• Jun 12, 2008
If you read our post yesterday that talked about a lithium Ion-powered plug-in Prius for 2010, thoughts of 100 mpg cars may have danced in your head. Well, take it easy, because the think tank over at Toyota doesn't want you to get your hopes too high. Toyota Advanced Technology manager Bill Reinert spoke in Washington yesterday at a plug-in conference and said that real-world driving conditions will make 100 mpg unattainable for many drivers. While plugging in more powerful batteries will give drivers a full battery and greater EV range, hard acceleration could limit electric-only driving to well under 40 miles.

While it's nice of Toyota to give a plug-in reality check to an efficiency-hungry public, we don't think this message is going to get through to the masses. Besides, if Toyota's next-gen hybrids can reach anything close to 100 mpg, we think shoppers of fuel-efficient vehicles will be too busy foaming at the mouth to even notice.

[Source: Automotive News, subs req'd]


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  • 51 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      You mean your earlier dumb response about sunshine and rainbows?

      I don't actually expect rolling blackouts to occur, I expect us to massively reorganize our infrastructure to prevent such things.

      That costs money. For everyone. Even people that don't drive cars. Short-sighted and selfish? Absolutely. Everyone gets to pay more so I can plug in my car at night.



        • 6 Years Ago
        "You won't hear me defending speculators. I think speculating on basic human needs (like energy) should be illegal. A properly regulated market of electricity would do better than the current petroleum markets I think. And if it doesn't work, hell, as far as I am concerned, we can nationalize it."

        Here's where we are in total agreement. Do I have any confidence that it will ever be nationalized or well regulated? Not much, honestly.

        I think it'll go kinda like our current Congressional grillings of Big Oil. OK, so they are making huge profits, which takes a toll on the rest of the economy because its stripping dollars out of the profit margin of everything else. shipping/transport/ airlines /heating oil / food.

        But... all's fair, right? Not really. I consider it a monopoly when oil has a stranglehold on the airline industry, the agricultural industry, etc.

        Apparently Congress has no teeth. And the Republicans were right to block profit taxes on Big Oil. Because you know what they do when we raise taxes? They raise the price.

        And I can't think of a way to collect energy futures shares that are already out there except for a gov't buyout. (which has its own economic problems, i.e. taxes.)

        The chances that the gov't will figure out to curb over-investment in electricity, and actually make a decision on it before it gains 1000% as well? Bleh.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sorry man, I got my info straight from the source.

        http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2005/08/31/bush_gives_new_reason_for_iraq_war/

        'President Bush answered growing antiwar protests yesterday with a fresh reason for US troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields, which he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.'

        Go tell Bush he's wrong about why we're in Iraq. I'm sure you'll gain a ton of traction.

        China is backing genocide in Darfour to ensure their supply of oil. We are in Iraq. Even the Europeans are talking about this issue, with growing protests in their own countries.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That does not disprove my point.

        7% of US oil comes from Iraq. Thats up from 0% just a few years ago.

        If the supply is ever-increasing from that source, why does the price of a barrel go up, and stay up as Iraq sends more of it our way?

        Speculators banking on fears that supplies (that previously did not exist) are going DOWN? Something is amiss.

        If this were a purely supply/demand market, the war in Iraq would have brought the price of crude DOWN in the US. But at this point foreign investors can control the market.

        Consider this potentially real scenario: A Saudi Prince can buy 1 million shares of US oil stock. (just a number) Because the investment in that market is good, all his shares are worth more the next day. So he and 100 of his friends buy 100 million shares. And because investment is good, more and more foreign investors can, and ARE, buying oil on the weak US dollar.

        They can tell us how much we have to pay for oil. Even the same people that OWN the oil can do it! The more they invest in oil, the more it costs, the more we pay, the more they make, the more they invest.

        Laisez-faire trade sounds good until 1 rich guy and his buddies start banking off the general consumer. This is an international monopoly that has already has roots.

