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Discussion Starter #1
Starting a thread a bit more on topic after finding another appropriate quote from the book on the subject of the 'main purpose' of the Prius and how what we drive today evolved.

This caries over from this thread:
http://www.priusonline.com/viewtopic.ph ... 9&start=15

From "The Prius That Shook The World"; p45-47:
This is a from the second G21 group started in Jan. 1994 who was supposed to take what becomes Prius from the concept stage to the design stage....

"Someone said, "What we need is some sort of a guideline
in order to clarify the concept so we can decide what kind of product to make."

"Okay, then, let's look for keywords that indicate what is
needed for the 21st century car," Uchiyamada suggested. He
also said,
"It could be anything. What should a car be? Or what
kind of a car do you want in the 21st century? There
should be many books and articles on this subject available in
the market. Let's all look for concepts and draw up a list of
keywords that strongly relate to the automotive society of the
21st century."
Several days later, many keywords were offered:
"Increased traffic accident fatalities," "increased population of
the elderly in developed nations," "decreased childbirth and
more women in the workplace in Japan," "rapid
development of multimedia," "more serious traffic
congestion," and so on.
Ishida then put together a report on those keywords.
After many brainstorming sessions, two key words remained:
"natural resources" and "environment."

Those key words were especially meaningful at that time
because auto makers were focusing on the depletion of the
ozone layer due to the use of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) in
air conditioning systems. Also, Uchiyamada recently had
overheard his wife and his elementary school age daughter
talking about how to sort trash for the various waste disposal
methods his daughter had learned at school. After listening
to the discussion, Uchiyamada realized that he lived a life
far more detached from environmental issues than his family and that concerns over natural resources and the environment would one day
become major social issues.

Eventually, the team narrowed down the concept and
settled on building a car that would be resource- and
environment-friendly while retaining all the benefits of the
modern car.
In other words, the team acknowledged the
original G21's goal to build "a small, fuel-efficient car."


To me, at least, this reads as fuel efficiency and environment friendliness (ie emissions) were at least parallel and equally important. But also that they are inseperably connected.
 

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When people ask me the main reason I bought the Prius, I tell them so my 3 granddaughters will have air to breath that you can't touch or see.
 

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here's the proof...

EMISSIONS!

On the original Prius Club, we had two Toyota executives cheerfully answering our questions. The following two message posts provide proof that emissions was in fact the primary objective of Prius.



#4124 3/9/01 6:19 pm (post from a Prius enthusiast)

Forget Milege! Vote for fewer emissions


I am a bit disturbed by the excessive focus on MPG when the real beauty of the Prius, and its REAL Green value, is reduced emissions. I know the meters on the car do not measure the few emissions the car puts out, but surely some motor genius could give us some sense of how to talk about the benefits to the planet by the reduction in emissions of the Prius. I understand that the MPG factor has high communication power, but the more powerful benefit are the reduced emissions. Let me say that again, it's about reduced emissions.



#4158 3/11/01 11:08 pm (reply from ee_of_ee at Toyota)

Re: Forget Milege! Vote for fewer emissions


Actually its about low emissions.

Both low emissions of "critera" pollutants (smog forming gases) and "greenhouse" pollutants (mostly CO2). Both flavors are part of the combustion of gasoline (and other hydrocarbon fuels). CO2 is directly related to MPG or fuel economy, each gallon of gasoline burned yields about 19 pounds of CO2. Prius gets 87% better fuel economy that the average compact new car. This translates into ~46% less CO2. Since the average new car is about the CA LEV level, Prius is ~90% cleaner for smog forming tailpipe gases.

.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well Johh, I read those in a very different way than you do, apparently. Although those posts do discuss the importance of emissions they also suggest that improved mpg is a major factor in reducing those emissions.

Further, no where does it imply that the control systems prioritize emissions over mpg or vis versa.

The 'purpose' of Prius was multi-fold and fluid...and remains so. There is absolutely no question that emissions control is of utmost importance, as is improved fuel efficiency.

I admit that TPTSTW only takes us up to about 1998 in the history of Prius. It is possible that in the 2nd generation of the 'classic' Prius the emphesis shifted more dramatically to emissions and away from fuel economy. But I don't see any evidence of that.

Emissions are a big deal, and a major deal. But to try to claim they are the 'main' deal is a stretch and clearly not at all supported in the historical record.
 

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I have a bunch of very old message posts & quotes from articles that further support the commitment to emissions, including some stating the emphasis of being cleaner than the competition.

