Some insider notes on the 2017 Prius Prime

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Danny, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Agree, but you have overlooked something in your analysis. The "big thing" about TNGA was that it is more modular than how Toyota previously did chassis and platforms. Which will save on development costs.

    So the option to make changes to the Prius platform to better accommodate a PHEV model, say buy having a central battery tunnel, would have cost Toyota less than with their past platforms. The battery is small compared to what BEVs and some PHEVs deal with. So hiding it would be less of a challenge, and a gracious conversion of the gen4 could have been done with an investment into modifications to the chassis.

    Toyota chose not to pay the price, but time is part of that price, and they already delayed the next PHEV's release.

    Exactly. In the current PHEV market, the C-max Energi is the closest in form and function to the upcoming Prime. It has a more compromised cargo area but a full rear seat. It is also an aging conversion of a ICE platform. In two years time, it will be replaced, and likely on a dedicated platform. Assuming Ford won't improve upon the packaging and performance of the C-max Energi is foolish. Look how GM improved upon the gen1 Volt with the gen2. The criticisms against the Prius Prime over the seat cargo space are, in part, because they are the compromises made by competitors for the first generation of PHEVs, and it looks like Toyota designed the Prime to compete with them, and not with what is coming. PHEVs are just old enough to have a past, and the Prime looks it is part of that and not the future.

    How much do you think traction pack batteries cost now? There were discussions here last year about how the $7500 federal tax credit was likely higher Than the cost of the Volt's traction pack.

    Who are these some? The 20 to 30 mile EV range seems to be the best point in balancing performance, cost, and packaging at this time.

    The Prime could have been even better for a PHEV if Toyota had taken advantage of TNGA during its development

    How about nearly all the PHEVs and BEVs out there. Few Model 3s will benefit from the tax credits by the time they arrive on the market, but the car's price is easily within $2000 of the ICE ones in its segment. You have offered now proof of the Volt being priced below cost, and there is no evidence GM won't lower its price with lowering battery costs in the future. The Bolt will be pricey for a Chevy on introduction, but compares to the base Model 3.

    The Outlander PHEV could make Mitsubishi a big player in the US car market if it is as popular here as it is in the rest of the world. I doubt they have been selling it below cost currently, and I doubt they'll have to do so for North America. Hyundai/Kia has come far in the market, and the Ioniq/Niro appear more than a me too offering.

    Nissan has been aiming for mainstream since the start with the Leaf. They have just been mum about the next model. Same with Ford.

    Yes, and it is harder when there is a gasoline only model close to your PHEV that highlights the compromises the company has chosen.
     
  2. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    Same old spin. When a technology matures, some write it off as "obsolete" rather than acknowledge it is ready for the mainstream.


    There's far more to a system than just the pack. The cooling, controllers, and what it's connected to is also part of that.


    You're claiming nearly all will be able to sustain high-volume profitable sales without tax-credit money within the next few years. Really?
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    well, i must say, if after the tax credits run out, prime is competitive with other 4 seat mainstream vehicles, and other manufacturers aren't, it should do pretty well. i'm just trying to think of what mainstream vehicles have 4 seats. some pick ups only have two.
     
  4. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yes, I think it's conservative. Although the new 2017 EPA rating might throw a wrench into that calculation (unless the testing only applies to gasoline/diesel vehicles. I don't know the details of the testing). In Japan, it's rated at "more than 60km" which is a 2.25% increase over the current PiP (26.7km). This means we can take our 11 miles of PiP range and apply 2.25x as a rough estimate. This would place it at 24.75 miles (39.6km).

    The thing about EVs and PHEVs is that unlike there is no categorical standard yet so all variables apply to the final calculation of EV range.

    What do I mean?

    I mean, say for a regular gasoline car, you can expect

    • a subcompact to have 1.0-1.6 litre engine and a 45 litre tank
    • a compact to have a 1.8-2.5 litre engine and a 50 litre tank (some are 55)
    • a midsize family car to have a 2.4-3.5 litre engine (I guess as low as 1.5 litres with Ford's Ecoboost engine) and a 70 litre tank
    • a large family car to have a 3.0 litre V6 or larger and a 70 litre tank.

    Now with liquid-fueled cars, it's more about fuel efficiency than outright range because decent range is reasonably expected so the focus is on fuel efficiency (e.g. a 2008-2013 Impreza with a 2.5 litre engine & 4-spd auto has a city range of about 300km/200 miles as a worst-case scenario off the top of my head)

    With EVs/PHEVs, the focus is on range so, just like a regular car, you want a longer range, you put a bigger battery (i.e. bigger fuel tank). A Camry Hybrid and a Gen 3 Prius can theoretically do 1,000km to the tank. They're obviously not equal because one has a larger, more powerful engine with a larger fuel tank (65L vs. 45L).


    So back to EVs/PHEVs, the focus is on battery while Toyota has been focussing on everything including the inverter and electric motors (and one can assume the wires that carry the current too). Because Toyota is slightly ahead in hybrid technology (but possibly behind in battery technology), they're using their hybrid know-how to build more efficient motors, transmissions and power control modules to offset the lack of battery energy density.

