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Toyota broadly outlines next-generation Prius; developing wireless inductive charging for the plug-in model; bullish on hydrogen

Toyota’s next-generation Prius will deliver significantly improved fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter in weight and lower in cost, according to Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso. Ogiso—who earlier in his career had been the chief engineer for the Prius, chief engineer for the Prius family, and chief engineer, product planning—made the remarks at the “2013 Toyota Hybrid World Tour” event the company staged in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

The performance of this new generation of powertrains will reflect significant advances in battery, electric motor and gasoline engine technologies. Among the broad technology advances Ogiso outlined during his talk were:

“In its three generations, Prius MPG has improved on average by about 10%, each generation. The challenge to continue to improve at this rate—to beat your own record—becomes very difficult, but makes it all the more motivating. We are very motivated to beat our record.”
—Satoshi Ogiso
  • The next Prius will feature improved batteries with higher energy density. Toyota has stepped up its research, development and production capacity of both NiMH and Li-ion batteries and will use these technologies where appropriate in its expanding focus on electrification of the automobile.

    Toyota has also ramped up development on new battery technologies such as solid state and lithium air, as well as devoting resources focused on chemistries beyond lithium, such as magnesium and other low-valence materials.

  • The next Prius will also feature electric motors that will be smaller in size. Ogiso noted that the current Prius motors have four times the power density of the first model and that “the next will be even higher.”

  • The gasoline engine in the next-generation Prius powertrain feature thermal efficiency of greater than 40%; the thermal efficiency of the gasoline engine in the current Prius is 38.5%.

To complement these substantial gains in powertrain development the next Prius will ride on a vastly improved chassis, Ogiso said. The next Prius will feature the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA). It will have a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity. This, along with many other improvements will allow for beneficial gains in ride-and-handling, agility and aerodynamics.

Improved aerodynamics will contribute to an all-new exterior design. Ogiso promised a roomier interior and significant refinements in design, layout and ease of operation.

Prius PHV. The next-generation Prius PHV (plug-in hybrid vehicle) is being developed in parallel with the standard Prius model.

We have been listening very carefully to Prius PHV owners and are considering their requests for additional all-electric range. We have also heard from owners that they would like a more convenient charging operation. In response, we are developing a new wireless/inductive charging system that produces resonance between an on-floor coil and an onboard coil to transmit power to the battery, providing charging without the fuss of a cable.

—Satoshi Ogiso

Ogiso said verification work on the system will be conducted in Japan, the US and Europe in 2014.

Hydrogen. Ogiso re-emphasized the importance of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, which he said “will be in our future for a long time”. Toyota’s first commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicle will go on sale in global markets in 2015.

This year at the Tokyo Motor show, Toyota will unveil a well-defined mid-size four-door sedan hydrogen fuel cell concept. That vehicle will make its North American debut at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

For now, I can tell you that the hydrogen fuel cell stack is currently developing 3 kW per liter of power density. We believe that’s a “world’s best” and about twice that of the fuel stack we have been using for the Highlander fuel cell hybrid vehicle that many of you have driven.qdash;Satoshi Ogiso

Motorsports. Ogiso also highlighted how hybrid technology is influencing motorsports, and how motorsports will aid the development of better hybrid technologies in the future.

The challenge of the hybrid race car has been the added weight of the battery and electric motor, he noted. Toyota’s TS-030 uses supercapacitors instead of batteries. The hybrid powertrain integrates a unique inverter, with a 300-hp electric motor/generator sandwiched between the 6 speed-transmission and the 530-HP V8 engine.

The extreme nature of racing, tests the durability and reliability limits of vehicle components, systems and software helping make TS-030 the world’s fastest and possibly the most effective rolling hybrid laboratory program.

—Satoshi Ogiso

Market futures. In a separate talk, Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) Senior Vice President of Sales Bob Carter issued a challenge for the industry to significantly step up its commitment to hybrids as a core technology.

Bob Carter mentioned earlier today that to take full effect, hybrid technology must be consumed in high volume. Regulatory push cannot, on its own, induce consumer pull. To truly have an effect, our industry must develop a diverse array of products that consumers are willing to buy.

