Toyota Will Launch Second Hybrid-Only Model Line in 2009
A business daily newspaper in Japan, the Nikkei, has published a news item stating that Toyota intends to launch another model line that will consist only of hybrid vehicles. Toyota’s current model hybrid-only line, the Prius, is reportedly going to expand to three models itself in the next 24 months, one smaller than the current Prius, one larger, and finally, one about the same size, but with considerable changes.
Toyota has several examples of a single vehicle within a model range that use hybrid technology (i.e. Camry Hybrid, Highlander truck, Lexus LS600h), but the Prius is the only model that uses only hybrid engines. The new model is expected to account for another 100,000 sales worldwide in 2009. About 310,000 hybrid cars were sold in the world last year, with the Toyota Prius laying claim to over half of those sales.
The new model will reportedly have an engine that will be somewhere in size between 2 and 3 liters. The Prius has a 1.5 liter engine.
Toyota just recently announced that it was abandoning lithium-ion batteries for the next-generation Prius because of safety concerns. It is expected that the future hybrid model line will adhere to that same corporate decision.
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