rcm4453 wrote:I do agree with the points that you have made. You are 100% right the Prime's AER is no where near enough for me. My point is that for the people looking to drive electric, the Prime falls too short in the AER department. Wouldn't the desire to drive electric be the primary reason anyone would be considering the Prime over a hybrid in the first place? For those who live in states that actually have cold winters that 25 AER is going to be like 10 miles! At that point why even bother?! The consumers who don't care about driving electric will just buy a regular ICE or hybrid. Some lucky folks that live in the right states to receive incentives will buy it over the Hybrid version because it will cost about the same, that's a no brainer for those people. There may be a select number of buyers that don't get the incentives that feel the safety features and tech is worth the additional cost over the hybrid but that's not that many. I know when you look at the monthly sales over at IEVs it appears to be selling quite well but not when compared to mainstream ICE vehicles.
I guess what I'm trying to say is the Prime misses the mark on attracting buyers looking to go electric. It's on point as a hybrid and it's new safety features but there are more affordable options out there for those looking for a hybrid.
Actually, I misspoke earlier - the Prime is priced less
than the price of the base Prius using only
the fed credit, so there is absolutely no financial reason to opt for the regular Prius unless you don't have enough tax liability. It's considerably cheaper than the base Prius with any additional credits or rebates. If they don't care about the extra seat or the reduced cargo height, why would anyone buy the regular Prius, especially since the Prime will get far better mpg most of the time? The 'people looking to drive electric' include lots of people who don't need to drive more than 25 miles routinely, but who also want max. mpg on road trips where there aren't any places to charge.
As to extreme cold winters, sure, the Prime may require you to use the ICE more often than a car with a greater AER would, but so what? The people for whom that's a consideration will buy a different PHEV or a BEV - satisfied former Prius owners (2 million sold in the U.S.) who upgrade to the Prime will take their win the remaining 8-9 months of the year. However, as 40-50% of all U.S. PEV sales have been in California, and I imagine a large % of the rest in states like Florida and Texas where serious cold isn't a factor, the majority of Prime owners simply won't be bothered.
Those who will be bothered should buy a car with a greater AER, but then you can always find someone who's pushing the AER limit - the high mileage Volt owner has only driven his 2012 (35 mile AER) a bit over 1/3rd of his 400k total miles on the battery, but then his one-way commute in Michigan is 110 miles. The Prime would be cheaper to operate and
burn less gas than his Volt, plus have an MSRP over $10k less than his Volt did, but I don't think anyone would consider describing the Volt 1's AER as 'laughable' (I know that wasn't you). The Prime would also burn less gas than a Volt 2, unless he can charge at both ends (don't remember if he can or not). Even an i3REx's AER wouldn't be sufficient to cover his commute, and he'd have to spend about $15k more up front to get that (I'm assuming anyone who could seriously consider an i3 REx will qualify for the full fed. tax. credit, reducing the MSRP difference by $3,300 or so).
In sum, the target market for the Prime isn't the 'Give me a BEV or give me death' crowd, and I agree with Jay Cole at IEVS that the Prime will eventually outsell the regular Prius and may also be the best selling PEV this year (depending on when the Model 3 deliveries ramp), once they get the inventory. PEVs need to move well beyond the early adopter enthusiasts, and I believe sub-$30k base PHEVs like the Prime and C-Max Energi point the way. Getting PEV base MSRPs down to $25k and eventually $20k will be critical for the mass market once the fed. credit is gone, and if PEVs can't compete, the general public will stick with ICEs or HEVs.
P.S. A general observation - there's absolutely no need for name calling. Let's keep it civil, h'mm?