Toyota was the first to introduce the hybrid electric vehicle as a mass-production model, the Toyota Prius, but Toyota didn’t stop there [of course Toyota wouldn’t stop there!].
Kaizen, a Japanese term for “improvement,” has been turned into a successful business practice for many world-class companies. Toyota Motor Manufacturing is one of the great success stories resulting from a generous application of Kaizen, “continuous improvement.” The Toyota Prius hybrid electric vehicle is one of those success stories, which we talked about last week regarding upcoming improvements to the popular vehicle.
Aside from improvements to the basic Toyota Prius, which is expected to hit 55mpg by 2015, Toyota has expanded the lineup to include the larger Prius V, smaller Prius C, and a Plug-In version with just eleven miles electric-only range. Toyota has a total of 23 hybrid vehicles, across the Toyota and Lexus range, and has sold over five million hybrids, globally. Part of Toyota’s success has been in responding to the customer, especially requests for more electric-only range in the Toyota Prius Plug-In.
Just how much extra range Toyota will make available in the next-generation Toyota Prius Plug-In isn’t exactly known, but with improvements to the engine, now at 40% efficiency [a world record], and aerodynamic improvements, the next one is sure to push well beyond 11mi. More exciting news comes in the form of final testing of Toyota’s new inductive charging system. There’s no doubt that wireless inductive charging works, but there are concerns over its safety, which Toyota expects to have ironed out by 2014.
The question is, “If the Toyota Prius Plug-In doesn’t plug in, what will it be called?”
Image © Toyota