The 2010 Prius hatchback
is the car DailyTech spent
a week with earlier this month. Toyota is now reportedly getting
ready to launch a new wagon or SUV using the Prius name. Toyota
doesn't offer traditional wagons in the U.S., but Edmunds
reports that the automaker does have
wagons in Japan that could act as the underpinnings for a Prius
A Prius SUV would be no stretch either. Toyota
has the hybrid Lexus RX 400h in its line and has the small RAV4 SUV
in America that could be used for a hybrid platform.
to reports, the battery pack that the new SUV will utilize will be
lithium-ion. Toyota has said in the past that it felt lithium-ion
batteries were not
yet cheap enough or ready for retail use in hybrid vehicles.
Lithium-ion batteries are reportedly in the works for the
Prius through a program with Panasonic and new battery packs that
meet Toyota's price requirements may be available and waiting for a
The new batteries may be needed for the increased
power needs of a larger, heavier SUV or wagon pushing Toyota to
rethink its position on lithium-ion batteries. At this point, Toyota
has made nothing official and these reports originate from a Japanese
quote: It is not the environment, it is foreign oil dependency and market prices.