Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Hybrid to Purebred EV
By Wired News Report | Also by this reporter 09:15 AM Oct, 02, 2003
TOYOTA CITY, Japan -- Toyota Motor showed off the production site of its gasoline-electric hybrid cars to journalists for the first time Thursday with a powerful message: The fuel-saving autos don't have to be expensive to make.
Not long ago, many leading automakers, including the world's biggest, General Motors, questioned the benefit of developing hybrid cars, arguing that the gas-sipping autos are merely an interim solution before zero-emission fuel-cell vehicles take over.
They accused -- possibly accurately -- Toyota and Honda Motor, the only other mass producer of gas-electric hybrid cars, of selling them at a loss given the labor-intensive assembly required.
There may have been some truth to that argument before, but no longer, says Toyota, which launched its second-generation Prius hybrid sedan in Japan last month.
"We used to build the previous Prius on an exclusive assembly line at the Takaoka plant, and later at Motomachi," said Kenji Takahara, head of administration at neighboring Tsutsumi plant, which now builds the Prius.
"Now, it shares a line with four other mass-production sedans," he said.
That's a big and necessary step for Japan's top automaker as it aims to offer the hybrid option on most of its models in the not-too-distant future. Toyota is hoping to sell 300,000 of the fuel-efficient vehicles a year starting mid-decade. [Wired News]
When the hybrid goes purebred, we will finally have a true marvel of transportation.
Doing away with the gas motor and all of its many moving parts, the oil pump, gas pump, fuel injection, fuel ignition, radiator and rubber hoses, exhaust system, muffler, catlytic converter, air oil and gas filters, will also mean fewer repairs.
Zero emission Electric autos are here now and zero emission fuel cell cars coming soon will make hybrids passe.
Some hybrid owners are converting their cars to run predominately on battery power. = TG