Toyota says new Prius, fuel cell car due in 2015

Aug 28, 2013 by Dee-Ann Durbin

Toyota has two important vehicles coming in 2015: the next-generation Prius hybrid and the company's first hydrogen fuel cell car.

Satoshi Ogiso, a top Toyota engineer who helped develop the original Prius 20 years ago, said Wednesday that the new Prius will get significantly better fuel economy than its current 50 (4.7 liters per 100 kilometers). It will have an advanced battery, motor and gas engine combination that is smaller, lighter and cheaper than the current version.

Ogiso wouldn't reveal the , but he's hoping to at least match the 10-percent gains Toyota has gotten in the last three generations of Priuses. A 10 percent gain would get the Prius to 55 mpg (4.2 liters per 100 kms) in combined city and highway driving.

"The challenge to continue to improve at this rate, to beat your own record, becomes very difficult but makes it all the more motivating," Ogiso told media at an event near Detroit. "I can tell you that we are very motivated to beat our record."

The new Prius will ride on a new, lower chassis to improve its handling and aerodynamics. It will also have a nicer interior. Ogiso wouldn't say how much it might cost, but a less expensive could help bring down the Prius's $24,000 .

Toyota hopes the revamped Prius will help it reach its goal of selling 5 million hybrids in the U.S. by 2016. As of July, the company had sold more than 2 million Toyota and Lexus hybrids, including 1.4 million Prius compact cars, Prius C subcompacts and Prius V wagons.

Bob Carter, Toyota's senior vice president of automotive operations in the U.S., said its hybrids have come a long way since the Prius debuted in the U.S. in 2000. Just over 5,500 Prius hybrids were sold that year; last year, the company sold 236,000 Prius family vehicles.

"Arguably, Prius is more than a car. It's become a pop culture icon," Carter said.

Carter added that even as the company introduces other technologies, including and electric cars, hybrids will remain at the core of the company's offerings for at least another 50 years.

"You can take any fuel efficient technology and extend the range and make it even more efficient with a ," he said.

Ogiso said more details about the hydrogen car will come early next year. So far, there is only one other commercially available hydrogen fuel cell car in the U.S.: Honda's FCX Clarity, which is leased in limited numbers in Southern California.

Zero-emission fuel cell cars are not likely to be big sellers until there are more hydrogen fueling stations on U.S. roads. But Ogiso said Toyota is committed to the technology and expects to sell "tens of thousands" of them through 2030.

Explore further: Toyota exec: Camry will stay as US top-selling car (Update)

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1 / 5 (1) Aug 28, 2013
The new Redox cell looks really interesting - if it is not too much hype - we may see a compression of these time lines.

1 / 5 (4) Aug 28, 2013
Bloom and redox compared

"Redox have essentially done two things: they're using this ceria/bismuth mix and this does seem to lower temperatures. They're also using a rather more advanced method of depositing these materials on the substrate. Thus they can add thinner layers: a decent cost saving there as well.

Bloom Energy is using a scandium oxide based electrolyte and are, at least they were the last time I was told about it, a rather older deposition technique. Thus thicker payers of this more expensive material and a higher cost. However, in theory the two approaches should converge: the scandia based systems should be able to operate at that 600 oC to 650 oC temperature with all those desirable side effects on the costs of supporting materials."

-Rossi will face the same sort of pressure when his reactors become accessible.
3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2013
I already get 55mpg. Why would I buy a Prius?

I'd LOVE to buy an electric (or hybrid) vehicle. But only if it actually is more fuel efficient than a conventional one. Otherwise there's no (ecological) point, is there?
1 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2013
Why would i buy a prius?
Yes well it might be prudent to wait until subsequent technologies mature.

"In 2012, Nicolas Chauvin, the CEO of LENR Cars Sàrl, a Swiss company, came forward with a solution to the limitations faced by current electric vehicles, such as limited driving range and the absence of a reliable infrastructure. He suggested the use of LENR reactors to power electric cars and suggested Defkalion's Hyperion as one viable option. The reactor produces between 5 and 45 kW in a stable and safe way and has a coefficient of performance between 6 and 30, features that make Hyperion a perfect candidate for a LENR car reactor."

3.7 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2013
He suggested the use of LENR reactors to power electric cars and suggested Defkalion's Hyperion as one viable option.

Why would I buy a car that doesn't run at all? That makes even less sense.
1 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2013
I love pessimists. They grow old and die just like optimists but at least optimists die smiling.

Hey I won't believe LENR cars either until I see one puttputting down the road or at least on YouTube.
1 / 5 (3) Aug 29, 2013
You must admit they do seem to be working on something important.

Those cameras are NOT cheap.
not rated yet Aug 29, 2013
Well buy one. I'm not gonna hold my beath on how that works out.
1 / 5 (1) Aug 29, 2013
A lot of stuff is scheduled to happen in 2015!
1.8 / 5 (10) Aug 31, 2013
The show "Top Gear" proved, when driven normally, Priuses get worse mileage than an M3.
1.6 / 5 (7) Aug 31, 2013
they need to work on styling, get away from the plastic toy look
1 / 5 (7) Sep 02, 2013
I'm with antialias on this one. No point if other cars get more MPG and cost half the price purchasing it as well. Maintenance is much easier on a standard "lump + chassis" car as well as no advanced electronics and battery fault possiblities.

My other issue is I highly doubt they ever will reach much higher MPG's. There's only so much energy a battery can store and unload onto a system, and there's a limit to petrol/diesels power output vs weight of vehicle.
not rated yet Sep 02, 2013
Just read another not-so-nice report.
The VW XL1 (electro hybrid) will only be built in small numbers (250) for the astronomical price of 111000 EUR.
Now there's car that COULD have worked for the mass market (uses 1 liter of diesel per 100km (240MPG)) - but at 10% of that listed price.

Looks like it's going to be another 'alibi-car': "See, no one is buying hybrids so let's not make any"
1 / 5 (1) Sep 02, 2013
"Looks like it's going to be another 'alibi-car"

Many gear heads have been watching the 1 liter car, and predicting that VW would never seriously produce it. First prototype was produced in 2002 - http://en.wikiped...itre_car The rationale for the high cost is the ultra light materials (carbon fiber etc.) needed to keep the weight down. Many have said that if they made the car heavier - using aluminium etc. - they could still keep the mileage incredibly high - and have a winner on their hands. Oh well!!!! Maybe Aptera - or Zaptera will come through - sigh - I guess there is no harm in wishing...
1 / 5 (3) Sep 02, 2013
Just read another not-so-nice report.
The VW XL1 (electro hybrid) will only be built in small numbers (250) for the astronomical price of 111000 EUR.
Now there's car that COULD have worked for the mass market (uses 1 liter of diesel per 100km (240MPG)) - but at 10% of that listed price.

Looks like it's going to be another 'alibi-car': "See, no one is buying hybrids so let's not make any"
Yes well it might be prudent to wait until subsequent technologies mature.

"Microturbines are touted to become widespread in distributed power and combined heat and power applications. They are one of the most promising technologies for powering hybrid electric vehicles. They range from hand held units producing less than a kilowatt, to commercial sized systems that produce tens or hundreds of kilowatts. Basic principles of microturbine are based on micro combustion"

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