Mar 19, 2007 (From the CalCars-News archive)
In last week's parade of auto industry executives in Washington, Toyota stood somewhat apart from the others in endorsing increases in corporate average fuel economy standards. The following is from a preview story the day before the Congressional hearings (the other car-makers got most of the media's attention that day). We note it because Toyota has decided to ratched up its "pursuing" PHEVs positioning from last July http://www.calcars.org/carmakers.html by now saying the company is "aggressively pursuing" PHEV technology. The company also said it would build flex-fuel hybrids, but with no date (second story excerpted below).
We follow this story with information about a publication by Toyota that has just come to our attention, a 24-page brochure titled, "Toward the Ultimate Eco-Car," published in December 2006 and distributed only in Europe.
Toyota: Auto industry obligated to help solve problem of global warming David Shepardson / Detroit News Washington Bureau March 13, 2007 http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070313/UPDATE/703130467/1148/AUTO01
WASHINGTON -- Toyota Motor North America President Jim Press will tell a House committee Wednesday that the auto industry has "an obligation to be part of the solution, not the problem," when it comes to global warming and climate change, according to a draft of his testimony obtained by The Detroit News.
Press will join the CEOs of General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, and UAW President Ron Gettelfinger at a hearing before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that is considering whether to force automakers to dramatically increase the fuel efficiency of their vehicles to reduce tailpipe emissions that have been linked to global warming.
Domestic manufacturers are expected to testify about the harm of dramatically increasing fuel economy, but emphasize that they are committed to alternatives and reducing the nation's reliance on foreign oil. They also expect to get some unfriendly questions from lawmakers who believe they haven't done enough to improve vehicle fuel efficiency. Passenger car fuel economy standards haven't changed in two decades.
Press' testimony before the committee will reiterate Toyota's support for raising corporate average fuel economy mandates.
"Toyota has long been mindful of and accepts the broad scientific consensus that climate change is occurring and will continue unless there are significant and coordinated global efforts to slow the growth of man-made greenhouse gas emissions," Press's testimony says. Toyota is "committed to continued action to address climate change by increasing the fuel efficiency of our products."
Press also takes an unusual tact for an automaker: He endorses "increased reliance on mass transit" as part of reducing the impact of automobiles.
"In-use impacts from the existing fleet of vehicles can be reduced through a series of measures. For example, smarter land-use planning, increased reliance on mass transit and greater use of so called 'intelligent transportation systems' can all reduce traffic congestion and energy consumption," Press says in his prepared testimony.
Press also will talk about 2007 as the 10th anniversary of the Prius, Toyota's gasoline-electric hybrid. Through January, the company has sold 472,000 hybrids in the United States. He also will say Toyota is "aggressively pursuing" plug-in hybrid technology.
Toyota May Add Flex-Fuel Capability to Its U.S. Hybrid Vehicles By Alan Ohnsman and Gopal Ratnam
March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Toyota Motor Corp., whose Prius is the world's best-selling gasoline-electric car, may also offer hybrids able to run on fuel that's mostly ethanol.
Toyota is studying a so-called flex-fuel hybrid, Jim Press, the Japanese automaker's North American president, said today in Washington. He didn't specify a model or when such a vehicle would go on sale.
From page 22 of "Toward the Ultimate Eco-Car," published by Toyota and distributed only in Europe. (The news here is not anything in particular that Toyota says, but rather the simple fact of the company's including PHEVs in its marketing materials.)
FUTURE TECHNOLOGY: Doing what we can do today for the earth of tomorrow
Plug-in hybrid A plug-in hybrid vehicle operates as an electric vehicle (EV) mainly for short trips around town. But for longer trips and high-speed driving, it operates as a conventional gasoline-electric vehicle (HV). It can be recharged at night using ordinary household current. Plug-in hybrids can be expected to improve local air quality, not to mention reducing CO2 output.
Innovation toward commercialization Acceptance of plug-in hybrids depends on extending their EV mode cruising range and energy saving performance. Therefore, Toyota is seeking innovations in battery technology that can raise capacity and output while reducing size and weight.
[Box with three drawings:] Commercialization of plug-in hybrids requires progress in battery technology