Tesla Model 3 Could Lead To Mass Emigration From Priusville to Teslaville

1 year ago by Tesla Mondo 45

Tesla

Tesla

Red Tesla Model X Delivery

Red Tesla Model X Delivery

REVIEW: 2016 PRIUS

Never mind the conference call. A few posts ago, TeslaMondo predicted every single “twist.” Sure enough:

  • Gas prices mean nothing.
  • Model X ramp is steep enough to moot the subject.
  • The oil well in Tesla’s back yard, officially known as Tesla Energy, has quietly begun pumping money.
  • We learned nothing about Model 3.

Focusing on Model 3, TeslaMondo thinks it will pull Toyota customers across the not-so-great divide between hybrids and full EVs. Remember, the cheapest Model 3s will cost less than upper-end Priuses, with EV tax breaks factored in. But even when tax breaks expire, these cars will fight for customers who don’t really care about a few grand. Affordability isn’t the issue. They want a green, credible, “statement” car that doesn’t announce wealth.

*Editor’s Note: This post appears on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

TeslaMondo has spent copious seat time in every generation of Prius since its US launch 15 years ago. And yesterday it spent a few hours in the brand new version, the one with the unenviable task of entering the boxing ring with Elon Musk. So here’s the scoop:

Styling/ergonomics
It’s brave, especially from the rear. Look at those Battlestar Galactica taillights! Toyota finally threw long. Did it connect in the end zone? With sci-fi fans, absolutely. The interior is equally out-there, with a copious helping of milky-white plastic throughout the center console. Very stormtrooper. Ergonomics are better and worse. Visibility through those problematic A-pillars is improved. But driver’s seat comfort seems a step backward. The flat, fat seat is tailored for the obese. Rear legroom and headroom seem to have shrunk, but perhaps children should be the judge of that.

Reaching the joystick shifter isn’t easy, because it’s a lot lower. Hypermilers like to use neutral and even the “B” for engine brake. Well, now it’s more labor-intensive because of the reach.  The HVAC system employs toggles for the temperature, fan speed and air direction. You can adjust them by feel, with your eyes on the road. Nice! Except you’ll have to reach pretty low. Not nice! This car is designed for people who want to interact with the screen and leave everything else alone. For most people, that’s appropriate. For TeslaMondo, that’s backwards. The machine is the entertainment.

2016 Toyota Prius

2016 Toyota Prius

Driving character
Refinements abound. Braking to a complete stop is less jerky (taxi drivers rejoice!) The engine’s on-off cycle is heard, not felt, and it’s barely heard. Steering effort is far more consistent through turns, and your inputs are smoother too because the wheel is actually round. Yes, the last Prius’s steering wheel was shaped like the partially-deflated basketball in your basement. The new Prius feels heavier and tracks straighter on highways. This has improved in every generation of Prius. In fact, the earlier versions were downright flighty in crosswinds, forcing you to correct the car’s path almost constantly. The 2016 lets you take your hands off the wheel for seconds at a time, without any Autopilot.

However, contrary to early press reports, it is NOT, repeat, NOT sporting to drive. Hard turns bring less wallow and less squeal, but it’s still a pig. Acceleration, even in power mode, still involves a sequence of commands and therefore lags. And it keeps on accelerating after you lift off the throttle. Yes, it takes a split-second to figure out you’ve changed your mind, or at least it feels that way. Strong words by TeslaMondo, but it’s true. Look for a quiet service bulletin from Toyota to fix that.

The outgoing Prius encouraged thrifty driving by vehemently protesting aggression. It also reminded you constantly about the operation of the vehicle. You heard and felt every transition from gas to battery, and even the whine of brake regeneration. Ergo, you monitored the machine. The new one is just isolating enough, and just eager enough, to hamper your fuel economy — without the reward of real fun. You want fun? The Prius C does better. It’s not a dedicated athlete, but it can throw, run, jump and catch pretty well, smiling all the while.

And so . . .

Here’s the assignment for Tesla. Build something cool to behold, interesting to manipulate and satisfying to toss around, for the same or less money, and you’ll see a mass emigration from Priusville to Teslaville.

