Along with seating arrangement adjustability, the interior of the A-BAT offers other useful tools, including a portable power pack that has both AC and DC power for many types of tools and a retractable navigation device with a WiFi Internet connection. For the futuristic cherry on top, there are solar panels located on the vehicle's dash board to capture energy from the sun. These provide power to the portable battery pack and the navigation unit.
As for the A-BAT's engine, the truck's comparison to the Prius goes even further. The A-BAT has the same Hybrid Synergy Drive system as the Prius, including a power-split device that allows the vehicle to be qualified as a series-parallel hybrid. This system allows the A-BAT to work either as a parallel hybrid vehicle, where the electric motor and gasoline engine can work independently of each other to power the wheels, or as a series hybrid, where the gas engine only operates to provide power to the vehicle's electric motor, instead of the vehicle's wheels. The A-BAT is considered a compact pickup truck, so compared to midrange and heavy-duty trucks, Toyota's smaller hybrid design doesn't burn as much fuel.
The A-BAT was officially introduced as a hybrid truck concept during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Mich., in Dec. 2007, and, as you know, concepts don't always get past this phase. But Toyota announced in Sept. 2008 that it was planning to make the concept a reality when the company revealed the truck would undergo mass production. Although no concrete details about the sale of the vehicle are available, the A-BAT will be one of very few compact pickup trucks available, and its hybrid technology system could make it even more of a standout in the truck market. If gas prices remain unstable and truck enthusiasts find it harder and harder to pay for high gas and diesel prices, the A-BAT just might put Toyota one step ahead of the competition.
For more information about Toyota's A-BAT and other hybrid vehicle technology, truck on over to the links on the next page.