Toyota Believes in the Future of Its Hybrid Vehicles

By 2020 Toyota expects hybrid vehicles to be 20% of global car market

Takeshi Uchiyamada, a top engineer for car make Toyota, made some interesting predictions this week. He expects that hybrid vehicles, including extended-range plug-in hybrids, will become 20% of all global car sales by 2020.

You might be wondering what these predictions are based on. Well, the Toyota’s executive vice president overseeing R&D and engineering pointed out that hybrid car sales are already 20% of annual vehicle sales in Japan, but that most of the developing world is at or below 10 % in hybrid sales. But obviously he believes that these markets will develop in the same way the Japanese market has.

What will Toyota’s market share in hybrid vehicle sales be?

What car manufacturer Toyota’s market share of the hybrid car market pie would be, is something the Toyota engineer refused to expand on though. Up until a shirt while ago, Toyota’s market share in hybrid vehicle sales in the United States had been as high as 80%. However, it has slipped a little bit since new competitors have entered the market.

Toyota does plan to continue its successful run with its high hybrid car sales and hopes to further expand its hybrid presence in all vehicle markets, including in the United States with the Prius V, Prius C and Prius Plug-In by the middle of next year.

According to Takeshi Uchiyamada, the automotive company also hopes to double the U.S. sales volume of the Toyota Camry to about 50,000 units in 2012. On the European car market, a hybrid version of the redesigned Yaris will be released.

Toyota production management in relation to hybrid car sales growth?

For the car manufacturer to be able to meet the expected rise in demand, the production process needs to be adapted. That is why car maker Toyota is looking into using suppliers outside Japan to build hybrid components. After the March earthquake in Japan, it became clear to the company that it is too dangerous to rely on a single source for key components.

Toyota engineer’s predicts grim future for electric vehicles

Up until now, Toyota has concentrated on building hybrid cars and plug-in hybrids to live up to the increasing demand for ‘green vehicles’. Electric cars have not been a priority for the car brand. So it doesn’t come as much of a surprise that Uchiyamada doesn’t predict a positive future for electric vehicles.

He expects that electric vehicles will fall short of their hype. “Based on the current data, the targets announced by other players show they are not on track,” Uchiyamada said. “Compared to the target, it’s pretty disappointing for them.”

Natural Gas Vehicles Are Beating Out Electric Vehicles for Consumers Top Pick

Consumers have been selecting natural gas vehicles over electric vehicles at a rate of two to one. By year end there will be approximately 123,600 natural gas vehicles on our nation’s road as compared to 65,500 electric vehicles. Despite the lack of marketing or fueling infrastructure for natural gas, it is now the first choice among consumers looking to alternative ways to fuel their vehicles.

The drop in natural gas prices has helped fuel the demand; beating out the more heavily marketed and federally funded electric vehicles (EVs). Four years ago President Obama unveiled his vision of 1 million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by the 2015 and pumped $5 billion into funding for electric cars. In February the Obama admiration proposed the tax credit for plug-in vehicle be increased from $7,500 to $10,000 and also extend the credit to other alternative vehicles like natural gas.

In response to the higher demand from motorist, Honda began showing it’s Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicle in car showrooms across the country, where previously it had only been marketed as a fleet vehicle. It is currently the only NGV sedan on the market. Honda says the marketing is paying off big for them, and sales of the vehicle are continuing to break new monthly highs. Although the choices are few for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, it should be pointed out that conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles can be retrofitted for CNG. If natural gas is available at your home you can install a pumping station inside your garage.

CNG is safe or at least safer than gasoline, Although CNG is flammable, it has a narrow flammability range, and if released by accident it quickly disperses making it less likely to ignite than gasoline. CNG is also non-toxic, it dissipates when released and will not leak to contaminate soil and water supplies.

The natural gas used in vehicles is classified into two types compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas(LNG). According to fueleconomy.gov “eighty-seven percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S.is also produced here; which greatly reduces are dependency on foreign imports. It is 60%-90% less polluting than traditional fuels. With 30%-40% less greenhouse gas emissions and is less expensive than gasoline. At the present time the main disadvantages of CNG vehicles is the lack of facilities available to pump the gas, fewer miles to the tank and few choice available by auto makers.

All gas vehicles depend on fossil fuel. The natural gas obtained from drilling is a fossil fuel and while no fossil fuels are considered to be renewable resources because of the millions of years needed for the earth to produce them; natural gas is primarily methane and methane gas can be produced as a renewable resource. Methane gas is currently being collected from landfills and produced from rotting vegetation and animal manure.

CNG vehicles are cheaper to operate than conventional vehicles and burn cleaner than gasoline vehicles. Electric vehicles running on electricity alone put out “0” emissions at the tail pipe, but the electricity providing that power is generated at power plants running off fossil fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “PHEVs (plugin hybrid electric vehicles) and EVs (electric vehicles) typically have a well-to-wheel emissions advantage over similar conventional vehicles running on gasoline or diesel.

