Toyota Chairman Believes In The New Generation Of Plug-In Hybrids

7 months ago by Steven Loveday 36

Toyota Prius Prime: The New Toyota Plug-In Hybrid

Prius Prime: The New Toyota Plug-In Hybrid

Takeshi Uchiyamada, chairman of Toyota, and also known as the “father of the Prius,” believes that current plug-in hybrids (specifically the Prius Prime) will find much more success than that the original Prius, and the first-generation Prius plug-in.

Inside the Toyota Prius Prime

Inside the Prius Prime

Toyota has been slow to accept the electric car revolution, and especially when it comes to those with plugs. The company is responsible for about forty traditional (no plug) hybrid models over the course of the last twenty years. It also invested heavily in an unsuccessful push for hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.

During the recent plug-in Prius (America’s Prius Prime) launch in Japan, Uchiyamada spoke with reporters. He expects to sell one million plug-ins at some point inside the next ten years. He shared:

“Environmental awareness has become a bigger issue today than it was 20 years ago, and demand for environmentally conscious products has increased.”

At the Prius PHV launch in Japan, Toyota said that it has set goals to sell about 60,000 per year globally. The company specified that over half of these vehicles would go to the Japanese market. Toyota set nearly the same goal for the first-generation Prius plug-in in 2012, but didn’t find the expected success, selling only about 75,000 to date.

The Prime gets a major range upgrade, and the company is promoting the vehicle more heavily (now that it has set aside focus on the fuel-cell market, due to mounting expense and lack of charging infrastructure).

Unfortunately, Uchiyamada didn’t reveal any plans for other plug-in versions, and wouldn’t comment on the topic. However, in order to keep up with the competition, Toyota has formed a special division to facilitate the company’s long-range electric vehicle pursuits.

Source: Reuters

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36 responses to "Toyota Chairman Believes In The New Generation Of Plug-In Hybrids"

  1. Erik says:

    I think phev’s are next to the way of the dodo… Their very limited electric range forces the nuisance of constant charging to get any serious electric usage. Them keeping public charging spots occupied for hours on end while full in 2 hours keeps others from adopting full ev’s. So quit making the damn things and go fully electric!

    1. Mikael says:

      50 km real world range and one dayly charge at home can cut 70-80% of total miles for the average driver.

      So PHEVs are not going away anytime soon, thankfully since we have a long way to go to even get to all sales being plug-ins.

    2. David Murray says:

      So plugging in the car in my garage once per day for an overnight charge is somehow a problem?!

      1. Bob says:

        Unfortunately Yes… Just like your new set-top box or smart-tv must pass the Wife-Acceptance-Test. The hardest test known to man 😉

        1. John says:

          Not for real men..

    3. menorman says:

      I see a decent future for PHEVs with an AER of at least the first gen Volt. That’s a decent range for people to use as a daily driver while not losing the ability to make long trips without having to take extended breaks every few hours. This is doubly useful for vehicles like pickups and SUVs, which is where the Pacifica Hybrid really is not a bad entrant into the market.

      1. James says:

        Except it’s a Chrysler.

    4. Scorpion says:

      Assume a Tesla Model S replaces a German sports sedan, comparable in size and power, that achieves 25 mpg.
      In 1 year, over 15,000 miles, the Model S will save 600 gallons while using a 85 kWh battery pack.
      This works out to about 7 gallons of petroleum consumption eliminated per kWh of battery capacity.

      Assume my Ford Fusion Energi replaces a 30 mpg mid-size sedan (the best non-hybrid Fusion gets 29 mpg).
      In 1 year, over 15,000 miles, (with 50% of miles driven in all-EV mode) my Fusion Energi will save 250 gallons while using a 7.6 kWh battery pack.
      This comes out to 33 gallons of petroleum consumption eliminated per kWh – nearly 5 x better than Tesla!

      Now, the kWh delta between my Fusion Energi and the MS85 is 85-7.6, or bout 77 kWh. Let’s take the most optimistic estimate of $100/kWh (at the pack level!), that would be $7700.

      For $7700, is it worth it for my Fusion Energi to ditch the ICE and become a pure EV with 85 kWh? Or can that same $7700 easily buy the ICE, transmission, gas tank and exhaust system?
      You know, the one that let’s me fill up at any of 150,000 locations in 5 minutes and then drive 500 miles non-stop?
      Which one do you think the typical car buyer will go for when PHEVs and EVs start competing in the mass market?
      The average car buyer will not have the same priorities as the average reader of InsideEVs…..

      1. Brandon says:

        Excellent excellent analysis, and good points!! It’s widely expected that PHEVs will comprise the majority of the PEV market for about the next 10 years, ad which point widespread HPFC infrastructure will enable seemless long distance travel for any 150 kW DCFC capable BEV.

