Toyota will launch a Prius minivan next year, powered by advanced lithium-ion battery technology. News comes from Japan’s Nieeki business daily via Reuters and is the latest report indicating the direction of Toyota’s plan to expand the Prius name into a whole lineup of vehicles.
The Prius van (or more likely an MPV similar to a Matrix or Mazda5) would be priced competitively to the current Prius and would offer improved fuel economy thanks to the new battery technology. The new model would include three rows with seating for 5 to 7 people.
The plan to produce of a hybrid van or hybrid MPV comes as no surprise as we reported last week that Chevrolet will also debut a version of the upcoming Chevy Orlando using the Chevy Volt’s Voltec powertrain. The Volt MPV is expected to debut in concept form later this month at the Beijing Auto Show.