Toyota Says It Will Offer Plug-In Hybrid in 2010

Toyota has a change of heart on PHEVs

By Brendan Moore

01.13.2008

Toyota Motor Corporation has announced that they will offer a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) in 2010. The plug-in will use lithium-ion batteries, the same sort of batteries that Toyota was saying were not stable enough to use in a car, and this, just months ago. But now Toyota states that it has instructed its Panasonic joint-venture battery factory to add a production line that will produce the new batteries.

Toyota also announced that they would make a clean diesel V8 available in both the Tundra and the Sequoia in the near future, but most people were interested in the PHEV news.

If Toyota has a PHEV available for sale in 2010, that would put it in direct competition with GM, who has repeatedly stated that they plan to have the Chevrolet Volt, a PHEV, available for sale to consumers in 2010.

In spite of Toyota’s decision to pursue PHEV technology, the company is still hedging its bets, saying that they’re not really certain if consumers will be wiling to pay the extra money for a plug-in, or for that matter, hassle with plugging the vehicle in all the time. In that vein, Toyota plans to offer the PHEV technology as an option level on the existing hybrid models.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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6 Comments

  1. did anybody really believe for half a second that GM was going to get ahead of Toyota. No way Toyota was going to let that happen.

  2. Now Toyota is copying GM. Can anybody believe that? Because I think that is a very interesting part of this whole thing. GM, for the first time in a long time, has forced Toyota to react to what it is doing instead of the other way around.

  3. They changed their tune awfully damn quick. They are hypocrites is what they are.

  4. From GM’s perspective, I suppose this comes under the heading of:

    “Of course this means war”

    This is what else Toyota said it would do in the near future:

    Unveil new hybrid models for the Toyota and Lexus brands at the 2009 Detroit auto show. These will be production vehicles in addition to the Prius, and will be offered only with hybrid powertrains.

    Increase investment in cellulosic ethanol derived from wood waste, through a Toyota affiliated company.

    Sell 1 million hybrid-powered vehicles by 2011 or 2012.

    Meet the CAFE standard of a 35 mpg vehicle fleet “well in advance” of the 2020 regulation’s start.

    The two heavyweights are going to really slug this out.

    Brendan Moore

  5. War or not, it’s all good for the auto-buying public. It’s a beauty-ful thing.

  6. Toyota said they would only supply the plugin to fleet customers in 2010, not to regular consumers. I guess it doesn’t make any difference in terms of adhering to the statement that it will be available in 2010, but the Chevrolet Volt is supposed to be sold to consumers in 2010 (at least according to what GM says at this point, admittedly, that could change). But if GM can make good on that statment, then it’s an important distinction between fleet sales and sales to the demanding public.

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