Batteries Slowing Production of HEVs
BATTERIES AND PARTS SLOWING PRODUCTION OF HYBRID CARS
Carmakers are not meeting demand for hybrid cars in the United States, and
part of problem is that rechargeable batteries and other parts are in
limited supply. Toyota will double Prius production to bring another 50,000
cars for the United States next year, but that may not be enough because the
wait list is currently over 21,000 units. Ford started selling the Escape
hybrid SUV in November 2004, but most dealers won't see even one demo model
for months. Toyota has delayed the release of the Highlander Hybrid and
Lexus RX 400 SUVs to deal with increased demands for Prius. Honda hopes its
hybrid Accord can move in on the unfulfilled demand and say that they can
produce 20,000 units by next year.
In order to meet hybrid demand, Ford plans to produce 20,000 Escape hybrids
by the end of 2005. Toyota's Highlander SUV hybrids are due out in April or
May, and the automaker plans to make 40,000 to 45,000 next year. Honda plans
to have an Accord hybrid to each of its 1,000 dealers by end of this month.
Toyota is now on its third version of hybrid technology, called Hybrid
Synergy Drive, that boasts better power, performance and fuel efficiency.
Source: Automotive Digest