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back to article Plug-in Prius production plan posted

Toyota has finally announced that a plug-in version of its Prius hybrid will go on general sale during late 2011. plug-in_prius_01 Toyota's plug-in Prius offers greater range and speed than the original The announcement was made during the plug-in Prius’ recent official launch in Japan, where Toyota plans to ship 230 test …

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Nice...

Fifteen miles at < 62 mph would get me to work and back without having to burn any petrol. Plus when the battery does run out, the ICE kicks in and you have a normal car - better than the grinding to a halt and catching the bus home you get with a fully electric car.

Seems to me that the plug-in hybrid is the only practical way for most people to own an electric car at the moment. The only issue I can see is that putting a lithium ion battery in a car effectively means you're sitting on a bomb.

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So

Nobody complains about sitting on 25 litres of highly flammable hydrocarbons.

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not flamable in the tank

they are only flamable when mixed with air so you need to get a lot of air in the tank and and mix it to create a explosive fule air misture and get sorce of ignation in there

not sayinf that you are wrong just you are not right

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Competition

Thunder stolen by the Chevrolet Volt? Does anyone outside the USA take Chevrolet seriously? I ask out of genuine curiosity - to my British eyes, the word Chevrolet means little more than great big ugly gas-guzzlers from a distant era.

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Up from 1.4 miles to 15

So people might do *all* their daily commuting on battery power (bearing in mind the average road speed in central London is IIRC less than 15mph now).

Thumbs up for this modest development. Now what about on the job re-charge points?

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WTF?

$30K for a car that gets about 15 MPG better than my current $18K car, and the EV only mode only goes 15 miles, so its not like I'm going to save a ton on that either. Heck, 15 miles is 1/3 of a gallon in that car, so less than $1 a day saved vs a regular Prius? Oh wait, that extra hundred and fifty pounds of battery might drop the fuel economy a mile or two as well, might be even less savings...

My car, 34Hwy, 27City. Prius 51/48. So, 15-20MPG better. First 15 miles per day would be at about half punp prices (current cost of Joules vs equiv energy in gas). I drive about 2500 miles in 3 months on average (slightly under normal, short commute). so less than 30miles per day. Best case scenario is every day is exactly equal (max battery use scenario). So, my car costs about 1 gallon per day (currently $2.50 a gallon, but lets go with a bad case a couple of years from now so average over 6 years might be at $4.00 a gallon). A Plug-in Prius would use 15 miles on EV and 15 miles on gas, so 1/3rd of a gallon ($1.32), plus half that again for the electricity, or roughtly $2 a day. That means trading in my car saves me only $2 a day, MAX theoretical savings, and that's based on $4 per gallon average price with electricity at half the price of that. (vs today's gas price, is about $1.20 saved).

At $2 a day, assuming I drive the car for 10 years, I'd save only $7K. Plug-in Prius costs $12K more, plus options some of which my current car comes with and the Prius does not, plus the interest on the difference i might finance (I'm certainly not in a position to pay cash for a $30K car).

This is a BAD deal, over a $5K net loss over 10 years, and that assumes $4 a gallon average, that you KEEP the car 10 years (I trade in every 5-7 personally), and that you have no expensive out-of-warranty maintenance.

Lets say toy travel 3 times my rate, 90 miles per day. My car costs $12 per day (again at $4/gallon). Prius costs about $7. That's $5 per day. Sounds better, until you considder this is 32K miles per year, 3 times normal, your warranty would expire (except the battery), in 3 years, and in 5-66 the car would be near 200K miles and be in dire need of replacement if it did not already completely fail, and the repair costs over 5 years would exceed the repair costs of 10 years of an average driver. Yes, saving $5/day vs $2/day is nice, but it;s a lot less likely the price will meet a $4/gallon average over such a reduced time period, and in the end, it breaks out to about the same savings, $5K lost over the term of use of the car, except in this case, you might need to buy 2 to get to 10 years, meaning the cost is substantiually MORE ($5K loss twice).

Lets look instead at another option: Lets say instead of loosing $500-100 a year on a hybrid vs a cheap but efficinet standard ICE like a Camary, a Jeep Compas, etc, including investing (financing) up fron the $12K extra to only recoup half over 10 years, that you just drive the other car, and take the difference in the car payment and give it to the electric company to invest in wind turbines. Something between $500 and $1000 a year. Do this for 10 years, with 250 other households in your neighborhood. Your pocket will have the EXACT same amount of meoney in it, so you won;t notice vs your current bedgeted finances. Over 10 years, that 2.5Million buys a wind turbine installation capable of powering your 250 houses, plus anopther 150 more. In return for your 10 year investment, the power company gives you 50% off your electric bill, for the 50-75 year life of that wind turbine (with reguler motor replacement about every 30 years). The wind turbine is 100% paid off, the power company makes half as much on your power (you save $1000 a year now), but they have no fuel costs, so the power is essentially free, aka a 50% margin (current power companies make 10-20% if they're lucky). The other 150 houses run by that tower make them 100% profit.

no, on a small scale this is not too good of a system (technically speaking, financially it's GREAT, but you can't count on the wind of a single turbine to keep lights on). but lets say we could get 250,000 households to invest. Now we could build 1,000 wind turbines, spread across all parts of america (a significant investment) and use them to power 400,000 homes. Or we could get 25 million homes (less than 25% of households in america), and we could power 40 million homes (likely more with improved efficncy from redundancy, larger scale generators, and better tower placement. That's $1000 a year for 10 years to have 50 years of power for 40 million homes, and a power discount for the 25 million investors equalling 1000 for 40 years. In other words, instead of buying a Prius now, invest the same 10 grand, feel NO financial impact for 10 years, and then get BACK $40K in savings, and remove more CO2 from the system than buying 5 Prius would have done. Lets see, $40K in profit, better energy return, free fuel for 50 years: Can we get some government oversight over here for fuck's sake????

