Toyota has decided to delay the launch of the highly anticipated next generation Prius until the spring of 2009. Toyota has been question the safety of the new lithium-ion batteries originally proposed to power the electric engine in the gas-electric hybrid.
The next generation Prius was anticipated to boost the fuel economy up to a possible 90 mpg, but that would only be possible with the new batteries.
Recent reports have said Toyota was worried about the reliability and safety of the new batteries and had even suggested the new Prius would originally use the nickel-metal hydride batteries they come with new.
A Toyota spokesman declined to confirm the delay of the Prius launch, saying it was not possible to move back a plan whose timing had not been set.
"Our policy is to roll out any model when all the conditions are in place," he said.
Source: Reuters through Autonews (Reg Required)