Tag Archives: electric power

Toyota’s new Subcompact Hybrid

In late 2011  Toyota will  launch the  new  Subcompact hybrid of Toyota on the market. According to the Japanese Asahi newspaper, this hybrid  has a better fuel economy and a lower price  ($16.000)  than the company’s other hybrid models. Though the platform and engine will be used of the Yaris hybrid,   the  Subcompact will feature a unique name, design en hybrid system.

With the Subcompact hybrid  Toyota will try to compete against the 2010 Honda Insight,  the smallest and least expensive hybrid  currently avaible in the US Market. However the Insight  has not sold well.  The first 12 months Honda was targeting  100.000 Insight sales  in the US,  but based on average monthly sales of 2.000 to 2,500 units, will  miss the mark by a wide margin. But thanks to government incentives and gas prices of about $4,50 a gallon yet  it has been a hit in Japan.

The Honda Insight is more cost-competive about ($5.000 less) , than larger  hybrid models as the Toyota Camry Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid. But  in accordance with recent sales all three vehicles have been sold nearly identical. The conclusion might be that a part of US consumers prefer rather space  than a better fuel economy small car.   They  like some additional seating for visitors, pets and shopping bags.  Or  they buy a large sedans for image or status, especially when gas is cheap and tax incentives are not available.  But still a lot of people enjoy to drive on electric power because it is cool.