According to a person familiar with Toyota’s plan, the Prius minivans due later this year will be the first standard hybrids from the company to be equipped with a lithium-ion battery. However, the lightweight lithium-ion battery pack will only appear on the Japanese version of the model. The U.S. version, known as the Toyota Prius V, will continue on with a heavier nickel-metal hydride battery used in the current Prius.
Reason? Toyota is using lithium-ion in the Japanese-spec to offer more interior room allowing for three rows of seats. The Toyota Prius V minivan, shown in Detroit earlier this year, will only have two rows of seats.
We’re not sure how that makes sense since Americans are always asking for more room and cup holders – but that’s just the way it is.
Using a larger nickel-metal battery requires the battery to consume space in a console between the driver and passenger seat.
Toyota Prius V:
– By: Omar Rana
Source: Automotive News