GRA wrote:84% of the Volt's price, or more importantly from the customer's viewpoint, base MSRP of $6k less,...
Let's see the actual numbers:
2017 Chevy Volt base price: $33,200
2017 Chevy Volt federal tax credit: $7500
2017 Chevy Volt final price: $25,700
2017 Toyota Prius Prime base price: $27,100
2017 Toyota Prius Prime federal tax credit: $4500
2017 Toyota Prius Prime final price: $22,600
Difference: $3,100 2017 ToyotaPrius Prime is 88% of the price of the 2017 Chevy Volt
Uh huh, but that assumes that
1. You qualify for the full tax credit (a lot of the people who could afford the Prime but not the Volt don't), and
2. The tax credits won't get repealed even before the companies reach their sales limits (which GM will reach much earlier than Toyota).
GRA wrote:Plus, there's little reason that anyone using the car for commuting and charging at home and/or work needs to charge beyond L1, saving the cost and hassle of upgrading circuits/buying an L2 EVSE...
It seems you haven't thought this through carefully. Miles gained per hours at a given charging rate is ONLY a function vehicle efficiencies (both charging and running efficiencies). Chevy Volt travels 53 miles using an 18.4 kWh battery or 2.88 miles/kWh. Toyota Prius Prime travels 25 miles using an 8.8 kWh battery for 2.84 miles/kWh. In other words, the 2017 Chevy Volt is MORE efficient at driving on electricity than the 2017 Prius Prime. Assuming they have equally-efficient chargers at L1 speeds, then the Chevy Volt will travel FARTHER each day using L1 than the 2017 Prius Prime. Note that there are other very good reasons to install a L2 charger
, plus it improves charging efficiency.
Sure, L2 improves charging efficiency, and also allows you to make more spur of the moment trips when your battery's mostly depleted, but that's never going to outweigh the extra cost and hassle of providing L2, for renters. The Prime can fully charge its battery overnight using only L1, the Volt can't. If you need more than the Prime's range, then it might make sense for you to opt for a PHEV with a longer range and L2, although at current gas prices it's unlikely to make economic sense (especially without subsidies). If you don't need the range, then the extra 10-15% efficiency of L2 is nice, but not nowhere near enough to make back the extra cost of the car and EVSE/circuit upgrade.
GRA wrote:...and making far more sense for renters,...
Nonsense. A renter without easy access to an L2 (or L1) EVSE would be better served by a Volt than Prius Prime.
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.
RegGuheert wrote: In the Volt, those with very short commutes could charge only on weekends and then commute all week on electricity. With a longer commute, they could charge on the weekend and then again once during the week. With the Prius Prime, a renter will ALWAYS be looking for a place to charge (or, more likely, will simply just burn gasoline always due to the hassle of having to charge away from home so often)
GRA wrote:...and the Prime's virtually guaranteed to be more reliable than the Volt.
No, it's not. We have no data on the reliability of the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime.
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.
GRA wrote:For anyone who's routine daily driving range can be handled by the Prime, the Volt battery pack's extra weight and cost are useless, and the Prime's more efficient in CS mode (and maybe in CD mode) as a result.
This was the same argument used for the Toyota Plug in Prius. People thought: "I only have a 5-mile commute, so this will be perfect." Those same people never thought to look at how many miles they drive each year. Those suckers ended up paying over $10,000 more for a vehicle which had marginally better efficiency than a normal Prius. The Prime is a step in the right direction, but I suspect there aren't enough drivers with sub-12-mile-one-way commutes who never go anywhere else during their daily routine to make this attractive. This is why I predict these cars will clog EVSEs.
The data don't back you up. After all, When GM was determining what AER to give the Gen 1 Volt, they found that the routine daily driving mileage of 50% of U.S. drivers was 20 miles or less, 75% was 35 miles or less, and 78% was 40 miles or less. They decided to aim for about 75-80%, but there's a huge market for a less expensive PHEV that can meet 50% of U.S. driver's needs, as there were 214 million licensed drivers in the U.S. as of 2014. 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. 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. The PiP's problem was an excessive price with an AER so short (and requiring very careful driving to prevent the ICE kicking in) that many people couldn't be bothered to plug it in (and lots of people in California bought it solely for the HOV stickers with no intention of plugging it in). Of course, there were lots of Volts bought as company cars that were never plugged in either, as their drivers were reimbursed for gas but not for electricity.
GRA wrote:It would certainly sell _better_ if it looked more normal, but I expect it will sell just fine...
I suspect you are correct here. Hey, people even purchased the PiP, and this is a big improvement over that car.
it is indeed, in every way except looks (and cargo/pax area).