It's just a misunderstanding of what "main" means. You appear to be thinking that there's a major gap between priority #1 and #2, that huge sacrifices were made to achieve #1 at the expense of #2. That isn't the case. Both were very important.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
john1701a said:
I have a bunch of very old message posts & quotes from articles that further support the commitment to emissions, including some stating the emphasis of being cleaner than the competition.

It's just a misunderstanding of what "main" means. You appear to be thinking that there's a major gap between priority #1 and #2, that huge sacrifices were made to achieve #1 at the expense of #2. That isn't the case. Both were very important.
Sounds exactly like what I've been saying...both were important and that emissions were not the 'main' thing or main purpose. I have never suggested a 'major gap' b/w priorities. My entire last post emphesised how intertwined the various goals are and have always been.

You're the one who's persistantly (for years) gotten up in arms when someone suggested that mpg was the main purpose. All I've been saying is that you're no more correct in saying that emissions are the main purpose than the persons you've been 'correcting' are about mpg being the main purpose.

But if one wishes to split hairs and go to the original concept that led to Prius the MPG goal was the first suggested. Not until the second working group was the environmental aspect emphesised. But clearly, once Prius went beyond a 'concept' MPG and Emissions became parallel goals and, as far as I can determine, of at least equal import.
 

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If emissions had been the main desire Toyota would have built "one" concept car to show it could be done and that would have been "it" until the laws in California were further changed.
Toyota builds cars as a business and the only thing really that Prius has going for it is "high gas milage" Just check out the per-cent of postings on this web-site. I'm sure that emissions entered into the thoughts of a few buyers but I would bet that the mass market waiting for the car now are milage hunters. Because of this we will see massive benefits as the industry moves in this direction. Don't count on the rest of the manufacturers to even think of emissions over high milage figures. I'm sure everything will be sacrifised in that hunt for market share.
Also, don't expect the Hybrids to come "cheap" We all lucked out as I still believe the many stories I have earlier read that Toyota heavily subsidised the cost of the Prius when they put it in what they had decided was the market "niche" for a mid-sized Japanese sedan. Toyota's profits are in the future and in the sales of their "Fore Runners, Highlanders, Camrys, Corolla's and their larger Pick-ups and the evidence is in the projected sales price of the Camry "H" and the present Accord. You won't find one under thirty thousand until the American manufacturers get into the act. Hooray for competition and I'll bet "emissions" will be a side effect in the new generation of hybrids. Milage with the higher gas prices will be what sells these cars. Estimated snergy power runs $6,000 over the cost of the internal combustion power and anything that can be cut to lower the cost will be. Don't expect to find "bladders" in the next generation or the search for the retention of heat to turn the "ICE" on, or a thermal storage system. They will all be closer to Honda's design in these matters in the interest of cost.
 

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Great taste!

Less filling!

:wink:
 

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You said it, Sanny! Isn't it great that we can sit around and debate exactly why the Prius is the best car for the environment?

Using less gas is great for the environment, because there isn't much oil left. To complicate matters, CO emissions are directly related to the quantity of gas burned. So, making a very fuel-efficient car saves gas and reduces CO emissions.

Creating less emissions of all kinds (CO, hydrocarbons, NOx, etc) is great for the environment, because air quality in major cities is going to hell in a handbasket. So, designing a car to burn every gallon of gas more cleanly helps a lot, too.

One fact leads me to believe that emissions were the top priority: initial warmup. Running the ICE constantly until optimum operating temperature is reached has a big negative effect on mileage, especially for short trips and cold weather. The EV button and the coolant thermos bottle try to address that problem in the NHW20 model, but it's still a problem. If Toyota's main goal had been low mileage, they would have let the ICE shut off immediately.

However, they couldn't totally sacrifice mileage for emissions, because
1. CO emissions are directly related to mileage. You can make a great exhaust system that takes out all the nitrous oxides, unburned hydrocarbons, sulfurs, etc., but no one has yet invented a catalytic converter for CO.
2. The average public is motivated by money. Clean emissions won't save the consumer much money, but low mileage will.

