Aug 22

107-MPGe Prius Plug-in Hybrid to debut next month

 

As its launch date approaches, both verifiable and speculative reports are circulating about the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.

Among them are that it is expected to return a standard-Prius-beating 107 MPGe, cut CO2 emissions from 89 g/km to 49 g/km, and will debut September 13 at the Frankfurt auto show.

In response to our inquiry, Toyota told us that the 2012 Prius plug-in will indeed be first presented at Frankfurt. The company is keeping a lid on other info, but we’ll tell you more of what the reports are saying just the same.


2010 Prius Plug-in Hybrid at the EDTA conference in Washington in April.

First off, the outstanding fuel economy and emissions efficiency reports appear to be correct. They are based on the car’s reportedly having gone through a UK drive cycle. In it, the Prius plug-in achieved a 128-mpg rating, which is being equated to 107 MPGe for the U.S.

Toyota was quick to qualify this report however.

“That number is based on a virtual test cycle,” said Toyota’s Amy K. Taylor in an email, apparently not wanting to over promise and under deliver. “We expect the number to vary in real world driving conditions.”

Like the standard Prius, the plug-in will use a 1.8-liter, 134-horsepower engine and a 60-kilowatt electric motor, with the addition of on-board charger for the battery.

The distance it can travel at speeds up to 60 mph remains a mystery.

Another improvement over the standard Prius – as well as the 2010 demonstration version (in photos) – is the 2012 production plug-in car’s battery is believed to offer slightly higher output to enable around 15 miles of all-electric range. This is up a wee bit from an estimated 13 miles – and remember it could even be higher, and we probably won’t know for another month.

Rumor has it that the 2012 Prius Plug-in’s battery could be as large as 5.2 kWh.

Taylor said the 2010 demonstration version had a 3-kWh battery, and all-electric speed of 60 mph, but of the 2012 version, said only, “Product details have not been announced regarding the production vehicle.”

Since Taylor did not deny an improved battery, it remains possible a more powerful, maybe even more compact battery pack will come with the 2012 plug-in Prius.

Recharge time from 120-volt house current for its battery – that could be around one-fifth to one-third the size of the Chevrolet Volt’s battery – is for now still estimated at around 90 minutes.

One difference between Toyota’s thinking and General Motors’ approach to the Volt with its 16-kWh battery is that by giving the Prius plug-in a smaller, lighter, less expensive battery, it yields a lighter car with lower selling price.

Gas 2.0 and others report Toyota expects to sell 17,000 units for 2012, and estimated a U.S. price at around $26,000-$32,000 before incentives.

Here too, Toyota declined to verify the eager speculation abounding on the plug-in version of this most popular hybrid.

“We have not made any announcement regarding production plans,” Taylor said. “Pricing will be announced closer to on sale date.”

The Prius plug-in is due to go on sale in the U.S. in the spring of 2012, Taylor said.

She could not confirm if or when the Prius plug-in would be made available in other parts of the world.

“I’m not aware of the launching timing for other markets or if it has been announced yet,” Taylor said.

Since its introduction, the standard Prius, now in a third-generation version, has grown steadily to a high degree of popularity among alternative technology vehicles.


Plugged in at the Renaissance Marriott across the street from the EDTA conference in Washington: a prime spot reserved for a prime customer.

The cars are imported from Japan where the U.S. is largely blocked from competing on an even footing due to tariffs and alleged trade inequity.

Further, when factoring all the economic advantages a plug-in Prius will provide, it may be worth considering the ships required to transport the Prius use an enormous amount of bunker fuel – as much as 120 gallons per mile.

One very rough estimate put the consumption of bunker fuel needed to import approximately 141,000 Prii last year at around 40,000 metric tons, which also equates to tremendous amounts of CO2.

To help curtail this pollution, waste and expense, Toyota is experimenting with a fuel-efficient diesel-hybrid-solar ship.

We have not been able to acquire data to do a full apples-to-apples comparison along these lines between the Prius and the U.S.-produced Volt, however, which also contains imported components, some being costly, bulky, and required to be shipped in too.

General Motors does have plans for next year to begin domestically producing the Volt’s for-now imported battery cells which Volt Line Director Tony Posawatz told us would also result in significant cost reduction.

Gas 2.0

This entry was posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

COMMENTS: 185


  1. 1
    Rashiid Amul

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (7:23 am)

    The higher the MPGe the better for all of us.
    I highly doubt Toyota would have done this without the competition from Chevy.

    Side Note:
    Wasn’t there a company in Germany that had a really high MPGe, quick charging, and then their factory burned down? Does anyone remember the name of that company? Thanks.


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    Jim I

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (7:41 am)

    Is it just me or is there no real info here? I am not blasting Jeff, but Toyota itself.

    Toyota is just saying if, maybe, and to be released at a later date…..

    Call me in eight months when you have real data.

    Otherwise, this just seems like FUD to try to slow down Volt acceptance.

    JMHO


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    Kup

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:30 am)

    Jim I: Is it just me or is there no real info here? I am not blasting Jeff, but Toyota itself.Toyota is just saying if, maybe, and to be released at a later date…..Call me in eight months when you have real data.Otherwise, this just seems like FUD to try to slow down Volt acceptance.JMHO

    I’m not sure I have the same view as you on this. Yes, Toyota is keeping their cards close to the vest and are taking a fundamentally different approach than Chevy did with regards to transparency with the Volt. However, 107mpge is pretty damn good. While I love my Volt if better performing cars are built then I’m not going to hate on them. Of course, the Prius is still uglier, probably won’t have the same features as the Volt, will be slower than the Volt and probably would still be viewed in my mind as inferior to the Volt. But if they achieve 107mpge, good for them.


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    ClarksonCote

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:30 am)

    The MPGE number is a little misleading. I’m sure it’s higher than the Volt because the car is lighter than the Volt, and goes further on the same amount of electricity, when driven on electricity.

    However, the Prius will require the engine under any heavier acceleration, and it also has a much lower “electric” range.

    The result is that under most circumstances (read: trips between 15 and 100 miles), the Prius will use more gas than the Volt. While I understand why the MPGe number is higher, will the average consumer understand the details?

    join thE REVolution


  5. 5
    nasaman

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:32 am)

    Am I alone here, or is the final sentence of today’s intro article, reminding us that General Motor’s plans to begin domestically producing the Volt’s battery cells would result in a significant cost reduction, the most exciting news today?

    If you don’t agree, see my next post…


  6. 6
    nasaman

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:34 am)

    If memory serves, detailed testing by Motor Trend of a prototype plugin Prius with a battery large enough to achieve ~13 electric-only miles required that the car be plugged in quite frequently (i.e., ~every 13 miles) —as well as really “coddled” to keep its gas engine from starting— to achieve anything even approaching Volt’s minimal use of gasoline for an average driver. In that testing the MT driver lived only ~11miles from the Motor Trend office & started out every morning with the PIP battery fully charged. He also kept it plugged in at the office,
    so that on the returning 11-mile drive home the battery also didn’t fully discharge. Under those conditions, the prototype PIP —if the battery was fully recharged every 11 miles and hard accelerations or high speeds were avoided— behaved much like a Volt but with a very limited AER. A 13-mile AER is probably enough for Japan, but US drivers will find it much more difficult to achieve very low gas consumption such as Volt drivers have routinely been doing, e.g., reaching totals of 1,000-2,000 miles or more without using even a drop of gasoline.

    /IOW, I think the PIP really falls short of the average American driver’s “sweet spot” AER needs.


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    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:56 am)

    $32k before incentives vs $40k before larger incentives. Interesting.

    Looks to be a $4k difference. Although the $32k price is not confirmed.


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    PatsVolt

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:07 am)

    It is time for GM to build an EREV on the nexgt lower level platform available. It would be lighter and require less battery and motor and achieve much better overall economy.


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    nasaman

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:08 am)

    For anyone interested, here’s Motor Trend’s fairly extensive test of a prototype PIP I refer to in post #6:
    http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/alternative/1009_2010_toyota_prius_plug_in_hybrid_electric_vehicle_prototype_test/


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    Nelson

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:09 am)


  11. 11
    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:45 am)

    John1701a, USBseawolf and others must be disappointed, as a person who desires and admires stated goals and expectations, Toyota is being very NON forthcoming about anything.

    This article is full of “declined to comment” “would not confirm” did not say” “roughly” “estimated to be” “declined to verify”

    but I guess this means we can say they must have met their stated goals (even though we actually can’t seem to find out what they are)

    But hey. (activate sarcasm) “GM failed to meet 40 mile AER @ under 30K price and 50 MPG in CSM like they stated” (de activate sarcasm)

    Mitch


  12. 12
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:54 am)

    A lot of the difference between the MPGe ratings of the Pip and the Volt are probably due to the UK driving cycle being less stringent.

    Gee I’m surprised the Pip could actually make it thru one cycle w/o running out of battery.

    I ran the Pip against the Volt for my driving cycle and came up w/ the following results:

    Pip MPG= 57
    Pip MPGe= 52

    Volt MPG= 80
    Volt MPGe=56

    The Volt is much better when it comes to consuming petrol.
    This will be the case for nearly all people except those that have a very short commute. The percentage of people that drive less than 15 miles a day is a fairly small number.

    Still an interesting car though.
    Can’t wait to hear the details on it’s TMS. (or lack thereof)


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    Shawn Marshall

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:57 am)

    Great townie car I’d say.

    Incremental increases in on-board battery capacity to match increasing battery energy density and cost efficiency seems to be a good strategy.


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    Randy

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:04 am)

    The US should start demanding that either japan start opening up their car market to US cars NOW or until then keep those imported prius at home. They (japan) have been pissing on us long enough.
    One for one they buy one US car for every prius they export to the US.


  15. 15
    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:09 am)

    George S. Bower: A lot of the difference between the MPGe ratings of the Pip and the Volt are probably due to the UK driving cycle being less stringent.Gee I’m surprised the Pip could actually make it thru one cycle w/o running out of battery.I ran the Pip against the Volt for my driving cycle and came up w/ the following results:Pip MPG= 57Pip MPGe= 52Volt MPG= 80Volt MPGe=56The Volt is much better when it comes to consuming petrol.This will be the case for nearly all people except those that have a very short commute. The percentage of people that drive less than 15 miles a day is a fairly small number.Still an interesting car though.Can’t wait to hear the details on it’s TMS. (or lack thereof)

    Hi George… what criteria did you use as (i mentioned earlier) there seems to be no FACTUAL data, toyota not being as transparent as GM was..did you use the speculated values of 12 AER, max 60 MPH, 55MPG etc? just cuious..thanks


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    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:14 am)

    ClarksonCote: While I understand why the MPGe number is higher, will the average consumer understand the details?

