By on July 25, 2008

Duh-dum. Duh-dum. (courtesy autoblog.com)Just kidding. Toyota wouldn't say that, what with Motown's implosion about to force the transplants to paint themselves as nativists. But even if they aren't saying it, they're doing it. The Nikkan Kogyo [via Automotive News, sub] reports that the Japanese automaker is shifting non-Prius production out of its Tsutsumi plant to build as many gas – electric vehicles as they can (presumably without working their employees to death). No question: ToMoCo's going Hell for leather. Last year, they sold 281,300 Priora. With these changes, they'll be cranking-out at least 480k units. By the time a single example of GM's Hail Mary-shaped plug-in electric – gas hybrid hits the streets, Toyota will be building their fuel-sipper stateside. ToMoCo will have amped-up (so to speak) worldwide Priora production to 1m unit p.a. Whilst shunning the grammatical consensus on Prius pluratization established by TTAC's Best and Brightest, AN reports that Toyota built "320 Priuses in China last year." What's that all about? 

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50 Comments on “Toyota to GM: We Will Bury You in Priora!...”


  • avatar
    mgrabo

    Worse yet for GM, the Volt will likely barely hit the market before ToMoCo leverages that additional, flexible capacity to start introducing Prius variants like the El Camino & Subaru BRAT inspired Synergy drive A-BAT concept.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    That’s Hellbent for Leather, not that that makes any more sense.

    The limiting factor is batteries and I doubt that that has changed a great deal. Toy would love to bury everyone in Prii but I don’t think that they will be able to.

    That’s a lot of thats. That’s all.

  • avatar
    NickR

    By the time a single example of GM’s Hail Mary-shaped plug-in electric – gas hybrid [is supposed to] hit the streets, Toyota will be building their fuel-sipper stateside, amping-up (so to speak) to 1m Priora produced

    And quite possibly be on it’s third generation, which will offer improved everything. With those economies of scale, up-contenting the Prius and improving the technology (mileage) will be paid for in no time. The chasm widens…

  • avatar

    I can’t see Toyota mass-producing their hybrids in China. Profit be damned, its not worth losing their intellectual property (think Synergy drive) and all that they’ve worked for to achieve this technological lead.

    Ford and GM are fucked. One of them is going to survive….but they are literally ten years behind now. 2010, 2011 and 2012 ain’t gonna do bupkis for them. Sorry to say…

    The history books will show the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius BEING PRODUCED AND FOR SALE in 1999 and 1997, respectfully. Meanwhile, Ford and GM were A DECADE BEHIND. Ballgame.

  • avatar
    ash78

    MgoBLUE

    The history books will show the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius BEING PRODUCED AND FOR SALE in 1999 and 1997, respectfully. Meanwhile, Ford and GM were A DECADE BEHIND. Ballgame.

    Very good comment. While the relative VALUE of a hybrid was pretty slim (to none) for a decade, it’s becoming pretty clear for many people now. But yes, this will go down in history as an example of business insight vs. serious lag.

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    While a great solution for some drivers, inner-city stop and go primarily, hybrids are not the best solution (environmentally or economically) for the way most Americans actually drive. With many hybrid owners realizing the numbers just don’t add up for them, it does beg the question (albeit an unpopular and controversial one) as to how many the market will actually bear.

    That being said, sling all the “naysayer” mud in my direction you want

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Ten years from now, the majority of new vehicles will probably include hybrid technology. Heaters, radios, oil filters, power brakes, power steering, automatic transmissions, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, fuel injection, radial tires, disc brakes, power windows, power door locks and carpeted floors once were either costly options or only available on luxury vehicles and now are run of the mill.

    Oh to be a battery maker :).

  • avatar

    “priora”
    makes it sound like priuses are cars of the cloth. Of course, given their small env’tal footprint, maybe some see them that way.

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    John Horner Says:

    “Ten years from now, the majority of new vehicles will probably include hybrid technology”

    The real question is should the majority include hybrid systems if that’s not the most efficient way for the majority of drivers. Full electrics may very well take the inner-city market and these things are not great on the highway b/c that’s not where electric motors are efficient. IMHO, hybrids are a niche product milestone on the road to some other more efficient solution.

  • avatar
    design89

    Wait a couple more years when the warranty ends on the Prius battery packs ,not such a great idea now and then.
    Does the prius still run with out any batteries?

