Toyota has decided to delay its next-generation Prius with lithium-ion batteries due to potential safety problems. Prior to this move Toyota was planning to unveil at least a dozen new redesigned hybrids in the United States between 2008 and 2011.
The move has put a hold on Toyota’s goal of sellin 600,000 hybrids a year by 2010, according to a Toyota executive. Toyota has also postponed plans to come out with a hybrid variant of its Tundra pickup and Sequoia SUV until 2013 or 2014.
Toyota’s decision to delay their future hybrids could give GM and other auto makers a chance to catch up. GM plans on unveiling a full production version of its Chevrolet Volt by 2010. Chrysler and GM also plan on introducing their hybrid SUVs next year.
Toyota said that lithium-ion batteries have the tendecy to overheat and explode.
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