Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota’s president, said in a speech held at the Geneva Motor Show that their company will not produce diesel hybrids in the near future, even if the competition does.
For example, VW has in plan to produce its Golf Diesel Hybrid. Similar examples are offered by Mercedes Benz and BMW.
At the Detroit Auto Show, Watanabe announced that Toyota would offer a diesel engine in the Sequoia and Tundra in 2010. Toyota already offers a large variety of diesel engines to the European market.
According to Watanabe, the combination of diesel and hybrid does not improve efficiency in such manner as to justify the combined cost premium of both. At this point, the Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive system can’t in the big trucks, which is why Toyota is following just the diesel path for now.
Bob Carter, from Toyota USA told AutoblogGreen that diesel hybrids are technically feasible and they are being developed (along with many other things as part of Toyota’s $1million/hour in R&D spending), but Carter also said that the combination is not possible at a marketable cost.
The difference between Toyota and the german manufacturers in the hybrid diesel market is that the german ones are only “mild” hybrids, they only offer an electric boost at startup and have regenerative braking (they recover the energy lost through heat in the brake discs), while Toyota is offering its hybrids and plug-in hybrids in the trend of passing to electric-only mode, much more environmentally friendly than diesel or gasoline.