  • avatar

    Eastaboga, “With many hybrid owners realizing the numbers just don’t add up for them..”

    Huhh? What are you basing this on” EPA estimates, most people don’t get the EPA mileage on any car. Edmunds did a fuel mileage shootout and while the VW diesel eked out better highway mileage, the Prius was the most fuel efficient in both city and combined actual mileage, I have yet to see hordes of dissatisfied Prius owners turning in masses of Prius vehicles due to their disappointment.

    If you are speaking of an monetary payoff most people will always lose money if they buy a new car for the sole purpose of saving money. However, for virtually every single person if they have already committed to buying a vehicle larger than a subcompact, there is a payoff of saving money if they purchase the most fuel efficient vehicle that fits their needs and for vehicles larger than a subcompact the Prius is a winner.

  • avatar
    DragDog

    Huhh?

    It’s true that a Prius gets excellent mileage, but those savings rarely compensate for the extra cost of buying a Prius. Every year or so I run the numbers on buying a Prius and 10 year’s worth of gas based on EPA estimates, versus an equivalent non-hybrid (i.e. Yaris) and 10 year’s gas for that car. The Prius+gas has always been more expensive.

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    Sherman Lin Says:

    “Huhh? What are you basing this on”

    http://www.wired.com/cars/energy/news/2004/05/63541

    http://www.investors.com/breakingnews.asp?journalid=21225877&brk=1

    http://forums.motortrend.com/70/1045478/the-general-forum/real-world-gas-mileage-prius-vs-aveo/index.html

    http://www.reason.org/commentaries/dalmia_20060719.shtml

    Well, with all due respect, I’m getting tired of cutting and pasting, Google it yourself. The VW Diesel v. Prius is a bit of a red herring and I’m not taking the bait on that one. Do the numbers for Carolla v. Prius. I don’t hate hybrids, far from it. I’ve driven a Prius for a few days as a rental and was very pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was to drive and the great city mileage, but they’re not a panacea, they’re just not, sorry.

  • avatar
    paulb

    here’s a point scored for prius owners… myth busted!

    http://www.motorauthority.com/cars/toyota/toyota-prius-taxi-tops-340000mi-dispels-battery-myth/

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    paulb Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    “here’s a point scored for prius owners”

    Again, with all due respect, that’s exactly what bugs me about this entire issue, everybody’s keeping score but nobody’s looking at the whole ballgame. Hybrids, gas & diesel are all going to be around for a very long time. Which one, or combination of them, is better is always going to be a function each driver’s individual situation.

  • avatar
    fellswoop

    one of eastaboga’s linked articles says:

    “It’s gonna take gas to reach at least $2.50 to $2.65 to make them (hybrids) viable for a return on investment within five years,”

    Yeah, THAT’ll be the day…

    Extra points for linking to the endlessly debunked and ridiculous “hummer better than Prius because it will last 300,000 miles instead of only 100,000” article.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I like “Priora” as the plural form. It’s easy to enunciate in conversation.

    But a lot of people call the plural “Prii” (pronounced “Pree-eye”, the reverse of Hawaii, “Ha-why-ee”).

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    fellswoop Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    “one of eastaboga’s linked articles says:”

    OK, I was making a point that there’s a large body of data in response to Sherman Lin ‘s question. Again, will all due respect you’re missing the point. A Hummer is not better, but a Carolla probably is for most

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    paulb Says:

    here’s a point scored for prius owners… myth busted!

    http://www.motorauthority.com/cars/toyota/toyota-prius-taxi-tops-340000mi-dispels-battery-myth/

    Thank you for this! Personally, I’m getting tired of correcting this and so many other myths. It’s nice to have a bit of help from time to time!

  • avatar
    markpitts

    Hell for leather, on the other hand, means “fast”. It occurs twice (1889, 1893) in Kipling’s stories of the British Army in India. In both cases it refers to horse-riding and leather probably refers to the saddle. It may have originated as Army slang or it could possibly have been one of Kipling’s inventions.

    http://www.takeourword.com/TOW154/page2.html

  • avatar
    M1EK

    Yay, the liars are out in force! Why don’t you guys see if you can go get GM to make some small cars instead of continuing this nonsense?

    and these things are not great on the highway

    The Prius has higher EPA highway mileage than any other car sold in the US. Yes, they do great on the highway.

    Wait a couple more years when the warranty ends on the Prius battery packs ,not such a great idea now and then.

