The giant Japanese automaker Toyota intends to launch 11 hybrid car models by the end of 2012. The 11-hybrid-car group consists of brand new and redesigned models, powered by engines that run on both gasoline and electricity, at a time when rivals focus their efforts on all-electric vehicle development.
Toyota is expecting annual sales of more than 50,000 units for a plug-in hybrid to be launched by early 2012 in Japan, the United States and Europe, with a price tag of around 3 million yen (36,045 dollars).
Another newcomer is the iQ-like small electric vehicle which the company will introduce in Japan, Europe and China.
Although the full-electric car market is blooming, however president Akio Toyota pointed out a critical obstacle last week , the development of a convenient recharging system. The remarks were made at Toyota’s unveiling of the “RAV4 EV” concept vehicle, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
The electric version of sports car RAV4 was developed in collaboration with the US car manufacturer Tesla Motors, where Toyota owns $50-million worth of shares.
Other plans include the launching of a fuel cell powered sedan around 2015, with a price tag of less than 10 million yen (a little over $10,000) and the creation of a next generation of batteries that outperform current lithium-ion models.
All of these seem quite ambitious goals, maybe because Toyota tries to make up its image stained by the safety-related recalls during this year.