The new Toyota Prius Prime brings sporty style to the PHEV market, changing the way we think of the Prius and what hybrid cars offer.
If your initial thought when looking for the best car for your family is to choose a minivan, you’re on the right track, but there might be others.
Almost every automotive company in the world is considering making an EV to rival the likes of Tesla, but Toyota, arguably the most successful car company in the world, isn’t too quick to jump on the bandwagon.
There is a reason you don’t see fully electric vehicles at Toyota Dealerships. While Toyota does well in the hybrid car market, they haven’t yet participated in the worldwide movement that is EVs. Companies such as Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, and Hyundai, for starters, are throwing themselves into making EVs like there is no tomorrow. While this seems like a noble pursuit, with EVs being better for the environment and all, there is a major flaw that not everyone is talking about. Data from Toyota has uncovered that EVs are not as good for the environment as we thought they would be. In fact, in the long run, they could cause big problems if gone unchecked, which, right now, they are.
Toyota makes some of the most impressive and reliable cars on the planet. They’ve been around for a long time and they don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon. Let’s hope their newfound data is just as trustworthy.
The Problem With Batteries
Toyota’s chief scientist, Gill Pratt has a lot to say about EVs. While it’s fun and all to make EVs willy-nilly, Gill Pratt thinks automakers should be diversifying their energy sources, rather than all using the same kind. For starters, companies should still be trying to utilize hybrid and hydrogen energy sources.
In the long haul, batteries, particularly ones made from lithium, won’t last us forever. In fact, they might be worse for the environment than traditional combustion engines! Pratt claims that there will likely be a shortage of batteries, due to a shortage of lithium, paired with the lack of charging stations in America, which will make EV production a challenge for both companies and consumers.
Pratt also states that making so many lithium batteries for these EVs will cause more CO2 output than regular production already does. These are the things consumers don’t know.
Toyota does have plans to make an EV, though. It’s been announced that Toyota will release a sedan-sized EV for the Chinese automotive market. This car is unlikely to reach global appeal, and Toyota seems fine with that, anyways. While they are in the works for an EV, Toyota doesn’t seem too interested in making one for the world.
Toyota wants to hold out, see what happens, and then decide what they will do. As a seasoned company in the global automotive market, Toyota isn’t too hurried or desperate. Will there ever be a fully electric vehicle in American Toyota dealerships? Maybe in the future, but right now Toyota wants to stick to its guns, which is making reliable cars and trusting its process. You can still find hybrids made by Toyota, but you’ll have to wait for an EV.
The older a model gets, the harder it is to get replacement parts or find a mechanic who knows how to work on a ‘98 Chevy truck. But now we’re seeing the same thing with cars made this year!
What’s changed? The technology and equipment that goes into today’s vehicles require more specialization and knowledge than a mechanic has, that’s what.
Repair Shops are Struggling to Meet Specialized Demand
Most mechanics know cars, not computers. But EVs, increased advanced technology, and how features are integrated into a car’s system make it impossible to continue being an old-fashioned mechanic.
If things stay the way they are now in the car repair business, drivers might have to get an extended warranty from places like Toyota and Ford to get guaranteed service.
Cost of Equipment and Training
Many automotive manufacturers use unique systems or have specific equipment for creating their vehicles – such as Tesla models or the newest Ford Super Duty trucks. While it’s not a trade secret, it’s also not well-known what goes into making and maintaining technologically-advanced vehicles.
Mechanics will need the same equipment and systems to perform maintenance and repairs on those cars. They also need certifications, special training, and continued education to meet rapidly-changing vehicle needs.
Not only is this costly for businesses, but it isn’t likely to happen – mechanics would have to learn the special methods and equipment for working on one model of car or all of them at once, and neither is a sustainable way to run a mechanic’s service. What if the only person who can perform a Toyota’s extended warranty service is out sick for a week?
How This Impacts Drivers Negatively
As local shops are forced to specialize, limit what they can do, or sell their shops to franchise owners, drivers will find their options limited and prices for service going up.
Parts and equipment, as well as a properly-trained mechanic’s time, will cost more, services and repairs will take longer, and the old neighborhood mechanic may not be around much longer. Getting your car back from the shop could take days instead of hours.
But does that mean all hope for the future is lost already? Not necessarily.
The Future of Automobiles and Auto Repair Centers
Mechanics are already working toward bridging the knowledge gap in service – computer science majors and tech-savvy car fanatics are joining repair shops as their expertise becomes relevant. Automakers and dealerships are offering in-house repairs and maintenance options.
Drivers are also finding ways to make it easier on themselves – they’re looking into Ford and Toyota extended warranty options, which cover the cost of everything from engines to steering wheels for years.
The auto repair industry is seeing a lot of problems right now, but it’s also seeing a lot of growth and change. Now it’s just a matter of seeing where it takes us.
The Hyundai Motor Company just took a huge step in ensuring that your local Hyundai dealer is ready for the maintenance demands of the evolving popularity of electric vehicles. The company held an EV Tech Lab in Seoul (June 28 to July 6) designed to brand Hyundai as the top EV maker. This effort should come as no surprise to EV enthusiasts, as Hyundai has been making some waves in the electric world.
Even though traditional gas-powered vehicles have seen a number of updates over the years, mechanics have been able to easily meet the demand for service. Electric vehicles are a completely different system that might make many mechanics feel outdated or ill-equipped.
The EV Tech Lab includes interactive courses based on actual cases and needs. Participants were able to visit several key Hyundai sites, including the Uslan plan, Motorstudio, and more. The courses were led by experts from the Hyundai Motor Company and instructed key maintenance professionals from multiple countries across the world.
Building A Better Brand
As more drivers move towards electric vehicles, having the right kind of maintenance programs in place is key. While many manufacturers are jumping into the EV game, the ones that can offer the most comprehensive service and maintenance programs will stand out on top. Hyundai wants to get a jump on the game and become the authoritative name in the EV service industry.
Hyundai doesn’t just want to be known as the premier EV manufacturer worldwide; it also wants to equip its entire team to meet the demands of the electric future. That means updating certification training for mechanics at regional and local Hyundai dealer locations.
Leading the EV Market
While everyone seems to be offering EVs these days, Hyundai is taking a solid part of the market share with a full line-up of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fully electric options. One of the most exciting additions to Hyundai dealer locations is the new Ioniq 5. This EV is pushing the boundaries to what’s possible and looks good doing it. More importantly, the Ioniq nameplate is going to have several brand new vehicles hit the road in the coming years.
Hyundai has some work to do if it wants to catch the name-recognition of EV automakers like Tesla, but it’s certainly taking all of the right steps. Taking on the role of teaching and training others on EV service and maintenance, Hyundai is showing itself as a true contender for EV king of the road.
If you’re interested to see what kind of innovative technologies are coming to the road, stop by your local Hyundai dealer. The future is bright, and Hyundai wants to lead the way.
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Whether you’ve experienced the look of one on the road or heard about it in jokes, the Toyota Prius and the success of its hybrid powertrain have become extremely popular for the drive while being put down for the style.
Thankfully, the Toyota team has figured out how to give us a Prius that we truly want to drive. No longer a wedge-shaped car, the current Prius is stylish, attractive, and sporty on the outside while being efficient to drive. You’ll love the fact that this car is fun to drive when you get in and hit the gas. Read More