Toyota Will Offer a Plug-In Hybrid by 2010
CalCars, the California Cars Initiative, has not only been campaigning for plug-in hybrid vehicles, they were the first to build a plug-in Toyota Prius. CalCars longstanding, and really quite simple, thesis is that plug-in hybrids can achieve 100+ MPG using today's technology:
We promote plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). PHEVs are like regular hybrids but with larger batteries and the ability to re-charge from a standard outlet (mostly at night). They're the best of both worlds: local travel is electric, and you always have a gas-tank backup. More details here.
Toyota seems to have finally received the message, now pledging to offer a plug-in hybrid by 2010: Toyota Will Offer a Plug-In Hybrid by 2010 (NYT). From the article:
DETROIT -- The Toyota Motor Corporation, which leads the world's automakers in sales of hybrid-electric vehicles, announced Sunday night that it would build its first plug-in hybrid by 2010.
The move puts Toyota in direct competition with General Motors, which has announced plans to sell its own plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, sometime around 2010.
Katsuaki Watanabe, the president of Toyota, announced the company's plans at the Detroit auto show as part of a series of environmental steps.
Mr. Watanabe said Toyota, best known for its Prius hybrid car, would develop a fleet of plug-in hybrids that run on lithium-ion batteries, instead of the nickel-metal hydride batteries that power the Prius and other Toyota models.
Plug-in hybrids differ from the current hybrid vehicles in that they can be recharged externally, from an ordinary power outlet. In a conventional hybrid the battery is recharged from power generated by its wheels.
Mr. Watanabe said the lithium-ion fleet would be made available first to Toyota's commercial customers around the world, like government agencies and corporations, including some in the United States. He did not say when they would be available to consumers.
Another case of hackers' solutions becoming mainstream? Definitely!