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Toyota Hybrid X Concept
Don't expect any impressive MPG gains in the next generation Toyota Prius

Toyota's next generation Prius likely won't have the spectacular boost in fuel economy that was once expected. In late May, the Japanese newspaper Nikkan Koyogo reported that Toyota was considering nixing the idea of putting lithium-ion batteries in the next generation Prius. The newspaper stated that there were concerns within the company about the safety of lithium-ion batteries -- something that Sony is already well aware of.

The Wall Street Journal confirmed today that the next-generation Prius will not use lithium-ion battery technology -- at least for the first few years. The lithium-ion batteries that were to be used in the Prius would have been provided by Panasonic EV Energy Company.

The Prius will instead continue to use nickel-metal hydride batteries -- albeit in a higher capacity form to boost mileage over the current generation vehicle.

Toyota's decision to not use lithium-ion battery technology could be a big break for General Motors. GM has long been in Toyota's shadow when it comes to hybrid technology, but the company is looking to reverse its fortunes in the coming years.

The company has launched its new "mild hybrid" Saturn Aura Green Line sedan and is nearing the release of dual-mode hybrid Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon full-size SUVs. GM's coup de grâce, however, could be the upcoming Saturn Vue Green Line mid-sized crossover.

In 2009, the Saturn Vue Green Line will be equipped with a 2-mode hybrid powertrain and plug-in capabilities. Owners will be able to charge their vehicle overnight via a standard 110-volt outlet and drive 10 miles on fully charged lithium-ion batteries before the internal combustion engine takes over. In addition, GM says that its plug-in hybrid Vue Green Line is good for 70MPG.

All hope is not lost for the Prius in the quest for increased fuel economy. Current and future Prius owners can always look to third-parties to retrofit their vehicles with lithium-ion batteries. Lithium Technology Corporation has produced a lithium-ion battery pack (comprised of 63 LTC LiFePO4 cells) for the current Prius. When coupled with a plug-in system, fuel economy jumps from 46MPG combined to 125MPG.



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Batteries
By mdogs444 on 6/14/2007 11:09:22 AM , Rating: 4
I love the fact that these car makers are making an attempt for alternative fuel sources - hybrids, diesels, electrics, Li-Ion batteries.....

But for god sake, can't they make the car that its powering looks decent? The Prius is god awful, and this example looks like a futuristic grocery getter.

Whats wrong w/ throwing some hybrid/alternatives into something that LOOKS like a BMW 3 series or a Honda S2000?




RE: Batteries
By Mitch101 on 6/14/2007 11:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
It might look like a lamborghini puffer fish holding its breath but I like it. Color choice might make a difference. Or having a few pimped out might change the view of it.


RE: Batteries
By GoatMonkey on 6/14/2007 1:10:05 PM , Rating: 5
Where's Xzibit? This thing needs some TVs in the trunk, a shag headliner, and 24" spinners.


RE: Batteries
By andylawcc on 6/14/2007 5:14:21 PM , Rating: 2
LMAO!!! so true


RE: Batteries
By kilkennycat on 6/14/2007 11:19:21 AM , Rating: 2
Need space for the batteries besides the fuel tank and spare tire and adequate trunk-space. Hence the ugly high rump on the Prius and the poor rear-visibility, with the attempt to compensate with the "window" in the trunk -- unless the trunk area is jammed full.


RE: Batteries
By creathir on 6/14/2007 11:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
I do agree that the Prius line is... not extremely attractive.

The only thing I can imagine, is that usually, the good looking cars are also fairly high in performance. The buyers of this market are looking for not just the looks, but the performance under the hood.

This would explain the lack of hybrid trucks.

Also, the shape of the car is extremely important when it comes to its fuel efficiency. It is possible that some of the more, sportier cars, may not have the same properties of a fuel efficient automobile.

- Creathir


RE: Batteries
By jak3676 on 6/14/2007 11:23:28 AM , Rating: 3
well if you don't mind paying $100,000 and waiting a loong time for delivery, check out Tesla motors. They're making an all electic roadster.


RE: Batteries
By TimberJon on 6/14/2007 11:31:38 AM , Rating: 2
Aye, id rather have a tesla vehicle (maybe not the roadster..) than anything else. Or that jet-car with the 4 independent turbine pods... VTOL baby! Would be nice to fly over the freeway in the morning. Ahem.. I meant southern california freeways.


RE: Batteries
By Moishe on 6/14/2007 11:35:24 AM , Rating: 3
funny thing though is that Honda has been pumping out hybrid Civics and Accords that look almost identical to their non-hybrid versions and they have been not selling.

I don't know why frankly, because I would rather have a car I want that looks like a normal car. I really don't like the look of Toyota or Honda in general though.

I say make me an Audi A4 wagon (or sedan) that is diesel/hybrid, put some nice wheels on it by default and tint the windows and watch how it sells.


RE: Batteries
By arazok on 6/14/2007 12:16:01 PM , Rating: 4
The Honda's fail because they look like the gasoline versions. Hybrids have nothing to do with rational purchasing decisions and everything to do with being able to look down your nose at others while you pat yourself on the back for being tree hugger #1.


RE: Batteries
By RogueSpear on 6/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Batteries
By omnicronx on 6/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: Batteries
By Oregonian2 on 6/14/2007 5:03:27 PM , Rating: 2
And the damn thing is that he's probably right!


RE: Batteries
By RogueSpear on 6/14/2007 6:35:49 PM , Rating: 2
I have to admit, that was pretty good :P


RE: Batteries
By GoatMonkey on 6/14/2007 1:17:00 PM , Rating: 2
He's right. The Prius is like antimatter to an Escalade.


RE: Batteries
By goz314 on 6/14/2007 2:01:09 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
The Prius is like antimatter to an Escalade.


So, when they come in close proximity to one another the vehicles along with their drivers annihilate in a flash of light. Now that would be cool to see! Now, if we could just find some way of harnessing all of that energy, the pains of using fossil fuels could be solved!


RE: Batteries
By EndPCNoise on 6/14/2007 12:18:41 PM , Rating: 2
People ultimately vote with their wallets.

Hence, the market system.

The market is saying that these "newer" technologies need to mature more.

Econ 101


RE: Batteries
By omnicronx on 6/14/2007 12:56:19 PM , Rating: 2
hondas hybrids dont fail because they look the same.. the fail because a low end civic already has close to the same mp/g as the hybrid versions.. hell the difference between a civic le or whatever and the current prius is so small, i would buy a gasoline civic over that ugly thing anyday


RE: Batteries
By Domicinator on 6/15/2007 11:15:30 PM , Rating: 3
Once again, complete BS about hybrids. Take it from me, I own a Honda Civic Hybrid. The one we own gets about 10 more mpg, city AND highway, than its gasoline counterpart. Maybe that's not true on all models, but it is on this one.

The Prius is outselling all other hybrids because it was first to market. That's all. There are some people out there that think the Prius is pretty much the only hybrid car you can get, because it's become a household name at this point.

And furthermore, when you take the total amount of hybrids out on the road vs. the total amount of cars out on the road, you come up with a VERY small percentage that are hybrid. Most of that very small percentage is the Prius. The rest of it is everybody else. It's like the iPod vs. all the other MP3 players on the market.

A lot of you guys have been posting a lot of untrue things about hybrids the last couple of days. Do some homework before you spew complete BS about things you have no idea about.


RE: Batteries
By FITCamaro on 6/14/2007 1:53:43 PM , Rating: 3
Yes but the Hybrid Camry has almost no trunk.

And I think the Camry is fugly anyway.


RE: Batteries
By karrock on 6/14/2007 4:01:44 PM , Rating: 2
The Camry Hybrid has 10.6 cubic feet of trunk space while the conventional gas burners have either 14.5 or 15 cubic feet, depending on trim level. Sure you lose one third of your tail room, but wouldn't call it "almost no trunk".


RE: Batteries
By Hoser McMoose on 6/14/2007 12:20:21 PM , Rating: 5
The current-generation Prius, as well as this 'Hybrid X' concept pictured, were designed much more with aerodynamics in mind rather than looks. Aerodynamics can play a pretty important role in fuel economy, particularly at highway speeds.

