Featured Toyota Talks Prius Prime versus Chevrolet Volt, Mirai, TNGA, and CH-R

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Tideland Prius, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. Tideland Prius

    Tideland Prius Moderator of the North
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    Full Article
     
  2. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...we resemble that remark!

    I hear him saying
    • PHEV's now need to look and be named different than Hybrids ("differentiated")
    • Nobody knows difference between HEV, PHEV, and BEV so must be "differentiated"
    • Seeing PHEV as a business commuter (my words) no big need for 5th seat in that case
     
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  3. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    If someone was looking for a commuter only car, wouldn't a BEV be a better fit?

    Sure it won't likely work for those occasional trips, but if a person wants a PHEV for that, they probably want more space for luggage and passengers.
     
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  4. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    What's been confirmed long ago and has continued to stand true for years is there's no such thing as an "only" car. It was absurd to claim that the sole purpose for purchasing a Prius was just for the sake of MPG. Yet, countless people have tried and continue to. Thankfully, their arguments always fall apart in the end. It's like trying to justify the purchase of a SUV for commuting.

    Prius strikes a balance, striving to be a good all-around vehicle... which is why so many have purchased it. Prime will be attempting to deliver the same thing, but with a plug. You'll get the full EV experience for a limited duration, enough to cover some commutes and to cover running errands nearby. You'll still get the large cargo area. You'll still get the outstanding MPG.

    So far, the range comments coming from Volt enthusiasts have had a childish approach. That "more is better" claim has resulted in a smug attitude and an unwillingness to actually address detail. They set a terrible precedent, tarnishing the work genuine supporters worked so hard to establish. That's really unfortunate when having a goal of getting people to choose a vehicle with a plug.

    As for the spin about more passengers, I particularly like this question: "Did the fact that General Motors reached the opposite conclusion with the Chevrolet Volt, adding a fifth seat to the new generation, give you any pause?" It was an obvious provoke for comment, not real journalism. Anyone who has seen the gen-2 Volt knows it really doesn't offer a fifth seat. Only a young child could actually fit in that legless spot. Yet, we hear defenders vaguely claim Volt has seating for 5 and Prime only 4. Ugh. The nonsense we have to deal with...

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter. We've seen an abandonment of Volt recently. Those enthusiasts have turned attention to Bolt and rapid interest growth toward 200-mile EV offerings. That opens up opportunity for plug-in hybrids designed to target ordinary consumers. Prime clearly has a goal of mainstream sales. It may take a few tweaks along the way, but that's the nature of attempting to draw interest from an emerging market.

    We've seen this before. Remember the size emphasis with Two-Mode? Remember the power emphasis with Accord? How is an emphasis on range any different? There's a careful balance required to attract buyers. Cost & Efficiency tradeoffs hurt. With range, the additional EV capacity requires a sacrifice of size & weight. Toyota is attempting to deliver the right amount. After all, there are millions of Prius owner who have been pleased with roughly 2 miles of EV. Giving them roughly 10 times more is quite an upgrade.
     
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  5. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    If they only commute 10 miles each way, and occasionally need to take 300 mile drives, a phev is much more cost effective, then a bev. I do those 200+ mile trips about 5 times a year. Most of my days are 20 miles or less before being able to charge again that day, but a 30 mile would be better for me. Maybe 20% of american drivers could be well served by the prime if they wanted it.

    The prime would be more cost effective for me, but I want more, so I have a deposit down on a model 3. I want more acceleration and fun to drive, but this is a smaller market. Prime probably will have more cargo room, model 3 more passenger room. If you don't have your deposit down though, the prime will have the tax credits, but the model 3's will be expired by the time you take deliery. I don't think a leaf or i3-bev would work well for me. I am considering a 2 year lease on a i3-rex, but I'll probably just keep driving my prius.

    I expect toyota will get lots of feedback on the mpg versus the 5th seat. As I understand the tradeoff they needed to add more weight to support the added weight of a possible 5th passenger, and that might have added a little cost and maybe 1 or 2 mpg less.
     
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  6. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Well, you're half right: good MPG.
    IMHO Plug-in customers want a sedan-looking comfort ride and very willing to sacrifice cargo space for this vehicle. As a lonely station wagon fan, I was never willing to give up the space.

    I am trying to figure out if I had the last Cressida wagon. Took me ~6-yrs to accept minivan instead of wagon. Now I've had 4 minivans.

    EDIT: If we include rear seat area with the back Cargo area, OK good space
     
    #6 wjtracy, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: May 1, 2016
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  7. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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  8. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    ...just an aside there ain't no 9-ft3 space above the Toneau cover (per 19 ft3 EPA cargo space). Rather EPA Cargo space somehow I think allows creative measurement of cargo space.
     
  9. austingreen

    austingreen Senior Member

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    Epa cargo space piles high on hatchbacks exagerating their numbers, but seems accurate on cars with trunks. There is a lot of room in the volt hatch, especially with rear seats down, but its less than the prius which is less than a minivan. Most people are fine with trunks, but some really want the space of a minivan or suv.
     
