Print 20 comment(s) - last by phryguy.. on Aug 11 at 4:07 AM

Toyota plans to sell 1 million hybrids per year this decade

The first mass production hybrid vehicle, the Prius, came from Toyota in the late 1990s. The Prius was soon joined by several other hybrid vehicles in the Japanese market including larger SUVs and vehicles aimed at commercial use. Today, Toyota offers hybrid vehicles from its luxury brand Lexus in the U.S. along with the Prius, Camry Hybrid, and Highlander Hybrid.

Toyota Motor Company (TMC) has announced that in Japan the sales of hybrid vehicles have topped the million unit mark. The Prius was also the best selling vehicle in Japan in 2009.

Globally, Toyota has sold over 2.68 million hybrid vehicles as of July 31, 2010. The company currently sells eight hybrid vehicles outside Japan with overseas sales for TMC at 1.68 million units. According to Toyota, its hybrid vehicles have resulted in some significant savings in greenhouse gas emissions. TMC figures that since 1997, its hybrids have resulted in four million less tons of CO2 emissions in Japan alone and 15 million fewer tons of CO2 produced globally.

Toyota has bigger plans still for its hybrid vehicle sales. The company plans to sell a million hybrid vehicles per year during this decade and add hybrid models to every vehicle in its line as early as 2020. Toyota's iconic Prius hybrid was launched in 1997. More recently, Toyota and electric vehicle maker Tesla have worked together on a new plant and the development of hybrid and full-electric vehicles.

There were also reports in May that a minivan using Prius hybrid technology would be coming next spring.

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Good plan
By Moishe on 8/9/2010 10:05:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'm glad that someone is innovating and acting on long term plans. Good for Toyota. I'm thinking that by 2020 there will be a ton of hybrids, maybe even 50% of all sales. At that point I think we'll have a good enough idea of the lifespan of hybrids and I may feel comfortable buying one.

Hopefully the economy will pick back up and let me afford one by then.

RE: Good plan
By Hieyeck on 8/9/2010 11:29:28 AM , Rating: 1

OK, not realy. A good giggle as the assumptions aren't fair, but neither are they entirely inaccurate. The following is a link to a more reasonable report that details the research, a very interesting read, even for non-technical people.

RE: Good plan
By usbseawolf2000 on 8/9/2010 12:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, it has been debunked a long time ago. Where have you been?

RE: Good plan
By Hieyeck on 8/9/2010 2:08:59 PM , Rating: 1
Living in Ontario where the nickel in the battery is mined:

And born in HK, China:

I'm not against green tech, but it should NOT be screwing up ANYONE's backyard or anyone's LIFE:

Really debunked. [/sarcasm]

RE: Good plan
By usbseawolf2000 on 8/9/2010 2:37:15 PM , Rating: 2
Just look around dude. Nickel is in the change in your pocket. It is in your stainless steel spoon and fork. It is used in a lot of things. Prius' battery weights 99 lbs and probably 30 lbs Nickel. It cuts down 3,000 gallons of gasoline. That alone weights at least 18,000 lbs.

RE: Good plan
By Hieyeck on 8/10/2010 9:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
I use a credit card and bamboo chopsticks, because coins jangle annoyingly and I'm Asian. Practical ways of being greener without being stupid.

Trace the nickel in the battery alone. Mined in Sudbury, trucked south to Great Lakes ports, shipped through locks down the Saint Lawrence, transfered to ocean cargos, shipped to northern Europe, refined in Europe, shipped or trained to China (I'm not familiar with the infrastructure), converted to in China, shipped to Japan, assembled in Japan, and finally delivered to you in North America. The nickel alone has already travelled at least 40,000KM just to get to your showroom. All that fuel just to get a battery into your new hybrid.

Now do the math, 12000 litres over 300K KM. You shipped 30 pounds of nickel (and 69 pounds of whatever metal hyrdrides) around the world just to save 40 millilitres of gas per km.

It's dumb. You want to save fuel? Get a diesel. Some VW models mpg rating is close to 60. Better yet, change your habits. There's more to conservation than just MPG. Don't buy a locally manufactured car. The NA mentality is too geared toward consumerism and the car will only last 3-5 years. Buy one actually made in Japan (not, for example, a Corolla, made in Canada) and the car will be useable for 300K km without major repairs, instead of falling apart at 100K km

RE: Good plan
By phryguy on 8/10/2010 2:10:49 PM , Rating: 1
Stupid? I'm Asian too but it seems you're just filled w/misinformation.

Even if one buys a car that was "locally" assembled doesn't mean the parts and raw materials didn't come from around the world. See and

Save fuel? Per a barrel of oil produces almost 2x the amount of gasoline as it does diesel. 60 mpg? In the US there are NO currently sold diesels that get even a combined mpg of >40 let alone "close to 60". See for yourself.

