Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Toyota President's New Year's Letter

Toyota released (and EVworld.com reprints) President Watanabe's New Year's letter to employees. He mentions continued focus on hybrid technologies, including "research and development for plug-in hybrids" and the introduction in Brazil of a "flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) that can run on 100 percent bioethanol fuel." Not a word about hydrogen or fuel cells. If Toyota really intends to roll out "environmentally considerate vehicles that are suited to the infrastructure of each region and meet the needs of customers," plug-in Toyotas should be coming to America. We've got the ubiquitous electrical grid that a US Dept of Energy study finds could "fuel 84 percent of the country's 220 million vehicles if they were plug-in hybrid electrics," and no infrastructure for 100% bioethanol fuel.

"Concerning the environment, Toyota has positioned hybrid technologies as core technologies that can contribute to resolving environmental issues, and we will undertake development with a commitment to leading the advancement of such technologies. We will continue to enhance our hybrid vehicle lineup and also actively engage in research and development for plug-in hybrids. In response to the diversification of energy sources, we intend to introduce in the spring in Brazil a flexible fuel vehicle (FFV) that can run on 100 percent bioethanol fuel.

Based on the concept of "the right vehicle for the right place at the right time," Toyota is committed to developing environmental technologies and rolling out environmentally considerate vehicles that are suited to the infrastructure of each region and meet the needs of customers."


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