'Everything Will Be Hybrid,' Says Toyota's Jim Press

'The Prius is the forerunner. It's going to be like the Model T when you look back,' Jim Press said.

Published: 11-Jul-2007

ta Motor Corp.'s North American chief said vehicles powered by gasoline-electric hybrid engines will dominate U.S. roads as fuel prices continue to rise.

"Eventually, everything will be a hybrid," said Jim Press, president of Toyota Motor North America, in an interview today in New York. Hybrids have been driving Toyota's growth in the U.S., he said.

Toyota executives have said they expect at least 175,000 Prius hybrids to be sold in North America this year, up from about 109,000 in 2006. Hybrids reduce fuel use and emissions by combining a gasoline engine, an electric motor with a battery pack and brakes that capture energy from stopping.

"The Prius is the forerunner," Press said. "It's going to be like the Model T when you look back," he said, referring to the ubiquitous, low-cost Ford Motor Co. vehicle produced more than 80 years ago.

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