Toyota Targets 60,000 Annual Sales For Prius Prime Plug-In Hybrid

JUN 21 2016 BY ERIC LOVEDAY 85

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota has made two admissions in regards to its Prius plug-in hybrid.

First is that Toyota officially considers the first Prius plug-in hybrid a “failure,” according to an unnamed “top Toyota Motor Corp. engineer” who may likely be the Prius’ chief engineer, Koji Toyoshima.

The second is that the upcoming Prius Prime PHEV will be a huge success, with an annual sales target of 60,000 units worldwide.

As Automotive News reports:

“Toyota is targeting 60,000 sales a year for the upcoming Prius Prime plug-in hybrid, nearly as many as the previous-generation Prius PHV sold cumulatively since its 2012 launch.”

“About half that volume will come from North America, while Japan chips in roughly the other half.”

Toyota Prius Prime

Toyota Prius Prime

Europe is expected to contribute only slightly to the total sales volume for the Prius Prime.

Automotive News says that sales of the first-generation Prius PHV totaled only 75,000 units worldwide in its 3 plus years on the market. It’s best year in the U.S. was 2014 when it sold 13,264 units.

So, why does Toyota expect success with its new plug-in Prius? According to the car’s chief engineer, the Prius Prime is much improved on all fronts, but these were the three key areas of focus:

1. Longer electric-only cruising range.

2. Clearer differentiation from the standard Prius.

3. Easier battery recharging.

Koji Toyoshima, Prius chief engineer, stated:

“Going forward, there will be much broader competition in plug-in hybrids. We have to sell this [60,000 unit] much. Otherwise, we will not be able to win in the next round.”

Electric-only range for the upcoming Prius Prime is 22 miles, which is much improved over the outgoing model, but still well short of cars like the Chevrolet Volt. However, Toyota feels that it found the right balance between battery kWh and MPG. Toyoshima says that if Toyota added more batteries, the car’s fuel economy would be lower when running in gas modes due to the added weight.

We’ll find out starting this fall if the new Prius plug-in is a success when sales kick off in Japan. Global sales will follow. Pricing remains unknown at this time.

Source: Automotive News

Categories: Toyota

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85 Comments on "Toyota Targets 60,000 Annual Sales For Prius Prime Plug-In Hybrid"

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If I were GM, I’d target Prius customers heavily with Chevy Volt ads. The Volt is better looking, longer electric range, and 100% USA.

100% eh? No Korean parts used at all?

Unlike Prius the Volt is one size too small. If it had decent interior and cargo volume it would have sold much better.

The Prius has a fatal flaw of 20 mile range.
That’s 10-12 in Winter.

Unless they get it up to 30 it’s going to sit on dealer lots.
And, you can’t get the solar panel roof.

There hasn’t been 1 successful plugin with only 20 miles of range.

You’re right. There have been two: Fusion / CMax Energi. Combined, they sold 17,341 copies in 2015. That’s more copies than any one car except for the Model S.

It’s not 60,000.
See Title.

That’s 60k worldwide but the energi twins are only sold in N. America (very few exceptions). I have an Energi and I typically fill up with gas twice a year. As the old saying goes, “It’s not the size that matters, it’s how you use it!”

I had a volt but as a family guy I prefer a larger interior more than I do range.

Did you notice the Prime has only 4 seats? The new Volt is practically 4 seats but my son has used the 5th seat numerous times when my parents visit. Can’t do that in the new Prime.

Also the Prime has much less usable cargo space than the regular Prius. It’s longer than the Volt’s cargo space but is much more shallow making it less usable. In fact looking at this picture I don’t think I could fit my dog crate in the back like I can in my Volt.

Wow! That’s like the C-Max

What is under that ridiculous raised lump? Boy if that is the battery pack… I’m not so sure they’ll get that many sales if they compromised the already small cargo area of a Prius by that much.

But not TV spots, Volt buyers don’t watch TV. Thats what GM says at least.

Ouch. I wish they would figure out that the point of ads is to make TV watchers into Volt buyers.

Didn’t GM have a superbowl ad buy for the Volt?

Who cares whether Volt buyers watch TV or not. By definition, they are already buying Volts. Don’t target them. Target Prius buyers. Marketting 101, GM. C’mon!

SMH

I’m a volt owner and I don’t watch TV.

Like Brian just said, you bought a Volt already…they don’t need to market to you.

They need to market to the the guy two blocks over on his 2nd Prius, before he buys a 3rd.

