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It's also cutting the price of the the 2014 Prius Plug-in Advanced model by $4,620

Toyota is dropping the price of two of its Prius Plug-in models in an effort to keep up with the competition.

According to The Detroit News, Toyota lowered the price of the 2014 Prius Plug-in hybrid by 6 percent ($2,010) to $29,990 and the 2014 Prius Plug-in Advanced model by 11 percent ($4,620) to $34,905. 

“It’s dictated by market conditions," said Moe Durand, a Toyota spokesman. "When somebody starts that trend of allowing a little softer prices, market demand can determine price."

The latest cuts are likely an effort to reach annual sales goals, which is 12,000 Prius' sold for 2013. For the first nine months, Toyota has only sold 8,000. 

Many other automakers have been lowering prices this year, such as General Motors, which cut the Volt's price by $5,000 to $34,995; Ford, which cut the price of the Focus EV by $4,000 to $35,200, and Nissan, which slashed the Leaf's price by 18 percent earlier this year to $28,800 (and has seen a significant sales increase since).

Earlier this month, Toyota said it would pass on electric vehicles to focus more heavily on hydrogen fuel cell technology and continue releasing hybrid vehicles. For instance, the automaker said it would release 15 new hybrids and unveil its first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle by 2015. 

Toyota is focused on its next-generation Prius as well, which is expected to have better batteries with higher energy density. The company said it's using nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion where necessary and even upped its research on new battery technologies like solid state and lithium air as well as magnesium. The Prius will also feature smaller electric motors; thermal efficiency of the gasoline engine will be boosted from 38.5 percent in current models to 40 percent in the next-generation; the use of Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) will allow for a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity, and better aerodynamics will offer an all-new exterior design.

Source: The Detroit News

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Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Shig on 10/10/2013 2:58:57 PM , Rating: 2
Why would you develop fuel cell vehicles when there is close to 0 infrastructure for them?

EV infrastructure is already almost everywhere and pretty much every single building in the US has a 240V electrical connection.

The safety of hydrogen fuel cells will also be called into question because of the high pressure you have to store it at in your tank.

Plus the cost of a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle makes pure EV's look cheap. The Mercedes hydrogen fuel cell SUV is over 100,000$ and only has a 240 mile range.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Sivar on 10/10/2013 3:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
I think you may be overestimating our power grid. :)

Still, good point. Hydrogen is a great idea on paper, but generation, storage, and distribution are still in the zygote stage.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By IcePickFreak on 10/11/2013 8:37:32 AM , Rating: 2
Nothing $1.50/kWh can't fix. :\

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Spuke on 10/10/2013 3:24:49 PM , Rating: 1
EV infrastructure is already almost everywhere
It is? Where?

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Reclaimer77 on 10/10/2013 8:05:05 PM , Rating: 1
/Archer voice

"Ummm this new place called California? Duh!"

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By flyingpants1 on 10/11/2013 5:13:23 AM , Rating: 2
Let me just plug into the hydrogen line in my house.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By lelias2k on 10/14/2013 11:07:26 AM , Rating: 2
Have you seen any power outlets lately? ;)

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By superflex on 10/10/13, Rating: -1
RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Shig on 10/10/2013 3:49:46 PM , Rating: 2
Any high density energy source can be dangerous, stop trolling.

You make it sound like a car never caught on fire before the Model S, no one was even moderately hurt either.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Shig on 10/10/2013 3:51:02 PM , Rating: 2
@Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle, you CANNOT even buy this car, you can only lease it. The lease STARTS at 600$ a month, yeahhhh, so affordable.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Belegost on 10/10/2013 5:11:40 PM , Rating: 3
Little hyperbole with the whole "burnt to the ground" bit - quick look at the pictures show the front compartment is wasted, but the passenger compartment looks untouched.

And currently we have around 200,000 car fires a year, I'm not sure how one electric car fire makes electric cars less safe.

As for having high density H2 in the vehicle, yes that has a high risk factor, liquid fuels, or solid/liquid batteries at least tend to avoid flash explosions due to slow dissipation (gas fumes however are definitely risky) H2 naturally has an extremely high dissipation rate.

I personally am behind a long term hydrogen based energy system - but acting as though there are not serious hurdles to overcome regarding safe storage and transport would be stupid.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By jimbojimbo on 10/10/2013 5:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's the same argument as flying. Driving is FAR more dangerous but many people think they're more likely to die while flying. People aren't that smart.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By superstition on 10/10/2013 10:37:21 PM , Rating: 2
Living is even more dangerous.

Even if you choose not to do it, you're going to die.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By piroroadkill on 10/14/2013 9:32:24 AM , Rating: 2
I guess the problem is with flying, is that you aren't in control in any way, and you almost know with certainty when you are going to die as the plane plummets.

You can't veer off into a field to avoid a crash.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Sivar on 10/11/2013 10:56:45 AM , Rating: 2
Tell that to the owner of the Tesla who car burnt to the ground when the batteries caught fire.

