Featured Toyota Prius sales have tanked, 4 reasons why

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Ashlem, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Um, the new Camry hybrid.

    Toyota has reduced the size of the hybrid system and attending components to the point that it takes up the same space as in the engine bay as the ICE and transmission; the Prius no longer has to put the 12 volt battery in the back because of this. Hybrid success now means designing new car platforms for the battery pack is justifiable even if the ICE version is the expected big seller.

    Improvements to batteries also make this easier as the pack gets smaller. The Camry loses some cabin space because the rear seat is a little higher. That might not have been necessary if Toyota went with Li-ion only.

    Last time I looked, full hybrids still had a oil burning ICE in them. They actually can't move without it. Those industries actually fear the BEV, not efficient ICE cars, which hybrids still are.

    Mild hybrids won't match a full hybrid, but a full hybrid does no good if no one buys them. Despite more choices, the hybrid market share really hasn't improved in the US. It is likely lower than when we had the gas price spike in 2008. A full hybrid will always cost more than a mild one, and most people will pick the ICE model because of price.

    These mild systems are low cost enough to be made standard on a car model. So they won't get all the gains of a full hybrid, but we could get more of them onto the road.
     
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  2. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    Although a full hybrid is also hardware that's more easily modified into a PHEV or even EREV, whereas a mild hybrid cannot become a useful PHEV.
     
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  3. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    One of these days I'm gonna drown in an ocean of acronyms! ;)
     
  4. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    "Tanked" .... that's kind of harsh. Maybe the article below explains part of what's going on (outside of fewer buying cars). Many Prius buyers - especially early ones - according to stat's - were the better educated, eco-conscious, penny wise, yet above average income. Increasing electric use in cars is especially attractive to this crowd.
    This article elaborates on the electrification dynamics ;
    Electric Vehicles Report: Part 1 -- Electric Vehicles Are Going Mainstream | CleanTechnica

    In short, it quotes research showing how/why electrified cars will likely undercut both regular cars AND hybrids by the mid 2020's.
    - drastically falling battery costs
    - lighter & more energy dense packs
    - greater range
    - range anxiety diminishes
    - cost of ownership
    - ever improving infrastructure
    - customer satisfaction
    - etc
    don't count Toyota out, just yet - they are masters at playing catch-up & only recent admitted they need to go electric. The Prius itself was born out of seeing GM'S hybrid concept, the 'Impact' (over 2 decades back it was a for-runner of the EV1) which never came to be. It got Toyota into the game in short order.
    .
     
    #64 hill, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    Maybe a year back, just before our provincial "liberal" government (in actuality the rebranded Social Credit party, a right-of-center business oriented bunch) got turfed out, the "public service" ads ramped up, anything to get the brand on-the-air, whatever.

    Anyway, they had one ad, what to do in the event of someone having a heart attack. Someone's collapsed, people are clustered over them, and the voice-over is going through the steps you should take, saying:

    "Call for the AED"

    And then subsequently:

    "When the AED arrives"

    This cracked us up, it's actualy one of our favourite expressions now, the stuff of lore. Except we substitute what ever comes to mind, like:

    "Call for the IUD"

    for example.
     
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  6. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...the Gen4 design goal was to create a more sporty looking, sedan-like liftback, at the expense of taking some cargo volume out of the rear. Meanwhile of course, sedans are falling out of favor in the US.

    But USA-taste is not necessarily the top priority for Toyota (Japan is also important). Another priority on Gen4 was utmost top attainable 55+ MPG, so interior vol-ft3 is constant with Gen3. For the USA, 50 MPG is fine, we could have used more ft-3.

    We really need to look at what %US hybrid market is Toyota.

    Ordinarily I would post the Washington (state of) Hybrid Report for such insights, but I think they might have stopped that publication.
     
    #66 wjtracy, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  7. Prodigyplace

    Prodigyplace Senior Member

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    Something like this?
     
  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Continuing with that reasoning, then the F150 is the prettiest thing on the planet. ;)

    (We're gonna' need a bigger couch!)
     
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  9. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    no doubt it's true! ... because there'll always be a need to haul a couple dirt bikes, or hay bales, or even a 5th wheel camper trailer etc ......
    for now ......
    Tomorrow ?

