Posted by: carboncreditsusa | January 12, 2009

Electric And Hybrid Vehicle Updtate: Toyota Developing Plug-In Electric FT-EV Vehicle But Gas-Electric Hybrid Will Be Primary Production Technology (Lexus HS250h)

“Sometime during the 2010s, Toyota plans to sell 1 million gas-electric hybrids per year.”

By 2012, Toyota plans to introduce eight more gas-electric hybrids, Miller said.

“While Toyota is investing heavily in advancement such as fuel cells, plug-ins and battery electric vehicles, we believe that the gas-electric hybrid will be our core technology for many years to come,”

 

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090112/BUSINESS03/901120370&template=printart

Toyota quietly displayed the FT-EV on the show floor, but unveiled the Lexus HS 250h at a news conference at the Riverview Ballroom at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

The difference drove home part of Toyota’s message: It is not abandoning its main alternative-vehicle strategy, its gas-electric hybrids.

“While Toyota is investing heavily in advancement such as fuel cells, plug-ins and battery electric vehicles, we believe that the gas-electric hybrid will be our core technology for many years to come,” said Irv Miller, Toyota’s group vice president of environmental and public affairs in the United States.

“Sometime during the 2010s, Toyota plans to sell 1 million gas-electric hybrids per year.”

By 2012, Toyota plans to introduce eight more gas-electric hybrids, Miller said.

Toyota envisions its FT-EV as a vehicle perfect for people who live in cities or have short commutes and want a vehicle for short trips. The concept that Toyota displayed looked like it was about the size of a Smart car. It is based on Toyota’s iQ, a small gas-powered car on sale today in Japan. But although Toyota said it is committed to bringing a version of the FT-EV to consumers by 2012, it said the vehicle might look different.

Lexus Group Vice President and General Manager Mark Templin said Lexus has come a long way since it introduced its first vehicle.

“In 20 years, Lexus has gone from question mark to benchmark, including the vehicle we’re debuting here today, the first-ever dedicated luxury hybrid,” Templin said.

The HS 250h is expected to retail in the mid-$30,000 range when it is available in late summer, Lexus spokeswoman Julie Alfonso said. And it’s expected to get 30% better mileage than the Lexus RX 400h hybrid’s 25 combined m.p.g., she said.

The HS 250h will give luxury buyers an option other than the Lexus’ top-of-the-line 2009 LS Hybrid, with a 5.0-liter V8 that puts out 438 horsepower, hits 60 m.p.h. in 5.5 seconds and sells for $105,885. The 2009 GS Hybrid, with a 3.5-liter V6 that churns 340 horsepower and reaches 60 in 5.2 seconds, sells for $56,400. Lexus has sold 157,000 hybrids worldwide.

Powered by a four-cylinder 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle engine, the HS is expected to put out 187 horsepower. The powertrain also depends on an exhaust-heat recovery system to send additional power to the engine, Templin said.

The HS even uses an electric motor in the steering column to work with a conventional rack-and-pinion steering system.

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