As Bertel reported this morning, the debut of Toyota’s first potential mass-market pure EV has not been an occasion for the Japanese automaker to trumpet battery-electric technology as a world-beater. In fact, given the kind of rhetoric that usually accompanies concepts like this Tesla-developed electric RAV4, Toyota is still treating electric vehicles as a limited, and relatively short-term trend that poses little threat to the gas-based core of its business. And there’s strong evidence that this is the right approach. Hybrids are the mass-market face of green motoring in the here-and-now, and a wave of hydrogen vehicles scheduled for 2015 could take considerable wind out of the EV bandwagon’s sales long-term. No wonder Toyota shoved development of the RAV4 EV to its idealistic “investment,” Tesla. This car is not the future… it’s an insurance policy.
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