Actually, this article implies that Toyota developed the technology, and
Ford licensed the technology, apparently after working independently.
That is not a joint venture. It sounds like Ford and Toyota developed
similar technology and crossed licensed the technology to avoid legal
This paragraph supports this idea: "Ford also licensed Toyota hybrids
patents after its engineers realized that the system Ford had developed
had features similar to ones patented by Toyota. (Honda developed a
different hybrid system.)"
These articles also suggest that Ford got it hybrid technology from
Toyota, but not in a joint venture:
Ford and Volvo are working together to develop hybrid technology; they
opened a new hybrid technology center.
Volvo trucks and buses is developing hybrid technology, but Volvo trucks
is independent of Ford, AFIK.
Is Ford using the Toyota hybrid system?
Although the Ford hybrid system is very similar to Toyota's, Toyota is
not directly supplying any components to Ford. Toyota and Ford have
entered into a licensing agreement allowing Ford to use technology
that had been patented by Toyota. Toyota welcomes the introduction of
the Escape hybrid and Ford's effort to demonstrate and gain acceptance
of this important environmental technology.
That is only partially correct, Toyota is licensed to use Ford patents, as
well. They are cross licensed to the same technology developed jointly with
Volvo and a Japanese electronic company, subsequently owned by Toyota.
Check the CAFE Guide and see whose hybrid SUV get the greater mileage ;)
This statement is a little miss-leading (nothing unusual for Toyota).
While it is true that "Toyota is not directly supplying any components
to Ford," a company partially owned, and certainly controlled by
Toyota, is supplying some of the primary components.
Toyota certainly has patents that cover some aspects of the hybrid
system Ford is using. There is nothing usual in companies licensing
other companies to use technology that they have patented. Toyota
itself has (and does) license technology from other companies. For
years all the Toyota automatics depended on technology licensed from
Borg-Warner, Ford, GM, Chrysler, etc.
A bottom price Prius retails around $22,200. That includes a
transmission that you don't shift yourself. So, apples to apples, the
cheapest Camry you don't shift yourself retails at $19,520.
Edmunds says the True Market Value for the bottom Prius is $21,300 while
the TMV for the bottom Camry is $18,300. Add the mandatory destination
charge to both of those.
Both are bottom line cars, and the Prius costs $3000 more, apples to
apples. That's 1000 gallons of gas. If the Prius gets 20 more miles
per gallon (that's about right), do the math.
Pay me now or pay me later.
Not just on paper--for real. Physics in Japan must be different than
physics in Detroit. For whatever reason, the Prius is one huge car
Huh? The Prius is a genuine 5 passenger car. What reference material
are you using that shows it as a 4 passenger car? Do you have a web
What year Prius are you referring to? The current Prius has great
headroom, and isn't narrow in the least. I'm a big guy, and I'm
incredibly comfortable inside.
The base Prius for $3000 more will get 20 miles more per gallon, under
any condition, than the base auto trans Camry. Do the math.
Real world, I get 45mpg tooling around town in the Prius with the AC on,
and 52mpg on the highway with the AC on. This is a company car, and I
don't care about saving gas since I don't pay for it, so I just drive it
the same way I've driven every car. I make no special effort to drive
it in any unusual or special way. On the freeway, it's 70-75mph. With
AC on this past week, it gave me 53mpg on a single 6 hour straight
The Camry will give what--33mpg under the same circumstances? So there
you have it. And 25 in town. That 20mpg extra that the Prius gives is
If gas is $3/gallon, at 25mpg the fuel cost for the Camry is 12 cents.
For the Prius, at 45mpg, it's 6.667 cents. Call it 7 cents. So in town
the Prius fuel cost is 5 cents less per mile to operate; that $3000
Prius price premium is recovered in 60000 miles when gas is $3/gallon.
At 53mpg highway for Prius and 33mpg highway for Camry, the fuel cost is
5.66 cents/mile Prius and 9.09 cents/mile Camry. That difference is
only 3.43 cents, so to pay off that $3000 Prius premium will cost you
right at 70,000 miles.
So the payoff for general driving is somewhere between 60K and 70K
miles, real world. Remember, this is from a guy who drives the Prius
like any other car, who isn't one of those freakos who drives in weird
ways that piss off other people in traffic, playing his dashboard video
game, all with the goal of trying to maximize fuel economy and make the
number on the video game go higher and higher. Those people should be
shot, and at the very least their numbers should be ignored. Real
world, the payback starts at between 60K and 70K miles.
Doesn't make a bunch of sense if you don't keep the car for 60K miles,
true. But it's there, and it's very real world.
And many people keep a car for 60K miles, or 70K miles, or even more--or
do you disagree?
