…and then, on my commute this evening…
First, some backstory. We have a staff loudmouth- thinks he’s right, think’s he’s a genius in all matters, at all times, and doesn’t mind sharing with you, whether you asked or not. This might be at least tolerable, except the matters that he prefers are basically bashing. He’s a bitter, middle-aged man, and doesn’t get ‘these things’ and ‘those guys,’ but will go ahead and pass judgement anyway.
In particular, I remember about ten years ago, during winter, his dismissal of hybrids. The Prius and Insight were fairly new to the North American market, and it took a year or two to build up sales and really get into the public consciousness. When it got to his, he had no shortage of opinions. The last one before he finally grew tired was ‘and then at a light, you don’t start.’
Pure intellectual overreach- if my eyes could roll any harder, I’d have needed a tail rotor.
The Prius has an insulated “thermos”- engine coolant fills it during piston operation. In cold weather, the engine will then draw from it again, to stay warm and keep restarting from becoming difficult. The Insight did not have a thermos of coolant, but then again the Insight of that generation does not shut down the engine anywhere near as often. It rarely engages start-stop long enough to cool much, and has no “stealth mode.”
Both hybrids, however, have an engine computer, and apparently it’s smarter than my coworker. One of many operating parameters is engine temperature, and nowadays, usually ambient temperature as well. If it’s really that cold, the engine computer can simply not perform start-stop. Really, it’s a few more lines of code once the sensors are already there. A thousand engineers, managers, and marketers at Toyota and Honda are not so stupid as to forget about cold weather.
Needless to say, my coworker did not own a Prius or Insight. At the time, he drove a Ford Expedition, pal.
Anyway, my commute this evening. As I warm up the electric bike (not really), I see him pull out… in his hybrid. Ford Escape Hybrid. The company doesn’t even make the Expedition any more; stopped years ago. Ford is now a major player in the hybrid space, though not so much in plugins/pure battery vehicles.
Oh, and that old Expedition of his? Maroon. Big maroon.