plugged in

Ah, finally!

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The argument surfacing among auto-industry leaders gathering for the Tokyo Motor Show this week is over whether it is time to skip past partial electrification of cars — represented by gasoline-electric hybrids such as the Toyota Prius — and push instead to revive the idea of an all-electric car.

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On one side are Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Corp. Both have played down all-electric cars in favor of developing gasoline-electric hybrids, though they disagree on the best technology and how quickly it can be implemented.

On the other side are two allied car makers, France’s Renault SA and Japan’s Nissan Motor Co., as well as Honda Motor Co. The three have expressed skepticism about the economic wisdom of hybrids and are talking up all-electric cars.

One and only one thing will derail the biofuel behemoth: reasonably priced, mass-produced all-electric cars. Sounds like it might happen sooner than we thought.

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