It remains the world's most popular hybrid car. indeed the most popular green car of any ilk. and now, the Prius (pictured) is about to introduce a new generation model.
Details about the new Prius have been revealed by managing officer Satoshi Ogiso at the 2013 Toyota Hybrid World Tour in Ypsilanti, Michigan: and there is a clear focus on improving fuel economy with a compact package that is lighter and cheaper than before.
Ogiso spoke broadly about the new technologies that the vehicle will feature and among the highlights were:
- Improved batteries with higher energy density: Toyota is said to have stepped up its research into both NiMH and lithium-ion batteries. It has also ramped up development of new battery technologies such as lithium air and solid state.
- Smaller electric motors: The motors will have four times the power density of the first model despite being smaller in size.
- New petrol engine: With thermal efficiency greater than 40 per cent; compared to the existing model at 38.5 per cent.
In addition, the vehicle will feature a vastly improved chassis with a lower centre of gravity and increased structural rigidity. There will be a host of improvements in terms of aerodynamics, agility, ride and handling.
A next generation plug-in hybrid version of the Prius is also being developed with more convenient charging operation after listening to consumer feedback: this will include a new wireless/inductive charging system.
Toyota has also emphasised the importance of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and reiterated its plans to bring a hydrogen car to market in 2015.
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