2010 Toyota Prius Breaks 50 MPG

Fact: More than 1,000 new patent applications were filed for the 2010 Toyota Prius.

The 2010 Toyota Prius, officially unveiled this morning at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, will break the 50-mpg mark. The third-generation Prius is bigger and more powerful than the previous version—but will become the only vehicle in the United States that offers combined mileage greater than 50 miles per gallon.

The first-generation Prius, which was rated 41 EPA combined
mpg, was replaced by the current model, which is EPA rated at 46 mpg,
combined city/highway. Using a combination of technologies, fuel efficiency was
increased to an estimated 50 miles per gallon for the new Prius.

First Official Photos of 2010 Toyota Prius

2010 Prius
2010 Prius

The engine has grown from 1.5 liters to 1.8 liters—giving a boost in horsepower from 110 to 160—and the body is be three to four inches longer and about an inch wider. Toyota engineers were also able to reduce the Prius’s wind resistance—coefficient of drag is 0.25, compared to 0.26 for the previous model. Engineers made changes to the shape of the fender liner, front surface of the underfloor, and added a fin at the rear floor cover to increase linear stability.

2010 Prius
2010 Prius

2010 Prius
2010 Prius

Our coverage from the Detroit Auto Show of the 2010 Toyota Prius will continue with more details, and interviews with Toyota executives. Stay tuned.


  • David

    Coooooooooooooooooooooooool. I want one :)

  • Al

    The problem is dealer markup and availability. I’d buy one at a grand over invoice, even if I had to wait 3 months. The new Insight may end up being a better deal.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    I am still not sure about the new interior layout. But with less drag, more power, and more MPG, it will be our next car to buy. I will just have to accept the interior as it is. Now, if I can just keep wife from stealing this car like she did the 2006 Prius. We may have to buy two just so I can have one.

  • Less NOx

    Wow. I’m impressed. My 04 Prius routinely gets about 50 mpg on the highway but for Toyota to have increased the horsepower by 50% add a wider wheelbase for better stability AND increased fuel efficiency at the same time (all w/o Lithium batteries) sounds too good to be true. Especially compared to the new Insight which has much less power and LESS efficiency even than the 2nd gen Prius.

    I can see a market for the Insight as an entry level hybrid since it will be much cheaper than the Prius but is Honda keeping the hybrid Civic as well? Not sure there is a market for three three similar models, esp. with the cost of gas dropping.

    Hope doesn’t mean that the plug-ins will be delayed further.

  • Zero X Owner

    The interior change is a class act with much better integration and the strategy is impeccible. Small, incremental improvements mean that Toyota can ride the model and system hard for a long time with few needed life cycle changes while everyone else is still at least a decade behind (2-5 to get on the road, 5-8 for minimum market penetration) , based on the 2009 NA auto show Cobo offerings, all while Toyota integrates their entire make line-up syste and hybrid system better.

    The new Honda Insight will help with mainstream penetration of hybrids in general, on price if nothing else, but is still a weak hybrid (never shuts off the gas engine, like this year’s Saturn or Malibu weak hybrids), so is not a direct competitor with the Prius. The upcoming Ford Fusion hybrid could crush the new Honda Insight, but neither of these are on the road now, while the Prius is.

    It’s very smart of Toyota that the Prius improvements are small enough that getting this years model now makes more sense than waiting for the new model, although the new model is slightly improved in power, size, styling and mileage, and the new Prius model crushes most anything else coming out in 2010 on efficiency/$ (I’ll believe the Chevy Volt after I see an OWNER of one with private plates driving down the street).

    I guess my ranking (based on forward leaning efficiency/$) of 2010/2011 MY likelihoods for sedans right now would be:
    My Biased (toward electric drive) Rank | Sedan | Why
    1. Chevy Volt (series – uses electric drive exclusively)
    2. Fisker Karma (series – uses electric drive exclusively), more expensive but gorgeous
    3. Toyota Prius (can use all electric mode), the oldest acceptable electric drive based system, uses all electric some of the time
    4. Ford Fusion Hybrid (can use all electric mode), the oldest acceptable electric drive based system, uses all electric some of the time, has mainstream qualities for market penetration.

    The Cadillac Coverj could be the tipping point that gets Americans to understand the first of the two part present penetrating their lives:
    1. The smokin’ hot, sexy, high performance, midlife crisis, empty nester grocery getter (sorry, soccer moms, you’re a diminishing demographic, so out with most of the largest SUVs and in with the Lotus crossovers).
    2. The blue collar, tough as nails, high torque small pickup truck and off-roaders, useful for the big wind turbine and solar system installer sub-contractors of the new, recovery economy. The 2009 EV Jeep concepts so far come closest to this mainstream present.

    Need I mention that both of those steps are electric drive? Once you experience the instant response of electric (no pregnant pause when you step on the accelerator from a complete stop like you get with an all gas vehicle, in what I call the “gas-hole” (pun intended) effect) you won’t go back to all gas. It really sucks being behind an all gas vehicle at a stop sign or red light, ’cause they pause and start rolling sluggisly when they go. My long term request – more electric drive with more performance.

  • Bryce

    Hooray….it has completely changed to make it desireable…..right…..didn’t it? It didn’t??? O, its the same…..well then…..maybe next model cycle.

  • wagsbags

    It’s not really fair to compare the Insight to the Prius. The Insight focuses on CHEAP whereas the Prius focuses on MPG. When I graduated a year and a half ago I wanted a hybrid but couldn’t afford the cheapest one (a honda civic hybrid at the time). The new Insight would have been perfect. As it is not I have much more money and can afford an expensive toy so I’ll probably get a fusion hybrid or maybe even a volt depending on when I buy my next car.

  • Boom Boom

    I’ll be curious to see if Honda can take some of the wind out of Toyota’s sales. The new Prius looks to be an improvement over the old one, but not revolutionary. The Insight is the first real competition to the Prius ever sold and certainly well placed by Honda.
    Toyota has always been able to beat Honda with paper MPG, but when real world driving conditions are imposed, the Prius really isn’t much better than the Civic Hybrid. Now before all the Prius-Fan-kids start off with their “I know a guy” stories,proof is here:
    http://www.greenhybrid.com/compare/mileage/
    Prius Average (Gen II) = 48 mpg (50% between 44.9–50.5)
    Civic Average (Gen II) = 46 mpg (50% between 42.8–50.2)

    Based on the MPGs from the initial roads tests on edmunds, Autoblog Green and elsewhere, the Insight gets better than 40 MPG.

    We’ll see if folks are willing to pay the extra 4-8K for the Prius (the difference between a Corolla and a Camry) or if Honda can get a foothold. The real test may lie in who can get enough on their lots to keep up with demand. Toyota thus far has been able to sell the Prius as if there was no competition.

    As a current owner of a Civic Hybrid and a future owner of either an Insight or a Prius, my jury is still out. I guess I’ll have to drive them.

  • Neil

    Well congratulations to Toyota for their new Prius. The exterior has improved from weird to boring and the interior is a step up from depressing to uninspired.

    And I am happy for all the folks who wish to pay 7-8K more for a Prius over an Insight to save 1 gallon of gas for every 200 miles of driving.

  • Skeptic

    Chevy Volt, if it actually existed, would be a PHEV, not a straight electric.

    If it existed.

    Which it doesn’t.

    The Prius, OTOH …

  • Anonymous

    The new Prius has a solar roof and a pre-collision system…
    sounds good to me.

  • frank filter

    This car looks like a 1990 maxima and it gets only 50 mpg

    Not really any better than the old one.

    41 to like 50 is will save you like 100 dollars in 4 years.

    This car is old and out of style.

    The new chevy volt will be so much better.

  • bill cosworth

    I agree yawn … Come on this is old school technology.

  • Stuball

    I want one too!

  • Interface

    Damit. They got a middel tunnel now and the nice fine Display (hybid status) that contains a navigation system, is GONE!
    I realy consider to get the Prius 2 than. Will be cheeper than anyway.

  • Jason Fussell

    I like the new Prius…I want to trade in my 07 when they come in. Next decision…what color to choose and all the available options. Good job Toyota!

  • Bryce

    I believe I mentioned this in a post a few months back. This new edition of the Prius will be good for all the people who want to get a used Prius. Once all the Prius fanboys hear about the new one, they will drop their nearly new one and get one of these, putting lots of em on the market for those who want one….not me….just saying for anyone else. Hooray for redesigns!

  • John Thomas

    My wife and I test drove an 09 Prius last week and were quite impressed. I think my wife is going to go with the Prius!

  • Matthew Noonan

    That is the definition of Ugly. This car is going to keep us on oil until the end of time. Why can’t they make it look good.

  • Anonymous

    Finally we have gotten close to the gas millage of a steam engine.

  • Ol Chappy

    Still has that absurdly small rear window!

  • Big B

    Wowwwwwwwwww wt a hybrid should hv one.

    try http://www.latestcarblog.blogspot.com

  • ralph

    Ah, where’s the Nav display!

  • Anonymous Coward

    The car looks old, still ugly, still expensive…

  • Shane

    Jetta TDI? 50mpg with style and sport…

  • Collin Burnell

    You GM guys are so cute!!!

    ‘It only get’s 50MPG’… If I put together TWO cobalts… I can get almost 60MPG!!! Face it, Toyota is King of Hybrids and will be for some time to come. Note: I drive a Nissan with (basically) a Toyota designed Hybrid.

    Does anyone know why the NAH is STILL only sold in 8 states? Do you think the Toyota agreement prevents ‘expansion’.

    Oh! The Prius… This car will be perfect when it’s made in USA (I know , it delayed).

  • Ryan

    They could have done a way better job on the instrument panel, the 04-09 prius at least tried touch screen even though the interface was horrible. In my opinion this is a major step backward. Toyota is an innovator so to deliver this poorly implemented interface in a car with modest aesthetic changes and then expect people to pay what I paid for my ’05 is ridiculous. I agree with the earlier post that the insight will do better based purely on price.

    For once I want a car company to move forward without moving backward at the same time. Lets get all these buttons out of the car and work on an elegant all integrated touch screen display.

  • kloppenator

    i love you.
    hahahahahaa
    and also the way toyota sells their 2 year old technology to Ford so they can attempt a comeback… face it. Toyota didnt need a bailout did they?

    http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C02E6DE153EF933A25750C0A9629C8B63

  • kloppenator

    the “i love you” was to Colin btw…

  • M@

    *Yawn*

    Can’t plug it in.

    Honda CRX HF got equivalent gas mileage back in the early 90′s, non-hybrid, much cheaper. Can buy a used one for $4,000 or so.

    Big fan of the Prius and Toyota as a whole, but I’ve moved on to a 10-year-old EV (a 1998 Twike Active), and am waiting for Toyota to catch up…

    Put about 4,000 miles on Twike 433 in the first year of ownership, true it’s only an in-town car, but that’s where I do most of my daily driving, and our hamlet isn’t big enough for a Prius to be effective — in our town road rage sets in at 15-20 minutes, I’m usually to work in under 15 min (about a 5-6 mile commute — not enough for the Prius’ engine to get warmed up, battery charged and hit high mileage mode). Props to Toyota for safety though (used to own an ’03 Prius before a nearly-tragic accident)

    Perfect 4-season motorcycle to take the girls to school/daycare and me to work. Can get a workout in too.

    Our ‘secondary’ car (after wrecking the Prius) is a 1991 Toyota Camry. It gets 27-31 MPG. Average that with Das Twikes 250-600 MPGe….

    C’mon Toyota, show me something that’ll make me want to spend my insurance settlement from the ’03!

  • James Frank

    Imagine how much more fuel efficient it would have been if they’d left the horsepower where it was. A shame they squandered that potential over an obsession with power. STOP trying to make every car a race car.

  • Bryce

    It would have been nicer if they could have spent all that R&D money on instead of making it higher mpg and and faster, they could have made it look halfway decent and been cheaper…..In my opinion then, honda Insight wins as it gives me both of these things. 5 mpg difference…owel, I saved $5000…..I am sure that will make up the difference.

