Toyota rethinks hybrids

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Thread: Toyota rethinks hybrids

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    Toyota rethinks hybrids

    Toyota to rethink on 'big electrical appliance'

    By Ian Porter
    Manufacturing Reporter
    August 8, 2005

    Toyota and its hybrid-powered Prius have grabbed the high ground in the battle for the hearts and minds of environmentally-aware motorists, but all is not well in the model's program.

    Customers are not willing to pay dearly for what Toyota chief engineer for product planning, Shigeyuki Hori describes as a "big electric appliance".

    In short, hybrid versions of many models will just be too expensive, he said.

    The sophisticated-looking Prius has been earning rave reviews around the world for its economy and is often cited as the way forward for car design.

    There is no doubt Toyota leads the world in hybrid design and sales, and observers believed that all Toyota needed to do to stay ahead was to offer hybrid systems in all of its models, alongside normal petrol and diesel engines.

    But when Toyota started to install hybrid petrol-electric drive trains in other models, the gloss soon came off, according to Mr Hori.

    "The hybrid versions of the Harrier and Kluger sports utility vehicles in the domestic market have not worked well," Mr Hori said recently.

    He says lack of sales success could be because the hybrid system adds 20 per cent or more to the retail price of the two models, which were launched in March.

    The worrying aspect for Toyota is that it is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on tooling to make a hybrid version of the next Camry.

    Mr Hori said it would be difficult to reduce the cost differential if Toyota continued to make the normal engines and hybrid power units available in the same bodies.

    "In an ordinary car you need an engine and transmission. In a hybrid, you also need an electric motor and batteries plus you need a control system for the engine and the motor."

    The control system was so complex, the hybrid needed five times the computing power of a normal car. "The price is driven up because you are buying a big electric appliance," Mr Hori said. "It is very difficult to bring down the price premium from between 20 and 40 per cent."

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    http://www.theage.com.au/articles/20...?oneclick=true

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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    If you want to save $$ and gas, buy a Corolla instead of a Prius. This is an absolute no-brainer choice. The folks who buy Prius are IMO bandwagon types, please lookee at me types, the typical Hollywood losers, and (biggest group) the ones taken in by the hype.
    Toyota loses $3000+ per Prius, the hazmat content is at least 10X higher than a Corolla, resale in 5 years will tank because of tekkie problems, battery degradation, worn-off gloss, fad has passed...
    But hey, a Prius feels good and it feels green, to hell with logic and reason!
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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by LAMRONH
    If you want to save $$ and gas, buy a Corolla instead of a Prius. This is an absolute no-brainer choice. The folks who buy Prius are IMO bandwagon types, please lookee at me types, the typical Hollywood losers, and (biggest group) the ones taken in by the hype.
    Toyota loses $3000+ per Prius, the hazmat content is at least 10X higher than a Corolla, resale in 5 years will tank because of tekkie problems, battery degradation, worn-off gloss, fad has passed...
    But hey, a Prius feels good and it feels green, to hell with logic and reason!
    the corolla is not in the same size class as the prius

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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    Since when has anyone cited the Prius as the future of exterior design?
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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    The prius looks like a turd from the outside that only a Japanophile/toyota fanboy could love. The best part about it is inside with the driver information display.

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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    If a 20-40% premium is the best they can do on the cost, the future does not look good for hybrids.

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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    Hybrids are not the future. The Future is gasless. The Hybrid step between Gas and Gasless is unnessesary and is only slowing things down.

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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    Quote Originally Posted by GmNation
    Hybrids are not the future. The Future is gasless. The Hybrid step between Gas and Gasless is unnessesary and is only slowing things down.
    Oh really Would you say that if GM had a hybrid that was selling like crazy?

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    Re: Toyota rethinks hybrids

    I really don't think hybrids are the future either. Even for a short term solution, they are proving to be too much of a premium for some people and gas prices aren't bad enough to get people flocking to their local Toyota dealer to buy a Prius. If you are really in need of a fuel efficient car today, buy a cheap 4-cylinder compact or a diesel Volkswagen.

    I read that GM's fuel cell program is currently receiving the most investment out of all their programs in the works. I wish Ford was as advanced as GM in the fuel cell area, because it is the most realistic solution to ending oil dependency. With the rapid acceleration of technology these days, as well as the growth in knowledge of nanotechnology, I think GM is the smarter one. I only see gas/electric hybrids as a temporary fad until we have enough knowledge to build cheaper and more efficient hydrogen vehicles. I read somewhere that hydrogen filling stations are being proposed to be built every 20 miles along I-5 in California in the near future.

    Edit: Here is the info page on California's planned "Hydrogen Highway."
    Last edited by mustang84; 08-11-2005 at 04:32 PM.

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