The next Toyota Prius will see significant improvements in fuel economy over its predecessor thanks to big powertrain refinements. It will deliver this increased fuel economy with a more compact design that is also less costly.
The current generation of the Toyota Prius is rated at 50 mpg where the next generation is expected to hit 55 mpg. It may not seem like a significant jump, but it’s ten percent which is no small feat.
By the end of 2015, Toyota plans to introduce 15 new or redesigned hybrid vehicles around the world. This is all part of their plan for electrification through the use of hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell technology.
The battery in the next generation Toyota Prius will boast a higher energy density as Toyota looks to improve this vital component for their hybrid cars. They’re also ramping up research, development and production capacity of nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries.
They’re not just looking at improving existing battery technology, but are investigating new types of batteries like solid state and lithium air batteries. Other low-valence materials like magnesium are also being investigated for possible future battery designs.
Along with battery improvements, the electric motor in the next generation Toyota Prius will be smaller and the thermal efficiency of the gas engine will be improved. It’s currently at 38.5% in today’s Toyota Prius but will see next generation improvements that take it to 40% and possibly even more.
There will also be a completely new exterior design that will result in improved aerodynamics. It will additionally make for a more spacious interior with multiple improvements to the vehicle’s design and ease of use.
As for when we’ll see the improved version of the Toyota Prius, there’s no official confirmation, yet. It’s likely the car will debut in 2015 as this would fit in with the vehicle’s usual six-year cycle.
Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.