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Toyota Prius Chief Designer Admits Some EVs Already Cheaper To Manufacture Than Hybrids

The Chief Designer of the cutting-edge (at the turn of the century) Toyota Prius, Satoshi Ogiso, recently commented in an interview that some all-electric vehicles are now cheaper to manufacture than conventional hybrids like the Prius.


The comment was a somewhat in-depth one, where Ogiso also speculated that all-electrics vehicles (EVs) with single-charge ranges over ~186 miles (300 kilometers) would remain more expensive to build than hybrids through 2025.

Here’s the full comment: “The cost of pure electric depends very much on range. Up to 250 km (155 mile) range, battery-electric vehicles already can be built for less money than hybrids. However, the market generally wants more range. With a range above 300 km (186 mile) a battery-electric vehicle will remain more expensive at least through 2025.”

Something tells me that the folks at Tesla/Panasonic and LG Chem/GM wouldn’t quite agree.

Push EVs provides some interesting comments on the matter: “Considering that Toyota already sell the Yaris Hybrid in Germany for €14,300, I would rather have a Toyota Yaris EV with 250 km range for the same price. Even if that range is in the optimistic NEDC. By increasing the availability of public chargers, price gets even more important than range. But more range could always be optional with a bigger battery capacity.”

A good point. A Yaris (or any other popular model) with 186 miles of range selling for €14,300 would probably do quite well … and yet Toyota isn’t offering one, despite Ogiso’s comments.

Continuing: “What Ogiso now admits, well informed electric car supporters already knew. This is why the Hyundai IONIQ’s prices are a scam. In Germany the electric version costs €9,400 more than the hybrid. While Ogiso tried to push hybrid cars with what he said, to me only it proves that the current technology is more than capable to make BEVs mainstream. If automakers prefer to sell polluting cars, governments have the duty to make these polluting cars harder and harder to sell, to a point that automakers decide they don’t worth it and switch to BEVs.”

Also of note, Ogiso commented that hybrids are now at cost parity with diesel cars. Well, that’s something. While I don’t expect to see many governments take the steps outlined above with regard to EVs, at least diesel cars are now seemingly on their way out … partly “thanks” to the Volkswagen scandal as well, of course.

Photo by Bertel Schmitt (BsBsBs) (CC BY-SA 3.0 license)

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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