We struggle to understand the point of cars like the Prius when a good diesel will achieve the same goals, usually for significantly less up front cost and no weight penalty. So it piqued my interest when Toyota announced yesterday that they are intending to halve the price and just as importantly the size of the hybrid system in their next generation Prius.
These are significant and not unexpected changes and will bode well for the future of the Prius. The ability to halve the cost and size has come about by adopting nickel-metal battery technology instead of the lithium-ion type used in the current Prius.
â€œWhen we went from the first-generation Prius to the second-generation, we did the same thing,â€ said Executive Vice President, Kazuo Okamoto at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Despite recent reports to the contrary, Toyota are refuting claims that the development of the next generation Prius has been delayed with Toyota executives seemingly rather aggravated that this is even being suggested. Mr Okamoto was unable or not willing to say when the new Prius will be market ready but he did suggest that â€œpreparations are making steady progressâ€¦â€
There is no word on whether the significant cost reductions in the manufacture of the new hybrid system will equate to real world savings on the price of the new Prius for customers. We hope it does so that all of the girls from the Playboy Mansion can buy one rather than just Hefâ€™s favourite, Holly.
[Source: Automotive News]