    This scares me as well. It’s a numbers game.


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    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:16 am)

    PatsVolt: It is time for GM to build an EREV on the nexgt lower level platform available. It would be lighter and require less battery and motor and achieve much better overall economy.

    Just throw E-assist into the Chevy Sonic


  18. 18
    Steve

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:22 am)

    Sounds like Toyota is being more conservative all the way round. Smaller battery, smaller electric motor, shorter electric only range. So lower purchase price. Might be a successful strategy.


  19. 19
    TheRFMan

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:29 am)

    I think this would be a good alternative for someone that routinely makes frequent long-distance trips. The car may not run entirely on bettery in town, ut the fuel efficiency on the highway should beat the Volt.

    Unless they’ve changed the driving dynamics from the Gen 3 Prius however, I still wouldn’t consider one. It may be very efficient, perhas more then the Volt in certain cases. But it’s still the car that fun forgot. Perhaps my wife would be OK with it, but at this time, she doesn’t even want a car.


  20. 20
    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:32 am)

    Steve: Sounds like Toyota is being more conservative all the way round. Smaller battery, smaller electric motor, shorter electric only range. So lower purchase price. Might be a successful strategy.

    bigger ICE….lets not forget how many said GM was shoving a MASSIVE 1.4l ICE into the Volt…WTF.

    At least Toyota has the brains to use a 1.8l (motors are sized like wires right? the bigger the number the smaller the ICE?!?!)


  21. 21
    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:34 am)

    TheRFMan: I think this would be a good alternative for someone that routinely makes frequent long-distance trips. The car may not run entirely on bettery in town, ut the on the highway should beat the Volt. Unless they’ve changed the driving dynamics from the Gen 3 Prius however, I still wouldn’t consider one. It may be very efficient, perhas more then the Volt in certain cases. But it’s still the car that fun forgot. Perhaps my wife would be OK with it, but at this time, she doesn’t even want a car.

    depends…at 70 MPH the prius will use fuel the whole trip..the Volt will not for the first 40 miles or so…


  22. 22
    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:37 am)

    think the Volt is pricy? how about a $52,000 Mini? limited edition, but not an electric…no rebate..seats 4, small cargo….

    http://www.thepassinglane.ca/2011/08/mini-launches-us52000-rolls-royce-infused-cooper.html

    LauraB? what is the ROI???


  23. 23
    George S. Bower

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:37 am)

    Mitch: Hi George… what criteria did you use as (i mentioned earlier) there seems to be no FACTUAL data, toyota not being as transparent as GM was..did you use the speculated values of 12 AER, max 60 MPH, 55MPG etc? just cuious..thanks

    Mitch,
    I used 48 MPG for the pip in CS mode. I get 50 out of mine now and I figure the extra wt of the PiP vs regular Prius would drop me a couple MPG.
    I also used 12 miles AER for the Pip
    and I used 93 MPGe for both the Volt and the Pip for EV mode.


  24. 24
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:40 am)

    kdawg: Just throw E-assist into the Chevy Sonic

    Why not put it in the Cruze??


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    crew

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:45 am)

    Toyota will keep gas mileage figures in your face because the focus will always be petroleum use above EV miles. That’s what the Prius is, a gas economy car. Plugging it in is nice but it’s no real competition in the EV market. The Volt, at 40 miles EV, just barely makes it there!

    Give it 80% US content for parts and I might recommend one for the little ol’ lady 5 mile ride. Otherwise, it’s just too range limited as any type of an EV. Japan can keep them in Japan. England might be a good market. France has done the paperwork for the range. If I lived in Europe, I’d wait for the domestic Ampera.

    The US is a big country and the sooner we get to higher range batteries, the better.
    Around these parts, this plug in Prius is a step backwards.


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    N Riley

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:49 am)

    Another small step for fuel savings. We should welcome it. I know I do.


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    DonC

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:53 am)

    The less gas the better, and this car uses less gas, making it a great alternative. I hope they sell a ton of them.

    I only wish they had come out with this car a few years ago. At this point it’s a pretty limp offering. Forget MPGe. It’s a ridiculous measure if what you care about is gas and the pollution from gas. If you look at MPG it’s not really close. George’s calculations give a flavor of how that will work in the real world. Overall I’d expect that in normal driving the Volt should use 1/3rd to 1/5th the gas a PIP uses.

    For me the PIP elicits a big “Meh”. The Volt is a great car to drive. And it gives you all the smile that come with a complete electric drive. Ditto for the Leaf. The Prius? It’s just not that exciting, providing the the same low end ride that you get with the standard Prius. Nothing wrong with this but it would be too hard to take a step back at this point. On the other hand, the Prius is a very reliable car. The Volt has not yet proven itself on this score.


  28. 28
    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:00 am)

    George S. Bower: The percentage of people that drive less than 15 miles a day is a fairly small number.

    Any idea what this number is? It’s way more than we’re thinking because of retirees. My wife, for example, drives less than 5 miles per day and sometimes less than 3 days a week.

    The need for BEVs is way higher than people think, imho. In my neighborhood, for example, there are mostly retirees that have similar driving needs as my lovely. When you replace tires due to dry-rot and not due to tread wear, you get the picture.


  29. 29
    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:16 am)

    Mitch: what is the ROI?

    There is no Return on Investment (ROI) for a car; or anything for that matter that depreciates.

    Maybe the term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) makes more sense since it’s all cost and no return.

    When you look at the difference in gas usage between 97mpg and 102mpg, what are you really saying in total expense? What is that… Like 6 gallons per YEAR? Pretty soon, you get the point of diminishing returns where increased gas mileage doesn’t get you anywhere for the extra cost of equipment.


  30. 30
    vampares

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:25 am)

    Like one gallon a year.


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    vampares

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:32 am)

    the difference between 90 and 110 mpg is just shaving the power curve. Usually it is difficult to do much more that just tighten up efficiency. It is very easy to exponentially (w/ or w/out the exponent) waste resources through sloppy usage.

    Concider this, buying 10 gallons of gasoline you don’t see it. If you had to buy it in one gallon jugs, it would change attitudes.


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    Kup

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:36 am)

    Kup: I’m not sure I have the same view as you on this. Yes, Toyota is keeping their cards close to the vest and are taking a fundamentally different approach than Chevy did with regards to transparency with the Volt. However, 107mpge is pretty damn good. While I love my Volt if better performing cars are built then I’m not going to hate on them. Of course, the Prius is still uglier, probably won’t have the same features as the Volt, will be slower than the Volt and probably would still be viewed in my mind as inferior to the Volt. But if they achieve 107mpge, good for them.

    One other comment on this topic. While I praised Toyota for having a better MPGe than the Volt, I just went to myvolt.com to see my latest personal MPGe and it was at 124 MPGe. There are obviously a lot of factors that go into that number and so it is certainly possible that in a PIP that I would be above 130 MPGe but it’s not a slam dunk either. So while it is nice that the general testing of the PIP got higher ratings than the Volt, the Volt may (and in my case is likely to) have a higher MPGe than a PIP. The reason being is that I have a 25 mile one way commute that I do 4 times a week and I get to charge at work.

    Be well.


  33. 33
    Nick D

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:44 am)

    Nissan Leaf 99 MPGe

    2012 PiP 107 MPGe?

    Something seems not right here…


  34. 34
    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:47 am)

    Loboc: There is no Return on Investment (ROI) for a car; or anything for that matter that depreciates.Maybe the term Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) makes more sense since it’s all cost and no return.When you look at the difference in gas usage between 97mpg and 102mpg, what are you really saying in total expense? What is that… Like 6 gallons per YEAR? Pretty soon, you get the point of diminishing returns where increased gas mileage doesn’t get you anywhere for the extra cost of equipment.

    Loboc…sorry, I must not have registered on your sarcasm meter…my apologies for not turning up the intensity to a high enuf degree…lol

    I am certain ROI affect less than .1% of the population that will purchase a car, otherwise there would be more people using mass transit,and bicycles. reality check, other thatn construction, how can anyone justify buying a new car at all, or if a car is required, anything other thatn an econobox? I mean, auto transmission +1100$, what is the ROI? A/C, power anything…there is no ROI on luxury , its intangible for being LAZY!!

    ROI is an aurgument for idiots when it comes to cars. even the term TCO would still be irrelevant. otherwise a TATA Nano would be THE dominant car inthe world..for $2K it s like a Bic lighter…tires are worn,, just buy a new one….I could buy a new one every 6 months (ashtray’s full time to replace it) for the cost of a Leaf of Volt lease…hell, some peple could buy a new one inthat case every time it needs a tank of gas! (urban commuter, 2x a week for groceries about 4-5 miles round trip…(?))

    cost, ROI, TCO..its it meaning less to the car buying people..really…


  35. 35
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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:53 am)

    kdawg: Just throw E-assist into the Chevy Sonic

    BTW, and OT: There’s a nice review of Sonic in the September Popular Mechanics. Also, a pretty good assessment based on a long-term test of the LEAF.

    George S. Bower: Why not put it in the Cruze??

    Would’nt this muddy the water for the Volt, which is already built on that platform?


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:54 am)

    PatsVolt: It is time for GM to build an EREV on the nexgt lower level platform available. It would be lighter and require less battery and motor and achieve much better overall economy.

    #8

    I totally agree. +1 It’s what they should have done in the first place IMHO.


  37. 37
    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:58 am)

    George S. Bower: Why not put it in the Cruze??

    #23

    Why not both? But the bragging rights from high mileage numbers from a smaller car have a lot of PR value IMHO.


  38. 38
    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:01 pm)

    DonC: For me the PIP elicits a big “Meh”.

    #26

    Well you took the words right out of my mouth there, LOL. +1

    Toyota, Shmoyota IMHO.


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    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:05 pm)

    Steve: Sounds like Toyota is being more conservative all the way round. Smaller battery, smaller electric motor, shorter electric only range. So lower purchase price. Might be a successful strategy.

    I dunno, still kinda seems like a waste to me. Why bother to plug in to get an IDEAL 15 miles of range? I see a lot of people not plugging in very often. If you can spend $4k more and get a plug-in car that will drive mostly on electric vs a plug-in care that will drive mostly on gas, I think more people will lean towards the electric car.


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    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:10 pm)

    George S. Bower: kdawg: Just throw E-assist into the Chevy Sonic

    Why not put it in the Cruze??

