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The automaker doesn't see a market for EVs

Toyota doesn't see a market for electric vehicles (EVs), but it does see value in continued hybrid production and upcoming hydrogen fuel cell technology. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada thinks EV batteries need at least two major breakthroughs before they can replace gasoline or hybrid vehicles. 

The reason why Toyota doesn’t introduce any major [all-electric product] is because we do not believe there is a market to accept it,” said Uchiyamada.

The exception to this statement is the Toyota RAV4 electric vehicle, which was built through a partnership with California startup Tesla Motors. The Toyota EV has a Tesla battery and motor, and in exchange, Tesla has access to Toyota parts. 

Toyota RAV4 EV

Many other automakers disagree with Toyota's view of EVs. Tesla, for starters, has seen strong sales of its electric Model S. The company has been very successful for an EV startup, having paid its full amount of $465 million in loans back to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nine years early. 

General Motors (GM) sees the value of EVs too, as it races Tesla to offer a 200-mile affordable EV. Tesla said it is working on a new vehicle with the same range, which aims to be more affordable than the current Model S. 

Just last month, Volkswagen said it wants to lead the EV market by 2018 -- starting with the eGolf and eUp! 

Nissan -- maker of the popular all-electric Leaf -- is also upping its EV efforts by cutting purchase and lease prices of the Leaf and even offering free charging for a year to Leaf owners in Texas (and eventually other states). It appears to be working -- it sold a total of 14,123 Leafs through August. This is a huge leap from 2012's total sales of 9,819. 

While many other automakers are clearly jumping on the EV bandwagon, Toyota prefers to stick with its hybrids. It isn't concerned about being left behind the EV race whatsoever. 

"Some people say hybrid vehicles such as the Prius are only a bridge to the future," said Uchiyamada. "But we think it could be a long bridge and a very sturdy one. There are many more gains we can achieve with hybrids."

Toyota is focused on its next-generation Prius, 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.

Back in August, Toyota revealed that it would release 15 new hybrids by 2015.

In addition, Toyota is bypassing EVs and betting on fuel cell technology, where hydrogen is ran through the fuel cell with only water as a byproduct. The company wants to release its first hydrogen fuel cell vehicle in 2015. 

"I personally expect a lot from this hydrogen fuel cell technology," said Uchiyamada. "If government and industry work together, this might be part of the long-term solution."

Source: The Wall Street Journal



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And they are right
By Ammohunt on 10/1/2013 1:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Why make a product that they can't sell? The current batch of EV's that are worth buying (Tesla) are playthings of the rich and not practical everyday cars. They have been wildly successful with their hybrid lines. If anyone can make a hydrogen fuel cell car work it would be Toyota and i would be first in line to buy one.




RE: And they are right
By tanjali on 10/1/2013 2:25:38 PM , Rating: 3
They don't want you to know why? LOL… They could easily make research for new battery tech and make something like battery-capacitor hybrid battery that charge fast 5 minutes or less and hold 300 miles and over, but fortunately for oil companies battery tech is more complex and expensive than rocket and DNA and nanotech science combine. (Sarcasm)


RE: And they are right
By milktea on 10/1/2013 3:03:50 PM , Rating: 2
EV is the way to go for the future. But If my choices are either gasoline or hydrogen, I'll stick with the traditional gasoline. Just don't know how safe is carrying a hydrogen tank.

Like Toyota have mentioned, the current battery technology hasn't mature yet. But once it matures, the EV would dominate the auto industry. By that time, both gasoline or hydro fuel would be left in the dust.

Just think about this, one great thing about EV is that you can charge at home. You longer need to wait at gas stations to pump gas. And EV home chargers are very cheap. I know there are hydrogen fuel cell 'home' chargers. But they are way too expensive compare to EV chargers. And tech savvy people could easily build their own EV (solar) chargers.


RE: And they are right
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 3:22:22 PM , Rating: 3
How do you expect EV's to dominate when hardly anyone, yourselves included, doesn't even OWN one? Put your money where your mouth this! Look at ACTUAL sales people, THAT'S what the market thinks of EV's. Like another psoter said, Toyota doesn't need to sell an EV, they meet CAFE AND make a profit with Hybrids.


RE: And they are right
By toffty on 10/1/2013 3:37:52 PM , Rating: 3
Speak for yourself. I happily own an EV - Nissan Leaf - and haven't been to a gas station for 2 years.


RE: And they are right
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 4:03:32 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Speak for yourself. I happily own an EV - Nissan Leaf - and haven't been to a gas station for 2 years.
Ok so there's ONE person. I'm not an EV supporter, I don't need to buy one. You really think I didn't know there would be someone here that owned an EV? How significant is your lone sale? Again, look at sales figures. EV's need to be purchased in MUCH greater quantities to make any appreciable dent. IMO, Hybrids are the future as their sales ARE increasing and people actually buy them. I can see them taking over the market as prices decrease on them OR fuel costs go up dramatically. EV sales are like exotic car sales. All over the place and still in extremely small numbers.