    The battery packs are likely to last the life of the car. More FUD.

    versus an equivalent non-hybrid (i.e. Yaris)

    The Yaris is not one but TWO cars smaller than the Prius. The Corolla is smaller, but at least close (Prius is between Corolla and Camry; closer to Camry in most ways that matter).

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    M1EK Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 2:20 pm

    “Yay, the liars are out in force!”

    So anyone who disagrees with you is a liar. Wow, you must be a real hoot at a dinner party.

    Let’s get back to indisputable facts and see if we can’t clear the water here. The Prius gets great gas mileage on the highway b/c it has a small gas engine, is aerodynamic and relatively light weight. I say relatively light weight b/c on the highway the hybrid system is not operating. You are however, carrying around a 400 lb. ni-hd battery, electric motor, etc. that is doing nothing, akin a couple of obese friends in the backseat.

    Electric motors are not efficient on steady loads, like, oh I don’t know, driving on the freeway. That’s just physics, until someone digs up Newton and Einstein and rewrites those laws, that’s just how it’s going to be.

    So I’ll reiterate the most salient point from my previous comment which no one seems to want to discuss:

    “Do the numbers for Carolla v. Prius. I don’t hate hybrids, far from it. I’ve driven a Prius for a few days as a rental and was very pleasantly surprised by how much fun it was to drive and the great city mileage, but they’re not a panacea, they’re just not, sorry.”

    Do the numbers for total cost of ownership, environmental impact, the whole lot, not just one area, and then decide for yourself. I consider myself an environmentalist, and I’m offended everyone’s willingness to jump on these panacea solution, nevermind the derision and vitriol.

    Well. I said in my original comment, “sling all the “naysayer” mud”

  • avatar
    dhanson865

    about highway speeds and hybrid fuel efficiency

    All numbers are EPA 2008 hwy only

    First lets compare hybrid vs non hybrid

    Camry manual or auto = 31
    Camry hybrid = 34

    Civic manual = 34
    Civic auto = 36
    Civic hybrid = 45

    In the case of the Camry the engine size is the same, maybe they make it up in transmission gearing.

    In the case of the Civic the non hybrid gets a 1.8 liter 4 cyl engine, the hybrid gets a 1.3 liter 4 cyl engine plus an electric motor.

    anyway comparing the 2008 EPA hwy numbers for anything I could find non hybrid above 30 MPG or so vs the usual suspects we have

    Prius 45
    Civic Hybrid 45

    Smart fortwo 41 (coupe or convertible)
    Mini Cooper manual 37
    Corolla manual 37
    Civic auto 36
    Yaris manual 36
    Corolla auto 35
    Yaris auto 35
    Fit (either) 34
    Civic manual 34
    Mini Cooper auto 34
    Matrix manual 33
    Matrix auto 31

    Hopefully that makes it obvious how much the hybrid gains you even in highway driving.

    It’s also surprising that a “slushbox” or automatic transmission does not always give you lower MPG.

  • avatar
    dhanson865

    Oh and for estaboga

    Prius 45 hwy, 48 city
    Corolla manual 37 hwy, 28 city
    Corolla auto 35 hwy, 26 city
    Matrix manual 33 hwy, 26 city
    Matrix auto 31 hwy, 25 city

    I’d say the matrix is the closest comparison to size and utility to a Prius.

    Corolla or Matrix I’m willing to use either number. Show me the math you use that says the extra 8 MPG highway and 20 MPG city doesn’t help enough versus the Corolla and remember it has less cargo area. Or show me the math on 12 MPG highway and 22 MPG city versus the Matrix.

  • avatar
    DragDog

    The Yaris is not one but TWO cars smaller than the Prius. The Corolla is smaller, but at least close (Prius is between Corolla and Camry; closer to Camry in most ways that matter).

    Fine, I ran the numbers again with a Corolla AT, and the MSRP+Gas on the Corolla is still less than on a Prius, albeit by a slim margin.

    I think going into more detail, considering maintenance, insurance, and financing, will only make the Prius a worse deal.

    I also consider myself an environmentalist, and it’s certainly debatable which one is better for the environment. But every time I crunch the numbers on dollars, the hybrid is a worse economic value.

  • avatar
    dhanson865

    fwiw the EPA website http://www.fueleconomy.gov is using $4.11 per gallon for fuel calculations and shows the Prius using less fuel per year in the neighborhood of

    $865 per year Matrix (assuming 15,000 miles)
    $790 per year Corolla(assuming 15,000 miles)

    Using $19,320 for a Matrix with Auto and a mid line package and $17,369 for a similarly specced Corolla how many years do you consider in your math?

