2012 Toyota Prius+ - Geneva Auto Show
Essentially a seven-passenger version of the five-seat Prius V crossover that debuted at Detroit in January, the new 2012 Toyota Prius+ also is the first non-plug-in Toyota model to feature a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery pack in place of the nickel-metal hydride (Ni-MH) units used in the all other current Toyota models fitted with the automaker's non-Plug-in gas/electric Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD).
The move to Li-ion chemistry, with its far greater energy density, allowed the fitment of a considerably smaller battery pack, a factor that was absolutely critical to being able to increase the Prius+'s people moving capabilities. By tucking this new Li-ion battery beneath the center console between the driver and front passenger instead of beneath the rear floor area as it is in the normal Prius, an admittedly modest 50/50 split-folding third row bench could be added to the seating chart. Sales of the new Toyota Prius+ model are set to start in Europe during the first half of 2012.