  • Alper

    Great technology and a big hope for all of us and our children to clean up the mess, that we have created the last fifty years. Still – the look of the new Prius is a mess… ;-)

  • Tan The Man

    Looks roomier…

  • MattVerso

    This is so not news. In Europe we have dozens of cars with small powerful diesel engines that get in excess of 65mpg combined.

    You Americans really need to get with the program, and figure out that putting small diesel engines into cars is the (near) future of fuel efficiency.

    Speaking of which, how come there are no hybrid cars with diesel engines? If we can get 65mpg from a 150hp 1.6l (approx 100cu. in.) turbocharged diesel engine, imagine what we could get if we made a hybrid car with the same engine?

  • Ed

    Personally I think its a disgrace how Toyota make out that this car is hyper efficient and amazingly good for the environment, when my car, a Citreon C2 HDi VTS, regurally achieves over 60mpg under normal combined driving conditions and only puts out minimal levels of pollution, whats more is my car cost nowhere near the cost of the current prius, and most likely the new model when it arrives.

  • tom

    Sales are off more than any car because it is Butt UGLY.

    The wife and kids said they wouldn’t be seen riding in it if it got 100 mpg

    On it’s value
    Bad resale
    Suspension needs a smooth parking lot to ride nice
    Under powered (up hill in some cases might scare you)
    Traction control is very touchey on snow and ice. reduces power to the point of (no movement on slight grades)
    Just saw a story on Henry Ford No1 and Edison had this tech done and installed in Henry’s house a huge fire at Edisons battery factory stopped Ford’s production…..Way ahead of his time.

  • James Krill

    Amen! I wish car manufacturers would stop making each successive generation bigger and more powerful and instead focus on making the cars more fuel efficient. I shudder to think what our world will look like for my grandchildren.

  • Marc

    I am still disappointed that 50 is all that they could get out of this new technology. I have a 1988 Honda civic that gets 50 mpg now. You would think that they could do better. I am disappointed in Honda’s lack of engineering. In the 90′s they produced the VX hatchback(56 mpg) and the HX coupe(44 mpg). Why would they want to go backwards. I will keep driving my old Honda until they think about getting 80 mpg.

  • Breakable

    What about 330 mpg?
    http://www.aptera.com/

  • Breakable

    What about 330 mpg?
    http://www.aptera.com/

  • Jeddy

    I’m sold. I’ve been test driving cars like crazy this year. I was geared for the Camry Hybrid 09, but took a Prius for a spin. It was an 04. My wife liked it way better than the Camry. It was much more sporty and the interior space was quite shocking. The Camry has that awful trunk design as well.

    The Insight has hideous interior styling. The controls kind of bulge on the driver side with that little hump for the speed. The dash design just isn’t attractive.

    I’m not sold on the IMA drive. A parallel drive design makes sense, but the Prius design affords itself to more electric-only driving design. IMA can’t do that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet engine, but the inability to run solely on electricity seems a bit of a backward looking design in a futuristic sense.

    Oh well, time will tell if the design will survive…

  • AP

    An ’04 Prius sporty? Hmmmmm…….

  • Shane

    Couldn’t agree more Matt.

  • Ray Price

    Where’s the display for the GPS? I can’t give up my builtin GPS!

  • MLS21

    Please be sure you are comparing apples to apples when talking about UK vehicle mpg and US vehicle mpg. You are NOT using the same unit of measure.

    A UK gallon = 4.54609 Liters
    A US gallon = 3.785411784 Liters

    If you were to take a car advertised at 65 mpg in the UK, that would equate to about 54 mpg in US measurements. Conversely, if the Prius gets 50 mpg in the US, it would equate to 60 mpg in the UK. Not to mention how conservative the new EPA testing actually is. I would say the new Prius stacks up very well with the best the UK has to offer.

    If you want to do your own conversion, here is a link from Wikipedia defining the gallon defiinition around the world:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallon
    I’m sure you can find a more formal website that will tell you exactly the same thing.

    I think this website needs a primer for everyone to quickly read through on this subject, since it comes up in almost every discussion thread I have seen.

  • Anonymous

    I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that those numbers your refer to (65mpg) are for imperial gallons which are not the same as US gallons. 231 cubic inches per gallon for US versus 277 cubic inches per gallon. That translates to ~54mpg by US standards. Still good but I just wanted to clarify that.

  • Paul Beerkens

    Thanks MLS21 for that reference. I did not know that.

    This model is a tough one. I really want an EV but I am worried about running out of juice so a series hybrid is a good compromise knowing that I will only use the gas engine a few times a year.

    I have a kid and hopefully getting another one coming at some point so a Tesla is not an option (I know it is not series hybrid but 150 Miles range does give a huge safety margin).

    I like the ideas behind the Volt but I agree with most people here that GM is unlikely going to deliver this to any real customers. They probably are bankrupt by then or have supplier issues. Even if they do manage to sell a few then there is the old reliability issue that GM does not seem to be able shake.

    So the only viable option in the US to either save the planet, reduce our trade deficit or improve national security is to go with the 2010 Prius (apart from obviously public transport and cycling/walking).

    But then there is the hope that the 2011 model will be plug in.

    I think I will stick with my bicycle for now. I wonder how many people there are who are not buying hybrids right now because they are waiting for plug-ins.

  • Anonymous

    I think its unfortunate that they will be made in Japan. Its still worth it but it will take some time before the carbon footprint is offset by the gas it saves. I hope that Toyota changes their mind and starts making them here and sooner than later.

  • MLS21

    No sweat. For the record, I did not realize this conversion issue until reading it on a thread here one day.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Tom, I feel sorry for you and the other negative people like Boom Boom, Bryce, Ed, and MattVerso. The old and new Prius is not meant to be a SUV, truck, or poor man’s Porsche or Lexus. The present Prius is meant to accommodate 6’3” people (like my son) and three grandchildren in the back seat, two of them in car seats (try that in a Citreon C2 HDi VTS). And it will do all this at a 48/49 mpg average even though my wife does not know or care about “pulse and glide” technique. “Pulse and glide” technique will increase the present Prius mileage to 55/56 mpg. Now, how many cars on the market today can meet those requirements for under $30K?
    My wife “let” me have and drive the new Prius back in 2006 because “it isn’t sporty like my (her) Celica.” That lasted only three days until she learned, by driving the Prius, that the 110hp Prius was much faster at getting on the highway and passing than her 120hp Celica. With the electronic governor off, the Prius will do 130 mph all on one gear (electronic governor is set for 105mph; just ask Al Gore, Jr.). We live in Colorado and go to the mountains all the time. Even at 10,000 feet, where the Celica lost a lot of power, I have no problem calling on the 295 ft/lbs of torque (the electric motor) to pass just about anything I want. As for your “Under powered (up hill in some cases might scare you)” – nothing but bullshit. As far as traction control goes, I prefer driving the Prius over the Celica and the 4wd Suzuki we own except when the snow is deep. Now, how many cars on the market today can perform like this for under $30K?
    In five short years, the hybrid market has gone from approximately zero to over 2% of the car market. Toyota has the majority of those cars and over 50% of those cars are 2nd generation Prius. Now, how many new technology cars have ever taken over 1% of the market after their introduction in five short years?
    The Prius sales are off approximately 13% – as compared to the 18% to 28% for the Big three (their average is 24%). As for your “Sales are off more than any car because it is Butt UGLY” – where are your facts and data to support your prejudice point of view? My Prius has depreciated less than 25% (some sites indicate less than 20%) in resale value in the last three years. Now, how many other three year old cars on the market today have less depreciation than this starting for under $30K? Your statement “Bad resale” is just more prejudice.
    The Prius has topped the Consumer Reports driver’s satisfaction list for the last five years against the likes of Porsche, BMW, Lexus, and Chevy muscle cars and over 90% satisfaction for the last three years. Some other driver’s satisfaction listings even rate the Prius at 98% (even though they state it, even I have my doubts about 98%). Now, how many cars on the market today can boast about driver’s satisfaction like this for any price?
    When we bought our Prius back in February 2006, Consumer Reports indicated that the Prius would cost me $3000+ more than a Corolla, even with the federal tax credit, over a five year period. Later on that year, Consumer Reports revised that to state that I would save $406 over a Corolla. This year Consumer Reports stated that the “break even” point is one year with savings of $2000+ for a five year period versus the Corolla XLE. I can tell you from personal experience that their estimates are too conservative and your savings will be greater than their estimates (we broke even some time ago). They are just faulting to the safe conservative side. Now, would people rather own a subcompact (Corolla) and pay more money, or would they rather own a small sedan (Prius) and save money over all?
    Again, if your needs are for a SUV, truck, fast sports car ($$$$$$$), or large luxury car ($$$$$$), do not buy a Prius. It will not meet your needs. If you want a car somewhat larger than a subcompact, using less gas than most cars, and will help keep money in your wallet and bank account, you might want to consider the Prius as one of your options.

  • Shines

    Thanks Lost Prius to wife. I do not own a Prius, but I subscribe to Consumer Reports. I think the highest owner satisfaction rating that the Prius has says it all. Of all people who have purchased any car in the past 3 years the one that most people are most satisfied with is the Prius. I think the new model looks good and it looks better than the old one. But style is very subjective.
    Toyota haters want to find fault with the Prius and every one of them tries to find some reason – most saying it’s ugly, boring, old school, or that the Volt or Insight is going to blow it away.
    Well if the Insight and Volt sell well that’s fine. If over time the Prius loses market share to the competition that is fine. If you drive some other oddball vehicle that in some way is better than the Prius that is fine.
    The fact that over 100000 Prius owners are more satisfied than the rest of us, well that says something really fine.

  • Bryce

    Don’t forget the bad interior…..you can’t forget that….

    : )

  • Baltimore Prius Owner

    Geez, can we find a few more negative people to write blogs? If I had your addresses, I’d send all of you some cheese. Let’s make a deal, for everyone that posts here, always (yes, every post) include the year and type of vehicle you (and your wife) currently drive, along with your daily commute miles. If you aren’t driving some form of hybrid (or other high mpg car), what in the heck are you doing here? Go cry somewhere else.

    Me: 2005 Prius
    Wife: 2008 Prius

    They are the best damn car on the market. To all you naysayers, remember, the Volt is still vaporware. I wish GM (and the rest) the best of luck but with the state of the auto industry as it is, and the two worst months staring at us, I personally doubt this vehicle will come to fruition. Again, I wish them nothing but the best of luck.

  • jonak

    Sya cars lifetime is 150k miles
    then compared to a 25mpg saloon, over the life of the car the prius will save you between $6000 and $15000 for gas price ranging between $2 to $5 per gallon.
    Similarly, over the life of the car the insight will save you between $4700 and $11700 for gas price ranging between $2 to $5 per gallon.

    My conclusion, the cars are priced about right provided gas gets expensive again.

    My fervent wish: a hike in gas tax by $2 per gallon !

  • sean t

    Bryce,

    As Shines said, style is very subjective. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
    Pls come up with a valid criticism.

    Thanks Prius Owner in Baltimore, good post.

  • ramville (Toyota employee) 08 Prius Owner

    To all you who keep complaining about Toyota not making the Prius more attractive:

    If the look of the Prius changes, it will no longer be a “symbol” or “statement” that we care about the environment. This is one of the reasons why Prius Owners love their Prius.

  • Bryce

    I LOVE CHEESE…..Please send it over! : )

    As for the exterior styling being aerodynamic…..Honda, Chevy, and Cadillac have proved that aerodynamic does not have to equal ugly. However, my biggest problem with the Prius, and Toyota at large are the shoddy interiors that wreak of plain grey plastic and uncomfortable seats.

    And people who say they buy the Prius for its quirky shape and styling to show off their greenness…..that says more about their own self concious and self centered psyche than anything about their understanding or appreciation of the environment. If they REALLY cared that much about the environment and not about showing everyone how awesome they are, they would ride a bike…..lol.

    So basically, we have established that the only Prius drivers excuse the for them purchasing an ugly Prius is not in fact to save the environment, but to be snobby jerks and let everyone know about it. ITS GENIUS…..WHY DIDN’T I THINK OF THAT!!!

    rofl…..you guys are hilarious….thanks for gettin me into their psyches ramville…..much appreciated!

    lol

  • RKRB

    Way to go Toyota!

