Your prediction for the future of the Prius?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by Sufferin' Prius Envy, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. Sufferin' Prius Envy

    Sufferin' Prius Envy Platinum Member

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    What’s your prediction for the future of the Prius? (and automobiles in general)

    We keep hearing that the Prius is an incremental advancement, but that we can’t economically build Hybrid cars domestically (whah whah whine), and fuel cell cars will be in the year 2020 or later. (Of course Toyota and Honda will be much earlier if the future is fuel cells.)

    15 years out is too long of a time period to predict accurately.
    For example:
    This internet, as we know it today, is only about 10 years old, yet our way of life is already so thoroughly tied to it.

    My prediction:
    With the accelerated advancement of Super/Ultra Capacitors - future cars (the 2020 Prius SUC :wink:) will have a bank of super caps that can be nearly instantaneously recharged while driving. Drive down the road and run over a “recharge station†and ZAP - you are good for another 50 to 150 miles. No fuel tank, No ICE, no fuel cells, no battery pack. Just Ultra-Super-Duper-Caps and lots of easy to use “recharge stations.†The electrical infrastructure is basically in place today . . . except for the actual recharge stations. A much better scenario than terrorist target refineries and hauling hydrogen!

    Of course future SUVs will be the ones getting 50 MPZ, and the Hummer H22s will get less than 24 MPZ.

    What say you? Where will the Prius line be in 15 years?
     
  2. amped

    amped Senior Member

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    Patrick, you really shouldn't drink on weeknights. :lol:

    Hey, I can't predict tomorrow, let alone 15 years out. I will repeat a quote from none other than Soichiro Toyoda that I read a few years ago (paraphrased): "In the future, cars will not contact the road, but float above the surface." That one had me thinking for about, oh, five years. :|
     
  3. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    It'll probably involve this New Patent (not Toyota's)

    And this recent battery design patent app with the following features:

    New design features:

    1) The new battery has gone back to a cylindrical design with an
    outer metal jacket.

    2) A single cylinder is made up of several cells interlocked in
    series and in a relative ingenious way inside the metal cylinder,
    significantly reducing internal resistances and offering much higher
    voltages per cylinder.

    3) All the cells in each cylinder are wound around a common center
    shaft that is hollow so as to allow coolant to be pumped through the
    center body of the battery assembly to provide cooling or heating as
    necessary to the inside of the assembly (a problem for cylindrical
    designs in the past).

    4) Winding several cells for higher voltages onto a single hollow
    electrode inside a single metal cylinder not only reduces internal
    resistance but also cuts production costs and weight significantly.

    5) The outside metallic cover or jacket protects against expansion
    problems without implementing compression devices to protect the
    cases against expansion like we have in our OEM prismatic designs.

    6) The metal jacket also provides for better cooling via circulating
    air so that overall the entire battery temperatures are more easily
    controlled via air on the outside and coolant being pumped through
    the inside hollow shaft.

    The units could easily incorporate up to 14 perfectly matched cells
    or more per cylinder providing nominal voltages of at least 16.8 VDC
    per cylinder very easily. This means our 2004 Prius would only have
    12 cylinders per HV Battery assembly and a whole lot less internal
    resistance, much better performance and significantly less weight.


    They've also patented technology that uses GPS to predict terrain elevation changes and feed that technology into the ECU to further fine tune the algorhythms for battery/hybrid function on the fly.

    They've also filed applications to improve lubrication of the transaxle in electric only mod--probably anticipating prolonged/extended EV use.

    Beyond that...who knows, I think the possibilities are huge.
    --evan
     
  4. swepri

    swepri New Member

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    My prediction is...

    ... that later today I will pick up a red Prius. Dealer just called and confirmed delivery. :D

    /Paj
     
  5. Victoriatus

    Victoriatus New Member

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    Moller Skycar

    Maybe like the Moller Skycar. A mass-produced Skycar would be in $50000 range, and that could be very soon.
     
  6. Batavier

    Batavier Member

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    I was just thinking about that when I drove down the highway earlier today: "Would it be possible to combine the nav system with the cruise control? And thus not accelerate on a rather short hill, instead of now wasting some fuel by trying to maintain speed?"

