• Jul 25, 2008
Click above for high-res gallery of the Toyota Prius

If the Prius went mainstream when Toyota bumped production to 280,000 worldwide units per year in 2007, the fuel efficient hybrid is now primed to kick project green to the next level. When Toyota begins producing the next gen Prius, it'll do so with more factory space than ever dedicated to the universal symbol for fuel efficiency, making it possible to produce 480,000 vehicles per year. The Japan-based Tsutsumi factory, which currently builds five different vehicles, will stop making the JDM Wish minivan to allow for more Priuses. Even more Prius capacity will be available beginning in 2010, when the Japanese automaker's new Mississippi plant comes online and begins to produce more of the hybrid.

With the meteoric rise in gas prices, the Prius has gone from a yuppie green statement for politicians and suburbanites to a means for the masses to travel around town without breaking the bank. $4 per gallon gas and a continued lack of competition means Toyota could probably double production again and still sell every Prius it makes.


[Source: Automotive News - subs. req'd]


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 64 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      This thing only sells in a (green) vacuum, in that if there were better, cheaper (doesn't have to be hybrid) more efficient solutions then it would achieve its proper place in the marketplace, which would be much much further down the list.

      My candidates for small efficient cars would include the 5 door Mazda2, the next generation Honda Fitt and now, because Ford has finally seen the light, a five door hatch back Fiesta (in white with ac and an ipod dock and a five speed)

      If we had a choice of small efficient vehicles in the marketplace, the Prius would barely get a look in



        • 6 Years Ago
        Dude are you kidding me? What about Civic, Corolla, Sentra, as you said Mazda, Subaru, all get good MPG cost less and more fun to drive and yet Prius is as hot as it is.

        Face it, Prius is the first in the new segment.....very efficient cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        All of those cars (subaru/nissan) are a size above, at least, the B segment cars that until now America has not gotten like the Mazda2



      • 6 Years Ago
      Keep selling more Prius - I'll need the gas next year for my Camaro SS.
      • 6 Years Ago
      For whatever it's worth, gas prices have dropped to about 3.60 here and show no signs of stopping (Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Vintage, I agree with the basic sentiment against a disposable culture, but you're stretching it into a fallacy.

        Number one, you can't have used cars without someone buying new cars. Would you rather those new cars be more sparing with fuel, or less?

        Number two, you don't keep a used car running for decades without eventually replacing enough worn parts (whose replacements are built *new* for your mechanic) that--combined with the used car's higher emissions--you've effectively canceled out the environmental advantage of hanging on to your clunker.

        Number three, most people who drive used cars don't maintain them meticulously, and a few gross polluters spew more crap than a few hundred new cars would in the same trip.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yep. GM is paying me to tell the world to drive used cars longer. That's their business strategy. Getting people to post about how buying new cars is bad for the environment.

        START THINKING.
        • 6 Years Ago
        First, @ Ethan: I'm sorry I had to reply to you to get this point across.

        Second, @ Vintage: I hate it when people use foul language on the blog comments, but seriously take that damn video and shove it up your ass. You post it MULTIPLE times on every Prius article and every time there is some mention of "green" tech. We get it. You don't like new cars. Now stop that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        vintage, you give us prius haters a bad name.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @ Vintage

        It's either that video (which I can't be bothered to watch) or that damned louver IS-F pics. I am very bored of you.
        (although, yeah, Prius isn't the way to go)
        • 6 Years Ago
        @Vintage:
        Do you really LIKE trolling Prius/anything hybrid posts?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Also PJ, you can keep a car on a road for a few decades without replacing a whole lot. I know, because my daily driver is an 89 Accord, which is 19 years old and has 267,000 miles. It's gone through one transmission (before I owned it), 2 sets of struts, 1 set of springs, 3 sets of rotors and pads, 1 exhaust system, 1 set of factory speakers, 1 radio, 1 set of suspension bushings, and 6 axles. You do not need to manufacture parts BRAND NEW in order to have your car fixed. Half the time, I purchase remanufactured units which means they take an axle, redo the U-joint, check everything else, repack it with grease, and resell it. Also, second hand parts are available for almost anything...used exhaust systems, used cooling systems, whatever you want. I rarely buy anything truly 'new' for this car unless it is in the braking system.

