Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





What to expect from the next model year Prius

2456710

Comments

  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I personally do not think the hybrids or even electric cars are exactly perfect. Just wait 7 years when you have to replace the whole battery system. Or wait, hasnt anyone told you prius owners that the batterys go bad after about 5-7 years? And just guess how much you have to pay? Upwards of $5000! That will take all the money u've saved on gas.

    It's good that you qualified this by saying 'I personally...' because your opinion is not based on fact. You probably didn't realize that ...
    .. the warranty on the hybrid system ( battery pack ) is 10 yrs/150,000 miles in some states! 6/100,000 elsewhere!
    .. Toyota and DOE have tested NiMH batteries separately to 180K and 150K and found no deterioration in performance at all!
    .. There are no reports of Toyota battery packs wearing out at all. This is now the 7th year in the US so the 5 year period you mention is long gone.
    .. On Toyota's website they state that the batteries should last the life of the vehicle. Typically this is 12-15 yrs and 250,000 miles on any Toyota.
    .. Do a google on quotes from Toyota on replacing the battey pack. You'll come up with $3000 as of today. But none have ever been replaced.

    So if in 12-15 yrs which would be about the year 2018... and you still owned your faithful Prius... and finally the battery pack gave out at 200,000 miles. What would you do with a 12 y.o. car that had 200,000 mile on it? You'd do what every other owner does with any vehicle. Get rid of it and get a new one that will take you another 12/200,000.

    It appears that you've been out of touch with the automotive world for the last 2-3 years. There has been so much information/discussion all over the net about the life-expectancy of the battery pack being at least 10 years that this whole question has disappeared.

    But you do have the right to remain skeptical. In the 1490's skeptics like this were called 'flat worlders'. If you sailed too far west you would fall off the edge of the world. It's no different on the subject of battery life... drive too far and the batteries will die on you. It's just not true...in either case.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    While I agree with you kdhspyder that the battery pack is not that expensive and that it will last for a long time, there actually have been a few failures. Not really unusual to have some fail, and I believe it is around 10ish, out of I think over 35,000 in service. At any rate, most were replaced under warranty. Used battery packs can be had for around $500 (from wrecks). There are some Prius taxis out there with 250,000 km+ on their battery packs.

    One point the OP hasn't fully developed is the money "saved on gas". Don't buy a Prius expecting to recover some kind of extra cost money on gas. He/she should consider the following:

    First, it's difficult to calculate how much extra you are paying on the Prius for the hybrid components - there isn't a non-hybrid Prius to compare to.

    Second, you are operating the most fuel efficient vehicle commonly sold (now that the Insite is dead), with the lowest emissions. That alone is significant. Your carbon load on the environment will be as low as you can get it unless you stop owning/operating fuel propelled vehicles.

    Third, you can cost compare the Prius to other similar vehicles. As I have posted before, the Camry is very similar in cargo and interior room, and it's a Toyota. Oh look, a non-hybrid Camry costs about the same as a Prius!

    Fourth, many owners purchased the Prius because they wanted to be on the forefront of the new lower carbon load technology.

    Fifth, always remember the Prius is NOT an electric vehicle. It's a hybrid, powered exclusively by burning gasoline in an ICE where the hybrid technology allows:
    a) the internal combustion engine (ICE) to be operated in a much more efficient mode (Atkinson cycle). The electric components supplement the torque as required because the ICE, when operated this way has lower HP and torque.
    b) Capture of normally wasted energy (brake heat). This regenerative braking also extends brake component life - reportedly at least doubling it.
    c) Seamless shutdown and restart of the ICE at lights etc. to save fuel that would be wasted idling.

    It isn't a perfect design, but it's pretty good!
  • ok 1.

    Why would toyota admit to their battery packs failing? Wouldn't that come across as a biased opinion seeing how Toyota already tried to keep it on the D.L. when they had a massive recall on new 2006 models back in march? I admit to exaggerating the amount in the first message, but it is better than denying the problem all together. To me it doesn't matter the price or replacing the battery pack is or if it is covered under warranty. Because if it is not costing you, dont you think it would be costing the company (TOYOTA) every time they have to replace a $3000 battery pack?

    2.