    Guess I'm too late. :D
     
  7. swepri

    swepri New Member

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    I think we will have to wait a few years before 3D info will be included in navigation systems. I know that Garmin have some topographic (?) maps for their units (local U.S. maps) but I have not seen any European maps yet.

    /Paj
     
  8. bruceha_2000

    bruceha_2000 Senior Member

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    Re: Moller Skycar

    Just what we need a few million people flying at 350 mph all willy nilly. :) I suspect we would need freeways in the sky, and a WHOLE LOT MORE air traffic controllers!
     
  9. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    My prediction for the Prius is in about 4 years or so it will be a dead end car. No more Prius. Toyota will have the hybrid technology in their entire line up and the Prius will be gone. I personally see it as a POC and it's served its function. Sorry and no flames please. My honest thought.
     
  10. bookrats

    bookrats New Member

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    Re: Moller Skycar

    Oh, yes! All my childhood Gerry Anderson fantasies come true! :D

    S.I.G.!! :mrgreen:
     
  11. bookrats

    bookrats New Member

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    I don't think there's a thing to flame about in that observation, Frank -- it's certainly a possibility.

    The two (no, wait, three!) reasons I don't think that will happen, though, are:
    • That there will be straight gasoline, or other options (diesel, full electric) for a very long time
    • That the jump to a full hybrid line, if it occurs, won't be that quick
    • That the Prius name has a lot of marketing cachet at the moment. I don't think Toyota will want to throw that away by dumping the Prius name.
     
  12. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    Let me start off by saying that the Prius IS the future, today.

    Now let me follow up by pointing out some things to consider when discussing fuel alternatives. Many of which have already been discussed on this board:
    http://www.priuschat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1741
    http://www.priuschat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2190

    When thinking about fuel, whether hydrogen, gasoline, solar, electric, butane, whatever, you have to ask yourself about the full-circle life of that fuel.
    How easy is it to acquire?
    How easy is it to refine to be fuel-ready?
    How easy is it to store?
    How easy is it to combust, if combustible?
    What is its energy potential?
    What are he by-products of its use?

    For example, Hydrogen has been thrown around as the fuel of the future because when it burns there are no harmful byproducts. While this is true, it is also true that hydrogen does not naturally exist in the quantities required to fuel cars. It therefore must be made. The two main Hydrogen creation methods consume large amounts of fossil fuels. Therefore, switching to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles still relies on fossil fuels and their polluting by-products.

    Electricity is clean and highly efficient, but the majority of it is currently produced through the burning of fossil fuels or by nuclear reaction. Electricity also does not store well. It would be great to have electrical refilling strips on busy highways, where the demand would be relatively steady; on lesser traveled roads when that one car comes by, the electrical-system load spike would be instantaneous and very difficult to deliver.

    I predict that self-contained recharging petrol-electric vehicles will be the big thing for the next long time. While the use of hybrids will lesser our demand for oil (good thing), totally eliminating fossil fuels would end an entire industry and put all the hard-working employees out of work (bad thing). No elected government official would want to pass that bill.

    Talking about levitating cars. I think it would be great if we didn’t need pavement and could drive over trimmed grass paths. The hovering and anti-gravitation is the easy part. I mean, seriously, who here doesn’t know how to build an anti-gravitational device. What I’ve had problems with is the steering and stopping.
     
  13. bookrats

    bookrats New Member

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    Given your excellent points above, Tony, and the Scientific American article of a few months ago regarding the total costs of hydrogen automobile fueling, I think it's quite likely you're right. (At least as a casual reader of what's going on there.)

    The S.A. article said that while hydrogen fuel cells would be optimal for a lot of other power needs, there was a question about how well it would work for powering a car.

    However, when gasoline becomes so rare and precious and expensive, hydrogen's lower efficiency may bow to the problems of getting more gas.

    OK, I admit it -- I'm a dunce. My anti-gravity drive is almost built, but I just can't seem to get past the tachyon filter! The thing seems to fizzle out every 15 minutes or so. :oops:

    Luckily, I've only tested it with lab animals; but it take a helluva long time to train those little hamsters how to use turn signals. And I think they're starting to notice the rapidly-expanding hamster graveyard behind our house.
     
