Toyota’s Electrified Past, Present and Future

Discussion in 'In the News' started by xcel, Oct 13, 2019.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] In the auto business, patience is more than just a virtue.

    Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – October 10, 2019

    2001 Toyota Prius

    The Toyota that started it all on display and so pristine you would have thought it came off the showroom floor yesterday!​

    Greensboro, NC -- The year was 1995 when Toyota introduced Prius to the world at the Tokyo Auto Show. Based on the then sub-compact Echo platform, it was 2 more years before it reached the Japanese consumer. Despite a slow Japanese sales start, Toyota decided to bring the Prius with a slightly more powerful drivetrain to the U.S. in 2000 as a 2001 model. Its starting price of $19,995 was a bit steep but the efficiency was beyond any 4-door sedan ever offered spanning the entire 20th century. 65,000 of the all-new 1st gen Prius were sold in the U.S. between mid-2000 and 2003. It was also a slow U.S. sales start as the Hummer H2 was garnering all the automotive press at launch...

    Who would have known that in late 2003 with the introduction of the 2nd gen 2004 Prius, there would be a sales explosion! 54k units were sold in 2004, 107k in 2005, with sales topping out at 181k in 2007. All the while national average gas prices continued to climb through $2, then $3, and then $4/gallon by July of 2008. This entire time Toyota had an answer for that from a model called Prius...

    Not only did the second gen Prius grow to a roomier midsize in hatchback form, it would come to define and dominate the hybrid segment for the next 15+ years.

    The third gen Prius was introduced as a 2010 in mid-2009. While new amenities, a slightly larger size, an increase in power and efficiency plus additional safety features were added, namely to meet the upcoming IIHS small overlap crash test, sales began a long and slow descent. While still offering outstanding consumer efficiency, at the limits, the older second gen Prius could beat the all-new and more powerful 3rd gen at the pump when driven with great care. Anyone remember IGN 14 on the highway? The IIHS small overlap crash test showed the Prius and in fact the entire Toyota and Lexus lineup in a negative light. By 2015, those crash test problems were in the rear view...

    With the introduction of the 4th gen Prius, Toyota was back on top of the real world and at the limit’s efficiency charts. The 2016 Prius 2 Eco and it's 58 mpgUS city result from an even larger and more refined platform showed the world who was the dominant player in the hybrid efficiency segment.

    Along with improved efficiency due in part to the first mass produced 40+ percent thermodynamically efficient 1.8L I4 engine, the all-new 4th gen was built on an all-new and much stiffer Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform with an honest to goodness double wishbone rear suspension which drastically improved its ride and handling quotient. This was a step change over all previous gens torsion beam non-independent rear ends.

    In addition, LED lighting all around and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 has since become std. across the Prius lineup. The std. Forward Collision Warning with Auto Braking plus radar cruise control - the smoothest and imho, best in the business, are what make the 4th gen Prius the standout hybrid that it is today.

    Present Day Prius’

    With the intro of the 2019 MY, Prius received horizontally laid out rear lamps. For 2020, sun visor extension covering about 75 percent of the window opening vs 50 percent before, an all-black interior vs the white-black cartoonish mix of interior plastics we were forced to accept from the 4th gen previously, and an AWD-e variant for those that want/need more std traction in wintery environments is now available.

    And like all the Prius' we have driven from the 2nd gen onward, triple digit efficiency is as simple as driving it...

    Here is our result from yesterday. I did consume 1 bar of my SOC from start to finish while driving this fully loaded Limited trim.

    2019 Toyota Prius Limited


    The 2020 Prius Prime was out all-day and only after the last vehicle came in was I allowed to take it for a spin.

    The saying "Saving the best for last" certainly applies here.

    Some of you may remember I flew to the East Coast to pick up a 17 Prius Prime for my parents. The drive back was an adventure in "Hybridism". :) They have been enjoying ridiculous efficiency ever since with 80 percent of their local miles on the plug and after all the tax deals, it cost less than $19k incl. TTL!!!


    New for 2020 is the extended sun visor - only covers about 80 percent of the opening, a new all-black interior vs the black-white mix from the previous 3 years, Apple CarPlay but no Android Auto, 2 new 2.1 amp high speed USB charging ports for back seat passengers, and finally a third passenger rear seat meaning this one is now eligible for rideshare duties! In addition, the Prime’s swooped rear window adds rearward visibility that every Prius owner would envy.