There are no American made cars. They all outsource to global OEMs. GM better keep silent about it as they are not on the top of the “American” list. Tesla neither with some 55% or so American parts. But ironically Toyota indeed can launch “Buy American” campaign as their Camry is most American car with some 85% or so American parts.

https://www.cars.com/articles/the-2015-american-made-index-1420680649381/

60k wouldn’t be bad but not great either. If true you’re guys estimate of 50k in America looks to be too high sadly. Also I’m surprised that they don’t expect to sell very many in Europe. I know the Prius brand isn’t the strongest over there but with the numbers Europe is pulling and the numbers they are going to pull in the near future I would have guessed some good numbers, and that now would be the time to push the brand in Europe.

If it’s really cheap then it might have a chance. We have a lot better options in Europe than this lousy creation.

Price would be the only area they could compete in.

Too little too late in my opinion.

Right, sort of like the guys who blow in late to the party, ready to get down, as the party is starting to wind down.

A simple graphic showing how far Prius Prime goes on electric only vs. 53+ miles with Volt would make a compelling ad. Then explain Volt then travels 400 miles more at 42MPG. Plain, graphic comparisons against Prius and Prius Prime are the way forward if ….and I say IF GM wants to sell over 60,000 Volt/yr. Toyota won’t sell over 30,000 Prius Primes in the USA. It seats 4, and even though it looks a lot better than the funky, weirdo gen 4 Prius hybrid, it’s added cost plus measly electric range won’t get it past the seating for 4 issue. Prius are still selling well even with gas prices staying low. It shows brand/model loyalty and customer recognition. John Q. Mainstream still thinks the Volt is a LEAF competitor/electric car. GM has fallen on it’s face trying to explain how the car works while people know Prius is a hybrid that saves gas. Still, the #1 trade in for Volts is Prius. This shows there is lots of ground that can be gained vs. the HSD hybrid from Japan. GM won’t put together ad spots for Volt that make sense. Today – they won’t even put together TV ad… Read more »
We all don’t like to place the “compliance” label on Bolt EV or Volt. But that is what they are. No, it is factually incorrect to call the Volt a “compliance car”. GM tried to sell as many of those as it could; in fact, it overproduced them and had to cut back on production. Early on, GM also used paid advertising to sell the Volt. Auto makers don’t waste money advertising compliance cars. It may be closer to reality to call the Bolt a compliance car. Certainly GM plans to put the car into only limited production, but that is possibly a reaction to the Volt not selling as well as they thought it would. It will be interesting to see what GM does with the Bolt assuming it sells as quickly as we EV enthusiasts hope and expect it to. We’ll see if, in future model years (after the first), GM brings some or most of the powertrain manufacturing in-house. If so, we’ll know they’re serious about ramping up production. But if they continue to rely entirely on LG Electronics and LG Chem for the entire EV powertrain, then we’ll know GM isn’t serious about making and selling… Read more »

I might give you the “GM tried to sell them,” but their dealerships did not. That’s my take on it from looking at how many dealers in my area have any new ones on the lot.

I have yet to visit a dealership that could even give me basic info about a Volt.

Every. Single. One.
Had tried to get me to buy something else.
Even a cheaper Cruze…

My nearest dealer flat-out refused even to order one for me…

Fortunately the next-farthest dealer agreed to, though not willing to make a decent deal.

Agreed.

Instead of marking down Volts, GM should just increase the commission on Volts.

i.e. (totally made up numbers, but just to make a point) Current Volt sale nets the sales person $750. Current SUV/Truck sale nets the sales person $2k. Instead of marking down the Volt $3k on fire sales, just add $2.25k to the commission, so $3k for a Volt sale.

Watch the story at the lot change very fast. Every person walking onto the lot would get an obligatory drive in a Volt before they were allowed to walk the truck aisle.

Sounds like a very good why to push Volt and Bolt sales to me.

Mark C said:

“I might give you the ‘GM tried to sell them,’ but their dealerships did not.”

Unfortunately, that seems to be generally correct, from what’s been widely reported. I’ve read of some exceptions, but sadly those seem to be few and far between.

I called a few talking about the Bolt and the 2017 Volt. It was like I was Hogwarts asking how Voldemort is these days. My queries got a rather frigid reception.

Same thing here – my local dealer had two Volts and refused to sell one to me; said they were headed to Colorado where the state rebates were higher; manager told a salesman to take my info to do a search for one; never heard from him again. I ended up going out of state to find a dealer who actually wanted to sell one to me.

