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I believe it means you can travel 90 “electric” miles for the cost of what it would cost for a gallon of gasoline. So, it’s slightly more than twice the efficiency of the regular hybrid mode and significantly more efficient than the ICE comparison.

Personally I don’t find it a great comparison because it’s not exactly apples to apples and there are variables here for both cost of gasoline and electricity, and you have more variables in the sense that the plug-in electric and hybrid will recover more energy from regenerative braking compared to the ICE which doesn’t do it.

In terms of true efficiency you’d have to figure out the Watts used per mile.
This isn't quite right. MPGe estimates how far you can drive on a "gallon's worth of electrical energy." Which is a completely absurd unit, and can't really be compared to MPG. More useful, as you said, is to know the actual electrical efficiency. A gallon of gasoline contains about 33.7 kWh of chemical energy, so 90 MPGe means each mile uses 0.374 kWh. Or 2.67 miles per kWh.

From there you can calculate cost per mile (using your local electrical and gas costs) or CO2 per mile (using your local electricity mix).

That mix is also why MPGe is misleading: if your electricity comes from coal, that's only 35% efficient. So if you trace the efficiency back to the source fuel, 90 MPGe might only be 33.3 MPGc (miles per gallon-equivalent of coal). Solar panels are even less efficient at 20%, or 18 MPGs (miles per gallon-equivalent of sunlight). So ... is the Prime actually less efficient?

Yes, in a way. Each time you convert energy you lose efficiency. Electricity requires converting a fuel (coal, natural gas, or whatever) to electricity, which is then converted to chemical energy in your battery, and back to electricity again when driving, and then finally to motion when driving. Gas engines go directly from fuel to motion. MPGe cuts out the most egregious of inefficiencies in the electrical system, since they're externalized.

But that's not the efficiency people really care about. They want to know the cost efficiency and the pollution efficiency. MPGe lets you calculate that, but you can't directly compare it to MPG.
 

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Brilliant. At least with hybrids, they will recover momentum-based energy with regenerative braking rather than losing it as heat (friction), so that's a plus. Yes, I agree you need to know the source of your power. We're a mix of conventional and renewables here, and our utility has a "target goal" that ramps up to 100% renewable sources by 2040.

There are losses of efficiency with gasoline too - the equipment and cost associated with "extracting" the crude and then distilling it to the various levels of fuels and gases, and then the transportation of the fuel to the gas stations for distribution, and the cost of driving to the gas stations with your car to get the gas (not factoring in cost of your own time)...

While I understand where you're coming from with solar panels having an efficacy of around 20%, I think that statistic is misleading: if I have solar panels on my house and can use 100% of that solar energy to charge my car (and power my home), and feed the excess into the grid for the utility to use elsewhere, in terms of powering my car with renewable energy I'm at 100% (and arguably, 0% pollution aside from the initial production)...

Regarding solar, it's a marathon, not a sprint. They typically take years to recover the cost since electric bills are a minute fraction of the cost of panels (for me, the system was quoted at $40k that would be a 9.9 kW system, which would produce around 10-14 MW of power per year) but my electric bill only costs $150 per month. Is it worth it to spend $40k on a system that would save me $150 a month? Sure, over time I'd be ahead, but it's a really long time.

Every journey (towards 100% renewable) begins with a single step, I guess?
 

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I wonder if Toyota will increase the U.S. tow rating with the Rav4 Prime with the increased HP? If they increased the tow rating by about 500lbs it would be able to tow some lightly loaded Scamp & Casita 13' trailers. The 1750lb rating on the existing Rav4 hybrid is right at the limit to tow something like this type of trailer unloaded of water, propane, ect.

I like the idea of towing an ultralight trailer with a Toyota hybrid and using a 1000 watt DC to AC inverter off the 12 volt battery for power when needed. With the key fob or Remote Connect one can put the car in ready mode any time they want AC power in the trailer.

On a related note, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid will tow 3500lbs with 240HP, with the same 2.5 liter/AWD setup as the Rav4 Hybrid. That will be probably the best ultralight tow vehicle when it comes out, except for the price. Not saying I would like to tow anything at 3500lbs with this vehicle but should work for something well in the 2500lb range.
 

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I wonder if Toyota will increase the U.S. tow rating with the Rav4 Prime with the increased HP? If they increased the tow rating by about 500lbs it would be able to tow some lightly loaded Scamp & Casita 13' trailers. The 1750lb rating on the existing Rav4 hybrid is right at the limit to tow something like this type of trailer unloaded of water, propane, ect.

I like the idea of towing an ultralight trailer with a Toyota hybrid and using a 1000 watt DC to AC inverter off the 12 volt battery for power when needed. With the key fob or Remote Connect one can put the car in ready mode any time they want AC power in the trailer.

On a related note, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid will tow 3500lbs with 240HP, with the same 2.5 liter/AWD setup as the Rav4 Hybrid. That will be probably the best ultralight tow vehicle when it comes out, except for the price. Not saying I would like to tow anything at 3500lbs with this vehicle but should work for something well in the 2500lb range.
Is it the engine or the brakes that is the limiting factor for tow weight?
 

