Featured Open Letter To Toyota USA: Go All In On The Prius Prime, Kill The Regular Prius Hybrid

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Tideland Prius, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    There have been numerous studies done. By state and by county, etc.
    Generally they say that in the worst states you have to be driving a car that gets maybe 40 mpg to be the same CO2 as a BEV. They never really mention other pollutants or the advantage of moving the emissions out of cities because it would need to be a 60 or 80 mpg car most likely.
    However, in the best states you'd have to be driving an 80 or 100 mpg gas car to match the CO2 from a BEV. And you also get all the benefits of cleaner cities, etc.

    What they NEVER say and study is the fact that when you buy any car that uses gas today it will NEVER be any cleaner than it is the day you bought it. (unless some miracle happens). But if you buy a BEV today, it can get cleaner every year in the future, subject to the grid getting cleaner. Or you could install solar panels.

    The average car on the road in the US is over 11 years old. This means that most cars will be driven for 15 - 20 years before they are retired. If you are going to choose to buy a gas car today because you are thinking or claiming that it is "just as clean" as a BEV do you think this will also be true in 10 or 20 years?

    Mike
     
  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Another thing to consider when looking at other pollutants is that it is easier to control them from a few stationary sources than millions of small mobile ones.
     
  3. Richard2005

    Richard2005 Junior Member

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    Yes Australia is very dirty compared to many places in the US ... and our current Government is trying to encourage more coal power stations to be built .. but it probably will not happen.

    The Prius Hybrid Eco has an official rating of 158 grams per mile. Based on EV emission Tool the Prius Prime in LA uses 135 grams per mile whereas in Washington DC its 149 grams per mile. In Australia the Prime would be about 200 grams per mile by my calculations and that's why the Prius Hybrid is on average cleaner in Australia.

    Yes a Model 3 is much cleaners again in most parts of US, however the Prius Prime is not that much cleaner and that assumes that people charge it.

    Yes the grid will get cleaner assuming the US is able to add new capacity required to power the EV's from clean sources. Also if the entire population moved to Hybrid the fuel consumptions would be 1/3 to 1/2 of current levels and even further reduced due to EV uptake so the argument around increasing emissions form oil production may not be valid.

    People purchasing green power or installing solar panels reduces the emissions intensity .. but when I charge my car the emission intensity is the average for that area not zero because I purchased green power.
     
  4. Richard2005

    Richard2005 Junior Member

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    Yes BEV's are cleaner in US .. but PHEV's are not that much cleaner and given how far US is ahead of Australia on emission intensity the BEV makes sense form a CO2 perspective.

    The big problem in US and in Australia is conventional gasoline cars make up 95% of sales … and so the big problem to solve is how to get that base onto cleaner technologies.
     
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  5. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    Just curious. Couldn't you buy a BEV and buy enough solar panels to generate enough power to charge them?
    Of course, the actual electrons you charge with might not be the ones that go into your battery.
    But, if every did this, wouldn't much of the problem be solved?

    Mike
     
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  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    As far as i'm concerned, yes that would do nicely.

    The trick is that about 2/3 of annual US car sales are used cars with a median transaction price around $18,000.

    It might take a while for the combined price of an electric car and a big solar power setup to drop that low. A long while.
     
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  7. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    A side topic, I try to follow Australian news:
    • Hornsdale - used to have a live graph of performance but I haven't found a peep about what it has been doing during the recent heat wave. Do you have a URL to some technical details about how it has been working during the heat wave?
    • Which state do you live in?
    • I get the impression South Australia is really the leader in renewable energy and smart grid.
    Thanks,
    Bob Wilson
     
  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Same here, but majority of new power generation is natural gas and wind. Just switching to natural gas will have a big improvement in GHG and other emissions. On the GHG front, the US has the nuclear advantage over Australia. My home gets more electricity from nuclear than coal. Australia also burns lower quality, dirtier coal.

    That emission tool is including the upstream GHG from fuel production. Add 32g/mi to the Prius Eco for a like comparison. That value is based on a national average and likely out of date data. Parts of the US are getting gasoline made from tar sands, a really dirtier source for crude, and the expansion of fracked wells would increase the upstream GHG.