    I suggested the Sonic because it’s smaller/cheaper and reminds me of the Priuis more. You could put it in the Cruze too, but might get confusing w/it so similiar to the Volt.

    Honestly, I think E-assist should just come standard in every car. It’s not like the owner even has to know what’s in the black box, just that they get good MPG.


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    Jackson

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    Steve: Sounds like Toyota is being more conservative all the way round. Smaller battery, smaller electric motor, shorter electric only range. So lower purchase price. Might be a successful strategy.

    Asian engineering is notoriously conservative. Not to say that the Japanese are incapable of engineering breakthroughs, just that its unlikely to get past the “Old Men” upstairs. They seem more centered on wringing the last drop out of their investment in HSD, as others surge past. Adding a plug-in pack is the last possible enhancement for the technology before pure cost-cutting takes over. Yes, a more conservative business model has worked for Toyota in the past; and likely will again. They’ll still sell a lot of Prii, but in ever lower market segments as time goes by.


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:11 pm)

    Loboc: Any idea what this number is? It’s way more than we’re thinking because of retirees. My wife, for example, drives less than 5 miles per day and sometimes less than 3 days a week.

    Loboc,

    The link below takes you to an SAE document that looked at driving habits.
    Go to page 25.

    http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/pdfs/merit_review_2009/vehicles_and_systems_simulation/vss_05_duoba.pdf

    Looks like 28% of drivers drive 12 miles/day or less.


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    Anthony

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:12 pm)

    Loboc:
    $32k before incentives vs $40k before larger incentives. Interesting.

    Looks to be a $4k difference. Although the $32k price is not confirmed.

    I did the math a while ago, and the Pip gets an incentive of around $4700 for a 5.5kWh battery. I forgot the exact math and formula for the incentive though. So the Volt gets about $3000 more in incentive than a Pip.

    I’m looking forward to the Pip simply because it seems to fit my lifestyle and pocketbook better – 16 mi drive one way to work, but I work at a forward looking green company that would probably install a charger on-site if I had a Pip or Volt and asked them to.


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:24 pm)

    Nick D:
    Nissan Leaf 99 MPGe

    2012 PiP 107 MPGe?

    Something seems not right here…

    Nick,
    It’s for a different driving cycle. The UK driving cycle is not as tough as the EPA’s.


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    Chris C.

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:25 pm)

    From the article:

    Recharge time from 120-volt house current for its battery – that could be around one-fifth to one-third the size of the Chevrolet Volt’s battery – is for now still estimated at around 90 minutes.

    Jeff, check your source info, because that can’t be right. 90 minutes is nowhere close to enough time to charge up any of the batteries described for the PIP, at the 1.44 kW rate that a 110V circuit can deliver (at 12 Amps). If the battery is 5.2 kWh, then that’s a 3.5 hour charge time. I bet it’s a carefully written statement by Toyota designed to make you misread it. They ARE professionals, after all.

    EDIT: if you follow the Gas 2.0 link and then go further upstream to the AutoExpressUK link, they are talking about 90 minutes in the UK — meaning at 240V. That’s completely different. We’ll need to find out what the Prius onboard charger can do. If 3.3 kW then sure a 5.2 kWh battery could be charged in “about” 90 minutes, but not on a regular household outlet in the US!

    Second, pay close attention to the pure electric acceleration capabilities, because it’s likely to be anemic. That electric motor is HALF the size of the Volt’s, and that battery’s far smaller capacity also means far less POWER delivery capability.

    Third, watch out for BS in their pure electric top speed claims. 60 MPH? On a perfectly flat road with no wind or slight accel or decel, right? You’d need the gas engine to accelerate up to that speed in any reasonable amount of time, and the gas engine would likely flicker on given the slightest power demand, e.g. a gently upslope. You’d just have ZERO margin at that top speed, and so would more likely be looking at a 50-55 MPH top speed if you want to stay pure electric. I dare you to drive that speed on most American highway traffic :)

    EDIT: where’d you get that 60 MPH top speed claim? I don’t see it.

    Sadly all three of these distinctions are likely to be lost on the mainstream press, and so they’ll just see the headline numbers that Toyota misleads them with and we’ll get tons of bad journalism comparing the Prius and the Volt strictly on price. When they don’t compare at all in performance!

    It doesn’t matter, because as Dan Akerson said, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Prius anyway :)


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    BLIND GUY

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:25 pm)

    Random thoughts: 1. Support Obama’s instant rebate at time of new purchase; to help more people to afford the Volt payments without having to take out a separate loan to cover the current tax credit.
    2. How sensitive will the PIP be to using the climate control in EV mode the first 15 miles?
    3. I prefer having a spare tire; for blow-outs in remote areas.
    4. The Volt is definatly superior in the fun; torque satisfying category.
    5. For efficient short or long trips, I think the PIP will do well; especially for back-seat 2 passengers.
    6. Should we wait 2-4 yrs for 150+ mile range BEV?
    7. For now; will be waiting on fence.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:34 pm)

    TheRFMan: I think this would be a good alternative for someone that routinely makes frequent long-distance trips.

    Frequent long-distance trips or frequent short trips. If you typically drive < 13 miles per day and you won't usually take advantage of the extra battery capacity in the Volt, then the PiP might be more practical for you as well.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (12:54 pm)

    TheRFMan: I think this would be a good alternative for someone that routinely makes frequent long-distance trips.

    If you routinely drive long distances, you are better off saving your money and just buying the regular prius or any other efficient car/hybrid.

    The plug becomes almost pointless/nuisance/not cost effective.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (1:10 pm)

    The reality is: Toyota salespeople will now have to explain why their Plug-In can’t match the performance of the Chevrolet VOLT. ‘Nuff said. BOOYAH!


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    Bonaire

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (1:25 pm)

    If you don’t have either car now, hypermiling in the Volt and a couple more PSI in the tires can easily make up the difference to the PIP numbers. Also, instead of 70 mph on the highway, driving 60-65 (in a 55mph zone) would keep you on battery only rather than engaging the ICE in the Volt to spin up secondary generator engagement for the higher speed.

    With only a couple thousand difference, I’d “buy USA” and also know that my mileage is going to be > 15mi per trip. We live in a rural area and going anywhere is > 15 miles from the house. If you live in say downtown NYC, Miami or LA, the PIP is probably right (that is, if you can plug it in where you live or work). But the whole imported without tarrif thing and inability to sell same-type cars in Japan without their collection of tarrifs is a bit harsh in terms of export v. import ratios we have here in the USA.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (1:41 pm)

    Steve: Toyota is being more conservative all the way round

    Not to be snarky, but, Toyota Motorsport has an EV that is running a lap record attempt at Nürburgring:

    http://www.gizmag.com/toyota-nrburgring-lap-record-attempt/19578/

    It’s running a lithium-ceramic battery and does 0-100kph (62mph) in 3.9 sec. Pretty advanced in my book.

    It’s racing that gets people excited about cars. Max mpg is pretty low on the perception horizon in my world. Max performance gets my attention.


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    Chris C.

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (1:46 pm)

    Bonaire: Also, instead of 70 mph on the highway, driving 60-65 (in a 55mph zone) would keep you on battery only rather than engaging the ICE in the Volt to spin up secondary generator engagement for the higher speed.

    Careful there Bonaire, I think you have a common misconception about the Volt. For the first 35 miles of range, the Volt is a FULL PERFORMANCE electric vehicle! It can drive ANY SPEED, up to and including 100 MPH with no problem at all, using only the electric drivetrain. Further, it’ll out run nearly anything from stop lights — my personal favorite target for embarrassment is Camaros, sorry Chevy :)

    The gas engine does NOT kick in at high speed if you’re within the first 35 miles of range. Which for most commuters means that the gas engine does not kick in ever, for daily driving. I get 250 MPG when in my regular daily driving routine, and I have a lead foot!

    You’ve probably gotten confused by a technical issue involving how the transmission works at higher speeds ONCE IN GAS MODE. I won’t go into that here, but plenty has been written about it so do some searching for articles by reputable outlets like the major car mags (note: not online-only tech blogs, they suffer from ADD and often have it wrong too). Again, that issue has no bearing on how the car performs in electric mode. Which is like a freaking sports car!


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    DonC

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:00 pm)

    Mitch: Loboc…sorry, I must not have registered on your sarcasm meter…my apologies for not turning up the intensity to a high enuf degree…lol

    It’s what happens when you live amongst all those retirees! LOL


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    Nick D

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:00 pm)

    George S. Bower: Nick,It’s for a different driving cycle. The UK driving cycle is not as tough as the EPA’s.

    Ahh… That makes sense – I did not read it well enough i guess.

    Nissan Leaf = 120 MPGe (UK)
    PiP = 107 MPGe (UK)

    Still seems a little high for a car that only has a 13 mile ERange then gets only 50MPG after that.


  55. 55
    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:03 pm)

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:07 pm)

    Chris C.: Further, it’ll out run nearly anything from stop lights — my personal favorite target for embarrassment is Camaros,

    It’s always easy to win a race if the other guy doesn’t know you are racing!!


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:14 pm)

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    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:15 pm)

    Charlie H: CorvetteGuy, They won’t have to explain anything to people who think $40K is a ridiculous price for a compact car.

    new technology always costs more…no shortage of plasme TV buyers at first, Blu ray, VCR, and any thing by Apple inthe last 10 years…


  59. 59
    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:19 pm)

    Chris C.: target for embarrassment is Camaros

    I haven’t found good 0-30 times (normal stoplight madness) for either car, but, a Camaro SS has a 0-60 of 4.8 sec vs 8.9 sec for a Volt.

    http://www.zeroto60times.com/Chevrolet-Chevy-0-60-mph-Times.html

    I guess if you ‘sleeper’ them, it can be done. An old-azz smoky Suburban got the jump on me once. It happens if you don’t know you’re in a race. (Plus, I choked to death when he passed me.)

    Full disclosure: I haven’t driven a Volt yet, so, I can’t compare to other cars I have owned like a ’70 454 LS-5 (OMG 0-60) or the Hemi (6.1 sec 0-60).


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:23 pm)

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    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:24 pm)

    Charlie H,

    I pretty much figured that having ‘Prius’ in the headline would bring out the sock puppets.


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:25 pm)

    Chris C.: I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Prius anyway

    #44

    That’s what I’m talkin’ about! +1


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:28 pm)

    Bonaire: With only a couple thousand difference, I’d “buy USA”

    49

    Damn right. +1


  64. 64
    Mitch

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:37 pm)

    Charlie H,

    Surge pas as it perfecting VHS as Blu ray is being develloped…

    or if you prefer context…more Volts sold inthe fist year, then Priuses in the first 3 years…I’d call that surge past as well……apples to apples shall we…you want to compare 12 years of sales to 10 MONTHS….a very realistic and honest comparison..so you think that the PIP will do what, 25% of that? 750,000 units year one?