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The size/weight of the RAV4 will be the limiting factor. A vehicle needs to be able to counteract the forces applied by the trailer while in motion. Not just stop and go, but lateral forces that could cause loss of control.
 

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The Rav 4 Prime delivers 302 hp and 0-60 mph in 5.8 seconds.

Do those performance numbers hold true after the plugin battery has been depleted and the automobile switches to a hybrid system?

Thank you,

Russ
In short, we don't know.

The current hybrid has a similar problem: it can do 219 hp, but the gas engine can only provide 176 hp. So, when the battery is completely depleted (which doesn't happen in normal driving, as the gas engine will keep it charged at a minimum level), it must be restricted to this lower performance. We should also consider its electric-only mode, where it can do up to 172 hp (or similar, I'm just adding the two electric motors together).

With the Prime, I don't think we know what the conditions are for 302 hp yet. This could actually be the hybrid power, just like the current hybrid. In that case, you'd only get the full power once the gas engine turns on, and only if the battery isn't completely drained (which still shouldn't happen often). On the other hand it might only have 302 in full electric mode, in which case you'd only get that power when there's enough battery charge left (a level that the gas engine hopefully maintains in most driving conditions). Note that you should still get very good power in hybrid mode, even if the peak horsepower is only when electric.
 

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The size/weight of the RAV4 will be the limiting factor. A vehicle needs to be able to counteract the forces applied by the trailer while in motion. Not just stop and go, but lateral forces that could cause loss of control.
The Adventure trim has a towing capacity is 3500 lbs, so the Prime could theoretically do the same, if Toyota wanted.
 

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I wonder if Toyota will increase the U.S. tow rating with the Rav4 Prime with the increased HP? If they increased the tow rating by about 500lbs it would be able to tow some lightly loaded Scamp & Casita 13' trailers. The 1750lb rating on the existing Rav4 hybrid is right at the limit to tow something like this type of trailer unloaded of water, propane, ect.

I like the idea of towing an ultralight trailer with a Toyota hybrid and using a 1000 watt DC to AC inverter off the 12 volt battery for power when needed. With the key fob or Remote Connect one can put the car in ready mode any time they want AC power in the trailer.

On a related note, the 2020 Highlander Hybrid will tow 3500lbs with 240HP, with the same 2.5 liter/AWD setup as the Rav4 Hybrid. That will be probably the best ultralight tow vehicle when it comes out, except for the price. Not saying I would like to tow anything at 3500lbs with this vehicle but should work for something well in the 2500lb range.
The Jeep Cherokee with the V6 and tow package can tow 4,500 lbs, with the new 4cyl turbo 4,000 lbs.
 

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In short, we don't know.
But the speculation is so much fun!

I'm also curious as to the consistency/availability of that 5.8 seconds.

Another way to look at it is Toyota quoted 5.8 seconds without any fine print or asterisks. Manufacturers are more careful with the numbers they advertise these days, with their HP and acceleration claims being a touch conservative. The new Supra advertises 4.1, but journalists are seeing 3.8.

So, based on that abstract perspective, 5.8 SHOULD be consistently attainable.

But like a number of folks have said already, we'll have to wait until C&D or R&T shake one down.
 

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Brilliant. At least with hybrids, they will recover momentum-based energy with regenerative braking rather than losing it as heat (friction), so that's a plus. Yes, I agree you need to know the source of your power. We're a mix of conventional and renewables here, and our utility has a "target goal" that ramps up to 100% renewable sources by 2040.

There are losses of efficiency with gasoline too - the equipment and cost associated with "extracting" the crude and then distilling it to the various levels of fuels and gases, and then the transportation of the fuel to the gas stations for distribution, and the cost of driving to the gas stations with your car to get the gas (not factoring in cost of your own time)...

While I understand where you're coming from with solar panels having an efficacy of around 20%, I think that statistic is misleading: if I have solar panels on my house and can use 100% of that solar energy to charge my car (and power my home), and feed the excess into the grid for the utility to use elsewhere, in terms of powering my car with renewable energy I'm at 100% (and arguably, 0% pollution aside from the initial production)...

Regarding solar, it's a marathon, not a sprint. They typically take years to recover the cost since electric bills are a minute fraction of the cost of panels (for me, the system was quoted at $40k that would be a 9.9 kW system, which would produce around 10-14 MW of power per year) but my electric bill only costs $150 per month. Is it worth it to spend $40k on a system that would save me $150 a month? Sure, over time I'd be ahead, but it's a really long time.

Every journey (towards 100% renewable) begins with a single step, I guess?
Pilot:

To add to your argument, solar panels over time loose efficiency due to the Sun’s rays.

When I priced out solar panels taking into account Federal tax incentives that are now gone the break even based on my past 12 years of energy consumption and annual utility inflation rate of 1% was 26 years before I saw one penny of savings.