        If that seems like I've replaced a lot, here's what's stayed the same for the past 19 years: The chassis, the interior, the glass, the engine, the cooling system, the ignition system, the wheels, the calipers, the electrical system, the paint, the trim, and all the suspension components with replaceable bushings. It still gets 30-35mpg, and still passes emissions.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Obviously some people will continue to buy new cars. What I am suggesting, is that people do not do so AS OFTEN. Right now cars are overproduced at an alarming rate, which causes rapid depreciation in the value of used cars. When these used cars have a simple problem, like worn suspension bushings and a failing transmission, they are junked. That is extremely wasteful, to throw away/recycle a car with a decent interior, body, exhaust, engine, electrical system, cooling system, etc. What I am suggesting is that people buy new cars LESS. This would decrease the demand of newer vehicles, which would allow automakers to make higher quality vehicles that would last even longer. This would also increase the value of used cars so that people would repair them instead of junking/scrapping them.

        There will ALWAYS be used cars available, because we have so many of them. If people quit buying new cars entirely, then my position would change, but I doubt that will happen, it's not a very realistic outlook. Reducing the rate at which we consume new vehicles, however, is reasonable, realistic, and would be a huge plus for our environment.
        axiom
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Nope, sorry, I'm not going to stop. Ever. I'm sick of rich white people pretending they're saving the world by purchasing a car that uses more resources than most vehicles. I'm sick of the smugness of prius owners, who believe they are doing something "good" for the environment by getting a new Prius."

        And where do you encounter all these "smug" Prius owners? Do you wash cars for a living? Otherwise it sounds like a weak excuse from a shill troll who's targeting hybrid cars and getting called out for it. This guy is either a GM-paid troll or an oil lobby troll. Just flag all his posts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Great, huge new clouds of 'smug' on the horizon.

      mmmkay...
        • 6 Years Ago
        I dont know if that is true anymore. The Prius has become an every-man car and not just a political statement. I actually think the social status of it is wearing thin because of its popularity. The Prius is like a cool Indi band that is only cool when no one else knows about. If that band signs with a major record company and gets popular all the original "indi" fans no longer have any attraction to them.

        I see the same thing happening with Prius. When Joe Schmo buys a Prius to save money and not the environment the "statement" factor goes away. Besides they are so common place now that no one looks twice at one and says "look a Prius, that guy must be voting for Obama and belong to the Sierra Club" now it like it is any other car.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Maybe it is just because I work at a university... but I have seen several Priuses in the lot with the full green decal kit on the side doors, and liberal bumperstickers on the back.

        I don't think the smug has worn off around here, but maybe that is just here.

        Besides, if people want to really save money, they could just drive a corolla, for less initial cost, less interest on the financing, less expensive maintenance, and drive the corolla to ~100k miles before the Prius would become a money saver, as long as it didn't require major repairs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        the gadgets and hybrid drive are the only real differences between the corolla and the Prius. They are based on the same chassis. (Corvette and Cobalt are nowhere near as closely related.)

        The money saved by buying and maintaining a Corolla will take a long time for a Prius to return with it's gas mileage increase. it is a fiscal problem, not a technological one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        love the South Park reference!!! Thanks!
        • 6 Years Ago
        I see far more attitude from the hybrid haters than the hybrid owners.

        I have never had a hybrid owner tell me they owned a hybrid without being asked about what they owned.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Show me a Corolla that is as technologically interesting as a Prius, feels futuristic (for good or ill) from behind the wheel, provides a rewarding sense of novelty every time you fill up, has a hatchback trunk, and feels at all "special" to drive, and I'll show you a Prius vs. Corolla analogy that actually makes a lick of sense.

