The Toyota Prius made the word “hybrid” a household name, and it has given Toyota a huge lead in the hybrid car market. Toyota will stick with hybrids as other automakers play with electric cars. Mistake, or good game plan?
In addition to traditional hybrids like the Prius, Toyota is also working on a plug-in hybrid that will operate like the Volt, with a small all-electric range and an extended gas-powered range. Toyota apparently feels electric cars will remain a niche market in the coming years, and they could be right. Even with their partnership with Tesla though, is Toyota running the risk of falling behind other automakers?
Nissan and GM are both putting their own version of the electric car on the road in the coming months. Ford has an electric Focus coming next year. Everybody is getting in on the electric car game it seems, except Toyota (and Chrysler). Is Toyota going to end up as the next GM, stuck in its old ways because the old ways work? Let us hope not.
Source: Technology Review
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to Hemis. You can follow his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout.