Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 48738
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2017/12/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
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2007/12/3-6 [Transportation/Car/Hybrid] UID:48738 Activity:nil
12/3    2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive
        http://www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4227944.html
2017/12/15 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
12/15   

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www.popularmechanics.com/automotive/new_cars/4227944.html
TOKYO -- Toyota may be the first to market with a plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicle. Today, we were briefed on Toyota's future hybrid and alternative fuel plans. And while there was no official announcement by Yoshitaka Asakura, Project General Manager of Toyota's Hybrid Vehicle System Engineering Development Division, he mentioned that their plug-in development program was under way and that it may not wait for lithium-ion battery technology to mature. "Toyota has the knowledge and experience with nickel metal hydride. And we have to use the battery we know best, in terms of overall performance," said Asakura. Toyota is using their proven nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) battery packs in prototype Prius PHEV's which we had an opportunity to drive at Toyota's Higashi-Fuji Technical Center about 45 minutes (by train) outside Tokyo. The prototype PHEV's use two current generation Prius battery packs sandwiched together with the charging system in-between. The packs are modified to deliver a greater ability to charge and discharge. This is, according to Asakura, so that they can get an accurate representation of how the more energy dense lithium ion pack will perform in production vehicles. In all likelihood, the first of those vehicles will be the next generation Prius. more than the current production Prius pack and intrudes into the trunk so that that's there's only room for about two medium size suitcases. A lithium ion pack would be much smaller and lighter--about the size of today's production battery pack. Asakura said the prototypes can operate on electric power for a range of about 7 miles and can re-charge in three to four hours using a 110-vlot outlet. Under the hood is the current Prius's 15-liter inline four. The electric motor generates 50kW, which combined with the more powerful pack, allows the Prius prototype to reach 62 mph on electric-only power. Current cars can only hit about 25 mph before the gasoline engine cuts in. Our drive in the prototype PHEV was brief, only four laps of a small course setup inside the test facility. The hybrid system has an "EV" mode and a more conventional "hybrid" mode. In EV mode the vehicle can run on electric power longer and with a more aggressive throttle input than in the hybrid mode. With an eye on the energy flow meter (basically a reprogrammed and updated version of what's in the Prius now) we were able to accelerate up to approximately 50 mph and keep the car in electric mode all the way around the track. Like many owners do in the current Prius, we found ourselves playing the efficiency game of trying to keep the car in electric mode as long as possible. After two back-to-back laps, the monitor said we still had around 6 kilometers of battery life remaining. The most impressive part of the system was that it can take 1/4 to 1/2 throttle without engaging the gasoline engine. And that means for short 3 to 4 mile commutes, one could conceivably get to work and return home solely on electric power. The hybrid mode works much like the current car, engaging the internal combustion engine much sooner. This mode, it is presumed will be most applicable to long trips, when charging the battery isn't an option. The next generation Prius, due around calendar year 2009, will almost certainly use a plug-in system. The car may launch as a normal hybrid and later, once the lithium ion battery technology is ready, switch to plug-in capability. Or, it may be a plug-in from the beginning using a large NiMh pack and switch to lithium ion later. We think the latter may be true because we've heard rumors that the vehicle architecture is being designed for both battery types. Whichever route Toyota goes, it will need more hybrids on the road. They have publicly announced their goal is to sell 1-million hybrids each year beginning early next decade. And PHEV's are sure to make up a healthy portion of those vehicles. RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive Commment on #30, I own my third Prius and I commute over 50 mles one way in the DC area from MD to VA and have been getting over 53 MPG on the last two vehicles. I keep up with the traffic on the beltway and toll road driving at traffic speeds of about 65MPH I surprised at people who are only getting in the 40s and suspect that it has a lot to do with driviing habits, as my wife only gets in the 40s but she does the jack rabbit starts ansd doesn't look ahead at the traffic suituations and anticipate slow downs and light changes. I beleive that all dirvers could improve their gas mileage significantly if they would only calm down and not try to be the first to get somewhere.. RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive Looks exciting but I agree with the writers who say 7 miles (not MPG, #13) per charge is too low. I've got nearly 70K miles on a 2003 (old model) Prius, at a bit over 42 MPG, figured the only accurate way - by dividing the odometer reading by the gallons bought each time and keeping an Excel file of the figures. The MPG readings on the car's display are usually about 5% optimistic. Forget promises and boasts, and EPA figures are simply ridiculous. Consumer Reports tests are the most accurate - my car got 41 MPG there - and I suggest we wait for the reality of rolling hardware. RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive #20 - like your ideas... kind of seems like a good way to get clean energy, and move cars to almost all electric (use Diesel to run elec gen on car when needed, other wise use new MIT batteries to get charge off of the grid using fuel cell tech). RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive "What is the benefit of burning coal in a power station to charge the hybrid's battery over petrol?" The benefit is that you will be buying your energy, probably, from your government, which you can control by using the power of the vote. Better yet, you could manufacture your own electric energy using solar power or wind power, which would be very clean energy. Remember, this is not just about the environment, it's also about economic interests and benefits (benefits for YOU). RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive #20 - like your ideas... kind of seems like a good way to get clean energy, and move cars to almost all electric (use Diesel to run elec gen on car when needed, other wise use new MIT batteries to get charge off of the grid using fuel cell tech). RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive IN defense to the car makers they have to work in extreme cold and hot conditions with varied customer tastes. But eliminate the trial lawyers and take some risks and give some options to the buyers vs. RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive Auto manufacturers are so tied to petroleum companies that it makes it politically difficult, if not impossible, for the auto manufacturers to develop PHEVs. Combine this with the fact that auto manufacturers have billions invested in current ICE production lines there is no way PHEV technology will be available any time soon. Even the Toyota Prius which is ideally positioned to go PHEV immediately will be stalled by the oil lobby. I really think that PHEV is one of the major items in an intelligent energy policy that must include nuclear power as well as other energy alternates - but we don't even have an energy policy! PHEV technology is swimming against the tide and the tide is for bigger gas guzzlers promoted by the auto manufacturers and the petroleum companies. If the US does not move away from dependence on foreign oil our economy will tank which is what our enemies (we know who they are) want. It is despicable that US oil companies are complicit with this prospect. RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive 21 someone is doing a Hybrid deisel it will get arounf 225 MPG its a kit car look up the XR3 Hybrid 23. RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Prototype: Tokyo Test Drive ACTUALLY, volvo is. they have the c30 coming out in a deisel hybrid model and its sposedly getting well over 60mpg! RE: 2009 Toyota Prius Plug-i...