2013 Was Supposed to Be EV year

September 24, 2012

Other than a bigger battery and bigger car what could you want…. For your Crushable, clown car.

2012 was supposed to be the year the all-electric version of the Toyota/Scion iQ made a splash. Instead, it appears that while it remains technically true that the iQ EV will launch this year, it will be a much, much smaller splash than previously anticipated. According to Reuters, the iQ will have an “extremely limited release.”

That’s a kind way to say that the 100 iQ EVs that Reuters says Toyota will now sell in the U.S. and Japan is a much smaller figure than was anticipated. The writing has been on the wall for a while. All the way back in 2009, Toyota hinted that the EV, which can only go 50 miles on a charge, might be destined for car-sharing services, and in 2011, a Toyota spokesperson confirmed the iQ EV would be a “low-volume vehicle.”

Now, the official Toyota line (see below) is that

From the crestfallen Reuters….:

Toyota has seen that many customers are not yet willing to compromise on range, and they don’t like the time needed to re-charge the batteries. Moreover, the infrastructure for recharging has not become as widespread as originally anticipated.

So, even though Toyota is ready with the iQ EV, we believe a plug-in hybrid solution offers a better way than pure electric for most customer needs in the short- to medium-term, and that is where we will concentrate our commercial activities.

Toyota vice chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada tells Reuters, “The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge.”

Sales have been small for the electric semi-chokes…


2012 Toyota Prius V Hybrid put to the TFLcar Tuba Test & Review

September 18, 2012

The 2012 Toyota Prius V hybrid is largest and most roomy car in the Prius family of hybrid vehicles. But just how roomy is the Prius V? You probably know that it will easily swallow 5 people and their stuff. You may also know that it gets over 40 MPG on both the city and the highway. But you may not know that it has two sun roofs and that the back seats recline move back and forth. What you certainly don’t know is if it is big enough to fit three stunt tuba players and their massive instruments. To find out just click play to watch this first ever TFLcar Tuba Test and Review.

It’s about all a Prius is good foor.


Insight: GM’s Volt – The Ugly Math Of Low Sales, High Costs

September 10, 2012

General Motors Co sold a record number of Chevrolet Volt sedans in August — but that probably isn’t a good thing for the automaker’s bottom line.

Nearly two years after the introduction of the path-breaking plug-in hybrid, GM is still losing as much as $49,000 on each Volt it builds, according to estimates provided to Reuters by industry analysts and manufacturing experts.

Cheap Volt lease offers meant to drive more customers to Chevy showrooms this summer may have pushed that loss even higher. There are some Americans paying just $5,050 to drive around for two years in a vehicle that cost as much as $89,000 to produce.

And while the loss per vehicle will shrink as more are built and sold, GM is still years away from making money on the Volt, which will soon face new competitors from Ford, Honda and others.

GM’s basic problem is that “the Volt is over-engineered and over-priced,” said Dennis Virag, president of the Michigan-based Automotive Consulting Group.

And in a sign that there may be a wider market problem, Nissan, Honda and Mitsubishi have been struggling to sell their electric and hybrid vehicles, though Toyota’s Prius range has been in increasing demand.

GM’s quandary is how to increase sales volume so that it can spread its estimated $1.2-billion investment in the Volt over more vehicles while reducing manufacturing and component costs – which will be difficult to bring down until sales increase.

Tehe doom of the quest to sell something people don’t want to buy … Liberalism. when was the last time in the last months, you drove down to the Chevy dealer to look at a Chevy Volt? Ah that’s the problem.

Expectations Lost

April 9, 2012

Once the reality sets in, and the supposedly free lunch goes stale, Autoweek reports:

Almost two-thirds of U.S. hybrid buyers returning to the market in 2011 chose something besides another hybrid.

Excluding owners of the best-selling Toyota Prius, the repurchase rate among other hybrid buyers dropped to 22 percent, according to a Polk study released today.

According to the study, the loyalty rate for hybrids since the beginning of 2008 has ranged between 26.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010 and 41.8 percent in the second quarter of 2009. The rate for the fourth quarter of 2011 was 40.1 percent while the total for 2011 was 35.0 percent.

Competition with conventionals

Smith said the biggest challenge for hybrid makers is that less expensive conventional fuel-efficiency technologies are also advancing rapidly, reducing the fuel-efficiency advantage of more expensive hybrids.

That may be why hybrids accounted for just 2.4 percent of total U.S. auto sales last year, down from 2.9 percent in a peak of 2.9 percent in 2008.

“The premium price points for hybrids are just too high when so many conventional small and mid-size cars have improved fuel economy,” Smith said.

This was the first time Polk has conducted a study of hybrid buyers returning to the market

Read more: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120409/CARNEWS/120409856#ixzz1rXXtOyfB

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