Toyota Hints At Electric Or Hybrid SUV In New Patent

1 day ago by Sebastian Blanco 11

Toyota body-on-frame battery patent

Ok, let’s start with the disclaimer. A patent filing does not mean the idea in the patent in question will ever be produced. Even so, when we look through the latest applications, we can sometimes see a vague vision of the future. Today’s edition: the possibility of a new hybrid or plug-in hybrid pickup

First, let’s take a look at Patent Filing #20170217296. It has a innocuous name that sounds like the most boring possible idea to patent: “Framework structure of body-on-frame vehicle.” But, if you read a bit deeper, you see that something’s happening here that might be talking about a new, electrified Toyota. After describing the way that a redesigned frame can hold a battery, it says, “there is still a room for improvement of a structure that protects a battery unit (a battery) in a collision of a vehicle (a body-on-frame vehicle).” These days, body-on-frame vehicles are usually¬†pickups and SUVs, and so when the patent filing continues in this manner, our ears perked up: “Although the type of vehicle is not particularly limited herein, typical examples include a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV), hybrid vehicle (HV), and electric vehicle (EV).”

 

Toyota Hybrid Battery patentIt’s not like Toyota hasn’t ever talked about a hybrid truck. See the A-BAT concept from 2010.¬† We could also point to the very real production versions of the Highlander Hybrids or RAV4 EVs (made, of course, with help from Tesla). Given that the filing was made at the end of last year (December 15, 2016, to be precise), though, it’s unlikely this is a hold-over from any of those projects. So, what do you think we’re looking at here? Anything? Nothing?

We asked, and a Toyota spokesperson told InsideEVs, “Our engineers frequently research many innovative ideas, which result in patents but not products.” Make of that what you will.

Source: USPTO

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11 responses to "Toyota Hints At Electric Or Hybrid SUV In New Patent"

  1. L'amata says:

    Nobody cares about Toyota’s Fugly half baked EV’s with no place to charge them , Toyota has lost a lot of EV ground since the beginning with the Prius….At least Nissan is reluctantly putting forth an effort even though they have ZERO charging stations..

    1. john1701a says:

      What was lost?

      Prime delivered the industry’s most efficient heat-pump, aero-improved glass, carbon-fiber components, and EV drive.

      Combine all that with high-volume use of the newest lithium chemistry, claims of somehow being behind don’t add up.

      1. Stimpy says:

        Which of those things am I supposed to be impressed by vs the Bolt, Volt, Leaf, i3, any Tesla?

        The bar has been significantly raised since the original Prius came out. I don’t think the latest one is very impressive AT ALL. They made it crazy ugly and it’s still slow to the point of being dangerous around cars of average abilities.

        1. john1701a says:

          Why do you need to be impressed? Mainstream buyers don’t care. They simply expect the technology improvements to be affordable.

          As for the spreading of FUD, that reveals an aspect of concern about being able to compete in the high-volume profitable market. Subtle clues…

  2. F150 Brian says:

    The big rear fenders hint at an off-road styled vehicle. Since the seat (probably 3rd row) is over the tire #74, this has to be an SUV.

    Looks like a small battery so not a BEV – likely a PHEV or EREV.

  3. TM says:

    Prime is doing well. Great to have it for all of the people not wanting to pay extra for a full EV. Hybrids are gateway drugs to full BEV. The more Primes, the better – also look at cost. They are cheaper than the Prius hybrid in some cases. EVs are production limited at the moment. For those buying cars, it is a lot better to get a Prime than a tradition ICE for many reasons.

  4. Lou Grinzo says:

    I keep telling myself that one of these days I’ll check my RSS feeds and see a blockbuster announcement from Honda or Toyota involving a 200+ mile BEV. A re-worked Fit EV, a RAV4 EV, etc. But, sad to say, today is still not that day…

  5. jim stack says:

    They are all making progress. Hybrids have led to Plugin hybrids and then full Electrics. Until other catch on to the Fast Charge network like Tesla has and is expanding they will be local use cars for many but that is big progress.
    Only a few make and sell as many as the public wants like Tesla and BMW. Just have have Toyota on the Lithium path is big. With even Mazda and Toyota are working together.
    It’s hard to catch World leading Tesla. They have the car, batteries and Solar panels. Soon the Semi Truck and Pickup and cross over Model Y. Watch out.

  6. larryl Rothschild says:

    I own a kia niro fully loaded,touring,I get 48 miles a gallon,and it’s a hybred,plenty of power,and it looks like a regular suv,,,,,the petrol engine as we know it is or will be history,I suggest oil companies start to make batteryes there time is coming to a end,,,

  7. Don Zenga says:

    Patent does not become a product. Neither a concept does. Among the non-plugin vehicles Toyota has the biggest lead with 10 million hybrids sold so far. No other company has sold even 2 million hybrids, hence there is little interest for Toyota to sell a plugin vehicle. Even the Prius Prime is produced only in limited quantity, that’s why its sales is struck at around 1,600 units/month in USA.

    But Prius hybrid may soon face strong competition from electric vehicles like Ioniq-EV or even upcoming Leaf.

  8. Emmanue says:

    What us the problem when P/S appears on the dash board and the steering appears stiff and very difficult to turn?

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