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Good news for GM :) Bad news for the consumer. :(

Was really hoping the the others would not be so far behind GM or would even beat them to the punch (the sooner the better) but were simply not announcing their plans well in advance like GM has with the Volt.

Apparently GM is only pushing most of the others farward kicking and screaming.
 

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Toyota and Honda are expanding their capacity to produce NiMH batteries to support their hybrid vehicle sales:

Link

Toyota is moving more slowly on Lithium Ion batteries, as they don't yet have a plug-in hybrid that would require them.
Toyota don't need one right now. Hymotion is already doing the Prius plug-in conversion. Takes about 10 minutes from what I hear.
 

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Other than Nissan, which is really run by a foreigner, it seems the Japanese are waiting to see what others do, so that they can copy them later, saving themselves R&D money.
Yawn, same old same old. Folks, please imagine him saying this in front of his computer during his daily home-grown Colbert routine. Almost the same but not as funny. Seriously Jason, haven't you offended enough people with this kind of crap? Did a Japanese person break your heart sometime in your past? Perhaps using Colbert logic you are Japanese!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
And the Prius would be a copy of which vehicle? The Insight is a copy of which vehicle? The Nissan Cube?
A mild hybrid is little more than a power steering unit placed in the drive train, so it's not that great a leap. Notice that GM is smart enough to focus their mild hybrid efforts on profitable vehicles like SUV's, instead of selling a million low price vehicles for a loss.

The mileage gains come from Toyota's Atkinson cycle engine, so Toyota actually missed an opportunity to sell that engine in its other vehicles.
 

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With today’s variable valve timing mechanism it is relatively easy to turn an ICE into an Atkinson cycle design. Simply you delay the closure of intake valve timing. A 1500cc engine becomes 1000cc engine if you do not close the intake valve 1/3 way in compression cycle. Since the expansion stroke remains as that of a 1500cc engine, voila!, you have an Atkinson cycle engine. But, alas, you have the weight and friction loss of a 1500cc engine. Mazda uses this technique for its sub-compact “economy” model. Toyota’s brilliance is the use of the very nature (high torque) of the associated electric motor for start up, low speed runabout and acceleration (when called for) as well as for idling stop and energy recovery when coasting and braking. By looking at the excellent “actual” gas mileage of the Prius, we know this system works even though it is carrying around the extra weight of battery pack, generator and electric motor. The Prius system also includes ICE>generator>motor serial drive function. So, from this standpoint Toyota is way ahead of GM. With a better capacity/weight ratio battery, I think they can make the Volt type serial only hybrid model, if they want to.
 

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A mild hybrid is little more than a power steering unit placed in the drive train, so it's not that great a leap. Notice that GM is smart enough to focus their mild hybrid efforts on profitable vehicles like SUV's, instead of selling a million low price vehicles for a loss.
Nice try. First, "mild hybrid" refers to a hybrid where the electric motor can't move the vehicle in any reasonable fashion by itself. The Prius goes 30 or 40mph on battery/electric, plenty of power for getting around in traffic. I've stood not heard them go by as they went by, because they were running on electric.

Second, "...profitable vehicles like SUV's..." Hilarious. They aren't profitable if GM doesn't sell any. Which, sadly, is the case.

The mileage gains come from Toyota's Atkinson cycle engine, so Toyota actually missed an opportunity to sell that engine in its other vehicles.
You don't understand much, do you? The Atkinson cycle reduces the power available. The electric drivetrain makes up for the reduced power. This is where the "synergy" in "Hybrid Synergy Drive" comes into play; the two systems complement each other. An Atkinson engine in a conventional vehicle would offer poor performance.

The proof's in the pudding. 20K units/month, good prices, satisfied customers, Toyota made about $16 billion last year.

GM? Not so much.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
dag,

I doubt you would be able to find out, as the Japanese bury their financial information within countless partnerships, subsidiaries, etc., but Toyota can't be making any money importing Prius' to the US and selling them for only $25K, even at a rate of 20K per month.