    Here’s what I’d recommend to those confused about all the anti-Prius comments: rent one for a few days. I did, and the visibility and the interior are still yukky (although you can compensate for them), and I’d sure like to ahve a sporty stickshift, but the power and torque from the electric motor are pretty good, the roadability didn’t seem so bad (even in a New England snowstorm), the space is appreciated, and the little indicator that says you are averaging 50+ mpg is satisfying enough to make it fun. Hey, is that a sunroof in the bottom photo? If so, one more nail in the coffin of the idea that I would never plan to order one.

    It would now be on my short list of cars to buy if I needed one now (assuming I could find one without the price-gouging dealer markups), and would be the first new not-built-by-the-UAW car we would buy in over 20 years (gives me the right to complain about the UAW). Seems strange, but if enough Americans buy the Prius, then maybe Toyota will make them over here, unless the union squelches the deal.

  • Benzodiazepine

    What countries they gonna send this baby to ?
    It looks a bit like Honda City 2008, combines with
    the Mazda 3 hatchback. But better engine.

    WIll be sticking to it :)

  • Sam J.

    all it boils down to is how much are you willing to pay for your vehicle of the future.

    honda is trying to corner the market on cheap and affordable hybrid vehicle. toyota is working towards a fuel efficiency and ammendities hybrid vehile. and sad to say, american car makers are just way to far behind. gut feeling says, the volt will fall flat and short of expectations.

    honda is working towards a $17k base price while you can expect a price increase in the upcoming prius to be pushing closer to $24k. plus if you want all the ammendities like ACC, leather, NAV, lane departure features, you are probably looking closer to $35k.

    me personally, i can pay CASH for an insight, and thats CASH. if i want other features like leather seats and such, i’ll find some aftermarket materials, which honda’s are basically built for.

    if you listen to the “so-called” experts in the car industry, both the insight and the prius are in two different martkets. sales will not be hurt by either in the market, it will more than likely increase sales, while correlates to an increase in petroleum usage, gas prices going up–which is inevitable, carbon emissions might decline with all the APZEV/PZEV/HEV.

  • sean t

    Bryce,
    You fail again, I’m afraid my friend.
    After wrongly ctriticising the car you turned to the buyers! Just because they don’t buy GM cars! They have good reasons not to do so. Everyone is entitled for his opinions but yours are so biased.
    In brief: Nice try but still an invalid criticism. Have a nice day.

  • Baltimore Prius Owner

    Bryce – I respect your right to your own opinion and appreciate the fact you love cheese. :o)

    For my last post on this topic, would you mind sharing with the world what type of vehicle you drive?

    BTW – My daily commute is 15 miles one way. I drive 10 miles and bike the rest on a Schwinn commuter bike.

  • Boom Boom

    I would just like to distance myself from the “Toyota haters” and say that I can’t really understand why my name came up in the list of “negative people”. I was merely bringing up some factual points about how Honda does have viable competition to the Prius. I closed that post with a specific comment that I might actually buy a new Prius. I like Priuses (Prii, whatever). I think that some Prius owners think that their car is the only vehicle like it in the world and that is has magical powers, but the car itself is a very good one.

    I would like to commend Mr. Lost Prius to Wife for comparing his car (or rather his wife’s car) to a Corolla rather than a Camry. Having driven all three, the Corolla is the comparable vehicle to a Prius, not a Camry. One glance at the Lexus 250 demonstrates that. (Even though Toyota managed to manipulate the dimensions just enough to get the Prius out of the compact class. Toyota knows how to do PR.)

    Enough said. Hopefully, record set a little straighter…. (I’ll let Bryce continue on with his mad rage against Toyota dashboards. I think you can medicate for that, pal.)

  • Oz

    I think the new Gen prius hits a mpg/hp point that will expand the audicence.

    50 mpg under the new epa standard is good. Doing it with 150-ish HP is better.

    That means for a car of its size/weight, it will be a fun drive in the highway and over distances.

    I think along with the Ford Focus hybrid (39/200) we are getting mpg/performance ratios that allow a driver to ignore the hybrid badge, and just enjoy a car that will drive well and sip gas.

    Its a mix that allows consumers not interested in making a big statement to just buy the car for a wide spectrum of normal uses.

    Good job Toyota (and good job Ford)

  • crut100

    why pay more than invoice??? The current Prius is going for quite a bit less than sticker right now. Dealers are desperarte for buyers and if they try to gouge you go to the next one. I’ve never paid more than sticker for a car and I never will and I have bought some high demand cars.

  • Bryce

    Sean T……

    I am not sad Toyota buyers buy those vehicles instead of GM products……I am actually sad that they chose those ugly things over Honda, Ford, Hyundai, GM, Mazda, and Nissan. It is sad that they should seem to want to punish themselves on styling interior and exterior, for supposed better fuel economy, even though Toyota loses out in mpg in every segment (except sub-compact, where the Yaris holds a narrow lead) to the previsouly mentioned automakers. Those automakers manage to make reliable fuel efficient vehicles without making the car a refrigerator at the same time.

    And, as a side note, the Prius market share has dropped from 70% to 44% in the past year alone whereas GM’s has increased from 0% to 14%.

    To the Prius owner in Baltimore:

    Actually right now I don’t really drive seeing as I am at Berkeley going to school and a car isn’t really practical or needed. Everything for the most part is within walking distance. However in highschool back in SoCal when everything was most definetly not within walking distance, I drove 1998 Chrysler Concorde LXi with a 3.2L V6. Wonderful car I have to admit, even though I am actually not a fan of Chrysler. It is sad that the brand has gone downhill so much in the past decade since this vehicle. : ( When I graduate however, I will probably be in the market for a new vehicle, and I have my eyes set on some nice plug-in electric car with a range extender, and so far, the only vehicle matching those specs is the Chevy Volt. ( It’s actually pretty perfect considering I graduate in May of 2011)

  • Matt H

    I am glad I have an 07′…..I was hoping for much much more this time around….too bad the 10′ looks like a mini Pontiac Aztec….And no plug in? Who is blocking Toyota from making this thing really shine? American Car Companies and Lobbiest?

  • sean t

    Bryce,
    Don’t be sad. You’re only sad if people buy cars you don’t like by YOUR money. If they use THEIR hard earned money, why YOU should be sad?
    Again you still don’t get my point. Things YOU think that ugly (or beautiful) may be seen beautiful (or ugly) by OTHER PEOPLE. I never say this/that car is beautiful or ugly, I only think that the style is DIFFERENT, may be not to my taste. If you always think that your taste/style is the best, I’m afraid you’re a bit arrogant. Remember this site is called “hybridcars.com”, not jalopnik.com. Majority of visitors of the site pay more attention to the hybrid technology (or alternative fuel, etc) than some funky dashboards.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Boom Boom, I may have misinterpreted some of your comments and apologize for classifying you as negative. Also, I do not equate “negative” with “Toyota haters”.

    Consumers Reports compares the Prius to the Corolla based on the gas engine size (the gas guzzling component). However, the interior dimensions of the Prius are more comparable to the interior of the Camry. A few sites term the Prius a large compact, but most sites term the Prius as a small sedan. Maybe the slight increase in size will “push” the new Prius into small sedan category in everyone’s opinion.

    I agree with Sam J.’s opinion that the Insight and the Prius are really destined for two different parts of the market. The real competition between Honda and Toyota will be market crossover between the Insight and both the Honda Civic and the Prius (smaller/initially cheaper vs. bigger/ initially more expensive). If Honda changes the Civic with an increase in size and mileage, that would provide a more direct competition between Honda and Toyota’s Prius. The Insight, Civic, and Prius are all very viable in the market with the impending gas price increases and a recession/depression economy.

    Bryce, you are wrong in saying, “As for the exterior styling being aerodynamic…..Honda, Chevy, and Cadillac have proved that aerodynamic does not have to equal ugly.” As aerodynamic as you might think Honda, Chevy, and Cadillac are, they are not close to being as aerodynamic as a Prius or as you think they are. The next two closest coefficients of drag are the Chevy Corvette Coupe (.286) and the Honda Accord Coupe (.29). These coefficients of drag are 14% and 16% greater than the Prius’s coefficient of drag. Since drag increases exponentially instead of linear with the increase of speed, the difference of 14% and 16% becomes substantial drag for the Chevy Corvette Coupe and the Honda Accord Coupe at speeds of 55, 65, 75, and greater when compared to the drag on a Prius. This requires more horsepower (therefore, large engine and more gas) to push the Chevy Corvette Coupe and the Honda Accord Coupe through the air.

    A better example would be to compare the old Honda Insight to the impending Aptera design. Both are capable of top speeds of 80/90 mph with approximately the same acceleration. The old Insight’s mass is 838 kg and is powered by 73 horsepower. The Aptera’s mass will be ~671 kg and will be powered by ~16 horsepower. The mass to horsepower ratio is 25.3 kg for the Insight while the Aptera‘s will be a massive ~92.5 kg. In other words, the Aptera has to push approximately three times the mass through the air per horsepower. That should translate to the Aptera having approximately one third the gas mileage as the Insight. Yet the Aptera’s mpg will be ~130 compared to the Insight’s 66.5 mpg. This is because the Aptera’s coefficient of drag is .15 compared to the Insight’s .24. Because of the Aptera’s 37.5% reduced coefficient of drag over the Insight’s coefficient of drag, the mileage changes from what should be ~25 mpg to ~130 mpg.

    So please do not bullshit everyone with how “aerodynamic” Honda, Chevy, and Cadillac are. They may look stylish and “aerodynamic”, but they are merely just stylish. Personally, I do not care about stylish; give me something that will save me money. And if that something should save some of our oil reserves, air, and environment while saving me money, so be it. And if the interior does not come with lots of chrome and wood grain finishes, that would cost me more money, so be it. I have push button engine start and doors unlocking without me touching my key or even taking the key out of my pocket. That saves me time (what a concept!). There are all kinds of storage compartments everywhere. There is room for my 6’3″ son in any of the seats in the car. The instrumentation this laid out logically and within reach. Even the cup holders placement was thought out ahead of time and logically placed where they should be, instead of afterthoughts that I have seen in so many cars. I have a display screen that shows me how I am driving the car so that I can drive the car efficiently to save me money. In other words, Toyota spent their money on research, engineering, and ergonomics instead of glitz. And I have had this technology since February 2006 while some car manufacturers are just now getting around to putting it into their cars. And you question how and why Prius owners appreciate and are satisfied with their cars?

    Again, if a $312K Ferrari 612 Scaglietti coupe meets one’s needs, buy it. If a $51K Chevrolet Tahoe LTZ meets one’s needs, buy it. If a $1.5M Bugatti Veyron 16.4 meets one’s needs, buy it. If a $15K Honda Fit meets one’s needs, buy it. I looked for a car that would meet our needs and save my wife and me money. And we found the Prius and bought it.

  • Bryce

    I wasn’t referring to sports cars, but rather the Insight, Volt, and Converj concept. All were given aerodynamics, but a healthy condieration to styling. People don’t seem to realize it here, but the whole fuel efficiency thing will only take an automaker so far, because eventually, everyone will figure that out, and then, it will be the amenities and the style that are left to hold up the given vehicle. Anyways, I most certainly wasn’t referring to the Corvette, Accord, or CTS. CTS = brick, Accord = curvaceous brick, and Corvette = bullet, but with a supercharged V8 strapped to it. Not the hallmarks of fuel economy……..even though the Accord does get better fuel economy than an automatic transmission Camry, a Corvette bets better fuel economy than similarly powered sports cars, and the CTS gets better fuel economy than a similarly powered Mercedez or BMW. Given that, they still manage to be stylish…..and that is what sells cars my friends. The consumer has to be pleased with what they are driving. Yes of course people will buy for fuel economy, but gone are the days where style and economy are mutually exclusive. With the Fusion hybrid and Insight on our doorstep and things like the Volt and other plug ins just a short time away, why do you not see that in a competitive market style is coming back in….especially into the hybrid market.

  • Bill Cosworth

    We will see what the actuall EPA is.

    Toyota likes to blow fake numbers around.

    I suspect it will do not much better than the old one.

