Featured Jeff Cobb excellent analysis

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Source: 2017 Has Been The Year Of The Toyota Prius’ Decline

    After 17 years of rising to utterly dominate the U.S. “green car” landscape, the Toyota Prius Liftback has hit a plateau and may actually finish 2017 as a second-best seller.

    An unthinkable prospect before this year, just one year ago, the car that’s come to symbolize the word “hybrid” still enjoyed two-and-a-half times the sales of the next-nearest hybrid out of around three dozen models available.

    Indeed, two years ago at this time it had even higher sales, has seen “mainstream” volume of up to 147,000 sales in one year, and often during this decade enjoyed 3-4 times the next-best seller’s monthly numbers. What’s more, the “next-best” seller was often another Prius variant but those are down too, and despite being all-new, the Prius Liftback’s sales have been pestered by a car without near Prius-level fuel economy.

    That would be the Ford Fusion Hybrid, which began the year selling 4,856 units to the Prius’ 4,553 – a first ever that Prius sales have been surpassed by any other electrified car.
    . . .

    The whole analysis is solid and well worth reading. My only contribution was a comment about fuel cell cars:

    Toyota and California are doing a large-scale, fuel-cell experiment. Soon the 3 year free hydrogen will run out and early adopters will be paying ~7-8x more than an EV. Meanwhile, commercial methane steam conversion that makes 8 kg of hydrogen produces over 48 kg of CO{2}.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    people in the know keep saying ford is giving them away to make carb. cmax isn't selling, what else have they got, focus ev?imo, people who bought prius hybrids have many more choices today.
    some have migrated to plug ins, some have fallen away.
    in the bigger picture, are alt fuel vehicles stuck at a few percent of total car sales? if so, prius decline matters little.
     
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  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Thanks for sharing the article Bob... The writer didn't mention that many people, myself included, think later model Prius are the kind of ugly that keeps getting uglier and uglier. The Gen 1 and the Gen 2 looked like a basic humble economy car because that was who they were selling them to. Why not make a hybrid Toyota Yaris? That's an attractive simple-basic looking economy car, even nicer than the very similar, but uglier Prius C.

    The writer also didn't break down numbers for this statement: "Its hybrid architecture has found its way into almost three dozen Toyota and Lexus variants, not all of which are sold in the U.S."

    It seems kind of disingenuous to write about Prius' demise and not explain sales numbers of the three dozen variants that are diluting Prius sales? I mean if I had to choose between a hybrid Lexus, Camry, or Corolla, I sure am not gonna even look twice at an ugly overly-busy "new" Prius design. Wish the author researched/did surveys to better understand how ugly most people really think the new Prius looks. That'd explain more than just breaking down overly-generalized sales figures.

    My friend who runs a Taxis cab company says his customers love Hyundai Ionic and Kia hybrids, but hate Prius, so it's not just a bad design on the outside, but a bad design on the inside too.
     
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  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Jeff Cobb publishes a monthly "Dashboard" report of fuel efficient cars which I've been following for years. So for Jeff and myself, the numbers are something we've lived with for a long time:
    June 2018 Hybrid Cars Sales Dashboard

    September 2013 was the peak Prius sales month and since then sales have been on a slow decline. It is a fine car but we have better options today.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  5. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Looked when? That certainly wasn't the sentiment back when they were new on the lots. In fact, the Gen 2 stuck out so much, that was often the claim to fame... people wanting to make a statement about being green... rather than the reality of it being the only midsize hatchback available in this market at the time and delivering great emissions & efficiency.

    Not anymore. He left that back in the first week of February this year, as death of the daily blog for Volt became obvious. All but a handful of enthusiasts had moved on and there simply wasn't anything new about Volt to publish anymore. Since then, the owners haven't done much with that site and the parent site has struggled to keep up with other green news sources.
     
  6. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    2013 was when Prius sales truly plateaued, and they've been decreasing ever since. 2017 is only of note in that those decreases have reached the point where another model could surpass it. I feel the Rav4h and Prime played a bigger part in that.

    It is for CAFE, and it is an educated guess on my part. Ford's pick ups are a huge seller, and there have been some great deals on the Fusion hybrid. Low fuel prices and the market shifting away from sedans play a part in those, but I spotted a Cars.com listing for $9000 off a 2018 Fusion hybrid back in February. Avoided CAFE fines is on their spreadsheets.

    The C-max is gone. I think 2017 was its last year.

    If the only real selling point of an alt-fueled car is reduced fuel costs with a higher price tag, they will remain a niche segment here.
     
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  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    Thanks! That explains a lot including delays in getting the Dashboard report.

    I'd tried to message him in Facebook but got no response. His Facebook page appears to show a spiritual bend.

    Bob Wilson
     
  8. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Yes... Granted there was alot of attention on how different Prius was... But looking back... The Gen 1 was based on the Toyota Echo a very normal looking economy car, and yes Gen 2 may have stood out as a bit weird back then, but it was what it was and you didn't have much of a choice if you wanted 50mpg. Then when the Gen 3 came out and they started using sharp angles it looked uglier, but again, you didn't have much of a choice if you wanted 50mpg... And these days the new design looks like an incompetent car body shape designer was more into doing design tricks on their computer than make a clean simple look that reflects economy-minded owners... And instead they tried to make it fancy and turn a station wagon into a fake plastic 1970's style Lamborghini with "modern" styling and its so ugly that people aren't buying it because they finally have a choice of so many other cars that actually look like normal cars and not the big ego of a gawdy designer with not sense of modesty, subtly or even basic taste.
     
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  9. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    The EPA list 10 cars with better than 45 MPG and 6 are 50-56 MPG. So today we have many more choices than even a few years ago. But it really looks like hybrids have reached a limit.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  10. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That's a common misconception.

    Prius came first. Echo was created from it years later, detuning the engine and connecting it to a traditional transmission. In fact, that was part of Toyota's approach for making profit for Prius... by repurpose.
     
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  11. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    "I keep bumping into that silly quotation attributed to me that says 640K of memory is enough. There's never a citation; the quotation just floats like a rumor, repeated again and again." --Bill Gates
     
  12. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    With fuel pricing in America, getting the typical car buyer to pay $3000 for what is mostly a gain in efficiency is a very tough sell. The changes in Prius c trims means the base L is $5000 more than a Yaris L.

    Barring a price hike in gasoline, the hybrid segment will grow once mild hybrids start trickling into are market(the years of higher new sales percentage counted BAS and eAssist cars), but that will quickly mean hybrids really aren't alt-fueled cars.
     
  13. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    The hybrid secret is to minimize engine operation at low-power, inefficient power bands combined with a high efficiency engine. Use the engine only when it can operate at peak efficiency by banking excess power in the battery. Then turn off the engine to sustain operation on the battery. Also do the regular weight and drag reductions.

    Now there are various claims for higher efficiency engines like the opposed piston or variations of compression ignition engines. But these remain more like lab experiments than mass production.

    The easiest is the plug-in hybrid like the Prime. Turn off the engine for the duration of most urban trips and enough capacity to let the engine warm-up with a minimum fuel burn.

    Bob Wilson
     
  14. cycledrum

    cycledrum PSOCSOASP

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    2nd and 3rd Prius' used a lot for taxi and Uber type services, but the 4th gen has more cramped back seats.

    I sold my 2011 Prius to an Uber driver (he didn't waster any time buying it)
     
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