    Long story short, I think Toyota is simply using a marketing (it gets twice as much range as the PiP!) to make it easy for people to remember but the actual number is probably a smudge higher just because of the improvement in electrical losses in all the components that were outlined in the Gen 4 Tokyo Motor Show press release/booklet. Also, given that Toyota's presentation was before Hyundai's at the NYAS, maybe they just wanted to see what information Hyundai will release.
     
  5. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Maxima has a 4-seat option with the last generation and I thought it was offered for the current generation but it might've been dropped for 2016.
     
  6. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    popular? something main stream buyers were/are interested in?

    edit: edmunds.com, maxima pro's and con's, con: small back seat.
     
  7. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    None. 4 seat sedans are the exclusive realm of luxury vehicles. (LS, 7 Series, S-Class, A8, XJ)
     
  8. bisco

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    well, maybe prime will draw some of those buyers.
     
  9. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The auto companies might make a two seater pick up, but you would be hard pressed to find one on a dealer lot. The are usually special order or fleet these days.

    This came up in another Prime thread. This is the easy JC08 test. The PiP and Prime are both moving on battery energy alone. The 11 miles the PiP gets on the EPA is with a little extra energy from gasoline. It is a variable that makes drawing such conclusions on EV range from the tests faulty.
    Forbes Article mentions 37 mile range?! | PriusChat

    It would be incorrect to assume that the others are just focused on putting in a bigger battery, and ignoring improvements else where. GM reduced the weight, improved the EV efficiency, and reduced the cost of the motors and transaxle for the gen2 Volt. Then they adjusted it for improved gasoline efficiency in the Malibu hybrid. Toyota has an edge in power-split hybrids, but the pragmatic auto companies are looking to hybridization to meet rising CAFE targets. The electronic controls for parallel hybrids have improved since the first Prius and Insight. It looks like Hyundai/Kia might be the first to truly challenge the Prius and Prius c with the Ioniq and Niro.

    I think the Prime's EV auto is going to rock, but it defaults to EV mode. So on the EPA test, that is what it uses. As those in the PiP camp like pointing out about the Volt, highway speed EV sucks down the battery quickly, and the Prime isn't getting the benefit of a little gasoline like the PiP on the EPA test.
    Did it cost more?
    Four seat options are limited to the luxury segments for the most part, and they cost extra. Us mere mortals stuck in the front seat have needs for the back seat that the 1% would never dream of doing in their car.;)
     
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  10. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Yes because EV Drive mode was what the consumer (i.e. PiP owners and potential owners) wanted. They wanted an EV driving experience even though it's at the expense of energy efficiency. I'm happy Toyota is offering both modes for the Prime. We benefit from the twin-motor propulsion in EV Drive mode and the benefit of the namestake in EV Auto mode.

    An interesting experiment would be to measure what the Prime will do at 60mph over 5 or 10 miles in EV Drive Mode. (or however long it takes to drain the battery) and then do the same test in EV Auto and see which is more efficient.

    As for the Maxima, I think it did cost more because it added a centre console as well.
     
  11. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Is there a Scangauge equivalent out for reading a PHEV's or BEV's instant consumption?
     
  12. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Not sure. Hopefully someone with a PiP can verify that.
     
  13. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    And that's because four-seat sedans exist primarily because the owner isn't the driver.

    Nobody's going to buy a Prius Prime to be driven in it, except maybe in China, and even then, it's the wrong marque for that.
     
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  14. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    It'll need to be LWB lol.
     
  15. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    perhaps north korea.
     
  16. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    Huh? At what level are you talking about? I live in a town where almost 50% of the cars are "4 seat sedans are the exclusive realm of luxury vehicles. (LS, 7 Series, S-Class, A8, XJ)" and I've never seen anyone driven by a hired driver. Rolls Royce/Grey Poupon maybe.
     
  17. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Are they 4-seat configurations, though?

    4-seat is usually intended for the owner to be in the back seat, and therefore there be a chauffeur. 5-seat is usually intended for the owner to drive the thing.

    (And, China has things like long-wheelbase Audi A4s with 4-seat configurations, specifically to allow lower-level execs and such to be chauffeured.)
     
  18. DavidA

    DavidA Prius owner since July 2009

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    I have no idea how many seats they might have, nor do I care. For what some people pay for their vehicles (or leases) around here, they should have 6 or more seats. I am surrounded by multi-million dollar houses (mine isn't) and I have never seen anyone being driven, unless an airport limo pulls up, and those are usually some sort of Prii.

    I suspect that the third generation of the PHEV will be driven not by a chauffeur but by the car itself, so if I'm going to buy a 4-seater, being driven will happen eventually, and hopefully I'll be at the age when I should not be driving anyway.
     
  19. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    how can they be 4 seat sedans, if you have no idea how many seats they have?o_O
     
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  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Unlike the Prime, the base equipment for those cars is seating for 5. To have only four seats is an option, and one with an increased price.

    Since those luxury cars with 4 seat option cost more. Toyota is trying to sell their latest cars that have to be 4 seats because of the design, the Prius Prime and Mirai, as being a more luxury model because they have 4 seats.
     
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