Rumours say the next Prius could feature a hybrid system using a hydrogen burning engine
The next generation of Prius is expected for 2023, but a hydrogen variant won’t be ready before 2025
The Prius could once again pioneer a new drivetrain technology, like it did over twenty years ago
The Toyota Prius was the first vehicle to bring hybrid powertrains to the general public at its introduction in Japan in 1997, but in today’s sea of fully electric cars, it lost its cutting-edge reputation.
Rumours now say that the Prius could become a pioneer again, this time by replacing its gasoline powered engine by one that burns hydrogen.
As of now, every hydrogen powered vehicles on the market, including Toyota’s own Mirai use hydrogen fuel cells in order to produce electricity that can be used to drive the wheels.
This new powertrain would consist of an internal combustion engine that burns hydrogen instead of fossil fuel. Such an engine as already been tested by Toyota in an experimental Corolla race car.
In the case of the Prius, the same rumours state the car would still be a hybrid, so this hydrogen engine would be paired with a battery and electric motors.
The next generation of Prius is set to be introduced in late 2022 as a 2023 model but the hydrogen powered version would need to wait until at least 2025 to allow for more testing, which is necessary to insure reliable daily driving in every conditions the cars are expected to face around the world.
This delay could also allow for an expansion of the North American hydrogen infrastructure which is currently very limited.
The hydrogen powered Prius is expected to sell mostly in Japan, and no information concerning its potential presence on this side of the Pacific has been released.