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Japan certifies Toyota Plug-in Prius for road tests

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Japan Certifies Toyota Plug-in Hybrid for Public-road Tests
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Link to Original Article @ The Auto Channel


Tokyo July 25, 2007; TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announced today that it has developed a plug-in hybrid vehicle and become the first manufacturer to have such a vehicle certified for use on public roads in Japan.

The TOYOTA Plug-in HV — certified for public road-use by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport — uses, like earlier TMC-developed hybrid vehicles, both a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine and an electric motor. But increased battery capacity gives it a longer electric-motor-only cruising range and a battery-charging device allows users to replenish the batteries using household electricity. These features enable the vehicle to run more often in gasoline-free, electric-only mode, such as on short trips in city driving. The resulting fuel efficiency improvements mean lower CO2 emissions and less fossil fuel consumption and, therefore, less pollution. Also, charging the battery with less-expensive nighttime electricity lowers total running costs, providing an economic benefit to owners.

Although challenges still exist in the development of pure electric vehicles such as a limited cruising range and issues related to cost, TMC still views plug-in hybrid vehicles as a promising technology for allowing electricity to serve as a viable power source for automobiles and is committed to their continued development as a key environmental technology.

TMC plans to conduct public-road tests in Japan with eight units of the TOYOTA Plug-in HV to verify electric-motor-only cruising ranges and optimal battery capacity. While doing so, it plans to provide the government with data for formulating testing methods for emissions and fuel efficiency and to consider TMC's measures for promoting plug-in hybrids and the use of electricity. There are also plans to conduct public-road tests of the TOYOTA Plug-in HV in the United States and in Europe.
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Seriously, is someone going to beat GM to the punch again?

Those resourceful Asian automakers with their weak yen and humongous profits...

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:nono: Such Ugly Ass Auto and of course the auto mags will say Toyota is a god send maker as no one else can do it better. Everyone of these small Coffins on wheels I have been in are so over rated. :angry:

GM Please get the Volt out NOW!!!

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Seriously, is someone going to beat GM to the punch again?

Those resourceful Asian automakers with their weak yen and humongous profits...

It's still using "old-tech" NiMH batteries, isn't it?

:gay:

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"The Plug-in HV displayed yesterday runs on the same nickel metal hydride battery as the Prius and has a cruising range of 8 miles on electricity. The maximum speed of Plug-in HV as an electric vehicle is 62 miles an hour. The batteries require about 1.5 hours to recharge at 200 volts and three or four hours at 100 volts. The more common hybrids such as Toyota's Prius have a cruising range of 1.9 miles as an electric vehicle, according to Toyota."

(From http://www.boston.com/business/globe/artic..._hits_the_road/ )

8 miles would get me to work. I could plug it in and have a full charge for the drive home. But what is the incremental cost of the extra batteries?

I think GM is over-complicating things by trying to make the Volt's range so long. Until batteries come down in price a short range is a necessity. But perhaps the difference in philosophy comes down to Toyota being able to leverage what they have and to actually be able to put out a product in a relatively short time whereas GM's poor postitioning in hybrids is forcing them to start pretty much from scratch and do PR until they can put out a product years from now.

Edited by GXT
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It's still using "old-tech" NiMH batteries, isn't it?

:gay:

Yes, but it has "existence" standard. That isn't even an option on the current Volt. :AH-HA_wink:

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8 miles would get me to work. I could plug it in and have a full charge for the drive home. But what is the cost incremental cost?

You're one of the lucky ones. Eight miles on pure electric is great, but a good chunk of the North American people will still be needing to burn gasoline. In Japan, where things are closer together, it makes more sense.

Plus, I hate the Prius anyway... as much as I do the Saturn Aura Hybrid. I think Hybrids are just a waste of our time in such small scale applications.

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GM Please get the Volt out NOW!!!

I have been reading a book called "Surviving Transformation: Lessons from GM's Surprising Turnaround” (Vincent P. Barabba) and the Chevrolet Volt was mentioned several times along with earlier electric and/or fuel cells projects.

As far as I know, the intent behind the Volt is not to be the first one to bring a plug-in hybrid and/or fuel-cell electric car to the market, but to be the first to bring out one that is truly overwhelmingly successful. (I.e: To be the one to expand the electric car market outside of just keen environmentalists and novelty car buyers.)

It seems as though GM aiming to make the Volt a kind of 21st century equivalent to Ford’s Model T in so far as to successfully mass-produce and market a technology that was for many years considered too expensive and/or impractical.

If this IS the intent of the Volt, then I would not be surprised to see others beat GM to the table.

However, if GM does manage to make a viable Lithium-Ion battery, they will have a huge advantage over those who rushed in before them using the considerable more expensive Nickel-Hydride type.

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