This is made obvious by the fact that the coefficient of drag on the Prius is only 0.26. For comparison, the BMW 3-series has a coefficient of drag of 0.30. With a frontal cross-section of 2.544m^2 for the Prius and 2.582m^2 for the beamer (323i Sedan), that gives you a drag figure area figure of .6615 vs. 0.7746. So for any given speed the 3-series encounters 17% more drag force against it and would result in roughly 4 or 5% more fuel consumption at highway speeds (assuming everything else were exactly equal).

I couldn't find any numbers for the S2000, being a convertible it's almost certainly going to be worse, especially with the top down.

Now, that's not to say that you can't make a hybrid car with a higher level of drag. Certainly the Ford Escape Hybrid of the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will generate MUCH more drag than a BMW 325. Also there are some other cars that are more attractive than the Prius (in my mind at least) that have similar levels of drag, such as the Infiniti G35 or some Porsches.


RE: Batteries
By FITCamaro on 6/14/2007 1:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
The Vue Green Line will look exactly like the current Vue which in my opinion looks damn good.


RE: Batteries
By Darith on 6/14/2007 3:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
it looks like elvis' blue suede shoe, i agree with ur notion.


RE: Batteries
By Haltech on 6/14/2007 6:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Batteries
By AlmostExAMD on 6/15/2007 6:25:05 AM , Rating: 2
THANK YOU, Finally someone who thinks the same about these hybrids, Why can't they just put this technology into nice looking cars we have now or sporty looking ones, I have always hated the look of the Prius, And yes looks do INDEED influence my car purchasing decisions Toyota!

I couldn't have said it better, "and this example looks like a futuristic grocery getter".
BMW 3 series looks on a hybrid and i would trade my car in tomorrow!


Plug in capability
By Tiamat on 6/14/2007 11:17:10 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if people are smart enough to consider their electricity bills when plugging in their cars to charge them overnight. House electricity is pretty expensive, I don't know how it compares to getting the same power from gasoline though...




RE: Plug in capability
By jak3676 on 6/14/2007 11:26:42 AM , Rating: 2
Household elctricity is a few orders of magnatude cheaper. Even for the all-electic cars (the Prius is only a hybrid, even if it is a plug-in hybrid) you get the equivalant of a full tank for only a few dollars (US rates about $0.10 per kilo watt hour)


RE: Plug in capability
By EndPCNoise on 6/14/2007 1:46:23 PM , Rating: 2
Let's just suppose for a minute that people, in masses, bought electric and/or plug in hybrid cars.

The demand placed on the electricity grid would skyrocket.

What do you think would happen to the price of electricity or your electric bill?

What happens in the summer time when everyone is running their air conditioners?


RE: Plug in capability
By Spivonious on 6/14/2007 2:05:44 PM , Rating: 1
Umm...my electric bill goes up in the summer because I'm using more of it, not because they're charging more for it.


RE: Plug in capability
By EndPCNoise on 6/14/2007 2:20:17 PM , Rating: 2
Those of us who live in California and experienced the rolling blackouts and much higher electricity RATES know from experience what is is likely to happen.

We felt the pain in our wallets.


RE: Plug in capability
By Spivonious on 6/15/2007 3:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
Well I'm sorry you live in CA then. Just because CA does it doesn't mean the country does it.


RE: Plug in capability
By goz314 on 6/14/2007 2:08:40 PM , Rating: 2
...and the corresponding decrease in gasoline consumption decreases it's demand and therefore decreases its price for the consumer. The free-hand of the market works and everybody wins! Hooray for supply, demand, and consumer choice!


RE: Plug in capability
By TheGreek on 6/15/07, Rating: 0
RE: Plug in capability
By Oregonian2 on 6/14/2007 5:08:17 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, that's one of the infrastructure problems that needs to be answered for the 'general solution'. Where does the energy come from. The infrastructure for ALl cars to be 100% electric isn't in place, that probably requires a few nuke plants to be built. Same problem for hydrogen (where does the energy come from to "make" hydrogen). Sun, win, etc, perhaps, but those things probably won't keep up with needs just for non-auto purposes.