    However unlike some, I concede that Prius helped devellope the market that allows this technology to be embraced…

    but regardless….you (and select others) seem to be here only to glorify all things Prius with nary a nod to the Volt…

    No doubt it was a game changer, but like many games…it can change again…

    Bring yer Jockstrap and helmet…its a new game…


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    BLIND GUY

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:38 pm)

    #55 GSB It’s always easy to win a race if the other guy doesn’t know you are racing!!

    So what kind of gesture doo EV drivers make when they want the other driver to know he wants to race; since you can’t exactly rev your engine?


  66. 66
    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:39 pm)

    Mitch,

    PDNFTT


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    Loboc:

    454 LS-5 (OMG 0-60) or the Hemi (6.1 sec 0-60).

    Love those old Chevy big blocks. I’ve had 3, 2 454′s and one 427 (Brodix aluminum heads and Crower roller everything valve train).

    Always loved the old 426 Hemi too.


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    Jeff N

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:46 pm)

    Anthony: I did the math a while ago, and the Pip gets an incentive of around $4700 for a 5.5kWh battery. I forgot the exact math and formula for the incentive though. So the Volt gets about $3000 more in incentive than a Pip.

    The U.S. Federal income tax credit for a PiP with a 5-6 kWh battery would range from around $2,900 to $3,300.

    As I understand it, the credit is $2,500 for a minimum 4 kWh plus $417 for each additional kWh up to a maximum of $7,500.

    http://www.irs.gov/irb/2009-48_IRB/ar09.html


  69. 69
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:47 pm)

    BLIND GUY:
    #55 GSB It’s always easy to win a race if the other guy doesn’t know you are racing!!

    So what kind of gesture doo EV drivers make when they want the other driver to know he wants to race; since you can’t exactly rev your engine?

    Good one. I’m still laughing.
    Hmm let’s see.
    The middle finger won’t work.
    and I don’t think Chris C’s EV wave would work either.


  70. 70
    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:50 pm)

    BLIND GUY:
    #55 GSB It’s always easy to win a race if the other guy doesn’t know you are racing!!

    So what kind of gesture doo EV drivers make when they want the other driver to know he wants to race; since you can’t exactly rev your engine?

    Lol. Good point!

    Can you creep up on the line? (As in staging for a drag race?) I understand Volt, for one, has a feature that emulates an automatic transmission’s ‘creep forward’. You should be able to creep forward a couple of inches, hit the brakes hard and repeat. Can you cross-control the brakes and ‘gas’ pedal?

    This whole EV thing makes you re-think the signals you give off as a driver. Driving a Prius gives a whole different signal than driving a high-performance EV. It also seems there are different techniques for getting full-throttle action (if you can’t heel-n-toe).


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:54 pm)

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    LauraM

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (2:58 pm)

    Steve: Sounds like Toyota is being more conservative all the way round. Smaller battery, smaller electric motor, shorter electric only range. So lower purchase price. Might be a successful strategy.

    The plug in Prius is made in Japan, so I wouldn’t count on that $26,000-$32,000 estimated MSRP. (The Japanese yen has been on a rather steady uptrend for the past five years. The Japanese government is trying to intervene but hasn’t been very successful.)

    And since the PIP’s only conceivable advantage is price…


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:02 pm)

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:04 pm)

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:08 pm)

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:10 pm)

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:14 pm)

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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    Quote:
    Charlie H,
    “To beat the Prius in its first year, GM will have to sell about 3500 per month for the remainder of the year.

    Whoa… D-HAM had better get busy.”

    It’s possible. I think they are at 5000/mo right now.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:27 pm)

    EricLG:
    Charlie H,

    Volt Is a Prius knock-off,

    How do you figure that??


  80. 80
    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:36 pm)

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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:43 pm)

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:49 pm)

    Charlie H: At 5K/month?Just where did you get that figure?They built 675 in two weeks, with no other production in D-HAM, which would translate to 1400/month (unless they decide to build an Impala or two or five thousand).

    I stand corrected on that,

    Looks like they are targeting 16000 for 2011 so that would mean roughly 2000/mo for the rest of the year. Then the ramp up to 5000/mo starting in Jan 2012.

    http://gm-volt.com/2011/07/29/volt-production-to-be-at-5000-per-month-by-january/


  83. 83
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    Quote
    Charlie H,

    “Two M/Gs that work together and an arrangement where the engine can drive the wheels directly.”

    The only thing the 2 vehicles have in common is that they use a planetary gearset w/ 2 Mg’s. However, GM flipped around how the PG set works in a very unique way. They did not copy HSD (they couldn’t anyway because of the patents).


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    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (4:09 pm)

    EricLG,

    Jeez. Now the sock puppets are talking to each other. There used to be a girl like that. Oh yeah, Sybil.


  85. 85
    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (4:13 pm)

    George S. Bower: How do you figure that??

    If you keep talking to the trolls, er.. I mean sock puppets, they will keep talking back with worse and worse made-up trivia.

    PDNFTT


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (4:19 pm)

    Loboc,

    10/4, Copy


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    EricLG

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (4:27 pm)

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (4:29 pm)

    George S. Bower: Looks like 28% of drivers drive 12 miles/day or less.

    I wouldn’t call that a ‘small number’. If all these people can be convinced that an electric is the way to go, we could change history.

    I showed a pic of the Converj (ELR) to my wife. She wants one bad. Whatever ICE they use, it’ll be brand new when she gets tired of it (in about 15 years). The only reason I change her present car’s oil is that it goes past the month count, not the miles count.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (4:56 pm)

    George S. Bower: Love those old Chevy big blocks.

    Way O.T.

    The only thing I didn’t like was the way the rocker nuts would back off since they were just lock nuts. I installed M/T nuts with the set screws and fixed that little problem.

    The dual-point distributor was kind of a pain to set up, but, it worked pretty well once it was tuned properly. I met a lot of friendly, helpful girls when I was fiddling around with it on the side of the road and asked to use their phone.

    That old ‘Vette was the most fun car I ever had despite having to need a ‘regular’ car to drive when it was ‘being maintained’.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (5:01 pm)

    OT, but since we are talking about Toyota…

    Did you guys see this
    http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-20095547-54/why-the-ford-toyota-hybrid-tie-up-is-a-big-deal/

    GM better step up. Ford/Toyota are talking plug-in trucks.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (5:10 pm)

    BLIND GUY: So what kind of gesture doo EV drivers make when they want the other driver to know he wants to race; since you can’t exactly rev your engine?

    You do that pedestrian alert thingy.


  92. 92
    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (5:26 pm)

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    Jackson

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (5:32 pm)

    Loboc: If you keep talking to the trolls, er.. I mean sock puppets, they will keep talking back with worse and worse made-up trivia.

    PDNFTT

    A story about PiP (and in less than adoring terms) on the Volt site has already chummed the waters; you can’t expect the sharks not to circle, regardless of how they’re being “fed.”

    I predict that we haven’t seen the end of the ‘guest list’ yet …


  94. 94
    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (5:53 pm)

    (click to show comment)


  95. 95
    DonC

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (5:59 pm)

    Loboc: I haven’t found good 0-30 times (normal stoplight madness) for either car, but, a Camaro SS has a 0-60 of 4.8 sec vs 8.9 sec for a Volt.

    I think I’ve said this before but the published 0-60 times are somewhat misleading. For an ICE vehicle there is usually there is a roll out and a professional driver doing the one foot on brake and one foot on gas trick. Real drivers don’t do this stuff.

    The Volt is not a rocket but it’s fast off the line and doesn’t complain if you accelerate hard, making it very quick on surface road commuting. The linear acceleration makes it very very quick coming off a dead stop into a turn. Sometimes you can almost feel the other driver thinking “what was that?”

    Loboc: I showed a pic of the Converj (ELR) to my wife.

    Your wife once again displays her good taste!


  96. 96
    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:00 pm)

    EricLG: All for a car that might be expected to continue the Prius reliability record

    http://jalopnik.com/5806893/a-toyota-prius-recall-the-us-wont-get-its-money-back-and-a-new-mustang-svo
    http://pressroom.toyota.com/safety-recall/toyota+voluntary+safety+recall+prius+june+2011.htm
    http://www.insideline.com/toyota/prius/toyota-prius-recalled-for-steering-problem.html
    http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/new-economy/2010/0209/Toyota-Prius-recall-Is-my-2010-Prius-safe-to-drive-When-will-it-be-fixed

    “The past few weeks … have made clear that Toyota has not lived up to the high standards we set for ourselves,” Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s CEO, wrote in an op-ed Tuesday in The Washington Post. “More important, we have not lived up to the high standards you have come to expect from us.”

    yeah….let’s have more of that. no thanks.

    Toyota will steal/buy technology from Telsa, steal/buy technology from Ford to upgrade their trucks, churn out a turd, slap a toyota emblem on it, and you will worship it.

    Toyota is still trying to catch up to the Volt (day late and dollar short). They increased their battery size, increased their AER, and increased their top electric speed, but they still haven’t hit the Volt’s #’s. They already reneged on using Lithium-ion batteries. It’s only a matter of time before they reneg on everything and completely copy the Volt.


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    CorvetteGuy

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:12 pm)

    kdawg: “The past few weeks … have made clear that Toyota has not lived up to the high standards we set for ourselves,” Akio Toyoda, Toyota’s CEO, wrote in an op-ed Tuesday in The Washington Post. “More important, we have not lived up to the high standards you have come to expect from us.”

    Nice. A Godzilla-sized __itch-slap for the trolls…! +10 !!!


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:17 pm)

    Charlie H: Right, the only conceivable advantage is price because nobody is going to want a fifth seat, more cargo room, better extended range MPG and a ten year reputation for reliability…

    True. There probably are people who care about the fifth seat. And the cargo room.

    But as far as the ten year reputation for reliability–are you sure that still exists after all the recalls last year? Brake failures. Steering problems. Etc.


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    pjkPA

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:18 pm)

    How popular would the Prius be if we treated it like the Japanese treat the Volt?
    That is .. they put a $20,000 tariff on the Volt… how many Prius would sell if we put a $20,000 tariff on the Prius?


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:29 pm)

    George S. Bower: Love those old Chevy big blocks.