        So no, Iraq's extra supply will not bring down the price of oil. Not since we've allowed this cycle to spin out of control.

        The government should have bought all the shares at 50$ a barrel, closed the market for reasons of national and economic security when it looked like the market was more controlled by the investors than the consumers.

        Now, what do you think is going to happen to electrical futures since they are ALSO publicly traded? You think getting away from one energy source immediately and permanently solve a cost issue?

        If I were smart, I'd buy off-peak hour electrical futures right now. As soon as others see this market is turning up, they'll invest.

        Your article said 200 million vehicles could be powered by off-peak electrical supply (in theory). Believe me, when it looked like e-vehicles was where we were headed, the investors would cut us off at the pass.

        Oil has had a rate of return of what? 1000% over the last 20-30 years, not counting inflation? Now its too expensive for the Fed to bail us out.

        I believe it is possible for a 1000% (or 10-fold) increase in the cost of energy based on transportation market trends over the next 15-30 years.

        And its not really fair to prevent it, you see, because Big Oil was able to make 10-20% profit per year during this time period, i.e. billions of dollars. It would be socialist to prevent Big Electric from going the same route.

        If you think our economy is hurt by foreign investment in oil, wait until EVERYONE is affected by a 10x the current electrical bill. Anyone have a 50$/month electrical bill? How much does 500$/month sound?

        Impossible? Oil cost 1/10th as much as current in our lifetimes. Just sayin...
        • 6 Years Ago
        BigMc - most of our does not come from Canada. Check the EIA. 1.8MM b/d from Canada, 1.5MM from Saudi, 1.2MM from Mexico, 1.2MM from Nigeria, 0.9MM from Venezuela, 0.8MM from Iraq, etc.
        • 6 Years Ago
        And you dare to call me misinformed?

        As if even a large percentage of US oil comes from Iraq or even the middle East.

        Most of our oil comes from Canada.

        I already posted the real reason oil futures go up as a result of 'troubles in the middle east'.

        Oil speculators know that the US is greatly misinformed about our oil supply chain. Too many GOB's think Iraq is about American oil consumption.

        Therefore, they bet on oil futures on Walstreet, which continually go up based on FEAR. Has nothing to do with supplies, terrorists, or the middle east as a whole.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Not 100Mpg? ok, anything better than 45mpg is great. If it gets 60, that is awsome. If it can go 30 miles on EV only, pretty damn good. If it can do all of this for the same price as the current Prius - well that would be just fine and pretty amazing.

      I really hope the Volt can do what it is said to do. 40miles on EV and over 100mpg when using the generator. Just the talk has made Toyota inovate and not rest on laurals. Competition is good! Nice to have an EV mpg/electro range war going on. We all reap the benefits! Go Toyota, Go GM!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is insanely true. If we lived in Switzerland, where 90% of all power is hydroelectric, plug-ins would be no big deal.

      In the US, 90% of our power is nuclear, coal and oil fired. And even that is highly inefficient because it has to be sent over miles of high-tension wires. You almost have to produce a kilowatt twice just to get it to your home. Thats why electricity powering cars produces more CO2 over its lifecycle than even a conventional gas or diesel car.

      If we increase e- demand rapidly, we won't have time to come up with an alternative energy source. We'll just strip-mine and burn more coal in the short-run to prevent having to enforce rolling blackouts in states like California where everyone will be required to drive plug-ins by some new radical emissions criteria.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You mean your earlier dumb response about sunshine and rainbows?

        I don't actually expect rolling blackouts to occur, I expect us to massively reorganize our infrastructure to prevent such things.

        That costs money. For everyone. Even people that don't drive cars. Short-sighted and selfish? Absolutely. Everyone gets to pay more so I can plug in my car at night.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It’s the way it was written, it sounded as though he was blaming transmission lines for halving power output do to losses (which is blatantly false).
        • 6 Years Ago
        Dumb response?