    Where did you get that estimate? because it is very hard to find the answer to that question seeing as i asked it in another forum and only one person responded saying that he couldn't find that information anywhere. Everyone else in that forum ignored the question and kept talking about how great this technology is. Well it could be better. My friend has a new camry hybrid and is only getting mid 30's mpg. And my cousins regular diesel golf gets 800 miles to a tank of gas. Another diesel engine Vw is developing can get 52 mpg. If i am correct that is better mileage than the prius. So like i said in my very first message I would really like it if they had a diesel prius, not diesel electric hybrid, just a prius body with a diesel engine For some reason no one will respond to that part. Even though it could potentially get better mpg. But no, everyone wants to say how perfect their prius is now, and how electricity is the way to go. How do you think, in the US, most of electricity is generated? Not by dams, no by gas and diesel generators, so while you are driving your little electric car, think about how most of the electricity is being produced. So that is why there is such a big issue for alternative fuels for cars. So for once why dosn't the us do what the rest of the world does and use diesel engines?

    & 3.
    How many states offer 10 year warrenty? Because the six year doesnt cover a problem at 7,8, or even 9 years.

    I am sorry that i offended you, but think about how your supposed "plug in prius" is affecting the world around you. Trace the electricity chain back to where it began, the fossil fuel generators! If i am right you will be increasing the harmful gas output of your prius. Also those cars are estimated at over 40000 dollars. Do you really want to spend that much? So consider what I said carefully and please do not correct any spelling or grammar errors, because that is not the point of this message.
  • I also believe, as you quoted me, i said 5-7 years. Thats not long gone buddy, we're in the middle of it. Wait another year. Also what happened in their tests after 150K?
  • Though I only partly agree with your message, I do appreciate you providing us your perspective. I totally agree a diesel electric hybrid will be far far more efficient than current ICE electric combo. I wish Toyota would get on the diesel wagon and produce a smart hybrid with diesel in place of gasoline engine. The part I don't fully agree with you is generation of electricity part. Current Prius gets its electric "juice" from internal combustion engine and this electricity obviously does not use traditional generators. Once the plug in hybrid is produced, your concern will obviously kick in. About the batteries, no one has reported any problem as yet and there is no reason for this concern esp. with the second generation Prius. Why be skeptical when there has been no issue to date ?
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I didn't follow your replies because you confused a number of issues into the same point...so as best as I can understand...

    1. My own view is that Toyota, or any manufacturer, doesn't announce warranty repair work. Thus if a battery did fail for Toyota or Honda or Ford none of the three would announce anything they would just fix it.

    But... if it was a serious problem, the affected owners would be howling on the net like on the Camry transmission issues. It would be ALL over the net. The Internet is silent on this subject.

    Massive recalls on the 2006 Prius??? What are you talking about?

    2. I did a google search on the cost to replace a NiMH battery and one article quoted a Toyota spokeswoman as stating the price was $3000 but in fact they had never replaced one. Here's one link..NiMH batteries
    Excerpt:
    And Toyota claims that not one has required a battery replacement due to malfunction or "wearing out." The only replacement batteries sold--at the retail price of $3000--have been for cars that were involved in accidents. Toyota further claims that the nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery packs used in all Prius models are expected to last the life of the car with very little to no degradation in power capability

    You aren't seriously comparine a TCH to a Golf are you??? Please, be serious. A Prius is closer to a Golf and they both get about the same FE.

    3 I miswrote the warranties.

    In 45 States it's 8 yrs / 100000 miles.
    In the 5 CARB states it's 10 yrs / 150000 miles.

    Myself I am for a diesel hybrid that uses renewable biofuel.

    The reason that hybrids are so successful here is that until this year diesel fuel in the US was of the worst kind possible and most diesel vehicles didn't pass the CARB states emissions tests. As a result ALL manufacturers did not sell diesel in these states. But these are 5 of the biggest population states so if diesel can't be sold there then there's no use to sell it in the other 45 states. It's all or nothing. Hybrids are equal to diesel in saving fuel. That was the only way to put new fuel-saving technology into use in the year 2000. It could be sold in all 50 states, diesel could not.

    Yes plug-ins use power generated by coal and diesel and nuclear sources. No one denies that. The big question is how much extra would a fleet of PHEV use. Last week the Federal Govt just published an article that 80% of all vehicles on the road now could be powered by the grid using offpeak capacity. The extra cost? The extra pollution, if any?