*Editor’s Note: This and countless other Tesla-related articles appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

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45 responses to "Tesla Model 3 Could Lead To Mass Emigration From Priusville to Teslaville"

  1. evcarnut says:

    And then who knows…. Margaritaville ?? l 0 l

  2. andre says:

    2017 Chevy Volt,and Bolt will attract at least a few (100( thousands of ex Prius believers……

    1. jerryd says:

      Depends on how much they build. GM could sell 100k Bolts if they wanted to.
      And they better before the T3 comes out and takes market share away.
      After a couple yrs the Volt will likely disappear being overtaken by the
      Bolt, T3.
      Once 100kw fast chargers are out there the Volt’s justification drops quite a lot vs the Bolt.

      1. Mike says:

        “After a couple yrs the Volt will likely disappear being overtaken by the Bolt,T3.
        Once 100kw fast chargers are out there the Volt’s justification drops quite a lot vs the Bolt.”
        I think the Volt, extended-range EV design has quiet a few more years than two. In fact, the extended range/PHEV design may help transition the masses from ICE vehicles to full EVs.

    2. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      When gas is $1.6/gal and getting cheaper? You would need hefty incentives to push for it, and it would make little sense to go from Prius to battery car as far as environment is in question.

      1. nwdiver says:

        Some people care more about the future of their children than cheap fuel….

  3. Three Electrics says:

    Hybrids have refueling advantages that EVs do not, sadly. So, while I think Prius owners will come over, the effect will be limited to those with off-street parking and who do not wish to go on long, adventurous trips (far from any supercharger). The superchargers are likely to be clogged, anyway. That rules out most skiers, for example.

    The Prius will also drop in price.

    1. Matthias Amrein says:

      I am hoping the ski resorts will start rolling out destination charging. You’ll leave the car in the parking lot for a few hours, so charging can be slow. Maybe the same for golf courses, etc.

      1. AlanSqB says:

        It’s already happening. Take a look at Plugshare on the I-70 corridor west of Denver and you’ll see quite a few options. New hotel I stayed at in Aspen two weeks ago had dedicated spaces, J1772 and plugs.

    2. Philip d says:

      You act like Tesla is done building the Supercharger network. In the most recent quarterly report they stated they plan to open 300 new Supercharger locations worldwide. They will add more as more cars are sold.

      The media recently played up that the Superchargers had hour long lines during the holidays. This was true for one location at a peak time of year. This wasn’t happening across the country. They will adjust for this and build more as needed.

    3. Tech01x says:

      The solution for insufficient charging location is more charging locations, not a generator running on gasoline.

      Between J1772’s, CHAdeMO, and Tesla’s own Supercharger and HPWC networks, the charging situation is far better. And it will get much better.

      1. BraveLilToaster says:

        +10!

    4. Philip d says:

      “That rules out most skiers, for example.”
      Where are you wanting to ski? Mount Everest.
      There are Superchargers just miles from from places like Big Sky and Tahoe.

      Here is a map showing an 85 mile radius from Supercharger locations. The zones show the area one could travel to the edge and back with 170 miles range.

      As you can see even with less than 170 mile range there is plenty room for to get to most major ski resorts and back to a Supercharger. And this is assuming these resort don’t have any chargers which most do now.

      1. sven says:

        In the northeast there is a mad rush to get to the mountain to catch the first chairlift when the mountain opens, likewise there is a mass exodus on a Sunday afternoon starting right before the lifts close. Superchargers would be swamped at these times. I’ve been in many a huge traffic jam driving to and driving home from ski mountains.

        1. BraveLilToaster says:

          Sven, do you drive an EV at all?

          These traffic jams tend to increase your range, rather than reducing them.

          1. sven says:

            I drive a Volt.

            I don’t know what you’re smoking, but if you’re barely moving (practically standing still) in a traffic jam in single digit Fahrenheit temperatures for over an hour while heating the inside of the BEV, I can guarantee that you will not increase your range.

            At times, it has taken me over a half-hour just to exit the ski mountain parking lot, then over an hour to go five miles to pass the toll booth to get on the highway to drive home. On the highway the traffic slowed down to a crawl for 30 miles. In single digit Fahrenheit temperatures the heater would drain any battery. If you think your range would increase, you’re delusional.

            1. Nick says:

              Volt == resistive heater.

              Keep your ski gear on, and your Volt will be far more efficient.