        Wait, the person who made up false information to support his case now wants to say someone else's factual response is dumb?

        It's ridiculous you paint everyone who isn't like you with the same brush. Why don't you read my response higher up and then come back and say that everyone who looks to the future for the environment (what does that mean?) is very shortsighted about the effects on our infrastructure.

        Maybe you could educate yourself by reading up on things like the surplus of electricity at night that could be use effectively to charge electric vehicles without increasing peak demand?
        • 6 Years Ago
        BigMcLargeHuge, John B is correct you are grossly overstating transmission losses to the point of absurdity.
        • 6 Years Ago
        If you count the "mere" 75% efficiency if the power plants to start with, you get down to an overall less than 70% efficiency of turning a fossil fuel source into electricity and delivering it to your house. I think that's where the "2 to 1" comes from.

        However, the engine in your car is under 40% efficient at doing the same thing, and that doesn't count the fuel burned to refine the oil or get the gas to the pump in trucks.
        • 6 Years Ago
        What kind of a dumb response is that?

        You haven't had them for 5 years, so we'll never have them again, even if electricity usage in certain areas increases by 5-10% per year over the next decade?

        For those who pretend to look to the future for the environment are very shortsighted on the effects of jumping on every bandwagon that comes along.
        • 6 Years Ago
        We haven't had rolling blackouts in 5 years. And by the way, they weren't because of a lack of available electricity, it is (as you may have heard on tapes) because companies like Enron were deriving more profit withholding their electricity from the market (in Enron's case, purposely trying to send too much of it down power lines without enough capacity and thus having it lost) than they would by delivering it.

        You're so busy coming up with nasty things to say that you ignore all factual information.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Damn reply function, that was in response to icu812ru469
      • 6 Years Ago
      I can't understand why Toyota feels they need to spin this crap so much and act defensive. They're making a killing on hybrids, because they took steps before almost anyone else. So why get defensive if another company jumps into the market. That's not going to cause you big problems unless you can't compete, and Toyota hasn't shown any signs of forgetting how to compete.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe you can read it again.

        http://ohmexcited.googlepages.com/CO2.htm

        In "real world" conditions, an electric car is cleaner than all non-hybrids and cleaner than hybrids in most areas of the country.

        And again, it offers the opportunity to make them cleaner over time by upgrading plants. Which isn't possible with gas cars, especially if as you say cars only leave the road at attrition rate.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Toyota is probably defensive because they're reaping huge financial and PR related benefits from making the Prius for so long and being viewed as the hybrid leader. They won't give that up without a fight.

        Sadly that's a position GM could have been in starting back with the EV1 if their leadership had any foresight whatsoever. Instead they dumped it, poured all their money into SUVs and are now struggling to catch up.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Guess they want every piece of the electric pie they can get and don't want to share with anyone else.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's poisoning the competition's well, which is pretty much standard operating procedure in marketing. To market a product, you can do one of the following:
        1. Play up your strengths
        2. Exaggerate your competitor's weaknesses.
        3. Do something weird yet memorable that gets your product noticed (aka, the VW school of marketing)

        Toyota normally does #1, but is taking a page from political advertising and doing a #2. They probably have a point about plug-in hybrids: they may not be quite as efficient as the hype is making them out to be, and certainly may not be so in real-world, mass-production cars. But the same hype is (or may in the future, be) responsible for deferring customers from buying a Prius now.

        It's rather like the relentless gong-banging GM is doing with the Volt. The idea is, through pseudo-misinformation, convince someone not to buy a competitor's product. In GM's case, it's "Don't buy a Prius, the Volt is just around the corner!"; in Toyota's it's "What's coming up might not be so great, why not just by a Prius now?"
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is the same Toyota that said that li-ion tech is dangerous in cars and that the Volt is an impossibility.