    Which cars are estimated at $40000? Conversions of the current Prius to PHEV cost about $10000 but the new Prius in 2008 and the new GM PHEV are likely to be no more expensive than the current vehicles in the mid $20K range.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I totally agree a diesel electric hybrid will be far far more efficient than current ICE electric combo. I wish Toyota would get on the diesel wagon and produce a smart hybrid with diesel in place of gasoline engine.

    The stumbling block to make this viable has been the dirty diesel fuel in the US ( until this year ). There was no incentive to build a diesel hybrid because it couldn't be sold in every state. In 2009 it will be possible. In 2010 Toyota/Isuzu have already announced that they will have one.
  • toyolla2toyolla2 Posts: 158
    Path star you wrote...

    "........ always remember the Prius is NOT an electric vehicle. It's a hybrid, powered exclusively by burning gasoline in an ICE where the hybrid technology allows:

    a) the internal combustion engine (ICE) to be operated in a much more efficient mode (Atkinson cycle)....

    b) Capture of normally wasted energy (brake heat). This regenerative braking also extends brake component life - reportedly at least doubling it.

    c) Seamless shutdown and restart of the ICE at lights etc. to save fuel that would be wasted idling.

    It isn't a perfect design, but it's pretty good! "

    Well put, and to which I would add that good is not the enemy of perfect, either.

    The Prius is not about being an electric car but it is all about being an electric transmission.

    I find it annoying that those boutique energy suppliers of lithium ion are trying to hijack the Prius for their own commercial interests and basically PHEV it into an electric car with all this plug-in crap.

    The recapture of energy through regeneration when braking is much overated. The Prius is electronically limited to prevent more than 10Kw going back to battery. Ensures against the possibility of nasty battery explosions.
    This recapture for later use appeals to a lot of people.
    I do wonder how much recapturing actually goes on. If 80kw gets Prius to 60mph in 10 secs then 10kw regen would take it back to rest in 80 secs. And that's a long time, who's got that much patience ? Notwithstanding that natural forces will be dissipating quite a bit of that precious energy during this time.

    Now, for a lot less money, I could fit a 50kw resistor to dissipate this energy as wasteful heat instead. That way I can offload the brakes somewhat. Brakes by their very nature, I think most will agree, are the one thing above all others, except the oil in the sump of course, that has an obvious wear component. A 50kw brake would be much more efficacious. The $89 rotor grinding I just had would buy quite a lot of gasoline.

    Finally on diesel Prius. First,I want to see that diesel version start and stop frequently. Don't they smoke on starting ?

    Second, the Prius HSD may benefit from a higher torque engine - allows more direct power to the wheels - but assuming already 259lbs-ft comes from MG2 the addition of 128 lbs-ft instead of 57 lbs-ft previously is going to make acceleration only 25% better and that's until the engine needs to turn above 2400rpm. Then, even the turbocharged torque from this diesel will roll away, a 75% speed increase to top rpm will be typically followed by a loss of 32% in torque. That's assuming Toyota's engine to have the same characteristic as the smaller 800cc engine fitted to the Smart Fourtwo.

    T2
  • have you even read the latest magazines? In either motortrend, automobile, or car and driver, they had a little article about a plug in prius costing well above $40000 dollars. So who now is the one with their head not being in the "auto world" for the past "2-3 years"? If you seriously spent some time reading auto magazines you might find some new sources.

    And i wasnt comparing the golf to the prius. I was meerly showing that a diesil could be just as efficient and that a diesil electric hybrid could be even more efficient.

    And the toyota recall that was all over the news you somehow didnt hear about. What internet sites were you checking? It affected the prius and the camry. I am really beginning to think that your only sources are internet sites. Maybe you should take your eyes off the computer screne for a little while and read a book. It will do you good.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Up until now I took your posts as coming from someone who is unfamiliar with the HSD system. Now it seems you are making things up....

    have you even read the latest magazines? In either motortrend, automobile, or car and driver, they had a little article about a plug in prius costing well above $40000 dollars. So who now is the one with their head not being in the "auto world" for the past "2-3 years"? If you seriously spent some time reading auto magazines you might find some new sources.

