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Toyota is looking to ride their successful Prius wave to the future, hoping to revive its US sales that has taken a hit thanks to heavy recalls and the tragic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. With two new Prius models on the horizon, Toyota also announced they’ll be entering new market segments with hybrids, including big pickups.
Reports are coming in that Toyota could double the number of hybrids sold in North America to 400,000 by 2015 and could help shift hybrid production to America, helping fight against the rising yen. More interesting is that Toyota expects to finish a prototype hybrid pickup system sometime next year that they’re currently working on with Ford.
Toyota also expects the Prius hybrid family to surpass the Camry in the second half of this decade as Toyota’s top-selling nameplate. Ultimately however, their goal is to hit 1.2-million units in annual hybrid sales by 2015, almost double from the 690,000 last year. They’ll also be looking towards expanding their current models to offer hybrid variants while continuing to shift from nickel-metal hydride to lithium ion batteries in their hybrids.
[Source: Automotive News]
A company called Quantum Technologies, says it has developed a Plug-in Hybrid Drivetrain for America’s best-selling pickup; the Ford F-150.
According to a press release issued by Quantum, the system is compatible with both two and four-wheel drive versions and enables the truck to travel up to 35 miles on pure electric power alone, before switching to hybrid mode for a total range of more than 400 miles. The system also doesn’t infringe on passenger or cargo space, nor ground clearance, aspects that most truck buyers and drivers will likely appreciate.
The PHEV F-150 is designed to target fleet customers, where it’s believed substantial savings in fuel costs will likely provide the greatest benefits, especially in wake of current gas prices. Quantum says it plans to sell the trucks direct to fleet customers, though at present no specifics have been provided.
[Source: Quantum Technologies Inc.]