      You know, they may have the most complete car lineup of all the automakers, but when they pull that kind of crap...
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, actually the range of the car is 220 miles (on the EPA test, which is advantageous conditions but not ideal conditions, for example the test has A/C on now), so you could say it can "barely eek out 220 miles". But not so for 200 miles.

        You only speak of the battery pack size, and you're quite correct about that. But if you replace the battery pack with a gas tank, you also need to replace the small electric motor with a larger, heavier gas motor with a larger transmission (indeed any transmission at all). But in the end, I don't get how the range relates. We're talking about efficiency here, not energy density, aren't we?

        I think you underestimate the price difference between the two cars. It's about $60-$70K before adding in any replacement costs. I never said electric cars were cost-effective right now, in fact I said the opposite. They are however very efficient end-to-end and you seem to be changing the subject to sunk costs.

        Oil will not be $40-$60 a barrel again unless you eliminate China and India from the face of the earth. There's too much competition for oil now.

        'And isn't public retail california electricity also the same one that had rolling brown-outs ever summer for the last few years?'

        No, there is no such California in the world. We haven't had rolling blackouts in Northern California since before 9/11. And those were not because there wasn't enough electricity, those were because the companies who delivered it (like Enron) were refusing to deliver it to the market because they could make more money that way (illegally, BTW). In fact they bought our own California-produced electricity and shipped it out of state to cause shortages. Artificial shortages like this do not reflect the actual availability of electricity.

        Note that electric cars mostly charge at night, when there is plenty of electricity due to reduced cooling demand. I do agree some work would need to be done on infrastructure at the level of the lines behind your house (not so much with high-transmission lines), and that could get expensive. It would rapidly pay itself back, as the distributor of electricity gets a cut of every KWh sold simply for maintaining (including improving) the infrastructure.

        One way to avoid a lot of this is to make smart chargers that communicate amongst the households in your neighborhood so that all the cars in on your circuit don't go to fast charge mode at once. This can reduce the peak demand without increasing the charge time of cars significantly, it would remain perhaps 5-5.5 hours.

        Believe it or not, other people in this world, at the utilities for example, have thought of this stuff. They've made calculations and they've made plans. No, we can't all switch to electric cars in one day, but there's no reason the electric grid cannot be cost-effectively upgraded to handle this over several years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Aprime - I totally agree. Looks like the GM Volt hype has struck a cord with Toyota. The Volt is obviously more than vapor if Toyota has taken so much notice that they have either changed plans or decided to release information that used to kept closer to the vest. I guess expensive gas has some benificial merit, in a sadistic way
        • 6 Years Ago
        @LS7.

        That is a 100k+, sub 3000lb sports car, that can barely eek out 200 miles.

        A Lotus with a GAS tank as big and heavy as those batteries would probably go 500 miles or more, and cost less than half as much to build, and probably MUCH LESS to maintain, considering the replacement of depleted-cycle batteries at some point.

        60 or 70 thousand dollars (price difference plus battery replacement costs) plus multiplying that electricity charge doubled to equal gasoline driving range... all of the sudden the price difference doesn't work out all that well.

        Granted the barrel price of oil right now is making it look attractive, but the barrel price of oil isn't in balance right now with the rest of the economy, and it will re-correct at some point, if the government doesn't f- it up with insane and absolutely immoral taxation and restriction.

        But bring the oil price down, more in line with the average price over the last century or so (probably somewhere between 40-60$ a barrel), adjusted for inflation, and corresponding gasoline prices, and electric cars can't compete.

        And isn't public retail california electricity also the same one that had rolling brown-outs ever summer for the last few years? You think demand of every commuter in California charging their cars overnight is going to help that situation? A surge in infrastructure building is not going to keep the kW-Hr price of electricity down, it will push it up, and that increased infrastructure STILL NEEDS FUEL of some kind.

