Toyota Seeking 'Sweet Spot' on Plug-In Battery Price
The cost for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for a Prius might be $5,000 for every 10 miles (16 kilometers) of all- electric range provided
EV World will have video of Mr. Miller's talk available on the web site in the near future.
Toyota Motor Corp., the biggest seller of hybrid vehicles, said it's not sure yet how much U.S. consumers may be willing to pay for cars with rechargeable battery packs that provide all-electric driving range.
"We need to try and understand where is the sweet spot in the market, the trade-off between pure electric range and the price premium that the customer is going to have to pay for that vehicle," Irv Miller, group vice president for communications for Toyota's U.S. sales unit, said yesterday.
Under the new 2008 standards, EPA estimates that the Toyota Highlander Hybrid will get 27 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. This is 10 mpg better in the city than the regular gasoline models will receive.
The hybrid components, including the 300-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack, add about 400 pounds to the truck's weight. Engineers took out 320 of that by making lighter seats, making the hood and rear hatch out of aluminum and removing some unneeded bits such as the starter motor and alternator.