Monday, October 5, 2009

Toyota/Fuji Heavy EV Rumors

Toyota is knocking plug-in cars at CARB and in the press and touting impossible to deliver near-term hydrogen fuel cell commercialization. But it may have a Plan B. "Toyota Motor Corp is considering working with affiliate Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd to develop its electric vehicles," according to Mainichi newspaper as reported by Reuters. Fuji Heavy makes Subaru, which began limited sales of the Plug-in Stella in Japan in June. Toyota owns 16% of Fuji.

Neither Fuji nor Toyota commented, but the Tokyo stock market saw Fuji Heavy's shares up 4.4%.
Citing an unidentified source, the paper said engineers working on electric cars at Fuji Heavy would merge with Toyota's electric car team. Fuji Heavy would shift its battery procurement in the future to Panasonic EV Energy, a battery joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic Corp.
Toyota may not want plug-in electrics to challenge gas-only hybrids, but it could be seeing data on real world Plug-in Stella performance that suggests plug-in cars are ready for prime time.

Source: Reuters