Toyota has big plans for hybrids: cut cost, expand range to all models by 2020

Toyota has done a terrific job the past few years of saturating its dealerships with plenty of Prius hybrids, with sales expected to grow by 40-percent to 280,000 units in 2007. The boys and girls from Aichi, Japan have plenty of other hybrids in the fold also, with a grand total of 430,000 units expected to leave Toyota and Lexus dealerships this year.

To date, Toyota has already put one million hybrids on the road, and it's just the beginning. Three of the biggest obsticals for hybrid technology are cost, availability, and Lithium Ion technology, and Toyota is expecting all those dominos to fall within three years. Relentless cost reduction efforts lead Toyota to speculate that their margin on hybrids will equal that of petrol-only vehicles by 2010, and by 2020, Toyota expects that all of its vehicles will have the hybrid synergy drive system. The next Prius is expected to utilize Lithium Ion technology, which would be a big step forward in the chronology of hybrid powertrains.

Toyota has pubically voiced its displeasure of a potential mandate that automakers increase fuel economy by 20-percent across the board by 2020, but with every vehicle in its lineup expected to feature hybrid technology within 13 years, we don't think they're really sweating 35 MPG all that much.


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