Toyota’s revelation Tuesday that it will develop a new “plug-in hybrid” – which uses a wall socket at night to charge and relies on an electric motor to go many miles before sipping any gasoline – could presage a major shift in automotive technology, some industry analysts say.
Detroit’s Big Three have each said the technology is being looked at – after years of outright dismissal. But Toyota’s announcement was more significant because the company is presumed to have the technology to actually bring such cars to market, they say….
On Tuesday, the president of Toyota’s North American subsidiary, Jim Press, said the company is looking at developing a plug-in vehicle that can “travel greater distances without using its gas engine.” The technology would “conserve more oil and slice smog and greenhouse gases to nearly imperceptible levels”
The later claim assumes, of course, the electricity is greenhouse-gas free, which it will have to be if we are to avoid catastrophic global warming (though even running on current grid electricity, a plug in is much cleaner than a regular car).
Looks like we may have a race for the first practical, consumer plug-in between Toyota and G.M.