In a bit of a tirade against plug-in vehicles recently, Toyota's Bill Reinert said – among other things – that "As for plug-in electrics, they're just not plausible right now." He has a point, of course, but Fast Company takes Reinert's logic to task and makes the case that Toyota might want to rethink putting him in charge of trashing plug-in cars and hyping up hydrogen.
Take the example of Japanese cell phones, which have features that blow away phones in the rest of the world. The problem, writes Fast Company's Chris Dannen, is that these phones don't work internationally because they require proprietary networks. Now, Japanese cell phone makers are "scrambling to backwards-engineer phones that can work on American and European networks." What does this have to do with cars? Two words: hydrogen infrastructure. Sure, it'll surprise absolutely no one when Toyota builds a great hydrogen car (although the price might be "shockingly low"), but if you can't use it where you want to use it, then what's the point? The electric infrastructure is here and is much easier to get ready for vehicles than it is to set up a new hydrogen system. Dannen's final point is worth noting:
Should Toyota not give the electric car its due diligence, they may find themselves missing out on a very lucrative stop-gap product, and their #1 spot in jeopardy.