Aging Prius, dropping gas prices putting hurt on hybrid, EV sales

Aging Prius, dropping gas prices putting hurt on hybrid, EV sales

October 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Toyota , Electric “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” – Ed Kim, Autopacific Fuel prices in the US have been tumbling for the last several weeks, with the average price of a gallon of gas at $3.120 as of October 20, according to the US Energy Information Administration. That price reflects a serious recent drop from $3.299 on October 6. Reports have even suggested that those low numbers might not change for a little while , perhaps as long as years. While drivers certainly love paying less at the pump, the change may be hurting the market for more fuel-efficient models, including the Toyota Prius . According to a report from National Public Radio, sales of hybrids, plug-ins and EVs are down around 5 percent for the year , but trucks and SUVs have seen a 17 and 20 percent improvement, respectively. Autoblog Green’s By the Numbers reports indicate similar figures of around a 5.4 percent drop so far in 2014. In fact, as of September, green-car sales have endured their fourth straight month of declines . That segment of the market fell 11 percent year-over-year in August and 9.6 percent in September. “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” Ed Kim, Vice President of Industry Analysis at AutoPacific tells Autoblog . That paints a bleak picture for hybrids, because at the moment, the Prius is doing pretty poorly.

Aging Prius, dropping gas prices putting hurt on hybrid, EV sales

Aging Prius, dropping gas prices putting hurt on hybrid, EV sales

October 25, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Toyota , Electric “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” – Ed Kim, Autopacific Fuel prices in the US have been tumbling for the last several weeks, with the average price of a gallon of gas at $3.120 as of October 20, according to the US Energy Information Administration. That price reflects a serious recent drop from $3.299 on October 6. Reports have even suggested that those low numbers might not change for a little while , perhaps as long as years. While drivers certainly love paying less at the pump, the change may be hurting the market for more fuel-efficient models, including the Toyota Prius . According to a report from National Public Radio, sales of hybrids, plug-ins and EVs are down around 5 percent for the year , but trucks and SUVs have seen a 17 and 20 percent improvement, respectively. Autoblog Green’s By the Numbers reports indicate similar figures of around a 5.4 percent drop so far in 2014. In fact, as of September, green-car sales have endured their fourth straight month of declines . That segment of the market fell 11 percent year-over-year in August and 9.6 percent in September. “As Prius represents by far the biggest chunk of the hybrid marketplace, where Prius goes, the segment goes,” Ed Kim, Vice President of Industry Analysis at AutoPacific tells Autoblog . That paints a bleak picture for hybrids, because at the moment, the Prius is doing pretty poorly.

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

2015 Toyota Camry Hybrid

September 23, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Sedan , Toyota , Quick Spins Toyota offers many flavors of its refreshed 2015 Camry , but those who choose to lower their operating cost-per-mile, squeeze 500-plus miles out of each tank of fuel or run a very efficient and reliable sedan in their taxi fleets will only be interested in one: the Camry Hybrid. The exterior of the 2015 Camry Hybrid is nearly indistinguishable from its gasoline-only counterparts, with the same all-new sheetmetal and bumpers. The Hybrid is offered in LE, SE and XLE trims, meaning customers are offered base, sport or luxury configurations, respectively. While Toyota expended quite a bit of effort resculpting and improving the 2015 Camry Hybrid, one area it didn’t touch was the powertrain – it is virtually identical to last year’s model (just like the gas version). Under the hood is a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine (156 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque) and an electric tractive motor (141 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque). Combined, and running through Toyota’s unique Hybrid Synergy Drive electronic continuously variable transmission, the two produce 200 horsepower (Toyota does not list a combined torque figure, and we’ve asked for clarification). A 1.6 kilowatt-hour nickel-metal-hydride battery, packaged behind the rear seats, provides energy storage. The test car featured here is the Camry Hybrid SE in Blue Crush Metallic, with the optional moonroof, wireless charging and Entune premium audio with navigation and app suite. Driving Notes Toyota offers several different driving modes for the Camry Hybrid. The standard mode is Drive, which incorporates hybrid/EV driving automatically.

NALEO Educational Fund Welcomes Toyota as Presenting Sponsor of the NALEO 31st Annual Conference in San Diego

June 24, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Los Angeles, Calif. (June 23, 2014)

Has the auto industry hit peak hybrid?

Has the auto industry hit peak hybrid?

June 13, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Car Buying , Hybrid , Technology , Ford , Toyota Hybrids are known for their great fuel economy and low emissions, but it looks like given current market conditions, only about three percent of new car consumers are willing to pay the premium for them. A new study from IHS/Polk finds that the hybrid market share among overall US auto sales are falling , despite more models with the technology on sale than ever before. The study examined new car registrations in March from 2009 through 2014. In that time, the auto industry grew from 24 to 47 hybrid models available to consumers, but market share for the powertrain remained almost stagnant in that time. As of 2009, hybrids held 2.4 percent of the market; it fell slightly to 2.3 percent in 2010 and grew to 3.3 percent in 2013. However, 2014 showed a drop back to 3 percent. Overall hybrid sales have been growing since 2010 , but they just aren’t keeping up with the total auto market. According to IHS/Polk, this isn’t what you would expect to see. Usually, each new model in the market brings along with it a boost in sales. The growth in hybrid models 2009 to 2014 should have shown a larger increase in share for the segment.

