Not long ago, we wondered just how steep the hill of customer acceptance is for a new technology like the Volt is. The question was how well the Chevy Volt and the Voltec powertrain could compete with the established Prius brand? Toyota, for its part, apparently thinks it's worth spreading the Prius name around a bit onto other hybrid vehicles.

According to Automotive News (subs req'd), Toyota executives told a meeting of Toyota and Lexus dealers in Vegas this week that the company will put the Prius name on more U.S.-market hybrids. While Toyota hybrids currently share the "Hybrid Synergy Drive" designation, that certainly doesn't have the same instant recognition as "Prius." When was the last time you heard someone say, "Yeah, I drive a car with Hybrid Synergy Drive"? Toyota has repeatedly said – and said again in Vegas – that there won't be a Prius sub-brand, so we're trying to wrap our minds around a potential Highlander Prius. Is that what this could lead to?

[Source: Automotive News (subs req'd)]