    #66

    I had an L72 427 in my 66 Corvette. Whew! We have an 8.1 in our 2004 C3500 crew cab. The last of the big blocks. It’s a trailer towing SOB. Fuel economy? Not so much, LOL.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:32 pm)

    DonC: or an ICE vehicle there is usually there is a roll out and a professional driver doing the one foot on brake and one foot on gas trick.

    What happens when you do this in your Volt?


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:33 pm)

    Loboc: PDNFTT

    #83

    Right on! +1 Come on guys, bring on the “-1s” and let’s get ‘em out of here.


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    Noel Park

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:36 pm)

    Loboc: The dual-point distributor was kind of a pain to set up,

    #87
    K66 Transistor Ignition on the L72. No more points! Hallelujah!!


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    DonC

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:37 pm)

    George S. Bower: However, GM flipped around how the PG set works in a very unique way. They did not copy HSD (they couldn’t anyway because of the patents).

    FWIW there is nothing innovative about the Prius planetary gearset. The HSD was invented by TRW in the 1960s. Toyota’s (and Ford’s) big claim to fame was that they added a microprocessor after microprocessors were invented, but Toyota was found to have violated some other company’s patent on the microprocessor addition.


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    DonC

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:42 pm)

    LauraM: But as far as the ten year reputation for reliability–are you sure that still exists after all the recalls last year? Brake failures. Steering problems. Etc.

    The Prius is a very reliable car. It may be bucking Toyota’s general downward trend but it’s still at the top of the class on that score.


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    Raymondjram

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:48 pm)

    EricLG:
    Charlie H,
    I have never followed the argument that the Volt should not expect to sell any better than the Prius on equivalent timelines.

    The Volt is 15 years later,
    Is a Prius knock-off,
    and rides the hybrid proof-of-concept Prius has already paved.

    The Prius is based on an American hybrid prototype (1972 Buick Skylark) done by Victor Wouk (look him up). Toyota admits that they read his papers before designing their own, and Wouk bought a Prius himself. The Prius CVT is based on a 1971 TRW design. So the Prius is a knock-off of two American designs. In fact, every Japanese vehicle uses ideas from American designers.

    Japan does good as imitator of American products.

    BTW, are you Japanese or American? If the latter, defend your nation and its products!


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:49 pm)

    kdawg: GM better step up. Ford/Toyota are talking plug-in trucks.

    #88

    I think that Ford and Toyota had better step up. GM is WAY ahead of them in light truck hybrid technology. Can anybody say “2 Mode”? The only problem is that they are so expensive that they don’t sell. But maybe when the CAFE pinch really starts to hurt something will come of it.

    I dunno, diesel almost sounds like a better bet for light trucks. GM had a really cool small diesel under development for the 1500 sized Silveradoes and SUVs, but they ran out of $$$ and punted it during the near-death experience. Maybe that could come back.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:52 pm)

    105 comments so far. Not too bad! Even if a large percentage did come from the Tojo faithful, LOL. It’s a numbers game, right? It looks to me like Jeff is starting to get some useful momentum going. It’s all good.


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    Noel Park

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (6:57 pm)

    Raymondjram: BTW, are you Japanese or American? If the latter, defend your nation and its products!

    #104

    Amen. +1 Alas though, I don’t see it happening anytime soon. If people would really bother to think about the impact of their buying decisions on our economy, we could make a big turnaround. Scream bloody murder about “create jobs” and then turn around and buy an imported car. “Stupid is as stupid does”


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    DonC

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (7:00 pm)

    kdawg: What happens when you do this in your Volt?

    Ha ha. I’ve never tried it! My point is that you don’t need to. You go quick off the line without doing anything special.

    I used to get beat off the line when driving a V6 with 300 hp. Never mattered that much to me. Winning the race between stop lights has always seemed pointless, so I was fine with being dusted. While my attitude about stoplight races hasn’t changed, the fact is that I don’t think I ever get beat off the line when driving the Volt. It’s just so smooth, linear, and quick that you end up accelerating faster.

    The exception is that since other driver’s expectations are low for a compact car like the Volt, I’ll sometimes try to have their car disappear as a small object in the rear view mirror. It’s just funny. The Volt just pulls away so quietly and effortlessly that nobody can figure out what’s happening. No muss. No fuss. They’re just dusted, seemingly without effort. When you’re driving an ICE car the engine roars and you seem like a jerk.


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (7:20 pm)

    Charlie H: Oh, right, I should just grab my pom-poms and get busy cheering.

    いいえ、凧を飛ばす行く!


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    Eco_Turbo

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (7:31 pm)

    Charlie H: It’s a Prius.

    A Prius that has one very important advantage, an extra clutch, which affords a lot of extra benefits. The ability to use an off the shelf engine is probably one of the biggest. No Voo Doo mechanics to allow whistling. Better performance potential might be an even bigger one.


  113. 113
    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:05 pm)

    Noel Park: kdawg: GM better step up. Ford/Toyota are talking plug-in trucks.#88
    I think that Ford and Toyota had better step up. GM is WAY ahead of them in light truck hybrid technology. Can anybody say “2 Mode”? The only problem is that they are so expensive that they don’t sell. But maybe when the CAFE pinch really starts to hurt something will come of it.
    I dunno, diesel almost sounds like a better bet for light trucks. GM had a really cool small diesel under development for the 1500 sized Silveradoes and SUVs, but they ran out of $$$ and punted it during the near-death experience. Maybe that could come back.

    Very true, they have the 2-mode but there seems to be a demand for a plug-in truck or SUV and I haven’t heard anything serious about this from GM. The closest ideas were the MPV or the plug in Vue. Hopefully they have something in this genre going on the back burner.


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    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:07 pm)

    DonC: Ha ha. I’ve never tried it! My point is that you don’t need to. You go quick off the line without doing anything special.

    I was serious. I was actually thinking about this the other day. I’m curious as to what the software does.


  115. 115
    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:19 pm)

    Noel Park: #66

    I had an L72 427 in my 66 Corvette.Whew!

    Music to my ears.


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:30 pm)

    Noel Park,

    and Loboc:

    This was one of the Big Blocks.
    I called it the “portable water dynomometer” because it was a lot like we used on gas turbines to measure HP in the test cell/ ie a water break w/ transducers and strain gauges.

    Totally fun!!
    Now there is some neck snapping “off the line” acceleration!!!


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:34 pm)

    Casale V drive.

    232323232%7Ffp537%3C8%3Enu%3D3387%3E%3A55%3E7%3C5%3EWSNRCG%3D3298645643347nu0mrj


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:50 pm)

    LauraM: True. There probably are people who care about the fifth seat. And the cargo room. But as far as the ten year reputation for reliability–are you sure that still exists after all the recalls last year? Brake failures. Steering problems. Etc.

    I’m quite sure. Toyota uses recalls to enhance customer satisfaction. Recalls aren’t something they resort to when they’ve been beaten into making them. My ’01 was recalled earlier this year for a trivial thing, possibility of corrosion in a part. During an oil change (I go to the dealer for them because their oil change is an excellent value), the dealer replaced a part that showed no sign of problems.

    Yes, recalls are a stick that the haters have used to beat Toyota but it’s part of delivering value. GM could have learned something about customer satisfaction and repeat business on their trip through Chapter 11. Maybe they have. You can bet your money on that before I will.


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: A Prius that has one very important advantage, an extra clutch, which affords a lot of extra benefits. The ability to use an off the shelf engine is probably one of the biggest. No Voo Doo mechanics to allow whistling. Better performance potential might be an even bigger one.

    More parts to break, more weight, higher cost.


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:53 pm)

    George S. Bower:
    Casale V drive.

    Look how large the Valve covers are!!


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    Dave K.

     

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:54 pm)

    Mass production of the plug-in Prius will REALLY put the pressure on employers, mall vendors, and businesses to install j1772 240V plug-in parking. We’re getting close to the tipping point.

    No Plug, No Sale

    Voltopportunity1.jpg


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:56 pm)

    Noel Park: Can anybody say “2 Mode”?

    Can anybody FIND a “2-mode?”


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    George S. Bower

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:56 pm)

    Look how large the valve covers are.!!

    only the Chrysler 426 Hemi can top that!

    232323232%7Ffp537%3C8%3Enu%3D3387%3E%3A55%3E7%3C5%3EWSNRCG%3D3298645643347nu0mrj


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (8:59 pm)

    Raymondjram: BTW, are you Japanese or American? If the latter, defend your nation and its products!

    I’m a US Citizen. I’m perfectly willing to defend my nation and to advocate for my products but the Volt certainly isn’t one of my products. Our company works hard to provide value and quality in products that will sell well against all competition, foreign and domestic.


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    kdawg

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:00 pm)

    Charlie H: I’m quite sure. Toyota uses recalls to enhance customer satisfaction. Recalls aren’t something they resort to when they’ve been beaten into making them.

    Sure. Stop drinking the koolaid.

    http://www.egmcartech.com/2010/02/02/ray-lahood-u-s-had-to-force-toyota-into-safety-recall/

    Ray LaHood: U.S. had to force Toyota into safety recall

    United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said today that the recent Toyota recalls come by way of an “˜enormous effort,’ and that federal regulators are not done with their investigations.

    “Since questions were first raised about possible safety defects, we have been pushing Toyota to take measures to protect consumers,” LaHood said in a statement. “While Toyota is taking responsible action now, it unfortunately took an enormous effort to get to this point.”


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:01 pm)

    kdawg: Toyota is still trying to catch up to the Volt (day late and dollar short). They increased their battery size, increased their AER, and increased their top electric speed, but they still haven’t hit the Volt’s #’s.

    Nor have they hit the Volt’s price tag.


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:02 pm)

    (click to show comment)


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:11 pm)

    Eco_Turbo: いいえ、凧を飛ばす行

    :)

    Not one of the 3 foreign languages which I am rapidly forgetting how to speak but Google Translate does get the idea across.


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    pjkPA

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:38 pm)

    Charlie H: I’m a US Citizen. I’m perfectly willing to defend my nation and to advocate for my products but the Volt certainly isn’t one of my products. Our company works hard to provide value and quality in products that will sell well against all competition, foreign and domestic.

    Quality means nothing when they put a $20,000 tariff on your quality product.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (9:51 pm)

    EricLG: Loboc, PiP 26k – 32k estimated, $2500 tax credit. All for a car that might be expected to continue the Prius reliability record, and just happens to have the highest MPGe rating of any car on the road in 2012.

    reliability? All the Prius owners I know after 8 years run into a huge repair bill or junk the car because they have to buy a battery?