RE: Plug in capability
By ZmaxDP on 6/15/2007 5:50:56 PM , Rating: 2
I know this is a shocking idea, but you could couple your all electric vehicle purchase with a second mortgage on your home and use the loan to install a solar panel system. You could simultaneously cut your electricity and gasoline bill at a rather low interest rate. If I hadn't just started out at a new job and used an 80% 20% loan structure to get our house, I'd do the same thing. (oh yeah, if I could find a decent all electric vehicle...)


RE: Plug in capability
By Bioniccrackmonk on 6/14/2007 11:29:38 AM , Rating: 2
I am sure that it wouldn't be more enduring then having 3 PC's in your house w/ 450 watt PSU's running 24/7. Not saying you have that many in your house, just an example. So many of my friends have what i call bleeding electricity that runs 24/7 in their house and cannot figure out why their bills are higher then mine every month. I am sure to someone who is very cautious about making sure lights are off, tv's aren't running when no one is in the room and stuff like that would notice a jump in their bill, but the average family probably wouldn't see too big an impact.


RE: Plug in capability
By Hoser McMoose on 6/14/2007 12:34:02 PM , Rating: 1
How it compares would depend largely on how much you drive, but for your example, a fairly high-end PC would consume maybe 150W on average? If left on 24/7 that would work out to 110kWh worth of electricity per month.

A full electrical car will take 40-80kWh for a full "tank", the Tesla Roadster has 56kWh worth of batteries and would therefore require maybe 60kWh to charge (about $4 to $10 at typical prices in the US, up to about $13 in Hawaii).


RE: Plug in capability
By Spivonious on 6/14/2007 2:09:42 PM , Rating: 3
Yes, but you get 250 miles on a charge.

I drive to work and back twenty times a month. About 10 miles roundtrip, so 200 miles. Oh look, now I can go five weeks between fill-ups. That's $10.40 a month versus the $60-$70 a month I spend to fill up my car now. I'll take the cheaper option every time.


RE: Plug in capability
By Hoser McMoose on 6/14/2007 3:25:42 PM , Rating: 2
The Tesla roadster is basically an electric version of the Lotus Elise, which is rated for 23mpg (new EPA numbers). So 200 miles will use about 8.7 gallons of gasoline. At $2.50/gallon that's $21.75, at $3.50/gallon that's $30.45.

So, two points here. First, obviously the Tesla roadster is significantly cheaper even with electricity prices in Hawaii (which has expensive gas too). Second, if you're spending $60-$70 a month now you're either driving mroe than 200 miles or you have a VERY different vehicle (not just powertrain) than what Tesla is offering.


RE: Plug in capability
By Spivonious on 6/15/2007 3:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
Oh I definitely don't have a Lotus Elise, or a sports car for that matter. I have a car that gets me where I want to go and is fun to drive, a.k.a. a Focus ZX3. It gets about 35-37mpg going 60mph and about 32mpg going 70mph. It's about 26-30mpg in city driving (start and stop, speed between 30mph and 45mph).

*These are all measured by me over the past four years I've owned the car by taking the number of miles on the trip meter divided by the amount of gallons put in at a fill-up. The car is rated 26/34 IIRC.


RE: Plug in capability
By Hoser McMoose on 6/14/2007 12:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
Household electricity is, to a very rough approximation, one order of magnitude cheaper than gasoline on a per-mile basis (partly due to lower cost for equivalent energy but also largely due to the much higher efficiencies of electrical motors vs. internal combustion engines).


RE: Plug in capability
By ThisSpaceForRent on 6/14/2007 12:40:30 PM , Rating: 2
Electricity is very dependent on geography. I live in the Chicago area, and I pay less for electricity than my parents, who live in rural Illinois. I also believe the Northwestern states have heavily subsidized power.


RE: Plug in capability
By Hoser McMoose on 6/14/2007 3:10:32 PM , Rating: 2
Definitely subject to geography. Interestingly electricity is much closer in price the world-over when compared to gasoline (which varies HUGELY from heavily subsidized ~$0.10/liter in Venezuela up to close to about $2.00/liter in some parts of Europe).

