Toyota Motor Corporation has shared their plans to launch a new edition of their Prius petrol-electric hybrid model in Japan and in other car markets after that. This comes from Toyota at a time when fuel prices are demanding for more environment friendly models.
The new model of the Toyota Prius will be running on engines and batteries which are smaller and lighter than its earlier version. Without stating any specific mileage figures, Toyota has claimed that this model is going to be at least 10 percent more efficient in terms of fuel economy. The earlier model is known to deliver 51 miles per gallon of mileage.
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Coming to thermal efficiency - or ratio of work done to energy consumed – the car maker has said that expectedly it should be about 40 percent, up from the earlier 38.5 percent. This car, revealed in Las Vegas late on Tuesday, is the first model that is built under the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) strategy.
This is a new approach to their development with the aim of improving the fuel economy that their cars have to offer as well as improvements in styling and other features, partially by using components which are more commonly procured.
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The launch of the new Prius comes at a time which is no doubt going to be challenging for Toyota. Petrol costs in the US are at their lowest level during this time of the year since 2004, which has compelled car consumers to trade in their hybrids and electric cars in favour of the sports utility vehicles.
During the month of August last year, sales of the Prius in the USA had dropped 24 per cent than the same month a year earlier to 17,757 cars. Last year, sales figures of the Toyota Prius in USA clocked a total of 207,372 vehicles.
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Other car makers are adjusting their plans of car launches since cheap petrol has affected the sales outlook for green cars, for example General Motors has planned to limit the sale of its next-gen Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid which is expected to be launched in the coming months - to California and other states where hybrid and electric cars mostly sell well, as confirmed by a Chevrolet spokesperson.
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The expected Toyota Prius TCO (total cost of ownership) is expected to be really low indeed and this will be the focus point of the company when it reaches out to Indian customers.