RE: And they are right
By Mint on 10/1/2013 3:54:27 PM , Rating: 2
Sales are growing, and in fact faster than hybrids did at first. They'd be even faster if initially tepid sales didn't make Nissan underestimate demand this year (sales almost tripled YoY with the 2013 Leaf).

What's surprising is Toyota's statements about the future, not their EV sales today. The writing is on the wall for plugins to take over.


RE: And they are right
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 4:09:33 PM , Rating: 2
What does Nissan's underestimation of sales have to do with what people want to buy? That's irrelevant. The only relevancy is actual sales.


RE: And they are right
By Mint on 10/2/2013 4:01:17 AM , Rating: 3
It's relevant because it's affecting supply:
http://green.autoblog.com/2013/08/21/nissan-leaf-p...

You can't sell more than you make.


RE: And they are right
By milktea on 10/1/2013 9:16:50 PM , Rating: 2
Obviously EV isn't dominating the market at the present time, because of technological reasons and cost. But I'm sure it'll change in the next few decades.

Sales only tells you the results at the past and present, but indicates nothing about the future.

Another point, with gasoline, consumers are at the mercy of these big oil companies. They can charge whatever price they want, and consumer can do nothing about it. With EV, the story would be different. Because people no longer needs to go to a gas station (or Hydro Fuel station). Our lives will forever changed when EV becomes mainstream.

Again, it is very easy to generate electricity from your own backyard (solar, wind, etc...). On the other hand, it is very difficult to refine gasoline from cruel oil in your backyard (with similarity to Hydro Fuel cell).


RE: And they are right
By Reclaimer77 on 10/1/2013 11:40:59 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Obviously EV isn't dominating the market at the present time, because of technological reasons and cost. But I'm sure it'll change in the next few decades.


I remember people saying that decades ago as well...

quote:
Because people no longer needs to go to a gas station (or Hydro Fuel station). Our lives will forever changed when EV becomes mainstream.


You'll still be at the mercy of big companies. Instead of "big oil", it will be "big electric".

Do you guys really think if EV's become mainstream, as in tens or hundreds of millions on the roads, companies aren't going to find ways to make a profit off that?

Electricity might be cheap now, but you can damn sure expect that to change if EV's make it big.

quote:
Again, it is very easy to generate electricity from your own backyard (solar, wind, etc...).


LOL that's a joke! You aren't serious, are you?


RE: And they are right
By milktea on 10/2/2013 2:02:21 AM , Rating: 2
It's no joke when you talk to people who live 'off grid'

But I do somewhat agree regarding your reply about "big oil" vs "big electric". My point is, EV would further strengthen energy independence. And would cause a very big change in our economy (for better or for worst).


RE: And they are right
By Mint on 10/2/2013 4:39:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Electricity might be cheap now, but you can damn sure expect that to change if EV's make it big.
You keep repeating the same FUD again and again no matter how many times you're proven wrong.

10 million EVs would add less than 1% to US electricity consumption. You could do 100M without any new generation capacity at all, and simply charging at night.


RE: And they are right
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2013 8:52:01 AM , Rating: 2
Nowhere was I making a point about the grid or its capacity.


RE: And they are right
By Guspaz on 10/2/2013 10:48:29 AM , Rating: 2
Well, you seem to be making the point that we'd shift our dependence from the oil companies to the electric companies... Good? I don't know about where you live, but over here our electric company is owned by the government, and all profits get dumped back into the provincial budget. Any excess beyond what it costs to produce (profit) gets returned to us indirectly anyhow.


RE: And they are right
By Mint on 10/2/2013 7:49:43 PM , Rating: 1
Of course you did. High profit comes with high volume and/or high margin (on-peak demand).

The majority of EV electricity will be provided at night (surplus capacity, low-margin), and it simply won't be that much until a few decades from now.


RE: And they are right
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2013 9:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
I most certainly was not. I was making a statement about economics.

If people are willing to spend thousands of dollars a year on gasoline, if EV's replace ICE vehicles, SOMEONE is going to find a way to make you spend thousands of dollars a year more on electricity.

Another point is taxes. Currently EV owners pretty much get a free ride. They aren't contributing to the road funds like ICE owners do. If EV's become dominant, you can bet your ass that's changing too. Some states already are pushing for EV taxes.

Again, I wasn't talking about the grid or peak power or any of that. I'm talking economics. If you actually believe you'll still be getting off this cheap in a world where the EV is king, you're absolutely a fool.


RE: And they are right
By Dr of crap on 10/2/2013 9:34:10 AM , Rating: 2
Yea let me look through the garage for some things I've got laying around and put together a water splitter to make my own hydrogen!!!!

It's SOOOOO easy!


RE: And they are right
By milktea on 10/2/2013 11:13:20 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, making hydrogen is not difficult. But the question is how do you store it for use in FCEV? And how portable is it compare to solar electric stored in battery banks?


RE: And they are right
By Nutzo on 10/1/2013 3:40:27 PM , Rating: 1
EV's will always be the next best thing in cars....Forever

I'd much rather wait 5 minutes to fill up my car at a gas station while traveling, than wait 4 to 8 hours for the battery to charge.

