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Discussion Starter #1
Was there ever any doubt? Prius represents the beginning of a new age for the automobile, and we are part of it! Congratulations Toyota!
 

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Jerry P said:
Was there ever any doubt? Prius represents the beginning of a new age for the automobile, and we are part of it! Congratulations Toyota!
A well-deserved honor. I don't normally travel all that much by car, but lately I've been shuttled to and from several meetings in different vehicles. I must say that since buying the Prius I've been secretly measuring the quality of ride in these other cars against that of my own. Following these recent real-world comparisons I'm not surprised by this award. Even without all of it's technological wonders the Prius is a remarkably nice car.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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Soyboy said:
And if you think the waiting time for delivery was long before this, get ready to wait even longer! :shock:
I just hope it doesn't affect the delivery date for those who have already ordered :!:
 

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Amazing! First time in recent history a vehicle was named COTY by MotorTrend on DESIGN and MERIT!

Their only criteria in the past was AD PAGES PURCHASED.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
NIce story on NBC Nightly News tonight about the Prius. It is a 'cool' car now and there was a question asked "what message does this send to Detroit?". The message is clear - the day of Hybrid Cars has arrived, figure it out, start producing them now with real relaibiliity, or prepare to totally surrender a giant share of the market to Toyota HSD vehicles. I thought it was interesting a few months back when the CEO of GM said that his people must prepare for the day when GM might NOT be the largest, most successful car company in the world. Maybe he realised what was coming.
 

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Jerrry P, I agree 100% with your statement that "the day of Hybrid Cars has arrived." When I first saw an ad for the 2004 Prius I thought it was butt ugly and a toy. Then I went to two different dealers, took test drives and was very impressed. Then I started browsing this board and the Yahoo Prius Groups, found some excellent links to the technology involved and was even more converted. As a retired engineer I just love the Atkinson Cycle engine and the planetary transmission.

I now have a 2004 Prius on order. Can't say the 2004 model is the prettiest car out there but, IMO, it is very technologically functional and user practical.

Detroit has their heads in the sand. GM in particular with their committment to Hydrogen Technology. I read an article recently about their billion dollar investment so far in hydrogen. Does GM really think that the major oil companies are interested in hydrogen? Big Oils business is hydrocarbon not hydrogen based. At least with hybrid technology they still have a market. IMO, if GM doesn't commit to hybrid soon they(GM) are going to lose their shirt.

It will be interesting to see what Furd comes out next year with but they have a lot of catching up to do.

NIce story on NBC Nightly News tonight about the Prius. It is a 'cool' car now and there was a question asked "what message does this send to Detroit?". The message is clear - the day of Hybrid Cars has arrived, figure it out, start producing them now with real relaibiliity, or prepare to totally surrender a giant share of the market to Toyota HSD vehicles. I thought it was interesting a few months back when the CEO of GM said that his people must prepare for the day when GM might NOT be the largest, most successful car company in the world. Maybe he realised what was coming.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What I think people fail to realize about hydrogen fuel cell cars is that they are ALSO hybrid cars. The fuel cells are only used to generate electricity, which then drives a motor to move the car. Hydrogen will have to be produced from something, wether it is from oil/hydrocarbon or water or whatever. This production step also requires energy. The neatest features about the Toyota system are the regenerative braking and the power-split device that allows the battery to be recharged with excess power produced by the ICE when it is not all needed to move the car. Conservation of available energy is the key to the whole system. Toyota engineers have used computers in the system to sense when there is excess to be captured and stored in the battery pack. The concept is simple, the way they do it is amazing. All the technology of the HSD will also be needed for a hydrogen powered car if it is to be efficient. Toyota clearly has the lead in this critical part of any system, and we Prius owners are reaping the advantages of this lead right now.
 

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Hybrid to Hydrogen

We certainly are. Moreover, growing sales of Hybrid vehicles will bring down the cost of future hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, since they share many technologies, such as electric motors, power electronics, and energy storage. UCS But these hydrogen vehicles are still about 10 years away. Hybrid technology can fill the gap between conventional cars and the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.
 

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Does GM really think that the major oil companies are interested in hydrogen? Big Oils business is hydrocarbon not hydrogen based.
Actually all the big oil companies LOVE the idea of hydrogen as at first it's actually planned to be MADE from oil and natural gas! When made by electrolysis too, it will require massive amounts of electricity that will be made from... well depends on the country, but for the US mostly coal! Amazingly, this will lead to more pollution overall compared to just burning fossil fuels directly in modern IC engines. Add to that the fact that for 1kWhr of electricity a hydrogen powered fuel cell car can go about 0.8 miles, while a battery electric (or plug-in hybrid) can go about 4 miles, meaning that any country commiting itself to fuel cells in passenger transport will need to make 5 times as much electricty as a plug-in hybrid based economy!

Now don't get me wrong I'm not knocking fuel cells entirely - I was once a great fan and follower - until I did the sums myself. The problem is just that putting it into practice will require vast amounts of investment in (you guessed it) big oil companies to make new infrastructure, and once it's up and running it will require far more energy (read oil) to keep running compared to other options, which is also great news for the oil companies. The decisions to promote hydrogen have already been made at high levels, however, and in order to avoid a lot of embarrasment (and the share price collapse of many American firms especially GM), nobody is willing to turn around or even flinch just yet.
 
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