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Father of the Prius recalls the early program and its challenges

Takeshi Uchiyamada is an important figure at Toyota. Not only is he the chairman of the automaker, but he is also considered to be the father of the Prius. The Toyota Prius has been the most popular hybrid in the world since its introduction over a decade ago.
 
Uchiyamada recently indicated that there is nowhere to go but up for hybrid production/sales. "I foresee hybrid models pretty soon reaching 20 percent of global sales from about 13 percent to 14 percent now," said Uchiyamada.
 
Hybrid vehicles remain a niche market as improving fuel economy for traditional vehicles has improved significantly making the value of a hybrid less defined.


Toyota FT-Bh concept
 
Sales of hybrid vehicles rose 40% in Europe last year reaching 214,237 units (that is still less than the number of Toyota Prii sold in the United States last year). That tally gives hybrid vehicles under 2% of the overall European auto market. To boost that market share, many automakers are working to reduce the price of the battery packs and other hybrid components.
 
Toyota is preparing to launch its next generation Prius within the next year. The company is hoping for at least an 8% fuel efficiency gain compared to the current generation vehicle.

Source: Autonews



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RE: Weird Toyota!
By ChronoReverse on 3/13/2014 1:25:32 PM , Rating: 2
Especially since diesel costs more than gasoline now it's especially true.

Up here in Canadaland, diesel is like $1.50/L while gasoline is $1.35/L


RE: Weird Toyota!
By Samus on 3/13/2014 10:36:03 PM , Rating: 2
It's primarily the diesel fuel costs that keep diesel hybrids off the market, especially in the USA.

But it's also additional maintenance, weight, NVR, emissions BS, and diminishing returns compared to cost. I'd be surprised if a diesel hybrid could best a petrol hybrid in city driving (where hybrids are most effective) because diesels can't run the miller combustion cycle because they can't "time" their detonation with a spark (although there is some diesel technology that incorporate spark plugs) and the start-stop cycles will cause additional wear and harshness.

They will have to get very creative with diesel technology to actually make it work. I know Fiat and some others have diesel hybrids but they are not well received. BMW discontinued there's after one year on sale. The problem is in order to eliminate a lot of the NVH and wear issues associated with constant start-stop when transitioning to battery power, the compression ratio has to be dropped (down to 13:1, or lower) in order to meet the expectations of someone not used to diesel engines.

The last point is diesels are really good enough on their own. They are VERY efficient at idle. Not as efficient as an electric motor (which uses zero power) but a Golf TDI will burn a coffee-cup amount of fuel an hour idling.


RE: Weird Toyota!
By JediJeb on 3/14/2014 5:37:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
the compression ratio has to be dropped (down to 13:1, or lower) in order to meet the expectations of someone not used to diesel engines.


At 13:1 that would be almost perfect for an LPG engine.


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