The problem with EV's is the batteries. They are expensive, heavy, and take too long to charge. High capacity batteries have similar problems to gas, they can short out, catch fire and even explode. Why do you think they make the battery packs even heavier by build heavy metal boxed around them?

Even if there was a break through that increased battery capacity by 10x times, you would still have the charging problem. If 25% of the population had electric cars and they all plugged them in to charge, it would shut down the electic grid.


RE: And they are right
By Mint on 10/1/2013 4:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
Wait 4-8 hours? What rock have you been sleeping under?

The purpose of slow charge is to do it at night when you're sleeping, not waiting. The cost to you is 5s when you come home, 5s when you leave. That takes care of all days of the year needing 70 miles or less. If you can charge at work, double that.

At charging stations, though, several EVs charge to 80% in 20-30 minutes. The larger Tesla motor hits 50% in 30 minutes (soon to be 20).


RE: And they are right
By Nutzo on 10/1/2013 4:23:55 PM , Rating: 3
Typical, you talk about charging from home then give numbers for a Tesla at a specialized charging station.

Plug in your Leaf, with it's 3.3KW charger, and it will take 5 hours to charge at home, if you spent the money on a 240 volt charging station. Otherwise it will take 10 hours on 120 volt plug.

Not sure what you mean by 5s cost, but the cost out here in California can run as high a $.38/KW. During the summer, it's easy to hit the top pricing tier when you need to run the Air Conditioning in the house. So it would cost me $6.08 to charge the Leaf for 90 miles.
A Prius Hybrid at 50 MPG, and gas at $3.85 (current price) would cost $6.93 for 90 miles. Don't see the huge savings with going electric, unless I could plug it in at work (I can't)

Yes, they do have other electric plans for night time charging, but they don't make sense for many people. You either have to pay even higher rates during the day which end up costing more if you have a wife & kids at home during the day, or you have to pay big $$ to install a seperate meter, which will take years to pay for.


RE: And they are right
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 4:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
Depending on where you live, a 2nd meter may not be that expensive. Some cities/counties offer rebates on them. But, yeah, without any incentives, 2nd meters cost ~$2000.


RE: And they are right
By Mint on 10/2/2013 4:34:40 AM , Rating: 2
Typical? I explained very clearly when each case applies.

You mentioned time in your post, not electricity cost. 5s means five seconds. But your $0.38c/kWh figure is cherry picked nonsense.

10 hours isn't a problem. What percentage of people are away from home 14 hours a day?


RE: And they are right
By Reflex on 10/1/2013 4:33:12 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If 25% of the population had electric cars and they all plugged them in to charge, it would shut down the electic grid.

This is frequently stated but it has no basis in fact. Utilities and the DoE have said it is false, and it defies basic physics. Assuming everyone who did so had a 220v/20A charging station it basically is the same as saying "If everyone buys a dryer and turns them on at night it would shut down the electric grid." That argument relies on the idea that the size of the battery magically makes it draw more power than other home appliances, and that such a power draw can go beyond what the box and meter can deliver to the home. Neither are true.

Sure, technically speaking if all the power the battery could receive were able to be delivered at once and everyone charged at exactly the same time despite different work hours, time zones, consumption rates, etc, yes that would create a problem. But that is not reality nor would it be even if 100% of the nation converted.


RE: And they are right
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 4:52:56 PM , Rating: 2
From what I understand the grid can take a sizeable increase in electric car charging. Someone here explained this to me in detail a couple of years ago.


RE: And they are right
By 91TTZ on 10/1/2013 5:18:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Assuming everyone who did so had a 220v/20A charging station it basically is the same as saying "If everyone buys a dryer and turns them on at night it would shut down the electric grid."


Well if everyone suddenly did that it would shut down the grid. I used to work at a power plant and there are expected energy demands at certain times of the year. They depend on people acting randomly and not all doing the same thing at once. It's sort of like saying that a building can easily handle the stress of thousands of people walking around inside. But it would have serious problems if everyone suddenly started jumping to the same beat.

Another example would be the phone system. It has no problem with everyone making calls throughout the day, but if something like an Earthquake happens and everyone decides to make a call at once, they bring it down.

The company I used to work for had main plants and auxiliary plant. The aux plants were usually older, less efficient plants. They'd only run them in times of heavier than expected load. If it's October and they hear it's going to be 95 degrees F tomorrow, they'd have to fire up additional plants to handle the increased energy demands of all the air conditioners that will be running.


RE: And they are right
By Reflex on 10/1/2013 5:29:33 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, but chances are very high that at any given time every home has *some* appliance running on a 220 circuit, in fact usually its more than one given the refrigerator, washer/dryer, stove, oven etc etc. Adding a car isn't going to substantially change the mix, and as you point out they won't all be charging at the exact same time, or at the exact same rate, or even for the same amount of time. Plus the charging is likely to be almost entirely off-peak as most people will charge at night.


RE: And they are right
By milktea on 10/1/2013 8:57:29 PM , Rating: 2
'Forever' is a strong word.

