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Warming to idea of hybrid

Discussion in '6th Gen 4Runners (2025+)' started by McSpazatron, Nov 23, 2022.

  1. Nov 23, 2022 at 7:39 PM
    #1
    McSpazatron

    McSpazatron [OP] New Member

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    Anybody ever wish toyota was looking at these forums/threads with baited breath, in order for them to make design decisions? Maybe they have a bunch of engineers hired only to pore over every forum for ideas lol.

    Since the 6th gen probably wont come out for another 5, 10, 15 years, there might be time for toyota to use my ideas for the next 4runner.

    I’m warming to the idea of hybrid, even though I feel like Im an old guy yelling at clouds, pining for the old days. It doesn't even have to be a “mild” hybrid…going plug-in hybrid is fine. Toyota has been doing this long enough for it to be reasonably reliable. Reliable enough for cabbies in new york city to be using them.

    The only thing is, Toyota shouldn't focus the design or marketing toward “saving the earth” or maximum efficiency. After all, Hybrids and electrics will be viewed with disdain in 30 years after all the easy strip mining opportunities are all used up.

    Instead, Toyota’s angle should be maximum off-grid self-reliance. Make the 4 runner an earth-roamer…, a remote go-anywhere home base.

    The marketing stats shouldn't be claims about fuel savings or carbon emissions. Rather, they should advertise how quickly it can charge to a 20 mile range with stock solar panels in cloudy conditions. Or how many meals you can cook on the included fold-away induction stove. Or how long it can keep weeks supply of frozen meals in the included toyota branded dometic fridge ;)

    Or, better yet, since it’s mostly old guys buying expensive new 4runners…how many camping nights the on-board battery can power your C-PAP machine :laugh: :anonymous:


    Seriously though. I would imagine that taking this “self-reliance” angle is perfect for selling to new “overlanding” prospective customers.

    If toyota does this, they can take my money
    :spending:
     
    LuLu, Trail Runnah, namrog456 and 4 others like this.
  2. Nov 24, 2022 at 2:59 AM
    #2
    Spare Parts

    Spare Parts New Member

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    Love the solar panel, I really don’t understand why these electric or plug in hybrids don’t have solar panel roofs.
     
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  3. Nov 24, 2022 at 3:15 AM
    #3
    Steely123

    Steely123 New Member

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    I thought the prius had a solar roof? Or maybe it still does?
     
  4. Nov 24, 2022 at 9:14 AM
    #4
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    Probably due to cost, or they're not really effective.

    I think the Cybertruck was advertising a solar bed roof that could add like 15 miles of range in a day of charging. Hardly worth it, IMO.
     
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  5. Nov 24, 2022 at 3:52 PM
    #5
    Spare Parts

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    It appears the new Prius prime does, a step in the right direction.
     
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  6. Nov 24, 2022 at 3:53 PM
    #6
    Spare Parts

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    If we could get 15 miles a day via solar, we wouldn’t have to plug in for a typical day.
     
  7. Nov 24, 2022 at 4:22 PM
    #7
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    Wow! I average 65 miles per day on my 4Runner. But, since I only usually drive it 3 days a week, it's over 200 per day.

    I wouldn't expect anyone to be using the cyber truck as a commuter vehicle, though. If it was being used in the way that a lot of us use our 4runners, it would average a lot more than 15 miles per day.
     
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  8. Nov 24, 2022 at 4:46 PM
    #8
    Steely123

    Steely123 New Member

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    Yeah. Mine is just below that but like 40 miles a day. Just commuting, not including running errands on a break or way home.
     
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  9. Nov 24, 2022 at 6:04 PM
    #9
    Spare Parts

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    Ya, short commute is bonus. But any solar energy these Battery powered vehicles can get is a bonus, I see many cars sitting in parking lots with sun baking the vehicle, any gain is a bonus. If the auto industry gets in the solar game, maybe there will be more development in solar.
     
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  10. Nov 24, 2022 at 8:40 PM
    #10
    Thatbassguy

    Thatbassguy New member? Really??

