2009 Toyota Prius on Hold

The 2009 Prius, originally set to launch some time in 2008, may be on hold.  Recent statements from Toyota representatives indicate that Lithium Ion battery technology isn’t ready for prime time.  It seems that Toyota has safety concerns with the LiIon batteries.  Everyone remembers the incident with the exploding Sony laptop batteries not so long ago.  Imagine a battery 100x larger, and in your automobile – not a pretty thought.

The real problem here is the that 2008 / 2009 Prius was supposed to launch with lithium ion batteries as opposed to the NiMH batteries in the current Prius.  Lithium batteries are more compact and would allow a higher electric charge than NiMH, resulting in better mileage.

This is a big setback for Toyota – everyone is counting on the next Prius to be knock your socks off amazing.  If it falls short in any way, it will be a huge blow to Toyota.  80+ MPG EPA ratings would seem to be the minimum for the next Prius – Toyota needs to get this one right.

Published on June 11, 2007 in Hybrids,Toyota

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