Nov 10, 2005 (From the CalCars-News archive)
Bill Moore, Editor at EVWorld.com, on Nov. 9, 2005 in his blog, TOYOTA STANDS PAT ON PLUG-IN HYBRIDS
quotes Mike Michels, Corporate Manager, External Communications for Toyota Sales, USA:
1) With today's hybrid and battery technology we believe that today's Toyota hybrid system offers the best balance of internal combustion to battery power sources, considering all factors of cost, weight, durability, emissions certification requirements, well-to-wheel energy chain efficiency, etc. And, of course, we don't recommend that customers or aftermarket companies modify their vehicles, for reasons of safety, reliability and customer satisfaction. Finally, of course, any modification to the hybrid system would violate the vehicle's certification and compliance with applicable state emissions regulations.
2) That said however, Toyota believes that future advances in technology may, and I emphasize may, make a plug in hybrid feasible as a commercial product. However, this would take significant advances in battery technology and cost. And the overall environmental impact of the grid source of electrical power must also be considered. Finally, I would observe that this possibility and the obvious interest in it, are added evidence why hybrid technology is not a fad or hype, but rather a valuable energy management system that has long-term potential and can maximize what ever power source (gasoline, diesel, CNG, hydrogen, grid, etc. etc.) that it might be connected to.
Overall, no change in our stance, no dramatic reversal of message and no imminent plug in hybrid announcement.
[The "Kremlinologist/tea leaf reader in me agrees, no change in stance, but notes, for the first time, an acknowledgment of "the obvious interest in it," and the positioning of hybrids as the platform for future development using multiple fuel types.]