Toyota's shaking things up a bit in the plug-in hybrid race. Only a week ago, GM seemed certain that they'd have the first plug-in vehicle from a major manufacturer. But then Toyota busts out with the news that, even after saying that we were going to be waiting more than three years, they'll be producing plug-in Priuses in 2010.
Unfortunately, they won't be selling them to consumers. Toyota says that they aren't sure if average folks are up for the extra cost and responsibility that comes along with PHEVs, so they'll only be selling to governments and corporations for the first year.
So it looks like the Saturn Vue PHEV is going to beat the Prius PHEV to market...but not by much. Any hiccup at GM, and Toyota could win the second round in the vehicle efficiency arms race.
Of course, Toyota maintains that range-extended electric vehicles (REEVs) will never be technologically or financially viable. At the same time, GM is betting heavily on its REEV, the Chevy Volt, which they want available in 2010 as well.
In any case, it looks like 2010 is shaping up to be a big year for automotive technology. Let's hope everyone can live up to their promises.
written by Katie, January 22, 2008
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