On Friday Toyota Motor disclosed that it has made some strides with its fuel-cell hybrid vehicle, enhancing it to “further improve cruising distance and low-temperature starts.” In the meantime, a posting by Toyota spokesman Irv Miller in the corporate Toyota Open Road blog gripes that “We can’t build hybrids fast enough.” “As gas prices continue to head toward the stratosphere, that momentum has shifted into overdrive,” writes Miller, referring to sales of the Toyota Prius and the Toyota Camry Hybrid. “We can’t build hybrids fast enough. The flip side of the coin, however, is that we’re building them as fast as we can. The problem is that we’re pretty much at maximum performance in terms of our ability to supply the battery packages for these vehicles.” The combination of skyrocketing demand and a shortage of batteries put a serious crimp in Toyota’s hybrid sales in May. Prius sales totaled around 15,000 units, down nearly 40 percent from last year, but most dealers are essentially sold out of the hot hybrid. Miller notes that Toyota is working with Matsushita Electric Industrial through their joint-venture company Panasonic Energy EV “to significantly expand production of the battery packages our hybrid vehicles require.” “We will amp up our production of the batteries that will allow us to build hybrid vehicles in the numbers that consumers tell us they want,” he adds. In the meantime, Toyota said its advanced fuel-cell hybrid vehicle is overcoming concerns “which had presented obstacles to widespread fuel-cell-vehicle use.” One improvement: Toyota’s FCHV-adv, which “can start and operate in cold regions at temperatures as low as negative-30 degrees Celsius, meaning the vehicle can be used in a wider variety of conditions and climates,” said the automaker. The FCHV-adv gets what Toyota describes as a newly designed high-performance Toyota FC Stack. The vehicle’s maximum cruising range has increased from approximately 205 miles to between 472 and 516 miles. The maximum speed remains the same at 96 mph. What this means to you: The latest word from Toyota on what it’s working on to ease your pain at the pump.