• Jun 11th 2008 at 10:57AM
  • 42
My fiance and my parents are both in the market for a new car, and they both want the Prius. Too bad, I told them, because there's a global shortage of nickel-metal hydride batteries that's crippling the supply of Toyota's feel good go machine. I didn't bother telling them that the Prius is essentially a relatively old vehicle by today's standards and that new green machines like the series hybrid Chevy Volt and plug-in versions of the Saturn Vue Green Line and Ford Escape Hybrid are right around the corner. While the next-gen Prius is also right around corner (should debut in January at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show, but will reportedly still use NiMH batteries), Toyota recently gave its word that it would also have a plug-in hybrid vehicle using lithium-ion batteries on sale in Japan, the U.S. and Europe by 2010. That's a bold claim, as few manufacturers have been so confident that production-viable li-ion batteries will be ready by then (General Motors being the notable exception). Toyota has partnered with electronics giant Matsushita, however, and their joint-venture will begin producing lithium-ion batteries in 2009 and ramp up to full production in 2010. Other than that, we know very little about Toyota's 2010 plug-in hybrid, other than that it should get great gas mileage. Toyota also announced that it's setting up a battery research department to develop a new type of battery that can even outperform li-ions. The point is, I'm not going to let my friends and family buy a Prius right now, or any other hybrid for that matter. There's too much next-gen green technology that's right on our door step, and when these green 2.0 vehicles arrive, the Prius will appear downright dirty by comparison.
[Source: The Detroit Free Press]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      "I'm not going to let my friends and family buy a Prius right now, or any other hybrid for that matter. There's too much next-gen green technology that's right on our door step, and when these green 2.0 vehicles arrive, the Prius will appear downright dirty by comparison."

      ... My friend:

      So what would less "downright dirty" for them to drive for the next 2 -3 years as they wait for the next-gen technology to arrive?? (Realizing that if these whiz-bang things really work, the waiting lists will make the Prius (~ 6 months) and smart (22 months) seem like a cat nap!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyoto works on a new batterie.
      Does anyone know what kind is it ? NiMH or Lithium ?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "Autobloggreen reports that in 2010 that production of the Toyota plug-in hybrid will be in the low hundreds (not full production) and all will be sold to gov't/fleet. Consumers won't get them until around 2012."

      Thanks. I'm glad someone here has some common sense and realizes this isnt new information.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I know that many new hybrids and plug-in's are coming in the next year or two .But somebody out there needs to be buying todays hybrids as "used" or "pre-owned" so that we can buy those new technologies when they get here.
        • 7 Years Ago
        ultimate question, what is the LONG term cost/life of these hybrids. How long do the batteries last? When they die, what does it cost to replace? Ditto for hybrid 2.0?

        I'm sure lab tests have been done, but have they compared to real-world?

        Dont know if I am out in left field/ignorant, or if this is hybrid's dirty little secret.

        And ultimately we have to deal with disposal of. And what does that do for a collectors market. I can have a 15-20-25-50 yr old car that runs with the original drivetrain but I dont see that with anything with batteries.

      • 7 Years Ago
      The problem with thinking you'll hold off for the next batch of technology really never benefits you. There will ALWAYS be something newer and better JUST on your doorstep. It may be the Volt now, but by the time you can take delivery of it, the new Prius will be coming out. Then by the time you get that, something else will take the spotlight.

      You can never win with the waiting game.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Toyota is famous for never announcing something till its ready to be released. They'll spring it up and everyone will go "where'd that come from?" They like to keep certain things under wraps and suprise everyone. GM has been hyping the Volt for years, so who knows, Toyota might already have something better and release it way before Chevy. I wouldn't doubt it either.
        • 7 Years Ago
        i agree, toyota doesnt release info as soon as others....
        I am glad that they dont. by releasing all this volt information it takes away from their current sales..... idiots they are..... Look how they did last month

        i sure hope gm isnt counting on too much from the volt. it will probably be cheaply built like the rest of their current lineup......

        are they going to rebate it the first day it comes out? overprice it from day 1 then rebate the hell out of it.
      • 7 Years Ago

      I agree that the current generation Prius seems very long in the tooth. That just shows you how quickly things change in the hybrid world.

      At a minimum, the next generation Prius needs to hit 60 MPG (IN REAL WORLD DRIVING) to be a real game changer. Then it becomes a 300,000 unit vehicle like it should be.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Exactamundo. I was really close to buying a Camry or Altima hybrid a couple of months ago, but there's been so much buzz about all of the new '09 and 2010 models that I decided to hold off. It's not that current models aren't good, but the next gen cars will be much better and the current generation cars won't be worth much on the used market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Correct me if I'm wrong but didn't Toyota say Li batteries were a pipe dream just a few months ago?
      • 7 Years Ago
      autobloggreen (siste site) has already updated this info to mention that the 2010 date was for giverment sales, etc. That public consumption would be closer to 2012.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now there is a shortage of nickel metal batteries? First we heard there was a shortage of lithium for li-ion batteries, and a shortage of oil and a shortage of whatever else you stupid people who will believe anything a corporation tells you! There are shortages because there limiting supply on purpose!

      Where is the beer shortage or the stupid, mindless TV show shortage? Oh yeah thats right, there never will be! They need you fools to stay busy with that while they slowly but surely stick it in your backside!

      Pretty F-ing convenient toyota now will have li-ion after GM has said they would too. Not too many of you probably know about the back door dealings between toyota and GM, this is another one of those deals.

        • 7 Years Ago
        "Where is the beer shortage...? Oh yeah thats right, there never will be!"

        Thank God!
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Charles S:

        Well, while the Chinese manufacturers are busy making their Li-On batteries, I'll gladly wait for the Li-Ion instead. I'm not so sure the Li-On batteries willl work quite the same.

        What element is "On" anyhow? I don't see it on my Periodic Table of Elements.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes, everything is a conspiracy. Nevermind that there are multiple competing companies trying to make Li-On batteries for the Volt. GM and Toyota are not even sourcing the same suppliers for Li-On batteries. Lastly, if you want to buy a cheap Li-On battery for your own Electric/Hybrid car, there are many Chinese Li-On manufacturers who are happy to sell you their Li-On cells, as most of Li-On batteries we use come from China anyways.

        Toyota bashed Li-On batteries because the cost will be too high, compare to NiMH batteries. Whatever that made them change their tune must've mean that they believe now the market can support the added cost and/or Panasonic can make Li-On cheaper.

        BTW, if any company can produce more oil at a flick of a switch, then let's ask our friendly neighbor Mexico to pump more oil ASAP!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Thats funny as hell, didn't a Toyota exec come out and basically call plug-ins a stupid idea before? Lutz must be having the best day of his life right now and he has no idea why.
        • 7 Years Ago
        MKIV, GM has a full hybrid vehicle on the market right now.
        • 7 Years Ago
        How's that? GM first need to get a hybrid car to the market before it start lauging at anyone.
        • 7 Years Ago
        GM has several hybrids on the market, including a very well designed two-mode system used in trucks.
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