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    I agree. I mean, even if it doesn't get you that far, it's like a free gallon of fuel every day. I just assume the cost isn't generally worth the benefit.
     
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  11. Nov 24, 2022 at 8:45 PM
    #11
    5six

    5six New Member

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    As one other poster implied, solar (roof, hood, trunk) isn’t enough surface area to meaningful charge your car for commuting. Think of how much time is needed at the fast charging stations. Need car weight to drastically come down, but the opposite is happening with solar cars. Anyone who has built their own solar array at home can tell you how much useful energy is actually produced.
     
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  12. Nov 24, 2022 at 8:51 PM
    #12
    5six

    5six New Member

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    Sorry, meant “electric cars”, not “solar cars” :facepalm:
     
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  13. Nov 25, 2022 at 4:07 AM
    #13
    Spare Parts

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    Sherpa Crestone.
    Is the cost of an EV really worth it? If it was part of the upfront cost we might be talking 500 to a grand increase. Just another thing on vehicles are not worth the cost.
     
  14. Nov 25, 2022 at 7:48 PM
    #14
    McSpazatron

    McSpazatron [OP] New Member

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    I think costs are higher when a technology is newer. Now that hybrids are no longer a new thing for toyota, a solar panel and a bank of low-tech reliable batteries might not represent a huge cost, compared to the past.

    Batteries and solar are a good fit for my idea of the perfect 4runner. You could call it an Overlander, a Bugout vehicle, a Hermit vehicle… that’s the general idea. Something that could be out in the wilderness and moving about indefinitely if you wanna live off the sun 15-20 miles a day, but also keep the flexibility to do 400miles a day on gas/hybrid operation.

    Nobody would probably use them for extended wilderness trips in this way, but I bet it could be an effective marketing angle (how many people race ferraris?). And it would give a clearer design purpose for the 4runner. Instead of aiming only for the Bronco’s off-roadability, the 4runner could set itself apart for the next 10-15 year design cycle.
     
  15. Nov 26, 2022 at 9:27 AM
    #15
    suaveflooder

    suaveflooder New Member

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    I’m in the same boat as you. 80 miles/ day if I’m not grabbing my kiddo, and 178 miles/day if I do. I definitely picked the wrong vehicle for commuting.
     
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  16. Nov 26, 2022 at 9:29 AM
    #16
    r32

    r32 New Member

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    Fisker Karma has a solar roof

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Nov 26, 2022 at 10:17 PM
    #17
    r32

    r32 New Member

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    Elon tweet

    "Tesla team just completed a 500 mile drive with a Tesla Semi weighing in at 81,000 lbs!"

    Every year they keep improving. Eventually EVs will be able to go 1000 miles on one charge.

    Hybrid will be nice for the 4Runner but it feels like a very temporary step to EV in less than 10 years. Enjoy the combustion engine lifestsyle while you can. End of an era coming faster than anyone realizes.
     
  18. Nov 27, 2022 at 12:17 AM
    #18
    McSpazatron

    McSpazatron [OP] New Member

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    I’m curious how you think the electric era lifestyle will differ from the combustion era lifestyle. Are you saying EVs will suck and we wont be able to travel at will, like we do now?
     
  19. Nov 27, 2022 at 3:00 PM
    #19
    ElectroBoy

    ElectroBoy Ad astra

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    Solar panels laying flat on the roof of a vehicle sound great but they aren’t as effective as you might think. Unless they can automatically track the sun angle.

    I’ve been using a 100W solar panel to charge a solar generator (Jackery) while camping. When angled directly toward the sun it generates 75W into the battery. As the sun angle changes even slightly the power output drops to 25W or so. Laying flat it’s about 10W.
     
  20. Nov 27, 2022 at 6:45 PM
    #20
    Spare Parts

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    Good point, and when camping surrounded by trees, I have to chase the sun with my panels, but open parking lot sitting for hours is a good opportunity. Again, if the car industry gets involved, I am sure they could help improve things.
     
