Toyota is anticipated to achieve 50mpg from the new 2010 Prius hybrid. A straight fight should ensue between the Prius and the Honda Insight over the hard-hit buying public's wallets.
Toyota is preparing itself for a major showdown with fellow Japanese automaker Honda over the two companies' hybrid vehicles. When the new 2010 Toyota Prius is launched it will achieve 49 miles per gallon on the highway and 50 mpg in the city. That is an average of about 50mpg according to Toyota officials quoted by Detnews. These figures grossly underestimate the 65 mpg US that was reported last month as being the figure attained from initial testing.
"When the Prius arrives it will face two challenges," Carter said, "The economy and the Honda Insight."
Mr Carter added that Toyota believes there is room enough for both automakers to sell their hybrid cars successfully in the market. He said his company plans to sell about 100,000 units for the rest of 2009 and 180,000 in 2010.
The five-seater plug-in Prius will be one of 10 hybrids sold by Toyota by the year 2012. It uses a 1.8-litre petrol engine and electric motors for its drivetrain. During slow city driving it would normally run just the electric power from the lithium-ion battery while the petrol engine kicks in during higher speed driving situations.
The new Prius should go on sale in Japan later this year and in Europe at the beginning of 2010, just months after making its Euro show debut at the Geneva Motor Show this week.