Where is Toyota taking the HSD design in the Prius/camry… where is the technology headed in the future? what needs to happen to make this come to fruition?
Toyota is incorporating this design across their entire product line. There are already flagship-size hybrid Lexus, Toyota SUVs, etc. While other manufacturers will be struggling to meet evolving Fed CAFE and emissions requirements with downsized engines and vehicles, Toyota will be ahead of the curve and able to offer proven hybrids that .
Personally, I think that the more long term future is in all electric vehicles, at least for econoboxes and sporty runabouts. The partnerships that Lotus currently has will, I think, result in the development of lithium ion battery technology capable of supporting vehicle requirements.
The idea of electric vehicles is good. For any idea to go anywhere, the people and government have to provide support. Infrastructure has to be built which can support the idea. For instance: it’s feasible to have a city “populated” with electric vehicles which don’t carry batteries or have generating capacities. The streets, themselves, could be electrified. The electric power could be induced into the vehicles by inducers in the street surface. There wouldn’t have to be any exposed wires. A small horse power gas (or, gasoline) engine could be in the car for non-electricfied areas (side streets, garages, etc.). A means of charging money for the electricity used could be developed. This is something that is feasible TODAY, with TODAY’S technology (and governments).
Toyota put out a book describing the developement of the Prius, from the original management decission to the actual cars being shipped. The name of the book is "The Prius that Shook the World". Toyota said it had to do the Prius, or be demoted to a Chinese car parts assembler. Other info suggests that Toyota was motivated by the PNGV program in the US - none of these US full hybrid prototype cars developed with government funding ever made it to the road, however. In order for the cost of a Japanese parts cars to be worthwhile, it had to deliver unique capability. It was decided that 100 % improvement in Fuel Economy would be the primary goal that would be reasonable for customers to pay extra for. This is what Toyota is headed for. To stay in buisness by being the best deal in town, even at Japanese parts prices.
Looks like Toyota is working on three Prius models of different sizes with a more efficient hybrid system:
They are also testing a plug-in version:
Also, it looks like fuel cell vehicles are on the way: