In December 2007, I posited the question of whether or not PHEVs (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles) will kill both EV’s and hydrogen autos.
My reasoning was that if gasoline-electric PHEVs reach the 125mpg to 150mpg range, then consumers may dive into this type of vehicle leaving EVs and FCEVs in the dust. Why?
A big part of this would be that consumers are already familiar with plugging in and fueling up with gasoline. Another point would be that no new infrastructure would need to be built.
Now, fast-forward to today. In late March 2016, the Toyota Prius Prime as unveiled at the New York Auto Show.
On the Prius Prime website, it says that vehicle can achieve 120 mpge. A few other resources (see the AutoExpress and TopGear links below) have reported that the Prime can achieve 202 mpge.
With a driving range of over 600 miles and CO2 emissions of just 32 g/km this looks like quite an attractive vehicle for the green auto crowd.
The downside is that even though the Prime PHEV is a low emissions vehicle it is still not a zero emissions vehicle like EVs or FCEVs.
In addition, Toyota has not put all of its proverbial eggs into the basket of the Prius Prime as earlier this year it rolled out its Mirai fuel cell vehicle.
When I look into my somewhat cloudy (with a chance of meatballs?) crystal ball I see a future filled with EVs, PHEVs, FCEVs and perhaps a few other types of alternative fuel vehicles as well.
So, no the Toyota Prius Prime will not kill the hydrogen auto. It will however give consumers a low emissions alternative going forward.