Japanese car maker Toyota reveals its commitment to release in 2012 plug in hybrids for mass consumption. The first batch of lithium-ion battery powered vehicles will be out by next year and will be ready for government and commercial fleets in Japan, Europe, and the United States. Mass production of the fuel efficient and environment-friendly vehicles will be by 2012.
A Japanese newspaper reports that Toyota will be producing between 20000 and 30000 units of plug-in hybrids come 2012. This will be two years after GM kicks off the production of the 2011 Chevrolet Volt.
A plug-in hybrid that was derived from the platform of the current Prius hybrid is expected to go to dealerships in Japan this month. This car will have a tag price starting at $47,800. The car will be able to travel for about 18.6 miles running on electric power alone. It depends on a pack of lithium ion batteries made by Panasonic EV Energy.
Read more »
Automakers are in a scramble to fix their budget and comply with stricter emission and fuel mileage regulations that will be in effect across the nation. The state of California is also setting tougher requirements. Japanese car maker Toyota is also studying a tough goal of 3% of its total 2012 sales that should come from zero emission units.
The company estimates that they will need about $1 billion to follow all the new industry rules from the federal government and California.
California requires manufacturers that sell more than 60000 vehicles in a year to have 3% of the units as zero emissions. This puts automakers like Toyota, Ford, and Honda in a no choice position because of the state legislation.
Chrysler and General Motors will also have to follow the new rules but do not require as much budget considering that the other car makers share the bigger chunk of the market.
The needed $1 billion of funding can be broken down into production of components needed for building the electric vehicles, equipment, and service centers. They also have to consider things like training of the manpower, marketing, and coverage for the vehicle’s guarantees and warranties.
Read more »