          2. Steven says:

            Unless you have the heater on.

      2. BraveLilToaster says:

        Or how about Whistler?

        Need help getting there? Stop in Squamish!

    5. BraveLilToaster says:

      I think these potential “traffic jams” at Superchargers are based on the position that nothing will change from today.

      I don’t think that you’ll be able to say that until there are as many quick chargers of any flavour, as there are gas stations today. There is a *lot* of room for improvement, and as ownership goes up, so will the number of chargers. At some point in the near future, I expect that it will be profitable to build a business around a charger in much the same way that it’s profitable to build a convenience store around a gas station.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    So, TeslaMondo is comparing a real, actual, you-can-test-drive-it car to a car nobody has seen, a pig-in-a-poke, and pronouncing the unseen car the winner?

    Look, I’m a big fan of Tesla. But pronouncing the Model ≡ the “winner” from a shadowboxing match is not only premature, it’s hypity-hyping the hype! >:-/

    1. Tech01x says:

      They are just highlighting what the current bar is vis a vis the Prius. Not a comparison yet…

    2. Desperate tries to push up Tesla stock.

      1. Anti Lord Kelvin says:

        And the actual short in stocks is the last desperate attempt for naysayers and Tesla haters investors to kill Tesla. Their Cygnus Chant, because starting from now the cash will begin to enter a lot.

    3. Will says:

      yeah um I didn’t see him claim any winners, he just said ‘If Tesla can do this, then mass emigration will occur’

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Well okay, the conclusion of the article left it an open question. But the opening certainly suggests a foregone conclusion:

        “Focusing on Model 3, TeslaMondo thinks it will pull Toyota customers across the not-so-great divide between hybrids and full EVs. Remember, the cheapest Model 3s will cost less than upper-end Priuses…”

        That sure reads to me like it’s pronouncing the unseen Model ≡ the winner!

        But this is a difference of opinion, not fact. I suppose you could read the same to mean the M3 will pull some customers “across the not-so-great divide”, not most of them.

  5. pjwood1 says:

    Oh, Oh, Oh, What a feeling

  6. Wow!That’s it? One little paragraph to connect at the end of the article with the Headline message? No analysis of how a full 200 miles of range each day when you head out reduces trips to gas stations? Nothing about how autopilot will make the Model 3 far more safe, and simpler to drive? Nothing about how a Model 3 WILL be sportier AND Greener than a Prius of any Era? (Simply due to positive, quick, and crisp throttle response; and stable driving due to a big battery mass down low!)

    1. SparkEV says:

      Reduced trips to gas station? With 3/Bolt, there won’t be any. Well, at least not to get gas.

      I was at a gas station getting drinks, and I saw this guy hacking his lungs out on his hand and then without washing or even wiping, grab the nozzle and proceed to fill! OMG! I shudder to think how awful it had been. At least public charging is lot less with EV. I wonder if EV drivers suffer less from communicable diseases than gas drivers.

      1. Philip d says:

        I never thought about that aspect of filling or charging. Maybe Musk can break new ground in this arena as well and invent an antibacterial handle or an auto-sanitizing one.

        1. kosee says:

          The already demonstrated snake charger should work for that.

      2. pjwood1 says:

        Full service stinks, even if you don’t have to use the handle.

        Because of a one-day-a-week carpool, I had our third-row vehicle at a gas station last night. $44, even though gas was 1.79. I had to just sit there, and wait. No plugging-in, and simply walking away. The inconvenience of some things becomes much more obvious, when you don’t do them for a while. We were hungry, just trying to get home. Pffft

      3. Well obviously, if the Prius fills up once a month and you drive a Model 3, your ‘required’ trips to a gas station are Zero, so I think that is a reduction!

  7. sven says:

    It would have been nice to see what MPG Tesla Mondo achieved on his test drive. Some owners of the new Prius have been averaging in the low 60s and one even achieved 72.9 mpg on a warm day without hyper-miling, but also not driving too fast on the highway (low 60s mph) or too aggressively.

    http://priuschat.com/threads/16-real-mpg.160690/page-3#post-2302177

    1. Michael Will says:

      Then again the Volt drivers get a lot better than that for a typical commute where mostly electricity is used. 60MPG used to be impressive a few years back, but in 2016? Not so much.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “ne even achieved 72.9 mpg on a warm day without hyper-miling, but also not driving too fast on the highway (low 60s mph) or too aggressively”

      That is an avg for a trip, not average per tank…

      Then in the same link of your link, here is what another Prius owner said:

      “I’m an owner of a 2016 Two Eco. I have 925 miles, and 3 fill ups (including the one that the dealer did when I purchased it.

