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2010 Toyota Prius
Toyota is looking to leverage the Prius name

Certainly the most popular hybrid car on the road is the Toyota Prius. Toyota has made no secret of the fact that it wants to have a full line of hybrid cars that rely on the Prius name. So far, the only car Toyota has with the Prius name is the one we are all familiar with.

The 2010 Prius hatchback is the car DailyTech spent a week with earlier this month. Toyota is now reportedly getting ready to launch a new wagon or SUV using the Prius name. Toyota doesn't offer traditional wagons in the U.S., but Edmunds reports that the automaker does have wagons in Japan that could act as the underpinnings for a Prius hybrid wagon.

A Prius SUV would be no stretch either. Toyota has the hybrid Lexus RX 400h in its line and has the small RAV4 SUV in America that could be used for a hybrid platform.

According to reports, the battery pack that the new SUV will utilize will be lithium-ion. Toyota has said in the past that it felt lithium-ion batteries were not yet cheap enough or ready for retail use in hybrid vehicles.

Lithium-ion batteries are reportedly in the works for the Prius through a program with Panasonic and new battery packs that meet Toyota's price requirements may be available and waiting for a new vehicle

The new batteries may be needed for the increased power needs of a larger, heavier SUV or wagon pushing Toyota to rethink its position on lithium-ion batteries. At this point, Toyota has made nothing official and these reports originate from a Japanese newspaper, Yomiuri.

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Getting there...
By bradmshannon on 11/16/2009 1:23:19 PM , Rating: 4
I will buy an electric car/suv when I can drive to my hometown (3hrs) without stopping to charge my batteries, and I can fit my family (wife and 2 kids) into it along with our luggage. All of this for the reasonable price of $20k. Until then, I can't afford, nor do I trust the technology. I'll let the wealthy support this new tech until it's cheap enough for little old me.

RE: Getting there...
By Lord 666 on 11/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: Getting there...
By bradmshannon on 11/16/2009 1:32:25 PM , Rating: 5
Nope, they are reasonably priced and I have them throughout my house

RE: Getting there...
By Spuke on 11/16/2009 1:37:07 PM , Rating: 3
Are CFL bulbs too newfangled for you too?
LOL! Insults sure are easy, aren't they?

RE: Getting there...
By Myg on 11/16/2009 4:29:59 PM , Rating: 2
Soo newfangled that the usage percautions ask you to clear out the room for almost an hour and to get rid of any fabrics that may of been in conctact with them when they break...

(mercury vapour being the active ingredient in CFL bulbs)

Sometimes old fashioned is better,no?

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2009 4:52:36 PM , Rating: 2
Same could be said of any thermometer, and thermometers are pretty old.

RE: Getting there...
By monomer on 11/16/2009 6:01:39 PM , Rating: 2
Except for the fact that its incredibly difficult to get a mercury thermometer unless its being bought for a lab. Almost all household use thermometers use alcohol died blue or red.

Additionally, the small amounts of liquid mercury found in light bulbs or thermometers on its own is fairly benign. It only becomes dangerous when you're working with large amounts of the stuff all the time.

Interesting reading (though perhaps a bit rambly for some):

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2009 6:21:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's true, but was hardly my point. I doubt the CFLs or anything else these days has enough in it to do anything to us unless you come across them pretty much every day. CRTs and old electronics have a ton of toxic stuff in them as well. I have still yet to get poisoning of any kind, even food poisoning which is far more common than any other type.

RE: Getting there...
By sigmatau on 11/16/2009 7:40:15 PM , Rating: 2
Not sure about that. Mercury gas is pretty scary.

I am looking to replace all my CFLs with LEDs. They are coming down in price to about twice that of CFLs. They use up less energy (not a big concern as CFLs don't use much) and last even longer. And the big thing is you don't have to worry about breaking one.

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/17/2009 1:30:23 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not worried even if I somehow manage to break a CFL.

RE: Getting there...
By echtogammut on 11/17/2009 2:34:34 PM , Rating: 2
CFLs have a number of issues. As someone who has overseen the account for maintenance in a rather large business, CFLs do not last very long when left on for extended periods of time. By switching to CFLs our bulb replacement cost nearly tripled, because, it turns out that CFLs are not designed to operate for periods longer than 30 minutes at a time and desk lights, stairwell lights etcetera were being left on 24-7. This is what you get for hiring a "green consultant" and not doing any research yourself. Additionally, when you are dealing with government institutions, hazardous disposal is taken very seriously and since there is no easy way to dispose of these things, expect to dedicate a room to just store them for a all perpetuity. LEDs look promising, but I no longer work for that company, so it is someone else's job.

