Tag: hybrid synergy drive
by Zach McDonald | HybridCars.com The Toyota Prius family was the best-selling vehicle line in California over the first half of 2013, moving more than 170,000 total units through June of this year. But despite progressively growing sales numbers each year in California and around the country—as well as the release of three new Prius models including the Prius c, Prius v and Prius Plug-in—Toyota hasn’t actually given the platform a true overhaul in more than four years. In 2009, improvements to Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system and the vehicle’s overall design netted an increase in the Prius’s average fuel economy rating to 50 mpg. Since then, no other carmaker has managed to match that number in a pure hybrid. Recently though, at an event in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Toyota Managing Officer Satoshi Ogiso gave journalists a sneak peak at what’s in store for the new generation of Prius family vehicles. First and foremost on the list of improvements will of course be fuel economy—the driving factor in the Prius’s success over the last decade. According to Ogiso, the next Prius will feature a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy, pulling average efficiency up to 55 mpg. The increase will come as a result of a redesigned Hybrid Synergy Drive, lighter materials and a new battery pack, which is rumored to potentially be powered by lithium ion rather than nickel metal hydride. Handing will also improve, as Toyota works to lower the center of gravity of its cars under its New Global Architecture. Toyota also announced changes to the next generation Prius Plug-in, promising more electric range and possibly a wireless charging feature that the carmaker is currently testing. The fourth generation of Prius is scheduled to hit the road sometime in 2015.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) recently announced that global cumulative sales of its hybrid vehicles have topped the 4 million mark as of April 30, 2012. Currently, Toyota sells 18 hybrid passenger vehicles in 80 countries and regions around the world. And this year, hybrid sales accounted for 15 percent of TMC’s global vehicle sales.
The first Prius went on sale in Japan in 1997 and in 2000, Prius hybrid technology was introduced to the U.S. Since then, the Toyota Division of Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A. has sold 1.5 million hybrid vehicles in the U.S., accounting for 65 percent of all hybrid vehicles sold in the region. Prius, the iconic hybrid brand, makes up half of all hybrids on the road in the U.S. with sales totaling 1.2 million units through April 2012.
The expansion of the Prius family line of vehicles has been successful in the U.S. since the Prius v was introduced to the market in November 2011 and the Prius c and Prius Plug-in during the first quarter 2012. In that time, Prius family sold 60,859 units in the U.S.
“All of us at Toyota would like to sincerely thank our customers, who have made Prius the best-selling hybrid in the industry,” said Bob Carter, group vice president and general manager, Toyota Division. “While we’re proud of this accomplishment, we are not stopping here as hybrids will continue to be a core technology for Toyota.”
As of April 30, 2012, TMC calculates that TMC hybrid vehicles, since 1997, have led to approximately 26 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions—considered to be a cause of climate change—than would have been emitted by gasoline-powered vehicles of similar size and driving performance.