The Toyota Prius has seen a surge in popularity in Japan this year with sales almost four times what they were last year. Here in the U.S. sales have jumped due to the Cash for Clunkers program. All this is great news for the car maker, but the car's popularity may only grow so much due to limited battery packs.
So far this year, over 79,000 units of the Prius were sold in Japan and the car has been the fourth biggest seller in the Cash for Clunkers program. Panasonic EV Energy, the maker of the car's battery, can only make 500,000 packs a year, meaning there's a real chance that production could stall if sales continue to be strong.
The battery maker has plans to expand its production, but there's no telling when that expansion will happen. The car's success is great news because it shows that people are becoming much more receptive to hybrid and electric cars, but the battery limits signal the type of kinks that will have to be worked out before they can really compete with gasoline cars.
|< Prev||Next >|