Toyota procrastinates on EVs, but dealers get it

Everett, Washington Toyota dealer Buzz Rodland has no plug-in cars to sell, but he has no doubt the future is electric. Toyota may behave as if the RAV4 EV never existed, but as a one-time member of the company's national dealer council, he knew about the cars. He nagged until he received one. "My sales pitch was I would evaluate it in cold weather," he said.
According to a story in today's HeraldNet, his experience has him "totally convinced" on electric cars. "I've become a real fan," he said. "I know my customers would buy this car. I think the technology is really worth pursuing."

The story contains a few inaccuracies. The batteries in these 120-mile range EVs are nickel metal hydride, not nickel cadmium. Although Toyota execs have told me they cost $102,000 to produce each of the approximately 1500 RAV4 EVs made to meet California's Zero Emission Vehicle mandate back in the day, the article says they were $225,000. Either way, this is still only 10-25 percent of the cost of the million dollar fuel cell vehicles Toyota would prefer to dribble out for the foreseeable future. Rodland is hopeful Toyota will be producing a plug-in hybrid by 2010, but he's asking Toyota for another one of the five- to ten-year-old EVs.

[Source: HeraldNet]

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