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:15 pm)

    Charlie H: Nor have they hit the Volt’s price tag.

    You get what you pay for.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:23 pm)

    pjkPA: reliability?All the Prius owners I know after 8 years run into a huge repair bill or junk the car because they have to buy a battery?

    Talk about FUD (as in post #2).


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:25 pm)

    pjkPA: Quality means nothing when they put a $20,000 tariff on your quality product.

    No kiddin’?

    http://www.customs.go.jp/english/tariff/2011_8/data/i201108e_87.htm

    OK… you’re not kidding… you’re just wrong.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:27 pm)

    kdawg: You get what you pay for.

    Ah, no. The two measures are not inextricably linked. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffet.


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    Loboc

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:37 pm)

    At least y’all are getting the hit count up. Replying to demented sock monkeys isn’t all that fun though.


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    Jackson

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:38 pm)

    kdawg: I suggested the Sonic because it’s smaller/cheaper and reminds me of the [Prius]

    Eww, what you said! Sonic looks so much better:

    2zyaq34.jpg

    Looks a lot more like the popular Honda Fit, to me:

    2l1iya.jpg


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:43 pm)

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    Jackson

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:43 pm)

    Loboc: At least y’all are getting the hit count up. Replying to demented sock monkeys isn’t all that fun though.

    Especially these two. They are completely intractable and asinine. We haven’t seen them for awhile, and I haven’t missed them a bit. I’m really surprised (though relieved) that YOU KNOW WHO hasn’t shown up.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:49 pm)

    Charlie H: Ah, no. The two measures are not inextricably linked. “Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.” – Warren Buffet.

    Then Toyota has not hit the Volt’s “value” yet.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:50 pm)

    Jackson,

    I’d agree, very similiar to Fit. Would be fun to see how the E-assist numbers would pan out.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:50 pm)

    Jackson: Especially these two.They are completely intractable and asinine. We haven’t seen them for awhile, and I haven’t missed them a bit.I’m really surprised (though relieved) that YOU KNOW WHO hasn’t shown up.

    They’re the same person. We caught them replying to the wrong post. I say sock puppets because they generally show up around the same time as you know who.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (10:56 pm)

    Nick D:
    Nissan Leaf 99 MPGe

    2012 PiP 107 MPGe?

    Something seems not right here…

    the 99 mpge for the nissan leaf is an epa-calculated figure that is considered a standard figure in the US; the 107 mpge for the PiP a privately derived figured based on unknown criteria, which does not carry the weight of an epa-calculated figure.

    that said, i would not be surprised if the epa-calculated mpge for the PiP is higher than that of the leaf since the leaf has a 110 hp electric motor while the PiP has an 80 hp electric motor.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:06 pm)

    your thinking about “asian engineering” is very outmoded. this sounds like the kind of stuff that people were saying in the 1980′s.

    Jackson: Asian engineering is notoriously conservative.Not to say that the Japanese are incapable ofengineering breakthroughs, just that its unlikely to get past the “Old Men” upstairs.They seem more centered on wringing the last drop out of their investment in HSD, as others surge past.Adding a plug-in pack is the last possible enhancement for the technology before pure cost-cutting takes over.Yes, a more conservative business model has worked for Toyota in the past; and likely will again.They’ll still sell a lot of Prii, but in ever lower market segments as time goes by.


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    john1701a

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:14 pm)

    It’s been interesting reading all the posts, patiently waiting until everyone else has had an opportunity to chime in before responding.

    The need is clear, consumers are looking for an affordable solution offering significant improvement to emissions & efficiency. The want of EV purity doesn’t actually ever get mentioned by anyone other than enthuasiasts. Mainstream consumers, those middle-market buyers of popular vehicles like Camry & Corolla, don’t even list it as a priority.

    Prius_PHV_Gauge-70MPH-992RPM.jpg

    That photo showing 233 MPG while driving at 70 mph was taken by me behind the wheel of a plug-in Prius. The 992 RPM on the gauge indicates the engine was indeed spinning at that speed, but it also reveals how remarkably efficient the system can be from the boost the plug-in system provides… which fulfills the purpose, so well, it explains the posts today.


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    EricLG

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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:14 pm)

    Raymondjram,

    Right on the TRW work, and right about the great Wouk. However, you rewrite history when you say imitation of American product, because there never was a hybrid for sale from American companies from that era.

    Both Wouk and TRW begged Detroit to commercialize their work without success. Detroit did use the work to make 3 prototype cars that made them eligible for PNGV grants, and then dumped the hybrid project. In fact, Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s Insight was motivated by worry that the PNGV project would allow Detroit to leapfrog Japanese cars.

    The result: Japan built the hybrid without subsidy or US technical assistance, and did the best car we have seen in a century. Detroit took the PNGV money and did squat. By the way, it was not only Wouk that Detroit ignored. The head of the EPA auto section was a brilliant engineer who built a working prototype in his garage. Surprise, Detroit was too stupid to listen.

    Read Wouk: He bought a Prius to show his appreciation to a company that brought his dream and work to fruition. GM (and the rest of Detroit) were brain-dead for 40 years, until GM managed to make a Prius knock-off. Save the accolades for the real prime movers of the hybrid: TRW, Wouk, Toyota, and Honda. And of course the brilliant EPA engineer, who I keep forgetting his name but not his contributions.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:23 pm)

    The PiP 107 MPGe value is from the European cycle, which is somewhat easier than the EPA cycle. I expect the EPA result to end up around 100 MPGe.

    Heh heh


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:31 pm)

    EricLG: The result: Japan built the hybrid without subsidy or US technical assistance, and did the best car we have seen in a century.

    No subsidy, really.. you mean Japan didn’t provide any subsidies? And just last year didn’t the US subsidize green cars, and so did Japan, but didn’t allow it for any US carmakers?


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:32 pm)

    kdawg: Then Toyota has not hit the Volt’s “value” yet.

    God, no. $40K for a compact car? That kind of value isn’t something Toyota is aiming for.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:34 pm)

    last september, motor trend wrote a review article based on their test drive of the prius plug in hybrid. you may want to take a look at their results, which are based on actual driving. they got about 70 mpg. of course, as is the case with the volt, mpg ranges can vary all over the place depending upon what your assumptions are, but based on the motor trend testing, the best mpg performance tended to occur for trips that were under 60 miles. i would not call 60 miles a short commute, so i would say that there is a pretty reasonable range over which you can get good mpg performance with the PiP.

    my guess is that 107 mpge is probably not an unrealistically inflated figure for the PiP. on the downside, you pay for it in performance; one of motor trend’s comments about the PiP was that the (60kwh/80hp) electric motor was underpowered such that it might be difficult to keep the ICE from engaging to boost performance in many typical driving scenarios. i don’t know a great deal of detail about how the prius works, so you may want to add your own comments on this.

    George S. Bower:
    A lot of the difference between the MPGe ratings of the Pip and the Volt are probably due to the UK driving cycle being less stringent.

    Gee I’m surprised the Pip could actually make it thru one cycle w/o running out of battery.

    I ran the Pip against the Volt for my driving cycle and came up w/ the following results:

    Pip MPG= 57
    Pip MPGe= 52

    Volt MPG= 80
    Volt MPGe=56

    The Volt ismuch better when it comes to consuming petrol.
    This will be the case for nearly all people except those that have a very short commute. The percentage of people that drive less than 15 miles a day is a fairly small number.

    Still an interesting car though.
    Can’t wait to hear the details on it’s TMS. (or lack thereof)


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:35 pm)

    EricLG:
    The PiP 107 MPGe value is from the European cycle, which is somewhat easier than the EPA cycle. I expect the EPA result to end up around 100 MPGe.

    Heh heh

    Well, unlike GM, Toyota doesn’t lead with its mouth. We’ll know what it can do when it gets here. Until then, some rumors get squashed and the rest is all “no comment.”

    We could establish a pool, though. Or more than one. One for top EV speed, another for announced nominal AER range.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:38 pm)

    kdawg: No subsidy, really.. you mean Japan didn’t provide any subsidies?And just last year didn’t the US subsidize green cars, and so did Japan, but didn’t allow it for any US carmakers?

    No, they didn’t discriminate. Of course, what “green” car do we sell that the Japanese would want? Does GM have a big pile of leftover Aura whybrids? A surplus of Escalade guzzle-brids?


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:43 pm)

    EricLG:
    Raymondjram,

    Right on the TRW work, and right about the great Wouk. However, you rewrite history when you say imitation of American product, because there never was a hybrid for sale from American companies from that era.

    Both Wouk and TRW begged Detroit to commercialize their work without success. Detroit did use the work to make 3 prototype cars that made them eligible for PNGV grants, and then dumped the hybrid project. In fact, Toyota’s Prius and Honda’s Insight was motivated by worry that the PNGV project would allow Detroit to leapfrog Japanese cars.

    The result: Japan built the hybrid without subsidy or US technical assistance, and did the best car we have seen in a century. Detroit took the PNGV money and did squat. By the way, it was not only Wouk that Detroit ignored. The head of the EPA auto section was a brilliant engineer who built a working prototype in his garage. Surprise, Detroit was too stupid to listen.

    Read Wouk: He bought a Prius to show his appreciation to a company that brought his dream and work to fruition. GM (and the rest of Detroit) were brain-dead for 40 years, until GM managed to make a Prius knock-off. Save the accolades for the real prime movers of the hybrid: TRW, Wouk, Toyota, and Honda. And of course the brilliant EPA engineer, who I keep forgetting his name but not his contributions.

    Yep. If the stories are true (I see no reason to doubt them), it doesn’t make GM look any smarter to have had all that good, marketable, practical technology right under their noses and then to bring out the worthless BAS Epsilons and unsaleable two-mode GMT900s instead.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:51 pm)

    no comment: my guess is that 107 mpge is probably not an unrealistically inflated figure for the PiP. on the downside, you pay for it in performance; one of motor trend’s comments about the PiP was that the (60kwh/80hp) electric motor was underpowered such that it might be difficult to keep the ICE from engaging to boost performance in many typical driving scenarios.

    The S in HSD stands for Synergy. Why drag along a perfectly good motor and fail to use it? Don’t need much power? The system uses the electrics. I’ll be able to get back and forth to work on battery. Need more power for something? Up-hill? On-ramp? Kick in the gas. So what if the engine runs for thirty seconds every now and then? Until we have 500 mile batteries that can be recharged in 10 minutes, there’s going to be use of gas. Use it smart.

