Recently, Toyota chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada made the following remarks at the Economic Club of Washington, D.C.
Prius Plug-In Hybrid
"Some people say hybrid vehicles such as the Prius are only a bridge to the future. But we think it could be a long bridge and a very sturdy one. There are many more gains we can achieve with hybrids."
"Today I wish to call on the industry to sell 5 million hybrids in the US by the end of 2016. It’s only when we put ourselves under the same kind of intense pressure we faced in developing the Prius that we can achieve great goals. That’s what it takes. I want our industry to achieve this goal."
While it's Toyota's vision to see hybrids prosper seemingly forever, several other automakers out there don't hold a similar view. The consensus is that hybrids are today's technology leading to tomorrow's technology.
Tomorrow's technology is the plug-in.
As more and more Americans purchase hybrids, they become acquainted with electric-drive, albeit only at certain speeds and under unique circumstances.
However, most of today's hybrid owners believe that they are driving some type of electric vehicle.
That's good news for plug-ins, because soon these millions of hybrid drivers will be in need of a replacement vehicle. While most may stick with the Prius, some will be inclined to seek out other electric-drive offerings.
The steps in automotive evolution are obvious: hybrid to plug-in hybrid to pure electric vehicle.
So, if we get more butts in conventional hybrids like the Toyota Prius, then eventually that means more plug-in owners in the future.