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Report: Toyota to make plug-in capability standard on Prius models debuting in 2014

9 May 2011

The Nikkei reports that Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) plans to make plug-in capabilities standard for Prius hybrid models slated to debut in 2014.

Prius hybrid models debuting in 2014 will come with plug-in capabilities as a standard feature. Around 2015, Toyota aims to lift global hybrid sales to around 1 million units a year, bringing the total number traveling the world’s roadways to 5 million. Since some 70% are expected to be Prius models, the automaker hopes to use the plug-in versions to tap replacement demand.

The future plug-ins will feature high-performance lithium ion batteries. Current models can travel a maximum 38km [24 miles] per liter. The fourth-generation offerings will be able to cover more than 60km [37 miles], including electricity-only mileage.

To offset the cost of the battery packs and keep pricing in line with current models, TMC will further cut prices on the high-performance motors and other core components, the report said.

May 9, 2011 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0)

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Now we are talking.
It doesn't even matter if the batteries are very small, we will end up with VERY low fuel consumption cars.
I just hope enough people will be able to afford them.

Wow, PHEV as standard, not even an option - everyone has to have it!

All it needs is new software and a plug.

(you won't get much electric range with a small battery, but you will have a PHEV).

So now Toyota is a follower of Hyundai? Please read an excerpt of my recent article entitled “Electric Vehicle Standards: Do they Make Sense?” (See: http://seekingalpha.com/article/261137-electric-vehicle-standards-do-they-make-sense):
“… auto producers also require to foresee potential modifications in drive trains so that, for example, a HEV can be easily transformed into a PHEV or a REEV, which in turn can be converted into an all-electric EV sometime in the future. In this connection, at least one major car maker appears to have made some progress in that direction. As Mike O’Brien, Hyundai's (HYMLF.PK) head of planning, has recently pointed out, ‘other manufacturers’ hybrid systems were developed in such a way to not allow them to easily develop plug-in hybrids. For the Sonata Hybrid to become a plug-in hybrid, really all we need are bigger batteries — the basic technology platform is already designed to support a plug-in variation.’"

Yes JCZ, the step by step approach, ie HEV to PHEV to BEV could be the most logical way to go. This is what may soon happen to the Toyota Prius. Hyundai and Ford may also follow the same path.

Basically, we may have HEVs for 10 to 15 years, overlapped and/or followed by PHEVs for a similar period and then followed/overlapped by BEVs, as batteries become cheaper with much better performance. Sometime between 2020 and 2030, high performance batteries, super caps and FC could compete for e-vehicles market share. Will it be by early or late 2020's?

I recall reading something about 5 kWh worth of batteries in the Prius PHEV. If that is still the case, then it should be cost effective and still give some EV range.

The idea may be not so much 20 miles EV range, but overall more aggressive use of the motor and better regenerative braking. They do not even have to plug it in to see some benefits.

Careful, gang! The key word in this pitch is "capabilities". That's akin to saying the cars will have plug-in "options" standard. That doesn't necessarily mean the plug-in tech HAS to be there, it just means it will be an available "option", or will be "capable" of plug-in service.
I'm as gung-ho as the next chucklebutt for EV tech, but Always Beware The Salesman...

My pizza has pepperoni "capabilities", but I ordered the Hawaiian...

Harvey, my perspective is that HEVs - PHEVs and/or REEVs - BEVs will be the logical way to go for most (albeit not all) carmakers. The two important exceptions are of course GM and Nissan. Beware though that the first segment of this way, namely HEVs -PHEVs and/or REEVs may indeed be a short-lived approach depending on the evolution of the three determinants of Li batteries adoption I have identified (See: http://seekingalpha.com/article/259463-interesting-prospects-for-lithium-batteries). Yet overall I agree that the complete transition towards electric propulsion will take about 20 years which is the time-frame I already talked about in another article published almost three years ago (See: http://www.evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1457).

Yup, Dee-Nied --

http://www.plugincars.com/toyota-denies-reports-all-priuses-will-be-plug-107158.html

They will sell more HEVs than PHEVs and more PHEVs than EVs for many years in the U.S. This is kind of obvious and may be a good outcome.

You want to get the most good from the least amount of battery capacity required and HEVs do that. 20 cars getting 40% better mileage reduces oil imports more than 1 EV.

Now make those HEVs OFS FFVs running M85 with the 15% gasoline synthesized from domestic sources and you reduce oil imports even more. We can do this, but wishful thinking will not get us there.

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