However within the United States there is quite a bit more variability when compared to gasoline. At any given time gas prices might vary from about $2.50/gallon to about $3.50/gallon in different parts of the country. Electicity prices, on the other hand, vary from a low of about $0.06/kWh in the northwest up to about $0.22/kWh in Hawaii (and maybe $0.17 in New York for the highest in continental US).


RE: Plug in capability
By EndPCNoise on 6/14/2007 5:35:23 PM , Rating: 3
You are really kidding yourself if you think subsidized power is going to save money.

Where do you think the government gets the money to pay these subsidies?

That would be your hard earned tax dollars . You are paying for it one way or another.


RE: Plug in capability
By amdsupport on 6/14/2007 7:06:28 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
That would be your hard earned tax dollars . You are paying for it one way or another.


right...but you were already paying taxes to begin with so there really isn't a price increase unless they raise taxes.

If I have to pay taxes anyways I'd rather it go to subsidize something we can all benefit from rather than some congress person's "business trip" to Jamaica.


RE: Plug in capability
By EndPCNoise on 6/14/2007 7:46:58 PM , Rating: 2
You are missing the point completely...

You will pay for increases in the cost of electricity either through rate hikes or increased taxes (subsidies).

Pick your poison.


RE: Plug in capability
By amdsupport on 6/14/2007 11:19:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You are missing the point completely...

right...and you are missing the point completely also...

if you are already paying taxes which in turn fund subsidies and you eliminate or significantly reduce a higher cost (not associated with taxes which fund the subsidies) you will save in return.

Like I said before "there really isn't a price increase unless they raise taxes." (which you seem to have completely ignored)

Even if there were rate hikes, there is no guarantee that the hikes would be significant enough to equal or surpass fuel cost for some or all people.


RE: Plug in capability
By EndPCNoise on 6/15/2007 4:05:15 AM , Rating: 2
I think we're on the same page now.

If electric and/or plug in hybrid vehicles take over a significant share of the market, and there isn't a significant increase in newly built power plants, you can expect the increased demand to drive up the cost of electricity.

Increased costs -> increased rate hikes -> no increase in subsidies -> no tax increase.
OR
Increased costs -> no rate hikes -> increased subsidies -> increased taxes.

Vehicles use less fossil fuels -> price of oil decreases.

If more coal or natural gas power plants are built to meet new demand -> price of coal and/or natural gas increases.

Many homes use natural gas utilities -> these people will pay more too.

Can't predict what the trade offs will be.


RE: Plug in capability
By Hoser McMoose on 6/15/2007 11:53:13 AM , Rating: 2
Err, I'm not sure I suggested subsidized power would save money at all. In fact I'm rather opposed to subsidized power in general, though I recognize that certain 'incentives' are sometimes needed to jump-start markets.

Personally I'm all for end-to-end costs being counted in and avoiding subsidies. Right now ALL energy is subsidized in various forms. Solar, wind, etc. are heavily subsidized directly. Coal plants receive some direct tax incentives and are VERY heavily subsidized through health care and environmental costs (coal plants cause an estimated $160 BILLION per year in the US for health costs, about half of which is covered by the taxpayer). New nuke plants get huge government-protected loans, tax incentives and subsidies. Oil gets similar health-related subsidies to coal and, of course, the HUGE military-cost subsidies to secure supplies (gas would be easily twice as expensive if we paid for this at the pump).

Yes, we do pay for subsidizing energy. We pay a LOT for it. Changing this isn't going to happen overnight.


Bummer
By jak3676 on 6/14/2007 11:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
Seems really odd that Toyota wouldn't have been pushing for lithium ion for a while now. When you look at what some the 3rd party companies are able to do for the prius, I thought it would be a sure thing. I know there are environmental and safety issues with both Ni-Cad and Li-ion, but I thought Li-ion was generally safer and more recycleable/environmentally friendly. Makes me wonder if it was just a problem with their particular supplier and thus something that may be changed fairly easily in the future.