Toyota has a closing window of opportunity, as Tesla, Fisker, Aptera and GM bring out EV's with RE's. Toyota invested so much time and effort, will they ever see anything more than mere goodwill, while Hymotion profits of Prius conversions?
 

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dag,

I doubt you would be able to find out, as the Japanese bury their financial information within countless partnerships, subsidiaries, etc., but Toyota can't be making any money importing Prius' to the US and selling them for only $25K, even at a rate of 20K per month.
If they weren't profitable for Toyota, they would be building Priuses in the same lame quantities that GM's building their hybrids.

I found a reference in Bloomberg, Toyota was selling them for more than unit cost back in 2002. And then they ramped up production. Dramatically. And then did it again. And again.

Thinking that Toyota's having trouble with the Prius is just more wishful thinking.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If they weren't profitable for Toyota, they would be building Priuses in the same lame quantities that GM's building their hybrids.

I found a reference in Bloomberg, Toyota was selling them for more than unit cost back in 2002. And then they ramped up production. Dramatically. And then did it again. And again.

Thinking that Toyota's having trouble with the Prius is just more wishful thinking.
Hmmm, citing a reference without linking it, then ignoring the recent drop of the dollar against world currencies - I own you.
 

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Hmmm, citing a reference without linking it, then ignoring the recent drop of the dollar against world currencies - I own you.
http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2002-toyota-prius.htm

Although the dollar has dropped dramatically against the Euro (which makes importing rebadged Opels such a brilliant idea), on 5/26/2004, the Yen was at 107.73.

Yesterday, it was at 105.489. You could have checked the facts before maknig a fool of yourself but I guess at the executive level, one doesn't worry about facts, one creates one's own reality.

You understand nothing and own less. Got a nice corner office at GM or what?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
http://consumerguideauto.howstuffworks.com/2002-toyota-prius.htm

Although the dollar has dropped dramatically against the Euro (which makes importing rebadged Opels such a brilliant idea), on 5/26/2004, the Yen was at 107.73.

Yesterday, it was at 105.489. You could have checked the facts before maknig a fool of yourself but I guess at the executive level, one doesn't worry about facts, one creates one's own reality.

You understand nothing and own less. Got a nice corner office at GM or what?
Why look it up when I can provoke you into doing it for me? As I said, I own you.
 

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Why look it up when I can provoke you into doing it for me? As I said, I own you.
Only at the expense of looking like a fool.

And I look stuff up all the time... it's just one of the things that I do. And one of the things you don't do.

"Facts are stubborn things." - John Adams

"But they're essential to an argument grounded in reality." - dagwood55
 

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Thoughts on GM and advanced battery use

First of all:

Guys, I thought we were all friends on this site. We are all facing the same challenges (high energy prices, the societal impacts on our transportation, purchasing power of the dollar, etc.) together. Let's leave our differences aside. We have to solve these problems together. We need to appreciate each others different strengths, which paradoxically, are often also weaknesses.

My thought on the NiMH issue: The EV-1 taught GM (and CARB) some lessons. One was to appreciated the weaknesses of existing (this includes NiMH used in the 99 EV-1) battery technologies. US automakers formed the United States Advanced Battery Consortium. Our universities, e.g. MIT, worked on new LiIon technologies. As a result of these long term sustained efforts over the last number of years, we have advanced battery technologies in the US beyond NimH. It's not that Toyota and Honda have an alternative assessment of battery tech, to my knowledge, they haven't made the commitment to research that GM/USA made over the last few years.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
And, just to close the loop, which vehicles did they copy for the Prius and Insight? You didn't answer this question before, did you?

Nice view from that corner office?
You are right, creating a dead-end configuration with, at best, slim margins, at the expense of their more profitable vehicles, is definitely a Japanese original.

GM worked to protect their profitable vehicles with mild hybrid systems, then leapfrogged the Prius with an E-REV. The E-REV can then be developed into a PFCV and BEV. Genius!
 
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