Toyota Has Radical Plan For Next Prius

Electric Vehicles / Comments

How does hydrogen-powered race car tech sound?

The Toyota Prius is soldiering on for the 2022 model year with minor updates including a new sinister-looking Nightshade Edition. Having been on the market since 2015, the current Prius is starting to show its age, leaving us wondering when the next-generation model will arrive, but it could be coming sooner than expected. According to a new report by Japan's Best Car Web, the all-new Prius will launch in Japan next December. Allegedly, the next-generation Prius will be offered with a hydrogen-powered combustion engine as well as a traditional hybrid powertrain.

Toyota is no stranger to hydrogen-powered cars. Along with the Hyundai Nexo, the Toyota Mirai is the only mass-produced hydrogen car currently on sale.

2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View Toyota
2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Rear Angle View Toyota

The Mirai recently traveled 623 miles on a single tank setting a new world record. Unfortunately, its sales leave a lot to be desired due to its high asking price. Whereas the Mirai is powered by hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen will be used to power the plug-in hybrid system in the new Prius instead of gasoline. Toyota has already showcased this setup in a hydrogen-powered Corolla race car revealed a few months ago that will also enter production.

Apart from minute amounts of burned engine oil, this setup produces almost zero CO2 emissions. Applying it to a popular model like the Prius should help Toyota achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View Toyota
2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Side View Driving Toyota
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There is a caveat, however. The Japanese publication claims that it will take several years to apply the Corolla race car's hydrogen technology to the Prius. As a result, the hydrogen-powered Prius PHEV isn't expected to arrive until around 2025.

However, the regular Prius will still get a redesign next year in Japan with a revamped exterior and a familiar plug-in-hybrid powertrain, but it isn't clear when the US version will arrive. After becoming the first mass-produced hybrid, the Prius has the potential to make hydrogen-powered cars more accessible, but significant improvements to hydrogen infrastructures need to be made first.

2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade Edition Front Angle View Toyota
2022 Toyota Prius Nightshade Edition Rear Angle View Toyota
2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View Toyota
Source Credits: Best Car Web

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2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View
2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View
2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Rear Angle View
2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Front Angle View
2017-2022 Toyota Prius Prime Side View Driving
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