However, in communities that depend heavily on conventional fossil fuels for their electricity generation, PEVs (Plugin Electric Vehicles) may not demonstrate a well-to-wheel emissions benefit.”

The switch from diesel to CNG is the larger trend for cities and municipalities across the country. The U.S Department of Transportation provides grants for upgrading mass transit and many cities are already using those dollars to advance their fleets over to CNG vehicles.

The future for NGV remains uncertain; although the advantages seem clear, reduce dependency on foreign oil, cleaner energy for the environment, lower cost to fuel. The largest drawback is the lack of infrastructure for refueling. As government agencies along with private fleet owned vehicles begin to convert vehicles from gasoline to NGV the private sector will also begin to benefit from their expansion. Improvements in refueling technology and engine performance will also soon follow. It will likely be the consumers, who ultimately decide our next energy of choice.

Advantages and Disadvantages to Owning a Hybrid Vehicle

What are the new hybrid cars that are available on the market?

Any car or vehicle that combines more than a single source of power can be called a hybrid vehicle.

Today most of the hybrid vehicles on the road combine gas and electricity to provide the power for the propulsion to the vehicle. Diesel-electric hybrids are the new upcoming hybrid that offers even greater fuel efficiency with the new VW car being introduced to the American market. So how does this most popular vehicle hybrid (gas-electricity) work?

The basic principle behind the workings of this hybrid vehicle system lies in the combination of the two sources of power-a gas engine and a high powered battery both provide power for running the electric motor that runs the car. In hybrid cars the batteries don’t need to be charged externally because they charge themselves by recapturing the energy that is generally lost when a vehicle decelerates or slows down.

Another seemingly obvious benefit is that they save on the amount of fuel giving more miles per gallon of fuel as opposed to cars that run only on fuel. Even though in principle the workings of hybrid cars are the same (a combination of the gas engine with an electric motor working in harmony) the combination varies between different kinds of hybrids.

In some hybrid cars, when extra power is required, the electric motor is used only to provide assistance to the propulsion created by the fuel engine. The two functions (the electric motor and gas engine) have to take place separately as the electric motor cannot work independently and the battery also can’t get charged and provide power to the electric motor at the same time. The term given to these types of hybrid cars/vehicles is generally referred to as mild hybrids. Examples of cars that fall into this category are Honda Civic (2004 and 2005) hybrids and the Honda Insight.

On the other hand, once certain conditions are achieved, there are other kinds of hybrid cars where the electric motor, run by the battery can work independently of the gas engine. This happens mostly when the car is cruising at low speeds, once the car requires more power to run at higher speeds the gas engine takes over. The third phase where both systems work together is when the vehicle is traveling at very high speeds. Another benefit to this type of hybrid vehicles are known as the ‘full hybrids’ is that the battery can both get charged and provide power to the motor at the same time. Examples of cars that fall into this category are Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander and Honda Civic (2006 and above).

Currently most of the hybrid cars that are available, due to this still being developmental technology, cost as much as some of the most expensive cars on the market, this leaves them out of reach for most people. Until they start being commercially produced in large enough quantities to force the prices down they will they then provide some benefit to the community. Another problem that is foreseen with these types of hybrid vehicles is the design of the batteries that have been built to last less than a 10 years. Not a very ecologically sound design!

One big plus for American owners of hybrid cars are that currently they are enjoying tax credits of $2,000 to $50,000 from the I.R.S.

For more information on how you could by saving money on a water hybrid car visit today.

Used Cars for Sale: A Good Way to Buy for Youngsters

Owning a car is the dream of almost every college going youngster. However, being able to afford it is a different story altogether as cars don’t come cheap and students can’t afford to pay the hefty price. I also wanted to have my own car when I was in my sophomore year and while what I used to earn by working part time at the local pizza delivery might have been enough to buy the gas, I could only dream of owning a car for myself.

My father came up with a solution to my problem when he showed me the classifieds section of our newspaper that had several used cars for sale advertisements. The price on some of these used cars on sale was low enough to send my head spinning. My father cautioned me to take it easy and reminded me that one usually gets just what he pays for.

That weekend, I and my father visited several places that had a number of used cars for sale in different makes and available at different prices. We had quite a time as we sifted through a number of used cars for sale. My father explained and showed to me how to go about evaluating a used car for sale so as to be able to determine if the asking price is worth it.

We started with identifying what sellers had a hatchback in their inventory as that was what we had decided that I should buy. Next, we worked out the maximum price that I could afford. We now set out to visit the local used car dealers and check out their used cars on sale.

During the day we had a look at about 18-20 used cars for sale. We narrowed down our choices to 3 of these as they seemed to match our price and quality criteria. We thoroughly checked the exteriors and interiors and the functioning of the engines of these used cars and even took them for a short test drive. We checked the tyres, headlights, brakes, horn, etc. and also checked underneath these used cars to make sure there was no leakage.

We ruled one of these cars because of some shortcomings identified by my father. He now wanted to get an independent and unbiased review of the two cars from an expert mechanic he knew before he made an offer to the seller. They were fine with it and the by next weekend I was the proud owner of my own car!