Pushed by talk in Congress about possibly giving incentives to taxpayers for converting standard hybrids to plug-in hybrids, Toyota today announced their reasons for not supporting PHEVs. In a memo written by Charles E. Ing, Director, Government Affairs Toyota Motor North America, and posted over at pro-PHEV advocates CalCars, Toyota says that, "PHEV converters should comply with existing standards governing second stage manufacturers, if applicable, and, NHTSA and EPA should be required to establish new regulations for certification of conversions of used vehicles. In other words, the product liability and warranty risk, should be assumed by the converter. The government should assure that there be no degradation in emissions and vehicle safety before it provides taxpayer incentives."

Toyota's main areas of concern for PHEV conversions are as follows:
  • The cars will no longer be compliant with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
  • Most conversions use lithium batteries, which Toyota has decided are not good.
  • There is an increased fire risk and injury in an accident, and the spare tire is usually removed.
  • The extra batteries have an adverse effect on the rear suspension.
  • The warranty is voided by the installation of PHEV systems.
CalCars has a list of good responses to these claims, including the fact that Toyota left out the bit about how any incentives offered by the FREEDOM Act would apply only to cars that had passed crash tests. You can read them all here (at bottom of page).

[Source: CalCars]

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