Hybrid cars and not electric vehicles, are the future of mass market environmentally-responsible transportation, says Toyota Europe’s R&D boss Masato Katsumata.
Obviously we would expect any Toyota representative to toe this line, as competitors like Nissan are focusing on the future of electric cars – like the Leaf EV.
Speaking at a conference in Cologne, Germany, both Katsumata and colleague Dirk Breuer, did make many valid points, however. While ideal for small city cars that only travel short distances, the ability to travel any significant distance is limited and no breakthroughs in battery technology are expected. Heating and cooling is also a significant problem as both processes would drain a car’s battery power. As for quick-charging stations, Breuer claims they cost up to $44,000 to install and up to half of the energy stores is low in the transfer process.
Breuer is less impressed by diesels, which is surprising considering Toyota sells s many diesel cars in Europe. He states that current gasoline hybrids are already cheaper to manufacture than diesel engines and that with the upcoming EU6/BIN5 emissions regulations diesels will only get more expensive. “At that point, we need an 11-step cleaning process, basically a chemical factory attached to the engine,” he says.
[Source: Car & Driver]