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AutoBlog: REPORT: Toyota questions demand for plug-ins, cost, range, durability concerns

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Filed under: Hybrids/Alternative, Green, Tech, Toyota


We all know that there is a hardcore group of consumers out there chanting the mantra of "No plug, no sale!" Okay, well, at least a few of you. The problem is that, like commenters on the internet, the loud fringe makes most of the noise, but often actually represents a very small percentage of the total population. For the rest of the car buying public, the realities of choosing a new car go well beyond the ability to "refuel" from a plug in the garage. This is the reality that Toyota, General Motors, Nissan, Mitsubishi and others have to face in planning for future electric vehicles.

How many people are actually willing to pay the price in purchase cost, range, and utility for a plug-in vehicle?

While Nissan and Mitsubishi are (publicly at least) very bullish on EVs, Toyota apparently remains more skeptical. Bill Reinert, Toyota's U.S. national manager for advanced technology, told a National Academy of Sciences panel in Washington that the company doesn't expect PHEV demand to top 50,000 units a year, and the total could be as low as 3,500. So far, the argument goes, in most real-world testing, PHEVs are showing relatively little benefit to justify the significant extra battery cost. Unless plug-ins are designed as such and able to operate through most of their range on electric power (unlike conversion PHEVs), the real world benefits may only be visible to dedicated hyper-milers.

[source: Bloomberg]

REPORT: Toyota questions demand for plug-ins, cost, range, durability concerns originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 21 May 2009 11:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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I have always felt this about plugins as most people are wanting a auto to get back and forth to work but also to drive around in. A car that can only do 40 miles and must then be plugged in does not suite my life style or the majority of people out there. Course, reality is they fear the drop in Prius, highlander and camry hybrid sales. Anything to protect their market share.

Time to drop them in the ocean and kick ass with American products that are better. Why not a hybrid auto that also has plug in so you can charge your batteries and still have the engine to get a 400 to 500 mile trip done.

We are in interesting times Homes! :D

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