BUSINESS
06/20/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Prius Minivan Coming? Toyota Will Launch Lithium-Ion Model 2011: Report

Toyota will launch a Prius hybrid minivan in 2011, according to Reuters, which received the news from Japan's Nikkei newspaper.

The minivan will have three rows of seating that can fit up to seven people, and will use a lighter, more powerful lithium-ion battery than the current models use, said the Nikkei. The batteries will be produced in a joint venture with Panasonic, Toyota's partner in manufacturing the current Prius nickel-metal hydride batteries, a PRIUSchat report said.

The minivan, whose lithium-ion battery packs more electricity than the current Prius batteries, gives drivers improved fuel economy, and busy parents a good excuse to drive an environmentally-friendly vehicle. That is, if it isn't recalled.