• Aug 29, 2008
The attention of the hybrid technology universe has been focused firmly on two vehicles: the Chevy Volt and the plug-in Prius. On the surface, these two vehicles are primed to be big-time competitors in the battle for mpg-conscious buyers. Not so, says the king of quote, Maximum Bob Lutz. According to Mr. Lutz, the two vehicles are very technologically different. Toyota also says that a plug-in Prius will be in production in 2009, a full year ahead of the Volt. Lutz hypothesizes that the Prius plug-ins will be available only to select fleets and not in large scale production, and the GM Vice Chairman says that the Volt will be available as part of a large test fleet in late 2009, as well.

We agree that the Volt and Prius are technologically different, but we're pretty sure the two vehicles will be competing for the same buyers. After all, Americans are calling for more fuel efficient vehicles and don't care if one's a plug-in parallel hybrid that runs on nickel-metal hydride batteries and the other is a series hybrid with lithium-ion batteries and a "range extender". They just care about whichever one can go further on a drop of fuel.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 39 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      See i never get these things, how can the two even be compared? Assuming Volt will be build, Prius will have a decade on it. Volt so far is nothing but a pipe dream, all we have is the promises of an old senile man and my main man Rick Wagoner, he makes a million a year for every billion he loses in every quater.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @henry

        Really, because I thought maybe they were busy trying to build better tailgates for their huge gas-swilling Tundras.

        And was that before or after they finished writing checks to customers who have Tacomas that rusted into the ground?

        Toyota is a company like any other. They did a great job on the Prius. They've screwed up lots of other things. They're not infallible, no matter what the media tells you.
        • 6 Years Ago
        BLS:

        You could be totally right. It could definitely happen.

        There's really no way to call it. Time will tell.

        In any case, it's all good news for the consumer and fun to watch for the enthusiast.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Shipey: I was thinking about Toyota and their trucks today. They are diametrically opposed with the "green" Prius and hybrid versions of some of their other cars in one hand and Tundra, Sequoia, and Land Cruiser in the other. Then I thought about GM, they are trying to make progress across the line and through the dual-mode in their large offerings which moves them up to decent milage and up to a price that if you can afford it then you don't care about decent milage range. They aren't handing the smaller car market to Toyota but they are focusing alot on the big vehicles and one expensive small vehicle.

        This is how they are trying to good on CAFE. If I am not mistaken. Toyota will push the Prius and such while making gas hog pick ups. GM will push expensive pick ups with hybrids. If I am right about this hypotesis, Toyota would take the car market and the Truck market and still be fine on CAFE. Only time will tell.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "So, Chevy (or anyone else) should never build a Prius competitor just because Toyota got out of the door first?"

        Toyoto got out the door, took out the garbage, walked the dog, watered the lawn, went to work, came home, made dinner and cleaned up the house while GM was just waking up with a hangover from the 'good old days'.
        • 6 Years Ago
        So, Chevy (or anyone else) should never build a Prius competitor just because Toyota got out of the door first?

        Good call.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I will say it here first. If I buy a Volt or other Chevy with this powertrain; I will put a Calvin pissing on a Prius sticker in/on the back window.
        • 6 Years Ago
        +1

        i guess this style of car looks a lot serious that current prius. i actually would like to buy one but it looks gay to me. it is not good looking at all, plus it is expensive as a luxury one (and is not, hate the interior)
        • 6 Years Ago
        Problem is you probably aren't going to buy it for $40K are you?
        • 6 Years Ago
        ....and so will I.
        • 6 Years Ago
        @homunculus: Really? And I suppose you think that smashing empty PBR cans on ones forehead in the infield at a NASCAR race isn't a real sport.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The white trashification of America...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hahaha.....You guys just keep getting better at choosing post graphics.

      Good stuff.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I concur, picture well played.
      • 6 Years Ago

      But it will also depend on prices. If the Plug-IN Prius is significantly cheaper than the Volt it might simply crush Volt sales.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to mention the Prius has an already established excellent long term reliability.
        • 6 Years Ago
        + the volt isn't repulsive
        • 6 Years Ago
        Or if the Prius has a pathetic all-electic range, it will get crushed by Volt sales.
      • 6 Years Ago
      We Americans are very style conscious,
      which is largely why the Prius sells so well compared to similar hybrids. I can't help but wonder what happens when the Volt hits the scene with styling that is just as unique, yet (IMO) much more attractive.

      Hopefully Toyota has some nice styling changes in store for the new model.

      In any case, both of these cars are going to be awesome, and this is shaping up to be another fun-to-watch rivalry like the GT-R vs. ZR-1.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I dunno that I'd call anything recent from Toyota, "awesome"...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Well, awesome "for a hybrid." You know what I mean. ;)
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think considering today's news at autoblog green Toyota didn't get the message about it not being a war, lol. Moving their plug-in timetable up an entire year is just about as aggressive a move as you can possibly make.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "They just care about whichever one can go further on a drop of fuel."

      Or which can go further without a drop of fuel!
      • 6 Years Ago
      i wonder why the volt hasn't caught any of the trite 'smug' flak.

        • 6 Years Ago
        Wouldn't it cause the owner to be extra smug since they are not only getting great MPG, but they just spent *30grand plus on one? That way they can show off their money their eco friendly side too.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think the point their missing is with the Volt some people will NEVER have to buy gas.

      My commute is under 30 miles round trip. If I could charge while at work, I would almost never have to put a drop of gas in my car with the Volt– I'd be driving on electric almost 100% of the time.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I have a tendency to pick on posters who are overly negative. I guess I need to practice what I preach; because GM has a horrible history of, when trying something new, producing junk. The Volt will be left-field exotic in nature and totally different. I trust one will be as trouble free as far as I can throw it's Lithium battery.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Toyota will be the firstcar manufacturer for a plug in prius. You can go to places and get it modded to do that already.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I seriously DOUBT a $40K hybrid ANYTHING car from GM will CRUSH an under $30k hybrid ANYTHING from Toyota in sales.
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