As automakers blitz Washington with their answers to the U.S. dependency on increasingly expensive foreign oil, it was Toyota's turn to step up to the plate Wednesday. Speaking to the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee, Toyota's advanced technology manager, William Reinert, focused on his company's hybrid solution, saying its annual production of hybrids could pass the one million mark within the next decade.

While Toyota is far from alone in its development of hybrid vehicle technology, according to Reuters, it would appear to be far ahead of its U.S. competitors, who are instead focusing on alternative fuels (notably ethanol) as their near-term 'silver bullet,' while they play catch-up with hybrid technologies.

Of course, Reuters points out, the problem with the flex-fuel alternative is the necessary, massive build-out of an ethanol infrastructure before the fuel can have a significant impact on America's energy situation. Building flex-fuel-capable vehicles is not the problem - growing, refining and distributing the fuel is, and in the mean time, Toyota continues to refine its hybrids, focusing on improving production efficiency and lowering costs.

[Source: Reuters]


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