**New hybrid battery improves power, size, cost and longevity**
**Rapid expansion forecast in popularity of hybrid vehicles**
**Record sales of Toyota hybrids in Australia**
Toyota has developed a new, more powerful hybrid battery designed to support a forecasted rapid expansion in the development and introduction of hybrid vehicles.
The announcement of the new battery, which also promises to be smaller, cheaper and longer-lasting than current technology, comes as sales of electrified vehicles in Australia reach record levels – led by Toyota’s hybrids.
Toyota says the new battery is designed to make electrified vehicles even more popular by improving the performance of hybrids, including better fuel economy and lower emissions.
It was developed jointly with Toyota Industries Corporation, which will produce the new battery at its Kyowa plant in Japan’s Aichi prefecture – a region that is home to several Toyota manufacturing plants.
Details of the new battery, including production timing, target vehicle models, specifications and performance, will be announced later.
The news coincides with Toyota Australia’s prediction it will sell a record 40,000 hybrid vehicles this year, following an all-time high of 27,846 hybrid sales in 2019.
Last month, Toyota’s hybrid vehicles set a January sales record of 3,100 cars – accounting for 20.9 per cent of the company’s overall deliveries.
This was almost double the 1,584 hybrids sold during the same month last year – an increase of 95.7 per cent.
Corolla was the best-selling hybrid in January with 1,152 hatches and sedans, followed by closely by RAV4 (1,136) and Camry (627).
The order was reversed in terms of percentage of individual model sales with hybrids accounting for almost 60.8 per cent of Camry sales, 49.6 per cent of RAV4 sales and 48.6 per cent of Corolla sales.
Toyota Australia Vice President Sales and Marketing Sean Hanley said the rising popularity of hybrid sales is remarkable in a tough market environment.
“The rapid growth in our hybrid sales underlines the success of Toyota’s global strategy to popularise electrified vehicles to reduce fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions,” Mr Hanley said.
“Toyota is a pioneer in electrified vehicles, accumulating significant technologies and experience in their development, production and sales during more than 20 years of mass-producing hybrid cars,” he said.
“Our parent company decided to develop a new battery for hybrid vehicles due to the need for more compact batteries that can offer greater power and longevity at lower cost than the current options.”