    I read them all the time. There is no such article about a new plug-in costing above $40000. You are misreading the article - or making this up. It refers to modifying a current Prius with an aftermarket kit.

    And i wasnt comparing the golf to the prius. I was meerly showing that a diesil could be just as efficient and that a diesil electric hybrid could be even more efficient.

    No, you compared your brother's hybrid Camry to a Golf saying that the Camry only got in the 30's while you could get a diesel Golf which got in the 50's.

    And the toyota recall that was all over the news you somehow didnt hear about. What internet sites were you checking? It affected the prius and the camry. I am really beginning to think that your only sources are internet sites. Maybe you should take your eyes off the computer screne for a little while and read a book. It will do you good.

    Now this you are making up. There was no such recall on the Camry. Please just stick with facts. What there was on small Toyota cars ( including the Prius ) was a steering unit recall to reinforce the shaft. It was done on my 2005 and it took less than 15 min, cost nothing and was not an issue. This has nothing to due with hybrid systems or PHEV or diesel.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    The Prius does something very interesting re engine braking. If you decend a very long hill (mountain pass for example), the regeneration very quickly fully charges (to 80% or so) the "traction battery". Further charging would take the battery into territory Toyota wants to avoid (for battery life reasons), so the car diverts that electric energy from the battery to the MG (motor generator) and uses it to spin the ICE. You still get regenerative braking (though you -could- call it engine braking), you are just no longer charging the battery. So it automatically "downshifts" as it tends to spin the engine rather high (4000+RPM).

    Now, if the traction battery were larger the car could recover more energy, but be aware, the amount of energy in the traction battery is not very great. It can take the car only a few miles at lower speed. In theory, a larger traction battery would translate into better mileage, but also higher weight and less cargo/passenger room and higher initial cost. Perhaps the next generation Prius will go this route, but we can't say for sure until we see one. ;)

    As far as the speculation on a diesel hybrid by other posters in this thread, in the US and Canada diesel is more expensive than gasoline - and the difference is about the same as the mileage difference, so I see no reason to go there at this time. In Europe diesel is subsidized (farm subsidy) and is less expensive. That's why it's popular there. There may be other reasons delaying a diesel hybrid car, such as noise/vibration when shutting down/starting at lights etc. but the fuel cost issue is probably the major one at present.
  • so you did read the article, so if i am wrong about the price, what is the actual price of the kit added to a new prius, i believe it would make the prius over $40000.

    Like you said before I didn't follow your replies because you confused a number of issues into the same point...so as best as I can understand...

    so i wasnt comparing the two hybrids i was showing that diesel engines are more efficient than ICE's. Therefore it would make sense to think that a diesel~electric could be more efficient.

    link title there you can find all toyota recalls. And i do not think that 170,000 is a small recall by any stretch.

    1 the hybrid system wasnt perfect, it could be better
    2 my cousins diesel got 800 miles to a tank
    Camry Hybrid Prius 06 VW golf diesel
    Average User MPG 36.7 47.4 46.2

    MPG Range 28 to 42 37 to 60 43 to 51

    EPA estimates 40city 60 city 37 city
    38hwy 51 hwy 41 hwy

    Notice how the EPA estimates of the prius are inflated while the diesel gets better than EPA in average user MPG

    New diesels will not be as bad for the environment

    link title check yourself
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    so you did read the article, so if i am wrong about the price, what is the actual price of the kit added to a new prius, i believe it would make the prius over $40000.

    This a faulty conclusion. The reason the price is $10000 extra is because it's a one of a kind aftermarket kit. It's not an OEM option manufactured right into the vehicle.

    To put this to rest if the next Prius does have a plugin capability and the price is $40000. It won't sell. It won't happen though because Toyota wouldn't do such a ridiculous thing.

    I am aware of the steering recall. I had it done on my 2005 Prius. It took less than 15 min to add a reinforcement. It was done during a normal oil change and it cost nothing and no inconvenience. To me it is a non-issue. Move on. It's over.

    OK the old EPA values didn't reflect how people drive and the Prius numbers are too high, so what. The actual results you show that the Prius and the Golf are about equal, which is what I've been saying all along. There is no advantage to one or the other - except that diesels can't be sold in 5 of the most populous states until 2009 at the earliest.

