Australian Premier wants automakers to build domestic hybrids

The premier of the Australian state of New South Wales is a big supporter of hybrid vehicles. The state government already has 355 hybrid vehicles in the the government fleet. However, as with governments everywhere, if something is made locally Morris Iemma would prefer to buy domestic. Unfortunately of all the cars made in Australia, none are propelled by hybrid powertrains. The hybrids in the NSW fleet are all imported Honda and Toyota models.

Iemma has approached Holden about producing a hybrid version of the Commodore sedan which we get over here as the Pontiac G8. Toyota has been examining the prospect recently of building hybrid Camry's in Australia. Iemma has committed to using domestic hybrids in the NSW fleet if they are built. The Holden may actually turn out to be the first to produce a domestic hybrid. When GM announced the second-generation mild hybrid system earlier this year, they said the system would be compatible with rear wheel drive vehicles such as the G8/Commodore. Given the realities of fuel economy regulations, it seems almost certain that a hybrid version will debut sometime around 2010-11. If that does happen, it will likely be offered in Australia as well.

[Source: The Australian, thanks to Berto for the tip!]

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