    Hype is one thing and there is fact.

    Anyone trading in a 07 for this is totaly stupid. Buying a new car is like thowing money out the window.

    If somone said here to trade in your 07 than they are def toyota implants to make more money for the company.

    You are much better off keeping your old toyota. The money you will lose will never in 1000000 years pay off the difference in gas from 41 to estimated 45.
    I dont think it will really get 50.

  • bill smith

    Espically that gas is so cheap.
    If you bought this now you would look stupid.

    Plus buying a foreign made car in japan. dosnet help any american people at all.

    Thumbs down to this new cheap crap.

    Its unsafe and makes the usa poor. Who would get this crap machine.

  • vericona hillendale

    Ya that yoystick looks like a 1980 atari.

    The dash looks walmart.

    The outside 1990 nissian.

    Seats = Airline.

    MAkes me thowup to look at it.

    And pay 30k+ for junk. The deallers mark this up.

    Fully loaded you cant get one for less than 35k

    Its a total sales farce. Who ever buys this has no gray matter.

    Or better yet there brains are not working. Must be too much pot in CA .

    People in CA are really dumb.

  • Dave Y

    Bryce says style is what sells cars. I say customer satisfaction is a laundry list of various car attributes: value, comfort, performance, style, mileage, initial cost, options, space, towing capacity, etc. Each attribue being of various weight to the driver. I agree with Lost Prius to wife that each buyer will match the car to their needs. I’m hoping to get a gen III Prius but am curious to see what the take home price of them will be. Maybe we’ll see better federal tax rebates by then.

    Thanks for the post Lost Prius to wife. I enjoy posts with factual information in them.

  • Dave Y

    vericona hillendale,
    I’m not from CA but Toyota has made no mention of invoice pricing on the gen III prius. Base List Price on gen II should be $22000 – $24270. The Prius has various options but things like power doors/windows, A/C, CD player, etc comes standard. Styling is subjective (I personally don’t like such a small rear window) but your posts on pricing are just speculation or lies. Don’t be a dumbass. Research a few respectable websites on the Prius to educate yourself. If its a total sales farce, don’t you think there’d be more reporting on various operating or maintenance problems? A Consumer Reports poll states 94% of current Prius owners would buy another one.

    http://blogs.automotive.com/6405222/opinion/toyota-prius-again-tops-consumer-reports-satisfaction-survey/index.html

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Bryce, just before the new Honda Insight was unveiled, the somewhat camouflaged test Insight was seen on one of the test tracks. The description of the vehicle at that time, which we now know was the Insight, was that it was shaped like a smaller Prius with a slightly redesigned front end and no spoiler. And what does it look like today? It looks shaped like a smaller Prius with a more extensively redesigned front end (still resembles the Prius) and no spoiler. Prius has no “lock” on that aerodynamic shape. I have yet to see the coefficient of drag on the new Insight, but my guess is that it is somewhere between .26 and .28. This is going in the right direction for cars in general, but does not match the old Insight’s .24. If you do not believe me, just take a side view of the new Insight and 2nd generation Prius, side up or down one of the two views to equal the other’s length, and then superimpose them to see just how similar the two shapes really are.
    The Volt and the Converj, when produced, will have better aerodynamics that the cars they will eventually replace in the market. But I suspect they will fall short of the marks (.24, .25) set by the Insight and Prius. The Volt’s problem is that it will start at $34K for the basic model and go up to approximately $45K for a loaded one. I am willing to admit that the cost of “fuel” coming out of the wall will eventually make the Volt a cheaper option that a 2nd generation Prius over a period of years. This is especially true where the person lives less than fifteen miles from work (not the case for me). And though the Converj will probably cost more than a Volt, it too will be cheaper than a 2nd generation Prius over a longer period of years (than years for a Volt). But how does “Joe Average” afford the loan required to buy such a car in the next three to five years given these economic times? Here in Colorado, I can buy a fully loaded Touring edition Prius, with sale taxes and tax credits accounted for, for under $30K. How does that compare to the estimated $38K for a Volt ($45K – 7K federal tax credit)? Even for the new design and the increased cost once the Prius goes lithium / plug-in, I estimate that I will be able to buy a fully loaded Prius for about $35K compared to the $38K fully loaded Volt (prices assume the $7K federal tax credit). And the Prius lithium / plug-in will be designed to go 60 miles on battery, not the 30 miles that the Volt is designed to go. I will have to think about putting in a fuel preservative and stabilizer since it will be all “wall” power. Do not want the fuel to go bad in a three year period. Of course if my wife and I go to the Mountains enough, we may have to buy a couple of tanks of gas per year.
    I have had my fair share of cars that looked good and had style, but were hardly any good at retaining value and saving money. I will still take performance and savings over good looks and style anytime. That is why my wife and I drive a Prius.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Bill Cosworth, I have recorded every ounce of gas that we have put into our Prius since we purchased it new in February 2006. And as I have stated before, the Prius will do 48/49 mpg average even though my wife does not know or care about “pulse and glide” technique. Using the “pulse and glide” technique will increase the present Prius mileage to 55/56 mpg. One of my associates where I work gets that mileage by religiously following the “pulse and glide” technique. Even the mileage changes that occur with the seasons, due to Colorado’s temperature changes affecting the tire’s rolling resistance, are traceable for both the Prius and the Celica (I have three years data for the Celica also). I record the data on http://www.fuelecomony.gov. Anyone can see that data by going to the site and look under Prius, 2006, #31 (at this time), Colorado and Celica, 1994, 2.2L, automatic. Even the site when I last checked showed a 47.8 mpg average for all the 2006 Prius together. Where are you getting your data that the Prius is only capable of 45 mpg? If you are using 45 mpg for any calculations, your figures are already off 6% (8% if you use my wife’s driving). And the “pulse and glide” technique puts your calculations off by 23%. Those are fairly big errors.
    bill smith, if you think gas is going to stay cheap for long, think again. OPEC has already stated that they will slow oil production down until the barrel prices climb to between $40 and $80. Since they produce 40% of the world’s oil, they will get that. It is not going to be long before gas prices will climb back to $2.50 and more likely $3.
    vericona hillendale, if you are paying $35K for the package 6 Touring edition Prius, someone has made a sucker out of you. Come to Colorado and I will get you one for $35K so I can take some of your money along with the dealership out here. The only person that “has no gray matter” is you.

  • Bryce

    The Prius plug-in won’t be on the market until 2012 as said by their CEO. He also said it will have a 10 mile range pure electric. He also said he really doesn’t belive in plug-ins and think the parallel hybrid system is the best way to go.

    Just thought I would clarify.

    As for options, the Camry comes with a manual transmission and enough grey plastic for a docter’s office. To get even up to comparision status to its competitors, 2-3k worth of options has to be added. Somehow, I don’t expect to have to add much to the Volt, if the current models are any indication.

  • Matt H

    Does nayone know if Toyota will make a “plug in” upgrade for the 07′ Prius?

    I still would like to know who forced Toyota to keep the second battery pack out of my North American car….in Europe you can buy a Prius with EV mode and two batteries standard….why not here?

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Matt H, there are companies that do lithium / plug-ins upgrades, but I do not believe that Toyota itself has any plans to do so. Supposedly the 2010 and future non-lithium Prius come with all the wiring in place that will allow one to upgrade their Prius through Toyota to lithium / plug-ins. I do not have an answer to the second question (Europe Prius with EV mode and two batteries standard).

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Bryce, to some degree I stand corrected. It appears that only the independent lithium / plug-in upgrade market produce systems capable of 40 to 50 miles of pure electric use at this time. And I can only find that Toyota’s experimental lithium / plug-in fleet will have a 10 mile pure electric range. Although it is possible, I find it hard to believe that Toyota will allow itself to be outdone by the independent companies unless there is a cost issue involved.

    Also, neither the Volt nor Prius will be pure lithium / plug-ins. Both will be parallel hybrids (engine reserves) with plug-in capacities. I believe the Volt system will be a series hybrid while the Prius will remain a power-split hybrid.

    And Toyota’s CEO is right: once a pure plug-in has no more electric charge to operate from, it is tow truck time unless you just happen to stop next to a car specific electric outlet. Long trips requiring recharging every 40 miles does not sound like a pleasant trip to me. Long trips (trips greater than 40 miles) are the reason for Toyota CEO’s comment that the parallel hybrid system is the best way to go.

  • Zero X Owner

    I care far more whether a vehicle is all electric drive (as the Chevy Volt will be) than whether it is all electric. Think of an all electric as an all electric drive range extended vehicle without the range extender. The range extender is a security blanket for thumb suckers, like Toyota’s current president. Either way, though, it’s the electric DRIVE that gets you the improved performance, efficiency and progress. Parallel hybrid is fine for now as a transition tool to all electric drive0(w/ or 2/o range extenders) and to provide exotic power configurations for those not troubled by the extra weight and complexity.

    Yes, diesel can be part of the transition to all electric drive, especially if tuned to be a generator. I’d love to see various VW TDI series hybrid electric drive configurations, designed for performance. Those would be fun, fun, fun, car to drive.

    I love that there are multiple right solutions – that’s great for consumers and for producers to try different things and get market differentiation (the best configuration for a racer might be different than the best configuration for a pickup). I also love that software is part of the many solutions, for user preferences (you know you want that “Crush the Ferarri next to you in traffic for four seconds and then crush Priuses in mileage (kWh/100 miles) the rest if the time” button) We are finally moving away from being completely trapped, chained to just one power source (oil).

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Zero X Owner, please do not confuse yourself and other people. All production cars are gas powered, diesel powered, hybrid powered, or electric powered at this time.

    This is the quote of this site (http://www.hybridcars.com/electric-car) concerning what an electric car is.

    “Unlike a hybrid car—which is fueled by gasoline and uses a battery and motor to improve efficiency—an electric car is powered exclusively by electricity. Historically, EVs have not been widely adopted because of limited driving range before needing to be recharged, long recharging times, and a lack of commitment by automakers to produce and market electric cars that have all the creature comforts of gas-powered cars. That’s changing. As battery technology improves—simultaneously increasing energy storage and reducing the cost of batteries—major automakers are expected to begin introducing a new generation of electric cars.”

    From the Wikipedia site (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_vehicle_drivetrain#Parallel_hybrid), hybrids are split into three types: parallel, series, and power-split. The parallel hybrid uses both the gas engine and electric motor/ generator to direct drive the wheels through a differential gear system. The series hybrid uses electricity from the battery and/or the gas engine/generator to run an electric motor. Please note: A series hybrid differs from an electric car by having a gas engine/generator in the car’s power system. Power-split hybrid uses features of both parallel and series hybrid systems via a planetary gear system.

    The Chevy Volt is a hybrid, not an electric car. This is the quote from this site (http://www.hybridcars.com/concept-hybrids/chevy-volt-concept.html) concerning the Chevrolet Volt.

    “GM calls the Volt an “extended-range electric vehicle” (or E-REV.) This underlines its crucial point of separation from other hybrids: It operates entirely as an electric car for its first 40 miles after a full charge. It burns no gasoline during those miles, drawing energy from a 400-pound lithium-ion battery pack containing 16 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Current from that pack powers a 150-hp electric motor that drives the Volt’s front wheels.
    But a 40-mile range isn’t enough to make a car practical, so the Volt also carries a 1.4-liter flex-fuel engine. Crucially, that engine doesn’t drive the wheels—it only kicks in to power a generator that recharges the battery enough to give the car another 300 miles of range. And that only happens once the battery is exhausted.”

    The next paragraph is titled “Chevy Volt as Series Hybrid” and very clearly states that the Chevy Volt is a hybrid system.
    This also means that if the gas tank is 7.4 gallons, a 340 mile trip in the Chevy Volt will equal what the 2nd generation Prius gets mileage wise now. If the gas tank is 6.8 gallons, a 340 mile trip in the Chevy Volt will equal what the 3nd generation Prius will do mileage wise.
    Due to the planetary gear system, the Prius will operate like an electric car (or like the Chevy Volt) when the engine turns itself off. And the engine can turn itself off whether or not the car is at a standstill or moving thanks to that planetary gear system (no clutch needed or exists in a Prius).