    2020 Toyota Prius Prime

    Off the plug and the high-volume Plug-in Prius is still more efficient than everything but the Prius on gasoline.​

    The efficiency off the plug is ridiculous. On it, absolutely absurd. Screw gasoline costs when you have a 2020 Toyota Prius Prime...

    Since the Prius' introduction, more than 4 million have been sold with the model lineup - c, Prius, v, PHEV, and Prime - accounting for 61 percent of all Toyota and Lexus hybrids sold. A model success story that will surely continue well into the foreseeable future.

    Toyota’s Future

    So why are we here? Four reasons actually.

    Number one, Toyota announced it will extend its hybrid battery warranty from 8 years/100,000 miles to 10 years from date of first use/150,000 miles, whichever comes first. This extension is valid for “ALL new 2020 Toyota hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles. All other HV components will retain coverage under the Hybrid System Warranty at 8 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first.

    While Hyundai offers a lifetime warranty on its pack, it is only for the first buyer. The new 2020 Toyota hybrid battery warranty covers not only the first owner but all subsequent owners.

    2020 Toyota Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid lineup

    All arrive with a longer 10 years/150k mile Ni-MH or Li-Ion battery warranty!​

    The Toyota Hybrid System 8 years or 100,000 miles warranty coverage is for the following components:
    • Hybrid Battery Control Module (battery voltage sensor)
    • Hybrid Control Module (power management control module)
    • Inverter with Converter
    • New Hybrid Battery Warranty is 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first
    Number two, Toyota will soon be offering the most powerful and efficient RAV4 yet – the 2021 RAV4 PHEV. A new color, Supersonic Red, was also highlighted. Toyota will debut the 2021 Toyota RAV4 PHEV at this year’s LA Auto Show on November 20 at the Toyota booth in South Hall at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

    This is one hell of a big deal!!!

    2021 Toyota RAV4 PHEV


    Number three, how about the all-new, upcoming 2020 Highlander Hybrid?

    From the 2019 NYIAS coverage, the 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid was introduced. In Greensboro, the 2020 was here in prototype form. 240 hp from the Camry Hybrid drivetrain will move the 7 or 8-passenger along briskly and I suspect a 31 to 34 mpg combined rating from the AWD/FWD will be its highlight once released.

    Android Auto on a 12.4" screen in the Limited/Platinum trim will also be a highlight.

    To the untrained eye, this is the final. Enjoy the 2 minutes and 47-seconds of Highlander Hybrid splendor.

    Number four, an all-new Mirai was revealed.

    Meet the all-new, much better looking, and far more capable #Toyota #Mirai FCV seconds after the cover was lifted. This is of course a prototype prop but finally the Mirai receives attractive sheet metal.

    Shot taken from the cheap seats as you can tell. Actually, standing on top of one of the cheap seats in fact.

    2021 Toyota Mirai Reveal


    And from way down low in order to catch the all-new Mirai's Avalonesque like front end.

    The releases are all stating 30 percent more range. Today's Mirai has 312 miles of range per Toyota's EPA submissions.

    Instead, let us just say it will have an EPA range of at least 405 miles. 5-minute refuels and 405-miles of range? Sounds like the cars we fuel with gasoline today in fact. It also now includes a 3 passenger rear seat.

    It will take at least a decade for economies of scale to arrive in order to build the large capacity high pressure carbon fiber tanks - 10,150 psi - and fuel cell stacks at a price the average consumer can afford however. :(

    Fuel costs and distribution are also hurdles that Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and GM are having a hard time overcoming since they are not in the fuel distribution business.


    A few additional items that the Toyota e-volution presentations exposed.

    Doug Murtha, Toyota Group VP, Corporate Strategy and Planning.

    "Meeting of the Minds..."

    Besides the fact that Toyota spends over $1 million dollars per hour on R&D, the public appears woefully behind the times when it comes to alternative vehicle ownership details. This slide in particular caught my eye. I do not know the sample size, the percentage confidence level, or margin of error but it took me by surprise.


    What it tells me that we as auto enthusiasts and journalists, the manufacturers, and dealership sales people have not done our jobs at educating the public despite almost 20 years of hybrid vehicle availability here in the US. :(

    Another asked can Hybrid electric vehicle refuel at gas station? 42 percent of Consumers believe they only plug-in. And another, only 53 percent of consumers know a plug-in does not require plugging in. We still have a long way to go!!!