Toyota’s Lentz says fuel cells are the future, not EVs

Toyota’s Lentz says fuel cells are the future, not EVs

May 26, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Electric Toyota is not bullish on EVs. That comes from the company’s North American CEO, Jim Lentz , who said the company will focus not on electrification, but on continued hybridization with a long-term focus on hydrogen fuel cells. Lentz questioned the long-range ability of EVs, saying that Toyota feels “there are better alternatives, such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, and tomorrow with fuel cells.” Lentz spoke about Toyota’s focus on hydrogen following Forbes Brainstorm Green conference and barely a week after a battery deal between Tesla and Toyota ended , according to Automotive News . That deal provided for 2,500 battery packs for the Rav4 EV . While valuable to Toyota, the deal “was never about open-ended volume,” Lentz said. “It was time to either continue or stop. My personal feeling was that I would rather invest my dollars in fuel cell development than in another 2,500 EVs.” Freed of its venture with Tesla , hydrogen now appears to be in Toyota’s focus. According to AN, Toyota is starting in California, offering a $7-million loan to a company called FirstElement Fuel to develop hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the Golden State. Automotive News cites a study by Toyota that claims 68 refueling stations located across the state would provide for 10,000 HFC owners. California is already planning on having 50 stations by the end of 2016.

Toyota reveals new TS040 Hybrid LMP1 [w/videos, poll]

Toyota reveals new TS040 Hybrid LMP1 [w/videos, poll]

March 29, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Coupe , Hybrid , Videos , Toyota , Racing There’s a new season of motor racing upon us, and while that doesn’t always mean a new crop of cars in every series, in the case of the 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship , that’s exactly what it means. Porsche recently revealed its new 919 Hybrid and Audi its revised R18 E-Tron Quattro . Now it’s Toyota’s turn. Revealed today at the Paul Ricard test track in the South of France, the new TS040 Hybrid is based on the TS030 Hybrid it replaces, redesigned to meet the latest regulations established by the FIA and ACO for the World Endurance Championship and its flagship race, the 24 Hours of Le Mans . In accordance with said regulations, the TS040 is two inches narrower than the TS030 and also incorporates a new hybrid powertrain. The previous 3.4-liter V8 has been replaced by a 3.7-liter V8 developing 513 horsepower, and the new engine is coupled to an Aisin AW electric motor at the front, a Denso electric motor at the rear and a Nisshinbo super-capacitor that combine to kick out an extra 473 hp, giving the system a combined output of nearly 1,000 horsepower while consuming 25 percent less fuel than last year’s car. It also gives the TS040 all-wheel drive to help channel all that power to the road. Toyota will field two TS040s in the WEC this season, with Alex Wurz, St

Toyota expects hybrids will soon reach 20-percent sales volume globally

Toyota expects hybrids will soon reach 20-percent sales volume globally

March 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Hybrid , Technology , Toyota , Electric Hybrids have come quite a long way from their roots as dull, slow, boring ecomobiles. Today, Porsche sells three hybrid models, one of which is the amazing 918 Spyder . BMW will soon sell four, including a low-slung, two-seat sports car . Even Ferrari and McLaren , full-fledged hypercar manufacturers, are embracing the tech. And all of these cars are sold alongside the same sort of boring cars that popularized hybrids in the first place. According to Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada , though, we should see an even bigger increase in the number of hybrid vehicles in the coming years. “I foresee hybrid models pretty soon reaching 20 percent of global sales from about 13 percent to 14 percent now,” Uchiyamada-san told Automotive News . Uchiyamada is the man behind the original Prius , which gives him some degree of authority on making predictions about hybrid adoption. What’s remarkable, though, is that the 20-percent figure doesn’t include plug-in hybrids, just gas- and diesel-electric models. “Suppliers need higher volumes to slash costs of components specific to plug-in models, including batteries that should be bigger and more capable than the ones used in traditional hybrids,” Uchiyamada told AN.

Prius Medals in the Golden State

February 19, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

TORRANCE, Calif., (Feb. 18, 2014) -

Toyota confirms all-wheel drive V8 hybrid for TS040 LMP1 car in 2014

Toyota confirms all-wheel drive V8 hybrid for TS040 LMP1 car in 2014

February 3, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Filed under: Motorsports , Technology , Toyota , Racing The 2014 FIA World Endurance Championship is gearing up to be one of the most exciting seasons of endurance racing in recent memory. All of the factory-entered LMP1 class cars are using hybrid powertrains, and Porsche is returning to the top class of the sport after a 16-year absence. Don’t count out Toyota , though. The team has just revealed the first official details about its 2014 TS040 LMP1 car, and it has a big surprise – all-wheel drive. The TS040 will follow Audi’s lead and will use a combination motor and generator to power the front wheels. The system will generate power under braking and will use it up when accelerating to give a boost in traction over last year’s rear-wheel-drive Toyota TS030 . Toyota will stick with a gasoline-fueled, naturally aspirated 3.4-liter V8 to feed the rear wheels and will take on Audi’s diesel, turbocharged 3.7-liter V6 and Porsche’s gasoline-fueled, turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Sadly, there are no real pictures of the TS040 yet. Toyota is holding off on unveiling the car until the end of March at the WEC test at the Paul Ricard circuit, and the racing season doesn’t begin until April 20 with the 6 Hours of Silverstone. You can read the whole press release about the TS040 below .

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