IMO, I would say for the next decade. Like I've mentioned, battery technology hasn't mature yet. But a lot of research is going on in this area. So all the problems you've stated, regards to batteries, would soon be a thing of the past.

FYI... Physics and Engineers exists to solve these problems we have today.


RE: And they are right
By flyingpants1 on 10/2/2013 12:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
Almost NOBODY will EVER need to charge their EV anywhere but their home. Even if they live in an apartment building and don't have access to an outlet and charge exclusively at work, they will have ~180 miles left by the time they arrive home.

The real issue is long-distance travel. Tesla solved that with superchargers, and within a few years they will implement 5-minute charging.


RE: And they are right
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2013 1:02:57 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The real issue is long-distance travel. Tesla solved that with superchargers, and within a few years they will implement 5-minute charging.


That's great as long as you own a Tesla. Superchargers are proprietary. What about other EV's??

Can you imagine if Ford, Chevy, Toyota etc etc all had exclusive proprietary gas stations exclusively for their vehicles? What a mess!


RE: And they are right
By milktea on 10/2/2013 2:10:59 AM , Rating: 2
proprietary = temporary (rhymes doesn't it?)

I see you don't seem enthusiastic/optimistic about EV. What is your stance on ICE/Hybrid/FuelCell/EV?


RE: And they are right
By flyingpants1 on 10/2/2013 11:17:50 AM , Rating: 2
It is a problem.


RE: And they are right
By Reflex on 10/2/2013 1:55:35 PM , Rating: 3
People already make decisions when they buy a vehicle. Every vehicle has its ups and downs. Since most homes have two cars often the types are different to accommodate different needs(commuter car + minivan or truck + car, etc).

In a two car home its a no brainer that in any urban setting one of them is electric. Even in a one car home, an EV can make a ton of sense. Based on my mileage and fuel costs per year, an EV would save me around three grand per year. I take a serious road trip every couple of years, I could buy a LOT of rental car miles and still come out way way ahead financially every year.


RE: And they are right
By Reclaimer77 on 10/2/2013 9:09:26 PM , Rating: 1
Unless the Leaf is your thing, the only other viable EV out there is $65,000 give or take.

Yeah you're really coming out way ahead there lol.

quote:
In a two car home its a no brainer that in any urban setting one of them is electric.


You just pull that our of your ass? Practically NOBODY owns an EV, it's not a no brainer.


Diesel Hybrid
By Lord 666 on 10/1/2013 1:37:40 PM , Rating: 2
Why o why is this taking so long?




RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Samus on 10/1/2013 1:54:48 PM , Rating: 2
Well, 2 reasons:

-Diesels alone are already uncommon in the United States

-Diesel engines adapt terribly to current hybrid systems. They don't tolerate constant stop-start (and don't start smoothly) and they can't run a backed off cam (miller-cycle) so their efficiency isn't all that great.

Add in that diesel engines produce much more torque than horsepower (just like an electric motor) and you have two "redundant" powertrain components, where the balance between torque and horsepower is traditionally diversified between a small unleaded engine and a large electric motor/generator/starter component.

Diesel engines wont just drop into a current hybrid and net better fuel economy. The application has to be reworked. The best one is to use a diesel in an application like the Volt as a generator for an electric motor, but its expensive since a decent-sized battery pack is needed as a buffer to prevent the engine from running constantly/having a lot of start-stop cycled.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Nutzo on 10/1/2013 2:26:07 PM , Rating: 3
Wrong.
Contrary to how GM initially advertised it, the Volt is really just a plugin hybrid with a larger than average battery. The Volt has a transmission that allows the ICE to directly drive the wheels, and the ICE will also be used under heavy acceleration, even when the battery has a full charge.

Diesel might make sense in a range extended electric car. That’s an electric car with a small engine/generator and gas tank that is only used to charge the battery. No transmission to connect the ICE to the wheels, which would simplify the design and reduce weight. However, this type of car would need a large battery to make it practical.
I think a 75 to 100 mile battery, and at least a 5 gallon gas tank (another 175 to 200 miles). As long as the generator could run and charge the battery while you are driving or when you are stop for lunch during a long drive, you wouldn’t have to be worried about being stranded.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By tanjali on 10/1/2013 2:49:21 PM , Rating: 2
+1


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Solandri on 10/1/2013 3:30:03 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Diesel might make sense in a range extended electric car. That’s an electric car with a small engine/generator and gas tank that is only used to charge the battery. No transmission to connect the ICE to the wheels, which would simplify the design and reduce weight.

I think GM made the right decision not to use the system you describe in the Volt. Why in the world would you want the efficiency losses of converting mechanical energy to electrical energy, then back to mechanical:

engine => generator => battery => motor => wheels

when you can just keep everything as mechanical energy and go:

engine => transmission => wheels

I think there's a misconception that powering your car with electricity is always better than using fuel. That simply isn't the case. The whole reason EVs cost less to operate than an ICE is because your electricity source (regional power plant) operates at nearly 2x the efficiency of your ICE; and Joule for Joule, coal, gas, nuclear, and hydro are much cheaper than gasoline.