RE: Bummer
By jak3676 on 6/14/2007 11:21:14 AM , Rating: 2
I mistyped Ni-Cd instead of Ni-MH. I know the Prius uses a Nickel metal hydride battery not the older Nickel-cadmium, but my point is still the same. What's the problem with Li-ion? Tesla, Reva and Kewet are all releasing new lithium ion battery electric car models in 2007.


RE: Bummer
By MetaDFF on 6/14/2007 11:22:29 AM , Rating: 2
If there are truly safety concerns with the Li-ion batteries, I think Toyota is being smart by playing it safe. It's better to wait a little bit for all the safety concerns to be resolved instead of risking their reputation and being forced to recall all their Priuses because the batteries might catch on fire (or something like that). A recall might hurt them more than being a bit late to the market.


RE: Bummer
By Oregonian2 on 6/14/2007 5:11:05 PM , Rating: 2
Not only does there need NOT to be a problem with them, there needs to be a perception of there not being a problem. Else people don't buy, and those that do will class action sue (well, lawyers who make all the money will help this along...) -- all based on perception.


RE: Bummer
By dagamer34 on 6/14/2007 11:22:35 AM , Rating: 2
Safety of a few batteries is different from safety on a massive scale. With the recent battery scare last year, I think Toyota is taking it safe because unlike when a laptop sets on fire and you can take it out, a fire in a hybrid care is nothing easy for us mere mortals to walk away from.


RE: Bummer
By FITCamaro on 6/14/2007 2:01:53 PM , Rating: 2
Yes but its not like GM is just going to release lithium ion battery packs in cars without fully testing them to all extremes. GM can't afford a massive recall any more than Toyota can. They will subject test vehicles to all types of weather, driving conditions, etc.


GOOD DECISION!!!
By buz9er on 6/14/2007 12:56:34 PM , Rating: 4
Guys, Toyota is totally right to continue using NIMH batteries over Li-Ion, for at least 3 VERY IMPORTANT reasons:

1- Batterie life: Li-Ion can loose up to 15-20% of their maximum energy capacity EACH YEAR... (Don't believe me? Look it up!) I don't want to have to buy new batteries every 2-4 years... My 2000 Prius still works flawlessly and has the same fuel efficiency as when I bought it...

2- Li-Ion battery are great for gadgets you're constantly charging up (like a cell phone you charge even if the battery's not dead yet), but they have another disadvantage: you cannot use their full capacity if you want to be able to reuse them: if you discharge a Li-Ion cell completely, there's a good chance you will never be able to charge it again; this is known as "deep discharge state". That is why you usually have to stop draining power from a cell when the voltage drops.

3- Li-Ion batteries are very sensity to temperature, especially concerning permanent capacity loss: the higher the non-operating temperature is, the higher the capacity loss is... any idea how hot your car gets when parked in the sun? ;)

The main thing here is that Toyota decided to use a more durable and more dependable battery technology, and every one should be pleased. Not that new cell technology will never be used, only that NiMH was the better choice here :)




RE: GOOD DECISION!!!
By DEredita on 6/14/2007 1:59:07 PM , Rating: 2
Also, it could be that Toyota doesn't want to risk a major recall if the Li-Ion batteries have issues. Toyota is looking at what can be a major expensive engine recall campaign with their Tundra series. They've had at least 20 trucks have their camshafts snap, this requires that the entire engine be replaced. They'll most likely land on their feet after the Tundra, but I doubt they could afford another fiasco like it.


RE: GOOD DECISION!!!
By DLeRium on 6/14/2007 2:40:43 PM , Rating: 1
I suggest you do a little reading before talking about NiMH batteries and Li-Ion. Li-Ion is the high end of all rechargeable batteries. They are not prone to the "memory effect" at all. NiMH batteries are. With that said, EVERY rechargeable battery loses a bit of their total charge each time they are charged. Don't believe me? It's simple physics. You're going to be depleting something everytime. There's no free unlimited energy.

Li-Ions are used in laptops, cell phones, ipods, etc, and they are damn expensive. NiMH's performance isn't any better either.

The fact is I'm sure Toyota is addressing these issues, and there are plenty of concerns over rechargeable batteries.


