Yesterday, Toyota released details on their next-generation hybrid technology during the first-ever Toyota Hybrid World Tour in Ypsilanti, Michigan:
Between now and the end of 2015, Toyota plans to introduce 15 new or redesigned hybrid vehicles globally. These new hybrid powertrains will deliver significantly improved fuel economy in a more compact package that is lighter in weight and lower in cost.
[Toyota Managing Officer Satoshi] Ogiso said the performance of this new generation of powertrains will reflect significant advances in battery, electric motor and gas engine technologies that are part of Toyota’s larger strategy towards the electrification of the automobile through hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell technologies.
The next-generation Prius was discussed in more detail, with the same improvements likely to be seen in the next-generation Lexus CT 200h:
The next Prius will feature improved batteries with higher energy density – the relationship between the battery’s output and dimensions.
The next Prius will also feature electric motors that will be smaller in size. He noted that the current Prius motors have four times the power density of the first model and that “the next will be even higher.”
In addition, the thermal efficiency of the gasoline engine in the current Prius is 38.5 percent. The next-generation will boost that level to more than 40 percent – a world best.
The next Prius will also utilize Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), featuring a lower center of gravity and increased structural rigidity, which will contribute to greatly improved driving dynamics.
Toyota is also planning to reveal a fuel cell powered four-door sedan at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show — it’s been rumored this vehicle may be released as a Lexus, but nothing official has been announced as of yet.
(For more information on Toyota’s next-generation hybrid technology, I recommend reading Ogiso-San’s full speech from yesterday’s event.)