Nissan says the all-electric Nissan Leaf will leapfrog the Toyota Prius as the greenest car on the market. GM says the Chevy Volt plug-in hybrid will be the game-changer for energy and the environment. But the release of the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid�on schedule for 2012�puts Toyota in an awkward position: the need to leapfrog itself.
�SThe problem is that we�"re competing against ourselves,⬝ said Bill Reinert, national manager, Advanced Technology Group at Toyota Motor Sales, speaking at the company�"s Sustainable Mobility Seminar held in La Jolla, Calif. this week. The company convened academics and journalists to discuss the future of eco-friendly automotive fuels and technologies�and to launch the plug-in version of the Toyota Prius.
Instead of championing the Prius Plug-in Hybrid as an automotive savior, Reinert focused his energy on disclaimers of why the next iteration of the Prius�a plug-in version that can travel 13 miles without using a drop of gasoline�doesn�"t make sense for a lot of consumers.
First, Reinert says, it�"s going to be too expensive. The conventional Prius sells in the mid-$20,000, the �Ssweet spot where the public wants to spend their money,⬝ according to Reinert. The Prius Plug-in Hybrid is going to exceed that price. �SHow do you offset the costs and make a cogent case for the customer, especially because the conventional Prius is so damn good?⬝
Read More... [Source: HybridCars.com]