    I do agree with your last paragraph and have said it many times in this column. Different needs require different vehicles. The Prius is really not going to carry one ton of rock very well (if at all). That is a truck’s job. If I have a true “need for speed”, I probably would buy a Corvette. The Chevy Volt is specifically designed for people who do not wander much more than 15 or 20 miles from home. In this category it will far surpass the Prius and save one more money that a Prius in the long run. But my wife and I more often than not “wander” further than the 25 mile mark on a daily basis. That and trips to the mountains would make it difficult to buy a Chevy Volt and save money even in the long run. We will probably wait for the plug-in Prius before even considering buying another car. Who knows what market competition will produce by then. But I can guarantee that I will buy the car that meets my needs, whether it is a Prius or not.

  • sean t

    Lost Prius to wife,
    Excellent posts. My hat off. It silenced some biased comments, especially the jalopnik worshiper’s.

  • Bryce

    I’m still here sean t……

    anyways, the Volt was not designed with some sort of mile limit, such as only for urban folks. It has a limited electric range where if you wander out of that range, you switch to charge maintaining mode sustained by the combustion engine. That engine still maintains about 50 mpg. The difference, and superiority to parallel hybrids is that when this switch is made, the torque, power, and economy of an eletric engine remains, without the help of some complicated transmission as necesary within many hybrids. Range anxiety, as it is called is non-existant, while simultaneously assuring the individual fuel economy and performance. Further difference between serial and parallel hybrids is realized in the fact that for the first leg of the trip, there is no gas used in a series oriented drivetrain, wheras in a parallel orientation, gas is consistently being used. After, say, those 40 miles, the Volt, or any other series hybrid, has used 0 gallons of gas, wheras the parallel drivetrain oriented vehicle, say a Prius, has used nearly a gallon. Say the driver goes another 40 miles, the Prius has used yet another gallon wheras the the series hybrid has just began sipping its first gallon and not even yet onto seconds. So, for this 80 mile trip, the Prius has consumed more than twice the fuel. Furthermore, if the trip had been restricted to under 40 miles, which over 75% of people’s daily commutes are, there would have been no gas used. Yet the Prius, or any parallel hybrid for that matter, no matter the situation, is using petroleum.

    And yes, like a said, the plug-in prius, as per Toyota CEO, will only have a 10 mile range and only be available to utilities and maybe other companies. So basically, it won’t be available to the public until about 2 years after the Volt is.

    Just a note also, the gas tank in the Volt is purported to be 7 gallons, but no one really knows for sure. Could be less, could be more. Either way, the economy of the engine is estimated to be in or around 50 mpg.

  • Anonymous

    The Prius was interesting until I saw the centralized dashboard.

    Why, oh why, do car designers think centralized dashboards are a good idea? Unless the seat is in the center of the car, the dashboard should be where it has always been – Right behind the steering wheel where it can be seen easily & clearly by the driver.

    I’ll have to check if Honda made the same lame move. Even still, Honda shot themselves in the foot by making a hybrid with crappy mileage. How is it that you can have WORSE gas mileage in a car that is made years after the first model? Only Honda knows…

  • AP

    Lost Prius to Wife, it’s amusing to see an argument about the relative affordability of a Volt vs. a Prius, both of which will only be affordable because of “donations” by the manufacturer and the government. Neither is a sustainable product on its own, and won’t be for some time. How much do we expect our government to subsidize? Do you feel good about that?

    Contrary to the statements about oil prices resuming their upward climb, OPEC has no pricing power in the foreseeable future. Oil inventories are so high that speculators, burned by paying $150/barrel last year, are storing their oil off-shore in super-tankers, hoping for a price jump so they can reduce their losses. Their sudden selling will hold the price down. The only reason gasoline has gone up recently is that refineries scaled backed production.

    OPEC’s problem will be that some of their countries will not be able to cut production, because the reduced income would endanger their dictatorial governments. OPEC countries will cheat on their quotas, oil and gas will stay cheap for 2-3 years, and the payback on a hybrid will be very doubtful.

    The context of this discussion is sickening, and a bit frightening. We need energy policy that doesn’t require the government taxing us more or driving up the national debt, but relies on profitable methods to solve the issues.

  • Bryce

    That is very true AP……even though that sadly means that this whoe green car revolution is up a creek without a paddle.

  • Matt H

    Anonymous, As I understand it this is strickly a cost cutting measure for a car maker. The Prius will now only need one wire harness any where in the world it is sold…..in addition, if you look at models like the Yaris, Toyota uses many of the same dashboard parts no matter if the steering wheel is on the right or left….this saves them big time bucks. NOW, that is not saying I like it…..I like my O7′s HUD and think it is the best thing since sliced bread.

    As for the Civic…Honda really did not do their homework. They went with the engine first battery second set up and it has cost them dearly. They can’t sell their Civics. The Accord has been cancelled. Amazing that they work screw up like that…..but, I guess Ford had the Edsil…..Honda had the Civic Hybrid.

  • Matt H

    Bryce, I could not agree with you more. I was excited when gas jumped to nearly $5 because of the demand it would place on the market for Green Cars…..now I guess I will be sitting behind more of those damn Hummers again enjoying a warmer Earth. Man, do I hope we keep going with the Fuel Cell technology…….that will truly rock.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Bryce, first where is your data coming from that the 2nd generation Prius is only capable of 40 mpg? I know of no site that has found the 2nd generation Prius is only capable of 40 mpg. Please, give us the site that proves that the 2nd generation Prius is only capable of 40 mpg. My wife can get 48.5 mpg in our Prius without doing anything special. Of course, maybe you are one few people that cannot drive the Prius as well as my wife or other Prius drivers do. There are people out there that try to change the Prius’s performance into a Ferrari’s performance – other than lower mileage, not going to happen for all their efforts.

    If my wife was driving those 80 miles, she would have used only 1.65 gallons, not the 2 gallons that you have lead everyone to believe. Even if we use EPA numbers, one has only used 1.74 gallons. Using EPA mileage (and $2 per gallon), the error per year is $135.20. Using my wife’s mileage, the error per year is $182. Are most of the people in the United States so rich that these amounts of money are nothing but pocket change? If this is pocket change to you, please send me your pocket change. At least I would love to have it. Also, I used $2.00 per gallon for these calculations. Even though AP believes that gas prices will stay low for “2-3 years”, the price of gas in Colorado has already risen ~20% since December. In all likelihood, the price of gas will rise another 20% in the next month or two. This will place the price of gas in Colorado over $2.00 per gallon and well on its way to the $2.50 / $3.00 that I predict before the year’s end.

    Now, I will agree with you that the Volt would come out ahead for the 80 mile trip. But still it is not as much as you indicated because of your secondary “fuel” cost. The secondary “fuel” for that 40 miles gas free range is cheap at underestimated $1.49, but not zero. The electric rate for our area is $.091 per Kh. The Volt, assuming an impossible 1 for 1 Kh charging to the battery, would require the cost charging of the $1.49. That cost will be ~$387 to ~$543 per year depending on Volt’s usage. Based on EPA data, the Volt’s estimated total yearly cost will be ~$559 as compared to the ~$651 for a 2nd generation Prius. If one assumes the lower ~$387 and EPA data, the cost goes up to ~$577 per year for the Volt. For the new generation Prius the yearly cost will be an estimated $600. In other words, the Chevy Volt is definitely competition for the Prius market. Without knowing the battery’s Kh for the experimental 10 mile plug-in Prius, no comparison can be made for a Prius plug-in.

    For example: if the 10 mile Prius plug-in battery is a16Kh battery (to make the federal tax credit requirements), the cost per year ranges from ~$883 to $997. Why even produce such a car that will not even compete with your own non plug-in? But what if the battery is only an “experimental 3Kh” battery? (Note: No there is proof that such a battery exists; this is for example only.) The cost now changes to ~$554 to $569 per year. This would make the 10 mile Prius plug-in as cheap as the 40 mile Volt plug-in. Now let’s take that “experimental 3Kh” battery and increase it to 16KH. Now the Prius would become a “53 gas free”. Now the yearly cost would range from ~$421 to $436.

    AP, you state, “Lost Prius to Wife, it’s amusing to see an argument about the relative affordability of a Volt vs. a Prius, both of which will only be affordable because of “donations” by the manufacturer and the government. Neither is a sustainable product on its own, and won’t be for some time.” At $2.00 a gallon, compare the yearly cost of the following vehicles to either the Prius or Chevy Volt:
    2009 Chevrolet Impala – $1304
    2009 Ford Fusion FWD – $1304
    2009 Pontiac G8 – $1500
    2009 Volkswagen Jetta – $1388
    2009 Honda Accord Coupe – $1250
    2009 Mitsubishi Eclipse – $1365
    You do realize that the federal tax credits for the Prius stopped in September of 2007? And you are aware that sales of Prius increased even after the loss of any credits from the federal government? There were no dealer or manufacturer “donations” for these sales. Can you please provide everyone with this data that that shows and/or proves that the Prius is not a “sustainable product on its own” in light of these increased sales? Based on the evidence I can find, even the Volt will be a sustainable product should there be no incentives. Sorry AP, there is no evidence to back you up on that one.
    But I do agree with your last statement and it deserves restating. We do need an energy policy that does not require the government taxing us more or driving up the national debt, but relies on profitable methods to solve the issues. Your observation and statement is very accurate.

  • Bryce

    45….excuse me…….still substantially short of a 100 mpg

  • Joseph

    What if they made a stick shift prius? That would only increase the gas mileage, correct?

  • Noah Kochanowicz

    Actually the volt will not be all electric, it will be very similar to a hybrid, it goes about 50 miles per charge off electric then it either switches to gas or hybrid

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Yes, Bryce, 45 mpg for the 2nd generation Prius is a good conservative figure based on real sites. EPA estimate is 46 mpg (www.fuelecomony.org). Consumers Report indicates their figure is 44 mpg. But I still prefer real world numbers more (www.fuelecomony.org) to these more conservative numbers and will continue to sight and use those numbers. That will not stop me from using EPA’s 46 mpg for some of my arguments on the conservative side. I will not question your calculations based on 45 mpg other than to remind you that I think they are too conservative compared to real world numbers.

    As for the 100 mpg, and I believe you are in California, try lining up for the Aptera. I believe that it will eventually be built and fill one of the California small market niches. It will be more like a very aerodynamic 1st generation Insight. It seems a little expensive initially, but if kept long enough will prove to be relatively inexpensive. Personally, I would like to get one. I would like to have a Toyota EV Rav also. Unfortunately, California seems to get all the neat “toys”.

    Anonymous, all the major displays are in front of the Prius steering wheel. All major controls are located around the steering column. It is only the secondary displays and controls that are in the centralized dashboard and on the steering wheel. And, yes, I also believe that Honda shot themselves in the foot when they did not retain or improve the mileage along with improving the practicality of the Insight. But do read on further and see what my one fellow associate has found out.

    Matt H, I am fairly certain that Honda uses a true parallel hybrid system. The parallel hybrid uses both the gas engine and electric motor/ generator to direct drive the wheels through a differential gear system. Their hybrid gas engine and hybrid system never shuts down when the car is turned on and running. It uses a clutch system to disengage the hybrid system from the wheels. If done properly, as in the Insight, it is capable of 65/70 mpg. But the Insight lacked overall practicality. It could not carry a family of four let alone a family of four and groceries. The new Insight will carry a family of four and groceries, putting it in a much larger market. It went through a change in size, weight, power/weight ratio, and power distribution within the hybrid system and came out with more practicality and less mileage.

    The latest from my work associate (the one that gets 50+ mpg now) is that both the Prius and the Honda will have three new buttons: ECO, Norm, and EV. The latest he has heard is that the Insight in ECO mode will be capable of 85 mpg while Norm mode will be ~43 mpg. Neither of us has found what the ECO button does on the Prius. How the ECO button “robs Peter to pay Paul” to get the “capable of 85 mpg” we have not heard yet. I guess we will all find out soon how it operates and how well it really works.

