Sunday, January 6, 2008

And now, Toyota's turn

An anonymous commenter on my previous blogpost asks,
"GM has alway said that the battery might not be ready.... GM never lied about it but like always lots of people like to knock GM. Why not pick on Toyota for a while."
I've got no problem picking on Toyota, too. Toyota continues to use the Prius to cover a multitude of sins. They are selling larger, less fuel-efficient vehicles than ever; they slap a hybrid drive into a $100,000 Lexus, achieve minimal fuel savings, and earn more green kudos all while continuing to spread disinformation about the value of true electrification by advertising their hybrids as half electric cars "you never have to plug in." Of course the truth is you can't.

But unlike GM, Toyota hasn't promised a plug in car. They haven't had to. (Although they built a damn good one when they were forced to. Read all about it here.) While I have no doubt Toyota will release a plug-in car as soon as someone else does, until then they will join the "batteries aren't ready" chorus.

It truly is, not surprisingly, all about the bottom line. Every automaker wants to continue selling only internal combustion engine cars (hybrids included) because they believe that is the best route toward the greatest profitability in the near term. Needless to say this hasn't proven true in GM's case. They couldn't have been in worse shape had they continued even very limited production, and sale, of the EV1. It would have been their Prius, only better.


Anonymous said...

Where's Tesla's car or Miles? Surely if the big automakers are dragging their feet then the little guys like them sure easily be capitalizing on the lack of competition.

Anonymous said...

Hi Marc--good posts here. I'm the Managing Editor of a energy-issues related Web site, and I'm wondering if you would be interested in allowing us to grab the feed from your posts and joining our community. I can't find an email address for you on this site, but reach out to me at, and I'll tell you more about what we do. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Another great post.