Currently working on the fourth-generation Prius, Toyota is set to increase its efficiency by at least 10 percent. As each new generation was produced, efficiency has increased by 10 percent, but this time Toyota doesn’t want to settle for a repeat. The automaker hopes to beat that record and keep the Prius at the top of the hybrid game.
Thanks to the Obama Administration, the automotive industry has to hit tough new mileage standards, ultimately hitting a fleet-average of 54.5 mpg by 2025. Many automakers have different opinions on what type of engine will get them to the target, including diesel, all-electric, and hybrids, though some think the hybrid is only a bridge. In a recent statement, Toyota Motor Corporation Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada believes that “it could be a long bridge and a very sturdy one. There are many more gains we can achieve with hybrids.”
As the automaker with the most hybrids on the market, Toyota is committed to the development of both hybrid technology and the possibilities at the end of the “bridge.” A hydrogen fuel cell vehicle is currently in development, and Toyota hopes to have it on sale by 2015. This is just one of the different options the automaker is working with, along with new driving technologies.
Thanks to the rise of driver assist functions found in most vehicles today, Toyota is pursuing automated driving options. While other manufacturers may want to produce this technology immediately, Toyota and Uchiyamada believe it is best if the technology is released in stages as “we always have to be prepared for the worst case accident.”
Uchiyamada called out the automotive industry to sell 5 million hybrids by the end of 2016. The automaker has currently sold 5 million hybrids globally, with the Prius alone hitting 3 million sales globally as of June. “It’s only when we put ourselves under the same kind of intense pressure we faced in developing the Prius that we can achieve great goals. That’s what it takes. I want our industry to achieve this goal.”