Posted on March 5th, 2011 No comments
It has. I don’t post here with the rapidity I used to.
Which doesn’t mean I don’t care rather, I’m hoping you’re picking me up in a few other places. So, let’s get that out of the way first.
You can hear me co-hosting What Drives Us with Priuschat.com‘s Danny Cooper and a panel of experts that I very lovingly and sincerely call stellar. If you’re interested in the future of transportation, in all its forms, listen, please. You search for “What Drives Us” on iTunes, we’re there. You can also download us or stream the show from the site.
Since I last posted we haven’t really heard much about the Prius v, other than the somewhat interesting variant for sale in places that are not North America. The Prius + has two important differences from our version. The Prius + has a third of row seats. We haven’t seen pictures of this third row yet. Unlike the Prius v, all the shots I’ve seen have the back hatch closed and there are no interior shots of this semi-mythical third row. It will be interesting to see how Toyota deploys this feature in the global version of the big daddy Prius.
The other difference is one that is quite intriguing to me, it’s a lithium Ion battery pack Toyota is placing, wait for it, under the hood. My assumption is that this is to make room for the third row of seats and they’re using Lion cells here as opposed to the NiHM packs Toyota uses everywhere else. Lions are smaller so this makes sense when trying to stuff them into under the hood. I have to question the wisdom of placing Lion cells next to a motor but I’m no engineer and Toyota’s record, late night jokes aside, on these matters is pretty solid.
Rumor is that the “v” will sell for a starting price of $28,500. Not bad pricing. If you think that’s high, don’t feel too bad. Japanese future owners of the “v” will be paying about $36,500. for their version.
The noisemaker saga took a surprising turn for the even more ridiculous this week when two companies ran afoul of actually selling cars to buyers for two, exact opposite reasons.
If you recall, late last year congress pass a bill requiring manufacturers of hybrids and EVs (not all quiet cars, just hybrids and EVs) have some kind of noisemaker warning pedestrians when those vehicles are running at ow speed or without the ICE running. This all takes affect around mid 2014.
So Nissan was so much in a hurry to have these installed now is somewhat beyond me. Suffice to say, their eagerness bit them on the ass when a shipment of Leafs was held because they had these noisemakers. Yes, there’s a law in the U.K. that a vehicle produce extraneous noise between the hours of 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Leaving the Leaf to sit on the dock while the noisemakers were disabled.
Across the pond, the first shipment of Hyundai’s delayed Sonata hybrid sat, buyers waiting anxiously for their Sonaten. The problem here is that Hyundai has, as an international default, a switch on the noisemaker so you can manually bypass it. Again, rather inexplicably Hyundai decided that this switch was a very bad thing here in the US and held up the shipment while they rewired the vehicles removing the switch and the ability to shit the pointless noisemaker off.
There’s a lesson in there somewhere.