  • avatar
    DragDog

    Assuming 15k miles for 10 years = 150k miles; $4.19/gallon fuel.

    Prius:
    48/45 mpg = 46.5 avg
    150,000 miles / 46.5 = 3,225 gal = $13,516 fuel + $22,875 MSRP = $36,391

    Corolla:
    27/35 mpg = 31 avg
    150,000 miles / 31 = 4,839 gal = $20,274 fuel + $16,050 MSRP = $36,324

    Like I said, the Corolla wins by a slim margin, but we’re not counting financing, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, or inflation, all of which hurt the Prius more since its purchase price is higher. 15k miles/year is also pretty high for someone who’s aiming to conserve fuel.

  • avatar
    cleek

    Most of the Prius owners I know bought them for the commuter lane sticker – the antithesis of the hybrid’s value proposition.

    Damn the EPA estimates and the relative efficiency of the VDub. They aren’t worth
    much creeping along in daily rush hour
    traffic.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    To be fair, you need to slot the Prius against BOTH the Camry AND the Corolla (if you’re using it strictly as a commuter, the Corolla is reasonable; as a family car, the Camry is reasonable but not the Corolla).

    As for highway MPG – yes, the hybrid system helps, because you could never sell a car like this with a gas engine that small – it would take 20-30 seconds to get up to highway speed. To say nothing of the fact that the battery allows the gas engine to stay more in its comfort zone.

    As for depreciation, maintenance, etc: the Prius is better on those counts (maybe not insurance) than the Corolla. Had the lowest depreciation of any mass-market car, as a matter of fact, last time I looked. Costs less in maintenance – things like brake pads last a lot longer (check those hybrid taxis if you don’t believe it).

    You guys are just repeating old, discredited, FUD (lies); don’t be surprised when those who know better call you on it. If you could only spend this much energy getting GM to make cars that didn’t suck, we’d all be so much better off.

  • avatar
    eastaboga

    dhanson865 Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    “Hopefully that makes it obvious how much the hybrid gains you even in highway driving.”

    &

    M1EK Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    “As for highway MPG – yes, the hybrid system helps, because you could never sell a car like this with a gas engine that small – it would take 20-30 seconds to get up to highway speed. To say nothing of the fact that the battery allows the gas engine to stay more in its comfort zone.”

    Again, the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system does NOT work on the freeway AT ALL. The system (and it’s 400 pound battery, heavy motor, etc) is shutdown. If Toyota changes that part of the system that changes the math.

    I don’t work for GM everybody, I work for a supplier whose biggest customer is….wait for it….Toyota.

    I’m going home

  • avatar

    Anyone who rushes out to buy a new car simply to save money on gas when they don’t already need a new car always loses.

    Trying to calculate payoff is assine. For most people like me you have a set budget of x dollars and you have a set of needs and wants in a range of category sizes.

    If you are already going to buy a new car no matter what and you are budgeting say 25,000 for a midsize car the Prius is a winner and you save money.

    If you go out and buy one just to save gas when your existing car is fine then you lose money.

    It really is that simple

  • avatar

    According to Edmunds testing the Prius shines in city stop and go travel not the highway

  • avatar
    sfaktor

    Any idea how the Aygo would compare in total cost were it sold in Yankeeland? It seems like it would be large enough to do most things with 1-3 people. It could probably hold 4-5 for a short trip?

  • avatar
    dhanson865

    M1EK do you really think the Camry is the right comparison?

    again from http://www.fueleconomy.gov

    cubic feet passenger/luggage

    Camry 101/15 (116 total)
    Prius 96/16 (112 total)
    Matrix 94/22 (116 total)
    Corolla 89/14 (103 total)

    Seems like the Matrix is the closest match in usable space to me.

  • avatar
    dhanson865

    @eastaboga

    the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system does NOT work on the freeway AT ALL. The system (and it’s 400 pound battery, heavy motor, etc) is shutdown.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/fe_test_schedules.shtml
    shows that highway testing includes a considerable amount of time in the 30 to 60 mph speed range.

    The Prius won’t shut off the HSD during a noticable portion of the EPA highway test.

