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  1. #211

    Toyota is in the works of

    Toyota is in the works of spinning of a division of Hybrids, probably called "Prius" since that was their baby. I believe that they're done hybrid-ing out existing models. They will probably create a new hybrid vehicle that would fall closest into the "Crossover" category... Larger than a Prius, but smaller than an SUV. And of course, they'll probably roll out some sort of ugly truck that'll be adopted with cultish appreciation (FJ cruiser). They'll probably release these vehicles in the 2009 or 2010 model years. Then they'll have the Prius, Camry, Highlander, HybridX, Hybrid Truck and a fairly large market share.

    At the same time, remember that Toyota developed Hybrid Synergy technology over 10 years ago and blew our minds with it (explained by the 3 year string of comments on this post). Right now, their brilliant minds probably are not creating late-to-market solutions, but they're creating solutions for the future (Plug-in Hybrids, All Electric, Fuel Cell Hydrogen etc.). This is the reason that Toyota stock is traded for nearly 3x the price of Honda and almost 15x the price of Ford.

    I too would like a hybrid mini-van, but I'm looking forward to Toyota knocking my socks off with their alternative.

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  3. #212

    AZmpg, I wish I was as

    I wish I was as optimistic as you are about Toyota. Remember, this is the same Toyota that has already orphaned their All Electric RAV4EV and crushed hundreds of them. Hydrogen Fuel cells are a scam that was used by Toyota and the other majors to justify crushing the RAV4EV - they're too complicated, expensive, and inefficient to be of any use for automobiles in the foreseeable future. Toyota is also a big part of the push on the state of California to get Zero Emission Vehicle credit for 'depletion' hybrids that still require the use of gasoline to operate on the highway.
    The only reason Toyota went with the Prius hybrid was that they were afraid that GM would introduce one in the late '90's. GM pulled theirs from the market so Toyota was left ruling the roost.
    To Toyota's credit, they weren't dumb enough to kill the Prius although there was a lot of pressure to do so within Toyota.
    Ask yourself: If Toyota really wanted to promote hybrids across their product line, why haven't they created a hybrid version of the Solara over the past 10 years? The Solara is just a 2-door version of the Camry which is offered as a hybrid. Do they prefer that hybrids be for slow, boring people only?
    I hope Toyota comes up with a hybrid mini-van as well but I wouldn't hold my breath. Profit margins are low on mini-vans.

  4. #213

    ex-EV1 driver, Great post,

    ex-EV1 driver,

    Great post, great information and great tone... there are so many people that get WAY too emotional on these forums and their info and insight gets lost in their insults. I appreciate your knowledge.

    I am VERY optimistic about Toyota, if nothing else, it's by their $111 BILLION in equity. Our friends over at GM are scrounging around at $-3 Billion and Honda is around $42 Billion. I don't think that they're going to invest any more money in changing current models into Hybrids; the current designs are not light enough or aero dynamic enough to provide adequate fuel savings.

    Obviously large motor companies are driven by large oil companies and by profits, so they have to try to make the most marketable products with the highest returns. What they attempted to do with the Prius and were successful, is made people believe that paying an extra couple thousand dollars, you're going to save money over time (for some, this was the case but for most it wasn't, and they never cared to do the math). What they accomplished without trying was start a paradigm shift in the US. Before it was bigger is better, and just like in the 70s Japanese Auto Makers swoop in and make people think twice about a large American car. Even more - they got people thinking about being GREEN all together! If it weren't for the Prius, we wouldn't have a discovery channel offspring, "green planet" and Al Gore wouldn't have won the Nobel Prize.

    The reality that we lived in was that Oil would always be there and Global warming wouldn't affect us for another million years or so.

    Example... I live in Arizona the state that absorbs the most sun radiation in the country... We collect less solar energy per capita than NEW JERSY! If we collected HALF of the solar energy that falls on Maricopa County (the county where Phoenix/Mesa/Scottsdale sit) we would collect enough sun energy to power the (get ready) ENTIRE UNITED STATES!
    But alas, "Alt energy is too expensive. Why change things". Now that the country is FINALLY moving (on the back of Hybrid Cars), we are going to see major changes.

    So to get back to the point of this blog! (Sorry I tend to rant) I'm expecting to see Li-Ion batteries, I still believe in Hydrogen fuel cells, and Plug-In Hybrids are the next wave. OH and the only reason that I want a hybrid minivan is because I've got a new baby and plan to have a couple more, and two car seats in the back of the Prius is a little tight. We'll get a bigger something, and it would be nice to have a little better fuel economy than the standard Sienna and Odyssey.

  5. #214

    Exactly me too Brad. 2000

    Exactly me too Brad. 2000 T&C and want a new hybrid van. Have the highlander hybrid for work. It is about the best vehicle I have owned and I have owned Lexus and others.

  6. #215

    I like the idea about us all

    I like the idea about us all getting together and going to Toyota as a group to get a shipment of hybrid minivans from Japan.

  7. #216

    I'm not positive, but I

    I'm not positive, but I think they drive on the Brittish side of the road over there in Japan. I know that it has been done (driving on the right side of a car on the right side of the road), I see my mail man do it every day, but that might be the reason they go "postal".

  8. #217

    If you want Toyota to make a

    If you want Toyota to make a hybrid mini-van, tell them:

    I already have and they said they have no plans to make or sell a hybrid minivan in the U.S. This was 2 months ago. Looks like its not coming for 2009 atleast. Maybe everyone here can convince them for 2010?

    I am going to buy a used T&C in protest or just wait it out a little longer. I am so irritated.

  9. #218

    I recently spoke with a

    I recently spoke with a Toyota representative with some inside information. He stated that Toyota will be 100% hybrid by 2012. He also stated that there would be a mass produced plug in all electric version of Prius out next year. I forgot to ask if that would be 2009 or 2010.

  10. #219

    Hey Kalamazoo Dad, Toyota

    Hey Kalamazoo Dad,

    Toyota has been saying for years they were going to have a hybrid version of every model... I wouldn't hold your breath, because it still hasn't happened...

  11. #220

    I like the idea of sending

    I like the idea of sending an email to Toyota to voice opinion. Could take this a step further and send emails, letters, faxes, etc. to all car makers on a regular basis as time permits (daily, weekly, etc.) if nothing else but to ANNOY the heck out of them until they listen. If they are flooded by enough people they will be more likely to pay attention!

    Could even do it as a collective group??

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