        From a macro-economic viewpoint, it still isn't the answer, even if from a micro-economic viewpoint, it might look like cheap energy on the surface. Look more than skin deep.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Time for the GM kool-aid drinkers to come out of the woodwork. Let the Toyota bashing begin!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Where do people think electricity comes from? Some fantasy land in outer space? It comes from the same energy inefficient powerplants that currently exist. So, everyone needs to step back and take a look at the full life cycle of things and see which is really more "environmentally" friendly....
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, we'll burn more coal in the short run. Yes, the price of electricity will go up, but note that will happen whether we use electric cars or not. The price of virtually all energy is going up.

        Why do you mention CO2 and scrubbers in the same argument? Scrubbers only reduce trace emissions, they don't affect primary emissions (CO2 and H2O vapor). You'd need carbon capture and storage for that.

        Yes, coal produces a lot of CO2. But even when run on all-coal electricity, electric cars are competitive on CO2 to gas cars and also afford us the ability to switch to other power sources without huge impacts to our way of life. You don't have to buy a new car if OPEC turns the taps off, you just have to reduce your usage until plants that use other fuels come on line to replace the electricity made from oil and gas and then you are off and running again.

        http://ohmexcited.googlepages.com/CO2.htm

        'The good news is that in most "real world" conditions in the US, electric vehicles could reduce CO2 emissions significantly. However, coal remains a very dirty polluter. EV's with modern batteries compete against internal combustion engines even assuming coal as the fuel source. But coal can reduce the electric vehicle's environmental return on investment significantly. It's the single biggest emitter of CO2 in the US. If the government is ever to get a handle on American CO2 emissions, in a world of EV's or not, something serious needs to be done about coal plants. Either by carbon sequestration aka "clean coal" or phasing out with replacement of nuclear, wind, solar, or other renewables. In fact, if all American cars and light trucks were eliminated from US roads, it would only reduce American CO2 output by 20-25%.'
        • 6 Years Ago
        sk - that is pretty cool but solar panels are really expensive. How long is the buyback - Just wondering? Also, I live in Western Pa. I think we get like 52 days of sunshine a year (no joke), is it even possible to use Solar Panels here? I would add them up there in a second if the cost ratio makes any sense. I know BP actually makes solar panels as a roofing poduct so the panels are actually flush with the roof and hardly noticable. Hopefully the tech gets developed to a level that the panels will work even areas like mine and the price point drops.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Saving gas and sending less of my money to countries that hate the USA are my primary concerns. If that means charging up my electric car from a coal power plant then so be it. National security is my priority, that does not mean I don't car about the enviroment, it's a matter of priorities.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Then you are misinformed. Most of our unrefined oil comes from Canada. By a huge margin.

        The reason oil prices increase is because speculators use scare tactics, like crap going on in the middle east to drive up the price of a barrel of oil on Walstreet.

        Its a sound investment. The more people think the world is low on oil or that today's bombing in Iraq actually affects US oil supply (please), the more the price goes up, the more their oil futures (essentially stock) goes up.

        Now they are just riding the wave of fear, and it increases by the day.

        Has nothing to do with actual supplies from the Middle East. Thats very patriotic of you, but unfounded.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Powerplants are much more efficient than gasoline engines. Powerplants like efficiency cause it makes them more money.

        And like Ive said a thousand times if your that eco friendly leave cars alone and go after construction equipment. Construction equipment accounts for the majority of pollution and are not required to go through any emissions requirements.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I get 'could be cleaner' from this.

        All I see here is the government admitting that coal is dirty and that 'something needs to be done'.

        I mentioned scrubber systems because you said they were so clean of particulate emissions, and I said 'regardless of that, they are still dirty as far as CO2 goes. It made sense.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Like hell they are more efficient!

        On a per-watt basis it produces 2x more CO2 to burn coal to run a steam generator than oil, diesel, or gas.

        Thats PRIOR to the ungodly resistance that hundreds of miles of high-tension wires it has to travel. Scrubbing systems regardless, when your electricity is made in a power plant, you essentially have to produce each Watt twice just to get it to you.