If you're going to use the ICE to burn gas to generate power anyway, then there's no power plant in the picture and no efficiency advantage to electric. You're much better off sending that power directly to the wheels instead of first converting it to electricity, storing it in a battery, then using that to drive electric motors which turn the wheels.

The next progressive step is the one Toyota is banking on - fuel cells. A fuel cell isn't bound by the thermodynamic limits of a heat transfer cycle, and can operate at a much higher efficiency (around 65% in practice, though they've gotten research cells to 90%) than an ICE (currently around 30%). So they're a potentially better way to get energy out of the gasoline than an ICE. But fuel cells produce electricity, not mechanical energy, so linking them to a battery and electric motor makes sense.

The catch with fuel cells is if you're liberating the hydrogen from water, you pretty much lose all of the efficiency advantage of the fuel cell over the ICE. A 60% efficient power plant supplies electricity to crack water into hydrogen at 65% efficiency. The hydrogen is then burned in your car's fuel cell at 65% efficiency. Overall efficiency is .6*.65*.65 = 25%, which is worse than the 30% that ICEs currently achieve. But if you can make a fuel cell which can work directly with a fuel source like methane or alcohol, then it's going to crush the ICE in efficiency.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By snhoj on 10/2/2013 6:07:15 PM , Rating: 1
I think whether or not a series hybrid makes sense depends on the efficiency that can be wrung out of its electrical components. One of the solar challenge cars had an electric motor in it that was 98.5% efficient. So it is possible to build electric machines with extraordinary efficiency. Some of the principles used to extract that efficiency could be applied to larger EV's. Some of the Li-poly batteries have a charge recovery of 97% at moderate charge/drain rates. It is not essential that all the energy be passed through the battery. This would eliminate another energy conversion couple all be it a potentially fairly efficient one. The energy equation could go;

engine => generator => power converter => motor => wheels.

With the battery hanging off the power converter instead of;

engine => generator => battery charger => battery => motor controller => motor => wheels

The energy conversion would be;

shaft power*time => Volt(generator output)*Amps*time => Volt(battery uptake)*Amp*time => chemical potential energy => etc.

If each electrical stage could achieve 98.5% efficiency the overall efficiency of the 'electronic transmission' would be 95.5%. This would rival a mechanical transmission for efficiency but the true clincher would be that the mechanical transmission would subject the ICE to variable speed and load reducing its average efficiency where as the electronic transmission could run the ICE at its peak efficiency whenever it ran. I'm not sure the load leveling in parallel hybrids is that good.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/1/2013 3:31:45 PM , Rating: 2
Completely wrong! I actually own a 2013 Volt so I can tell you completely don't know what you're talking about. The Volt has about a ~38 mile battery which will completely power the electric motor to highway speeds and under heavy acceleration. The battery can put out 107 kilowatts of power which is roughly equivalent to a 140 hp engine going all out. When the battery runs out (after about 38 miles) , the Volt starts to behave more like a Prius hybrid in that it uses the battery as a buffer to smooth out heavy accelerations to keep the engine running at a constant low RPM which is the best for fuel milage. At highway speeds the motor can at times link directly to the drivetrain for more efficiency because it's inefficient to convert from gas to battery and then back to motion again. The battery also allows the Volt to shutdown the engine or recharge when braking, going down hills or stuck in traffic.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Nutzo on 10/1/2013 4:02:19 PM , Rating: 1
You really should do some research on your own car.

Yes, the Volt will operate on all electric mode for around 38 miles, just like the Ford Fusion and C-Max Energi will run for around 20 miles on electric.
The Volt has a higher top all-electric speed than the Fords, but like the Fords, it will use the ICE even with a full battery charge. You agreed when you stated "At highway speeds the motor can at times link directly to the drivetrain for more efficiency".

Once the battery runs out, the Volt's mileage is poor compared to other hybrids. This is partially due the the weight of the batteries, and also due to the under powered ICE.

This makes the Volt a plug-in Hybrid. The main difference is that GM went with a smaller ICE and a larger battery than other plug-in Hybrids. With better battery technology, I'm sure we will see alot more plug-in Hybrids in the next several years, including from Toyota.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/2/2013 12:58:00 PM , Rating: 3
I don't need to do research, I've driven my Volt at highway speeds and the engine doesn't turn on until you run out of battery. The engine is very noticeable when it is on because it will vibrate the car like any normal gas engine. There is also a KWatt power gauge that indicates where power is going relative to the battery, electric motor and gas motor. The gas engine ONLY comes on when you run out of battery or force that car to use gas via HOLD or engage Mountain mode with less than 1/2 a battery charge. Besides common sense would tell you that. Cruising at highway speeds draws about 20 KWatts of power. The electric motor is capable of 111 KWatts of power peak. The battery has about 10 KWH usable meaning it will run out in about 20-30 minutes at highway speeds. If you're trying to save fuel which is what the Volt is designed for, you don't turn on your engine until it is nearly out of battery power which is exactly what the Volt does. In comparison the C-Max has an electric motor that peaks at 68 Kwatts so if it can't accelerate properly on the highway that's understandable.