If they are, it’s still darn good. When it was released, my only thought was,why not a bigger battery?… Owning a 2013 model since this year as a replacement to a Volvo s60 T5 , I am truly impressed with the volt. Its range is easy 40 to 50miles(80km) and on petrol it does 47mpg @60mph.. That’s great IMO.

I buy petrol for holidays now… And that’s a lot better than buying petrol all the time.

I just drove a v.2 Volt yesterday. The zip from 0-30 is a big improvement. Sport Mode is sportier, and the variable regen paddle is fun and oh so useful. I think Volt is an engineering marvel – there is no doubt. Why I say it’s a new kind of compliance (“Halo” as GM themselves called it a couple years back when they compared it to another halo product of theirs – Corvette ). Where Volt differs from the traditional halo model – is that it was born of government mandates. I don’t buy the story so much anymore ( oh, I used to! ) – that GM wanted to pry back the reputation losses it garnered from Who Killed The Electric Car? and all the bad press it recieved over crushing the EV-1s. Now I just believe the Volt engineering was in their toolbox, so it became the poster child for “The New GM”. Video is findable on YouTube of the U.S. auto execs in the special Congressional hearings that eventually lead to the bailout of GM and buyout of Chrysler. They pepper in enough speak of Volt to make it obvious it was a tidy morsel to temp… Read more »

*Before someone says, “Volt is not a coupe!”…….We know – we know – Volt was given a form factor that is called: “The four door coupe” , a niche started by Mercedes ( example CS classe ) and followed by several companies ( think Volkswagen CC ). It puts a sporty, sexy coupe roofline onto a four door, mainly for vanity and style but inhibiting back seat practicality.

The Volt program existed during the Bush Administration, before the ZEV mandates existed.

People frequently misconstrue the purpose of the Volt, thinking it’s a gov’t-mandated Obamamobile or a response to the Tesla Roadster. Bob Lutz said himself that he originally wanted to make a high-end sportscar as a response to Tesla (think Corvette EV), but that his subordinates convinced him that the Prius was the major threat to GM and that they needed to make a Prius fighter.

The Volt exists as GM’s counterpunch to the Prius, and it would exist without ZEV mandates or Tesla.

It is my opinion that the reason why Volt leases are so aggressively affordable is as a GM marketing strategy: they need to rebuild customer confidence in their products, and the easiest way to do that is to give out a bunch of cheap leases, convert those cheap leases into cheap used car sales, and let the performance of the car sell itself. Every Volt owner should be telling everyone they know how great the car is, which (over time) is the best advertising you can get.

Spider-Dan said:

“The Volt program existed during the Bush Administration, before the ZEV mandates existed.

“People frequently misconstrue the purpose of the Volt, thinking it’s a gov’t-mandated Obamamobile…”

Thank you. Glad someone took the time of pointing out the actual facts.

Spider-Dan said:

“…or a response to the Tesla Roadster.”

Wasn’t it exactly that? Bob Lutz said something like (paraphrasing) “When Tesla put its Roadster into development, I said to the GM executives that if Tesla can do that, we can certainly put a plug-in EV into production!”

I suppose we can quibble over the meaning of “response to”, but there seems to be no doubt that Tesla inspired GM to move the Volt from prototype to actual production car.

I’ll quote my comment from elsewhere: http://www.autonews.com/articl… But GM executives, who were committed to fuel cell vehicles, shot down Lutz’s initial proposals. Painful memories of GM’s $1 billion loss on the EV-1 electric car also worked against Lutz. Then he read of Tesla Motors’ Roadster, powered by 6,835 lithium ion laptop batteries. Using that as a goad, Lutz got GM’s still-wary Automotive Strategy Board to let him explore an EV. That, he recounts below, was the genesis of the Volt. “This time, the meeting got me very tentative permission to investigate a lithium-ion EV as a concept. It was, in retrospect, less permission than absence of prohibition. Whatever … I ran with it. This might be called the germination of the Volt. Hours after the meeting, I sat in my office with Jon Lauckner, now overseeing all VLEs globally. We schemed about creating the GM ‘reputational shock therapy’ vehicle we had both sought after for so long. Lauckner listened, not so patiently, to my all-electric dream. When Jon has a thought that simply has to get out, he starts banging his knees together repeatedly. Banging them now, he said, ‘Look, I know you’ve got your heart set on an all-electric,… Read more »

“A simple graphic showing how far Prius Prime goes on electric only vs. 53+ miles with Volt would make a compelling ad. Then explain Volt then travels 400 miles more at 42MPG”

Not a bad start, but a poor ending. The natural question is, what does the Prius Prime get in hybrid mode? The answer? About 52MPG. While you and I understand that the difference is rather meaningless, try to convince the public of that. “Sure, the Volt can go 30 miles more in electric, but the Prius gets 10MPG more for the remaining 400 miles!” – it’s just not how it works, but it’s how people think. At least they do before they live with a PHEV.