    People would actually have to move to hybrids, and they generally don't here. I think the Prius is the only one to have sold over 100k, and get close to 200k, in a year. That happened back when gas was near, and over, $4 a gallon outside of California. Last year, it didn't reach 100k,even with Prime sales included.

    Done right, and produced by a company that wants to sell them, BEVs do well even with low gas prices.
    It depends on the laws, regulations, and how well they are enforced. If you bought renewable energy, no one else should be able to claim the zero GHG credit of that energy you used. This could reduce your GHG balance to zero, but assumes no cheating or errors.

    The least objectional way is to offer more cleaner choices. I noted Prius sales have dropped, but segment sales haven't dropped as much because their are more models coming to market, and hybrid pick ups, and larger SUVs will be coming soon.

    For a more stick approach, keep increasing fuel economy standards. We are approaching the point were all vehicles will be hybridized to some degree. For the US, a petroleum or carbon tax will likely be needed. We've repeatedly seen that the majority of buyers put lower emphasis on fuel economy when the fuel prices are low.

    Start with the solar to offset your air conditioning. Systems can be expanded in time.
     
  9. mozdzen

    mozdzen Active Member

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    The Prius was revolutionary in the early 2000s. Just kick*ss fuel economy.
    However, technology doesn't sit still. Need the next revolution, not a better version of past technology.
    Color CRTs were awesome. 21" monitors weighed a ton, consumed power, but did the job and were pretty.
    They couldn't compete with 32" LCD monitors - nothing you could do to the CRT to make someone want to buy it.
    Intel didn't stop with the 386 CPU and pat themselves on the back for how much better it was than the 286.
    They obsoleted it with the 486 with an integrated floating point unit - if anyone was going to cannibalize the 386, it best be them.
    Toyota needs to move past the Prius - don't let it be an anchor holding you to the past.
    I think they tried to do that with the FCV, but picked the wrong technology.
    They need to regroup and start with a clean sheet of paper.

    In the 80s, the DRAM manufacturers switched wearing the crown from generation to generation. The technology was changing fast. MOSTEK, Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM, etc. would take a chance on their best shot at the next generation technology. One of them would guess right, the others would do something inferior and be runners up. Then the next generation would come along and everyone would take their best shot, and most likely it wasn't the current king that got it right - the current king was too busy raking in the money from their previous generation or simply didn't go down the right technology path two times in a row, and there would be a new king.

    Kudos to Toyota for the brilliant hybrid technology, but now they have to learn a new trick.
     
  10. Richard2005

    Richard2005 Junior Member

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    Yes emissions intensity in South Australia is lower .. they have a fair bit of wind and solar and then gas. Tasmania is also good as they have lots of hydro. I live on the eastern side in NSW which is dominated by coal power stations .. several of which will need be retired in the next 10-15 years.

    Coal power stations do not like heat and I think at least 2 went offline in the recent heat waves. The issues of emissions and coal vs renewables is hot topic in Australia with very little in the well planned policy for variety of reasons … but significantly because many people do not believe in climate change or don't think we should we should change our practices in any way. We have lots of coal and our current Government thins we should keep coal capacity instead of switching from renewables .. all fairly depressing really.

    I'm not aware of a local site that produces good data . other than the global site mentioned above. I will ask a friend and get back.
     
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  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Let’s revisit all this when gas gets to a national average of $5.00 or more.

    If it never gets there, we have nothing to worry about, we’ll all hang together
     
  12. Richard2005

    Richard2005 Junior Member

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    I agree that Toyota has an issue as to what to do with the Prius. Do they;

    1. Push the limits of the current hybrid approach in terms of improvements to engine efficiency, transaxle efficiency, battery capacity/weight, reverse cycle AC, weight reduction etc
    2. Extend the range of the Prime
    3. Produce a BEV Prius option
    4. Produce a BEV purpose built body

    My view is they will definitely do 1, at least in next generation, because Prius roots are Hybrid and Toyota's entire fleet will go hybrid so the Prius will remain as a proving ground for releases in other models. As an example the RAV 4 diesel and petrol options are being dropped entirely in Ireland and Hybrid will be the only option. Toyota will do this more and more across all their markets .. some quicker than others.