The Volt would get slightly better fuel mileage with an Atkinson cycle engine but that would likely make it cost far too much and when it came out the Volt was already a very expensive car. It is NOT underpowered. As I said cruising speed on the highway is around 20 Kwh which works out to about 26 HP. The engine is around 80 hp which leaves a lot of power that is banked in the battery that's available for acceleration. On the highway the Volt will beat nearly any car passing on uphills because of the battery assist. On long mountain runs, you're suppose to use mountain mode to reserve more battery.

In actual practice, most Volt owners only use the gas engine on long trips. Day to day it's pretty much an electric car. I saw the gas station 5 months ago. Even a Prius can't do that if it's used every day.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Keeir on 10/2/2013 5:15:36 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry Nutzo,

I own a Volt.

I've FLOORED the car from zero to 80 in "Sport" mode. No engine.

I must also say, there is definate difference in when the ICE directly powers the wheels. It doesn't seem to occur at speeds less than ~50 mph.

quote:
Once the battery runs out, the Volt's mileage is poor compared to other hybrids


Kinda... I get around 45-50 mpg out of it. I typically get 50-55 in a Prius. This makes it the second best mileage hybrid I've driven. Maybe I should rent a Fusion Hybrid next time and see if I can


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Mint on 10/1/2013 3:38:22 PM , Rating: 4
I don't see why this distinction matters. The ability to make this connection is a good thing.

I don't see the point in the US going to diesel. The rest of the world is already heavily into diesel, and globally, refineries are pretty close to maximizing the diesel coming out of each barrel of oil. On top of that, the added expense of clean diesel engines - which, while better than old diesel, isn't as clean as the best gas cars - puts them on a collision course with plugins anyway.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/1/2013 3:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
Oops, I meant more in reference to the earlier quote that a Volt cannot accelerate to high speeds on battery, that's wrong. It most definately can.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/1/2013 3:57:44 PM , Rating: 2
By the way you're mostly right about Diesel. As a mechanic friend pointed out the problem is after you put on all the pollution control systems on a modern Diesel it rapidly starts to lose fuel milage. In fact compare a used older Diesel to a brand new 2013 one and you'll find the older Diesel in fact beats the new. Gas engines have only improved their mileage over time but I suspect they're nearing the end of what they can do. You can only squeeze so much...


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By superstition on 10/1/2013 6:05:46 PM , Rating: 2
That's an oversimplification to the point of being inaccurate. Using a urea system, for instance, takes care of nitrogen emissions -- negating the need for using fuel to deal with it. This is why the Passat TDI has greater efficiency than the Golf and Jetta cars even though it's larger and heavier.

The American Passat TDI gets better mileage than any American VW that has come before.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Lord 666 on 10/1/2013 7:54:20 PM , Rating: 2
And yet my 2013 TDI Passat gets the same miles per tank as 2006 TDI Jetta it replaced... and the Passat can carry three extra gallons of fuel.

Took it down to Disney from NJ and back and never got over 650 miles per tank. The world record is 1600 miles. Best stretch was from Orlando to Raleigh without stopping and 150 miles left in the tank. I wanted to hit VA, but the wife made me stop.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By superstition on 10/1/2013 11:04:32 PM , Rating: 2
2006 Jetta TDI manual EPA MPG rating:

30 city 37 highway

2013 Passat TDI SE manual

31 city 43 highway

Do you have the SEL trim in the Passat? Its larger wheels may impact economy some. Are both of them manuals?


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Lord 666 on 10/2/2013 9:29:47 AM , Rating: 2
The numbers for the 2006 is after the EPA adjusted the numbers. Sticker was 36/42 and it always did better with many 50mpg+ trips.

The Passat is indeed the SEL trim with the Jetta having 16s. Both the Jetta and the Passat are DSG. On the open road, the Passat has never did better than 46mpg, but will consistently get up to 43mpg.

The irony is I seem to get better mpg than my wife with the Passat, but with the Jetta it was the other way around.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/2/2013 1:06:33 PM , Rating: 2
It's interesting, but in actual real life use my Volt actually has a current fuel mileage of 77 mpg which is still rising because I haven't been burning fuel in months. The 38 mile range that the battery provides is enough for my daily use. It would have been better if I hadn't taken it for a 3000 mile cross country trip. On gas it only manages about 37 mpg. So unless you're driving 1-2 hundred miles every day. The Volt will definitely burn less fuel than any diesel.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By 91TTZ on 10/1/2013 5:02:17 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
-Diesel engines adapt terribly to current hybrid systems. They don't tolerate constant stop-start (and don't start smoothly) and they can't run a backed off cam (miller-cycle) so their efficiency isn't all that great.


1. A diesel engine is inherently more efficient than a gasoline engine due to the much higher compression ratio and lack of a throttle. It's ridiculous to say that a diesel's efficiency isn't that great.

2. Hardly any cars use a miller cycle engine. They require a supercharger so it adds cost to the powertrain. Cars like a Prius use an Atkinson cycle, not Miller cycle.

As you pointed out, diesels have more torque than horsepower. This helps efficiency since they can produce more power at a lower RPM. Revving very high is great for making peak power but it's horrible for fuel economy.