    There is now a “high speed” test that goes up to 80 MPH briefly but that test spends a lot of time around 60 MPH. Even then that test includes periods of speed low enough for the HSD to engage.

    City test
    Top speed 56 mph
    avg speed 20 mph
    max accel 3.3 mph/sec
    sim distance 11 miles
    time 31 minutes
    engine idle time 18%
    engine start temp cold
    lab temp 68 to 86 F
    vehicle air conditioning off

    Highway
    Top speed 60 mph
    avg speed 48 mph
    max accel 3.2 mph/sec
    sim distance 10 miles
    time 12.5 minutes
    engine idle time 0%
    engine start temp warm
    lab temp 68 to 86 F
    vehicle air conditioning off

    High Speed
    Top speed 80 mph
    avg speed 48 mph
    max accel 8.46 mph/sec
    sim distance 8 miles
    time 10 minutes
    engine idle time 7%
    engine start temp warm
    lab temp 68 to 86 F
    vehicle air conditioning off

    It’s easier to tell in the graphs but the text should still allow you to notice how in each of the tests the hybrid drives get to be in play during part of the test.

    Now you could say they need a third category for posted MPG as currently there is no long trip representation in the EPA testing. But you can’t say that the hybrid synergy drive isn’t used during the high speed epa test.

  • avatar
    M1EK

    eastaboga, again, the point you’re missing is that you could not sell a midsize car with a gas engine this small. People wouldn’t buy it, because it would take too long to get up to highway speed.

    So, yes, the hybrid system helps, even if you ignore my comments about it helping even out the load at highway speeds – because without the hybrid system, you wouldn’t be able to get up to highway speed to begin with.

    dhanson, yes, the Matrix is a pretty decent comparison choice – I don’t usually think of it because people are usually talking Corolla (non-Matrix) vs. Camry; it’s clearly between those two.

  • avatar
    CSJohnston

    I understand that trends and forecasting future demand for a car is something very important to TTAC but before we convince ourselves that somehow Toyota and Honda developed the Prius/Insight because they just knew world oil prices would skyrocket and drivers would collectively lose their minds all at once is crap.

    Yogi Berra once said, roughly, that winning is 50% skill, 50% effort and 90% luck.

    As far as hybrids are concerned, that’s what Toyota got… lucky.

    Do you think if gas prices remained constant over the past three or four years any of us would care about hybrid technology beyond its “green” credentials?

    Would it have gone down in history as a techological marvel, like the Chrysler Turbine engine or even the EV1?

    If we sit here now and postulate on what’s going to sell five or ten years from now, ask yourself what you thought was going to be really big in 2003?

    If for some reason, the market or the consumer environment shifts, Toyota might be holding the bag on a whole bunch of long-term battery contracts and forced to build a bunch of cars nobody wants.

    Sound familar?

  • avatar
    KixStart

    eastaboga wrote: “Again, the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system does NOT work on the freeway AT ALL. The system (and it’s 400 pound battery, heavy motor, etc) is shutdown. If Toyota changes that part of the system that changes the math.”

    Not quite. Part of the HSD “system” is the freedom to use a small motor that uses an Atkinson cycle to boost efficiency at the expense of power. Without HSD, Toyota would have to use a bigger motor. With it, they’re free to conventionally underpower the car and get much better highway fuel economy.

    Yeah, you can’t escape the “two fat friends” you’re carrying around on the highway but the impact of that on flat ground is fairly low, Cx and engine efficiency are more important. Future battery tech will probably reduce that penalty, too.

    Update: I googled and this link puts the Prius battery pack at 53kg – about 130lbs.

    http://www.cleangreencar.co.nz/page/prius-battery-pack

    The people I know who drive their Priora moderately on the highway actually get about 55-60mpg. Not shabby.

  • avatar

    # mgrabo Says:
    July 25th, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Worse yet for GM, the Volt will likely barely hit the market before ToMoCo leverages that additional, flexible capacity to start introducing Prius variants like the El Camino & Subaru BRAT inspired Synergy drive A-BAT concept.

    I’d like to know how soon the A-BAT’s going to come out as a production vehicle. Unless Toyota’s already gearing up for the production version it’s not going to come out for at least another two years.

    I think the Prius will be able to beat the Volt handily by itself. That said, I’d be willing to help Toyota, even though my family’s never bought a Japanese vehicle, ever, if they’d make a better looking version of the A-BAT and released it to the public.

