The next few years will be critical if the auto industry hopes to win popular support for new battery-based powertrain technology – rather than just having it mandated by government fiat, said Jim Lentz, Toyota’s top U.S. executive.
Lentz spoke during a well-attended news conference where the Japanese automaker outlined its electrification strategy while also rolling out a pair of new battery-based vehicles.
The new Toyota Prius C is the latest member of a growing family of conventional gas-electric models sharing the nameplate of the world’s most popular hybrid. But Lentz also revealed a more advanced plug-in hybrid, the Toyota NS4 Concept, that could reach market later in the decade.
The new subcompact Prius C will come to market about a year after Toyota launched a midsize spin-off dubbed the Prius V. “If the larger Prius V stands for versatility, the Prius C stands for City,” the executive explained.