        You might as well be arguing why Corvette owners should really consider the dollars and sense of buying a Cobalt instead. The measures in which both cars exceed an average automobile are equally appealing to their respective demographics.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ok for a minute, let's forget the damage Hybrid batteries have on the environment. Hybrids just don’t make any sense. At least when I factored in a Toyota Camry Hybrid versus a standard Camry, it would take at least 3-4 years to recover the markup you pay versus a standard car. They say that the batteries last around 8 years, have there been any tests after 4 years to see if the batteries are still holding the same charge as they were when new? Others may argue that you exhaust footprint is lower, but at the expense of the batteries? We need to start looking at Sugar based ethanol or some other source of fuel. Corn based ethanol does not work because it causes rises in food costs.
        • 6 Years Ago
        For the average consumer hybrids are not worth it. The markup takes years to pay off and after 7-8 years you need to shell out $3k more for the replacement of new batteries. I give you that they are worth it only if you put a lot of miles per year on your car or as you mention, taxi cabs, police and any other business that has the car running consistently. I did the math last year and even at EPA ratings which we know are not the norm, it took over 4 years to recover the markup. In the long run for an average user who puts on 12k miles a year, how much are you saving in say 10 years, maybe $1k after the cost of the replacement batteries and that’s provided that there are no additional costs in repairing the hybrid system.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Here is the math, correct me if I am wrong. I also want to note that I am averaging the MPG since it varies by person to person.

        Hybrid Camry Carsdirect price $26,370 + 6% PA tax=27952.20 MPG 33/34 AVG 34MPG
        Standard Camry Carsdirect price $22,145 + 6% PA tax=23473.70 MPG 21/31 AVG 25MPG
        Total markup of 4478.50 for the Hybrid
        On a 15 gallon fill up, the hybrid is making 510 miles vs. 375 miles in the standard for a net savings of 135 miles or 4 gallons. At $4/gallon you are saving $16 per fill up. It will take you 280 fill ups to break even with the cost over the standard Camry. That comes to 5.3 years if you fill up once a week. After which you save $800 per year and see a savings benefit. Most people dump their cars after 6-7 years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Nick, the use of hybrids as taxis in NYC and other places has put plenty of use on them to show the batteries lost a long time and hold plenty enough charge to retain the mileage benefits for the expected lifespan.

        And why do you say hybrids save gas at the expense of batteries? Batteries are not a consumptive item, they last longer than a timing chain do. Furthermore, they're recyclable. Don't fall into the trap of thinking of counting fixed costs as consumptive costs, they just aren't directly comparable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      But oh the fickle public. What happens when the price of gas comes back down?* Will they be sitting on capacity like the Usta Be Big 3 are are now?

      *Never come down? That's what they said about house prices.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, the real reason gas came down this week is that China is making half of the drivers in Bejing park their cars during the Olympics. ;)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Mr. Goat, yes, yes there were those who said it was a bubble, but judging by the behavior of the market, few believed those voices crying the wilderness. Until too late.

        I think the question is not whether the prices will fall--not just "dip"--the question is "how far?" Note that the price of oil went up when money was being pulled out of housing. Where did that money go?

        Certainly if demand continues to grow while increases in supply are prohibited, prices will climb, and certainly demand will increase. But no one in his right mind would suggest that the recent overnight spike in oil prices is the result of the linear increase in demand from India and China. They didn't just discover petroleum products overnight.

        Indeed we could see your $1.49 prices for gasoline again...if the "peak oil" panic subside, and as alternative sources of energy develop, demand for petroleum won't necessarily increase even if all domestic US oil production were to banned.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, then Toyota has plenty of SUV's that people will start buying again, and they can convert Prius production to something else. They've got their bases covered. Detroit - not so much.
        • 6 Years Ago
        RE: "*Never come down? That's what they said about house prices."