Diesels have been used in "hybrid" systems in trains for decades. Diesel engines are a perfect match for this application because you can have a high-torque, low-revving engine efficiently turning a generator which powers an electric motor.

I believe the real reason you don't see more diesel hybrid systems is because of the cost. Diesel engines are more expensive than gasoline engines and if you're designing a car you have to keep the cost down.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By spamreader1 on 10/1/2013 1:54:54 PM , Rating: 3
yup, has been working fantastically for trains for decades. It makes sense to have a small diesel powerplant powering a generator.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/1/2013 3:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
Incorrect, a diesel / electric train doesn't even have a main drive train battery. The reason why Trains uses this generation set is to avoid the massive mechanical transmission that would otherwise be required to handle the tremendous Torque that a train requires. In cars, the conversion of electricity from gas / diesel to battery to electric motor again is highly inefficient especially at high speeds.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Mint on 10/1/2013 3:41:41 PM , Rating: 2
It's not "highly inefficient". GM pegged the gains of their system at 15%, and that will probably go down with time. Mechanical <=> electrical conversion is pretty good nowadays, and theoretically 100%.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By foxalopex on 10/1/2013 3:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
Except you missed a step. Mechanical -> Electrical -> Chemical. Charging a battery using mechanical motion is nowhere near 100%.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Mint on 10/1/2013 4:40:05 PM , Rating: 2
And when does that apply?

For both parallel hybrid (direct mechanical linkage) to serial hybrid (generator-motor), there is no chemical storage in range extended mode. Power goes straight from the generator to the motor.

And no, chemical efficiency of batteries isn't bad at all. It's over 90%:
https://www.google.com/search?q=battery+round+trip...


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Solandri on 10/1/2013 3:57:16 PM , Rating: 4
Trains are a very extreme case. The engine is typically around 4000 hp, while the locomotive and each car weighs around 100 tons. If you figure 20 cars in total, that's 2000 tons, or 2 hp per ton.

If you converted that power to weight ratio over to a car, your 2.5 ton SUV would have a 5 hp engine. Yeah if you want to power your SUV with a lawnmower engine, diesel-electric is the way to go. In fact it's just about the only way to take an engine that small and produce the enormous range in torque and speed needed to cover everything from starting the vehicle moving, to sustain its movement at high speed.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By 91TTZ on 10/1/2013 5:08:14 PM , Rating: 2
Diesels are also very efficient and are used in nearly all cases when transporting goods.

From trains to tractor tailers to cargo ships, they all use diesels. The specific fuel consumption is much lower.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 1:58:42 PM , Rating: 2
Expensive. See Volvo's V60 diesel hybrid. Base price of $80k USD. Most expensive base trim gas engine starts at $57k USD. These are currency converted prices. Granted there are probably options in the gas model that are standard in the hybrid but without sitting on their website and figuring that up, I don't know what those would be.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By superstition on 10/1/2013 6:08:19 PM , Rating: 2
Economy of scale could help, perhaps.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 7:11:20 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah but someone would have to jump in the deep end first. From what I've read, that particular car is sold out. Not sure if that's a supply constrained sell out though.


RE: Diesel Hybrid
By XZerg on 10/1/2013 2:00:18 PM , Rating: 2
maybe the gas stations and oil companies do not like it and are lobbying against it ;)

i too don't understand the issue here.


Translation
By DukeN on 10/1/2013 1:44:54 PM , Rating: 2
"We're going to make a lot more money going through the hybrid route than the EV route, and milk our #1 worldwide status longer"

Toyota makes a good product, and they know how to make money too. If they were all that environmentally conscious, they would've released fuel efficient cars in NA that they have elsewhere.




RE: Translation
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 2:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If they were all that environmentally conscious, they would've released fuel efficient cars in NA that they have elsewhere.
Like what?


RE: Translation
By DukeN on 10/1/2013 3:18:48 PM , Rating: 2
Like the hybrid vans they sell in the orient, or the diesel 7 passenger van/SUV they sell in the Indian subcontinent.


RE: Translation
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 4:16:01 PM , Rating: 2
So Toyota is not environmentally conscious because they don't sell diesel vans or SUV's here?


RE: Translation
By DukeN on 10/1/2013 4:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
No, what I'm saying is they're capitalists first and environmentalists second (they're a business, after all).

They have a lot of electric/renewable energy tricks/technology up their sleeve that they haven't had to put into mass production.

They had a RAV-4 EV in California in the early 2000s, that mysteriously disappeared until now, where it has re-emerged.

They could put a ton of electric/hybrid vehicles in the markets, but they would not make as much money. That is all I'm saying.


RE: Translation
By Spuke on 10/1/2013 4:54:53 PM , Rating: 2
Gotcha. I do think they intend to push hybrids for all their worth though. They are quite profitable.


RE: Translation
By mjv.theory on 10/1/2013 3:35:24 PM , Rating: 2
In Europe, turbo diesels are about 50% of the market. I haven't looked for Toyota sales data, but I'm guessing they're similar in petrol/diesel sales balance to all the other manufacturers. I'm also guessing that in North America, diesels don't constitute 50% of Toyota sales - or even engine options offered, which I think was what DukeN's second point was referring to.