    Who knows

    .
     
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  10. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Ok, I figured it out. Consumer Reports New Cars, has a fair and accurate review of the Prius (77 score), Prius Prime (77 score) , and Chevy Volt (59). Apparently H*ll has frozen over and that must have tanked Prius sales.

    Actually I agree that every Prius should come with a J1772 even if the battery is under sized. It will given them a base to build upon and get the Prius Prime control laws in the car.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  11. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    But the article I read in Consumers Report owners of Gen 4 Prii gave it a 97 or 98.

    I can't find the article I am talking about.
     
    #71 padroo, Feb 12, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
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  12. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    My copy is April 2018 bought off the magazine stand.

    Bob Wilson
     
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  13. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    The article I was talking about was not a Consumers ranking but a survey by owners and I can't find it and I don't keep old magazines.

    But the point is the Prius still stands out in what is now a large crowd.
     
  14. Rmay635703

    Rmay635703 Senior Member

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    Tesla owners rank their own cars very high despite have early 90’s Kia build quality

    Gotta read between the lines sometimes
     
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  15. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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  16. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    preaching to the quire ... the challenge is to win over the masses.
    .
     
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  17. padroo

    padroo Senior Member

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    At one time when gas prices were high the Prius was really the only game in town. That time is gone.
     
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  18. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    You guys remember that "Next Gen Prius v spied!" article a few months back?

    I'm wondering if Toyota is working on a Prius CUV.

    i.e. instead of bringing over the CH-R Hybrid, they bring a Prius Crossover. Not quite a Matrix, not quite a RAV4. Maybe like a Niro but a touch higher off the ground and hopefully AWD.

    The other question is whether there's anything left in the Prius brand. In other words, would a hybrid crossover revive the Prius brand and make it relevant or would it tank the vehicle (even if the vehicle is perfectly "normal" and "un-Prius-like" but the Prius brand is already associated with slow and ugly hybrids).

    Or maybe a Prius SC halo car (sc for sport coupe.. since Toyota appears to be affixing letters to the Prius name) with RWD and a scaled down multi-stage hybrid system (and "normal" coupe design)
     
  19. RCO

    RCO Senior Member

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    They better be careful with the New Technology abbreviations on that setup.
     
  20. bhtooefr

    bhtooefr Senior Member

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    To be honest, I think there's a fair amount of room to, if they wanted to, expand the Prius lineup with performance variants.
    • Prius S (or maybe GT or GT-S - I think GRMN would be going too far): Swap a Camry Hybrid 2.5 liter powertrain and larger Li-ion battery in. 208 hp, minimal weight gain, and with a bit stiffer suspension, it'd actually have legit performance. Like, we're talking within the weight range of a VW GTI, with similar power and better aerodynamics. Probably a bit slower off the line due to how the power split device works, but eh.
    • Prius GT300 (or GRMN): RX 450h powertrain in the back. 308 hp (or more if they update the powertrain). Really, this would be a homologation special for apr Racing's cars, as the Super GT rulebook since 2016 has required JAF GT300 cars to have the engine in the same position (that is, the same place relative to the front and rear bulkheads) as the factory car they're based on... unless your car was built before 2016, and apr filed the paperwork two days before the deadline to get it homologated as a 2015 car. They could've done it as front-engine RWD, but they decided to keep with the mid-engine RWD layout that they understood. A production mid-engine Prius would settle this nicely, though.
    All of this would be a bit unique, whereas I suspect a front-engine RWD Prius coupe may be seen as competing too closely against the upcoming Supra (which has been rumored to get an optional BMW hybrid system (to go along with its BMW everything else, it's really just a reskinned next-gen BMW Z4)).

    One thing that could also help is to make a power split device with, say, a 2-speed reduction device on the output. This could be mechanically much simpler than the 4-speed multi-stage hybrid (simply have a single clutch, and a freewheel for whichever side isn't engaged), and could improve off-the-line performance and towing performance in the larger hybrids (think RAV4, Highlander, RX, Alphard/Vellfire, and a hypothetical Sienna) significantly. (However, Toyota's already said that the next Highlander Hybrid will be getting the Camry Hybrid 2.5 liter powertrain, so I suspect that they've decided that low-end performance isn't that important for that vehicle.)
     
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