RE: Getting there...
By Smartless on 11/16/2009 1:35:10 PM , Rating: 3
Good luck with that. By the time it's that cheap inflation will make $27K seem cheap, more cars on the road will make a drive to your hometown 4hrs, and your kids will be driving you there with their luggage. ok ok enough with the negative predictions....

So how do they get a station wagon from a prius? It already looks like one.

RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/16/2009 1:33:13 PM , Rating: 2
The price limits you a bit, but the Honda Insight would fit all of your criteria, unless you have a huge suitcase for each member of the family.

RE: Getting there...
By Spuke on 11/16/2009 1:38:53 PM , Rating: 2
It sounded like he was talking about an electric car. Because distance on battery is a non-issue for hybrids.

RE: Getting there...
By Lou Czar on 11/16/2009 2:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
I think the Prius meets all of his requirements except the $20,000 limit.

RE: Getting there...
By mdogs444 on 11/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: Getting there...
By Bateluer on 11/16/2009 2:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
How much luggage are you bringing for how long of a trip? A long weekend type trip should be perfectly fine unless you're packing everything but the kitchen sink.

RE: Getting there...
By Lou Czar on 11/16/2009 2:47:08 PM , Rating: 2
For a 3 hr trip to Grandma's? The car has plenty of room for 4 people and has lots of trunk space. I really don't like the way the car looks or the image it projects to some. It does have plenty of space though.

Maybe he could pick up a used hybrid Ford Escape for 17K. However, if the Prius is too small the Escape is probably too small as well.

I suppose he could wait for a hybrid Suburban that gets good mileage? Perhaps an 18 wheeler powered by natural gas would be large enough for a family of 4?

RE: Getting there...
By Steve1981 on 11/16/2009 3:39:03 PM , Rating: 2
It does have plenty of space though.

For a mid-sized car, I'd tend to agree.

Recently, the in-laws Prius held 5 good sized adults up front...
weekend luggage for two, bowling gear for one, and my mother-in-law in the trunk...

RE: Getting there...
By AEvangel on 11/16/2009 3:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
I would disagree, if any off those kids are a toddler and require a car seat also if your bringing toys for the kids then that trunk will fill up fast, not saying it could not be done but it is a compact car.

For my money I would rather have a TDI Sportwagen

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2009 4:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
Well if you want to bring babies into it then you wouldn't even want a sedan period with 3-4 other people in there. It just doesn't work on long trips. Too much crap.

RE: Getting there...
By Steve1981 on 11/17/2009 3:13:54 PM , Rating: 2
I would disagree, if any off those kids are a toddler and require a car seat also if your bringing toys for the kids then that trunk will fill up fast

Probably why they're looking to add a wagon and SUV, ehh? Of course the fact remains it has as much cargo room as any midsized sedan I can think of at 21.6 cubic feet (the ever popular Camry has 15 for comparison).

but it is a compact car.

Not according to the EPA!

RE: Getting there...
By Ytsejamer1 on 11/16/2009 4:23:15 PM , Rating: 2
I got my 2006 Option 5 for $11,900 in March (the bottom of the recession). It had higher mileage but it's a doesn't scare me. Dealer had all maintenance records...which were done in house as well.

If you want new...sure, 20K is a tough number to keep under. But the cars can be had for much less.

RE: Getting there...
By invidious on 11/16/2009 3:20:47 PM , Rating: 2
except the trusting the technology part. The oldest hybrids on the road now are still very new. Many people are waiting to see how they handle themselves after 80,000+ miles.

RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/16/2009 3:44:27 PM , Rating: 3
The Prius was introduced to the U.S. in 2001, according to Wikipedia. If they haven't gotten 80k on them in almost 9 years, then people aren't driving them enough.

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/16/2009 4:45:41 PM , Rating: 2
And if you go back to Japan they were introduced in 1998. Plenty of time and miles put on the Prius and they hold up very well. People just don't care to look up this kind of information.

RE: Getting there...
By Nfarce on 11/16/2009 7:33:22 PM , Rating: 2
The Prius was introduced to the U.S. in 2001, according to Wikipedia. If they haven't gotten 80k on them in almost 9 years, then people aren't driving them enough.

True, but that was the 1st generation Prius which had very limited interior room due to battery placement, and hence, was not a successful sales success story. The 2nd generation, introduced in 2004 and the one we are all more familiar with seeing, was really the first success story of the genre.

