the hybrid technology as you are. Have you investigated the long term pros/cons of the hybrid system? I have not done so personally, but what I have gathered over time indicates to me that the only benefit here and now is mpg.. and that may well be offset by high costs to replace the battery pack down the road, not to mention the anti-green aspect of producing and disposing of the battery pack. Also, I am not willing to give up my in-bed trunk for an additional 5-10 mpg. I would have bought another vehicle entirely if fuel efficiency was my primary goal.

Regarding resale values, you can't compare a hybrid non-existant RL to a real world RL. Nor can you extrapolate the used value of a non-existant vehicle.

I've driven hybrid vehicles before and have been favorably impressed with the power, etc. But for long term ownership, I don't see it being cost effective or desirable, at least, not in its present form.

The tonneau cover is an individual thing. I have no interest or use for one. Frankly, it would hinder the way I use my RL:



 

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As a two time Hybrid owner. I can tell you that Civic Hybrid would get the same mileage if all the IMA stuff was removed. The old 1980 -85 Civics with that size engine got 60 mpg all the time. The city might be a bit lower if you have a lot of red lights, but the IMA cutoff need recharge time and the 3rd straight light in 1 mile get no more engine cut off. Removing the weight of the IMA and Battery on the Civic Hybrid (and Insight) would result similar MPG. What might be sacrificed is the full battery assist on acceleration from a dead stop. - A turbo assist would give more than the 10hp the new IMA provides.

Batteries do not last as long and cost so much that any savings in gas is more than offset by the cost of batteries and you have to drive the Civic Hybrid in it's manor to get the MPG, if you creep with the traffic, you get no gain, the dead stop IMA engine cut off is what give the city the better MPG, you have to get to 9 mph for about 300 ft before it will cycle again. I got better than the EPA driving it. Most folks do not because they drive it like it was a regular car and it fails to deliver the better mileage because the engine is running when it should be off saving gas.

The Ridgeline weighs so much that the Honda IMA (integrated motor assist) is useless, It would need something like the Accord Hybrid had and it only added 2 mpg in town and none on the road ( actually MPG less ).

What we need is what Peugeot had in their European trucks - a flywheel assist that got to speed while slowing and allowed the engine to cut off at stop signs and red lights. It had electric A/C and Power Steering like the Civic Hybrid does. It had the technology problem that the engine did not always restart when the brake was released, so most were converted back to non cutoff versions when the started failed prematurely.
 

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I have read most gas stations are selling more percentages of ethanol mixed gasoline these days. You may be getting less mileage due to the fact that your gas is more alcohol than fossil fuel. There are a couple of staions in my area that have signs that say they only sell 100% gasoline, But most places have at least 10% corn whiskey in their gas. It makes a difference in the mileage.
 
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