    The hybrid Camry is in a different class than the Golf, compare it to the Passat diesel.

    New diesels may be better as you state. It remains to be seen. If they can't pass all the states emissions testing - at an economical price then it's the same situation as now.
  • Though they may be equal, but but if you notice the user average is above EPA estimates, the same can not be said for the prius. And i added the camry to show the another one of Toyota's hybrids.

    If people were told they would have to drive like extemely slow grandparents to get the EPA milage estimates, how many people would change their driving style to get those estimates or is driving a prius merely a way to silently sneer I'M ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY & YOU AREN'T?
  • riposteriposte Posts: 160
    Please let me know the relevance of this to the 2009 Prius.

    Thanks in advance.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,851
    This line of conversation is WAY off-topic, and posts that are a continuation of that debate will be removed without notice.

    MODERATOR
    Need help navigating? kirstie_h@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • The battery technology is still advancing. Altairnano has greatly increased the number of recharges their battery can withstand, and I believe that there is a Japanese company that has also made great strides in increasing the number of recharges. Of course, if EEStor ever comes out with their patented solution, I believe we will have the potential to completely eliminate the need to have a hybrid.
  • on www.techeblog.com the show in their auto section an all electric car that can recharge in ten minutes or overnight from a regular house outlet. Is it possible that the next prius could offer this technology for maybe an all electric version of the prius, or if not the prius an all electric car offered by toyota?
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    I hear via the Japaneze grapevine that it will not be called a Prius. It would have a different model name.

    You can be sure that if it is practical, cool, and beneficial to the company, Toyota will make it. There is a small market currently for an EV. "Small market" refers to perhaps 100,000 sold over three years, rather than 3-4 times that.
  • In a recent car magazine I read, most likely Motor Trend or Automobile they had a small article showing a mini that had electric motors where the brake rotors used to be. They each produced, if I remember correctly, 75 or 100 hp, giving the mini somewhere near 400 hp. They also had regeneritive breaking.

    Also on link title in the auto section there is a battery replacement station that would eliminate the long recharging sessions. The battery is simply pulled out of the bottom of the car and replaced with a battery that had been recharged from another car. You can find out more about this for yourself. This doesnt really relate to the prius though.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    You'll note in the writeup it says "artists conception". A non-Toyota employed artist, with a good imagination. Does look cool though.

    I'd be VERY surprised if anyone got a hint of what is going to happen. Car manufacturers guard their plans with great security. Usually we get "spy photos" a few months before release of the car, when the manufacturer is testing the final product. Even then, the car usually has camo. bras etc. attached. When you see those, you can guess it's probably a new model and not some magazine sellers idea to make money.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Hybrid X shows us it's bootay :)

    It showcases a new hybrid system, too. Toyota is staying tight-lipped for now, but the car is likely to get a turbo­charged 1.8-litre 'lean-burn' engine - as we revealed in Issue 912 - which is capable of returning 100mpg. As well as being more economical, the next Prius will be faster and offer lower emissions. Toyota is also considering a plug-in version that can be connected to owners' mains electricity supply. When the Prius goes on sale in 2008, it will cost nearly £20,000.
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Sure sure. It's a concept car! It says so in the article, but I've seen other postings about it on other forums. Most Toyota concept cars never make it to production (unlike some other manufacturers).

    Also keep in mind the Prius is much more expensive in Britian than in the US (or Canada). So 20,000 pounds, about what, $35,000 US, is about what the current model is selling for.

    Yet another article to sell magazine copies.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Actually, it's more than a "concept" car. It's a preview of the next gen hybrid systems.

    And the USA Prius does not sell for $35K - about $8-10K less than that.

    Everyone who follows hybrids knows that Toyota is reducing the hybrid system by 50% and is shooting for a 94 MPG Prius for the next generation.

    That's not a "concept" but is their stated goal for a production-level car.
  • What does 'reducing the hybrid system by 50%' mean?

    Can we assume that the goal of 94 MPG means that it will most likely be a plug-in?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    "reducing the hybrid system by 50%" means just that - making the actual physical mechanical and electrical components 50% smaller in size. Having them take up less room in the car, add less weight, and have fewer components doing the job.

    They have not confirmed that the 94 MPG will be done with plug-in technology, but that's as good a guess as any I suppose. :shades:
  • This is BIG!

