Toyota has announced that they'll be selling two new Hybrids (along with the updated Prius.) One of the new hybrids will be a Lexus, and the other will be a Toyota. We don't know much more than that, aside from that they're emphasizing that they're not just another iteration of the Prius. All we've got to go on for future Toyota hybrids is the Hybrid-X concept, pictured above.
They're hoping to have Li-ion batteries in both the Prius, and the as-yet-unnamed Toyota hybrid by 2010. But they won't start mass-producing li-ion batteries at their recently-announced factory until 2011 or 2012.
Toyota seems to be looking to leapfrog some of the competition, since they're already a bit behind on Li-ion technology. President Watanabe said that they're setting up a battery research division to investigate power storage technology beyond lithium ion. It's long been Toyota's position that range-extended hybrids like the Volt simply won't work, and that we'll need to wait before we can have full-electric propulsion in mass-produced vehicles.
We'll have to see, but the future seems clear. There are going to be a lot more hybrid options in the next few years, and that will be nice for a lot of car buyers.
written by Patrick, June 26, 2008
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