Toyota says no to diesel-electric hybrids

Back in August, just before we got word of the Citroen C-Metisse concept car, I was electronically chatting with my friend Bryan about diesels and hybrids when he said, "makes me wonder why no one is marketing a diesel-electric hybrid to consumers yet." Think of the high mileage, the minimal emissions and of course the monsterous low-end torque. If or when an automaker mates the two power plants successfully, it could be pure automotive nirvana.
I'm sure most AutoblogGreen readers have at one point or another had the very same conversation. Unfortunately, most of them have probably ended on the same thought - cost. Diesels are simply more expensive to make than their gas-powered siblings. This Planet Ark article says it typically costs 10 percent more to manufacture a diesel than a comparable gas-fueled model, so you're really getting hit by two premiums when you conjure up notions of the diesel-electric hybrid instead of just one for the conventional gas-electric. Still, it probably wasn't too many years ago that the modern concept of the gas-electric hybrid was just a glimmer in an engineer's eye.

On Wednesday, Tadashi Arashima, chief executive of Toyota Motor Europe, squashed some of those hopes. He said that costs for a diesel-electric hybrid would be far beyond what consumers would tolerate. He told BBC News, "Already the diesel premium is quite high, then you'd have to pay a hybrid premium, so we're not seeing that there is a market."

Toyota's obviously not the only company out there who's capable of producing an exciting viable diesel-electric hybrid vehicle, however, they are undoubtedly the industry leader in hybrid power train technology. Anyway, at least we still have GM, Ford and Citroen working at it (though, it's been a while since we heard anything new from the domestics on the matter.)

[Source: BBC via Autopia]

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