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  21. Nov 27, 2022 at 8:00 PM
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    Thatbassguy

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    ICE vehicles will be around for awhile yet. If the 6th gen is as successful as the 5th, it will remain largely unchanged until almost 2040. :D
     
  22. Nov 29, 2022 at 11:25 AM
    #22
    jharkin

    jharkin New Member

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    This is correct. Also consider that panel "ratings" are in ideal lab conditions for temperature and solar incidence. In the real world you would only ever see that at noon, on the equator, on an absolutely cloud/fog/haze free day. When its a cool 50F or so.


    I have a DIY portable solar system with a 90Ah battery and a few 50Watt panels, and I have a 7.6kW grid tied array on my roof. The panels in the roof array are 40in x65in each, wegh almost 50lb and are rated at 365Watts DC. The inverters cutoff at 295Watts on the AC side and I only ever get enough sun to peak them out and "clip" for around 1-2 hrs per day in late spring. The all time best production I saw was 46kWh for a full day in spring - and this is for an array that covers over 400 sq ft of roof, angled at 40 degrees - almost ideal for my latitude. Even this size array would take a couple ideal days to recharge a modest sized EV.

    On the flat roof of a 4Runner, using similar hardware you would be lucky to get more than about 800w of panels (even less with the sunroof) and being flat it would probably output less than half its rating. And it would add at least a couple hundred Lb of weight up high. PLus all the weight of batteries and hybrid motors. Figure a very generous 6hr per day of sun you might generate 1-2kWh if it sits outside all day. That would be something like 5-10 miles of driving range on a Tesla model 3, probably a lot less on our now 5000lb runner.
     
  23. Nov 29, 2022 at 3:11 PM
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    Spare Parts

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    EVs already have the batteries, and I don’t expect a roof solar panel to be able to fully recharge the EV, but anything is a step in the right direction. Once the auto industry starts on this path, I think we will see some technology improvements in solar.
     
  24. Nov 29, 2022 at 5:18 PM
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    r32

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    The next big step in is solar paint for auto and architecture. It's being worked on and so far they have a film that goes on glass like when you get your windows tinted. It's all being worked on.
     
  25. Nov 30, 2022 at 4:54 AM
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    jharkin

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    Im fully aware, and don't get me wrong I have nothing against solar and hybrids (I wouldn't have put it on my roof if i did)... Im just pointing out that there are physical limitations to how much can be generated from the small roof area of an automobile.

    Solar technology has already been improving for decades. The cost per watt of rooftop installs is something like <1/10 what it was 20 years ago. Panel efficiency even for inexpensive consumer rooftop panels is already into the low-mid 20% range (the therotical limit for traditional silicon panels is around 30%) and exotic material based research panels are closing in on 50%. But even if you covered the entire roof of the current gen in 50% efficient panels you would only have something like 1-2kW of generation capacity in ideal conditions.


    Even 2kW on the roof doesn't really make much impact of a near 5000lb vehicle with a 200kW equivalent gas engine that folks around here already call "sluggish". The real benefit will be big grid scale solar farms feeding the recharge infrastructure for plug-in hybrids and full EVs, imho.
     
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  26. Nov 30, 2022 at 6:29 AM
    #26
    Spare Parts

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    Well Toyota has decided its worth it.
    https://www.roadandtrack.com/news/a41978716/2023-toyota-prius/

    Again, anything from solar is better than nothing. And honestly, I would rather see vehicle roofs, trunks and hoods with solar panels, and houses and buildings with solar panels, over these clear cut ugly ass solar farms. We are destroying natural environments to put up these massive solar farms, seems backwards to me.
     
  27. Nov 30, 2022 at 10:31 AM
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    r32

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    Destroying natural environments with solar farms? Lol
     
  28. Nov 30, 2022 at 10:50 AM
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    Daddykool

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    There are those who say farming harms the environment, too. As in plowing soil releases too much carbon. Idiotic.
     
  29. Nov 30, 2022 at 12:24 PM
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    Spare Parts

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    it does. in fact, no till gardening is way better for the environment and produces more.

    https://youtu.be/6rPPUmStKQ4
     
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  30. Nov 30, 2022 at 12:25 PM
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    Spare Parts

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