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Prius van gets new battery

10 March 2011 | Cnet

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TOKYO--The Prius minivan hybrid due later this year will be the first standard hybrid from Toyota Motor with a lithium ion battery.

But the advanced lightweight power pack will appear only in the Japanese version of the car, a person familiar with the plan said last week.

The U.S. version will stick with the heavier nickel metal hydride batteries used in the current Prius hatchback and Toyota's other gasoline-electric vehicles.

Toyota is using lithium batteries in the Japan-spec Prius minivan to open up more interior room and allow for three rows of seats, as preferred by Japanese customers, the source said.


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