Toyota FT-EV concept - Click above for high-res image gallery
It's not terribly surprising that Toyota – the automaker often credited for creating the first modern mainstream hybrid automobile – would seek to continue establishing its marketplace dominance in hybrid automobiles. The Prius alone has sold well over a million units since its inception in 1997 and is undoubtedly the vehicle that defines the eco-friendly automobile market. With that in mind, don't expect the Japanese automaker to make any wholesale changes to its plans for world hybrid domination in favor of electric cars or diesels. Toyota spokesman Curt McAllister said:
One of the obstacles of the diesel is the aged perception that the diesel is smoky and stinky. It's hard to change the mind-set of consumers. Hybrid technology has such a clean halo to it.In a separate interview, incoming President Akio Toyoda added:
Electric cars' battery life is limited, and that has not been solved. We would like to utilize our hybrid technology because we have accumulated quite a bit of knowledge about battery usage for hybrid cars. Depending on how electric cars are used or how they are found to be valuable, for the time being Toyota would like to focus on hybrid technology.