So, saving 18000 pounds of gasoline isn't anything?

One can see the most efficient cars at

RE: Good plan
By phryguy on 8/10/2010 3:45:06 AM , Rating: 2
It's thoroughly debunked junk science that refuses to die.

The "article" was written by a bored college who "threw the paper together in 1/2 hour of being bored. I was just having fun lol" per

RE: Good plan
By Hieyeck on 8/10/2010 9:43:32 AM , Rating: 2
I already said it's filled with poor assumptions, but that doesn't make it entirely untrue. Good lord does no one possess the ability for critical thinking? See my other replies. Give me hydrogen cars (fuel cells or fuel), give me mass transit and high-speed rail, but FFS, kill hybrids and electrics. Japan's high-speed rail runs right through urban centres and mountains. America has suburbs and flat ground. If Japan can do it, why not America?

RE: Good plan
By phryguy on 8/10/2010 2:17:28 PM , Rating: 2
Public transportation is great. Good luck getting much of that built in the US, esp. in California (where I lived before). There, you have rich folks coming up w/excuses to not have high speed rail because they're considered about their property values. It's a form of "not in my backyard"-ism. You have people opposing having BART go further south for unclear (to me) reasons.

Hydrogen fuel cells are a bad idea. The energy input needed to produce hydrogen via electrolysis is far greater than the output that will come out of the fuel cell. Better to put that energy straight into batteries of an EV.

I did an analysis of CNW's junk science and posted it at

Why kill hybrids? The ICE (internal combustion engine) doesn't need to run at low speeds and when idling. Some energy that would otherwise be wasted as heat and brake test is recaptured and repurposed.

Look at You can have larger and more powerful vehicles getting fuel economy that exceeds underpowered econoboxes or you can have medium sized versatile hatchbacks (like the Prius) that get far better combined mileage than anything else.

How does a Prius save petrol?
By yxalitis on 8/9/2010 8:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
I have a question,
How on Earth can a hybrid save petrol?

The Laws of Thermodynamics tell us that every system suffers a loss, so whenever I use the electric engine, a certain amount of power is drawn from the batteries. However, whatever amount is drawn out, MORE must be used to recharge it (or else we would have an infinite power generator!).
The source of this recharge power, is the engine.
How is this more efficient then just using the engine to directly power the drive shaft. I suffer a loss in the overall system as I have to lose energy recharging a battery
AND I have to lug around an extra engine, and a lot of heavy batteries.
Now I know SOME energy is derived from regenerative braking, but once again we hit the laws of thermodynamics, whatever energy is spent accelerating the car will be much greater then that recovered when braking. From my research, regenerative braking is about 5% efficient, so that is certainly not going to make up the difference!

Over the life of the car, I have to use more power to recharge that battery, then work I get from it, period, full stop, no question.

So how come the entire world thinks the Prius et al use less petrol?
I just don't see how a car carrying hundreds of kilos of extra mass, and losing energy recharging a battery (remember, this is a closed system) is more efficient!
My guess, is that all the trial runs measure petrol consumption over a set course, but do NOT take account of the fact that at the end of the test run, the batteries are not in fact fully charged.
If I ran a FULLY electric engine over the same course, I would achieve ZERO petrol consumption, but in that case, of course, everyone would nod sagely, and state "Yes, but we now have to recharge those batteries"

Am I wrong, is there something I'm, missing here? Have I misunderstood

By khadafito on 8/9/2010 10:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
Four ways the Prius saves gas:
1) It is incredibly aerodynamic. It has one of the lowest drag coefficients of any mass-produced car (almost the same coefficient as the sportsy-lookin Telsa Roadster). This is obviously not related to being a hybrid, but it helps a lot.
2) The car has regenerative breaking. When you break, the electric motor becomes a generator that converts part of the kinetic energy into electricity that charges the battery. Then you use that recovered energy when the battery discharges by running the electric motor, which means less gas consumption. In a regular car, every time you break you waste all the kinetic energy.
3) When the car stops, the gas engine stops. In stop and go traffic you are only consuming gas when the car is moving. A regular car would be consuming gas all the time, including on an idling engine by just sitting still at a red light or on a traffic jam. When the Prius starts moving again, if you don't push the throttle too much, the car will move on purely electric power until you hit a certain speed (using, in part, the power stored in the battery from the regenerative breaking). Then the gas engine comes on.
4) A very sophisticated system of gears connecting two electric motors and the gas engine (and controlled by a computer) keeps the RPMs of the gas engine at it's most efficient spot (where it consumes the least gas) for a wide range of car speeds. Essentially, the computer is constantly adjusting the fraction of power delivered by the gas engine to keep gas consumption to a minimum. In a regular car, most of the time the gas engine is running at RPM levels where it's highly inefficient.

