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There is no magic bullet here - this system will work for a certain percentage of the population and it is a good option to have with the threshold speeds of operation bumped up for a responsible commuter. If you drive mega mileage every day - sorry this is not the car for you and maybe you should re-evaluate your life choices if you don't like it. Hauling around a thousand pounds of batteries is just brutally counterproductive particularly when you go dumping the ICE - crazy talk at this point in time. For one - there is a complete absence of charging capability - the infrastructure requirements are just not gaining enough traction. I happily anticipate a highly refined and well developed product as I have come to expect from Toyota. Personally I own a PHEV converted Gen II - I think I am better off with the base HEV at this point - and when considering purely costs of purchase and operation - would probably fair better with a manual Honda Fit or Toyota Yaris.
I wish people would publish brake mean specific fuel consumption information or load vs rpm with fuel consumption data - for all the talk about metrics like max hp and torque - one needs to know how useable the entire engine operational envelope is .. particularly how wide the most efficient operating points are -
Forgot a couple of things, - HarveyD - Trains yes - high speed rail and long haul ship by trains - 10% of per ton mile energy consumption - totally necessary and not fundamentally difficult - Agriculture and certain services (public works etc) will require tax exemption - which is not specifically hard - just a regulatory affair.
$8 per gallon and kill income tax for people making less than 50K per year - significantly reduce taxes for the 50+ rising up to a reasonable taxation ~28% around 150K+ since they don't really care that much about fuel prices anyway. These numbers would have to adjust to suit a real number that would keep the economy balanced - but you get the point - reward and empower the middle class for reducing energy consumption and increasing the efficiency of their lives in general - since the majority of people empowered are the majority at large. Problems may come up in the lowest of the income bracket that can afford gasoline mobility - some things to fine tune there. Personally - I can afford $8/gallon gas with by PHEV and I don't care today - so let's go already!
I hope they have something to grandfather in existing PHEV owners in ontario - such as myself. Including all the green stuff .. I have been waiting to be able to charge in Toronto for a year and a half now ..
The only way to promote the change is to ratchet up the fuel prices - people pay and will keep paying until a point that they can feel empowered by choice and will eventually move over to a more suitable alternative. Fuel in NA has to pop up to $6-8 per gallon - it just has to. I am driving a vehicle with the technology that allows me to comfortably pay that price and fulfill my life's needs and then some - while getting 3-4 times national average and not sacrificing safety. Not only that - but maybe people will realize they have two legs and a heart that needs to be stimulated every now and then as well (with means besides coffee and stress) - which is doubly beneficial. Add choice by making longer term investments in distributed generation, alternative energies, co-generation and we have a pretty sweet mix that will vastly stabilize our economy and energy policy - while protecting and enhancing our way of life. This is an exciting evolutionary moment in our shared history - everything has to work in harmony. No single technology development can be considered a magic bullet solution - despite all the greatest headlines.