Toyota Planning New Hybrids and LiOn Batteries
Two new hybrids to be precise, in addition to a redesigned Prius. Automotive News [sub] reports that all three vehicles will debut at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. One of the new mystery hybrids will be a Toyota and the other will be a Lexus. We'll go ahead and speculate that the Toyota will in fact be a production version of the FT-HS sports car hybrid we saw at last year's Detroit spectacle. As for the Lexus, we're stumped. Maybe an IS variant? The massively anticipated third-gen Prius will soldier on with the same old nickel-metal hydride batteries for now. But come the hyper-magical automotive year 2010, the Prius will switch to lithium ion batteries. Panasonic — they build ToMoCo's batteries — will start whipping-up the lithium ion electro-juice containers in 2009. Cars powered by the same tech in your cell phone should hit dealers you know when (2010). Not to be outdone, Honda has promised four all-new hybrids by 2015 (guess they didn't get the 2010 memo). Nissan's gone on record promising to begin making lithium ions next year. Discounting GM and Chrysler's two-mode hybrid behemoths and The General's belt-assisted has-beens, and the Ford Escape Hybrid, it's up to the Hail Mary Chevrolet Volt to meet the hybrid onslaught. What are the chances?
"“Somebody, anybody, please make a hybrid wagon already.” I’ll second that." Third! And while we're asking for a practical, fuel efficient, slalom machine, can you make mine a 1L diesel? Thanks in advance!
Start-Stop technology is barely advanced. This should have gone on every single car decades ago. The only problem - it's going to require a more powerful alternator, starter, more battery storage, and most importantly (from a local Texan), an electronic A/C compressor. Of course, as said before, this is far from a hybrid setup. GM is criticized for saying such, not necessarily for implementing said system. While EPA MPG figures on said systems might not sound very impressive, this system will come in handy in hardcore traffic, as well as overall longevity. Sure, the starter may need to be replaced more often (but a properly designed starter can last 20 years). But city driving is what really kills a car. Engine temperature should be reduced, idle wear/tear will be eliminated.. I'm thinking of all the times I've had to sit at the same light for 10 minutes, or wait at a drive-thru for 30 (bank, food, or otherwise).. Sometimes it's illogical to shut your car off, especially when the 10 second delay for starting will cause a train effect and screw up all traffic behind you.
A start&stop system and electric AC would be a hypermiler's dream, especially if it can turn off while coasting.