Japan's earthquake, tsunami could delay hybrid vehicle shipments

Devastation caused by earthquake in Ofunato, Japan

The massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck Japan has crippled the nation. We'd like to note again that hybrid vehicle delays is not of the utmost concern in this disaster, but it's what we do. So, here's a look at what's going on. Supplies of vital hybrid components including semiconductors, electronic controllers and batteries have been disrupted by the quake.

Toyota and Honda facilities remain closed, but most of them seem to have survived the disastrous quake intact. Primearth EV Energy, Toyota's nickel metal hydride battery supplier, reports that its facility in Miyagi, which was thought to have sustained major damage, is likely okay.

Honda says that most of its plants will remained closed until at least March 20th, but there seems to be evidence that its Suzuka facility, which is the site of final assembly for the Insight, Civic Hybrid and CR-Z, suffered only minor damage.

Nissan has shut down at least six of its factories in Japan and says that delays in shipping some Infiniti models should be expected. However, production of the Nissan Altima Hybrid, which hails from Smyrna, TN, has not been affected. The catastrophe has impacted production of the Nissan Leaf, though 600 of the electric hatches bound for the U.S. did leave port before the quake rattled Japan. With all that out of the way, we think again about the bigger picture. If you'd like to donate to the Red Cross for disaster relief, you can do so here.

[Source: Hybrid Cars | Image: Matthew M. Bradley/U.S. Navy – C.C. License 2.0]

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