        And all these fancy sunshine and rainbows ideas have been on the table for 30 years and borne 0 fruit.

        Likely outcome? Strip-mine more coal in the short-run.

        And even if they built a windmill on every acre, that costs men, money, resources. Then all the wiring, control centers, sub-stations.

        Expect the price of electricity to increase along with food and fuel over the next decade.
        And that affects businesses and people that don't own cars.

        Effect on the economy by switching to plug-ins? Negligable. Welcome to recession. Grab a snickers because you'll be here a while.



        • 6 Years Ago
        That's an important point and well-raised.

        A few mitigating points:

        1) It is much easier to replace a few sources, like power plants, as technology changes, rather than to replace the power plants in a million individual cars.

        2) In software engineering, we would consider electricity an "interface" for power. Whatever the ultimate source of energy (nuclear, oil, coal, solar, etc.), it can all generate electricity fairly efficiently and most all consumers of power can be designed to consume electricity. We have a pre-built distribution system for electricity (unlike, say, hydrogen or ethanol). It is therefore more efficient to build appliances (and a car is an appliance) to use the common interface of electricity if possible because you can then freely substitute the most efficient ultimate fuel on the generation side without changing the design of all existing cars or of the distribution system.

        3) As distributed generation (i.e., generation in every home rather than in a central location like a power plant) is made more practical through advances in solar, wind, etc., once again the common interface of electricity will allow existing cars build to that interface to take advantage of a pre-existing infrastructure without costly retrofitting and coversions.

        4) Before distributed generation becomes reality, we cn take advantage of time-of-day variances in electricity prices. Charging your car at night, when industrial demand is low, would potentially be quite cheap and eek the last cent out of the our large capital investment in centralized plants, making them even more capital efficient than they are now.

        That said, the immediate source of a huge increase in electric demand would be coal and if electric cars were quickly hugely adopted, it would worsen C02 emissions. That's why plug-in cars have to be one aspect of a multi-pronged effort that also attacks generation side of the problem.

        I'm deep into this, so sorry if this sounds like techno-babble.

        Cheers,
        Jon

        • 6 Years Ago
        Iran is a major player in the Natural Gas exporting business while US hardly produces enough for itself. Either way, the higher the MPG the better regardless of the engine running in oil or natural gas or electric.

        BTW, powerplants in US are far far more efficient than the naysayers would admit. Can't say the same about countries outside of western world.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Does not apply for me, I have installed solar panels on my garage roof. I have plenty of power now to charge my future plug in car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I mentioned NOx. NOx isn't particulates, NOx is a gas.

        That paper is from some dude who posted it to googlepages, it isn't a government study.

        It says electric cars are already better on CO2, except perhaps in a few areas of the country. And it can easily be made better if we want, unlike having when the fuel is burned directly in the vehicle, which means trying to get old cars off the road to improve the situation.

        It seems to show, under seemingly real-world conditions how using electricity to power cars is environmentally sound today and can even be better in the future. We just need to figure out how to make them cost-effective and functional enough to be useful.

        It's a great first step and using electricity instead of burning petroleum directly can offer us plenty of options for improving things even more in the future.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "It's a great first step and using electricity instead of burning petroleum directly can offer us plenty of options for improving things even more in the future."

      Yes and no. I already said in comparison to CONVENTIONAL fuel-burners. What I should have followed up with is that ICE/electric hybrids easily trump their plug-in cousins.

      Its like taking 1 step forward and another straight back. If every car improved on its burning of the fuel it carries onboard, improvements would actually be made faster than trying to clean up an entire infrastructure.

      The plug-in Prius might have a slightly (and debatably) lower carbon footprint than a Corolla, but it'll be years before the infrastructure is such that it will even catch up to the old hybrid Prius.

      This should be a long-term goal. The US has known about how dirty coal burning is long before we had a fuel crisis. The potential was there for this technology to be uber-clean, but in the short-term there is no right answer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well if energy demand goes up, it's fair to assume that new plants with even cleaner tech will be constructed, which would also decrease emissions while substituting it for oil.

