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  (Source: media.caranddriver.com)
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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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
quote:
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.

quote:
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.

quote:
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.


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