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Home > Media Reviews > News Review Last Updated: 11:58 01/15/2008
News Review #428: January 15, 2008

Toyota Plans Plug-In Hybrids for 2010, Matching GM

Reviewed by Takahiro MIYAO

Toyota Plans Plug-In Hybrids for 2010, Matching GM
Bloomberg News (1/14/2008)


Competition has become fiercer among big automakers in the world market, focusing on environment-friendly technology. Actually, new plans and new targets for fuel-efficient vehicles are being announced by top auto executives at the Detroit auto show, which is currently under way. In particular, Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe just declared that his company would start offering "plug-in" hybrid cars with lithium-ion batteries by 2010 in competition with GM, which had already set the same target year for introducing such plug-in vehicles.

There may be some doubts about this bold announcement on the part of the Toyota president, because it is well known, according to this Bloomberg News article, that Toyota was initially hesitant to go ahead with such plug-in hybrid vehicles so early by saying that "lithium-ion batteries aren't currently available in large quantities, cost more and are harder to produce than nickel- metal batteries, and can burn if they overheat." Therefore, it looks like Toyota top executives are under pressure to make bold announcements for the sake of competition with GM, possibly without feasibility studies on the development of new products by the deadline.

So we should wait and see if Toyota can deliver what it has promised this time, as it has been the case in the past. A key point may be the fact that Toyota will start a joint venture with Matsushita, rather Panasonic, to produce lithium-ion batteries for Toyota's plug-in hybrids in the near future.

This review is adopted from the following blog (with its Japanese translation):

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