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin, USA)
 

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Well, that's what the other hybrids are for. While Toyota concentrates on those two goals for the Prius, Honda's hybrids are designed to save fuel rather than lower emissions. Their emission ratings are identical to their conventional counterparts. Granted, they may be lower but they still fall under the same ULEV category. On the other hand, the RX400h and HiHy are under the SULEV category making them a step towards reducing emissions. I see the Prius as their foundation, their basis for all hybrid vehicles. We will be the benchmark in which all other Toyota vehicles will be based on. We represent the ultimate in fuel efficient and lowered emission in one efficient package. I've driven the RX400h and while it is very impressive, I still find myself wanting to return to my Prius. There this intangible feeling whenever I step into my Prius that makes me smile
 

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However now that the hybrid is going to have to carry it's weight and turn profitable I see the emissions returning closer to those specified by law. Did you get a selling price for the Highlander? Thats too many bucks to spend to save on gas money! I'm afraid it is the same with the Accord which Honda is spending large bucks advertising. Of course once you can justify more than thirty thousand dollars for a car, you don't have to be concerned with the price of gas.
When Volkswagen can come out with a high milage per gallon vehicle in the $16,000 range they can make another "ala 50's" return to domination, no matter how it is propelled.
 

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johnson487682 said:
. . .
1. CO emissions are directly related to mileage. You can make a great exhaust system that takes out all the nitrous oxides, unburned hydrocarbons, sulfurs, etc., but no one has yet invented a catalytic converter for CO.
. . .
Minor correction: CO2 emissions are directly related to mileage. CO emissions are not. The Prius has a catalytic converter for CO (and a CO trap for when the converter is cold).
 

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Having lived in CA when the talk first started about zero emissioins (these dates will be off a little as i get forgetful as i get older) but in the early 90s the southern air recources board declared that by 2010 a certain percentage of all cars would have to be ZERO emissions needless to say detroit said they couldn't do it people wouldn't by them all the usual excuses. Some manufactures did manage to get the hybred approved as a zero emissions vehicle because Sacramento wanted electric cars only.
To make the reulators happy the Hybrid was approved as a zero emissions vehicle. I don't think tha gas mileage was an origanial part of the equasioin. By the way in the US what california does spreads across the country whether we want it or not.
 

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Interesting John. Of course these comments all seem to be dated in the year 2000. The car had little interest or market then. I know I felt it more of a concept car. I wonder if this gentleman is with Toyota today? It really wasn't until the media found the car and started comparing it's milage figures to those of SUV's along with a war in the middle east that kicked sales in the butt. That along with the 2004 2nd generation model which was a more "complete car" performance wise. Because of this and probably the small profit figures account of the so far limited capacity in the manufacturing process the Prius will remain a "stepping stone" in the eventual profits to be made in the hybrid field.. Someone is going to have to figure a way of getting manufacturing costs down on this type of power.
I believe that is what everyone is now doing, and I'm sure the "break thru" will occur sooner now with the cost of fuel, than later. I believe the "big three" are attempting with the rest of the world to get this power into a standard vehicle and at a profitable and affordable price.
Emission wise, I think that anyone concerned in the buying public now believes emissions in any new car are acceptable and anything greater would really not be a selling factor. I still believe the majority of the buyers are seeking better milage figures. (Note predominence of posts on this website) Thats why I bought mine. Because of the whole design factor for milage. From the wind tunnel anti-drag design to the light weight design features like the aluminum hood and hatchback, along with the "screen-door" type of lightweight hinges used on the hatch-back and doors. Everthing done for "milage." A definate reason the seats are so uncomfortable. Light weight as in those used by the airlines. Thats the reason I would never add anything to the exterior of my car to destroy in any way the designed features including the wheels and tires. It would be interesting to see the airflow figures of the car with the plastic wheel rings removed or mudflaps installed. The "smoke" would tell the story better than words. Thats why we suffer with rear vision problems. It's all because of airflow and the main reason we bought the car. When I can get 35 to 40mpg in a standard car, I am going for it.
 

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hyperion said:
I wonder if this gentleman is with Toyota today?
He's the spokesperson for Prius!

Just about every printed US article you've ever read that included a quote from a Toyota executive in the US was from ee_of_ee. He's the guy we've all been talking about... and likely will for many years to come.

Whatever the case, the focus isn't solely on the ever-improving Prius anymore anyway. It's all about HSD now.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
mrv said:
The quote from ee_of_ee (one of the Toyota official people, don't remember his official title...):
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/toy ... ssage/4158
Again, excuse me if I don't flip on this one out of a totally out of context quote. I again repeat that I do not for a second dispute the import of emissions/environment in development of the Prius. But just as John gave the example of fuel tank bladder I offer electric steering (3% improvement in fuel efficiency), Regen braking (2-4% improvement in fuel efficiency), low Cd design.

These things both go hand in hand, one can not be had without the other and to suggest that someone is wrong to emphesis the import of fuel economy is just as wrong as over emphesising the emissions.
 
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