I see what you mean – but it’s already SO messed up!

Gen 1 Volts spent 5 years on the internet on auto dealer websites advertised as “38 MPG”. You’d think GM would note this and fix this – but dealers are now advertising Volt v.2 on their websites and Auto Trader, etc. as “42 MPG”.

If GM and local dealers really wanted to sell Volts in Prius numbers – they would fix that RIGHT NOW! But laziness and lack of motivation to sell Volt means 1,000s of potential buyers shopping on the net see “42 MPG” and say – “Gee, the Prius gets 52-58 ( eco ) MPG!!!”

It’s pathetic the way GM engineers made a modern marvel while the marketers and beancounters let it flail in the wind.

It is exactly how it works if you are buying for practical reasons like most people do. Others buy just on principle or emotions. But if you start talking mpg, get a calculator and try to figure out what pay off period will be with your given commuting distance, gas price, electricity price, mpg and sale price for both cars. That is assuming you must buy plugin for whatever reason. You need quite cheap electricity to compete with $2/gal gas for 55 mpg car.

They need to just put a calculator on every web ad for the Volt.
1: Enter your distance from work.
2: Enter the number of miles you drive per year

Calculator spits out how many less gas station visits per year. No need to put money on it, customers associate the stop as a cash drain. Maybe just put the number of hours spent on the couch at home versus at the gas station (pictures of each to remind people which place they would like to be).

Only 4 seats?

I thought everybody said that it was a mistake in the first Volt…..

4 seats (instead of 5) is a huge mistake for the Prius Prime.

Obviously they don’t have space for much more. Prius is quite small car and when you add big battery you get what you see.

Huh? Not sure where to start on your comment. The battery is packaged in the trunk (hence the raised floor), so that doesn’t impact the back seat. And I don’t think I’ve heard anyone call a Prius a small car, unless maybe obese people who think they need the largest SUV to be safe to go to Starbuck’s.

So why then did they make the Prime with only 4 seats?

I heard on priuschat that it was due to weight issues of having 5 full sized adults in the Prime, in addition to the bigger battery.

Supposedly they’d have to drastically revamp the suspension system if it was a 5 seater to accommodate for the extra weight. But that would add costs, hence why they decided to go with a 4 seater option instead.

Right, the Fords that get 20-ish mile electric range seat five as comfortably as any other small car – and you can buy a nice lightly used one for $13k. I don’t get the point of the Prius Prime other than brand recognition. The silly thing is, it’ll probably work for them.

The Energi passenger space is great… until you open the trunk and see barely enough room for a set of golf clubs.

TINSTAAFL. Energi owners choose passenger space over cargo space. PPrime owners choose cargo over passengers. Gen2 Volt is a good middle ground.

If it is to buy a car that only seats four the new Volt is obviously better. But why do they decide to exclude families with 3 children and those that simply want a full backseat for whatever reason. That’s at least 20% of the potential buyers that they knock off right there.
The car add some interesting features though like the hatchback that so many seems to want and I liked the roof with photovoltaic cells to counter vampire consumption when standing on long duration parking C at Shiphol for more than two weeks. But the ev range seem to have been calculated as average single trip to work when it should actually be the return trip and in a way to incorporate 90% of the drivers instead of the average. So that not double 22 miles but double 40 miles, which means 80 miles total. In other words their calculation is four times short.

The solar roof is a waste of money, full stop. it is technology theater; no more, no less.

For the same price as the solar roof, they could have increased the battery capacity.

A bigger battery is paramount, but I was once stuck on parking C with an empty battery because of vampire consumption after a long holiday, that was not nice at all. If a solar panel for a few hundred bucks can save you from that and also provide some free electricity on the go while unplugged, it is certainly a better investment than many other options that are way more useless or even detrimental like wood deco in the cabin or heated steering wheel. Anyway, I really would like to have that on the coming Model 3, even only for the look of it.

As long as your long term parking is in full sun and not in a parking structure or under a tree or in the shadow of a nearby building or structure, etc.

Or in the shade of a truck, or under snow, or north of the arctic circle in winter,…

But will still provide a better chance, than the zero of have having none, to compensate vampire consumption.