Where the cost premium is low convenience is high and the benefits to the environment and the pocketbook are clear. Which is precisely where we believed hybrids would be, 15 years ago.

Today, patience and a long vision are still the cost of admission. Because consumer adoption of less convenient and higher cost technologies have been slow and will continue so. But fifteen years from now, I believe that plug-in hybrids, battery electrics, and especially hydrogen fuel cells could be as common as hybrids are today.

—Satoshi Ogiso

Comments

HarveyD

High efficiency EVs (80% or so) will soon take over low efficiency ICEVs (35% or so) in the near future.

Amother side benefit is going to be much lower air and noise pollution and an end to fuel stations stops.

A 500+ miles lower cost Tesla Model X, Y Z will do it?

Peter_XX

@Bernard
The main - and only - reason why diesel cars are not offered in the USA is because customers do not want them. With the technology for Euro 6, you can certify the car also for US EPA, perhaps with minor modifications due to the drive cycle but there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Euro 6 diesel cars were introduced already a couple of years ago in Europe but the number of models have increased substantially by the latest model year. For smaller cars, the cost penalty is so small that you cannot see any difference at the dealer between the new Euro 6 model and the old Euro 5. The main hardware difference between Euro 5 and 6 small cars is a different catalyst coating (NOx storage catalyst). Some manufacturers do not even need a NOx storage catalyst. Larger cars may need an SCR system but, the comparable gasoline engines are also more expensive, so cost is not an issue in this case either. If you want to compare prices in a representative way, you must compare in a “mature” market. My diesel car was 30% cheaper than a Toyota Prius with comparable options. So, now you know why hybrids do not sell in Europe. They have to reduce the cost!

Bernard

Peter,

We went over this when GM introduced the Cruze diesel this winter. The US version needs urea injection, cooled EGR, higher capacity SCR and DPF systems to meet US regulations.

None of those systems are cheap, and GM wouldn't have added them if the European Cruze could pass US emissions.

Americans don't have a prejudice against diesels. They love their diesel pickups, big rigs, tractors, etc. They just can't afford "clean diesel" small cars. The extra expense of emissions compliance has priced them out of the market.

What I find surprising is that some Europeans still believe that Euro 6 regulations are just as strict as EPA Tier 2 Bin 5. Every car that meets European regs needs extensive modifications for the US market. Do you really believe that Audi, BMW, GM, Mercedes and VW do this on a whim?

DaveD

@Davemart,
But you forget that as an EV fanboy, I'm entitled to claim that EVs cure everything from Global warming to the common cold!

Peter_XX

@Bernard
Yes, they can and I know it is a fact, as you will see below. VW already made it with the older version of the 2-liter engine. Should they suddenly have forgotten how to do it? Would the new engine be worse than the old one? I do not think so.

You should realize that the US drive cycle makes things much easier than NEDC. The load is higher so the NOx catalyst gets quicker into action. The test cycle is also longer making the period without any NOx activity weigh less. Furthermore, the US test cycle comprise cold start and warm start cycles that are weighed together. Thus, one cannot compare just numbers for the limits in EU and USA. Looking at your bold statements, you seem to have no knowledge about this. If you had cared to read previous comments I have made on this forum, you should realize that I do know what I am talking about.

If you have a Euro 5 engine, additional measures have to be taken to meet T2B5. However, this is not the case with Euro 6. All the hardware you need it already there. Cooled EGR was introduced already by Euro 4, in some cases already with Euro 3. An advanced Euro 6 engine will not have the traditional cooled EGR but low-pressure (long-route) cooled EGR. The use of a DPF simplifies this option and gives no cost penalty. Thus, engine-out NOx will be lower as a starting point. Smaller cars can use NOx storage catalyst and larger cars can use SCR (as we already know). However, you should also note that relatively big cars, such as the BMW 7-series with 300+ hp meet Euro 6 with only NOx storage catalyst. They do not even need low-pressure EGR. Some of your comments make me laugh. Why should manufacturers need bigger DPF for USA? Of course not! This is just more misleading information from you. Why should a bigger SCR be needed? I can see no reason whatsoever. Cars using SCR (e.g. Audi) have the same size for both Euro 6 and US EPA. VW combine DPF with SCR on their latest engine, which significantly should reduce the cost. I just looked at the EU certification database and found considerable number of cars certified 80% lower than Euro 6 and much lower than anticipated Euro 7. Not a single one of these cars have to use SCR. The largest car at this NOx level was the BMW 5-series.

