When It Comes to Hybrids It's Toyota Vs. The World

Toyota's heavy spending is creating hybrid vehicle patents -- 650 and counting -- that could provide an edge over competitors.

Published: 25-Mar-2005

LOS ANGELES -- Toyota Motor Corp. is going all-in on hybrids and its gamble is part of one of the industry's highest-stakes poker games. While other automakers are hedging their bets - fearing that stiff development costs and higher sticker prices of hybrids will limit the technology to a niche - Toyota stands to benefit handsomely if its rivals are wrong.

Toyota is the only automaker developing production hybrid powertrains for front- and rear-drive vehicles, for both cars and trucks, and for four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines.

"Eventually all of our vehicles" will be offered with a hybrid option, says Jim Press, COO of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.


Playing catch-up a decade late, the world's auto giants now find that they have to lease or buy technology from Toyota.

Spc. Jeffrey Hamme and Staff Sgt. Michelangelo Merksamer of HHC, 1/506th Infantry, point out features of the Hybrid Electric Humvee at the AUSA Annual Meeting earlier this month. The two Soldiers participated in a Military Utility Assessment of the prototype vehicle last month at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Ford's 'Hybrid Patrol,' a 10-city initiative this fall that aims to show hybrid drivers how to drive for best fuel economy. EV World photo of Bill and Lisa Hammond on way to first Ford Patrol event in Detroit during stop-over in Omaha.


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