• Jul 5, 2009
Fanning competition against GM's upcoming 2011 Chevrolet Volt plug-in, the Nikkei business daily reports that Toyota Motor Corp. plans to manufacture 20,000 to 30,000 plug-in hybrids in 2012. Toyota allegedly wants pricing comparable to Mitsubishi's all-electric car, which is set to debut this month to fleet customers in Japan (both vehicles are eligible for government subsidies).
Toyota's plug-in vehicles will be powered by lithium-ion batteries co-developed with Panasonic EV Energy Co. and are expected to offer a full-charge range between 20 to 30 km (12.4 to 18.6 miles) on battery power alone. According to the paper, Toyota would not comment on future product plans.

[Source: Automotive News, subs. req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      12.4 to 18.6 miles... wow ... way to half-a$$ it Toyota. I hate to say it... but if the price is as high as AutoBlogGreen is claiming... then this will be another PS3... an embarrassing Japanese failure.

      I have a Prius, but Toyota is losing 6 billion of 18 billion in capital a quarter has sluggish market share rise with very little assets. They are another GM in the making.
      • 5 Years Ago
      That 20-30 km range is deceiving in that it is not an all-electric range. If you reach high enough speed or accelerate fast enough, the gas motor will have to turn on. Their hybrid design is still a good design, especially for the next few years. But the distinction between it and an EV or extended-range EV should not be lost.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I get so frustrated when I see car companies see electric vehicles as the "future". Electric vehicles have a short range, are unreliable, and take forever to charge. Hybrids are stupid too, with their minimal increase in mpg. Diesel is the way to go, people! Look at BMW's Efficient Dynamics and VW's TDI!!!
        • 5 Years Ago
        Electric *is* the future because an electric car doesn't care where the juice on the grid comes from--coal, nuke, or wind/solar--and requires no adaptation as clean plants gradually replace dirty ones.

        With diesel, the car will only ever be as efficient as its onboard engine, and today's combustion engines are about as squeaky-clean as a series of controlled explosions can get.

        By contrast, we're nowhere near tapping out the efficiency of electric drive. Hybrids will be remembered as a relatively crude stepping-stone.
      • 5 Years Ago
      And I get frustrated when I see people like you spew opinions based on oudated conceptions and ignorance.

      Saying electric vehicles have a short range is just plain wrong. Virtually all electric cars being sold or undergoing fleet testing today have a range of at least 100miles. The Tesla roadster has a range of 200miles a charge, their Model S will have up to 300miles. It can be quick charged in 45 minutes, or exchange its battery in 2 minutes. So much for "slow to recharge", which BTW isn't going to be an issue for 99% percent of the people since one of top selling points of EVs is that you can charge them at home instead of being at the whim of the oil companies.
      Secondly, the notion that electric vehicles are less reliable clearly shows you know nothing at all. The opposite is the case, electric vehicles are far more durable than combustion-engined ones. Reasons? A modern 4-cylinder engine has at least a few hundred moving parts. An electric motor has exactly one. It also eliminates the need for a transmission, and regenerative braking massively reduces brake wear. Even battery wear isn't much of an issue any more, modern batteries like the Volt's wll easily last 10 years or longer without major performance impacts.
      If you want proof how durable electric cars really are: Jay Leno owns a 1909 Baker Electric. It still runs on its original batteries, with nothing more than basic maintenance.
      As for hybrids, the gain in fuel economy is mainly in urban driving. If you drive on the highway a lot, yeah, a diesel can be better, but in urban traffic the hybrid wins hands down, especially so if it's a plug-in. In any case it's not like hybrid and diesel are mutually exclusive technologies.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow there is a lot of misinformation in the above comments: 1.) the current Prius is a small ICE with an electric battery boost when additional power is needed, i.e., when accelerating or pushing the wind at high speeds. its best mileage comes in city traffic and slow speed cruising. At fast highway speeds the car is no better than a high mileage ICE. 2.) The Volt uses its electric batteries for about 40 miles of light acceleration and speed limit cruising; then it uses the ICE to power the car. 3.) It appears that the next Prius will use the same mode of operation as the current model except it will have a larger battery pack and can accept some augmentation to its range from the grid.

      If the first generation large format battery BEVs work as intended they will have about a 100 mile range when driven at legal highway speeds; but will be dependent on charging stations, either at home or at charging spots to recharge the batteries. They are range limited and will alway be dependent on access to charging stations unless there are provisions to change out the battery or quick charge the car. All the while the car companies will be bringing out new ICEs that will approach 40 mph.

      Your choice of which car to buy will depend on you making a calculated decision based on the material facts of your driving needs and the cost factors. For example, if you commute long distances, some people drive over 100 miles a day, then perhaps a high mileage ICE would be your choice, provided the price of fuel is not too high over the life of the car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Does anyone care, Toyota is crap, Volkswagen group is incredible. The sooner VW Group overtake Toyota the better. If Ferdinand Piech stays at the top that is sure to happen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        At least the Germans buy cars from American companys too.
        Volkswagon or any other European car is a better choice for an import.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Aren't most VWs sold in the US imported from Mexico?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Isn't competition wonderful? Don't count T out.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What is always missing from these articles are the facts that any hybrid owner looks for:

      1. What is the top EV speed?
      2. How fast is 0-30 on battery alone? Assuming it can.

      Only then is the range on battery interesting. If I can go 50 miles, but the top speed is 25 MPH and acceleration to 25 takes a minute, it is no use at all.

      OTOH, if the top EV speed is 50MPH and I can do 0-30 in 8 seconds, let's talk.