        With a PHEV like the Fusion, if I’m correct you would still use around 300 gallons of gas a year if half of the 15k miles per year are electric, which at $2.40 a gallon would be $720. If that was electric instead it would cost around $270, which is $450 less per year for fuel costs. Add ~$100 savings cuz of no oil changes or emission inspections needed, and 30% less maintenance costs for a BEV, and that’s got to be around $650 less per year, which over 12 years (the average life expectancy of a vehicle nowadays) gives $7,800 more in opperating cost for a PHEV than a BEV, which is basically the same as the figure you got. Interesting ehh??

        If gas prices are at $3.00 a gallon then that adds $180 per year more. Which adds $2,160 in gas costs over a 12 year life of a vehicle. So total operating costs would be $9,960 then.

      2. mx says:

        Only if Ford learns from BMW.
        The i3 REX version, really lowers the cost of the gas backup system. This is clearly the best Hybrid solution on the market today.

        It would be nice if Ford actually brought out a new CMax based on this concept.

      3. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        “average car buyer” will just go for regular gas car unless he drives a lot and regular hybrid premium pays off in few years. Hopefully that premium gets reduced.

        As for the plugins, they have no chance unless governments provide incentives and their upfront price reaches regular hybrid price. As they require extra battery capacity, suspension upgrade for extra weight, charger electronics, I have hard time imagining how can it happen at large scale any time soon. It should work in rich oil countries like Norway that have strong political will to go this way, but the whole world is a bit out of reach.

        Even if you add necessary incentives, half of the people in the world have no access to cheap electricity at parking spots.

        1. Get Real says:

          Spoken as a true shill for Big Oil as usual zzzzz!

          The world according to zzzzz, why bother with a PEV, drive a gas using Hybrid or better yet one of those mythical fool cell cars running on H2 from natural gas.

          Sorry zzzz, unless your T Rump–facts do matter:

          Meanwhile, I can’t go a block or two without seeing a PEV and it should also be noted that the number of Solar PV installations on houses and businesses have probably doubled in the last 3 years or so.

          So, a PEV with solar pv is an incredible synergy as the ONLY vehicle you can make your own (incredibly cheap) fuel for.

          This is the future and stalling tactics like the
          Fool Cell/Big Oil H2 boondoggle is nothing but a diversion.

          Since the nice guys running the big Oil companies are not the ones funding and building out H2 stations because they were able to bribe, er-sweet talk the Govt to wast taxpayer money on this losing effort soon to crash and burn as the MB defection and now the signs from Honda and maybe even Coyota that they are having second thoughts on H2.

          1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

            Are you one of these chemtrail loonies preparing for zombie apocalypse by making your own energy on grid-tie PV panels? Are you growing your own weed too?

            1. Get Real says:

              LMFAO!!!

              No weed for me zzzz, but you are the one that is going to need it as Tesla puts the Model 3 into mass production by the of the year along with ever increasingly more capable and lower priced Battery Storage and Solar Roofs.

              And, Tesla will keep on developing compelling BEVs in all flavors like Pickups, Semi Trucks, transportation pods etc.

              All one has to do is look around at how wildly successful Musk and Tesla has been in leveraging the laggard OEMs into starting large-scale electrification plans so as to not lose to much market share to Tesla and many other companies are getting into the battery storage business too.

              You and your Fossil Fool benefactors are going to need alot of weed to deal with this upcoming reality for sure!

    5. Carol says:

      There are huge benefits to those in various states to buy plev vehicles. In Nevada we get our power rates cut almost in half if we own a previous vehicle. There are benefits and reasons for having both phev and ev vehicles

    6. Martin Winlow says:

      I think all of you who support hybrids over EVs are completely missing the point. Ignore the ‘fact’ that by having a hybrid you are just deluding yourself (present company excepted… maybe?) that you are doing anything to improve the ecology of running a car (data from BMW and Mitsubishi indicate that hardly anyone bothers to charge their hybrids and so just rely on fuelling up as usual) and just consider the real motivator in all this which is *air quality* and what cities all over the planet are beginning to do about it. If they all go down the same route as London (which seems inevitable given the basic problem with humans- ie laziness – alluded to above), then driving a plug-in hybrid simply won’t be enough to avoid increasingly tight – and increasingly expensive – ’emission/congestion zone’ charges. Car buyers will vote with their feet and the only market left for hybrids will be the regular long range driver. I dare say there is sufficient market there alone to keep Toyota going but it will be missing a huge chunk of the EV market if it sticks to its, rather silly, IMO, ‘hybrid-only’ position. Ditto (*in spades*) Honda.

      1. mx says:

        I’d like to see that ‘data’.
        The BMW i3 with REX typically the same gas generator is Never used. It’s only there for that occasional long trip.
        It’s clearly the best hybrid solution on the market.

      2. David Murray says:

        You are the one deluded by thinking that everyone who buys a plug-in vehicle is doing so to save the planet. And honestly.. who would buy a Volt or i3 Rex with the intention of running it on gasoline all of the time? Sure, you might could find some people with the lower end PHEVs that have like 15 to 20 miles. You might find some company lease cars. But nobody in their right mind would spend the extra money for a plug on their car and not use it.

