Toyota is set to launch more cars that use no gas at all. With the green campaign all over the world, Toyota rides with the environmental demand by coming up with cars that use only compressed natural gas car fuel (CNG).
CNG is more available than hydrogen as Irv Miller, manufacturer’s group VP for corporate communications, said. It has a pipeline that reaches 1.8 million miles in the United States. Though rare, since it only has 1,000 refueling stations all through US, it still has more than the approximately 10 hydrogen refill stations.
Toyota is even planning to release a Prius plug-in version for the fleet market around 2009. This will, of course, be greener.
With the issue of global warming, gasoline-mobilized automobiles face an environmental challenge. But even manufacturers with alternatives have their own challenges to face. For one, the said availability of CNG refilling stations can be a reason why potential buyers will think twice.
In 1999, Toyota launched their CNG-fueled Camry. The major challenge for the manufacturer was finding buyers since at that time gas still cost low. Honda even built their own CNG-fueled cars but faced similar challenges.
This time, the catch is it being hybrid. Now that the CNG innovation is combined with the hybrid-electric technology, Toyota has high hopes that it will have a far better appeal to the market. These alternative systems and its combination may just be the breakthrough manufacturers are waiting for.
In a world of environmental crisis, Toyota may seem to have pleased the green organizations. But as to pleasing the market, it remains unanswered.