Report: Toyota plans bigger ‘wagon’ Prius with lithium-ion battery for next year

By AP
Friday, November 13, 2009

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Report: Toyota plans bigger Prius with new battery

TOKYO — Toyota is planning a larger version of its popular Prius hybrid, which will be powered by a new kind of battery, a Japanese newspaper reported Friday.

The new Prius, either a station wagon or SUV, is set to go on sale by the end of next year. It will be the first from Toyota Motor Corp. with a lithium-ion battery, which is more powerful than the nickel-metal hydride battery, now in its hybrids, according to the nationally circulated Yomiuri newspaper.

Toyota, the world’s top automaker, declined comment on product plans.

The Yomiuri said the Prius will sell for about 2 million yen ($22,000), but did not give details.

Toyota leads rivals in hybrids, especially in Japan, where government ecological incentives have made it a top-seller for months.

Introducing a model with a more powerful battery could help widen Toyota’s lead over rivals, at a time when Japan’s No. 2 automaker Honda Motor Co. has been aggressive with hybrid offerings, such as the Insight.

Automakers have all been working on next-generation batteries. Lithium-ion batteries, similar to the kind used in laptops and other gadgets, require technological improvements before they can be used in cars because they tend to be more delicate and prone to heating problems.

Toyota has been working on lithium-ion batteries for years, and has a joint venture with Japanese electronics maker Panasonic Corp. to develop them for cars.

Filed under: Laptop, Panasonic, Toyota

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Discussion
August 31, 2010: 5:16 am

All automotive vehicles are going for electric version vehicles. I feel with this new lithium battery Toyota can try to woo the consumers. Battery plays a vital role in the electric vehicles and I feel it should be build powerful for long life of the car.

August 2, 2010: 6:11 am

Toyota is always seen as a quality auto maker. The vehicles launched by Toyota satisfies the customer needs. I feel this new technique will help this manufacturer to improve it’s quality and the trust among the consumers.

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