RE: GOOD DECISION!!!
By Madzombie on 6/16/2007 5:20:05 PM , Rating: 2
Lithium Ion batteries lose their capacity over time, even if not in use. They also lose their capacity much faster at higher temperatures. I saw a site somewhere that compared capacity drops of Li-Ion batteries after 12 months when stored at different temperatures. The most extreme example was a battery kept at 60 degrees C and fully charged. It went down to ~70% capacity in 3 months. If you live in a hot climate and drive a lot (heat is still produced by the engine even if it's an efficient electrical one) then the Li-Ion batteries will need replacing after only 2-3 years. NI-MH batteries often last much longer than this. Not only is battery replacement an additional cost, it's also terrible for the environment, as all the waste Li-Ion batteries need to be dumped somewhere or recycled (not sure if this is even possible).


Misleading summary in article heading
By 91TTZ on 6/14/2007 11:37:56 AM , Rating: 2
"Don't expect any impressive MPG gains in the next generation Toyota Prius"

The fuel consumption of the engine has nothing to do with the capacity of the battery used. The battery is simply electricity storage, not electricity generation. The efficiency of the engine/generator will determine how much electricity you can generate from a given amount of fuel. The battery will just store it.

Having a battery which stores twice as much electricity isn't going to get twice the mileage (or even any more). It's just going to enable the engine to burn more gas per charging period (since it can store more electricity).




By Jeffree on 6/14/2007 11:49:20 AM , Rating: 4
True, but remember that the lithium ion batteries are also lighter, so if they can remove a 200lb nickel battery pack and replace it with a 100lb li-ion pack then they reduce the weight of the car and thus, greater mpg. Of course that does not mean double but it is still a way to improve efficiency.


By A5 on 6/14/2007 12:16:12 PM , Rating: 2
It also lets the car go farther before recharging the batteries - the whole Li thing is great for plug-ins, but not necessarily for Prius-style braking and engine charging.


Wow, guys. :\
By Aprime on 6/14/2007 11:47:13 AM , Rating: 2
You're like two weeks late on this. :\




RE: Wow, guys. :\
By jak3676 on 6/14/2007 11:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
yeah, but now we all get to argue about it all over again ;)


RE: Wow, guys. :\
By Aprime on 6/14/2007 1:24:33 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, you guys do.

I already have and don't feel like doing it all over again.


Why!
By Troll4Hire on 6/15/2007 5:12:50 AM , Rating: 1
Why must every hybrid car look like a big flunking GAY SPACESHIP! WHY?

WHY must GM keep producing cars that look like they rolled of the Rubbermaid assembly line? Why!





RE: Why!
By theoflow on 6/15/2007 9:49:23 AM , Rating: 2
I think a primary reason why people don't like Hybrids is because they stress efficiency over anything else.

A major selling point of the Prius is that it actually has a useable trunk. Yes, the Accord, Civic, Camry, and Vue Saturn all have trunks but there are no dropdown seats. In the Prius you get that, and by giving it that capability, you get a hatchback.

And being America, hatchbacks are borderline station wagons and although I like hatchs (and certain station wagons), most Americans don't. Hell, the whole new cross-over vehicles such as the Chrysler Pacifica (a tall wagon) and Acura RDX (Tall hatchback) try to be something other than a wagon or hatch. Of coarse there are exceptions since the Mazda RX8 is a coupe hatch, and you could even go so far as to technically call a 911 a hatchback. If they made a hot hatch hybrid with two doors, those cars would fly out of dealerships. Wishfull thinking: European 5 door Civic Hatch.

The picture above isn't all that appealing but until you see it in person, opinions might change. I for one was very dissapointed by the new Mustang because it looked like the classic one, but the dimensions are just all out of wack; especially the rear end.

And to those people who think hybrids are for tree huggers, 70% of people who bought a hybrid bought it for selfish (albiet understandable reasons); Fuel economy (not to be confused with not using fuel) and (this is very important) H-O-V LANE.