    Regarding BEVs, they make up just over 1 percent of U.S. market. From the consumers standpoint, only 20 percent would consider purchasing and 40 percent would not because of upfront cost. The average cost of a BEV is $70k, well into the luxury market range.

    Ed -- Toyota is a conservative company and without a clear profit potential, they are hesitant to enter the BEV market fraught full of bankrupt companies and billions of dollars completely wasted. This is why Toyota has the appearance of being so late to the game but in fact, imho, are waiting for the market to be ready for BEVs rather than moving the market with unprofitable product offerings.

    Toyota is aiming for a more affordable entry point while offering all the efficiency Toyota’s electrified products are known for and in particular, will incorporate bulletproof reliability ready for the Toyota badge.

    Toyota’s first mass produced BEVs will be released in China next year.

    Here in the U.S., the bridge to BEVs is the PHEV. Costs are far more controllable and thus far less expensive than a BEV and fuel savings are better than the current lineup of Toyota HEVs. As an example, 80 percent of Prius Prime owners spend less than $50/month on gasoline. The Prime makes up to 30 percent of Prius family sales.

    Heather Updegraff, GM of Toyota Marketing

    44 percent of hybrids sold are Toyota's.

    Since the introduction of the most recent AWD RAV4 Hybrid with the 219 hp Camry Hybrid drivetrain, the current best-selling CUV in the US in hybrid form has experienced a 150 percent uptick over the previous gen RAV4 Hybrid.

    Regarding the Corolla Hybrid, 8 percent of U.S. buyers choose hybrid beating the 5 percent volume split expectations.

    I will break in here and supply a few notes on the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hybrid after taking it on a short RT drive loop. It uses the current Prius' 121 net hp from its heavily atkinsonized 1.8L Hybrid drivetrain. It is rated at 53/52/52 and the 5+ mile drive loop showed off its true character.

    I was really surprised to 1. See a tach and 2., the front seat slides back far enough to accommodate my 6 ft + frame. Not perfect ergonomically by any means but both are good stuff.

    There is only one trim available, the LE, and at a base of $22,095 + $930 D&H, it is not what I would call inexpensive.

    Regardless, the efficiency is CALIENTE HOT!!!

    Jackie Birdsall, Senior Engineer of Fuel Cell Development

    H2 FCVs are clean and scalable yet are still a mystery to most. 20 percent have never heard of them and 55 percent do not know how they work.

    The 2015 Mirai was Toyota's first FCV sold to the consumer despite the H2 infrastructure not developed enough to support FCVs outside of small regions. They are as safe or safer than any vehicle on the road today.

    FCVs highlights? A 5-minute refuel for 300+ miles range.

    The upcoming 2021 Mirai is the most advanced electric on the market. It is lower, longer, more aerodynamic, and far better looking than predecessor.

    e-volution Q&A
    • Tokyo 2020 is set to introduce AVs along with advanced electric powertrains.
    • Mirai will stay under Toyota moniker despite its luxury price point.
    • Regarding the RAV4 Hybrid - Performance sells. PHEVs will be more powerful. Major selling point? Yes. Always fuel economy with performance an advantage on some models. RAV4 and RAV4 PHEV are the performance example.
    • H2 FCVs safety for responders? Any indication of an accident and the 12V negative terminal is separated and H2 tanks isolate.
    • Why no BEVs? Cost of current Li-Ions are prohibitive for average consumer acceptance. No need to race to the BEV since consumer will not pay for them in volume.
    • No CCS standardization will be announced until closer to introductions.
    • By 2025, 5.5 of Toyota's 10-million vehicles sold per year will be electrified. 1-million will be zero emission FCVs/BEVs.
    • RAV4 were all built in Canada. RAV4 HEVs are now built in KY. PHEVs will be built in Japan.
    • First Toyota BEVs will incorporate Li-Ions despite problems of long charging time, battery degradation and longevity, and EOL disposal of current battery technology.
    So yes, Toyota BEVs are coming. Only when a profitable reason for their arrival is presented. The Tesla/RAV4 was not that vehicle. Besides more on the 2019 Camry and RAV4 Hybrid, that is what I call a wrap.
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  2. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    .. and starting in 2020, .. an impressive 10/150,000 transferable battery warranty.

    *compare to Tesla's 8/100,000

    Worn out battery? --
    -- that 10/150,000 essentially eliminates depreciation worries for the PHEVs --- even if the big pack is played out at 150,000, ... there will likely be a reasonable option to just put in a small battery replacement to run the car to end of life as a regular hybrid.
    --- also, Toyota might be able to software 'fix' and use the original battery sans plug (?)

