The upcoming Tokyo Motor Show will feature a concept hybrid from Toyota – the 1X – which should perhaps have been named the 2X. It’s two times as fuel efficient, according to the company, as the current Prius.
The 1X is a “plug-in” hybrid, despite the fact that Toyota has acknowledged it’s failure to make significant progress toward development of such a vehicle for commercial sale. Toyota does have an experimental group of lithium battery hybrids on the street in Japan, assigned to various government agencies. 
The key to the improved fuel economy of the 1X is less propulsion than construction. Use of carbon fiber for the frame reduces weight by a third and the vehicle is small, appearing to be shorter than a Prius.
Toyota faces increased competition in the hybrid market, from both Honda and General Motors. Hence, it is introducing more hybrid models itself, including a domestic market Toyota Crown sedan and the Lexus LF-Xh SUV, both of which are expected to go on sale shortly.

Ralph Kalal
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