Realistically, a few solar cells on the roof of a car can’t do more than run a small ventilation fan.

Would that rather small amount of power actually have made a difference in the situation you describe?

Obviously you could come up with some “edge case” where it would make a significant difference, but generally it’s simply not enough power to justify the additional expense of installing solar cells on the car.

From the Automotive News source article:
“The U.S. will have to wait for the technology because the [solar] panels are laid on reinforced glass panels that don’t pass America’s more stringent rollover crash tests.”

Why would the Prime’s glass solar roof fail but not the Model 3’s glass roof? Is it because the silicon solar panels turn into shards in a rollover as opposed to the Model 3 glass roof being all safety glass? How did the Fisker Karma pass rollover crash tests with its solar roof?

They need to make it laminated glass just for the US. Technically possible, but I guess it takes time & money and this gimmick would make even less sense then.

sven asked:

“How did the Fisker Karma pass rollover crash tests with its solar roof?”

Were the Karma’s solar cells glass, or plastic film?

Well, if they are planning to sell 30,000 in the USA.. that probably gives us some idea of the pricing. Which is in line with what I’ve been suggesting.. probably $29,000 before incentives.

It is good to see that even Toyota now agrees that the original Plug-in Prius was too little, too late.

I’m not a huge fan of Toyota, but in Toyota’s defense, the Plug-in Prius was exactly what Toyota’s own customers kept saying they wanted. Going back over a decade ago when converting your Prius into a plugin was the rage. This was half a decade before the Volt made it to market, with companies like Hymotion building PHEV Prius conversion kits.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2004/12/turning_the_pri.html

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2005/05/commercial_retr.html

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006/02/hymotion_unveil.html

So when Toyota finally gave their customers the PiP, they thought they were giving customers what they wanted. But it was too late, and customers who had installed their own conversions wanted more than just a factory replica of what they did themselves. And there were other options available by the time Toyota started selling the PiP.

It is sort of sad for Toyota. Because they really did give their customers what they had been asking for. I can’t fault them for that. And if they had done it in 2007, they could have had a huge lead over every other plug-in car maker.

You’re ignoring the elephant in the room. What PiP owners really wanted was HOV lane access; just look at PiP sales in CA vs. the rest of USA.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing though. It gets traditional car buyers into a fuel efficient vehicle, and gives them a taste of plugging in, which might entice them to go full EV next time around. It worked for me.

Yes you are right I even mentioned 20 miles on my old gridable hybrids group back in 2003 https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/gridable-hybrids/info . Beside, your first article link on Calcars actually mention some informations that I gave to Felix Cramer to reactivate the switch and pictures that came from examining my Belgian Prius that, contrary to the US version, fortunately had the activated switch.
But since then, one and a half decade latter, I think Toyota could have updated the numbers according to battery progress and new data on longer commute distances.

Given that they managed to actually see the few original PiPs that were out there, this thing is going to sell well compared to virtually every other PHEV out there.

The Prius is such a “known quantity” to buyers they will purchase it almost by default.

A while back I read a very informative article in Car and Driver about how people REALLY buy cars. Most don’t look at more than ONE car and that is the car they buy. Indeed, many DON’T EVEN TEST DRIVE ANY CAR – including the one they buy. They simply do the old “I’ve always bought a Camry, so I’ll buy the next Camry” as an example. THAT is the average car buyer folks…

Chris is correct. Same-model sales are king. Conquest sales getting people to change brands is more expensive for car makers.

The second biggest type of sale besides same model sales, is to push buyers up the ladder to a another model made by the same car maker. So in your example, bumping up the Camry owner into a new Avalon, or a Toyota Sequoia SUV.

What I’m not seeing from GM, is any real effort to do that either. They aren’t trying to upgrade buyers into the Volt from other GM models.

And part of the problem is that the Volt really doesn’t ladder into the rest of their model lineup very well.

Normally when dealers get buyers to go up their ladder of models, they convince them on more room, more power, more standard features, and more available options.

But the Volt is a downgrade in room and power for current owners of many Chevy models. And the Volt is too much of a price jump for most Cruze and Spark owners.

GM needs to put the Volt drivetrain into more models, so they can upgrade more current Chevy owners into PHEV’s.

The new Prius Prime will sell well. While I would prefer a 30+ mile EV range, 22 miles will serve millions of American’s daily driving needs well. Personally, most days I drive less than 20 miles, and with a level 2 charger, it only takes 2.5 hours to recharge.