        In certain places they ARE cleaner than a Corolla, and Corollas have good fuel economy, no?

        A sports car rivaling a corolla for fuel economy when running off of the worst coal plants is pretty good IMO. Now imagine if a corolla was running off of clean energy....
        • 6 Years Ago
        Right, so you say we just need to take every car off the road and replace them with cleaner ones.

        This is why electricity makes so much sense. You can put the cars on the road and they are already cleaner and you can continually upgrade the power plants over time to be even cleaner without having to replace all the cars on the road each time.

        A plug-in Prius should be cleaner than the current one in typical use. That is because as I've already shown on here, electric cars are cleaner in real-world conditions than even the Prius when run on the electricty from most areas of the country. So when the car runs as a hybrid, it'll be clean. For the first 40 miles, it'll be even cleaner.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Every car will come off the road at the rate of attrition regardless of what we use.

        And I don't agree that its cleaner the first 40 miles, because being powered from the coal plant is only slightly more clean than a Corolla.

        Driving your Prius in gas/electric mode actually has a comparatively decent cleanliness to it relative to coal or conventional gasoline power.
        • 6 Years Ago
        A mentioned in my link above, in all places they are cleaner than a Corolla. Even using the emissions of the average coal plant. In the average place in the US they are already cleaner than a Prius (going by Volt in average US grid data).
      • 6 Years Ago
      What we need is the government to provide tax incentives to companies to help us adopt electric cars and plugin hybrids. If employees could charge their cars at work on the company dime, and the company get a tax break for that money spent, AND further tax break if they provide that electricty in a green way, then we are really helping out. The range of a plugin for your work commute only needs to be half since you can charge at work, thus making the cars cheaper and the tech more feasible. We have a guy here at work with an electric MR2 conversion and the co lets him charge it while at work for free. It has about 20mi range and that is more than enough. He built it for all of about $15k.

      • 6 Years Ago
      The only things stupider than people coming in to bash Toyota...

      ... is Toyota fans reverse trolling and turning a slightly critical article into an excuse to bash all the other companies trying different things and posting "in before" crap.

      It's a Toyota hybrid. It will get some of the best mileage on the road but it will be sold out and scalped for a few years after debut and it won't get the mileage the hype machine was predicting.

      Americans in droves will decide not to get one because dealers were buttheads, or it didn't have cupholders or because a corolla was on super-duper sale and be annoyed by the people who got one acting like they are part of the bestest club in the world.
      • 6 Years Ago
      GM told us as much, with the trouble of bringing the Volt to market. Very clever Toyota!
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is not a knock on Toyota, this is a knock on all the Prius fangirls that inflate its worth to imaginary levels.

      I've heard people talking out their ass about how the first of the next-gen Prius would easily get 100mpg, with the bigger Nickel batteries. At best those cars were expecting 55mpg combined. You know, what Toyota originally advertized for the car in 1998, which was anything but accurate.

      "we don't think this message is going to get through to the masses. Besides, if Toyota's next-gen hybrids can reach anything close to 100 mpg, we think shoppers of fuel-efficient vehicles will be too busy foaming at the mouth to even notice."

      I couldn't agree more.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The thing is it all depends on where you drive and how. Even on the same route, different driving styles (which may or may not affect travel time) can give significantly different MPG results. I do not see many drivers doing idiotically simple things like lifting off the gas when the light turns red despite that it will save them fuel without taking any more time out of their day.
        The fact is that it is possible to achieve 100mpg in a current production Prius under optimal conditions and that it is also quite simple to average significantly higher than the EPA number on just about any car they rate. This is the angle where the 100mpg people come from. Will the Prius be EPA rated at 100mpg? Not bloody likely. As crazy as the EPA test is, I doubt you could get 100mpg in any car that the public would be interested in.
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