    But it would have to be under $30K to scratch the market. $20K and it’ll sell quite well.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I say GM should sell rebadged Priora at Saturn

  • avatar
    Brock_Landers

    quote: Again, the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system does NOT work on the freeway AT ALL. The system (and it’s 400 pound battery, heavy motor, etc) is shutdown. If Toyota changes that part of the system that changes the math.

    You obviously haven’t driven the Prius then :) Easiest thing is to monitor the hybrid screen during driving. Electric motor is not giving power when cruising at steady speed on highway (then the car uses minimal amount of power and additional powerboost is not needed, 1.5 gasloline engine is enough to keep the car moving very economically at steady highway speeds), but when you really need the power on the highway to pass slower cars or to go uphill and give Prius full throttle then the torquey electric engine gives additional power. Otherwise it would be a real pain to overtake with the 1.5L gasoline engine alone. Because of the electric motor is helping at higher speeds Prius is so smooth and doesn’t need to be revved like ordinary small gasoline engined cars when overtaking.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    This entire thread is missing the point. Badly. Toyota took a risk on taking a well known technology to market and got lucky, but they took that technology to market in anticipation of there being a market. Toyota could have dropped the Prius after the much less successfull first generation, but didn’t – I think if gas was cheap, they would still have a Prius, and sell it to a niche market.

    The talk about whether or not a Prius saves money compared to X car is mostly beside the point. It still gets better mileage than anything else on the road. People buy them for many reasons, and many people that can afford MUCH more buy them. As much as you guys like to talk, lets face some other facts: auto exhaust is pollution (NOT just CO2). Oil use has made many countries with less than pretty ideologies stinking rich. Simply speaking, the Prius halo effect is well deserved. This is why it’s a big deal.

    There are perfectly good reasons not to like the Prius, but give up on attacking the halo. The Prius (not Toyota as a whole, but the Prius) has the mileage, it has the green cred (to an extent diesel does not match, with it’s particulates and other pollution), and it is priced well within reach of most average people. It is a very real HALO car.

    If you hate the Prius, don’t drive one. Complain about it’s boring driving dynamics, or complain that it’s slow. Complain that it’s drivers are self-righteous, even that (BMW drivers have a similar bad rep). Just quit trying to attack the halo, because you aren’t getting anywhere. It’s like attacking the Veyron on horsepower, or Lotus or BMW on handling. You’re making a fool of yourself.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Brock_Landers is correct — the HSD isn’t “dead weight” at highway speeds, it uses some engine power to keep the battery charged so that passing power is available when needed. If you go overboard with the gas pedal, you’ll eventually deplete the battery beyond the ability of the system to recharge it, and suffer much diminished performance. But the people that buy this car don’t expect unlimited amounts of passing power — they “get it”.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Dimwit Says: “The limiting factor is batteries and I doubt that that has changed a great deal. Toy would love to bury everyone in Prii but I don’t think that they will be able to.”I would imagine it’s highly unlikely that Toyota would be building a second Prius plant that effectively doubles production capacity if they didn’t anticipate solving the battery supply problem to keep up with demand.

    However, I can see it as a big factor as to why the next gen Prius will soldier on with NiMH batteries instead of Li-Ions. By the time the Mississippi Prius plant ramps-up, there might be plenty of NiMHs to go around but Li-Ions? Not so much. Toyota definitely doesn’t want to be caught flat-footed a second time without an adequate supply of Priuses to meet anticipated demand.

    It’s a foregone conclusion that with the outgoing 2nd generation Prius that’s been in production for six years still being in short supply, the brand-new, 3rd gen MY2010 version will be in even shorter supply/higher demand.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    shaker Says: “Brock_Landers is correct — the HSD isn’t “dead weight” at highway speeds, it uses some engine power to keep the battery charged so that passing power is available when needed. If you go overboard with the gas pedal, you’ll eventually deplete the battery beyond the ability of the system to recharge it, and suffer much diminished performance. But the people that buy this car don’t expect unlimited amounts of passing power — they “get it”.”And therein lies the real beauty and technological breakthrough of the Prius. It’s not the batteries or electric motor, it’s the way Toyota was able to integrate them into operating with the ICE in the most efficient manner without sacrificing longevity.

    It’s tough to get two completely different modes of propulsion to operate in harmony a high percentage of the time but Toyota managed to figure out a way to do it.