In short, in 2001 a whopping 15,000 units were sold. In 2004 that number more than tripled to over 50,000 sold in said year. In 2008 nearly 160,000 were sold. So, when you look at the bigger picture, the vast majority of Priuses on the roads are no more than four years old. Besides, I see far more Priuses in metro areas than on the highways - and I do a lot of highway driving.

RE: Getting there...
By Spivonious on 11/17/2009 3:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
Hybrids make no sense for highway driving. You see the big mileage gains in city driving.

I'd focus on the turbo diesels for highway driving. Jetta TDI Wagon gets 30/41mpg. In practice it does better, with some people even getting close to 60mpg highway if they're trying. Just think about that. Assuming a 15 gallon tank, you could drive for 900 miles on one tank of gas.

RE: Getting there...
By Alexstarfire on 11/18/2009 1:38:27 AM , Rating: 2
Why not just have both? BTW, you can get over 60 MPG on the highway in a Prius if you try. I think if you combined both you'd get even higher highway and city mileage. Not sure what the cost of the car would be though.

RE: Getting there...
RE: Getting there...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/17/2009 12:11:54 PM , Rating: 2
I have an 80K+ mile Camry hybrid (3rd generation hybrid) that runs great. I average 38+ mpg and have only replaced the rear brakes and all 4 tires.

The resale is still higher than what I owe on it after 3.5 years even with those miles. I am selling it this weekend if you are interested (I have too many cars)

There are many hybrids on the road (Toyota and Honda) that have been there since the first gen in the mid-90's. That whole wait and see thing is getting a little old. I am going to wait and see if this internet thing catches on.

RE: Getting there...
By Ammohunt on 11/16/2009 2:56:42 PM , Rating: 2
I am 6'4" an have put over 150k miles on a prius believe me the technology is "there"

RE: Getting there...
By invidious on 11/16/2009 3:18:42 PM , Rating: 2

Going green doesn't help my bottom line. Anyone who does like that is welcome to buy me a hybrid if they really think the planet can't sustain my jeep.

RE: Getting there...
By Mojo the Monkey on 11/16/2009 7:09:23 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Getting there...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/17/2009 12:18:08 PM , Rating: 2
Yeesh, when are people going to get over the environment thing. It is not the environment, it is foreign oil dependency and market prices. After 9/11 there were some tv commercials where casual drug users were derided for giving their money to terrorists (Afghan opium trade) but the BIG money goes to the middle east, Venezuela and Russia. Even if the US doesn't use as much foreign oil as it used to, our market is connected to the world market and drives up demand world-wide as if we did anyway. So driving a big vehicle is not only NOT patriotic, it is almost treason. (Wait, this is a Jason Mick article isn't it?!)

RE: Getting there...
By Spuke on 11/17/2009 1:40:43 PM , Rating: 2
It is not the environment, it is foreign oil dependency and market prices.
Us using less will not affect pricing at all as China and India continue to ramp up and use more. If anything, pricing will rise.

RE: Getting there...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/18/2009 7:30:52 AM , Rating: 2
I see. Best to throw in the towel then. SUV's for everyone since its no use anyway.

The point remains, however, that US dollars are not going into terrorist regimes, but can be spent on other things, like defense perhaps. Or just better quality of life (unless you're a Bushy, then, um, on bigger cars... no that won't work, how about just conspicuous consumption?)

RE: Getting there...
By Keeir on 11/16/2009 7:33:21 PM , Rating: 2
I hope you don't buy any gasoline cars more than 14k or so.

An electric car will save 5-10k (or more) over the cost of a typical 30 MPG Gasoline car over a reasonable length of time

Assumptions for 150,000 miles at todays prices, and future prices
30 MPG
Gas -> 3.00 per gallon (5.00 per gallon)

4 M per kWh
0.15 per kWh (0.30 per kWh)

150,000/30*3.00 - 150,000/4*.15 = 9,375 (13,750)

I am not saying electric cars are affordable today. But the assertion that they must be -cheaper- upfront is... unfair. They should be a good cost comparison for TCO... which favors the electric car heavily in all but the most costly electric states (and even then gas must stay at a low cost)

RE: Getting there...
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 11/17/2009 12:06:14 PM , Rating: 2
This is about a hybrid, not an electric vehicle. I have driven my 3rd generation hybrid Camry all over the country. Where did the electric vehicle comment come from?

Anyway, have you ever purchased an SUV for $20K that does what you stated? Mid-30's minimum.

"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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