According to Automotive News, Toyota remain steadfastly committed to hybrid drivetrains, so much so that they are making some rather ambitious claims. Shortly after the end of this decade Toyota are aiming to be selling in excess of 1 million hybrids every year.
Since the Prius was introduced in 1997, Toyota have sold a total of around 1.25 million hybrids, so achieving the 1 million per annum goal over the coming few years is...well...like I said ambitious. Toyota???s plan is to develop a plug-in range of hybrid vehicles in addition to offering a hybrid version of every model in their range.
The big change that will make this volume of sales possible is the ongoing development of the lithium-ion battery in conjunction with Panasonic EV Energy Co. , currently being tested across the globe in plug-in versions of the current Prius.
Lithium-ion powered hybrids are expected to be available by 2010. If Toyota are planning more cool hybrids in the spirit of the A-BAT Hybrid Concept Pick-up then it may be time to embrace hybrid technology as a fun and interesting way forward a concept currently at odds with the Prius.