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Published on January 6th, 2010 | by Susan Kraemer

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Baby Prius to Debut Next Week in Detroit

Teaser image of the baby Prius concept Toyota plans to introduce in Detroit next week.

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At next weeks Detroit show Toyota will reportedly debut a baby Prius, a subcompact version of the Prius hybrid that comprises 75% of Toyota’s hybrid sales.

Up till now, Toyota’s additional hybrid sales have been split between an assortment of bigger and frumpier hybrids like the Highlander, or the luxury hybrids in the Lexus line. But all seven of those models together only account for the remaining 25% of sales.

So, perhaps wisely, the company is changing direction.

Unlike the other non-Prius gas-hybrids in the Toyota lineup, the baby Prius would be smaller and about $3,000 cheaper and will likely surpass the outstanding mileage of the 50 MPG Prius.

In traditional Toyota style, the company is playing it close to the vest. Announcements from them tend to come guarded, such as with introduction of the plug-in Prius—long after enthusiasts had been demanding one; with only 150 slated for fleets in the United States early next year. Then it rolled out a solar electric charging station pilot, which, if it went into wider production, would represent the first example of vertical integration in the electric vehicle market. A bold move move.

The baby Prius we should see at Detroit next week could be in US showrooms in early 2012, and some estimates of annual production peg it at a possible 150,000 a year – or more than all the non-Prius hybrids in Toyota’s lineup. And the marketing to a younger, more frugal and a more eco-aware segment of car buyers seems just right. There’s just too much competition in the fuel-inefficient market segment.

Source: Triple Pundit



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About the Author

writes at CleanTechnica, CSP-Today, PV-Insider , SmartGridUpdate, and GreenProphet. She has also been published at Ecoseed, NRDC OnEarth, MatterNetwork, Celsius, EnergyNow, and Scientific American. As a former serial entrepreneur in product design, Susan brings an innovator's perspective on inventing a carbon-constrained civilization: If necessity is the mother of invention, solving climate change is the mother of all necessities! As a lover of history and sci-fi, she enjoys chronicling the strange future we are creating in these interesting times.    Follow Susan on Twitter @dotcommodity.



  • http://www.nexyoo.com Nexyoo

    Great news. I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

  • http://www.nexyoo.com Nexyoo

    Great news. I can’t wait to see what it looks like!

  • http://www.greencleansolution.co.uk Adam Cleaner

    baby prius, finally something that makes sense. the priud although maybe considered small in the usa, in the uk it’s actually a really large car, and when you think it’s supposed to be eco friendly, having a larger car then needed doesn’t make sense.

  • http://www.greencleansolution.co.uk Adam Cleaner

    baby prius, finally something that makes sense. the priud although maybe considered small in the usa, in the uk it’s actually a really large car, and when you think it’s supposed to be eco friendly, having a larger car then needed doesn’t make sense.

  • Tim Cleland

    “…having a larger car then needed doesn’t make sense.”

    However, I think that’s what gives the Prius its advantage over other eco-cars in the USA. Its size makes it safer to be eco-friendly. After all, a used Geo Metro (or Civic, Corolla, Escort, Saturn-SL1, Cobalt XFE, etc.) is much

    greener than a new Prius (no batteries, fewer materials for smaller cars and simpler drivetrains, etc.), but its the comination of size and fuel-economy that gives the Prius its edge even among the greenies.

  • Tim Cleland

    “…having a larger car then needed doesn’t make sense.”

    However, I think that’s what gives the Prius its advantage over other eco-cars in the USA. Its size makes it safer to be eco-friendly. After all, a used Geo Metro (or Civic, Corolla, Escort, Saturn-SL1, Cobalt XFE, etc.) is much

    greener than a new Prius (no batteries, fewer materials for smaller cars and simpler drivetrains, etc.), but its the comination of size and fuel-economy that gives the Prius its edge even among the greenies.

  • http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/posts/ Neil Blanchard

    Hi, Maybe it will be similar to the 1/X? In layout and/or size anyway? If it was (largely) carbon fiber like the 1/X, and if it is anywhere near as light weight as the 1/X, then fantastic!

    I’m looking forward to next Monday!

    Batteries in EV’s can/should/will be completely recycled. And if regenerative braking is optimized, then a LOT of energy can be saved, and a LOT of energy can be used far more efficiently.

    http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/automotive/carnegie_mellon_customizing_electric_cars_cost_143837.html

    “The researchers calculate that an intelligent electric car controller could recapture 48 percent of the energy during braking and that a supercapacitor could reduce 56 percent of the load on the batteries and reduce heating of the batteries — which shortens battery life — by 53 percent.”

    Sincerely, Neil

  • http://neilblanchard.vox.com/library/posts/ Neil Blanchard

    Hi, Maybe it will be similar to the 1/X? In layout and/or size anyway? If it was (largely) carbon fiber like the 1/X, and if it is anywhere near as light weight as the 1/X, then fantastic!

    I’m looking forward to next Monday!

    Batteries in EV’s can/should/will be completely recycled. And if regenerative braking is optimized, then a LOT of energy can be saved, and a LOT of energy can be used far more efficiently.

    http://www.innovations-report.com/html/reports/automotive/carnegie_mellon_customizing_electric_cars_cost_143837.html

    “The researchers calculate that an intelligent electric car controller could recapture 48 percent of the energy during braking and that a supercapacitor could reduce 56 percent of the load on the batteries and reduce heating of the batteries — which shortens battery life — by 53 percent.”

    Sincerely, Neil

  • http://beingpregnantrawks.blogspot.com Deletha

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  • http://beingpregnantrawks.blogspot.com Deletha

    I love this blog glad i ran into it…

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