Toyota plans 10 new hybrids, invites automakers to eco-summit
Toyota is developing 10 new hybrid models and aims within the next few years to be selling 1 million of the gas-electric vehicles annually worldwide. That, says the company’s U.S. head, Jim Press, will mean about 600,000 new Toyota hybrids each year on American roads, including hybrid versions of nearly every model it offers. The auto honcho pooh-poohed recent complaints that hybrid tech is being used to increase engine power instead of fuel economy, blaming that fact on automotive software and consumer driving habits. He predicts drivers will someday be able to push a button to choose between performance and mileage. Press is also inviting fellow automakers to join Toyota for a closed-door corporate summit on global warming and other issues, to proactively develop strategies for fuel-economy standards before regulators beat them to it — although regulators in California did beat them to it, and Toyota has joined the lawsuit against the state. But whatevs.