  • avatar
    T2

    @design89
    Wait a couple more years when the warranty ends on the Prius battery packs ,not such a great idea now and then.
    Does the prius still run with out any batteries?
    I’ve been considering that same question for some time. I am assuming as a designer you are familiar with HSD theory.
    Then we would both know the short answer is that a batteryfree is entirely possible. The relevance of this short answer may be become important later on.
    Right now we know that the NiMH chemistry is robust enough to survive premature aging despite thousands of charge/discharge cycles and to a very high confidence level.
    What we don’t know yet, however, is when the aging by the calendar is going to become problematic. All we know for certain is that this train will pull into the station eventually. The same topic has been raised on the Edmunds forum stemming from the following observation on the Prius population :
    The majority of Priora are less than five years old. Remember it was around May 2007 that dealer incentives were in place to offset the expiring tax credit advantage. So there may yet be something unexpected when significant numbers of vehicles exceed seven years of service. Will the Prius experience a midlife crisis ? Time will tell.

    I’ve been proposing this virtual battery idea from the get go although it is a very hard sell to those who want a part time electric car ( because stealth is cool !) and to those PHEV types who may have vested interests in hijacking the Prius design so they can peddle their exotic chemicals to non-technical beneficiaries (meaning average-Joe motorists).

    Bob Lutz is also on record regarding a batteryfree VOLT, so may be GM will see the light also.

    I happen to see this idea having a huge potential in continuing to provide most of the advantages of hybridisation while simultaneously reducing the hybrid premium by the unpalatable cost of those NiMH or Li-ion $3000 boutique power sources.
    T2

  • avatar
    rudiger

    T2 Says: “The majority of Priora are less than five years old.”To date, there have been very few battery failures since the Prius first went into production in 1997.

    The batteries of the current Prius are warranted for 100k miles or 8 years. Toyota aimed for a service life in excess of 150k miles and 10 years. To achieve this, Toyota has designed the system to keep the battery in a state of charge between 40-60%, which allows the battery to match the service life of all other major vehicle components.

    Of the minimal amount of failures, the vast majority have been due to other than ‘natural causes’, such as an accidental breach of the battery case or overuse of the battery through the overriding of the factory control mechanisms, i.e., aftermarket installation of an ‘EV’ button.

    Even so, Toyota is very sensitive to the issue of battery failure and replacement, meaning that even though a Prius battery may have failed under a non-warranty situation, Toyota is still replacing virtually all of those few Prius batteries that have failed free of charge.

  • avatar
    kjc117

    Has anyone pre-ordered a Volt? There are plenty of pre-orders for the Prius.

  • avatar
    tulsa_97sr5

    Sherman Lin Says:

    According to Edmunds testing the Prius shines in city stop and go travel not the highway

    If you are talking about the article where they compared the prius to the VW TDI and focus and something else, the prius was really close to the VW on highway, and killed everything in all other circuits they drove. The difference in hwy MPG wasn’t enough to cover the premium for diesel IIRC.

    As for a bunch of the other posts, I’m constantly surprised that the same old Prius FUD has to be debunked in every thread that mentions the name. On other boards I expect it but no here. {cough, autoblog cough}

    Oh and anyone who is a member on truedelta (if you aren’t join now) check out the prius results for another good reason they are popular. One of the most reliable cars on the road.

  • avatar
    menno

    Hi eastaboga, hey, you need to do a fact check before posting. Stating that the battery pack in the Prius weighs 400 pounds is erroneous; it weighs 130 pounds. Take away a Detroit-esque cast iron engine block (Prius has an alloy block), huge lead acid battery (Prius has such a small 12 volt battery as a back-up for the 16 cpu’s, it is actually a garden tractor battery size/group), and you can easily see why Prius weighs under 3000 pounds.

    Now, go to Edmunds.com and search and search for hours, and try to find ANY OTHER MIDSIZED CAR WHICH WEIGHS AS LITTLE AS THE PRIUS. Won’t find one.

    Sorry, not trying to “shout” – I’m actually sitting in a B&B in Jasper Alberta having fun – have been out of touch for almost a week – it’s great. No cell, no email, no news, no web, no work. Just incredible scenery. So all I have here is my VERY little Asus Eee PC – and the keyboard is equally tiny. Hence now and again the keyboard gets accidentally put on all caps. Takes so long to hunt & peck, no point i9n going back to redo.

    Sheesh I’m away for a week and come back to the ssame old same old lies and misconceptions about the Prius.

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