Cash for Clunkers Increasing Demand for the Prius Hybrid
The redesigned 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid has been selling very well, especially compared to other models in this economy (it even was the #1 car in Japan). But Toyota is now a victim of its success: The factories are working overtime at full capacity, but they are limited by the number of battery packs available.
More Batteries Needed
Autobloggreen writes: "Panasonic EV Energy, the company that supplies nickel metal hydride batteries to Toyota for the Prius, can produce a maximum of 500,000 packs per year. Plans are in place to expand production capabilities, but that's not going to help eager Prius customers get their new hybrids any faster in the short term."
The Cash for Clunkers program in the U.S. is certainly helping to inflate the number of Prius hybrids sold. According to Consumer Reports, the Prius is the 4th most popular vehicle purchased with the clunker money. Here's the full list:
- Toyota Corolla
- Ford Focus
- Honda Civic
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Camry
- Hyundai Elantra
- Ford Escape FWD
- Dodge Caliber
- Honda Fit
- Chevrolet Cobalt
This battery bottleneck shows that yesterday's investment by the Obama administration into battery manufacturing was a good move.
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