JAPAN: Toyota lays out its green plans
Toyota has unveiled its plans to roll out a range of greener vehicles including 11 new conventional hybrids over the next two years and a Prius-based plug-in hybrid.
Among the hybrids is a compact car with fuel efficiency exceeding 40 km per liter ? the highest for a gasoline-electric model measured under Japanese test cycles, the company claims.
By early 2012, TMC plans to begin sales of a "Prius"-based PHV, mainly in Japan, the United States and Europe. Sales are targeted at more than 50,000 units annually, and the price for Japan is expected to be in the 3-million-yen range.
In 2012 an iQ-based EV will also be introduced in Japan and Europe as well as the US with road trials in all three regions next year. China is also being considered.
Toyota is continuing development of a sedan-type fuel-cell hybrid vehicle (FCHV), with sales aimed to start in around 2015 in Japan, the US and Europe—markets in which hydrogen supply infrastructure is expected to develop. The company is currently working on ways to bring the vehicle to market at a more-affordable price.
Toyota is also researching development of next-generation secondary batteries with performance that greatly exceeds that of lithium-ion batteries. The company has successfully reduced what is known as particle resistance and has made progress toward creating full solid-state batteries in a promising compact package.
It believes that eco-cars can have a positive impact on the environment only if they are widely used. The company said in a statement: “TMC will continue to improve the fuel efficiency of its conventional combustion-engine cars, which account for the majority of its sales, while raising performance, reducing costs and expanding the company's product lineup.
“Within these efforts, hybrid technologies—consisting of the basic technologies necessary for development of various eco-cars—are positioned as key technologies to achieve both high fuel efficiency and driving performance, and to facilitate the use of various fuels with the aim of creating a low-carbon society through response to the need to diversify energy sources.”
Separately, the RAV4 EV concept, which was developed jointly with Tesla Motors, has been unveiled at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.