Dawn of the Electric-Drive Era
By EV World.Com
It's little wonder that Jim Press has attained the level of responsibility he has within Toyota. You'll very quickly see why when you listen to the MP3 of his speech to the attendees at the 20th Electric Vehicle Symposium, November 2003. He not only took the opportunity to extol the virtues of the new second generation Prius gasoline-electric car -- did you know you release more smog-forming pollution in a can of insect repellant than the Prius would release on a drive from Paris to Beijing? -- but to urge his fellow carmakers to work together to bring more electric-drive vehicles to the market.
Toyota is certainly doing its part by introducing two new hybrid-drive vehicles in 2004: gasoline-electric versions of the Highlander SUV and Lexus RX SUV. And at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit this past week, the company even unveiled its FTX concept pickup truck, also powered by a hybrid-electric drive system.
Jim believes we are now entering the "golden era" of electric-drive vehicles. "We are on the cusp of boom in electric drive like the world has never seen," he stated. "It's happening today because enough great technology has finally arrived." He added that the movement begun at EVS 1 more than thirty years ago has finally blossomed in a "powerhouse" of technology, noting that more and more people are voting with their pocketbooks. Interestingly, it was Press who told the media in Detroit this week that Toyota now has a backlog of some 16,000 orders for the new Prius.
To listen to Press' address, use the special Flash-based MP3 player at the right. Or feel free to download the file to your computer to play it off-line or on your favorite MP3 device.