    /in the U.S. -- the 2020 Prius Prime is ahead of its time. Europe might be there already.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019
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  3. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    On the warranty ---

    It's worth mentioning that the Prius prime limits cell voltage to about 4.0 v and a fairly slow charge rate (.5c)

    --- as opposed to Tesla's 4.2v (then limited with software capping "update") and supercharging (which also gets limited to a large degree with Tesla's software "update")
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  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Carcus:

    I still have a lot to add to this one incl. the warranty for first and future owners out to 150k miles, the RAV4 PHEV, 2020 Highlander Hybrid with Android Auto, and more on the all-new Mirai. :)

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  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Does the new warranty give a hard capacity loss limit?
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  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Trollbait:

    Nothing in writing yet.

    On the HEVs I would guess no since you have to reach around 60 percent or a module imbalance of ~ 20 percent to throw a CEL or Battery MIL. I have never heard of a Prius owner for example reach that level in just 150k miles.

    On the PHEVs, nothing was spoken in detail. I wish I had your question as it is a good one! I will send a note out to get some clarification.

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  7. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    A tachometer AND a temperature gauge ? Wow. But they couldn't do that with my Prius.
    Tachometer I can mostly do without , but I really like the temp gauge.
    And the price may seem high , but have you seen the Monroney's on other Corolla's ?
    My stepdaughter has a 2019 Corolla hatch 6MT , and it was $$$. Nice car , though.
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  8. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    My guess is that new warranty is just an extension of the current one, which may already be in effect for CARB states. Toyota's site refers to it as an enhancement.
    In the 2018 warranty boolket for the Prime has this, "Reduction of lithium-ion battery capacity is NOT covered under warranty."

    Tesla warrants the battery to 70% capacity over 8 years. The mileage varies by model: X and S, unlimited; 3, 100k; 3 long range, 120k.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
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  9. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While in Greensboro at the Toyota e-volution event, I was fortunate to have available a 46 mpg combined rated 2019 Camry Hybrid in Limited trim. It lists for $37,080.

    A few quick impressions... Unfortunately the Qi charger plate is to small for a Galaxy Note 8 . In addition, $1,800 for the audio pkg incl. the Qi charger is excessive imho. It does have Apple Car Play but no Android Auto.

    Ride, handling, quiet, and efficiency are best in class. Anything with that 208 hp net 2.5L Camry Hybrid drivetrain is going to be a fuel pump killer. The short route proved exactly that.

    2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid


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  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Here is the final short take and last vehicle I will write about from the Greensboro, NC event.

    2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid


    219 combined hp so a little more power (+11 HP) than the Camry Hybrid drivetrain.

    This is the Limited trim with the 18s. The XSE also arrives with the fuel robbing 225/60R 18s while the LE/XLE are shod with 225/65R 17s.

    The 39 mpg combined rated CUV proved itself just like the rest of the Toyota Hybrid lineup we drove today. There simply is no other manufacture even close.

    The RAV4 Hybrid has 99 cu. ft. of passenger volume and almost 38 cu. ft. of cargo volume making this model the best Prius v replacement available today. Expect to see a lot of future taxi drivers in the RAV4 by 2025. Yup.

    My mom will be receiving one as soon as I can find a deal on an LE or XLE and my wife wants one too.

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  11. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    While you're giving them out... where do I line up? :D
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  12. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Bill:
    :D :D :D

    My mom's will come out of her pocket. My wife's? Well, you know where that is going to come from. :( I might have to consume the 17 Sonata Hybrid Limited with the Ultimate pkg in a 150k mile test next? Hmmm, what will it cost to drive that vehicle from 41k miles to 151k mile anyways? TIV in Good condition - it is actually excellent, is $15,400 currently. Less than the cost of the 18 Elantra Eco new I guess and 43 mpg should be a slam dunk... Damn it, here we go again! ;)

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  13. BillLin

    BillLin PV solar, geothermal HVAC, hybrids and electrics

    Is it fair starting with that TIV? Wouldn't that be hiding some of the up front cost unless you think you can buy one at that price? It's a bit more depreciation shouldered by the original owner (even if that's you).
    xcel likes this.
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Bill:

    Sort of but am considering what I would get if we were to trade it in on a $32,900+ TTL 2020 RAV4 Hybrid XLE with the XLE Cold Weather and Convenience package.