    Will Toyota's next generation of hybrids, which are expected in late 2008 or early 2009, focus on fuel economy or performance?
    When we shifted from the first generation to the second generation hybrid we enhanced substantially performance in many different aspects. On top of that, we reduced both the cost and size by half. We are currently working on the third generation hybrid, which will also have a much higher performance and good mileage per gallon. On top of that we are now aiming at reducing, by half, both size and cost of the third generation hybrid system. We are not yet at the stage where we can disclose data relating to performance or fuel consumption.

    Will Toyota use Lithium-Ion batteries in the next generation hybrids?
    We will change the battery from nickel hydride to the lithium battery, and therefore we would like to reduce the size of the motors and inverters by half, so the overall size of the hybrid system can be reduced by half.

    There's been a lot of discussion lately over how long it will take Li-Ions that are safe and durable for autos. Will the batteries be ready in time?
    Yes, I believe we can develop this battery in time. Occasionally I visit the site where the development is going on to see the trial model.

    But were you worried by Sony's problems last year when Li-Ions in laptops were reportedly catching fire?
    Of course, we're experimenting on the problem that Sony encountered last year. We are making sure that the problem can be avoided. Automobiles are used in different conditions. For example, cars are used in temperatures from -20 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius and are constantly exposed to high vibrations. It's extremely difficult to build those systems for automobiles compared with cell phones which are used in relatively stable environments. These difficulties must be reflected in the design.

    link title
  • pathstar1pathstar1 Posts: 1,015
    Absolutely. In the Prius II (current model - I think the "snippet" you posted is for the Prius I), the "traction battery" is protected by fuses and relays, and by a ground fault system. -ANY- fault to ground (the only thing that would cause a fire as there is NO hydrogen to burn with a NIMH battery) will shut off the battery - both conductors, to the rest of the vehicle. Even a collision will shut it off, if it's violent enough to trigger the collision system (airbags). There is a "normal" 12 V lead acid gel cell battery in the Prius as well. It's protected by a fuse, and is in the right rear, just ahead of the taillamps. You could cause a fire by shorting this battery, just like every other car on the road.

    It is possible to cause a short in the traction battery by crushing the vehicle enough to collapse the battery steel box. There is a fuse in the battery which would make this short momentary at best. At this point any passengers would be squashed beyond recognition, as the battery is in the centre of the vehicle, on the floor - the strongest part of the vehicle. In other words, the traction battery would be the last thing to be badly damaged in a collision.

    Keep in mind the Prius traction battery doesn't really hold a lot of energy. It's about 7 AHr at 201.6 V. That's just over 1400 WHrs. About twice what a "normal" car battery holds. It isn't an electric car, it's a gasoline powered car that uses electric/electronic components to maximize the efficiency of operation of the gasoline powerplant.

    Anyone can download the "emergency workers instructions" from the Toyota site. Much of the information I posted comes from this document.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Like I said before:

    LI-ION IN THE STREETS Yet Toyota should soon be giving the environmental lobby something to cheer about. In an interview with BusinessWeek on Feb. 16, Chief Executive Katsuaki Watanabe confirmed that Toyota's third-generation hybrid cars, due out in late 2008 or early 2009, will use lithium-ion batteries. Lighter and more powerful than the current nickel metal hydride packs, the new batteries will help make for more fuel-efficient hybrids. "We will change the battery from nickel hydride to the lithium battery," the CEO said during a rare one-on-one interview at the company's headquarters in Toyota City. Toyota officials say it's the first time Watanabe had confirmed the change of cells (see BusinessWeek.com, 2/22/07, "Talking with Toyota's Top Man").

    While widely expected, some had wondered whether Toyota's li-ions would be available in time for its new hybrid system. Watanabe, who occasionally visits the site where the batteries are being developed, has no doubts: "We can develop the battery in time," he says.

    It's not just the batteries that will be better. The rest of Toyota's next-generation hybrid systems will also be a big step up from what's on the road today. "We are now aiming at reducing, by half, both size and cost of the third-generation hybrid system," saysWatanabe. That should go some way to bringing the price of hybrids closer to regular gasoline cars.


    Toyota's plans for the future of hybrid systems
This discussion has been closed.