        I don't remember anyone saying that. All I remember is nonstop talk about a housing bubble that was due to eventually burst but no one knew when. All I hear today from just about every business that hinges on oil prices in some way or shape is that expensive oil is here to stay. Will there be dips? Sure, but the days of filling up for $1.42/gallon are gone.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't give Clooney the Oscar!
      • 6 Years Ago
      @LS7
      A little off the topic here how often do you replace a timing chain? I never have. I think you meant timing belt. I always disliked engines with timing belts. There is something about paying $400-$700 every 90,000 miles for a part that shouldn't need replacing that irks me. Are engines that use a belt a little quieter and smoother sounding? Yeah. But is it worth the cost for something you'd only notice above 5,000rpm? No. I don't consider the replacement of it routine maintenence either since many cars don't need that service. I'm probadly just being ignorant as I begin to fade into old man-ness though. Sorry this was off topic.

      I dislike the Prius only due to it's styling. I would definately like a hybrid powertrain in my next vehicle. Hopefully one that can run up to 40-45mph on battery alone so I can use 0 gas around town.
        • 6 Years Ago
        On my Olds there is no mention of having to replace the chain. On other cars with a belt it's recommended around the 100k mark like you said. The Olds (Intrigue) currently has 150k+ on its 3.5. I had one with a 3.8 previously and put over 230k before trading it in. That car was dealer serviced and they never mentioned replacing the chain.
      • 6 Years Ago

      Why does Vintage keep posting that video whenever there is a post about Hybrid cars?
        • 6 Years Ago
        idk it's his Opinion it's not Trolling. he has a right to voice his opinion...
        • 6 Years Ago
        To stop hybrid owners from believing that they are helping the environment.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "To stop hybrid owners from believing that they are helping the environment."

        I actually watched the video. Seems to me like you can't make that judgment unless a) you know how old their old car was when they bought the Pruis and b) how long they keep the Prius.

        The video seems to be more of an argument for keeping your car longer as opposed to not buying new. They aren't necessarily the same.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Copy and paste spam in multiple places in an article may be just expressing your opinion, but it does no good for the site. Think it's bad with one person doing it? Try it with a multiple people doing it. This is why most sites ban it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Does the american taxpayer still need to subsidize Prius purchases with tax rebates?
      Seem people are catching on and buying high milage vehicles anyway.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The jury remains on on complete facts as to ehats good for the environment or not. I hear stories from both sides, but hybrids (batteries, etc) have not been in use long enough for long term studies on the possible effects, only speculation that I am aware of, you know like YouTube videos with slanted information exaggerated to make a point. Obviously less people and keeping your cars longer would help, but I like a new car every year, so until proven otherwise, I will continue to make sure there are affordable used cars on the market for everyone else, because Vintage forgets, the used car market is quite large.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, not game over. Obviously some people will continue to buy new cars. What I am suggesting, is that people do not do so AS OFTEN. Right now cars are overproduced at an alarming rate, which causes rapid depreciation in the value of used cars. When these used cars have a simple problem, like worn suspension bushings and a failing transmission, they are junked. That is extremely wasteful, to throw away/recycle a car with a decent interior, body, exhaust, engine, electrical system, cooling system, etc. What I am suggesting is that people buy new cars LESS. This would decrease the demand of newer vehicles, which would allow automakers to make higher quality vehicles that would last even longer. This would also increase the value of used cars so that people would repair them instead of junking/scrapping them.

        There will ALWAYS be used cars available, because we have so many of them. If people quit buying new cars entirely, then my position would change, but I doubt that will happen, it's not a very realistic outlook. Reducing the rate at which we consume new vehicles, however, is reasonable, realistic, and would be a huge plus for our environment.
        • 6 Years Ago
        LIon batteries are very recyclable. NiMHs are also.

        I don't doubt that making new LIon batteries hurts the planet, because it's done in China. Few Chinese companies would spend the extra money to do something cleanly when they can do it cheaper by polluting more. My question really comes, can LIon batteries be made in a way that doesn't hurt the planet (much)? My guess is yes, and I think we (as consumers and nations) should insist Chinese companies do so.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are the main problem. If you'd maintain your vehicles well they'd last you a very very long time. This would lessen the demand for new cars, and raise the value of used cars, which means they would be repaired instead of scrapped. What you are doing is perpetuating a disposable marketplace.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Fair enough Vintage, no argument there. Of course, your getting your wish, new car sales are way down :) Overall we don't disagree, everyone quite simply should consume less. I do so in many other areas, just cars are truly a passion of mine, closer to obsession. Anyhow, having a cocktail now and raising a drink to you, have a nice weekend.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Majorgeek must not have been a college student. He doesn't know that the contraction of "you are" is "you're", not "your".

