Featured New emphasis on plug-in

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by bwilson4web, Feb 16, 2017.

  1. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    With some reservations because the title is misleading. It would be more accurate to say, Toyota fuel-cell experiment ends. Sorry CARB, you can regulate against physics and chemistry but it won't last.

    Source: Toyota Shifting Bet from Conventional Hybrids to Plug-Ins | TheDetroitBureau.com

    Toyota, the company that gave the world its first mainstream gasoline-electric vehicle, says it now expects plug-ins to gain traction faster than conventional hybrids.

    The revelation by the man known as the “father of the Prius” is the latest in a series of ongoing shifts in Toyota’s approach to green technologies. Long wary of lithium-ion technology, the Japanese maker is putting more emphasis on more advanced battery vehicles, including both plug-ins and pure battery-electric models. It also appears to be growing more cautious about hydrogen power.
    . . .
    In fact, Toyota says it will have to recall 2,800 of the Mirai fuel-cell vehicles now on the road due to electrical problems with the “stacks” used to generate power for their electric motors.
    . . .

    I don't fault Toyota for making decisions 5-6 years ago to try high-pressure, hydrogen fuel cells. Had they gone with a hydrogen generator and a low-pressure, common, hydrogen-rich source, I suspect the outcome would have been better (or might in the future be.) But dealing with 5,000 psi compressed hydrogen never made sense.

    Now I am the happy owner of a 2017 Prius Prime Plus (lowest trim) and this is the Prius we'd stumbled and mumbled about for over a decade. Perfect, not yet. The traction battery is a little too tall and they didn't figure out how to use the space under the rear seat. Part of the problem is packaging a lot of energy inside the TNGA frame. The Prime is a reasonable next step, PiP-2.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #1 bwilson4web, Feb 16, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2017
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  2. drysider

    drysider Active Member

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    Plug-in hybrids have always been the future. At some point, pure EV's might evolve to be widely useful. We need some small, extreme, ultra super capacitors to replace the batteries.
     
  3. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    We all know CARB is in bed with Toyota. Is it coincidence hydrogen gets more fuel credits than plug ins when the chair of CARB drives a Mirai? CARB Chair And Her Love Of The Toyota Mirai and Fuel Cell Tech
    Is it a coincidence when Toyota stopped selling the PiP in 2015 when green decals ran out? Must be a stroke of good luck that the Prime release was delayed months just as unlimited green decals were signed into law.

    Toyota is in the captains chair, not CARB. And as captain they explored at least two alternative fuel options. It's the sensible when you have billions of R&D $'s at your disposal. In other words, Toyota didn't put all their eggs in one basket.
     
  4. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    It's going to be a lot easier putting up charging stations than hydrogen stations.
     
  5. UsedToLoveCars

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    The problem is they didn't put much effort into building out a hydrogen infrastructure. Tesla got this right with their supercharger network. It was even more critical with H2 cars because at least with electric cars you can still fuel the damn thing at home.

    Did Toyota really think that if they built hydrogen-powered cars, fueling stations would magically appear?
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    the problem is pick up trucks. toyota (and others) now have the luxury of raking in billions on gas guzzlers for the foreseeable future, and the time to put some of that to work electrifying some of their model line up.
    it could be a win/win.
     
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  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    IMHO, not Toyota alone. There were a host of players who all seemed to ignore basic physics and chemistry. But sometimes you have to perform the experiment to the bitter end. With luck, this nonsense of high-pressure hydrogen tanks will fade into the background. Then the real engineers, not fuel-cell, fan-boys won't be hanging around and the problem resolved.

    Bob Wilson
     
    #7 bwilson4web, Feb 19, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
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  8. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    I remember when the Clarity was going to be released, you would also be able to make your own fuel at home using processed natural gas. How far did that get?
    upload_2017-2-19_11-24-37.png
     
  9. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Equally important;
    I know usbseawolf is/was a huge fan of the Mirai - and I hope he still consider us friends - those of us who were not too easy on his & Toyota's 'view'. I officially am flinging him the olive branch & always appreciate his input, even when it's seriously disagreed with.
    :)
    .
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    gracious winner.
     
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  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web BMW i3 and Model 3

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    The efficient car market is so small, 3%, it never made sense why VW picked a fight with the Prius. That out of the blocks, Hyundai is following the bad VW example makes me shake my head. We have common cause with getting folks out of inefficient cars, mostly gassers and that makes more sense.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  12. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    The well informed always knew focus would shift to plug-in offerings following fuel-cell rollout. It simply didn't make sense doing them at the same time, especially since fuel-cell was long-term and the next plug-in Prius was immediate. That's why there were repeated reminders of co-existence and time-frames. It was never an either/or situation.

    Mirai was low-volume with no intentions of this generation being anything beyond site testing. Toyota selected an isolated area for extended real-world data collection using actual consumers. That's a textbook approach.. not a big deal like the antagonists made it out to be.

    The next-gen Prius plug-in was always expected to be a major step forward in the advancement of hybrids. We knew all the greenwashing posted about Toyota abandoning EV interest was a just a desperate measure to steal away the spotlight in the meantime.

    It never ceases to amaze me how easily people lose sight of the big picture.
     