    The end result is that Toyota hasn’t ended up trying to sell a heavy $40K vehicle that requires premium gas.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:52 pm)

    Since you have driven a proto-type of the PIPJohn1701A, can you tell me if the car ever kicked you out of EV mode because of the use of the climate control-defrost, AC, heater? If so; how likely and what were the driving conditions? Thx.


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    Aug 22nd, 2011 (11:55 pm)

    john1701a:
    It’s been interesting reading all the posts, patiently waiting until everyone else has had an opportunity to chime in before responding.

    The need is clear, consumers are looking for an affordable solution offering significant improvement to emissions & efficiency.The want of EV purity doesn’t actually ever get mentioned by anyone other than enthuasiasts.Mainstream consumers, those middle-market buyers of popular vehicles like Camry & Corolla, don’t even list it as a priority.

    That photo showing 233 MPG while driving at 70 mph was taken by me behind the wheel of a plug-in Prius.The 992 RPM on the gauge indicates the engine was indeed spinning at that speed, but it also reveals how remarkably efficient the system can be from the boost the plug-in system provides… which fulfills the purpose, so well, it explains the posts today.

    Your sock puppets were doing just fine without you.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (12:09 am)

    kdawg,

    Eric, john, no comment, Charlie et all coincidentally show up at the same thread and then are gone for months. Engaging them won’t get you anywhere.

    “Them” lol. It’s one bozo with multiple browsers on different proxies. He has one called “anonymous proxy” for a reason.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (12:12 am)

    Charlie H: value isn’t something Toyota is aiming for

    I agree. They are going for cheap.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (12:21 am)

    Charlie H: No, they didn’t discriminate.

    Really? Then why did it take the US threating to sue Japan via the WTO, before they finally opened it up? Did they do it just because they are really nice guys? Ha.

    I won’t even bring up all the tariffs on US cars in Japan. I hope you are not that naive to think Japan isn’t waging economic war, and closing their markets while exploiting ours?

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2010-01-19-cash-for-clunkers-japan-cars_N.htm

    Charlie H: Of course, what “green” car do we sell that the Japanese would want?

    Wouldn’t it be nice to know? Wouldn’t it be good to give the Japanese public the choice? In a free market society we would, but oh well. Japan isn’t confident enough in their own products to let the competition in. And they will do everything in their power to prevent it.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (12:31 am)

    note to jeff cobb:

    if you want this to be a fanboy website, full of drooling, and at times, mindless rah-rah gab about the volt – then you’re running the website and set the policies. for my own part, there are very few people who write comments worth reading (like george bower), so most of this stuff i tend to ignore. the comment below by “loboc” is both silly and vacuous.

    my suggestion is that you get rid of the voting scheme as it serves no purpose other than as an indicator of the popularity of the poster – i see little correlation of vote totals to the merits of the content of postings. but again, if it is a fanboy site that you want to operate, then it is a valid mechanism…

    Loboc:
    kdawg,

    Eric, john, no comment, Charlie et all coincidentally show up at the same thread and then are gone for months. Engaging them won’t get you anywhere.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (12:40 am)

    no comment,

    Hit a nerve there eh?


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (2:40 am)

    Charlie H: No, they didn’t discriminate. Of course, what “green” car do we sell that the Japanese would want? Does GM have a big pile of leftover Aura whybrids? A surplus of Escalade guzzle-brids?

    Really? So Japan is the only market in the world where customers just overwhelmingly happen to prefer the cars produced in that country. No European, Korean or US based car manufacturer makes any car that would appeal to Japanese sensibilities. And this is because Japanese cars are just so much better than any other cars. And the majority of customers in every single other country in the world just aren’t bright enough to appreciate their obvious superiority.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (9:36 am)

    Charlie H: The S in HSD stands for Synergy.Why drag along a perfectly good motor and fail to use it?Don’t need much power?The system uses the electrics.I’ll be able to get back and forth to work on battery.Need more power for something?Up-hill?On-ramp?Kick in the gas.So what if the engine runs for thirty seconds every now and then?Until we have 500 mile batteries that can be recharged in 10 minutes, there’s going to be use of gas.Use it smart.

    The end result is that Toyota hasn’t ended up trying to sell a heavy $40K vehicle that requires premium gas.

    Lexus hs250h. Almost identical in size, performance, and weight as the Volt. It’s a little under $40K but gets no tax credit. It gets worse gas-only mileage than the Volt. Also, the Toyota Camry.

    According to EricLG, the poor mileage might be due to the way Toyota connects things up to the planetary gears in their hybrid transmission design. :-)

    Also, no plug rechargeable battery so higher operating costs and more imported oil than the Volt.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (9:43 am)

    LauraM,

    Pretty much. If however you would like to bring facts to the table proving inequitable trade agreements I’m all ears. I presume you know that the Japanese auto companies built factories in the the US and N. America to comply with requirements to avoid US trade tariffs ? GM *could* do the same …


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (10:42 am)

    kdawg: Really? Then why did it take the US threating to sue Japan via the WTO, before they finally opened it up? Did they do it just because they are really nice guys? Ha.I won’t even bring up all the tariffs on US cars in Japan. I hope you are not that naive to think Japan isn’t waging economic war, and closing their markets while exploiting ours?http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2010-01-19-cash-for-clunkers-japan-cars_N.htmWouldn’t it be nice to know? Wouldn’t it be good to give the Japanese public the choice? In a free market society we would, but oh well. Japan isn’t confident enough in their own products to let the competition in. And they will do everything in their power to prevent it.

    No, no, no. You are to supply the actual name of the US “green” vehicle that the Japanese would want. Unless such a vehicle exists, then it really doesn’t matter whether or not the Japanese are trying to freeze it out. Hint: Find the US-built vehicle that gets better mpg than the Prius, while offering more room and/or a lower price.

    By the way, instead of trying, so very lamely, to preserve the group-think of the site by down-checking posts, you might spend a little time looking at the authoritative links the radicals sometimes supply. Tarriffs on vehicles imported to Japan: 0.

    In other business…

    LauraM, for some reason BMW and Mercedes seem to do OK in Japan. Coincidentally, or maybe not coincidentally, they command price premiums here in the States.

    There’s nothing wrong with a domestic preference. In fact, the US has that… there’s an large segment of the population that harbros an antipathy towards Japanese vehicles that borders on racism. Without our own domestic preference, GM, Ford and Chrysler would have died 10 years ago. In the case of the Japanese, their domestic preference is reinforced by domestic cars that are actually superior and better suited to their market. Far better suited to their market.

    If Detroit is serious about selling cars in Japan, they should study Japan’s Kei-cars and mini-minivans carefully and figure out how to build something reven remotely like them.

    It’s not just Japan, by the way, where Detroit gets its collective butt kicked… The Japanese were up-and-coming all over the world 20-30 years ago and worked hard to get the business of the developing world. Detroit kept lamely trying to export cars that were badly suited to… well… pretty much everywhere except US suburbs and interstates.

    There’s a pretty interesting Top Gear episode where the TG guys attempt to put a Toyota truck out of commission. Look it up and watch it. Does Detroit make a small pickup that could take that kind of abuse and still haul 8 insurgents into battle?


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (1:33 pm)

    EricLG: The result: Japan built the hybrid without subsidy or US technical assistance, and did the best car we have seen in a century.

    #145

    Alas, although it pains me to say so, I can only agree with this. GM is finally playing a great game of catch up, but the did totally drop the ball as described.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (1:37 pm)

    Loboc: Your sock puppets were doing just fine without you.

    #156

    Sorry bro’, I was so busy hitting “-1″ for the puppets that I hit it here on accident. 1000 pardons.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (3:16 pm)

    Jeff N: Lexus hs250h. Almost identical in size, performance, and weight as the Volt. It’s a little under $40K but gets no tax credit. It gets worse gas-only mileage than the Volt. Also, the Toyota Camry.

    Yes, for a minor investment, Lexus was able to bring out a little luxo-barge hybrid. With a 2.5L engine and the HSD boost, it probably offers decent performance in exchange for less than stellar fuel economy (for a hybrid – GM would kill to get over 30 in the city with the Malibu). They probably captured some sales but I doubt they expected much from this. Lexus also now offers the CT200h. Far lighter than the Volt and actually starts under $30K. Two choices for very little investment on Toyota’s part.

    These are just two very small parts of a hybrid history that involves selling 3.3 million HSD vehicles.

    The Big Picture here is that Toyota is able to build reliable, effective hybrids priced to move. And they have moved. GM’s track record? Not quite the same.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (3:58 pm)

    Charlie H: LauraM, for some reason BMW and Mercedes seem to do OK in Japan. Coincidentally, or maybe not coincidentally, they command price premiums here in the States.

    So does the Corvette. As does the Camaro. Apparently, there’s a segment of Japanese buyers who like American sports cars.

    http://www.camaro5.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38060

    Luxury cars, in general, are better able to absorb tariffs because there’s a lot more margin. But on the lower end? Forget American cars for a minute. Hyundai puts out a great car at a very reasonable price. Why don’t they sell in Japan?

    Charlie H: The Japanese were up-and-coming all over the world 20-30 years ago and worked hard to get the business of the developing world. Detroit kept lamely trying to export cars that were badly suited to… well… pretty much everywhere except US suburbs and interstates.

    You do realize that both GM and Ford have larger market shares in Europe than Toyota? And they’re not exactly doing badly in China. Or Russia. Or South America.

    Charlie H: There’s nothing wrong with a domestic preference. In fact, the US has that… there’s an large segment of the population that harbros an antipathy towards Japanese vehicles that borders on racism. Without our own domestic preference, GM, Ford and Chrysler would have died 10 years ago. In the case of the Japanese, their domestic preference is reinforced by domestic cars that are actually superior and better suited to their market. Far better suited to their market.

    Of course, everyone has domestic market preference. It’s not just cars either. Most companies are most profitable in their respective home markets. Because they generally understand their home market best. But it’s a lot more extreme in Japan than in other places. Their domestic manufacturers have well north of 90% of their home market. That’s more than any other country except South Korea.

    Charlie H: There’s a pretty interesting Top Gear episode where the TG guys attempt to put a Toyota truck out of commission. Look it up and watch it. Does Detroit make a small pickup that could take that kind of abuse and still haul 8 insurgents into battle?

    Trucks are one area where Detroit has always excelled. Even consumer reports consistently rates domestic trucks higher than Toyota’s.

