Automakers Showcase Electric Strategies

by | Feb 4, 2009

toyota_priusAt the Washington Auto Show, automakers are parading their commitments to quickly bring electric hybrid and all-electric vehicles to market as early as next year. But some question the government’s goal of having 1 million plug-ins on the road by 2015, the Detroit News reports.

Bill Reinert, national manager of Toyota Motor Corp.’s advanced technology group, told Detroit News that it took Toyota nearly 11 years to sell 1 million Prius vehicles worldwide. Reinert says having that many plug-ins would require a faster adoption that the Prius.

Toyota says it will have a plug-in hybrid Prius for fleet customers by 2009.

Ford plans to bring a plug-in electric hybrid vehicle to market in 2012. The company is also pursuing a pure battery-powered electric vehicle,  which will be limited to a range of 100 miles on a single charge.

Starting in late 2010, Audi will offer a hybrid version of its Q5 premium SUV in the U.S., Wolfgan Hatz, head of powertrain development for the Volkswagen group told Automotive News (subscription required).

At the show, General Motors Corp. announced that it was working with the municipalities of San Francisco and the Washington, D.C., metro area to speed adoption of electric cars and build an infrastructure to support them, reported CNET news.

President Barack Obama recently ordered the EPA to reconsider its earlier ban on California’s tough GHG emissions. The result is likely to end in a compromise that automakers and environmentalists can live with.

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