Reuters reported that Toyota’s Masatami Takimoto, Executive Vice President in charge of powertrain development, expects profit margins for future Toyota hybrids to be equal to that of conventional vehicles, and that Toyota’s next-generation lithium-ion battery pack, co-developed with Matsushita Electric Industrial, is ready to be used “any time.”
Toyota had previously emphasized a drive to reduce the cost and size of hybrid components by half.
Earlier this week, Automobile Magazine reported that three new hybrid Toyotas—known internally as Prius A, B, and C—are scheduled to debut between 2009 and 2011. The three letters reportedly signify the three vehicle sizes.
The Prius A will be Yaris-sized, the Prius B will be slightly larger than the current Prius, and the Prius C—said to be similar, yet roomier and taller than Toyota’s recent Hybrid X concept car (earlier post)—would be slightly smaller than the current Camry.
At the end of April, Toyota’s worldwide cumulative hybrid sales stood at 998,900. The company has set a sales goal of one million hybrids per year by 2010.