Monday, September 19, 2011

Toyota Prius V gets lithium battery

When the 2012 Toyota Prius V goes on sale this April in Japan, customers will have an option not available to American buyers of the hybrid wagon. To wit, a family-friendlier version with 3rd row seating. The packaging feat is possible thanks to the smaller space needed for the lithium-based battery found in the Japanese upgrade. The same 7-seater configuration will also be made available to Europeans next year and was just revealed in Geneva under the Prius+ moniker.

There is, of course, a price to pay for the improvement and in this case that amount is 650,000 yen ($7,897.98 at today's exchange rates). If you happen to be in Japan and don't wish to shell out three million yen ($36,590) for your Prius maximus or need the extra seating, a cheaper version with the Toyota hybrid's traditional nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery chemistry will be offered for just 2.35 million yen ($28,660). This will also be the variant available in the U.S. this summer.