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Toyota’s Yaris hybrid concept anticipates B-segment hybrid strategy with first downsizing of HSD; Prius +

Yaris HSD concept. Click to enlarge.

Making its world debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Yaris HSD concept anticipates Toyota’s intention to bring its full hybrid Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) technology to the B-segment, the biggest volume segment in Europe. This marks Toyota’s first downsizing of its HSD technology.

The Yaris hybrid will be made in the second half of next year at the Valenciennes plant in Northern France, underlining Toyota’s clear commitment to Europe, said Didier Leroy, President of Toyota Motor Europe, at the launch. Toyota aims to bring full hybrid technology to every main European model as early as possible in the 2020s, and introduced the Auris HSD to the C-segment in 2010, equipped with the same powertrain as the Prius. (Earlier post.)

“Two years ago, 8% of European customers said they wanted their next vehicle to be a hybrid. Today that figure has doubled, to 16%.”
—Didier Leroy

Solar panels have been applied to the entire roof surface of the Yaris HSD concept. This engineering solution targets the independent powering of the air-conditioning unit for improved full hybrid powertrain fuel economy.

Introducing full hybrid technology into the B-segment presented Toyota with several unique engineering challenges. For one, the new powertrain must be optimized for installation within the vehicle’s compact, efficient packaging design, without detriment to either system quality and performance, or passenger accommodation and loadspace. For the Yaris, as one example, Toyota reduced battery weight and size, Leroy said.

This comprehensive repackaging of HSD technology is essential to meeting the growing market demand for urban-based family vehicles, without compromising either interior space or hybrid performance, Toyota said.

Prius+. Toyota also introduced the Prius+ (earlier post), Europe’s first full hybrid seven-seater. The latest generation of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain found in Prius+ includes a lithium-ion battery pack, installed entirely beneath the second row seating. (The smaller Prius v introduced in January at the Detroit show features a NiMH pack.)

As in the standard Prius, the Prius+ features three on-demand drive modes to increase the capabilities of the full hybrid powertrain, including the EV mode for zero emissions, zero fuel consumption, all-electric driving.

This new vehicle offers three, independent, split/folding second row seats and a 50:50 split/folding third tier. Prius+ will be on sale in the first half of 2012.



No data at all, just adjectives.
I am not sure about the solar roof - but I guess it is a concept car so they can do this stuff.
The problem with a Yaris will be to keep the price down.
The petrol and diesel versions are quite cheap, so the Hybrid cannot cost very much more.
On the other hand, they may not really expect to sell many of them, just keep the hybrid as a range topper marketing tool.
They would be better off putting a plug on it, and allowing the user to charge the very small battery from the mains at night - it would cost a lot less.
You could then put a matching solar panel on your roof, facing south.


Toyota aims to bring full hybrid technology to every main European model as early as possible in the 2020s

That's 10 years from now. Not terribly ambitious.


By 2020, most HEVs may be on their phasing path and/or being replaced by PHEVs and BEVs if higher energy batteries are available at an affordable price.


"Not terribly ambitious", Anne?

Which automaker has more ambitious plans? Almost every major automaker has put forth their hybrid/plug-in forecasts for 2020 and not one is even in the same ball park as Toyota.

Considering it takes about 5 years to start a new line of vehicles, they can't just change these plans overnight.

When it comes to total output of hybrid and plug-in vehicles, I'll bet Toyota still has a very significant lead by 2020.

Would it be nice if Toytota's plans were more aggressive? Of course, but it would also be nice if more automakers were at least as aggressive as Toyota.


Harvey - I don't think I've seen one single study that supports your claims. On the other hand, I've seen dozens in just the last year, many here on GCG, that contradict your claim of HEVs being phased out by 2020 in favor of plug-in versions.

I wish we were on the verge of some major switch to hybrids, or even better, EVs. Unfortunately, consumer studies in Europe and the US do not paint that picture. Nor do the academic studies from both continents, nor the industry forecasts by either analysts or even automakers themselves.

Even if gas prices rise much faster, the consumer data strongly indicates that consumers will buy more efficient cars, but the focus will be on much cheaper cars as consumers will have less money up front.

Maybe I'm just jaded after following this space for 10 years and hearing this same kind of hyperbole over and over without results. But it seems to me the idea that plug-ins are some silver bullet to America or Europe's - let alone emerging markets - energy problems is not based at all on the available data.

Does none of this data matter?

Calvin Johns

On a slightly different note, I bought my 2005 prius 6 years ago today, it has 115,500 miles on it. I had the brakes inspected and they are still in excellent condition. The lack of maintenance costs on these cars is as remarkable as the fuel economy.


It comes down to the "Hybrid premium" for small cars such as this.

Lets say a standard Yaris 1.3 gets 55 mpg (UK)[ it does], and a diesel Yaris (1.4) gets 67 mpg[uk]. Lets say the Hybrid Yaris gets 80 mpg (stretching it a bit maybe).
Lets say you drive 10000 miles / year and a gallon of petrol costs £7.
The diesel will save £230 / year*, the hybrid, £400/ year.
If the diesel premium is £800, the payback is 3.1 years,but if the Hybrid premium is £3000, the payback is 7.5 years - not such a good deal.

It depends on the numbers, and the "Green Premium" or the "Prius effect" - people buy Prii to demonstrate how green they are, rather than just to save fuel.
If this holds for the Yaris Hybrid, it could sell well, else, it is just a marketing device.
If it got a reputation as "the greenest car in the world" (which it could), it could have a large "green premium" and thus would sell well (which would be good).

Plus, being smaller, it would be easier to park in cities - another bonus over the (quite long) Prius.


If you look at running costs and resale values as well, hybrids and diesels are pretty even and since fuel efficiency is going to be increasingly important due to rising fuel prices, resales of diesels and hybrids should be better than 'normal' vehicles

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