10,000 MPR(miles per rod)
By fxnick on 6/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: 10,000 MPR(miles per rod)
By fxnick on 6/14/07, Rating: 0
RE: 10,000 MPR(miles per rod)
By TheGreek on 6/15/2007 9:58:36 AM , Rating: 1
It would probably look like the Batmobile with the current bunch of designers.


Toyota still working on lithium-ion
By encia on 6/15/2007 7:00:31 AM , Rating: 1
According to http://www.courant.com/business/hc-toyota0608.artj...
(dated 8th of June 2007)
quote:

"Mitsuo Kinoshita, a senior Toyota executive, recently denied Japanese press reports that Toyota had given up on having a lithium-ion battery system for the next-generation Prius."

"We're still working on it," he told reporters.




By encia on 6/15/2007 7:05:57 AM , Rating: 1
According to http://www.courant.com/business/hc-toyota0608.artj...
(dated 8th of June 2007)
quote:

"Mitsuo Kinoshita, a senior Toyota executive, recently denied Japanese press reports that Toyota had given up on having a lithium-ion battery system for the next-generation Prius."

"We're still working on it," he told reporters.




What does this quote imply?
By TheGreek on 6/15/07, Rating: 0
Environment Friendly Cars MY BUTT!
By fus1996 on 6/14/07, Rating: -1
By RMTimeKill on 6/14/2007 4:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
So you made the mistake of buying a hummer and have to pay way too much for gas... thats a yp not a mp. I dont care about being "Green", I just want good mileage and not having to fill my tank every week... The per year cost of operation/service/maintinance on a Prius is so much lower then the cost of a hummer, what do the statistics say about polutions from, repairs, fuel consumption, new rubber, exhaust, larger oil reserves, and break pads used in Hummer vs a Prius... Not to mention reliability, the Prius just passed Lexus for most reliable vehicle on the road in a 10 year study ( Prius debut in 97 till 2007, dont have the link any more to site it... sorry )


By INeedCache on 6/14/2007 5:46:01 PM , Rating: 2
You know, if something makes me sick, I avoid it. So, just don't read the hype. I know for several years the Hummer got way too much hype, especially since it is a gas- guzzling ugly behemoth of a vehicle that no one needs. Not exactly environmentally friendly, either. Knowing Toyota and GM, I wouldn't go betting the Hummer will be on road ANY longer than a Prius, lt alone 3 times longer. I'd take that bet any day.


RE: Environment Friendly Cars MY BUTT!
By IceTron on 6/14/07, Rating: -1
By Hoser McMoose on 6/15/2007 12:26:45 PM , Rating: 3
Sudbury has indeed improved considerably since the 'dead zone' days of the 70's. I lived there for a summer and some areas are actually quite beautiful.

That being said though, the Inco nickel and copper mine and smelting facility in Sudbury is the #2 source of air and water pollution in Canada (behind a zinc and copper facility in Thompson, Manitoba), as ranked by Environment Canada.

I'm not sure how important this is in the specific case of the Prius though. They don't use that much nickel and let's face it, the fabrication of ALL metals poses some similar issues. Case in point, US Steel is usually ranked as one of the top-5 polluters in the United States. The Prius weighs in at around 3000 pounds while the Hummer weighs in at 7500, and a significant portion of that weight comes from either steel or aluminium. Lets not forget that oil and gas industries cause lots of pollution too, beyond just what is coming out your exhaust pipe.

I don't think the Prius can truly be called "environmentally friendly", more just "less environmentally harmful". When you take the full end-to-end life cycle of the vehicle into account I would say that it's easily MUCH better than a Hummer.

If you were to compare the Prius to a Toyota Yaris though, that would be a different story.


RE: Environment Friendly Cars MY BUTT!
By NoSoftwarePatents on 6/16/2007 10:53:24 AM , Rating: 2
Hey, since you believe that, I own part of the Brooklyn bridge-I can sell you some at a very affordable price...


By senseamp on 6/20/2007 3:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
If GM gets better mileage out of a good looking Saturn SUV than Toyota gets out of a suppository shaped purpose oriented Prius, it's harakiri time in Toyota City. Ultimately, American can-do spirit wins every time.


"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller














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