Right on the heels of Toyota's European chief executive saying that there's no viable market for diesel-electric hybrids, Auto Industry is reporting that Dominique de Villepin, the Prime Minister of France (pictured) declared that he would do everything in his power to assure the development of those costly, dual-premium power trains.
Toyota's Arashima noted that the costs of diesel-electric hybrids are far beyond what a consumer would pay. Unless Villepin just needs to own a C-Metisse, we're not exactly sure of what his motivation is just yet. Perhaps, it's simply to excel in waters where Toyota won't wade.

So far, he has requested that the country's industrial innovation agency fund a €100 million budget for the project. The drive train Villepin has in mind would consume 30 percent less fuel than a conventional diesel and 25 percent less than a gas-electric hybrid. It's not yet clear which companies would be involved in the project, but Auto Industry notes that U.K. firm Ricardo has worked as the principal engineering consultant on a diesel-electric hybrid for Peugeot Citroen as recent as this year.

(Photo: (c) David Mendiboure - Service photo de Matignon / Service photographique du Premier ministre)

[Source: Auto Industry]

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