Toyota Wants To Save The Auto Industry By Giving Away Hybrid Tech

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This probably means even more Prius models on the road.

The hybrid powertrains that Toyota uses are actually a bit of an industry secret. Car manufacturers often assemble components that are made by independent parts makers, but Toyota uses components it co-develops with group suppliers. "Toyota suppliers produce a lot of technology which can only be used by Toyota" Toshiyuki Mizushima, president of Toyota's powertrain company, said in an interview. "We want to change that to a system where we develop technology with our suppliers at an earlier stage."

Until now, we couldn't sell the same inverter used in Toyota's previous hybrid system to other customers because it wouldn't fit the motor, or the voltage was different," said Yoshifumi Kato, executive director of engineering research and development at Denso Corp, Toyota's largest parts supplier. He added that "We can avoid this issue if suppliers can sell the entire system." Toyota is now considering offering its entire hybrid powertrain module to its rivals. This means that any automaker would be able to purchase the entire Toyota hybrid system and put it in their car. This could be a huge money-maker for Toyota and its suppliers.

It could also benefit smaller automakers that don't have a sufficiently large enough budget to develop their own hybrid systems, which sounds like a win-win. Unfortunately, we found a huge flaw with this plan (for car enthusiasts). If Toyota sells the Prius drivetrain to other companies, it will just mean that there will be even more Priuses on the road. Car enthusiasts already hate the Prius, but now we would have to keep track of several Prius drivetrains that would be hiding under another manufacturer's badge. Perhaps one of Toyota's rivals can take the Prius' drivetrain and build a body that doesn't look terrible to go around it. If that happens, Toyota may really do the industry a favor.

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