  2. mustang_sallad says:

    “now that it has set aside focus on the fuel-cell market, due to mounting expense and lack of charging infrastructure”

    While I’d love for Toyota to come to their senses, is this at all substantiated? Sure we’ve seen an increasing focus on plug-ins from Toyota over the past year, but I think their official stance is that it’s part of a multi-pronged approach. I certainly haven’t seen anything about Toyota saying they’re “setting aside” their focus on H2.

    1. Ash09 says:

      While I don’t think they abandoned hydrogen fuel cells just yet, it’s certainly on the back burner due to much lower than expected sales/leases of the Mirai, and slow rollout of hydrogen filling stations. Most of their leases/sales have been to government organizations, not private individuals.

      I’m sure the Prius Prime selling better than expected, and Tesla getting nearly 400k reservations for the Model 3 might also have had something to do with Toyota softening their stance on plug-in vehicles.

      They’re at least starting to consider seriously releasing a BEV (battery electric vehicle) now.

  3. Martin T. says:

    Finally someone at Toyota Japan with a high IQ.

    Plug ins are the go not fool cells (Fuel cells) which waste energy in the conversion process.

    About time Toyota co. Welcome aboard !

    1. John says:

      If you produce hydrogen with wind or solar it doesn’t matter.

      1. David Murray says:

        Yeah, it sort of does. Because it is still enormously more efficient to use that energy from wind and solar to charge a battery than it is to turn it into hydrogen and then turn it back into electricity.

        1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

          Sure if, you get batteries from pink unicorns for free, it is very efficient. Here on Earth we need to get down the hole* to produce Li Ion batteries, and produce many tons of CO2 per long range car and other toxic waste in the process. Plug in hybrid are just less wasteful.

          *
          Special report : Inside the Congo cobalt mines that exploit children
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcJ8me22NVs
          Amnesty International: IS MY PHONE POWERED BY CHILD LABOUR?
          https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2016/06/drc-cobalt-child-labour/
          Mining.com: Congo’s cobalt production set to soar despite claims of child labour
          http://www.mining.com/congos-cobalt-production-set-soar-despite-claims-child-labour/

          1. Get Real says:

            More diversions and other antics here by the increasingly desperate and pathetic Big Oil shill zzzzz!

  4. This holding on to hybrid technology is as sick as that hydrogen fuel cell nonsense. But it’s the people’s fault still buying it.

    1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

      At least it is less sick that battery worshiping cargo cult members.
      Elon loves you, dear cult members!

  5. wbrignardello says:

    have 7000 miles on my 2016 prius two eco 69.2 mpg but still may trade it in for prius prime

    1. mx says:

      Hero. Keep doing the good work.
      And thank you for putting a great hybrid into the used car market.

      We need more real Americans like you that actually Get the Job Done.

  6. Warren says:

    Lots of pieces about Tesla on here recently, but the real news will be March Bolt sales, which we will know on Tuesday. By September we will know if current battery technology EVs have a future, or if we will have to wait for the solid state battery for EVs to go mainstream.

    1. David Murray says:

      Bolt sales are still sort of hard to read anything into. After all, it’s still not available in most areas, and the Bolt is still a rather expensive vehicle, even after tax credits. While 238 miles sounds good. I would be more likely to buy one if it had 150 miles range and cost $10,000 less money. And hence why I think the PHEV makes more sense right now for those who want long-range but daily EV driving all at an affordable cost. My Volt is an EV for me 99% of the time and cost quite a bit less than a Bolt EV.

      1. Warren says:

        So, it sounds like your guess is: No, current battery tech is not cheap/good enough to replace gas for the mainstream.

        As to 150 miles being good enough…several new Bolt owners online are already complaining that physics affects their range. They never had to worry about that with gas, and they don’t like having to think about it one bit.

        1. Warren says:

          People put up with having to think about energy consumption with their phones and laptops, because they have no option. If they could squirt lighter fluid into their iPhone, and forget it for a week, they probably would.

    2. Brandon says:

      It’s all a steadily upward trend with batteries and their improvements, but by early 2020s the COST should be such that EVs are competitive with ICEs, and that should help a lot.

      1. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        Yes, the ones with 50-100 mile range.
        For long range ones, no chance. You would need $6000 just for cells for 60 kWh battery at $100/kWh cost, which isn’t achieved yet. Add pack, cooling, power electronics and you are looking at $10,000 premium for a car that may not necessary have 15 minute 350 kWh recharging, as it is another stumbling block in battery technology, how achieve high C charge rate while keeping other parameters acceptable.

  7. Get Real says:

    LOL, Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 (and there will be many others to follow) will be at $100.00/KWH cost within a year or two.

    But hey, keep up your multiple whining and desperate troll posts here zzzz!