I did not mention the Cruze. I am not interested in ancient technology. GM USA is certainly not well-renowned for their diesel knowledge. Instead, I mentioned the Ford Focus. It is not the best car regarding FC and CO2 but I happen to own one. It gives 3.4 l/100 km and 88 g/km CO2 in NEDC. Prius gives 3.9 l/100 km and 89 g/km. The Focus Wagon has larger cargo capacity and cost 30% less. According to your theories it should cost much more. This is not the case. Of course, you do not want to comment on the Ford Focus.

If you would care to read this web site little more carefully, you would probably have seen information that Mazda meet Euro 6 without long-route EGR, NOx storage catalyst and SCR. And… surprise, surprise, they will also introduce it in the USA, as you can see in the article below. And again… surprise, surprise, they need no long-route EGR, NOx storage or SCR catalyst. Mazda have used internal engine measured to reduce NOx. Thus, anyone (but you?) should realize that there is still a great development potential to reduce NOx, if NOx aftertreatment and best available EGR would be used on this engine.

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2012/11/mazda6-20121129.html

Finally, you can find many Euro 6 cars that have been certified with zero level of particulate emissions. According to my logic, these cars should reduce particulate levels in ambient air. Due to misinformation from people like you, US customers think they are bad for the environment.

Davemart

@DaveD:
I am prepared to bow down before the expertise on the care and feeding of social diseases by BEV fanboys! ;-)

Arne

@Darius:

"Strange guy. 40% efficiency and only 55 MPG?"

That figure is peak efficiency. Add losses in the drivetrain, e-CVT, etc.

Bernard

Peter,

I was repeating what GM said about their own car, as relayed on this site. I know that you commented on the original article, but I'm not so sure that you read it.

GM will be fascinated to hear that the tens/hundreds of millions that they invested in federalizing the Cruze were completely wasted. Those Opel engineers could learn a lot from you. What fools they are for adding thousands of dollars of extra emissions equipment on an engine that could have easily passed T2B5 as-is!

It's a bit of a mystery why Ford doesn't offer a diesel Focus in the US. I hear from a very very knowledgeable source that the European Focus diesel would come-in 30% cheaper than a Prius, and be compliant without any significant mods. This would make it cheaper than current US Focuses! What a wasted opportunity on Ford's part!


GasperG

Peter,

1. NEDC is not a good way to compare cars, because different manufacturers "cheat" difrently. Use spritmonitor.de and show me diesel lower consumption.
2. Toyota HSD is not manual gerbox car. What is the price difference between Focus 2.0 TDCi Powershift and Auris HSD? 1.6 TDCI is not even available with automatic and it's underpowered compared to Prius.
3. Reliability is on the Toyota HSD side, there is no doubt about it, this is even more so if you want an AT. The simplicity of Toyota ICE and PSD is just amazing. Short city trips are deadly for modern diesels, eco driving in low rpm is also not very good. Of course you can have a problem free diesel, but statistically it will never be better than HSD.

Auris HSD is selling really well in Europe, I think it's well priced. But we must understand that every car is a compromise, power/passanger space/luggage space/extras. No doubt that there exist a diesel with lover power, smaller interior and a hypermiling driver with MT that will always beat Prius in fuel consumption. But does it beat it in emissions? Can it overtake as fast as Prius :D

Look carefully at carfueldata and compare Auris HSD with your Focus and you will see that your Focus emits 3 times more CO and 24 times more NOx.

There is no doubt that a small diesel car will be cheaper to buy and can have roughly the same running costs but it's just less of a car. With new HSD generation Toyota will try to make more of a car with even less consumption and I hope for the same price.

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