    Joseph, I guess Toyota could put in a gear shift, but why? It already is capable of 0 to 130 on one gear, EPA listed mileage of 46, and carries a family of five and groceries. To put in a gear shift they would have to add a transmission and clutch of some sort. This would add weight and size, lose some power to the transmission and clutch, and add substantial cost and complexity, all for a few extra miles. It is not worth the effort. Most people do not realize that the “continuously variable transmission”, known as the acronym “CVT”, is a transmission only in the sense of transmitting power to the wheels. The CVT on the Prius is more accurately a power transfer system rather than a geared transmission as in other cars. This is why the Wikipedia site calls the CVT a power-split system hybrid. There are several sites that explain how it works better than I can do here.

    And Noah Kochanowicz the Chevy Volt is not “similar to a hybrid”; the Chevy Volt is a hybrid. Please go to the following sites:
    http://www.hybridcars.com/concept-hybrids/chevy-volt-concept.html
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_vehicle_drivetrain#Parallel_hybrid

  • Fargun Icehole

    This car is uglier than a cat’s butt! Please buy one anyways because that will leave more gas for me.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Fargun Icehole, you must be one of the filthy rich. You care more about appearances and having more gas rather than whether or not you can save money. The majority of people in the real world are trying to save money so they do not have to live in poverty when and if we can retire. In most people’s budgets, a car takes or uses a good portion of that budget money. This hybrid site is helping people to save money by choices that can save significant amounts of money over extended periods of time. What can you add to that effort?

  • Bryce

    It is pretty ugly though….and I am pretty poor…..being a student and all. : )

  • Shines

    Hey Bryce – If they put a Chevy badge on the new Prius and said it was the new Volt I bet you wouldn’t be calling it ugly…

    I think it looks way better than the current Prius. More wedge, slightly sharper lines. The back end is cleaner…
    I’ll admit the Toyota badge hanging over the “front grille” reminds me of a hairlip or an aardvark nose (it’s the worst feature on the Camry exterior).
    But I still think the new Prius looks sharp. It looks at least as good as the current Volt design.

  • john iv

    I might be wrong, but where do these people get the price difference between the Insight and Prius to be $7-8k? I looked up edmunds.com and they list the Prius as 21,500 for entry level. The Insight is priced at 17,000? That’s 4,500 difference. Not 7-8k.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Shines, that new bigger Toyota badge on the front is going to hide collision avoidance radar.

  • Shines

    If you say so Lost Prius to wife. I think Toyota would be better off not hiding the collision avoidance radar (and avoiding the hairlip look on their fronts).
    And although I do appreciate your many defences of the Prius in this thread I have to wonder if Toyota is paying you to respond or do you happen to work at one of their plants ? ;-P

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Personally, I wish Toyota would pay me. Or even Chevy. It would sure help pay the bills. I have three jobs; one is in aerospace, one is in retail, and I have a very small personal business.

    Anyway, back to hybrids. I am not kidding about the collision avoidance radar. I am reasonably certain that it will not be offered in all the packages. The radar will help assist with the brakes and seatbelts.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    polar Bear, pricing is a game that confuses everyone except the people that did the pricing. The year after we bought our 2006 Prius, I was checking prices (with tax added in) with a friend and this, in general, was what we found. The 2007 Prius base model was ~$20K while the base models for the Corolla, Camry, and Camry Hybrid were ~$18K, ~$22K, and ~$23K respectively. We then compared the prices to the Prius package 6 (every extra but navigation and leather). We found the Prius package 6 was ~$28K. To get the exact same package in the Corolla, Camry, and Camry Hybrid required ~$31K, ~$33K, and ~$34K respectively. In other words, the Prius went up only ~$8K for extras, while the Corolla, Camry, and Camry Hybrid when up ~$13K, ~$11K, and ~$11K respectively. The questions are:
    1) Was the base model profit margin less on the Prius to make it easier to sell a new engineering design in larger quantities?
    2) Was it more difficult and costly putting the same items into the Corolla than it was for the others? Was it easier to put those items into the Prius than it was the others?
    3) Was the markup greater on the extras for the Corolla, Camry, and Camry Hybrid (via the Camry brand name) because they are accepted brands with good market share?
    4) Or was it a combination, in part or whole, of the above three questions? Or even some other factors I have not thought of?
    I do not know the answer to your question or even if there is really any answer to it.

  • Bryce

    If Chevy put that damn little cute bunny nose look on any of their vehicles, I would have to gag. The lines are definetly sharper, but this advancement is ruined by that front end…..bleh. If it is sharper…..it has gone from blunt to un-sharpened. Same thing goes for Honda or Nissan, whom I also admire….if they did that damn look, I would have to throw up. This little bunny nose….or hairlip as it is better decribed above just supports the view in my mind that Toyotas are more akin to appliances than any other vehicle, Hyundais included, with their new Genesis, that might instill feelings of perhaps….excitement….happiness. The only car that might have been able to do that in the Toyota line-up was the Celica….which they killed years ago.

  • Shines

    Hmm,
    Bryce I hate to get into a discussion about what’s ugly about a particular car (not really). But I am not any more impressed with the bulbous front ends of Honda’s Insight and CRV. Nor do I care for Chevy’s split fat grilles. I liked the thin Chrome strip across the fronts of some of the older Chevy pickups. Maybe I’m a traditionalist when it comes to front grilles. I really like the looks of the new Accord’s front end (but the Accord’s tail lights are too small ;-).
    Needless to say, styling is way too subjective.
    Clearly (by your own standards) the Prius must be the number one hybrid because of its efficiency and reliability and mostly overall value. Certainly these are better reasons for buying a car than the style of the front grille.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Bryce and Shine, just for the record, differences of opinion, as to what is sporty and /or stylish, can even occur within a family of two. When we first decided to get a Prius back in 2006, I was told that I could have the new car. I told her that I thought that was understood since we were getting rid of my old car. I was told that if the Prius was sporty like her 1994 Celica, I would not be getting the new car (stems from her high school days where she beat all the boys with her Mustang). I pointed out to her that it was the 2nd best aerodynamics on the road for production cars (Honda Insight was number one). Her comment was that, “It may be aerodynamic, but it is just not sporty, you know, like my Celica.” Of course, that opinion only lasted 15 minutes again the Prius performance once she got a chance to drive it. Hence, my moniker “Lost Prius to wife”. Even for my wife, performance speaks louder than looks. Looks can be deceiving. Some cars are designed to look aerodynamic, but the Prius is actually designed to be aerodynamic.

  • AP

    Lost Prius to Wife, my comments are based on knowing the relative cost of a hybrid powertrain to a conventional one. The true COST of adding a hybrid system is at least $4000. Manufacturers don’t sell things for their cost (or they’d go out of business), so they should be charging at least $10,000 more for a hybrid than for a regular car. Toyota has been subsidizing this cost through profits from other products, which ironically had been Tundras and Sequoias, up until last year. Toyota will never admit this, but it would not be the first time they altered the facts. It’s also why I’ve been less than thrilled with their green image.

    The Boston Consulting Group (who is admittedly pro-electric) has done a study on electric cars that concludes they will not be viable for 15 years or so – they project the battery alone to cost $14,000 in 2020.

    Hybrids use many of the same components, just scaled down. The battery, high-voltage power electronics, and two electric motors are expensive pieces of hardware to add; so much that manufacturers cannot charge enough for to make them profitable. Remember that they still have a gasoline engine and all its supporting hardware. The engine may be smaller, but that hardly changes the price (it’s more the number of pieces than their size).

    Unless fuel prices are raised to where the consumer will pay what hybrids are worth, hybrids will be a drag on the government and/or the manufacturers for some time to come.

  • Lost Prius to wife

    AP, a true electric car, not a hybrid with some sort of gas engine/generator reserve, probably will not be viable for 15 years. No argument. And The Boston Consulting Group may be very accurate with their assessment that the required battery would cost $14,000 in 2020. This means that a true electric car, with a range of 300 or more miles, is nothing but a dream at this time. Absolutely no argument!

    Does this mean that we should all continue to burn gas in our cars at 15 to 30 mpg until that technology is perfected and brings forth the practical electric car? Absolutely not! With the technologies that have been in existence since before 2000, and the continuing improvements to those technologies, we now have the Insight and Prius, and soon the Chevy Volt and other hybrids, all capable of 46 mpg or more. If you look at the statistics, the average automotive manufacture’s fleet mpg is barely over 30 mpg and excludes the mpg reducing trucks and some vans. Why settle for less right now when one can have so much more along with the savings.

    Let’s take the $4000 you have sighted. Over a 5 year period that breaks down to $800 per year. Using the cars that I have previous mentioned 48 hours ago and just $2.00 per gallon, the difference between a hybrid and its comparable non hybrid varies from -$200 to +$50 per year in gas costs. This proves that the hybrid costs more, right? Wrong. Oil changes and normal maintenance occur at an extend periods of time compared to the non hybrid. Instead of suggesting oil changes every 3000 miles, the oil changes become every 5000 miles (remember, except in the case of a true parallel hybrid system, the gas engine does not run all the time). The 10K minor maintenances become 15K miles. The 50K major maintenances become 90K miles. I guess we should skip the major maintenance cost for the hybrid since we are only considering five years, not six. So that -$200 per year non hybrid advantage starts disappearing fast.

    But wait! Let’s just take the price of gas up to $3.00 per gallon and make the pre maintenance cost savings disappear all together. Off course I am making a very silly assumption that the price of gas will rise to $3.00 per gallon sometime in the next five years. Pretty silly assumption, right? Especially in the light of the fact that it has already occurred in a healthy economy. And all these assumptions are based only on an EPA hybrid rating of 46 mpg. Should we consider the case of extending car ownership to 8 or 10 years? Or the fact that the new cars will be capable of an EPA rating of 50mpg or greater, not 46?

    The 2nd generation Prius was built around the Corolla 1.5 gas engine with no real modifications other than taking off the transmission. Now, how much R&D do you think it took Toyota to remove the transmission since any car garage can do that? Planetary gear systems have been around at least since the 1800’s. How much R&D did Toyota spend “rediscovering” the planetary gear system? How much R&D did Toyota spend “rediscovering” the generator / electric motor? I personally think Toyota spent the majority of their R&D on aerodynamics and interior design once they determined the approximate car size to fit the equipment and features they wanted in the Prius. By just bolting together existing technologies with their R&D money they produced something that works extremely well.

    Again, the Prius sales increased even after there were no more federal government tax credits available. There were no dealer or manufacturer “donations” or incentives for these sales. You have not provided data that shows and/or proves that the Prius is not a “sustainable product on its own”, especially in light of these increased sales. Where is your evidence that “hybrids will be a drag on the government and/or the manufacturers for some time to come”? AP, there is no evidence to back you up.

    Sorry, AP. It is a no brainer to get a hybrid now and save money. Whether it is a Prius, Insight, Volt, or some other hybrid of one’s choice, it only makes practical and monetary sense to do so. That way one will have the money to buy that practical electric car when it is finally produced.

  • AP

    Lost Wife to Prius, you can’t ignore the need for profits. The battery, motors, and electronics add $4k to their COST, not the price to the consumer. Usually carmakers charge 5 times the parts cost for options, so that would be $20k extra. Figuring $12k is a low estimate of what they would need to make a normal business case for it. But they are forgoing the profits, because they couldn’t charge $40k for a gussied up Corolla with a different body.

    Interestingly, the Boston Consulting Group found that the best thing to do in the short term is to increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, which will make them more expensive, but with a faster payback than hybrids.

    My point is that if they charged what the car warrants, based on its cost, the payback isn’t there (making up $4k doesn’t do it – you’d need to make up $12k). It also means that profits dry up for competitors developing hybrids. No profits – no development.

    The belief is that they are selling them at a loss or at break even in order to further damage the competition, much like Microsoft does. By charging so little, they are making it impossible for others to sell hybrids at a profit. Once they eliminate the competition, they can charge what they want. It sounds very much like GM in he 1960′s, when the Federal government wanted to break them up for anti-trust.

    I don’t know where you’re getting 3k miles for oil changes. GM has an oil life monitor that tells you when to change it. I’ve got 8700 miles on my last change, and I’m on 30% life! No car manufacturer recommends 3k miles anymore. When I worked at an oil company 30 years ago, they said you could go 12k miles by using one quart of synthetic with 4 quarts mineral. It works.