  14. Kablooie

    Kablooie Member

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    I'm pretty sure that the future of the Prius is to melt into slag while the aging sun grows into a red giant and swells to encompass the orbit of mercury. Party ON! .
     
  15. bookrats

    bookrats New Member

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    Note: the hard radiation caused by this event may interfere with the working of your SS/SE keyfobs (for Prii with this feature).
     
  16. TonyPSchaefer

    TonyPSchaefer Your Friendly Moderator
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    That's a really good point, BR. Should that be included that in the valet card? "In the event of a Red Giant, you may be required to insert the fob into the ignition slot to start the car."
     
  17. Frank Hudon

    Frank Hudon Senior Member

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    bookrats said
    "That the jump to a full hybrid line, if it occurs, won't be that quick"

    you could possibly be right but if we don't get the cost of crude under control the possibility of 3-4$ a gallon gasoline will be the biggest incentive to the manufacture to have a full hybrid lineup. And it'll probably drag, kicking and screaming, the NA manufactures into the hybrid fold.
     
  18. Gurmail

    Gurmail Member

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    Frank is right. In a few years more and more hybrids will become available. Most people will continue buying SUVs( in North America), the envirnmentaly consious few will buy hybrid SUVs thinking they are actually doing something good ! When all or most cars come as hybrids, many people would love it be a Volvo or BMW or whatever they think is the car they love. The Prius will ( hopefully) be left with a small loyal following, with people (like me)who will refuse to let go of it even when it becomes old and somewhat outdated with newer technologies, vehicles etc. take the example of the real pioneers who bought the Classic Prius. Imagine if the classic with all its tremendous advances( at that time) had been discontinued and Toyota or some one else had introduced another cool car with far more advaned hybrid engine and mpg like say a hybrid RAV4 or Accord or a convertible etc etc..Many people would be tempted to buy a newer more advanced vehicle. The same could happen to the Prius as Frank thinks. Already, I am dismayed to read many people HERE on the PRIUSCHAT board :( talking of being in line for a hybris Highlander or Sienna or even the Escape. Look at the responses to my post: " Hybrid SUVs are actually a bad thing". If this is how dedicated Prius owners/lovers feel , I dread to think how fickle and pro SUV oe performance and unwilling to compromise the general public would be!
     
  19. amped

    amped Senior Member

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    Toyota already announced that the entire lineup will have at least one HSD model in each series within five years. We know about the HSD Highlander, Camry, Sienna and Tundra in the pipe within the next three years. Short term, I'd expect to see D4D diesel hybrids in Gen 3 HSD applications. Then Toyota can sell the obsolete Gen 2 HSD license to Ford again.
     
  20. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    in 15 years?? well in 25 years, less than 10% of the general population will drive a car for pleasure. other than essential service vehicles, nearly all transportation needs will be serviced by the rapidly expanding but as of yet, woefully inadequate mass transit system.

    unfortunately, 10 years from now, when it became obvious even to hummer owners, that there would be no more oil, two different factions rose up to battle it out for the mass transit design. the cheaper solution (backed by the now merged automobile/oil companies) won the federal contract to begin replacing the freeway system that although still used and it place now required a permit for all travel on it.

    but luckily, many local jurisdictions went with the new and improved maglev system, despite its much higher initial costs, because the system could be built quicker and was a better system anyway. they were unfortunate in that other than a few ambitious public funding projects in forward thinking cities of San Francisco and Portland, OR, they had no money to prove their system was worth the cost.

    other things to worry about, respiratory disease now affects nearly 10 % of the population despite the fact that cigarettes were placed on the controlled substances list 15 years ago. many people also suffer from unexplained allergies and in many cases, the causes are unknown.

    tap water is no longer fit to drink and bottled water has hit $2 a gallon causing a protest among the emerging middle class that has increasingly seen their taxes raised in order to support a growing "working class poor" that must have food and housing subsidies to be able to survive.

    Top news story of the day?

    Top executive of the company formerly known as the Ford Motor Co once again caught driving his Toyota Prius without a permit. This is his 7th violation in less than two years and this time many feel that his money will not buy his freedom again. Officials speculate that he got the gas for his Prius from the thriving black market. One official noted, that "the amount of gas he could conceal on his person would allow him to make several pleasure trips in the Prius making it easy for him to get past checkpoints..."
     
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