Hmmmmm. Aren't they entirely recyclable? Unlike the fumes that spew
into the air.
See above. Do you agree with my 60K/70K miles payback calculation or
not? If not, why?
Mine is a company car. My choice at this price level (I pay a flat
monthly fee to cover personal use, and it's very small) was between a
Prius and a Malibu. Even though I'm not paying a dime for the car or
repairs or rentals or anything, and even though I'm a big Honda fan from
way back, I'd MUCH rather plant my butt in a Toyota than a GM.
Therefore, even though I've had the car since it had zero miles on the
clock, I didn't buy it. I have no obligation to it. If my employment
situation changes such that I no longer rate the company car, I give it
back. I have no emotional attachment to it whatsoever. You're
right--people who buy new cars generally do not go on web forums or the
Usenet and say, "Yeah, I wasted $22K, this is a piece of junk." They
will lie to themselves and to the world to huge extremes to avoid
looking like an idiot for having wasted $22K.
But that's not me. So take the above remarks in the proper context.
I'm not talking from emotion, I'm talking from real world actual
numbers. Period. It wasn't a non-rational purchase; it wasn't a
purchase at all. It's not a long term commitment. It's a tool that's
given to me, much like wage-earning workmen are given screwdrivers to do
I can't really disagree with anything you said there.
Virtually all other cars are less rational of a purchase than the Prius.
With regard to the battery pack: my research shows it to be equivalent
to a modern automatic transmission in that it is the weak spot of the
car, and *will* need serious attention at some point fairly far down the
road. I firmly believe that EVERY modern automatic transmission car on
the road today has a $3000 weak spot, so the fact that the Prius has a
$3000 weak spot simply makes it just another car on the road.
The difference is, Joe Average and his neighbor can swap out the battery
pack with a junkyard unit in a couple of hours. Try doing that with a
modern automatic transmission.
Oh God, yes. Your best values are either a 2 year old domestic product
or a brand new Japanese product that you keep. That's not a Prius/Focus
argument, that's a simple domestic/Japanese argument. It holds true
across all models. Has for years.
A used Prius is a stupid idea, at least where the market is now.
If you like swapping cars out every couple of years, buy 2 year old
Fords every time. If your comfort level is buying new, buy Japanese and
plan on keeping it. Oh, you may be able to sell it in a couple of years
for a good price, but not nearly what it's worth as a car to drive.
Cars are expensive. The Prius is no more so than any other car. It may
be less so than most if not all other cars, depending.
MSRP is meaningless. Forget the on line searches and get out in the real
world and you will discover with any vehicle purchase, one must compare the
"Drive Home Price," not the MSRP or even the selling price, among dealers or
Dealers add all type of fees and other smoke and mirror packages to the cars
on their lots and their deals. If there is any rebate, or dealer or factory
discounts they will be greater on the conventionally powered car than on any
hybrid. The value of ones trade varies from dealer to dealer as well.
Are you really that slow witted? Of course the dealership can screw you.
How do you think you could screw the dealership?
We did not expect you to understand the difference. You have it backwards,
the sucker is the ones that will accepts the selling price as what he is
paying for the car and does not obtain a "Drive Home Price" which is the
total price one pays to drive it home, dummy.
That's true. However, there is very little reason to suspect that owners
will have to replace battery packs in droves at 100k mi.
So far, there is very little indication that the battery packs will be
ending in the usual "... pious condescension." When I find a Prius owner
who has an attitude of "pious condescension," then I'll give this article a
second look. When a car sells 24K copies in a month, it's really hard to
believe that's some lunatic "greenie" fringe buying a car to show off
imaginary "green" credentials.
And, as usual, the author of the article remarked that under the new EPA
tests, the Prius rating was expected to fall off by 25% or so while he
somehow failed to mention that everybody was expected to fall off
And EPA tests matter not at all to the people I know who have Priuses; they
report upper 40's and low 50's all the time. Will new EPA testing reports
somehow reduce their actual mileage? Ummm... no.
And, in city traffic, the benefit of recycling your kinetic energy as you
stop back into the battery for the next takeoff makes inescapable sense, the
only problem being whether or not the car can do this efficiently. Toyota
and Honda have managed to do this with a range of trouble-free hybrids and,
frankly, it looks like all the heat comes down because everybody else is
jealous of that - and the really good sales the Prius has achieved. Nothing
else out there approaches the city fuel economy (both the imaginary EPA
figures and what people actually achieve) while seating 4 comfortably.
If someone else can build a car that costs less than the Prius, carries 4
people easily, has 400+ mile unrefueled range and gets better fuel economy
(especially in the city) while meeting the emissions specifications that the
Prius meets, more power to them. At the moment, however, that's exactly
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