In Portland, Oregon today, Toyota held an in-depth backgrounder called the "Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar." The short version of the day's message is this: we're in trouble. AutoblogGreen was invited to cover the event and we'll have complete coverage of the six or so hours of presentations and discussion as soon as we get the audio edited and whatnot. Before that, though, a little recap for you before it gets too late tonight so you can compare what happened here with the Chrysler EV news and last week's Volt rollout.
This was not an uplifting, "everything will be just fine one we get li-ion batteries" type of conference. Toyota invited scientists to set up the problem during the morning sessions, which got into some nitty-gritty details about oil supplies (they're running out), why biofuels - except for algae biodiesel - are not much better than conventional fuels, and why we need to think about water when we switch on a lightbulb, among many other topics. Toyota representatives then, yes, spent the afternoon discussing what ToMoCo is doing to make a difference, but here, too, the talks were not much more uplifting than the morning ones. Plug-in hybrids are not going to solve everything, neither are li-ions, and time isn't really on our side. As I said, we'll have total coverage up later, but for now I just wanted to tease you with these highlights:

  • America will need 33 percent more transportation fuels by 2030 than it does today
  • There is no way that Coskata will be able to make a gallon of ethanol for a dollar
  • Meeting NHTSA's proposed 35 mpg CAFE standard is going to be really, really tough
  • A PHEV Prius might not have fold-down seats because of the huge battery
  • Peak oil is coming sometime between 2017 and 2023
Note: these aren't official viewpoints from Toyota, just things that were said today. We'll describe everything in detail soon. For now, here's a little something to chew on.

UPDATE: Full coverage starts here.

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