The nationwide driving statistics make this very clear: there are 150,000 car fires per year according to the National Fire Protection Association, and Americans drive about 3 trillion miles per year according to the Department of Transportation. That equates to 1 vehicle fire for every 20 million miles driven, compared to 1 fire in over 100 million miles for Tesla. This means you are 5 times more likely to experience a fire in a conventional gasoline car than a Tesla!
--Elon Musk (granted, not a neutral party)

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By danjw1 on 10/11/2013 2:15:40 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention that gasoline can explode. The battery cell in the Tesla burned down to the bottom of the vehicle not up at the driver.

It should also noted that the drive of the car wants to get back into a Tesla as quick as he can.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By tayb on 10/10/13, Rating: 0
RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By foxalopex on 10/11/2013 11:34:02 AM , Rating: 2
The electrical grid would NOT be cripped if everyone switched to EVs. Typically EVs charge at night when nearly no one is using electrical power. In fact, talk to someone who works for a utility sometime and the major problem is PEAK power use. When everyone gets up in the morning or in the evening when everyone starts cooking and watching TV it causes a massive power spike. The reason why this is a problem is that in any electrical system in must always equal out or your electrical system will collapse in an instant. This means our power systems are overbuilt. It's like saying 90% of the times you need a car that only does 10mph, but 10% times you need to do 200mph so you put this massive engine in place instead of a scooter engine. What further complicates things is that generation systems don't instantly power up and down to our demands. EVs charging at night would provide income to power companies when power use dips allowing more effective use of power infrastructure. So rather than hurt our grid, it's likely to improve it.

There's absolutely no infrastructure that exists for hydrogen fuel. Building such would require more resources than just upgrading the power grid. Even worse, hydrogen is most easily made from natural gas (a fossil fuel). Hydrogen also doesn't store well. It's known to damage steel tanks if they don't have a special coating by making them brittle. Fuel cells are not cheap either. Picture a massive engine sized catalytic converter. Using electricity to produce hydrogen from water is a waste too considering it's more efficient to charge batteries.

Basically as some brighter observers have figured out, Hydrogen is heavily promoted by organizations who want us to stay on fossil fuels. They figure if they make the next step so incredibly difficult, then it will never come to be. EVs while rare are already on the road. Hydrogen fuel cell cars are still research projects and they have been research projects for decades now.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Solandri on 10/11/2013 2:04:37 PM , Rating: 2
The electrical grid would NOT be cripped if everyone switched to EVs. Typically EVs charge at night when nearly no one is using electrical power. [...]

All of this is correct. But:

1) It undercuts the argument for green power sources like wind and solar. Those are variable, and unable to provide base load power. You need a consistent, controllable on-demand power source like nuclear to do that.

2) It will destroy a large fraction of the economic advantage of EVs. Right now their cost per mile is about 1/3 that of ICE vehicles because they're able to charge overnight when electricity rates are lower. Electricity rates are lower because power companies have a lot of excess generating capacity sitting idle at night, and it's a pain to ramp them down. If the country becomes filled with enough EVs that they don't have to ramp down overnight power generation, then overnight electricity rates will about double to match daytime rates, and EVs would then have about 2/3 the operating cost per mile of an ICE vehicle.

If we force adoption green power generation (wind and solar) before they're economically ready, their higher generating cost will cause the price of electricity to rise even further. That's what's happened in Germany, where electricity is $0.34/kWh vs $0.20/kWh in France and the UK. So implementing the environmentalists' dream of EV cars and green power production would actually likely end up with cars which cost more per mile to operate than gasoline-powered cars.

There's absolutely no infrastructure that exists for hydrogen fuel. Building such would require more resources than just upgrading the power grid. Even worse, hydrogen is most easily made from natural gas (a fossil fuel). Hydrogen also doesn't store well.

Completely agreed for H2 gas. If you're cracking water with electricity to make hydrogen gas, you've destroyed most of the efficiency advantage over a regular ICE.

However, if you can make a hydrogen fuel cell which can work with the hydrogen in alcohol (which has already been done in methanol fuel cells), then you're in business. If the source of your alcohol is ethanol produced from plant matter, then it's net zero carbon emissions. It's already a liquid fuel so our current gasoline infrastructure can handle it with a few modifications. And its energy density both by volume and by weight is a lot better than batteries. Win, win, win.

Basically as some brighter observers have figured out, Hydrogen is heavily promoted by organizations who want us to stay on fossil fuels.

Doesn't matter who's promoting it, they're all just an energy storage medium. It's cheaper if the medium comes pre-packaged with energy (oil, natural gas). But at the end of the day, whether the energy comes pre-packaged or you have to pack the energy in yourself (hydrogen gas, ethanol, Li-ion batteries), they're all just energy storage mediums.

