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.
Posted on February 19th, 2010 No comments
Play the latest What Drives Us episode
This week Danny and Russell joined by Tony Schaefer to discuss, sorry, more on the Toyota recall, ton foil hat conspiracies, why does “sudden acceleration” occur (hint: it has to do with the gas pedal), more on the Nissan Leaf and the return of Maximum Bob Lutz, GM’s prognosticator supreme. We also pass along our most sincere sympathies to the families and staff of Tesla Motors for the tragic loss of three of their engineers in a terrible plane accident.
Download it through iTunes here.
Thursday night in New York. A clear, windy and extremely cold night. After driving the three hours from Lancaster to NYC I was glad to see a friendly valet take my Prius and welcome me into the Skylight Gallery.
While the layout in New York was different all the components were the same. The same three Prii that we saw in Detroit (Michelle V. of Prius Chat compared the VIN numbers). It was nice to have some more time with the car to sit in it, check out the controls and ponder which 2010 should be sitting in front of POG-HQ in May.
While I was there I had the pleasure, yes, genuine pleasure to meet someone who makes a lot of appearances here on the POG, no less than Jerry Flint of Forbes Magazine (picture below). While I disagree with Mr. Flint, sometimes vehemently he was one of those people whose warmth instantly wins you over. He happened to be sporting an old American Motors pin in his lapel which caught my eye as my father worked there when I was a kid. So, Mr. Flint while we may continue to disagree on auto industry strategies and how we view the various accomplishments of the big three, you won this round on humanity.
Back to the New York Prius Connection…
Mr. Tim Morrison of Toyota welcoming the attendees to the Prius Connection New York.
Ms. Natae Rayner of Toyota discussing the new 2010. I want to say that Natae was very helpful (and sympathetic) with my own questions about the 2010. Thanks Natae!
As an aside, these little things were some kind of amazing fig concoction that can only be described as a nuclear fig newton on steroids laced with whatever addictive substance you care to name. They were tasty. Cheers to Toyota for the wonderful food.
The Skylight Gallery.
Now here is something that doesn’t happen every day.
This is Mr. Gary Carter, Prius owner and POG reader. I don’t meet many people who actually admit to the existence of this little site so I was delighted when he recognized the site right away and said he was a reader. I had a great time chatting with Gary and he was kind enough to pose for this shot.
Yes, Prius trivia was a central part of the connection in New York as well. And to add even more surprise to the evening, I triumphed in one round although I was competing against my kid and one other person. So it’s not like I was faced with a panel of experts from Priuschat (thankfully).
The kid got the “Prius Genius” t-shirt.
You can see the entire gallery from the New York Prius Connection by clicking here.
So, late Sunday night we begin the eleven hour drive to Chicago for the final Prius Connection (that I’ll be attending). That takes place on Tuesday, expect a full report and pictures from the trip and the Connection. And while this is the final Prius Connection report for the POG it is by no means the end of the reporting we’re doing on the 3G 2010 Prius. Huge things are coming very soon. Stay tuned.
Our old friend G. Chambers Williams III is back on his “hybrid look like hybrids” high horse again.
And these guys get paid to write this stuff.
What am I doing wrong?
Now this one is a beaut…
But like I said last week, cops can so much easier haul a dead body in the
cargo hold of a Jeep Cherokee than they can in the back of a Toyota Prius.
Well thanks for clearing that but once again, I would disagree. Perhaps that’s why the paper hides this junk behind a scrip wall.
OK, let’s just get it out there: The 2010 Ford Fusion hybrid is the best gasoline-electric hybrid yet.
What makes it best is a top-drawer blend of an already very good midsize sedan with the industry’s smoothest, best-integrated gas-electric power system. It’s so well-done that you have to look to the $107,000 Lexus LS 600h hybrid to come close.
You’re kidding me right? The next best thing compared to the Fusion is a six figure Lexus hybrid? In what way exactly? It’s not hybrid performance. So it must be something else.
he Toyota Prius crowd will protest. Prius is lower-priced, has about the same room inside, has a handy hatchback configuration, gets better mileage — and most of those attributes could improve when the 2010 Prius goes on sale in a few months — so how could Fusion be the best hybrid?
And I can’t speak for the “Prius crowd” but when you compare a vehicle that performs at a lower level than the Prius and costs more and then call the second place Fusion “the best” perhaps this Prius owner just questions your judgment.
Jim Motavalli at the NYC Prius event and here’s his report.
Someone really wants a diesel.
I don’t get it. I guess I’m a “wuss”.
Roman Mica, writing for the Philly Examiner seems transfixed on the idea of exploding hybrids even though his initial report on the Lexus explosion early last week was completely debunked.
Honestly, are you afraid of batteries or just stupid?
Oh, and seriously, just a friendly suggestion, stick to writing about triathlons. Every time you stick your nose into the hybrid issue you just look worse and worse.
This article mentions the Johnson Controls i3 PHEV and the importance of making advanced batteries here in the U.S.
According to numerous sources and press releases the Insight is now on sale in Japan.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car is adding about 5,000 hybrids to its nationwide fleet and designating almost 80 rental locations across the country as “hybrid branches.”
The addition of gas/electric hybrids doubles the amount of hybrids Enterprise owns, according to the company.
The new hybrids will be available at nearly 80 locations in 24 major markets across the country, including the 10 busiest airports for business travelers in the U.S.
Customers will be able to choose from several makes and models of hybrid vehicles including the Toyota Prius, Nissan Altima, Ford Escape and Toyota Camry.
The company also offers a nationwide car sharing program that provides hourly rental options. The vehicles are placed in designated parking spaces where they can be accessed electronically.
Last September, Enterprise opened its first “Green Branch” in Sacramento.