This is not good news. Not good news at all.
Toyota, the world leader in fuel-efficient hybrid cars, admits that plug-in hybrids don’t have much of a future. In fact, Koei Saga, Toyota’s guy in charge of advanced technology and battery development, sounds particularly grim.
The New York Times reports the devastating details:
He said that limited range means that E.V.’s work best as “very small commuter-type vehicles” for use in major metropolitan areas (he used Europe and Japan as examples). Asked if longer-range E.V.’s were possible with current technology, he said that could happen only “if we forget about battery life and if we forget about the cost incurred for replacement of those batteries.”
Battery cars capable of extended highway travel are relatively far in the future, Mr. Saga said. He envisioned such electric cars working best if they could obtain electricity not from batteries, but from an interaction with the highway itself. Just such a system has been tested by the Advanced Institute of Science and Technology of Korea, which uses induction strips and inverters embedded in the road to recharge batteries when cars drive over them.
Asked if the world’s vehicles would ever be exclusively electric, Mr. Saga said, “In my personal view, I think we will never abandon the internal-combustion engine.” He did envision a possible future for fuel-cell vehicles and internal-combustion cars that burn hydrogen, however.
Our advice: Keep actor Ed Begley, Jr. away from the harakiri ceremonial swords.
Source: New York Times