Due to the ever-growing competition, the reign of Toyota as the ruler of hybrid cars is now at stake, the Japanese firm thinks that using the solar panels will help it regain the lead
The Toyota’s Prius, the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle, has been going through a 6-year losing streak, with sales dropping behind the likes of the Ford F, +0.79% Fusion, a car which is expected to be retired by its maker in the coming few years.
According to LMC Automotive, this is even happening as the hybrid market is growing. By 2025, 15 percent of the market of the United States will be represented by hybrids i.e. up from 2.7 percent last year.
That is also a challenge for Toyota: hybrid cars are now very mainstream, and it is becoming increasingly challenging to stand out. But, Sam De La Garza, the firm’s senior manager of small-car marketing, has stated that in spite of the model’s dropping sales, Toyota will not be giving up on the Prius. One way of getting back into the race would be to enhance the average battery range of the car, which is the main aim of the latest trial of the firm.
Toyota, in alliance with Sharp Corp. & NEDO ( which is the national research and development organization of Japan), intends to initiate testing improvements in traveling range & fuel efficiency of electrified vehicles equipped with high-efficiency solar batteries by the end of this month.
Toyota has not published any plans for production of the “upgraded” Prius Prime yet. That is understandable considering the fact that it needs to first complete the trials. But, it is very probable that the outcomes of the trials, if successful, will be implemented in the next Prius or maybe another car in the Toyota lineup.