Also, European sales are slightly skewed back toward petrol, because many very popular small cars use petrol engines - round about 1 litre. The small car price sector in more sensitive to the extra cost of a diesel engine, especially when these small petrol engines are also very economical. If small/"cheap" cars were taken out of the equation, then diesel can be seen as the most popular choice for medium and large vehicles.

I'm also tempted to agree with DukeN's first point regarding Toyota's hybrid cash cow, and, I'm also a keen advocate of electric vehicles. But at the same time, I must admit, that for a great many use cases that Toyota executive also has a point. Pure EVs do need an increase in range and a decrease in both charging time and battery prices before they really start to shift the bulk of the market away from petroleum.

If you've got the money and your usage case means you're exempt from range axiety, then fine, get a Model S, it's clearly a fine car. But for the rest of us plebs, it'll probably be another 10 years, perhaps more, and some evolution in battery tech, before pureEV is properly viable. But hydrogen/fuel-cells is almost certainly a dead-end.


RE: Translation
By Solandri on 10/1/2013 4:11:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In Europe, turbo diesels are about 50% of the market. I haven't looked for Toyota sales data, but I'm guessing they're similar in petrol/diesel sales balance to all the other manufacturers. I'm also guessing that in North America, diesels don't constitute 50% of Toyota sales - or even engine options offered, which I think was what DukeN's second point was referring to.

When you refine a barrel of oil, you get a certain amount of diesel and a certain amount of gasoline. The exact ratio varies depending on the type of crude oil, but in general you will always get close to a fixed ratio of diesel to gasoline. You can tweak the refining process a bit to produce more diesel or gasoline, but this costs more money. (And it's easier to produce more of the lighter fuels like gasoline than it is to produce heavier fuels like diesel.)

In the U.S., transport of goods and merchandise is mostly done by diesel trucks. This higher demand for diesel drives up the price of diesel relative to gasoline, making gasoline the economic choice for passenger cars.

In Europe, transport of goods and merchandise is usually done by train with trucks typically only used at the end stage. Consequently less diesel is used, lowering its price relative to gasoline.

In both regions, the ratio of diesel to gasoline consumed is about the same. It's just that the U.S. uses most of its diesel for commercial trucks, while Europe has both cars and trucks using diesel. The passenger car manufacturers are just conceding to this reality when they decide not to introduce diesel cars to North America. If we had a similar ratio of diesel to gasoline passenger cars here as in Europe, a gallon of diesel would be a lot more expensive than a gallon of gasoline simply because of supply and demand.


RE: Translation
By Nutzo on 10/1/2013 2:33:45 PM , Rating: 2
Toyota doesn’t need to sell money losing electric cars, when they can make a profit and meet the café standards selling Hybrids.

These companies are losing money on each electric car they sell. The main reason they are selling them is due to government mandates that they sell a certain number of zero/low emission cars.

Yes, Tesla did announce that they made a profit. Except if you look at the details, the only reason they made a profit is due to them being allowed to sell pollution credits. These credits where more than 2 times the profit they reported.


Toyota is stalling
By foxalopex on 10/1/2013 3:47:16 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get me wrong, I owned a 05 Corolla which was a great car before I owned my 2013 Volt which in many ways is basically an EV which turns into a hybrid when the ~38 mile range battery gives out.

From what I've heard Toyota spent billions in research and government grants developing the original hybrids and they're just now reaping the rewards of their effort. So it makes sense, why would they want to jeopardize their finally mature and profitable product now for an EV.

Everyone else is fairly new to this market so it makes sense that if you're starting from scratch you might as well work on the new technology.

Hydrogen Fuel cell technology is frankly an excuse. For starters a usable Fuel Cell is basically a massive catalytic converter. The rare earth elements in that thing make the fuel cell so expensive that it will never be competitive with anything else. The other major issue is that there's absolutely no way to produce hydrogen easily and there's no fuelling infrastructure. Just look around. We're surrounded by things using electricity in our modern world. We're certainly not surrounded by things using hydrogen.




By Mint on 10/1/2013 4:28:19 PM , Rating: 2
But they're lackadaisical attitude to plugin hybrids is more disconcerting to me than their lack of pure EVs.

A hybrid already has 90% of what you need for an EV. Add more battery (basically free after incentives) and a charger, and you get a plugin. Why are they so resistant to plugins? People have made plugin conversion kits for a Prius that are better than Toyota's own Plugin Prius.




By conq on 10/3/2013 8:37:12 AM , Rating: 2
Current day today and for at least the next 24 months, EV sales are still dismal. If they do in fact pick up in the future as some people say the will then they'll just simply change their mind and play catch up? With 1000s of engineers, that shouldn't be too hard. If they notice and correct their mistake quickly they'd likely only lose a year or two of development experience, at most.

I just don't see that transition happening overnight but I'd certainly welcome it, if it makes sense. But in reality they need to vastly improve battery tech, esp in harsh winter climates.




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