If anyone has any doubt of the effectiveness of hybrids over frugal diesels try telling Toyota. Speaking with a source at the company today he re-iterated that every model in the range would include a hybrid option “within ten years”.
This would include the usual array of C-segment and D-segment cars of course, but interestingly it would also be extended to hybrid Hilux pick-ups (Hy-lux anyone?), Land Cruisers, and Rav4s.
Toyota has become a by-word for hybrids and still appears to be ahead of the game, despite major efforts by other manufacturers to jump on the bandwagon. The company is also reportedly planning to build up to 30,000 plug-in hybrids a year by 2012 to compete with a challenge from GM’s Chevrolet Volt.
Such is the success of Toyota’s hybrid systems that it is now happy to supply the tech to other manufacturers, giving it a foothold in segments and countries it may not be so established. Rumour has it Mazda is now looking at Toyota tech instead of the systems being put in Fords.
There have long been reports that hybrid technology is well-suited to certain emissions and economy tests but is not as good as it first appears. This seems all the more controversial when you look at the astonishing figures cars like the beautifully simple Polo Bluemotion can achieve.
But hybrids are here to stay and the technology can only get more effective – just look at the new Prius’ CO2 figure 89g/km compared to the last model’s 104g/km rating.
The only fly in the ointment for Toyota’s plan to build a hybrid for every range is that they don’t work very well in very small cars like the iQ or Aygo because the extra weight negates the advantages of having a small engine in a small car. Expect these tiny models to go down the full electric route…