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Old 31st May 2006, 14:35   #1
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Talking Toyota Hybrid - Prius 2006

Why cant toyota get in sensible cars like this one?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toyota_Prius

4.7L for 100km!!! thats lovely average! Considering the normal average of 8.5L- 9L/100km in our cars in india.
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Old 1st June 2006, 11:20   #2
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Find out how much the car will cost. Take the difference in price with a comparatively spec-d Japanese petrol car and invest this amount in petrol over the car's lifetime. This will compensate for much more than the mileage gain on the Prius. Also, remember:
1. real world mileage is never as much as the brochure suggests; and
2. god help you if you need to repair the electric cell system

The fact of the matter is that the Prius makes sense only if you are an environment conscious geek out to protect the world from increasing greenhouse gas emissions. In terms of pure financial evaluation, conventional petrol cars are still more economical.
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Old 1st June 2006, 11:45   #3
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50mpg = 50miles to3.5L(US gallon) is what the testing authority has given. Here in US all cars must carry this rating and this is what is shown in the ads
Thats about 22kmpl in combined cycle. But with the price difference and gas prices here it does not make economic sense. A taxi driver had taken this thinking it would save costs but sold it because of the high maintainace. It costs around 60% more than similar sized cars and cant be serviced at any ordinary garage. In the US getting your car serviced at an authorized dealership is good if your last name is gates.
For India 22kmpl in city conditions sounds juicy, but in terms of rupees per litre the Skoda laura will match due to diesel prices. And the Skoda is a bigger and a "higher status" car.
Also a similarly sized diesel car (modern engines) can give around 18kmpl so the prius does not have many advantages yet, unless you want to save the environment.
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Old 1st June 2006, 14:33   #4
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I think you guys are exaggerating things a bit. Prius is selling like hot cakes in US, it cant be just the enviro freaks buying it. It is cheaper to run and maintain (source: bay area friends).

It makes sense for Indian govt to push auto makers to introduce cars with better milages or alternate source for fules. 50 mpg means 23 kmpl. (mpg multiplier is 1.6/3.5 = 0.46)

Just like how, to cut pollution, we have stricter emission norms (refer: Harley Davidson wants govt to lower emission norms so that they can sell a 500 cc bike here), we need our govt to either encourage - lower duties on cars that give 20 kmpl or more; or force - 1 in 3 of the models you introduce must be more than 20 kmpl.

We need this guys. Or else it will be late. Once the policies to force/encourage are in place, other things could fall in place. It is toyota's headache to make sure Prius can be serviced around at a reasonable cost. Or Suzuki will figure a way. How do we care. Let the market figure.
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Old 1st June 2006, 23:04   #5
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Exactly, let the market figure. Speaking of Bay area people, those who have the pruis say its cheap to maintain. But then Bay area people think half a millon dollar for a house is cheap.
Now you can take your old corolla, accord into any garage and you can have a service and tune up with oil change for 30$, but if you go to a dealership it will cost you 100$+ easily.
Moreover I never said its not a good car. All meant to say was that with current gas prices in the US it does not make sense to buy from an economic point of view, and in India due to diesel prices being where they are the economic factor again comes to play.
Now if the indian govt reduced taxes on ultra low emission cars and priced diesel at par with petrol, it would be a different story, but then they are not even ready to remove the taxes from the zero emission Reva.
Environmently the Prius rocks.
Technologically its right there in the future
But from an economic standpoint it does not make much sense, yet
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Old 2nd June 2006, 14:21   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
...... Environmently the Prius rocks.
Technologically its right there in the future
But from an economic standpoint it does not make much sense, yet
Exactly! This is the future.. Sooner or later we have to go that way.. the earlier we do, we benefit (scale of sales will help). Also, if a country shows more interest towards eco friendly cars, car manufacturers will also invest more towards improving the technology. Its a cycle that needs to be maintained.

But as usual, our politicians who run the government are more worried about their pockets than growth & future.. Let alone environment!
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Old 2nd June 2006, 14:25   #7
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uh, why are we discussing Toyota Prius in the Indian Car Scene section??? I came rushing here thinking that since its in the Indian Car Scene section, it might be getting launched here.