      The first time it was way off, I am assuming that the dealer didn’t actually fill it up all the way.

      The second time the prius indicated that I was getting 57 MPG. It took 7.25 gallons and went 386.8 miles. I calculate that at 53.35 MPG.

      Today I filled it up again, it was reading 54.1 MPG, It took 4.99 gallons and the trip indicator said 249.4 miles. So that’s just under 50 MPG. 🙂 I’m not mad if my driving style costs me 5 MPG, but I want a guage that doesn’t lie.”

      Looks like to me that Toyota is “LYING” again in its optimistic on board gas gauge or MPG display. Gen II Prius had that problem and end up getting corrected by Toyota.

      Maybe Toyota is lying again.

      1. ggk says:

        2012 Prius Plug-In
        In the hills of Middle TN. (Yes Hills)
        3,800 miles combo (EV & Hybrid)
        This one is averaging 63 mpg.
        Wife is very happy with that!
        We are watching and waiting for 2016’s about 2 years old. (Purchase used ones)

  8. TAP says:

    Author is on crack. Toyota is selling ~186,000 Priuses *annually*. Toyota has dealers in every major metro area. Tesla has a handful of showrooms.

    NO WAY will there be a mass migration.

    I would be worried about something different–I would be worried about Chevrolet Bolt eating Tesla 3’s lunch by launching a year earlier.

    1. Bryan Whitton says:

      You’re kidding right? How many computers are there in the USA that are connected to the internet. Each one can be used to order a new Model 3 when it is for sale. Who cares about show rooms or dealers. Tesla doesn’t need dealers.

      1. Storky says:

        Who buys a car sight unseen , worse undriven. I need to determine whether I can enter the driving position and extract myself without contortions. Is the seating comfortable; are the controls logical and manageable by feel; how is the visibility? Until the prospective purchase is 100% autonomous, I need to test drive it. Otherwise, I would merely need to test ride in it.

  9. Lou says:

    I think that once the Model III is revealed(even if only in an illustration mode), if the design of the car looks good, and has that 200+ mile range and SC access(even if for a fee)Tesla will sell quite a lot of the Model III. My sense is that the Model III will be larger(but not by much)than a Bolt EV, and supposedly will sell for less than the Bolt EV. Yes, I realize that Tesla will de-content the base model and its price, with the desired features, will be at least that of the Bolt EV or(egads!)more. What will factor into this Prius emigration will be the entrance of not only Bolt EV and Model III but the other second generation EV’s such as the LEAF, the E-Golf and a few others. There will(eventually)be a migration from Prius to 60 KW battery EV’s, as soon as they appear on the market. The price of gas will matter to many “newbies” but gas will not be this cheap forever and I suspect strongly that EV battery prices will continue dropping.

  10. scott franco says:

    Hummm, a model 3 will be available in three years…..

    * The USA changes its name to USSA, the United Socialist States, under president Sanders.
    * China, having long since collapsed, has called in all its bonds. The USSA defaults on all loans. Breadlines open up again.
    * President Sanders outlaws all forms of carbon use. Oil costs $1000 a barrel and tops $40 per gallon. Sanders starts USSA wide project for solar powered trains, which are widely used since nobody can afford to drive anymore.
    * The first, and only, Tesla is sold to George Soros, who is also the only one in the USSA whose wealth has not been confiscated.
    * Tesla closes production, having sold its only car.
    * Elon Musk is voted in as president of South Africa. After escaping USSA federal authorities on the criminal charge of “fleeing the USSA with communal funds”, ie., the contents of his bank account, in gold.

    1. SparkEV says:

      Interesting far fetched story. You give way too much power to the president. If anyone tried that, he (or she) will likely end up a Kennedy.

      Now back to your fairy tale, an interesting work of fantasy: what happens to Prius, or former Prius drivers?

    2. Steven says:

      Donald Trump, is that you!