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  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    There was (and still is) the need to be aware of how the oil industry will respond. They are a very powerful entity with a lot to lose and strong ties to regulations. Throwing them a bone with hydrogen production opportunity did buy us time to prove the plug-in robust enough to compete with the big boys. Heck, despite the small pack in Prius PHV, the local plug-in owners group was pleased with my endorsement of lithium batteries. That is vital for both sellers & buyers.

    Let's not forget that the technology wasn't ever entirely throw-away either. We'll see fuel-cell use emerge in the portable-generator market, a market which Honda has always been a big player in. We'll also see the direct benefit from all the electric components in fuel-cell vehicles carried over to the plug-ins. An affordable, reliable, efficient electric-motor is valuable regardless of electricity source. We get the industry's most efficient heat-pump out of it too. Things like electric A/C, electric steering, and lots of software provide benefit as well.

    It is interesting to see the hybrid aspect of Prius fade into the background now. It has been so well proven over the past 20 years, that shouldn't be a surprise though. The goal was to make the technology ubiquitous... which essentially makes something you take for granted. After all, how much do you think of touch-screen technology now? 25 years in the making has proven an effort well worth it. The same is what we are beginning to say about hybrid technology.
     
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  14. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

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    I think we're within a couple years of the point where electric vehicles start seeing widespread adoption. Tesla already has more Model 3 deposits than the total number of all electric vehicles sold in the US in the last 3 years combined. When they finally figure out production, that's going to prompt GM to pump out more Bolts and other companies to ramp up their electric vehicle production so they don't get left out. But the real tipping point is going to happen when the gas companies start putting EV fast charging machines in their gas stations. It's already being discussed, and when it gets implemented by the big companies, then there will be enough fast charging stations around and enough electric vehicles available that can get a decent number of miles on a charge to make range anxiety a thing of the past.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    are tesla deposits going up, down or sideways?
     
  16. Moving Right Along

    Moving Right Along Active Member

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    To the best of my knowledge, the Model 3 deposits stabilized in the neighborhood of 370,000.
     
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  17. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Toyota, and others, were expecting governments to build the hydrogen stations.

    FCEVs have a better chance at success if a liquid fuel is used.

    Honda also had a prototype solar powered, home electrolysis unit.

    As to answering how far they got, let's look at home refueling for natural gas cars. Those units could cost $5000, and required annual service to replace valves and gaskets. Honda eventually stopped recommending them because they weren't drying the NG, and fuel lines in the Civic CNG were rusting out.

    CNG for vehicles is compressed from 3000 to 3600 psi. The tanks in the Clarity held hydrogen at 5000psi. Current gen hydrogen cars use 10k psi hydrogen. Japan is shifting to 12.5k psi standard now. A home hydrogen reformer or electrolyzer is an add on cost to a compressor that is the home CNG refueler. Because of the higher pressures involved, that compressor is going to cost more, and the materials required for handling hydrogen will also add to the price.
     
  18. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    co-existence & time frames? How does one see Toyota/Lexus ads, that advertised/slammed plugins as co-existence - when those ads mocked plugins as only being for those who have "4 hrs to waste". Some of us apparently are INDEED uninformed - as that rational escapes those who see it differently. By "see things differently" one might consider how some plugins charge as fast as >300mph. Some might conclude such blatantly contrary ads to such facts as being an outright lie, & not necessarily being uninformed.

    And reminders of Toyota "Time frames" ? You mean like Toyota "reminding" us there'll be "ten's of thousands" of fuel cell cars on the road in just a couple years? How does one jump to branding others as "uninformed" when they can't follow Toyota's claims like that - which positively - absolutely could NEVER physically take place - despite Toyota claiming otherwise?

    That's a view being believable .... and finding similar (or even dissimilar) POV's is ok. It doesn't necessarily mean that one or both sides pov's are based on being "uninformed". It might just mean that different conclusions are being drawn from the facts.
    .
     
    #18 hill, Feb 20, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2017
  19. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    maybe ... but GM's high voltage quick charger SAE format/network is horribly lacking. Sure - SAE QC's are many light-years cheaper/available than fool cel infrastructure, but the SAE DC/QC auto building industry seems luke-warm at best, when it comes to filling out the nation's long stretches of cross-country highways. So ... prospective buyers - may just shy away from the car thinking "what's the point? " Why buy a 200mile ev that you can't necessarily/easily drive (quickly) beyond 200 miles. (just like the fool cel scenario) And if you ARE lucky enough to live w/in 50-100miles of SAE QC's ... & the QC's ARE within the direction you are actually traveling ... AND the unit(s) ARE actually operational (caveat-many locations will be stand-alone) cross your fingers that a single QC isn't in use ... or the user is done, but in the next door resteraunt or theater ... or it's just plain ol' ICED etc. Likely, our new fed administration 'will be reluctant to belch-up tons of dough for increasing SAE QC's for them. Manufacturers/dealerships ought to take a page from Teslas playbook;

    [​IMG]

    National infrastructure being a top priority, the moment cars went into production. Like the picture above, of our local area, ½ block off the freeway. A dozen spots - capable of recharging at over 300 miles an hour. User policy set up to penalize "squatters" so you pay more to sit there fully chargef, taking up a spot, rather than moving so others can use it. That's part of reason hundres of thousands of Model3 wait list members we're willing to cough up $1,000 just so they can buy asap.
    .
     
  20. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    I'll stick with a plug. ;)
     
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