Mods???
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Old 2nd June 2006, 16:13   #8
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gosh....iam waiting for this car to be launched in india,i love toyotas ......and this is one is one ma favourites...
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Old 2nd June 2006, 17:13   #9
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Well.. the question is why is it not released in india.. so not sure if it fits here.. mods, please move it to international section if required. Infact i just spotted a similar thread in international section. please merge them.

Last edited by harishsegar : 2nd June 2006 at 17:15.
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Old 3rd June 2006, 08:53   #10
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Good debate. Hope our energy minister finds time to read this in the middle of his trips to Iran.

Frankly, caring about environment isn't the question here. Cutting on gasoline imports is.

But from what I know, hybrid's aren't exorbitantly expensive to maintain. That was the point I was arguing against. If it was, it wont sell this much. I heard that many places in US, there is 2 to 3 months wait for the new hybrid Civic!

Reva is good example to prove our govt isn't thinking on these lines yet. Reva does get some tax relief, but not much. It is expensive for what it delivers.

The reason no car maker will willingly bring hybrids to India is - low margins. Any high-tech product gets "perception" margins in richer markets. They will mint money in US first, then Japan, Europe. When its time to dump (next generation hybrids arrive) , they will think India.

Govt does not care about cars (dumping/duties) - fair enough - there are other issues with higher priority (roads for example). But cutting on gasoline imports - this has to be a long term thing we should start thinking about.
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Old 3rd June 2006, 09:15   #11
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Its a known fact that all car companies (incl Maruti) dont believe India is a mature enough market to launch cutting-edge technologies in. Particularly so in the case of advanced hybrid cars like the Prius.

Theres also the factor of pricing - this car costs abt $25000 in the US = Rs 1125000. Of course it will never be sold here at that price but more - probably around the Rs 15-17 lacs mark.

What we Indians need is a hybrid car proudly designed IN India, for India, by Indians. Only one company can pull this off and yet keep it affordable - Tata Motors are you listening ?!
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Old 3rd June 2006, 10:04   #12
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The cost of ownership for a Prius comes to about the same as for other similar non-hybrid cars. The only reason they are slightly ahead is because of the tax breaks etc.
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Old 3rd June 2006, 11:33   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theMAG
Its a known fact that all car companies (incl Maruti) dont believe India is a mature enough market to launch cutting-edge technologies in. Particularly so in the case of advanced hybrid cars like the Prius.

Theres also the factor of pricing - this car costs abt $25000 in the US = Rs 1125000. Of course it will never be sold here at that price but more - probably around the Rs 15-17 lacs mark.

What we Indians need is a hybrid car proudly designed IN India, for India, by Indians. Only one company can pull this off and yet keep it affordable - Tata Motors are you listening ?!
Well said! Tata, or Mahindra (hybrid scorpio?), wake up please! Innovate. I dont mind a hybrid Alto either. I just dont want our country to be a gas guzzler.

Cost is a factor, yes. That is precisely why we need some goverment incentive. Like tax break on repayment of loan toward hybrid or electric car. And duty sops for the hybrid car maker.

BTW, I have a prediction to make. Honda will be the first one to bring a hybrid engine here. And it will be Civic. May be not this year, but soon.

Cheers!
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Old 4th June 2006, 09:39   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamRao
The fact of the matter is that the Prius makes sense only if you are an environment conscious geek out to protect the world from increasing greenhouse gas emissions.
You are right about emissions. But, environmentally friendly.... I am not sure about that. One of my colleagues has the Honda Insight, and another has the Prius. I am not impressed by either.

Every 3 years the battery pack needs to be changed. It costs around $3000 for that, and the batteries needs to be disposed off somewhere, and it does affect the environment.

All said and done, the powerful hybrid vehicles give you the same mileage as the diesel cars. (with much less vibration, and emissions)

I think I like the PHEV (Pluggable Hybrid Electric Vehicle) much better.
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Old 5th June 2006, 09:18   #15
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Hmmm. Valid point. The batteries do need to be disposed, thats not environment friendly. And for pluggable electric vehicles, some folks argue that its equally polluting, just that instead of your vehicle, the power plant pollutes air.

They say hydrogen driven fuel cells are the answer. God knows how long this will be the technology-in-waiting.

Also - a question. Why does diesel give more mileage than petrol? Does the fuel intrinsically have more "energy" to burn? Or is it the way diesel engines are designed?
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