GRA wrote:The Prime can fully charge its battery overnight using only L1, the Volt can't.
Nonsense. See the post immediately above.
Uh huh, and provided you can charge the car for significantly more than 8 hours and you have a large off-peak (or better yet super off-peak) window, the Volt may
be able to fully charge overnight at a lower price than the Prime. But not enough to cancel out the $6k difference in price, and many areas with ToU rates have smaller super off-peak windows, say 5 hours or less. I don't know if they've changed it now, but here in the Bay Area the local utility's (PG&E) off-peak window used to extend only from 11p.m. to 7 a.m. during the week. And of course, if charging pushes your usage above the baseline amount for your area your rate is much higher, which wipes out much if not all the advantage.
RegGuheert wrote:BTW, in very cold weather, the AER of the Prius Prime is likely to be around 15 miles. (The temperature here is 7.5F as I write this!)
Sure, and the Volt's range will be lower as well. Both will likely kick the ICE on, and that's fine.
GRA wrote:Reg, a renter without easy access to charging has no business buying any kind of PEV at the moment, because it's cheaper to buy gas than pay public charging prices in most areas, as well as generally more convenient. But a renter is much more likely to have access to L1 than L2 charging, unless they're renting a home with a garage and 240V dryer circuit. If I really wanted to make it work I could charge L1, although that would involve running an extension cord out a door or window (not a viable option during the heating months in winter). L2 is simply not an option for me or most apartment/condo renters.
Again, the Prius Prime offers NO benefit for a renter other than the two I listed in my first post here: lower purchase price and increased cargo capacity. the Chevy Volt offers more miles per hour of L1 charging. If a renter has access to charging at home or free charging at work or elsewhere, they will save gasoline whenever they can charge at least every 150 miles.
And are willing to take the extra time to do so, and how long will it take them to overcome the $6k deficit they started with?
GRA wrote:Perhaps I should have added "based on the past reliability of Toyota and Chevrolet products over the past 40 years or so", but I assumed that was implicitly understood by all.
Sorry, but Chevrolet is the demonstrated leader when it comes to reliability of their large traction battery. Toyota is the newcomer here with virtually no track record with batteries this size. By putting in a battery pack that is less than half the capacity of that in the Chevy Volt, Toyota is ensuring that their battery will cycle more than a Volt battery would for EVERY trip under 53 miles. That indicates that the Prius Prime battery will degrade faster than the battery in the Volt. In other words, not only will the Volt save gasoline on all trips between 25 and 150 miles, but it will hold up better while doing so. That's what you get for the extra money spent on a larger battery.
Certainly you get relatively less cycling with a larger battery for the same range. OTOH, Toyota has plenty of experience building HEV packs with excellent longevity, and is also a very conservative company generally, opting for evolution rather than revolution (moon shots like the original Prius and the Mirai aside), which has made their products consistently at or near the top in reliability for decades, including this past year when they were #1 again (Lexus #1, Toyota #2). And while I have applauded GM for their very conservative practice with the Volt 1's battery, they're being a lot less conservative when it comes to the Volt 2's usable SoC range (it's somewhere in the 75-78% range vs. 65% for Volt 1), and we'll have to see how things go. What we are seeing is that the Volt's 2's reliability in other areas is significantly less than the Volt 1, which is worrying. Whether that's due to a real drop-off in quality or just a more mainstream customer demographic that isn't inclined to give GM a pass on things early adopters are willing to cut them slack on remains to be seen.
GRA wrote:For those who have charging at both ends, I imagine a Prime could probably handle around 90% or more of the population's routine driving needs.
Gee, GRA, you spend a LOT of time and effort on this forum pointing out how many people do not have access to charging at EITHER end of their commute, yet here you are talking about people who have it at BOTH? That percentage is so small it is not worth discussing.'
Sure, it's limited now, but I think one of the least expensive ways to grow PEVs is to provide workplace charging. At least here in the Bay Area and other tech centers, workplace charging is becoming common. Since the millennial tech types are the main demographic going forward for PEVs, and many of them simply can't afford to buy homes yet, providing workplace and/or apartment charging will be critical to expansion, and installing workplace charging is almost certainly cheaper per car than retrofitting a much larger number of housing units, while providing L1 is cheaper than L2. As I said, those who have neither simply aren't good candidates for a PEV at this time. OTOH, if they think they may move/change jobs a lot, then having a PHEV with a relatively small and inexpensive battery gives them options at a much lower price than is the case with a larger-batteried PHEV, without penalizing them in the interim.
GRA wrote:FTM, the 21 mile AER Fusion Energi outsold the LEAF last year, and the combined 2016 sales of the Fusion/C-Max Energi last year were greater than the LEAF's in any year but 2014, so there's clearly a market for a less expensive car with about this range.
Utterly irrelevant information.
Seems relevant to me, as they're both 5 passenger cars that are getting long in the tooth, and both have significant handicaps - the LEAF's are its battery and looks, the Fusion's the lack of cargo space due to the battery.
RegGuheert wrote:What is relative to this discussion is these 2016 numbers:
Chevy Volt with 53-mile AER: 24,739 cars sold in 2016
Ford Fusion Energi with 21-mile AER: 15,938 cars sold in 2016
Uh huh, and what model year were each of them introduced? 2013 for the Fords, and 2016 for the Volt 2. Now let's add the 2016 numbers for the C-Max Energi (as they share the drivetrain) to the Fusion: 15,938 + 7,957 = 23,895. So Ford, having spent oodles less dollars developing the Energi on the basic Fusion/C-Max platform than GM did on the Volt, by just shoving the battery into the cargo space, is able to sell almost as many of them as the far more electrically-capable (and more expensive) Volt, despite their lack of cargo utility and being a 3-year older design.
RegGuheert wrote:I'm pretty sure that it is the Ford Fusion Energi which will lose out to the Prius Prime this year. Virtually every specification of the Fusion Energi is inferior to that of the Prius Prime (and the Volt, for that matter).
Ford certainly needs to provide the next gen of PHEV soon. I guess we differ on what the priority of the upgrade should be. I think that they should concentrate on keeping the price down and retaining 5 pax. capability and similar range while getting the battery out of the cargo space, and you seem to feel that a more expensive car with a greater AER is the critical feature - I believe that's the driving factor for early adopters but not the mainstream (at least not with current gas prices). We'll see which of us is correct. As I've said, I expect the Prime to become the best-selling PEV this year, despite its space limitations, especially if the Fed. tax. credit goes away. But the PHEV I really want to see is a Golf GTE AWD Sportwagen, or a small CUV by somebody; as long as the pax. and especially the cargo space isn't compromised. 20+ miles AER is acceptable.