        And no, I didn't buy any of my cars new. Buying new cars is a huge financial loss. Only morons do that.
        • 6 Years Ago
        stk718:
        LIon batteries in phones and iPods don't last long because they are treated harshly. They are allowed to heat up when charging, and they charge them to 4.2V and discharge them to 3.5V or lower. LIons don't really like going to 4.2V, so much so that the voltage they are charged to has to be controlled to 0.05V, because at 4.25V they really start to damage themselves.

        If you only charge a LIon to 4.1V, it will last 20, 50 or 100 times longer. But you get less energy stored, so portable devices still go to 4.2V.

        Cars like the Prius, Tesla or (it seems from the coverage) Volt treat the batteries a lot better. There's no reason they can't last 5 years even under heavy use, and this has been shown to be the case in the NYC taxi uses.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Vintage must be a college student, no way he has been in the real world yet basing all of his beliefs on over exaggerations and lies. No one takes care of a vehicle like me. With 20k miles, my year old Hummer 2 looks better then showroom and its not cheap to do so. My previous cars have been sold at auction, then someone who could not afford a brand new car, got a year old car at a great price and I bet THAT person drove the hell out of it. Im willing to pick my next trade in and track it with the VIN number. The majority of Americans are middle class, many with families and a year old car is a GREAT deal for them. Your so full of it.

        Bet you bought your Subaru new? Not if I am guessing your age correctly. Someone had to buy it, then sell it for you to get it, so stop it, your fooling no one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Why is everyone thinking in the short term? So the batteries in Prius' have lasted a while. What happens when they do go? Can they be recycled or are we just going to bury them underground and act like it doesn't effect the earth. You seem to forget that most consumer electronics use lithium ion batteries and you know those don't last that long. Hybrids are a short term solution.

        There is no alternative fuel that will not effect the earth period. We have to find one that will have the least impact like solar, wind and hydro. It seems H2 made with clean electricity is the way to go for now.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I was discussing whether one is better for the environment or not. There are some reports that the mining needed to make these batteries erases any advantage to the environment before it gets to the market.

        You went from an environmental issue (my post) to a reliability issue. 2 different conversations. I typoed like crazy first sentence, so you might have misunderstood me and rightfully so. I dont care for the Prius, would not buy it just on how fugly it is, so I honestly don't care about that :) However, after rereading my post, it appears you opted to go intentionally in another direction because at no point did I mention the use of batteries as functional, but question its true impact on the environment. Of course, no one will care and they will buy it because they can put almost no gas in it, like they are now.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Here’s my question, with gas prices that high why is GM forced to offer incentives on their hybrid Tahoes? I think GM once again made a miscalculation, people right now do not want huge SUVs with hybrids.

      By the time GM will come out with a family sedan two mode hybrid the segment will be under complete domination of Prius….not the Japanese, not Toyota, but by Prius alone.

      I see it this way, if Malibu with two mode that comes in late 2009 I believe will not slow the expansion of Prius GM will be very, very close to being eliminated from small sedan segment. Think about this, Cobalt is horrible, even GM people admit it, by the time Cruz comes in 2010 there will be a brand new Civic on the market, also there’s no reason to believe that Cruz will be that much better than Cobalt. If it will get those 40 MPG we were promised it can have some future, but otherwise it could turnout to be another Cavalier/Cobalt.

      Yes Malibu is good, but it’s not Camry and as I said if people are looking for a hybrid sedan now only have Camry and Prius to look at, GM is in serious trouble.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It'll turn out to be another Cavalier/Cobalt like the Cobalt that they currently run 3 shifts of production and it still sits on the lot the shortest of any Chevy car?
    • Load More Comments