3 Threats That Could Shut Down Prius And Other Hybrid Production Permanently
In 1920 the Ford Model T was one of the most popular and affordable vehicles sold at the time. With the birth of a rapidly growing industry, people latched onto the automobile as a staple in their daily lives.
We do not usually hear about the negative things that went along with building the first automobiles. Congregations of workers from carriage companies strongly opposed automobiles. They knew it was a severe threat to their way of life.
Like it or not, the automobile came around, and we now know today that this was partly due to the industrial revolution. America was advancing, and those on the fence were left behind.
Why am I giving you a history lesson? Because you must understand what I am about to tell you next. The gasoline car we have loved for over 100 years is now going through a new revolution. If you do not believe me, consider these three threats to change everything we know about the industry.
California Bans Sale Of Gasoline Cars By 2035
Who cares about some ban, right? Well, that is what we should all start to take a closer look at what this means for us. Yes, there are plenty of memes out there that make-fun of California for not even being able to support the power grid it has but hear me out.
We have never advanced in society by thinking small. Henry Ford proved that long ago. For our society to progress, we have to ask bold questions and say powerful statements that get us to think about the unknown. California saying that they will ban the sale of gasoline cars is a very aggressive and powerful statement. It encompasses everything about advancement. It also challenges us to think about how we will get there.
The ban is a massive threat to the existence of cars like the Toyota Prius. While a very eco-friendly car, Prius still has a gasoline engine. According to the ban, Prius and other hybrids would no longer be available for sale in the state.
California has a large population, and for hybrids to get pushed out and gone would cripple sales and cost Toyota billions annually. Toyota does have the Mirai, its hydrogen fuel cell car, but even if it were to go full-scale mass production, there are far too many people that cannot afford to own one.
The ban is sure to be a nail in the Prius coffin. It saddens me, but that is how we move forward in life by letting go of one thing to gain something better (hopefully).
Telsa, Battery Advancements And EV Popularity
Battery day for Tesla Motors was an incredible win, though investors thought differently about it. I do not believe that most people understand the weight of what Tesla has done. They have improved everything about the electric car, including cost.
This bit of information is enormous. I have been preaching solid-state battery technology for quite some time now, and I still believe that it will be in our future, but. Elon and the team have been able to increase range, capacity, cleanliness, and affordability. These increases have given new Tesla models a 54% increase in range, a 56% decrease in the cost of kilowatt-hours production, and a 69% reduction in Gigawatt-hours production.
Just reflect on the range increase alone, and you can see the barriers Tesla has broken through. When you combine that with the fact Tesla is now far more environmentally friendly and will take even larger steps to keep batteries recycled, the choice for our future is simple.
Now, if Prius pivoted into becoming an EV with a Tesla-esque range that could save the brand, but this is not Toyota's idea. Toyota motor is a very conservative company, and that has played to its benefit for decades.
Now with Tesla pushing the envelope, Toyota will have to reconsider everything they once knew about the future of transportation.
Affordability Of EV
With how well Tesla is reducing costs, consumers will inevitably reap those benefits. Again, look at what Henry Ford did a century ago. He made it possible for every family to afford an automobile. What was $100,000 has dropped to $35,000 + depending on the model and package you desire.
Elon projects that EV cars with these new advancements can bring Tesla cars into the $20,000 range. Revolutionary is the word that comes to mind when I think about how incredible a $20,000 600 mile range Tesla is. Even Prius with as affordable as it still costs over $20k.
The trifecta of change is upon us, and if you do not think so, I suggest crawling out from under the rock and taking a look.
History (for better or worse) is doomed to repeat itself, but not in the same way. These ripples in the space-time continuum are from the past, making our modern-day advancements possible.
As exciting as all of this is, it is scary to see what will happen to our hybrid lineup. I hope to keep my hybrid as long as possible, but 15 years from now is not that far off.
Who knows, maybe this is all just some pipe dream, but to me, the evidence shows we are in this for the long haul.
Thank you, everyone, for reading. I hope you have enjoyed this article. I look forward to seeing you in the next. Have a great day.
Check out this wild new battery tech that Tesla has and why it will change the auto industry forever.
Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting. Read more of Peter's stories at Toyota news coverage on Torque News. Search Toyota Prius Torque News for more in depth Prius coverage from our reporters.