Detroit: Toyota Expanding Hybrid Portfolio

  • January 11, 2010
Toyota on Monday unveiled the FT-CH hybrid concept at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The company says the concept addresses Toyota's strategy of expanding its hybrid-vehicle portfolio, including plug-in hybrids and battery electrics in model year 2012, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in 2015 in global markets.

"Within the next 10 to 20 years, we will not only reach peak oil, we will enter a period where demand for all liquid fuels will exceed supply," said Jim Lentz, TMS president at the show. "One of many alternatives is through what is commonly called the electrification of the automobile. By far, the single most successful example of this has been the gas-electric hybrid."

Lentz said Toyota will make Prius a separate brand. "The strategy is still taking shape, and obviously, it will require additional models to qualify as a family," said Lentz, who added that the FT-CH (CH means "compact hybrid") "is a concept that we are considering."

The company says that early this decade, Toyota hopes to sell a million hybrids per year globally, a majority of those in North America. The company plans to launch eight all new hybrid models over the next few years exclusive of next-generation versions of current hybrids. Also, Toyota will bring 150 Prius plug-in electric hybrids to the U.S. for market analysis and demonstrations.



Toyota says it will also bring a small, urban commuter lithium-ion vehicle to market in model year 2012.--Karl Greenberg

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