    EricLG: I presume you know that the Japanese auto companies built factories in the the US and N. America to comply with requirements to avoid US trade tariffs ? GM *could* do the same …

    No they can’t. Or they would have. They’ve done that pretty much all over the world. But Japan won’t let them.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    LauraM: Luxury cars, in general, are better able to absorb tariffs because there’s a lot more margin. But on the lower end? Forget American cars for a minute. Hyundai puts out a great car at a very reasonable price. Why don’t they sell in Japan?

    Absorb what tarrifs?

    http://www.customs.go.jp/english/tariff/2011_8/data/i201108e_87.htm


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (4:17 pm)

    LauraM: You do realize that both GM and Ford have larger market shares in Europe than Toyota?

    I don’t know why Ford would have a larger market share than Toyota (most likely, this is because Toyota focussed on the US market first) but GM’s significant market share isn’t too surprising, they bought Opel and Vauxhall to use as beachheads. Oh, yes, and Saab.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (5:04 pm)

    LauraM: Trucks are one area where Detroit has always excelled. Even consumer reports consistently rates domestic trucks higher than Toyota’s.

    Oh, yeahhhh. Lots of full-size trucks cruisin’ the streets of Tokoyo!

    So many Japanese commute back and forth to work in a 6,000 lb truck that’s empty except for the driver and his bag lunch. Oh, wait… I’m thinking of Dallas.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (6:41 pm)

    Charlie H: I don’t know why Ford would have a larger market share than Toyota

    You don’t know much in general.

    Charlie H: GM’s significant market share isn’t too surprising, they bought Opel and Vauxhall to use as beachheads. Oh, yes, and Saab

    Hmm like Toyota basically bought Tesla.

    BTW – I’ve never seen someone get zinged as bad as you were by Laura’s post # 168. I think you need to stop fooling yourself and open your mind a bit. You’ve repeated the broken record so much, its all you can see.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (6:45 pm)

    Charlie H: It’s not just Japan, by the way, where Detroit gets its collective butt kicked… The Japanese were up-and-coming all over the world 20-30 years ago and worked hard to get the business of the developing world. Detroit kept lamely trying to export cars that were badly suited to… well… pretty much everywhere except US suburbs and interstates.

    GM sells 3x as many cars in China vs. Toyota. Ford sells the same as Toyota.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (6:54 pm)

    “No they can’t. Or they would have. They’ve done that pretty much all over the world. But Japan won’t let them.”

    Circular logic, anybody ? Do you care to inject any facts into your fallacies ?


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (6:56 pm)

    Charlie H: Absorb what tarrifs?

    OK. They’re not tariffs. They’re regulatory barriers designed to increase the cost of importing cars. It serves the same purpose. But it’s done a lot more subtly so as to not run into difficulty with the WTO. Either way, it’s easier for luxury cars to absorb the cost.

    Charlie H: I don’t know why Ford would have a larger market share than Toyota (most likely, this is because Toyota focussed on the US market first) but GM’s significant market share isn’t too surprising, they bought Opel and Vauxhall to use as beachheads. Oh, yes, and Saab.

    Nonetheless, Ford is very successful in Europe…

    http://media.ford.com/news/fordofeuropeincreasessalesandmarketshareinjuneoverallfordsalesin51europeanmarketsriseinfirsthalfof2011.htm

    Regardless of the reason why, the US auto manufacturers are successful in the two largest markets in the world. The US. And Europe. Unlike, say, Toyota…

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/71d31ea6-53de-11e0-8bd7-00144feab49a.html#axzz1VtXcF4r3

    And then there’s Brazil…

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/23/gm-brazil-idUSN2312748120110223

    And China…

    http://www.chinacartimes.com/2011/01/28/toyota-suffering-in-china/

    I could go on…

    But my point is simply that regardless of the reasons, US auto manufacturers are competitive overseas. It’s the US operations that have always been the problem. Largely due to legacy costs.

    Charlie H: Oh, yeahhhh. Lots of full-size trucks cruisin’ the streets of Tokoyo!

    So many Japanese commute back and forth to work in a 6,000 lb truck that’s empty except for the driver and his bag lunch. Oh, wait… I’m thinking of Dallas.

    I never said they did. You were talking about a Toyota truck standing up to abuse. And implied that an American truck wouldn’t. I simply pointed out that they probably would considering consumer reports, which tends to favor Japanese cars, rates American trucks more highly than Toyota ones.


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    Aug 23rd, 2011 (11:49 pm)

    : Chris C.: target for embarrassment is Camaros

    Loboc: I haven’t found good 0-30 times (normal stoplight madness) for either car, but, a Camaro SS has a 0-60 of 4.8 sec vs 8.9 sec for a Volt.

    True, but the 0-30 time is a lot faster. If I don’t beat them across the intersection, I beat them when they have to shift.

    I beat a Miata today, and he was trying, but Miatas aren’t really known as dragsters.


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    Aug 24th, 2011 (12:17 am)

    kdawg: GM sells 3x as many cars in China vs. Toyota. Ford sells the same as Toyota.

    The Chinese, who appear to be suffering from “instant money” syndrome, will buy anything, regardless of quality. Perfect for GM.

    LauraM’s article, by the way, mentions a big problem for Toyota… BYD copies their cars. They’re crappy copies but they sell for less and mange to tarnish Toyota’s image.

    GM and VW are embracing a market best known for piracy and lack of IP protection. LauraM’s article also mentions that the “current’ Chinese Corolla is old… this is probably why. One of GM’s biggest sellers is the now irrelevant Venture but they are also producing some of their latest vehicles. The future could be most interesting for GM.


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    Aug 24th, 2011 (12:38 am)

    LauraM: OK. They’re not tariffs. They’re regulatory barriers designed to increase the cost of importing cars. It serves the same purpose. But it’s done a lot more subtly so as to not run into difficulty with the WTO. Either way, it’s easier for luxury cars to absorb the cost.

    What subtle barriers? The subtle barrier of the Japense’ own cars being better cars and better suited to the way they drive?


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    EricLG

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    Aug 24th, 2011 (1:24 am)

    Charlie H,

    The Volt fans look for reasons to deride the PiP, but rational people will simply see the car as a ~ 75 mpg choice. Depending on the price, this car might transform the US landscape, and has the potential to cut petrol use in the non-commercial fleet by up to 70%.

    So called energy independence advocates should view the PiP as salvation.


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    EricLG

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    Aug 24th, 2011 (1:27 am)

    ^^ You have to laugh at the irony of so many people here demanding that the Volt be bought despite its warts because it is ‘patriotic,’ but at the same time taking umbrage that the Japanese may have similar attitudes.


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    Shock Me

     

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    Aug 24th, 2011 (7:45 am)

    George S. Bower,

    How about an invitation to race communicated via iPad mounted on driver’s side?


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    LauraM

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    Aug 24th, 2011 (1:23 pm)

    Charlie H: What subtle barriers? The subtle barrier of the Japense’ own cars being better cars and better suited to the way they drive?

    High customs clearing fees. Safety inspection delays. Discriminatory certification requirements. Discriminatory subsidies. Etc.

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2010-01-19-cash-for-clunkers-japan-cars_N.htm

    Why do you think Hyundai exited the Japanese market? Are Korean cars also not suited to the way the Japanese drive?


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    EricLG

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    Aug 24th, 2011 (3:11 pm)

    LauraM, thanks for the laugh.

    The US pumps some 60 BILLION dollars into a bankrupt GM at AAA rates, but you whine at nebulous Japanese subsidy of Toyota ? Find a corresponding PNGV subsidy in Japan, or a corresponding ‘Hydrogen car’ subsidy in Japan.

    Unadulterated BS.

    As for your US today link, it says that Japan agreed to include US cars in their version of a CfC program. Anything else to bring to the table ?


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    LauraM

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    Aug 24th, 2011 (3:59 pm)

    EricLG: The US pumps some 60 BILLION dollars into a bankrupt GM at AAA rates, but you whine at nebulous Japanese subsidy of Toyota ? Find a corresponding PNGV subsidy in Japan, or a corresponding ‘Hydrogen car’ subsidy in Japan.

    For the record, I’m not whining about Japan doing anything. I was just pointing out that the Japanese market is basically closed to non Japanese manufacturers. US and otherwise. Which is what the article stated. (Yes. They do get rid of too obvious asymmetries when pushed. That doesn’t alter the Japanese 95% share of their own market. Which speaks for itself.)

    I agree that it’s in Japan’s best interest to close their markets to the rest of the world. And they have every right to do so. I think we should emulate them. Because if we don’t, we Americans are going to have a substantially reduced standard of living. And, if you’re an American citizen, that includes you. And your children. You can deny it all you want, but there it is.

    Of course, if we do protect our markets more, that will hurt Japan. Just like Japan’s closed market has hurt us. But the United States needs to look out for the United States. Not saying we haven’t been doing so. But we’ve been doing a really really bad job of it. More protectionism would help.


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    Charlie H

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    Aug 25th, 2011 (11:11 am)

    LauraM: For the record, I’m not whining about Japan doing anything. I was just pointing out that the Japanese market is basically closed to non Japanese manufacturers. US and otherwise. Which is what the article stated. (Yes. They do get rid of too obvious asymmetries when pushed. That doesn’t alter the Japanese 95% share of their own market. Which speaks for itself.)I agree that it’s in Japan’s best interest to close their markets to the rest of the world. And they have every right to do so. I think we should emulate them. Because if we don’t, we Americans are going to have a substantially reduced standard of living. And, if you’re an American citizen, that includes you. And your children. You can deny it all you want, but there it is.Of course, if we do protect our markets more, that will hurt Japan. Just like Japan’s closed market has hurt us. But the United States needs to look out for the United States. Not saying we haven’t been doing so. But we’ve been doing a really really bad job of it. More protectionism would help.

    Good luck finding an economist with any reputation at all to agree with you on any of that.

    I don’t see why anybody would be bent out of shape over whether or not Japan’s own cash for clunkers program didn’t include imported vehicles. Why should it? Of course, in the US, we could well have done the same thing but since most of Toyota’s big-selling cars are built here (often with extremely high domestic part content) cash for clunkers was naturally going to include Toyotas.

    GM went from over 50% US market share to under 20% market share (I forget where they bottomed out). They were protected from 0% market share and an earlier bankruptcy only because there are some people with a strong domestic preference were willing to shell out additional cash for cars that were inferior. In 1970, EVERYBODY owned a Detroit vehicle (I only switched to Toyota in 2001 after 25 years of Detroit experience). If Detroit was building such inferior junk that they couldn’t hold on to their home market, then it’s unrealistic to expect anybody else to buy their cars.

    Someday, maybe, Detroit will have a reputation and a product lineup that allows them to invade Japan with some likelihood of success.