Toyota Prius C Most important battery vehicle so far? Electric Car ging

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Toyota Prius c Electric Cars

Toyota Prius C: Most important battery vehicle so far?

Most affordable Prius and new car value

Challenging the economics of hybrids and the psychology of electrification

Small cars are hot, or at least a lot hotter compared to historical norms. With high rent and gas prices coupled with low housing prices and wages, the cheaper costs of small cars are beginning to make financial sense.


However, while hybrid cars also resonate when gas prices are high, there still isn t a hybrid that really qualifies as one of the most affordable new cars, but could the upcoming Toyota Prius C change everything about hybrids and the small car segment?

While the hype these days in the battery-powered space is focused around plug-in vehicles, the economics of plug-ins are going to be a tough sell for most Americans for some time, just as the economics of hybrids have been over the last decade. And, if gas prices stay high as the labor markets stay low, economics are going to be ever more important in the coming years.

Enter the Prius C.

Sure, the compact Prius C will be smaller than the current Prius, but it will also be more fuel efficient and cheaper, and if Toyota can keep the price around $19,000, it just might be extremely affordable. For instance, compared to Kicking Tires recent list of most affordable vehicles. the Prius C could be a contender if length of ownership is extended to just 3 years dependent upon the vehicle, gas prices, and driving conditions. In fact, after 5 years, the Prius C wouldn t just be the most affordable car, but a money saving machine.

But consumers won t want a compact hybrid, even if it is one of the most affordable new car buys, right?

Toyota Prius c Electric Cars

Wrong. Typically, affordability resonates most with new car buyers, particularly first-timers, and that means Gen Y.

While Gen Y is less interested in cars overall compared to their parents and grandparents, when they are interested in cars, they are typically very value-driven, having seen the struggles their parents and grandparents have suffered in recent years. Additionally, a $19,000 Prius C wouldn t just be about affordability and extreme long term value, but also green affordability another buzz factor for Gen Y.

In fact, if Toyota is smart, they ll treat the Prius C much like the Scion brand, and that means personalized customizations. Even better, it will mean eco-modifications, including plug-in hybrid upgrades even if only after-market. Thus, the affordable, customizable and upgradeable Prius C could be a driver of change.

At the end of the day, many Prius C buyers might eventually upsize into larger hybrid vehicles, such as the current Prius or the upcoming, larger Prius V. but many will also upgrade into the plug-in Prius and other upcoming electric car offerings maybe even a plug-in version of the C.

Of course, can Toyota hit such a competitive pricing point? I m not sure, but why build the Prius C if not?

May 31st, 2011 | Category: Hybrids

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