    As for oil prices, who knows? A year ago I figured it would range from $2 to $6. There is a lot of downward pressure on oil prices for the foreseeable future (they are running out of tankers for it to store it in). Ed Wallace of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Star is a really good source for the hype about the artificially high price of oil, given its abundant inventories (not that we should waste it).

  • Lost Prius to wife

    AP, I am not ignoring the need for profits. Car manufactures are not nonprofit organizations. Just previous to this I indicated that 2007 pricing difference between the Prius, Corolla, Camry, and Camry hybrid base models and their “Package 6” models options was $8K, $13K, $11K, and $11K respectively. If Toyota bought these optional feature items in volume and with interchangeability, and for arguments sake actually cost Toyota $2K. Then one would have to assume that the Corolla owners were actually “subsidizing” Toyota’s Prius to increase Prius market share. I can not argue that this is not possible. This could be partially true or totally true. And I also believe that Toyota will not be the only one using this tactic.

    “The belief is that they are selling them at a loss or at break even in order to further damage the competition, much like Microsoft does.” The working against this is company stock value and stock dividends. If one does not show company profitability, then no one would buy the stocks and provide revenue for running their business. Since the car market is still very competitive and comes from many countries, it become difficult, although not totally impossible, for any one company to prevent competition and/or eliminate a larger competitor. Poor business practices and corporate greed eliminate more businesses than predatory pricing and monopolies.

    Back in 2007, Toyota could have been selling the difference between the Corolla engine system and the Prius hybrid system “at cost” to keep the price down on the Prius. And they may have even used the Corolla owners to help “subsidize” optioning the Prius. But somewhere they still had to make some profit on the Prius.

    “Interestingly, the Boston Consulting Group found that the best thing to do in the short term is to increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine, which will make them more expensive, but with a faster payback than hybrids.” I have seen some technological engine advances announced and then disappear over the years. Either the manufacturing costs have prevented using the technologies, they did not provide enough interest or advantages over existing technology, or were bought by bigger companies to “bury” or delay there usage. I do agree that the hybrids do have a higher up front cost, but they will pay off in the long run. If some one is buying a new car every year or two, they should buy only certain hybrids or none that all. For a majority of hybrid models, they will not recover the cost difference. But if one retains most hybrids 5 or more years, the cost saving for most will become substantial.

    I was not aware that GM has an oil life monitor. That is a useful tool and probably worth the extra cost to the vehicle. I do not know whether your statement about “No car manufacturer recommends 3k miles anymore” is true or not. I do know it is true for the Prius and your GM car. Maybe every car manufacture should be putting oil life monitors in, including Toyota? Interesting info about the oil mix. I may even give it a try in our Prius since it is just a Corolla gas engine.

    And I will look in on Ed Wallace of the Dallas-Ft. Worth Star and see what he has to say. I already know that speculators in the oil futures cause a lot of pricing problems and effects gas prices indirectly.

  • Bryce

    Oil life monitors, as well as tire pressure monitors come standard on all GM vehicles as of this or the previous one or two model years.

    The Prius does not have the same engine as the Corolla. It is smaller and tuned for economy specifically wheras the Corolla is probably tuned for a middle range between sporty and efficient.

  • AP

    Lost Prius to Wife, I guess I didn’t realize people were paying that much more for Prii than Corollas. At that point, Toyota may make a profit, but then I have to question whether the payback to the consumer will make up for the interest lost on the money put in. I guess it’s sort of like when you buy a sporty car, like a Corvette: if you want one, you want one. The difference is that the purpose of a Corvette is to have fun, which only requires your participation. The purpose of hybrids is to reduce fuel consumption on a national or global scale, which takes everyone. The only way to have everyone join in is to raise fuel prices.

    By the way the oil life monitor is probably nearly free, since it’s just software (it tracks the number of cold-starts, ambient temperature, etc., to track damage to the oil). I don’t know why other manufacturers don’t do the same as GM.

    On the lack of recent advances in ICE fuel efficiency, there are a couple of factors. One is that until recently, there was no consumer-based reason to spend the money to implement them, which is a pity. Fuel was so cheap, only the efficiency-minded would care. The other reason, also caused by cheap fuel, is that efficiency improvements went into making the engines and vehicles larger, safer, and more feature-laden. The consumer now expects A/C, ABS, P/S, etc. Compare a current Honda or Toyota to one from the mid-1980′s. Much more power, much more weight.

    Now, with demand picking up, you’ll see smaller, turbocharged engines with significantly higher fuel economy. Dollar for dollar, this probably reduces fuel consumption more cheaply than hybridization. There just wasn’t the demand.

    Another ICE development to watch is HCCI: Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition, which uses no spark to ignite the gasoline/air mixture (it autoignites based on the intake temperature and pressure, similar to “knocking”). This requires precise control of the valve timing, EGR, etc., and wouldn’t be possible without the same sort of controls that make hybrid transmissions possible. It burns much cooler, reduce NOX emissions and is about 20% more efficient. Several manufacturers are working on this.

    It all depends on the price of fuel. Spending money on these advances would have been laughed at 10 years ago, when wholesale gasoline was $.40/gallon! To Toyota’s credit, that’s when they were working on the hybrid. But the same money spent on these other technologies would have had a larger impact for a lower price; it just wouldn’t have been as flashy.

  • John – elec

    The notion that the internal combustion engine can be improved is fanciful. The 4-stroke is at the end of its lifespan. Only 25% of the energy in the tank is given over to propelling the car forwards. If they improved it 20%, it is still pitiful.

    The only advance was the Orbital 2-stroke about 17 years ago. This offered a great improvement and could have been developed further over time is seriously used. Half the size and weight of a 4-stroke. They would have to revisit the 2-stroke again. The Revetec in Australia offers real and great bottom end advances. The top end could be a 2-stroke setup to make this unit sing. The power/weight ratio would be starting for IC engines, giving enough torque to eliminate a heavy, power-sapping in-line transmission too. Then a real great advance in the internal combustion engine – well compared to the 4-strokes crocks we drive right now.
    http://www.revetec.com/news.htm
    However, all this can only be interim. The electric fish is yet to be fried.

    The average vehicle wastes 75% of the energy in the tank. Unless an engine is invented that is infinitely more efficient that the current crop of ICE scrap, then EVs is the way forwards – over 95% of the energy in the battery is used. The figures all add up using EVs from power station to car motor.

    As 75% of a car’s tank of fuel is wasted, it is cheaper, and environmentally better, to pour the fuel in a high efficient turbine with latent heat recovery, make electricity, send it to homes down electric lines or charging points, charge a battery in a car and run a car on a small electric motor – Toshiba claim they have a battery can be 80% charged in 3 minutes, 100% in 5. Only 5% of the energy stored in a battery is wasted.

    Electric cars do not pollute at point of use, and the lungs of millions of people in cities will be spared (it is worth doing for that alone). Battery technology has come a long way in the past 5 years and all is here now and feasible. Not only that there is the “just introduced” batteries that will make matters even better, and as time moves on battery technology will improve even further as competition takes hold.

    Current cars are scrapped because they are uneconomic to repair. The body and suspension may be sound and the management system may have failed, so scrapped they are. They are complex and inefficient. Electric cars have little to them and will last a hell of a time, about three times that of
    current cars. So, embedded energy in making cars is far less too. All adds up.

    Look at the oil refining and transport infrastructure. The energy and imbedded energy there, is colossal. When anti EVs sneer the electric line transmission losses to charge an electric car, they never take into account the latest more efficient power generation equipment available. Or, the oil refining and energy to transport fuel for vehicles. Also, local power plants, with shorter lines, reduce lines losses considerably.

    All in all with the best technology available right now, from power station to car motor when looked at objectively the EV wins hands down – and far more healthier towns and cities in the world too.

    A car is made of rather cheap poor heavy materials. Pressed steel is the body. There is more pressure on cost, than weight with a substantial part of the cars weight made up of the heavy body. In carbon F1 cars the bodyshell weights almost nothing by comparison to its powertrain in percentage weight of the total vehicle.

    Lighten a car body and add lithium batteries, regen braking and motor in hubs, and you get to around 150-200 miles range. And that is ignoring advances in supercapacitors.

    Electric car usage will be more urban/commuting that fast highway cruising, but every little helps and towns and cities will be cleaned up promoting better public health and far less noise pollution. Better aerodynamics can improve high speed economy, as can trading cornering performance by eliminating fat soft tyres, giving lower rolling resistance on taller wheels and harder tyres.

    It is feasible to produce an electric car that is suitable for a second car at least. One that does the school run and takes you to work and the shops. It will not do a 400 mile trip too well unless a 45 minute break and a clipped into a charger. On-board fossil fuel chargers (Revetec) may be useful for “long range” vehicles.

    With what we currently know, the single most important step is going from lead or nickel batteries at around 30-50 mile ranges, to lithium that will give 150 mile ranges or more.

    Lithium batteries are at around the 700 MJ/ton mark now. The very best nickel metal hydride are less than half that. A small car needs around a 50 Kwh, 180 MJ, energy in the “tank”. In NiMh that’s 3/4 ton, with Li-Ion it is more like a 1/4 ton.

    A litre of diesel is about 10 Kwh, burned at around 20% efficiency. 50 litres of diesel is equivallent to 100 KWh of battery. So the equivalent of 25 litres of diesel in an electric power train at around the 400 kg mark is possible with Li-Ion batteries.

    50 litres of diesel equivalent takes us up around a half a ton of battery. That is very comparable with the weight of a normal internal combustion engined powertrain. Electric cars require very little else besides the batteries. Just small motors (motor-hub). No radiators, massive heavy, complex transmissions, exhaust systems, anti-vibration mounts and the miles of pipes and ducts that surround a current IC auto setup.

    The 100% electric car is here and is feasible right now:
    http://www.treehugger.com/files/2006/08/the_hybrid_mini.php
    http://www.pmlflightlink.com/archive/news_mini.html
    An all electric Mini doing 300 miles range and outperforms a Porsche. A small 2-stroke generator based on a 2-stoke Revetec would a great bonus for it.

    Now to hybrids. They are interim for sure, however they do promote electric technology and keep electric motive power alive. And when batteries are cheaper or more advanced or supercapacitors are used in combination with batteries, then it is just a matter of upping the battery bank and downsizing the engine to the point it will be just a generator, as per the Chevy Volt. In 10 years time, swapping out an old battery set with an advanced set will transform a hybrid car.

    Supercapacitors offer great advances.

    There is lots going on in this field – utracapacitors or supercapacitors. Ultracapacitors combined with a battery is the answer to hybrids until batteries get developed even further. The capacitors take in nearly all the kinetic energy of braking and slowing down and can immediately give it back off. They will immediately take all of a charge and give the lot back off immediately too. They do not go wrong, deteriorate and will outlast the car. But existing Ultracapacitors hold 25 times less charge than a battery of similar physical size. There are breakthroughs that promise it will be about equal in this respect.

    Advances are so good that it is feasible that ultracapacitors can just replace the battery set on a hybrid altogether. They can charge up in seconds from the grid.

    They have great potential for use in elevators where the downward energy is stored to push the elevator back up. This would make a huge impact in the energy in the running of millions of elevators and other electrical equipment. Knock-on effects are great.

    “China is experimenting with a new form of electric bus (capabus) that runs without powerlines using power stored in large on-board electric double-layer capacitors, which are quickly recharged whenever the electric bus stops at any bus stop (under so-called electric umbrellas), and fully charged in the terminus. A few prototypes were being tested in Shanghai in early 2005. In 2006, two commercial bus routes began to use electric double-layer capacitor buses; one of them is route 11 in Shanghai.

    In 2001 and 2002, VAG, the public transport operator in Nuremberg, Germany tested a hybrid bus which uses a diesel-electric drive system with electric double-layer capacitors.

    Since 2003 Mannheim Stadtbahn in Mannheim, Germany has operated an LRV (light-rail vehicle) which uses electric double-layer capacitors to store braking energy.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supercapacitor

    MIT Builds Efficient Nanowire Storage to Replace Car Batteries
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/4252623.html

    Why Ultracapacitors Will Be Your Hybrid’s New Best Friend
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4252628.html

    “The Zenn Motor Company is waiting until a new power storage technology is ready before it releases the vehicle, called the cityZENN, which will achieve 80mph speeds and have a range of 250 miles.

