In 2004 Toyota sold nearly fifty-four thousand Prius vehicles. By the end of 2005, the number nearly doubled. The automaker also sells the hybrid Highlander and, through its Lexus brand, the RX400h. (The hybrid Camry is planned to be sold later this year with plans for a hybrid Lexus GS in near future.)
To maintain these vehicles, the world’s second largest automaker is planning to double the number of technicians trained in hybrid technology. According to Bill Bergen, the University of Toyota's national dealer education manager for operations and technical training, he expects five thousand technicians trained in 2005. (The University of Toyota is located in Torrance, California.)

The bulk of the training is similar to regular gasoline-powered vehicles. The biggest difference, of course, is the batteries, their associated cables, and the motor generators that keep them charged. Preventing them from restarting spontaneously is one of the lessons taught to hybrid technicians.

The training, interestingly, also includes fuel-cell technologies which Toyota, like many manufactures, is currently developing.


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