  10. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I agree exactly same applies to Prius since Gen2 (16.2-ft3) everything since then has been EPA la la land as far as I am concerned. Except EU VDA method is OK (but under counts a little).
     
  11. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    More info please...

    Sedan-looking seems to imply a little bit of a lip in back and no reap wiper. Willing to sacrifice cargo space is the raised floor tradeoff.

    Isn't that what Prime has?
     
  12. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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    I mentioned the cloth tonneau cover because; wow! even cheaper than the solid cover in some Gen 4!
     
  13. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    I am thinking Gen4 strives for a psuedo-sedan appearance by lowering rear roof.

    My preliminary calculation (another thread) is Gen4 we've lost about 2.5-ft3 cargo space over Gen3 (including under floor space) of which about 1.5-ft3 can be regained by going with the no-spare tire option. One source says Prime loses 7-ft3 so that put me at around 12-13 ft3 in Prime rear about same as Volt maybe a little better. I will look to EU VDA cargo space method for Volt/Prime to get a good relative comparison, assuming I can find the data.

    I assume the 2 rear seats in Prime is way superior room to Volt. But the back hatch maybe about same.
     
    #13 wjtracy, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  14. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    What kind of feedback? Having that middle storage in back and getting a 1 or 2 MPG more for a slightly lower price seems as though that would be a positive.

    There is the reality of diminishing returns. Is a 1 or 2 more MPG really a draw? How do we prove it? There is also the reality of few ever using the middle. Is having a 5th seat really a draw? How do we prove it?

    In other words, this is a clear effort to reach out to new customers. After all, widening the market is a big goal they've been striving for. Prime is testing out interest in a rapidly changing industry.

    The bucket type seat in back offers new opportunity... like seat heaters and automatic directed air-flow. How does that fit into the purchase decision process?
     
    #14 john1701a, Apr 30, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  15. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web i3 and Prime

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    Every company has the right to be wrong. In this case, I am not the least bit tempted.

    I would rather have a 168 hp, rear drive, i3-Rex and a 2010 Prius. Once I figure out how to add two, 5-gal spare cans on the receiver hitch, the 2010 is history.

    Bob Wilson
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    now i'm thinking toyota differentiated prime so they could sell it cheap, without people comparing it to lift back.
     
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  17. iplug

    iplug Senior Member

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    Maybe different solutions and different combos for different households.

    In our case, the wife finally went for a Leaf a few days ago replacing her 2009 Honda Civic. That plus my 2012 PiP offers lots of flexibility for us.

    The PiP has plenty of EV range for my commute and the Leaf for hers. It would be a pain to take the Leaf on our 200+ mile road trips and mountain trips (some impossible), but that's were the PiP comes back in and we have all the cargo room the family needs.
     
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  18. Grus

    Grus Member

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    So, the question is:
    Will you accept the 2017 PP as a replacement for your 2012 PiP to serve your personal commute and occasional road trips?
     
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  19. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    For me, that is a big YES. That upgrade is an easy choice.
     
  20. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    If the hatch tonneau cover can't support stuff stacked on top of it, and sounds like the new Prius one can't, then why pay extra to hide the cargo? Stretchy cloth doesn't require the interior design team to put in a storage spot for it, or risk forgetting to add one, and it will be easier to clean if it happens to get dirty.

    The fifth seat cramped. The Prius should be better, but one will be packing 5 adults into either car for a long trip. Adding that mini fifth seat has allowed GM to counter the arguments put up by people that wanted the fifth seat for a kid or child seat. With the Prime, Toyota seems to be saying that PHEVs aren't for families.

    There is a link here somewhere covering the why there are differences among SUV and hatch cargo space. There are like a half dozen revisions to the SAE procedure for measuring it. The one for the EPA is older, but the manufacturer is allowed to use any of them for their marketing. Then even if everyone used the same, there can be some fudge in how the technician makes the measurements. By the photos in the article, Honda and Toyota seemed to exaggerate more for their SUVs at the time.

    That's because the procedure for trunks, and maybe all cars in Europe, doesn't involve making measurements of the space, but fillinf it with standard sized boxes and counting them. This is better measurement of usable space, and will under estimate for those packers that can fill up every nook and cranny.

    Good insight, but will it be cheap enough compared to the Volt.

    Which was the point of my first post. Sounds like Toyota is setting the Prime up as a roomy commuter car, and for single car households, it might be a good choice of a PHEV. With a plug ins charging requirements, most households buying them likely have more than one car, going by the likely hood that families with more than one car are more likely to have plug access at home than a single person.

    For those multicar households, the Prime needs to somehow be a better fit than the Volt or available BEV to fill the secondary/commuter car slot, or better fit for the trip car than the Ford, Sonata,or upcoming Pacifica PHEVs, or a plain hybrid, or even an ICE alternative. Perhaps there is enough of a niche there, but I don't see it.
     
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