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  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Hi Billy It is my

    Hi Billy

    It is my understanding that Toyota has dropped the idea of the two regular Prius batteries and is going for one lithium ion battery now. EV speed will increase to 62mph, but Toyota is talking about only selling these units to Governments and Fleet purchases only at first. This means you and I may have to wait a few years (2012?) before they're available. The good news is Toyota may sell the regular Prius with a design that can be upgraded easy with the more costly lithium plug-in battery at a later date. I think Toyota is going to offer this upgrade to compete with after-market plug-in companies and sell the new panasonic lithium batteries Toyota is part owners with. All this will help drive the cost of the lithium batteries they make down. Hopefully Toyota will have the possible upgrade design before I buy one for my wife.


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  3. #12

    Gary, I'm going to wait for

    Gary, I'm going to wait for the plug in Escape Hybrid to appear on the market. My 2005 warranty (extended) runs thru JUne 2012.

    As for the dual hybrid battery setup in the Toyota, that is what I had been reading as they haven't solved the lithium ion battery issues yet. I also read, they may use a one larger hybrid battery as a partial solution until the lithium ion battery arrives.

  4. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Hi Billy Did you read

    Hi Billy

    Did you read this?

    Published: January 14, 2008

    The chief executive of the Toyota Motor Corporation said Monday that he is pushing his company’s engineers to develop a plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle with a lithium-ion battery before 2010, raising the stakes in a race with General Motors.
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    The comments by Katsuaki Watanabe came at a briefing here on the sidelines of the Detroit auto show, which opened to the press on Sunday.

    Mr. Watanabe said he welcomed a competition with G.M., which plans to introduce its own lithium-ion hybrid, the Chevrolet Volt, around 2010.

    He said the contest would help reduce the “negative aspects” of automobiles, and ultimately help the environment.

    “To compete against each other” in such a battle “is something to be congratulated,” Mr. Watanabe said through an interpreter. “We don’t want to be the loser in that competition, of course.”

    On Sunday night, Toyota, the world’s largest producer of hybrid-electric vehicles, announced it would produce a plug-in hybrid vehicle equipped with a lithium-ion battery by 2010, for sale first to big commercial customers like corporations and government fleets.

    Toyota’s best-selling hybrid, the Prius, runs on nickel-metal hydride batteries. Lithium-ion batteries, like those used to power digital cameras and other small electronic devices, can potentially hold a longer charge than nickel-metal hydride versions, but they are also more expensive.

    The Volt is set to run on lithium-ion batteries. Last fall, G.M. announced that it would build the Volt in its assembly plant in Detroit in 2010, although executives have said production might start after that.

    On Monday, Mr. Watanabe said he was urging Toyota engineers to have the vehicle ready before that target, even though he acknowledged it would take Toyota “a year or two” to conduct vehicle tests and assess the results.

    “Yesterday, I said by 2010 we will introduce plug-ins, but before that is my desire,” Mr. Watanabe said.

    Plug-in hybrids differ from the current hybrid vehicles in that they can be recharged externally, from an ordinary power outlet. In a conventional hybrid, the battery is recharged from power generated by its wheels.

    Toyota and Panasonic have a joint venture in Japan, called Panasonic Electric Vehicle Energy, that produces batteries for the Prius. Toyota said Sunday that the venture, 60 percent owned by Toyota and 40 percent by Panasonic, would add a separate line at its assembly plant to produce lithium-ion batteries.

    Toyota also said Sunday it planned to develop a new hybrid-electric car specifically for its Lexus division as well as another new hybrid for the Toyota brand. It said it would unveil both at the 2009 Detroit show.

    Mr. Watanabe said Monday that the new hybrid car would be larger than the current Prius. The Lexus version will be the first hybrid car developed specifically for the luxury division, which offers a hybrid engine as an option on several models, including the RX crossover vehicle and the LS luxury sedan.

    Mr. Watanabe also said Toyota planned to offer diesel engines for its Tundra pickup truck and the Sequoia sport utility vehicle “in the near future,” but was not more specific.

    Some environmental groups have pushed for plug-in hybrids, called PHEVs, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, as a way to save on gasoline, thus curbing emissions.

    But some experts say plug-ins may not be the ultimate answer to cutting pollution, if the electricity used to charge them comes from coal-fired power plants.

    That is also a concern to Toyota, which has asked researchers to determine not only whether consumers would be willing to pay for a plug-in, but also the effect it would have on the environment, James Lentz, the president of Toyota Motor Sales, said in an interview Sunday.

    Nonetheless, G.M., Toyota and Ford Motor, the world’s three biggest car companies, all are developing plug-in hybrid vehicles. Along with the Volt, G.M. has said it plans to produce a plug-in version of its Saturn Vue hybrid. Ford has not yet given details of its plug-in hybrid, which it first discussed in 2006.

    Indeed, Toyota executives initially questioned the practicality of plug-in hybrids, saying consumers preferred the convenience of hybrids that did not have to be recharged. Toyota has sold more than one million hybrids worldwide, including more than 800,000 Prius cars."

  5. #14

    Thanks for more information

    Thanks for more information on plug in hybrids. That will be my next vehicle--assuming the price point is adequate.

  6. #15

    To Gary or whomever, How do

    To Gary or whomever,

    How do you see EVs evolving in the next 5 or 10 years from now and will all this quick-start business be a a thing of the past, etc.

    Are we not still in the infant stage of EVs?

  7. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Hi Bob I'm not sure the

    Hi Bob

    I'm not sure the electrical grids can handle pure EV's any time soon for any large percentage of population. I personally think having a choice of a plug-in hybrid with a gas or diesel engine would be a ideal choice right now. I just don't think giving the power companies total control of our lives is a good idea. I'm happy we are reducing Big Oil's control by having a choice of the present hybrid market and the plug-in future. In fact, I'm looking into a combination solar and wind alternative for my home. Here again, a back-up system to the grid with two electrical supplies for night and day. I like the idea of my electric meter running in reverse and getting a tax credit for my investment.

    Also, I'm ready today with switching over to a plug-in hybrid and doubling the rated mileage with hypermiling techniques. These techniques not only save gas but also saves battery charging. Pulse and Gliding in neutral with the engine Off in EV is one of the best technique for saving gas and battery SoC. Right now in my FEH, I'm saving gas only because that's the only thing that can charge the battery. My wife drives a FEH also so if we had two or three (my Son) pure EV vehicles to charge at night every day, I could see we would be at the mercy of the electric company real fast. Maybe one pure EV vehicle in the family with a solar and wind supplements to the grid might work out for short trips. With a plug-in Hybrid you don't need the grid because you can charge the battery with with gas or diesel anytime. The hybrid can go on extended trips without plug-in requirements. EV vehicles will take time and money to charge the battery no matter what so they have that limitation. I guess what I'm trying to say is I would not be in the market for a pure EV vehicle myself, even if I could purchase one now.

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