At the time I did this analysis I was 50 years old which meant I would have been 76 years old when I start to see a savings


To add to the craziness, the solar panels where only warrantied for 10 years.

Imagine if they failed at 10 years when the warranty had expired.

I would be paying for a dead horse at that point.

I have no idea if I will still be in our home at 76 and the argument that solar panels increase the value of your home is debatable and if it does it sure will not be close to dollar for dollar and if it looses efficiency over time it than becomes a consumable product which will depreciates to zero or to scrap metal prices when used up.

Russ
 

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The math for solar panels depends on where you live and what your current utility charges.
In California electricity is pretty expensive and is gong up like crazy .
The utilities are passing the cost of the fires on to the consumers.
I would say the average payback is 12 years here.
Solar Panels are a lot better than they used to be an the drop off in efficiency is not
suppose to be that big. Also there a lot cheaper than they used to be.
 

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NJ has solar renewable energy credits and a 26% federal tax credit in 2020. The SRECs bring in around $230 per credit which is issued when you generate 1 MW of solar. The tax credit gets applied in 2021 to your year 2020 taxes.

including cost of a new roof and electrical breaker box and new 240V EV line in my garage for charging, I would break even in about 5 years.

while I have pretty much zero doubt I will be in this house in 5 years there is a lot of complexity added to something as simple as just paying the utility. 150 per month to me doesn’t mean much.

The SREC market is volatile and is transitioning to a new system with lower SREC rates. I don't want to buy into them expecting 20k over 10 years paid out to me and then all of a sudden get half of that. I'd rather just keep on keeping on.
 

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The math for solar panels depends on where you live and what your current utility charges.
In California electricity is pretty expensive and is gong up like crazy .
The utilities are passing the cost of the fires on to the consumers.
I would say the average payback is 12 years here.
Solar Panels are a lot better than they used to be an the drop off in efficiency is not
suppose to be that big. Also there a lot cheaper than they used to be.
Ctuna

Where I live it is 9 cents per kWh.

The math works for solar if there is an annual 5% utility rate increase like the solar salesmen use for their justification, but in the 18 years living in my home we have averaged 1% annual rate increases.

Utah is a very conservative state with strict regulations on holding down utility rates.

California I can see solar would make sense. It is a shame your state has not constructed a reservoir in 40 years which would provide clean hydro electricity plus hold back a lot of the 80% of runoff in California that ends up in the ocean.

I realize that is a whole different topic and there are strong political opinions for and against hydro electricity in California.

You have great weather when I am shoveling snow, but there is a financial cost for that great weather.

Russ
 

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A bit more on Prime pricing speculation by looking at top trim for Mitsubishi Outlander GT v6 vs PHEV. MSRP difference is $8900 or ~$3000 after tax credit ($5800 only), but 0-60 is quite a bit different 7.6 (gas) vs 13s (phev). So you can have either performance and horrible economy or electrification and horrible performance for a little more.

With Prime this comparison is a bit tricky since you can have performance and electrification/economy in one, but with a possible slight hit in regular gas economy in comparison to a hybrid version. (although that doesn't matter for most even if it's 30 mpg, since we care for 39 miles of electric range) I am comparing top trim hybrid Limited which is $40k msrp and Prime XSE that matches features of what hybrid limited have. If Toyota wants to continue selling their regular hybrid they have to price Prime above the current price after tax credit, so lets say that they follow the same model as Mitsubishi then we have somewhere around $50k before tax credit. What if they price it at $45k before tax credit. What would it do to hybrid limited sales? Exactly, no one will buy it anymore.

$45k - hybrid limited is killed
$50k - just right
$55k - tough one to swallow

and folks will pay $50k for XSE! On the bright side we may see some great deals on hybrid when Prime is out.
 

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Utah is a very conservative state with strict regulations on holding down utility rates.
Conservative state have strict regulations?!? Isn't that an oxymorom?

BTW, comparing Utah and Nevada, a neighboring state. NVE Time of Use is about 5-6 cents a KWh with exception of Summer peak Jun-Sep 1-7pm.

147484


147483


147481
 

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I believe Toyota will price themselves out of the market with a $50k RAV4. They might get away with it until the tax incentives run out in 2021, but it would be kind of a d!ck move that Toyota buyers wouldn't appreciate. Here's a link to an article on the RAV4 buyer demographic. It gives insight on median household income and priorities:
All that said and read, it would create a Hybrid conundrum at $45-48k while the tax incentives are still in play. Can they just list the damn price already!?!?
 

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You're kidding, right? haha
No, I'm not kidding. Solar is notoriously inefficient. But that doesn't really matter, it's not like you're paying for raw sunlight (the closest proxy is paying for land: the more land, the more light you get, so that's not completely true ... but I think the limiting factor is the panel area more than land at this point), and you don't get extra CO2 emissions for using more sunlight. So the raw efficiency doesn't really matter in this context.

The low efficiency just shows how much better the technology could one day be, which is actually pretty awesome to think about.
 
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