    Rechargeable in five minutes, the vehicle will use ultracapacitors from Texas-based EEStor instead of conventional lithium or lead acid batteries.”
    http://www.zenncars.com/

    “Based on these claims, a full charge should give the capacitor sufficient energy to drive a small car 300 miles (480 km). Although the technology should allow very fast charging (e.g., 5 minutes), “
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EEstor

    EEstor have not come up with the goods yet. Scam? We shall see.
    http://www.ultracapacitors.org/

    Things are looking good indeed. Develop the internal combustion engine further? What world are those people in?

  • Lost Prius to wife

    Bryce, you are correct that the 1st and 2nd generations Prius are not based on the Corolla engine. The engine design is based off of Atkinson cycle technology combined with their approximate 20 years experience with 1300cc and 1500cc “E-type” engines made for the Starlet, Tercel, and Corsa. Even the Echo and Yaris contributed some technology to the 1st generation Prius. They also used information from the RAV4 EV in building the 1st generation Prius. It is the 3rd generation Prius engine that is based mostly on the Corolla engine.

    AP, first, I totally agree; I do not know why other manufacturers are not putting in oil life monitors like GM is. Possibly the other manufacturers are being overly cautious, deliberately preventing overextending the oil’s lifetime during the warranty period. I personally would rather have the option of extending my oil’s lifetime as long as I know the oil has not excessively broken down.

    And, second, the price of gas does dictate considerably as to what technologies will prevail or be “unburied”. Smaller turbocharged engines and HCCI can and should be a part of the solutions available to the consumers that are concerned about gas consumption.

    “To Toyota’s credit, that’s when they were working on the hybrid. But the same money spent on these other technologies would have had a larger impact for a lower price; it just wouldn’t have been as flashy.” If the battery technology had been a little more mature at the time of the Prius’ development, we all might have seen a Prius with a serial hybrid that would function exactly like the Chevy Volt will. The usage of a serial hybrid for the Prius was seriously considered initially for the Prius. Also, the engineers wanted to put the hybrid system into a Camry platform and release the product in the 1998/1999 time period. Upper management refused to hear it and demanded the smaller platform and release before the end of 1997. And, other than the serial hybrid, there are still three other similar hybrid designs (one has an actual transmission!) that Toyota has not released for the world to see. I think you will enjoy at least glancing at this site: http://www.vfaq.net/docs/Prius_that_shook_world.pdf

  • Lost Prius to wife

    John – elec, electric cars are still not quite as practical as you make them to be – yet. Eventually they will be practical whether it be batteries or ultra capacitors along with (or without) a very small efficient series hybrid gas engine. But they are not there yet.

    The Chevy Volt will cover approximately 69% to 97% of its owners driving by electric. That means that 31% to 3% must be covered by some other means. Hence, the Volt will have a small fairly efficient series hybrid gas engine. The Volt will not be as efficient as a 50 mpg Prius on cross country trips since the Volt will have to stop for gas approximately twice as often and gets ~48.5 mpg (assuming a 7 gallon gas tank) once the battery is drained. And the Volt will not be quite the car for the masses since it will start out at approximately $34K and go up to approximately $45K.

    And that electricity will not be free especially if all cars eventually become mainly powered by electricity. Also, the experimental nickel metal hydride batteries are capable of approximately 65% to 70% of the lithium batteries’ performance, not the “less than half”. The reason I know this is one of my follow associates is a battery engineer.

    The electric car’s future is bright, but it still is the future.

  • John – elec

    Lost Prius to wife,

    The electric car is basically feasible “right now” – they are actually made and sold in numbers. Maybe not around you way, but they are. A small 4 seater runabout is feasible. The charging infrastructure and manufacturing is the problem right now, not the technology.

    Of course it will get better, with the full all around full practical EV is not far off. The technological bits are there: batteries, supercapacitors, light insulated bodies, motor-in-hub, etc. It needs engineering together to form a complete new wheels up EV car.

    Like in the Chevy Volt, a small on-board charger can be made to assist in the occasional long runs. Maybe a small 95% efficient fossil fuel cabin heater too (the cabin is tiny in car), which could run an absorption a/c as well. Or just extract most of the heat from the IC engine charger and store it for heat or a/c. It runs, charges the battery and stores heat too for later use.

    It is taking the best technology “we have right now”, doing some R&D and putting it together to form the viable whole. No one has seriously done that yet.

    Of course batteries will improve as will maybe a small on-board charger (using Stirling or Revetec design or whatever) and hopefully a huge breakthrough in supercapacitors. Supercapacitors will transform vehicles, either used alongside batteries or just by themselves if they improve much more. In the mid 1990s the Prius was originally intended to have supercapacitors.

    In 10 years time a battery swap out could transform a current hybrid car as the batteries would be far superior, meaning the car could run for far longer and cheaper on the battery. As many found when installing a larger battery set into a Prius and fitting an external mains charger. This means cars will last longer.

    Electricity will not be free, however the cost of running will be far less and towns and cities cleaned up very quickly and noise and air pollution.

    The electric car’s future is bright, but it the future is quite close. The success of the hybrid is the thin end of the wedge. The steady improvement of models and technology will just point the way to the full EV. The Chevy Volt appears a major step next step towards that goal.

  • Manmeet

    Watch Out for New Baby Electric From Toyota….hope to do well in future..

    http://latestcarblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/new-baby-electric-from-toyota.html

  • Raj

    Toyata Pirus is likely to give a excellent performance in future..goodluck.

    Toyota also announces Its New Cute Looking Car Toyota iQ 1.33
    watch http://latestcarblog.blogspot.com/2009/02/new-toyota-iq-133-announced.html

  • Anonymous

    I love my Toyota. Not a Prius, but reliable and fairly decent mileage for the class of vehicle.

    My question is this:

    When will they remove that stupid control panel that shows your MPG so that all of you “green drivers” will stop driving by Braille while reading how great your mileage is and start driving like GOOD DRIVERS?

  • Yavor

    I’ve owned a pearl-white 2010 Prius for 6 weeks now and I am averaging 62.5 MPG in town.
    The EPA tests are done with the car in Normal driving mode. You just hit the ECO button and
    it boosts the MPG +12. I’m driving slowly, but not where it impacts my transit time or drivers around me.
    I’ve done 75MPG’s on a sinle trip, but my 4 tank average is exactly at 62.5 in-town. Only thing I’ve
    done is to over-inflate the tires by 3 psi..recommended on Prius Chat. Oh,by the way, if you hit Power mode button and push the pedal down, the tires chirp and you can out-run most cars. This car is extremely futuristic.
    I’m super happy.

  • gio

    i like that ur trying to save a planet but making a car that gets 50mpg wont do anything i mean the world will always end no matter what u do there’s more polution from other stuff to that u guys donnt look at like factories houses and not just that kind of polution there’s water polution and light polution and now we r poluting space with all the stuff we leave out there and fly around so i would rather have a v8 2010 camoro than this

  • Vj

    The family just bought one, 10-model. it rocks :D

  • Irene

    I own a Prius 2010 Mileage- the car gets 43MPG highway and dropping…
    I’m not surprised at the numbers. I traded in a 2007 Prius for the Gen III and was very disappointed that GenIII gets lower mileage from the start. Same highway commute, my 2007 Prius logs 44 MPG consistengly. Compare this to my 2010 Prius which gets under 43 MPG and that is on ECO mode. As the winter is here in the Northeast, the mileage is dropping to under 40MPG.
    I brought the car into the dealer and they told me Toyota has ‘dropped’ the mileage on the 2010 Prius relative to previous years. Furthermore, the mileage is pre-programmed and not ‘tunable’.
    I’m not a happy camper at this time and will NOT buy another Prius if I have to revisit the choice.
    Does anyone own a 2010 Prius and has experience to share how to improve the MPG?
    Irene

  • joli

    hello!!! i love this car.

  • Mr.Bear

    Irene, the standard things to check:
    1. Is your state an E10 state? If so, you will lose mpg.
    2. Are your tires properly inflated? If not, you will lose mpg.
    3. When was your last air filter change? If it’s dirty, you will lose mpg.
    4. Right now you are getting winter gas, so your mpg will be lower than in the summer.
    5. Right now it is cold where you live, you will lose mpg because you are running your heater/defroster more.
    6 Has it been stormy? Bad weather lowers mpg.
    7. Are you an aggressive driver? If you are, your mpg will be lower. I easily get 4 mpg better than my wife does when she drive the prius.
    8. Do you make short trips. Short trips (10 minutes or less) kill mpg.
    9. How much driving over 55mph do you do? You will lose about 1% mpg per mph over 55mph.

    But the bottom line is: how many other cars could you get 40 – 44 mpg? Don’t get so caught up in expectations that you lose sight of the fact you are still getting better mileage than +90% of the other cars on the road.

  • ali smaili

    hey irene, i did my research on the prius 2010, i found that gas consumption depends on the way you drive and weather, so if you have a conventonal car that makes 30mpg in summer it will make 25mpg in winter. but overall there are ways to drive the prius and increase your mileage even you can get 50 mpg, in summer and in winter you can get almost 45 mpg so talk with the company for the best way to drive it and you’ll be satisfied

  • trevor

    just test drive one it rocks

  • Lindy

    Just purchased my Prius still on my first tank of gas, my commute is 30 miles each way. Also have been doing some non highway driving. At first I was getting about 46-47mpg, now getting 54-55. according to the on board computer for consumption. Driving it easy no fast acceleration.

  • MrsM

    Just purchased my Prius still on my first tank of gas, my commute is 30 miles each way. Also have been doing some non highway driving. At first I was getting about 46-47mpg, now getting 54-55. according to the on board computer for consumption. Driving it easy no fast acceleration.

  • EruditeMan

    In reading posted messages I suspect some drivers’re heavy footed to get only 40-43MPG. I have 2007 Prius and rarely get under 50MPG. Irene asked for methods to get better mileage. I’m not a hyper-miler (yet) but get 52.6MPG in Twin Cities, MN. Here are some things I do: 1) I keep tire pressure 3-4PSI higher than dealer preferences. 2) I rarely use gas engine from dead stop before 18-20MPH. 3) I drive legal speeds in traffic and don’t jam on my brakes. 4) I look many car lengths ahead and always modulate gas pedal whenever I see brake lights 5-10 cars in front of me. 5) I pay attention to terrain and use downhills wherever possible to use less gas. 6) I always park in downhill direction and start with electric motor. I’ve read that 2oz. of Acetone in 10 gallons of gas may improve MPG about 5-8MPG but haven’t tried that yet so I can’t offer a testimonial. If I manage things as I think possible I’ll drive about 170,000 miles before doing anything with my brakes. I hope readers accept my comments in an uncritical manner and may improve their own MPG ratings.

  • John Gullesserian

    It is a great car! I traded in a BMW 5 series for it and I could not be happier. I live in a hilly area where I do 50% of my driving, and I get, on average, 45 miles a gallon. I have gotten as much as 55 miles a gallon on the highway. I simply love the car!

  • Jenn

    I am ignorant when it comes to the Prius. Can anyone tell me how long they can run, or if it make it on a 1400 mile drive without stopping? Again, I am ignorant and not very well versed. Any info you have to offer would be great!

    Thanks!
    J

  • 2010 Toyota Prius

    Lets face it. Toyota gets it when it comes to ecologically friendly vehicles for the masses. Great gas mileage without having to break the bank. Not a great family vehicle, but handles a bulk of the annual driving to and from work as well as around town.

  • 2010ToyotaPriusGuy

    I think the 2010 Toyota Prius will continue to dominate its class for many years to come. It is generations ahead of its nearest competitor and the interior and exterior are getting even nicer ( http://www.2010-Toyota-Prius.com for reference ) With the current need to reduce fuel consumption and the rebates the government seems to offer up to purchase hybrid vehicles, they will only continue to increase in popularity.

  • Anonymous

    Cool! That’s awesome!! I really want one please!

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