3 Ways Toyota Prius Is Still The Best Hybrid
I have been playing around with hybrids for quite some time now. The more I get involved with them, the more I recognize the pure genius of the product. Prius was made to be an industry disruptor, and it has been for years on end.
Electric cars are all over the news and on social media. They are being hailed as the future of transportation, and rightfully so. Does this mean that the famed Toyota Prius will die off, though? Take a look at three ways the Toyota Prius will stay around and why it is the best hybrid amongst others.
Follow The Hybrid Leader
Toyota Prius was born to make a difference, and for over 20 years, it has. With high rankings that exceeded other makers in fuel economy and long term quality Prius is a force to be reckoned. The small hybrid started life out in Japan in 1997 just 4 years after the idea was born.
3 years later in 2000 after sweeping the Japanese nation, Prius landed in the U.S. and began ultimate hybrid domination. It did not take people long to realize how awesome this little car is and adopt it as one of their own. Sales then really began to skyrocket once the generation 2 came out in 2004.
Other car manufacturers such as Ford quickly saw the trend of hybridization and soon started playing the game, follow the leader. Others soon followed as well, but there was one thing that the followers were not aware of, and that was how to build a hybrid car the right way. Simply put, the THS (Toyota Hybrid System) is just better. It is more reliable and dependable than the competition.
Honda started out making a hybrid alongside Toyota, but the excitement was rather short-lived for many. The Insight and the Civic Hybrid both were loved but not nearly as much as Prius. Both Honda vehicles, while well-intentioned, did fall victim to poor design. The 144v battery packs wore out sooner than the Prius, and also, the CVT had its fair share of problems too. Honda has recently redesigned the Insight to offer a Toyota-Esque "e-CVT" that now has the Insight rivaling the Prius in competition.
Even though others are trying to make their hybrids better, Toyota still reigns in as a class-leader on many fronts.
Still The Most Popular Line Up
Toyota did not just make one hybrid and call it a day. Toyota perfected Prius and then began to interweave it into the fiber of their lineup. Smart move if you ask me. Not only can Toyota hit more "green credits," but they are offering a solid powertrain and better fuel economy to more of their buyers.
Toyota has recently added the Rav4 Hybrid to the line up showing that hybrid technology is not going away anytime soon. Electrification, while popular, is not the sole answer to the energy crisis we are facing. We, people, have a demand for energy like never before, and the need to consume it comes with that demand.
No other company offers more hybrid options that Toyota does. They do it because they have data backing up what they know from decades of research and development. It does not surprise me that Toyota still has the most popular lineup, just like I am not surprised Tesla is the most popular electric car. Every automaker has their thing, and for Toyota right now, that thing is hybrids.
Toyota Is Poised For A TakeOver
Toyota is a company that thinks through the problems the world faces. They conceived back in 1992 that the world would need a car for the future. After thinking about what this may look like, two ideas were born. Mirai and Prius. Toyota Mirai was developed to be the car of the future; Prius was to be the "bridge" to get there.
Times have changed though with the advent of Tesla. More car companies have seen that people are wanting electric cars and are now following suit. This has thrown a massive wrench in the HFC (hydrogen fuel cell) idea that Toyota has wanted to roll out, or has it?
The HFC idea is fantastic; it fills faster than an EV and has comparable range, but the problem is not with the technology, it is with the infrastructure. With 39 HFC stations and over 77,000 Tesla and EV charging stations, well, you get the picture.
Tesla has given Toyota everything they need to reconsider doing an electric vehicle. The infrastructure, the research, the design, and market demand have all been researched by Tesla over the past decade. So, what does this mean for Prius? It means that Toyota knows how to react to the onslaught of electrification; it also means that they can build another arsenal of vehicles that will also influence the world as much as Prius has.
I think that it will allow them to continue improving hybrid technology for quite a few more years, all while making HFC more of a reality every day. Prius, I think, could evolve into an HFC or full electric platform to keep the name alive, but this would be years down the road. Either way, Toyota is smart, and as one of the largest automakers on the planet, and I suspect their gameplan involves another takeover.
Toyota is a brilliant company that has made significant efforts to help improve the environment in which we live. Prius and the hybrid technology that the car has given us will be part of whatever car Toyota chooses to design next. We are not there yet, but the future of us demands we keep researching and looking forward.
Toyota has prime territory to have the "next" car of the future that was founded with the Prius. The question now becomes, when will it get here?
Thank you for reading. I look forward to seeing you in the next article. 3 Reasons Toyota Should Make A Pickup Prius
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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.