Oh, the whole "running out of oil" thing: check out http://www.dotyenergy.com. We no longer need to drill for oil to make gasoline. The power from just 50m of the homes above would be enough to fuel 35 million homes worth of cars using RFTS (making fuel from water, carbon, and energy). It;s no vaorware, it;s bee in use since WWII, and can now be done at about $3 a gallon at the pump ($60-80 a barrel at the plant). This would still give unlimited 100% carbon nuetral fuel for the next 50 years until we build enough additional wind turbines and further battery development so we can drive 100% electric cars in 30 years or so that only cost $1K or $2K more than current cars. and, it would use our current fuel infrastructure in the meantime, unlike H2 or Ethanol which requires new pipelines and changes or replacements for your car.

there ARE other options, they're cheaper, and they're more effective, and they're more actionable. The reson you don't know about them is they can not be monopolized easily by big firms (anyone with $200 million could build an RFTS plant and make fuel for a small city and directly compete). There's no grant money for this technology due to lobying, so it gets buried.

Talk to your congrgessmen, or invest in RFTS and Wind power. Talk to your local power company and offer an investment for a future return on power if they buoild new green power systems.

FYI: I have NO business or professional affiliation with Doty Energy and am not compensated in any way for my statements. (I went to college with some of the folks that work there, that's all).

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WTF?

Wrong Medium

You've obviously got the wrong medium here. Nobody on the internet reads things more than 140 characters long. Something to do with attention spans and idiocy. I think you'll find a newspaper will work better, but only if you can find the 3 people that still read the things.

Anyway, good luck with whatever it is you're going on about.

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Joke

Options

Im building my own nuclear reactor in the garden shed from a plan I found on 'Lifehacker'

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Flame

Prepare your camera for the first crash

Lithium powerpack of that size in a burning vehicle? That is going to produce some really LOVELY and TOXIC fireworks. Ones that become even lovelier when the fire brigade pours water on top. I cannot wait to see it on gootube once it happens.

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Awesome alliteration Alun

That is all.

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Battery life and replacement cost please

Electricity is about half the price of petrol per mile, but batteries have a limited life (2 or 3 years is a sensible guess) and a huge replacement cost.

Assume charger is 80% efficient, battery retains 80% of the supplied charge, and electricity is £0.12/kWH: 15 miles on a 5.2kWH battery is £0.065/mile.

Assume petrol is £1.1/l, 4.5l/uk gallon: 40 miles per gallon is £0.125 per mile.

At a wild guess, a new battery is £2000, so the break even point is about 1000 miles per month.

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CC

15 miles...let me see

15 miles won't even make a one way trip to anywhere, plus all it does is add yet more weight and cost and for what.

Toyota must be having brain throttle problems again, they are thinking like a US company....old, outdated and broken.

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Troll

Anywhere?

"15 miles won't even make a one way trip to anywhere"

Ah, you must live in Nowhere then. What's the weather like there?

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Happy

Sweeping statement or what?

"15 miles won't even make a one way trip to anywhere".

Really? Damn. I'm obviously not in my office after all then. And there was me thinking that Brackley to Bicester was 10 miles. Guess I should warn my girlfriend as well since she thinks she's driven from Brackley to Banbury in only 8 miles (along with probably half the working residents of Brackley).

But more seriously - I basically agree. It's a lot of money and savings are likely minimal. Hybrids are basically just reclaiming wasted energy anyway. If more people learnt how to drive without relying on their brakes they would:

* Develop a better awareness of road and traffic conditions which would reduce deaths and injuries.

* Save more fuel than the equivalent vehicle since they wouldn't be penalised by lugging heavy batteries around.

All those people saying that they can never match manufacturer's fuel consumption figures - well I can. I often slightly exceed them. It's a tad cheeky of them to quote figures based on what I assume is an experienced test driver rather than real world drivers though.

I own a three year old Honda Jazz with a 1.3l engine (they call it 1.4 but that's bull) and over the year I average 50mpg. Admittedly I do tend to drive a bit like an old fuddy duddy though. Then again what's the point of racing up to the back of a traffic queue or getting to work 2 minutes earlier by putting my license at risk of PC Plod?

Meh. Time to light my pipe and put my slippers on :)

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Flame

Pffft

Perfect car for skinny hairdressing metrosexual vegans - 15 miles and then charge for 6 hours daily, so maybe he could take a potted plant along for company without the added weight affecting the distance too badly.

I'll keep my Ford F150 as an "Up yours" to Al Bore, the lying git.

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Re: Battery life and replacement cost please

The current Prius battery carries an 8-year warranty, which was recently back-dated to cars bought earlier, and is expected to last much longer than that. According to my local Toyota dealer, no-one has yet succeded in wearing one out - even in laboratory tests.

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Linux

Re :Re: Battery life and replacement cost please #

If they are that good maybe they should make laptop batteries. I'd be happy with 8 years with no significant drop-off in performance.

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Still the wrong approach

By the looks of it, they are still pushing what is basically a petrol engined car with a bit of additional electric stored power to look green. And at double the price of a vehicle without all the added complexity. And they don't hit their advertised mpg figures, at least mine never has. I'll never buy another.

Instead look for the Volvo Recharge. Much more sensibly, they have started from an electric car, and are bolting a generator to it. Much more efficient, much less complicated.

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man what

i'm a big fan of electric vehicles, but this is rubbish. They're just trying to dress it up as a serial / range extended hybrid but it's really nothing of the kind. Come on Toyota, why aren't you developing the next generation of technology?!

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