Whoa, says Toyota. Plug-ins won't be that good

If you read our post yesterday that talked about a lithium Ion-powered plug-in Prius for 2010, thoughts of 100 mpg cars may have danced in your head. Well, take it easy, because the think tank over at Toyota doesn't want you to get your hopes too high. Toyota Advanced Technology manager Bill Reinert spoke in Washington yesterday at a plug-in conference and said that real-world driving conditions will make 100 mpg unattainable for many drivers. While plugging in more powerful batteries will give drivers a full battery and greater EV range, hard acceleration could limit electric-only driving to well under 40 miles.

While it's nice of Toyota to give a plug-in reality check to an efficiency-hungry public, we don't think this message is going to get through to the masses. Besides, if Toyota's next-gen hybrids can reach anything close to 100 mpg, we think shoppers of fuel-efficient vehicles will be too busy foaming at the mouth to even notice.

[Source: Automotive News, subs req'd]

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