The Volt is a terrific automobile (I have owned one). But it is too tight and restrictive for some of us, and the visibility is substandard.

I think the Prime will surprise on the upside.

“Toyoshima says that if Toyota added more batteries, the car’s fuel economy would be lower when running in gas modes due to the added weight.”
————
I don’t think they understand.. (facepalm)

They are totally confused. If the argument is lower gas mileage due to battery weight, why even have large enough battery for plug-in? It seems what they’re saying is that Prius Prime makes no sense to them.

It indeed makes no sense for most at current gas and electricity prices. But if you want plugin for noblemen lane access, for emotional reasons, to avoid excessive gas or other taxes in your country, you can have it and it should help Toyota with emission regulations a lot as I guess they would assume everybody actually plugs it in.

It depends where you live. At my electricity prices (including all taxes and fees) I get an equivalent of about $2 a gallon compared to a new Prius that pays $2.30 a gallon here.

For 53 miles in 17 Volt: $.13 kWh x 16 kWh = $2.08.

For 53 miles in 2016 Prius: 53 mpg. 1 gallon = $2.30

I’m sure they understand.. but it is tough to explain that to the customer. So they are in the dealership and looking for a Prius. They want the high gas mileage as most Prius drivers do. So when they show a Prius Prime and it gets WORSE mpg, then they might just walk back over to the regular Prius without really thinking it through. The Volt has a similar problem. I’ve heard so many people argue the Prius is better because of the mpg. But they don’t look at the big picture.

We can’t make poorer designs and claim it’s impossible to educate consumers. That’s not the correct direction, IMO.

Otherwise, Nissan might as well put a super tiny gas engine in the Leaf, that doesn’t even connect to the drive train, but spins anyways. It can get “100 mpg”, yet actually contribute nothing. Then Nissan could say the Leaf gets 100 mpg, just to try get sales from hybrids?

That actually might work.

Failure, definitely. Now, with a feeble attempt to try to be a Chevy Volt-first generation.

Well, it might be a bit premature for that. It has roughly the same range as the Ford PHEV’s, and they have actually sold quite well when you total up all Ford PHEV model sales. They still have a chance at success if they price it right.

Sure, it won’t get the best range of all the PHEV’s that are out there. But not being the best shouldn’t get in the way of saving up to 8,000 miles worth of gasoline every year by plugging in every day. And that’s still a good thing.

JAPANESE INVASION IMMINENT!

Allied EV operators rush to secure vital charging stations to prevent Japanese hybrids over-running and cutting off supply lines to the BEV revolution forces.

Prius Prime – DOA
With the advent of 200+ mile EVs its real hard to get excited about a 20 mile EV with a fat hay burner for main power. There will be a few “homers” who love their Toyos, but compared to a Volt it’s pale.
Toyota just hates EVs and will milk the last of their pathetic hybrid cash cow for all its worth.
Gee I wonder why their Pike’s Peak racer is not a hybrid?

Well.. You are welcome to your opinion. But I believe a year from now you’ll have a plate full of crow in front of you to eat.

Toyota lemmings will buy it in droves. They know not what they do.

Prius Prime will outsell the Volt because Toyota lemmings love Toyota more than people who are willing to try GM cars. That is the simple sad fact.

It’s not Toyota lemming, but those not willing to consider anything GM. I used to be one, look what happened, so there’s some hope.

Not so much lemmings, but trust in the brand will certainly help sell it. Priuses have proven to be reliable. (My Gen 3 has been much better than my Gen 1 Volt for reliability.)

When also people go off MSRP, don’t know the deals available, aren’t fully aware of the tax credit rules, and don’t understand their driving patterns properly, then as long as the price is in the very low $30ks, the Prime will be more competitive than it should be.

But on the plus side, the Prime will be efficient, and a _much_ more capable PEV than the Prius Gen 3’s plug-in, so a successful Prime will reduce gasoline use significantly and would be something to point at any time Toyota says that people don’t want plug-ins.

However, in my opinion the 4 seats and more particularly Toyota’s Gen 4 styling will _not_ help sell it and in fact I expect the major beneficiary of the Prime will be GM.

I’m not a Toyota lemming, but I plan to purchase the Prime. While I wish it had the EV range of the Volt, the Prime will work for me, and the roominess, better visibility and utility, and Toyota reliability makes it a winner to me.

The solar panel is 180 W, good for a 1 kWh in a sunny day. This represents 6-8 km range extra.

But only if your car sits out in the sun all day long.