    Here is the 17 Sonata's KBB TIV at $15,800 in Very Good Condition. I would never receive that from a Toyota dealer but would privately or through CarMax for example.


    I just despise giving people rides in a vehicle that cost us $30k + TTL just 2.5 years ago. A driver earning just $0.65/mile gross while providing a rider a luxurious loaded to the nines full size hybrid that cost over 40k at retail. :(

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  15. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    I think a Tesla pack will probably fail(cell imbalance, cell/module failure(s)) before the remaining capacity gets down to 70%. Toyota packs will probably be no different in that regard.
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  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Trollbait:

    I have a friend that has a 2010 Gen 3 with 375k miles on it. At the 248k mile mark, he received his first trouble codes. They used Torque Pro to look at the modules and one was well below 50 percent while some were only down 15 percent. It does not appear an imbalance threw the codes as that would have probably coded a long time before that. A raw Cap loss appears to be the threshold. In any case, a NiMH module to get to 30 percent took a hell of a long time - 7+ years - and a lot of miles - 248k miles - out.

    I did send your question to Toyota PR and will post any reply if I receive one.

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  17. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    Just to keep it all in perspective:

    "There are now 200 million SUVs on the roads globally, up from 35 million in 2010, according to data the International Energy Agency (IEA). In fact, 60 percent of the increase of the global vehicle fleet since 2010 came from SUVs.
    ...SUVs accounted for “all of the 3.3 million barrels a day growth in oil demand from passenger cars between 2010 and 2018,” the IEA said."

    Electric Vehicle Adoption Overshadowed By SUV Boom*

    *it's a global boom, not just a U.S. boom

    / Share of SUVs in total car sales in key markets
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  18. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While I have highlighted the all-new 2021 Toyota Mirai’s new 400+ mile range and 5-passenger seating at the e-volition reveal event last week, there are a few more items…

    The 2015 Mirai was the first production H2 FCV offered for sale to retail customers in North America. The second-gen Mirai promises not only to perform much better, it has been vastly redesigned with cutting-edge and dare I say, good design.

    This second-gen Mirai will reach dealership showrooms in late 2020.

    2021 Toyota Mirai

    Inside the all-new and vastly updated Mirai.​

    The new Mirai will offer a more powerful and even quieter driving experience than the current Mirai.

    While Toyota is developing a line of BEVs for China first, FCVs are a gambling chip that Toyota will hold just in case FCVs will be as common as the company’s hybrids. Only Hyundai is pursuing an FCV strategy as focused as Toyota’s “just in case”.

    The second-gen Mirai is not only more aerodynamic, it will be built on a rear-wheel drive platform with a highly rigid body that is lower, longer, and wider. 20-inch alloys will also be available.

    Ed – As most here know, I despise the fuel sucking and very expensive tire replacement 18’s, 19’s, and 20’s on anything and here they are again. :(

    The new Mirai’s clean, modern profile was inspired by a sleek 2-door coupe.

    Inside is a new, clean and luxurious design.

    The new Mirai will arrive with a std. 8” digital combination meter and available digital rearview mirror that displays images from a rear camera. The MIrai will arrive with a standard Toyota Premium Multimedia system including a 12.3” high-resolution TFT central touchscreen and a 14-speaker JBL sound system.

    Toyota’s FCV Future

    More FCVs are planned to enter the market over the next few years, as the cost, size and weight of fuel cell systems continue to decrease and the fueling infrastructure grows.

    Toyota began its FCV R&D about the same time as the original Prius almost 25 years ago. Rightfully so, the Mirai shares some of the technology & components from the company’s Prius hybrid program. Toyota developed the solid-polymer electrolyte fuel cells used in the first- and second-generation Mirai models in house.

    The fuel cell is composed of an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte membrane. Hydrogen is passed through the anode, and oxygen through the cathode. The hydrogen molecules are split into electrons and protons. As protons pass through the electrolyte membrane, electrons travel along a circuit, generating an electric current and heat. At the cathode, the protons, electrons, and oxygen combine to produce water molecules. There are no other byproducts, just pure water.

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  19. Trollbait

    Trollbait Well-Known Member

    Is the new Mirai's range from efficiency gains, or all from bigger tanks?
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  20. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Trollbait:

    Efficiency with a more efficient stack, more efficient electronics, lower Cd, AND you guessed it, larger Carbon Fiber tanks!

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