Why Did Toyota Kill the Electric Car?

Mary Nickerson, national marketing manager for Toyota, has a different take. Customers didn't want it.

Published: 26-Jan-2007

There are a lot of theories about why large auto manufacturers killed off their electric cars in the '90s. GM came out with one. Ford did as well, and so did Toyota.

Some believe oil companies pressured the car manufacturers to kill the electric car lines. Others have said that once the legislative mandates got weakened, the manufacturers lost interest.

Mary Nickerson, national marketing manager for Toyota, has a different take. Customers didn't want it.

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The leakage, which Toyota says does not pose a safety threat, can affect all models sold in the period of 2000-03 and affects 1,239 petrol/electric hybrids in the UK.

Executives at GM, Ford and Daimler-Chrysler derided the hybrids as money-losers and lagged in producing their own models. Toyota pressed ahead, and its resulting hybrids -- the Prius, the Highlander SUV and Lexus RX400h, as well as a half-dozen other hybrid models sold only in Japan -- now dominate the market, accounting for about 80 percent of U.S. hybrid sales. PHOTO: EVWorld.Com

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