If you are an avid Toyota fan, you may be asking yourself, is Toyota finally all in on electric vehicles? Toy Car Careis a Toyota service center that knows all about what the carmaker is gearing up for, and it looks like Toyota WILL be all in on electric vehicles for the future. And of course, we’ll be there every step of the way to help service and repair these vehicles, or just give great advice when you need it.
Toyota’s new Prius Prime plug-in hybrid is a front runner for electric motoring, with an EV mode (vehicle operation that is dependent on a battery pack to run) that locks out the course gasoline engine for up to 25 miles. The Prime is full of the latest technology, efficiency, safety, and conveniences to ensure this new 2017 eco-friendly vehicle keeps the demand and desire high amongst “go green” people, and even the newbies looking for a change and a better environment.
The Prius Prime gets a frontal makeover much different than its non-plug-in relative as well as thin LED-headlamp enclosures bracket a blackened center section. You will see a new wraparound LED taillamp design in the spoiler area which gives it a contemporary custom look and some identity for the plug-in feature they want to show off.
Toyota states that the 2017 Prius Prime can be fully charged in approximately 5.5 hours from a standard household outlet, with a combined range of over 600 miles on a full battery, and a maximum 11.3 gallons of fuel. With a combined rating of 120 MPGe in EV mode, a doubling of maximum electric range from 11 to 22 miles, and a top speed of 84 mph, this makes this electric vehicle an impressive machine, making you the envy of all your family and neighbors!
So why has the company waited so long to answer the question, is Toyota finally all in on electric vehicles? It seems the main reason was the demand. Not enough consumers were in a hurry to purchase an electric vehicle. That could be perhaps due to the expense to purchase one and poor battery life. Not to mention that most people just didn’t know what they could do or how they would operate.
Toyota was also putting their efforts into the mind-boggling technology of hydrogen fuel cells at the time, which can be hard to wrap your head around in the first place. It seems there may be a kind of “sharing” with battery packs and the hydrogen fuel cell technology on its way, as well as a manufacturing of Toyota’s own lithium-ion packs. Either way, it looks like Toyota will surprise us with some great ideas and technology, for the future cars we will be driving.
Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, will be helping in the quick production of these vehicles by forming the company’s new electric car group, which makes us believe that the Japanese automaker is taking all-electric vehicles a whole lot more seriously in the coming years. Mr. Toyoda will lead these executives and a four-member EV strategy team which will include representatives from group suppliers like Denso Corp., Aisin Seiki Co., Toyota Industries Corp. and of course, and Toyota Motor Corp. This should hopefully speed up the process and make decisions quicker for manufacturing. Toyoda plans to make these cars “fun to drive” and will develop automobiles with up to 15% larger range and longer battery life in the next few years.
Ben Scott, who is the senior analyst with IHS Automotive, states that EVs and hybrid vehicles have a value advantage they will not lose any time in the near future. Today, lithium-ion car batteries cost from $300 to $500 per kilowatt-hour of capacity (from $7,200 to $12,000 for the average vehicle battery-pack) with batteries the most expensive issue in an EV vehicle, and one of the biggest complaints. That price, on the contrary, is expected to drop and eventually peak at the $100/kilowatt hour of capacity, over the next 25 to 30 years as economies and technology improve. During that time, hydrogen fuel cells have the chance to establish themselves as an alternative, although it may be unlikely they will succeed.
Let’s delve into the benefits of owning one of these electric vehicles. Maybe it will help you make the transition, contributing to a better environment; at least it will help you be more knowledgeable and informed on some of the facts. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, hybrid and plug-in EVs can help increase energy preservation, improve fuel efficiency, reduce fuel costs, and lessen emissions. This is clearly something that should make us all smile!
QUICK AND QUIET. What surprises most people is the high torque offered by EVs. Once you step on the accelerator, power is delivered immediately to the wheels, providing an exhilarating driving experience. Smooth ride indeed.
HOME RECHARGING means never going to a gas station again. All you have to do is pull into your garage, reach over, and plug it in, plug it in! It’s very convenient and takes about 15 seconds. Wake up the next morning, and you have a car ready to go another 80 to 100 miles or more depending on the model. The charging task can be more difficult for people living in condos and apartments, but access to multi-family and workplace charging is improving.
CHEAP TO RUN. A significant cost advantage over petroleum is the cost per mile. To fuel an EV is approximately one-third to one-quarter the price of gasoline (cost per mile basis). And because electric cars don’t have exhaust systems, they don’t need oil changes, and hence maintenance costs are less. To maintain an electric car, simply rotate your tires and keep them properly inflated.
NO EMISSIONS. Almost all researchers believe that electric cars, even in coal-dependent regions, have a smaller environmental impact than regular vehicles. In regions with a strong mix of renewable-energy sources on the grid, the emissions benefits are even more dramatic. You can expect some analysts to argue on the matter, but it’s undeniable that EVs don’t have a tailpipe, and therefore provide a tangible benefit to improving air quality for you, your family, and everyone around you.
LIMITED RANGE. Unless you drive an electric car with a range-extending engine back-up, you must properly plan to assure that routes beyond predictable, local driving remain within battery power range. Long distances may be out of the question. You will get about 80-100 miles of range, and remember recharging takes time.
LONG REFUELLING TIMES. EVs commonly can add about 20 to 25 miles of range in an hour of charging from a 240-volt source of electricity. So, you know you can’t run down to the gas station and add a couple of hundred miles of range in 5 to 10 minutes, and while many road trips are not advisable, drivers putting typical amounts of miles on their vehicles will not be affected by recharging times measured in hours. Just remember to plug in before going to sleep. One other point to mention, public DC Quick Chargers, capable of adding about 50 miles of range in around 20 to 25 minutes, are frequently accessible in regions with relatively high numbers of electric cars around.
HIGHER COSTS. Electric cars are mostly priced between $30,000 and $40,000, which makes EVs considerably more expensive than comparably equipped small to midsized gas-powered vehicles. However, cost comparisons usually fail to consider a number of elements, including various incentives valued at $10,000; competitive lease rates as low as $199 a month; lowered maintenance costs and a luxury feel that exceeds what’s found in cheaper gas models.
LACK OF CHOICE FOR CONSUMERS. The 30 or so plug-in electric vehicles on the market consist mostly of compact pure electric cars, and midsize plug-in hybrids, but that is quickly expanding, with plug-in hybrid SUVs, minivans, and the Tesla Model X, an all-electric SUV. Many major automakers, including Toyota, are setting goals of releasing a dozen or more new plug-in models in the coming years, promising electric models in many different areas. The trend is to offer electric versions of existing, attractive models, rather than electric-only models that can look overly futuristic to average buyers. Let’s face it, you probably love or hate these cars right now, so give it some time, because trends are making their way into the electric car world, and it is only a matter of time.
Toyota, Mr. Toyoda, and Toy Car Care all have something in common – we are all excited about what the future will bring for avid driving enthusiasts. Technologies of the future are constantly surprising us with new inventions. You don’t need to question is Toyota finally all in on electric vehicles because the answer is clear that electric vehicles will be showing themselves more than ever in the coming years. It looks like 2020 will be a greatly anticipated year for these cool cars, if not sooner! Stay tuned for more.