Toyota Amps Up Hybrid Offerings, Scales Back EVs
The automaker will add 21 new hybrids to its fleet by 2015 while limiting production of electric vehicles.
I was fortunate enough to drive a Prius for about 2 years until "life" forced me to sell it . I could drive in the diamond lane on the So. Cal freeways at 70 mph and get 50 mpg. There were times I got 55 mpg. At that time regular gas in CA was hovering around $3.75. I could carry 8 ft. 2 x 4s inside with the hatch door closed. I could load and unload 50 lb. sacks of dog food from the back because there wasn't a high lip on the "trunk" space. I am 5 ft. 9 and found the seat fit me wonderfully with plenty of leg room for others in the back. The car was zippy comming onto the freeway and a dream to corner or park. I drove it to Tucson AZ and there was plenty of juice to get up and over long, steep mountain passes there and back. Drove it in snow, wind, rain, sleet and patches of black ice...never a slip or slide. I carried my kayak on the roof (discovered the roof rack alone took 5 mpg off ) to bays, rivers and lakes. I found the body style to be boring rather than ugly...but you don't sit outside to drive. It was the most versitile, enjoyable, safe, comfortable vihicle I have ever owned. If I could afford (or if it made sense to own) a second car I'd purchase one in a heartbeat. I would suggest beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Loved my Prius-until I had to replace the hybrid battery to the tune of $3500 at 110,000 miles. Yes, just 10,000 miles over the standard warranty and 40,000 less than the California emission warranty. Nowhere near the "up to 400,000 miles" they claimed the batteries can last. Toyota chipped in $500 only after my dealership spent hours on the phone with them. If you truly want to be a leader in hybrids, STAND BEHIND YOUR PRODUCT!
Plug-in-Hybrids and all electrics require additional investment and infrustructure. You buy an Electric and have the chargeing station installed and then your job or whatever causes you to move. Regardless of how far, that means the expense of removing and reinstalling or buying a whole new installation at the new home (in all likelyhood.)
But regular hybrids, provide their benefits without that anxiety.
Plus for city dwellers, you might not own your parking place. How do you convince the building owner to devote a parking place for you and your charger?
I need a station wagon with a diesel engine, manual transmission, and which looks great... like this one:
THAT is what I need.
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