Friday, March 2, 2007

Plug-in Hybrids in Toyota's Future, Jim Press Tells Reuters; Desires Joint OEM Battery Research

Reuters reports on an interview with Toyota North American President Jim Press that Toyota Motor Corp. is working on developing a plug-in hybrid vehicle and is open to joining with other automakers in battery development.

Echoing its American counterparts Ford and GM, Toyota bemoans the unavailability of batteries which will take their plug-ins half as far as their own electric cars could manage just 5 years ago.
Press added the biggest challenge would be developing the next-generation battery, which Toyota is now working on internally. "We would be quite open to any kind of sharing," Press said of a possible alliance on battery development with other automakers.
A tad unusual, if you think car companies compete. Of course, the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles already taught us how to bring the car companies together, spend tax money and do nothing to foster efficiency other than spur on the Japanese. Who figured out how to do it without threatening their own growth or profits or offering an alternative to oil.

While proposing joining with the Americans to stall or shelve battery development, Press also said Toyota would not be opposed to buying existing plants from other automakers as it expands its capacity in North America.

Press's interview has me seeing lots more Tundras and nary a plug-in. Prove me wrong, Jim.