By the way, when you are comparing gas and hybrid or electric cars, keep in mind that the internal combustion engine, especially a regular gas one (Otto cycle), is horribly inefficient (Diesel cycle is better). In any regular car, at most 25 to 30% of the energy in the gasoline actually gets converted into useful motion of the car. The rest is wasted as heat. An electric motor + battery power train is way more efficient than this, but the whole analysis would get too long for this post.

RE: How does a Prius save petrol?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 8/10/2010 11:32:12 AM , Rating: 2
I just wanted to add that in a regular gas only car, energy is lost to heat when the car brakes. It is gone. In a hybrid vehicle, that lost energy is turned into electric energy. That is where the hybrid gets the battery power (predominantly.) The only time it takes energy from the gas motor is when the battery gets very low, or when the gas motor is running anyway but there is no load on it (over 45 mph).

The upshot is that I get 50+ mpg in my hybrid where I would get about 30 in a regular ICE car of the same dimensions.

It is not tricky thermodynamics. The hybrid just recaptures energy that the gas engine was p*ssing away anyway. An elegant solution.

RE: How does a Prius save petrol?
By phryguy on 8/11/2010 4:07:26 AM , Rating: 2
The other replies covered it pretty well.

The person asking should also see these for reference:

These are in smaller US gallons in Consumer Reports testing and are not from our EPA test nor the are they comparable to that of European test driving cycles.

44 (miles per US gallon) = 52.8418186 miles per Imperial gallon
32 (miles per US gallon) = 38.4304135 miles per Imperial gallon
55 (miles per US gallon) = 66.0522732 miles per Imperial gallon
53 (miles per US gallon) = 63.6503724 miles per Imperial gallon

There are also not "hundreds of kilos of extra mass". The HV battery in the Prius only weighs 53.3 kg. See

My 06 Prius is only 2890 lbs. which is actually fairly light for car classified by the EPA as a medium sized car. Most non-hybrid 4-banger family sedans off that era weigh 3000+ lbs.

5% efficiency of regenerative braking sounds WAY off. Where is 95% of the energy lost? That makes no sense. Even internal combustion engines don't have such poor efficiency. Also, one might want to look at

By Silverel on 8/9/2010 10:09:07 AM , Rating: 4
The title is slightly misleading in proclaiming it will sell 1 million vehicles.

Article states over a 10 year period.

100,000 Hybrids on average each year is a high expectation? What percentage of their normal car sales volume does that make up?

RE: Math
By docinct on 8/9/2010 11:16:13 AM , Rating: 3
According to Toyota, it has sold a cumulative 2.7 million hybrid models world wide (I'll assume a majority were Prius models) and over 1 million in Japan. In 2009 208,000 were sold in Japan alone.
That being said, with total sales of about 7 million units, the Prius represents about less than 3% of total sales. In the US Prius sales seem to be at the 160,000 unit range.

Not the first mass market hybrid.
By Flunk on 8/9/2010 10:03:45 AM , Rating: 1
The first Mass Market Hybrid vehicle was the Honda Insight, not the Prius.

By himono on 8/9/2010 10:20:52 AM , Rating: 2
No, the Prius really is the first mass market hybrid in the WORLD.
The Insight was the first mass market hybrid in NORTH AMERICA.

The Insight was the first to come to our shores, but the Prius was already selling in Japan long before that.

Points to ponder
By marvdmartian on 8/9/2010 3:03:16 PM , Rating: 2
1. According to CNN's Money section, current gasoline prices in Japan are $4.24/gallon (and I'd bet they've been higher in the past). We all know small cars have been popular over there for a long time, most likely due to the higher gas mileage they get, so it's only natural that someone in Japan is going to love a car that gets 50mpg.

2. Couple that with the fact that even if they want them, getting ahold of a car from the USA, in Japan, is difficult (at best). In fact, when our military members are stationed over there, they are told that, by Japanese law, they cannot take a vehicle over there that was manufactured AFTER the mid 70's. That's right, AFTER . If that's not protectionist in nature, I really don't know what it could be, when a government states that they would rather have an early 70's vehicle that gets 10 to 15 mpg (and has no smog equipment, so pollutes like all get out), than a modern vehicle with good gas mileage and lower pollution emissions......that might also conceiveably compete for sales with the home built product.

Is it any wonder, then, why hybrids might be popular in Japan??

Prius is good for saving gas
By corduroygt on 8/9/2010 4:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
I don't really care much about the CO2 nonsense, but Prius is a good car if you care about saving gas and plan to keep your car for 100k+ miles. Much better than those so called electric cars, you don't have to live on the edge wondering if you're going to run out of charge, and can comfortably take road trips, and get 50 mpg no matter how you drive it...

A fully optioned Prius is pretty much an economical Lexus...

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007
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