    2 is an obvious move but they are probably concerned about space for the battery and that its limited to 4 seats currently. So they may be waiting for solid stat batteries to make a big step.

    As for 3 & 4 .. well I'm not sure whether Prius and TNGA is optimised for BEV .. so do they may need major body engineering to do this properly?

    The Miria is a concept vehicle .. they don't want to sell many as they loose money on each sale. Yes probably an expensive exercise in that we are not ready for Hydrogen but Toyota are in it for the long haul its too early to rule it out as a future fuel source. But car evolution is very slow .. over 95% of people still buy inefficient petrol vehicles when hybrid has been around for 20 years.

    Certainly I think Toyotas mistake was not to do TNGA earlier and get hybrid versions of all their cars out 5 years ago .,. as they are now doing. Having said that its not too late as they are more advanced in this than any other manufacturer having the best system and well developed plans via TNGA. 50% of Toyota and Lexus sales in Europe are already hybrid. 90% of CHR's in France are hybrid. 50% of Camrys in Australia are hybrid and its 40% for Corollas based on 2 months sales. I think countries like Australia and US will go that way over the next 5 years .. at least in terms of Toyotas.
     
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  13. Richard2005

    Richard2005 Junior Member

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    It's an accounting fallacy to equate any particular generating capacity (ie your solar panel) to any particular use (ie your car). When you install a solar panel you are adding to the clean generating capacity of your area and thus reducing theCO2 emission intensity slightly and that is a good thing.

    However if you choose not to charge your car, your panels will provide green power to someone else. Alternately if you decide to charge your car when the sun is shining, then its fair to say your using your solar power, but then the other person is going to have to obtain power from the grid. You could also say I pay taxes and the that money is used to fund green power generation so my power is all green but that argument has the same issues.

    The reality is that unless you are off the grid you really need to use the CO2 emission intensity of your area .. and it you really want to get accurate then look at time of day in your area. In Australia the emission intensity increases significantly at night as solar finishes and that capacity is picked up with coal.

    So we need people to install solar and for governments to encourage renewable energy .. but the appropriate benchmark to use when calculating the emissions of your vehicle is the CO2 intensity of the grid in your area.
     
  14. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    TNGA wasn't even optimized for a PHEV sized battery. That said, rearranging the current pack(there is an empty void under the current one) can reclaim cargo space or allow for a larger pack.

    Hydrogen and FCEVs is the plan for Japan. The next Olympics is suppose to be a showcase of their technology. Most of Toyota's BEV plans seem focused on China.

    US won't go hybrid until gas prices rise, or CAFE standards forces manufacturers to put a mild system on every car. I think more will willing go plug in before hybrid here.
     
  15. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Given that TNGA is sharing chassis, in theory, Toyota could make a Corolla PHV (or Corolla Touring Sports PHV).
     
  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Picture the trunk space loss in a Corolla of Camry PHEV if they use the Prime's current pack.
     
  17. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    Saw an ad for the kona bev, is Hyundai the next Toyota?
     
  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Lol. Yeah :(. Wagon it is!

    I suspect Toyota is waiting for the next gen battery before putting into an SUV. 8.8kWh is small and with a heavier SUV, it won’t get the AER that customers want.

    I mean, look at the hit when it was transplanted into the Crosstrek.
     
  19. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The Cross trek PHEV has a mechanical, all-time AWD. It wasn't an efficient drive train to begin with.
     
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  20. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    Two points

    First, what if the car maker were to install enough solar to handle the ~10K or 15K miles each driver goes per year included in the price of the car?

    Second, we have, in my area the power delivered by the conventional utility, but you can buy your power through a different organization. They purchase "clean" energy in bulk and provide it to the grid. Sure, your electrons may not be the same ones you paid for, but you are buying, in theory, their clean electrons to go into the grid and are taking out whatever electrons are available at the time.

    Mike
     
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