TOKYO (Reuters) - Toyota Motor Corp will slash the price and size of its hybrid system by around half for the next-generation Prius model, and use a nickel-metal hydride battery instead of lithium-ion, a top executive said.
"When we went from the first-generation Prius to the second-generation, we did the same thing," Executive Vice President Kazuo Okamoto, in charge of Toyota's research and development, told reporters in Tokyo.
Toyota, the world's biggest automaker, has not publicly disclosed a timeframe for the introduction of the third-generation Prius model. Some media reports have speculated the planned late-2008 launch would be delayed because of concerns over the safety of lithium-ion batteries.
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