If you compare the cost to build containers, energy density by volume, energy density by mass, and ease and safety of handling these different energy storage mediums, you realize pretty quickly that gasoline is on top, with ethanol right underneath it. CNG and batteries are far below, and hydrogen gas is dead last. So it's hypocritical to be arguing against hydrogen on this basis, while simultaneously arguing for EVs in preference to ethanol.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By NaperJ on 10/11/2013 4:56:32 PM , Rating: 2
One of the problems with charging at night is that transformers generate internal heat proportional to current delivered, and much of that heat dissipates overnight, when both the sun is down (reducing external thermal input), and when there is low energy usage. Lots of overnight charging combined with a heat spell could induce a higher rate of transformer failure, particularly in the neighborhoods. Central transformers quite often have active cooling and are less susceptible to this problem.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By jimbojimbo on 10/10/2013 5:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
You answered your own question. There's a huge infrastructure for gasoline and diesel owned and ran by the oil tycoons. They know oil will run out so why not invest in a new infrastructure that people could become dependent on? Hydrogen. They don't want electric cars since people at home can generate electricity now. However, people can generate hydrogen but not yet compress it into cells and safely at that so they'd be happy to sell it to you once they bribe Washington into making us buy hydrogen fuel cell cars.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By Shig on 10/10/2013 10:27:58 PM , Rating: 2
Why does everyone think the electric grid will instantly fail if battery electric vehicles become mainstream? It will be a slow transition that the utilities will be able to manage.

I don't hate hydrogen fuel, it just isn't feasible for the regular car markets. It has potential in aviation and military applications though. Hydrogen fuel powered military vehicles would be great since we could control the fuel source domestically, making it from sunlight like you said. Aren't like 90% of the deaths in the military from just securing fuel lines?

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By ssj3gohan on 10/11/2013 5:53:52 AM , Rating: 2
It's a common fallacy that you can 'easily' make hydrogen from water. Yes you can, in very small quantities at a very high cost (it's a relatively inefficient process). The only way to make enough hydrogen with current technology for something like a military (or civil) fleet of machines, is to use fossil fuels, e.g. extracting hydrogen gas with a chemical process from coal and natural gas.

So hydrogen power is not something that will free us from fossil fuels *at all*, certainly not in the coming few decades.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By tayb on 10/11/2013 9:24:48 AM , Rating: 2
Photobiological water splitting is far more promising than electrolysis ever pretended to be. Electrolysis is nothing more than a demonstration of "Hey, we can split hydrogen from water using electricity. Isn't this cool?" Algae can simply be modified to produce pure hydrogen instead of pure oxygen. No electricity and no fossil fuels.

With current biohydrogen reactor technology it would only take 25,000 square kilometers of space to completely displace gasoline use in the US. That is without process improvements. The barrier right now is simply efficiency but there have been rapid improvements in the past 10 years. In 2004 the light to hydrogen conversion was only 1%. In 2011 there was a breakthrough that increased the efficiency to 5%.

1 kg of hydrogen has the energy equivalency of 1 gallon of gasoline. At 10% efficiency a kg of hydrogen would cost $2.60. The current 5% equates to a gasoline equivalent cost of $5.20.

Hydrogen could potentially be as cost effective in 2020 as gasoline was in 2004. And it would be completely free of fossil fuels. So your last statement is patently false.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By PaFromFL on 10/11/2013 10:06:40 AM , Rating: 2
Until we build thousands of nuclear reactors to generate hydrogen or develop an efficient way to generate hydrogen from garbage or sunlight, there is no point wasting money on hydrogen fuel schemes.

Back in the mid 70's at a Penn State Physics colloquium, an invited government "scientist" gave a presentation about the new hydrogen economy concept. He was ripped to shreds by the professors before he could even finish. The main problems are that hydrogen is merely a carrier of energy (like electrons) rather than a source, there is no efficient way to generate hydrogen, and there is no way store hydrogen at anywhere near the density of liquid hydrocarbons. Forty years later nothing has changed, except we found out that is harder to solve the fuel cell contamination problem than we thought it would be.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By alpha754293 on 10/11/2013 2:15:02 PM , Rating: 2
Um...ya know...before gas stations started popping up - gasoline wasn't any better for the horseless carriage either. Just sayin'...

And you also know, before electricity started being produced, the filament lightbulb wasn't any better than the candle either. Also just sayin'...

By Dr. Kenneth Noisewater on 10/11/2013 7:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
Stick reformulators at gas stations and presto, instant H2 infrastructure.

If such reformulators could get, say, 20kWh out of each gallon of gas converted to H2 and CO2, and FCEVs can easily get 3 or 4 miles/kWh, then they're already at 60+ MPG. At that point, you're reducing gas usage and providing a 'shim' towards getting an even more efficient H2 infrastructure built out.

If such reformulators can be efficiently vehicle-mounted (or we start seeing ~100kW SOFCs that fit in the space of a 4cyl engine) then you've got an ideal range extender for an EV with zero need for H2 infrastructure or worries about tank space or degradation.

RE: Hydrogen is the wrong path
By EricMartello on 10/11/2013 11:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not saying I support any of this eco-car douchery, but you could have your own hydrogen generator that works on the principle of in essence, any place that has water and electricity could generate hydrogen gas. It would probably need to be refrigerator sized to be...ahem...practical.

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