While all of the “Big Three” U.S. car makers are pushing their lines of flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) capable of running on up to 85 percent ethanol, Toyota continues to mull it over.
A press release this week quoted Toyota Motor North America president Jim Press saying, Toyota is strongly considering introducing a flex-fuel vehicle program in the U.S. “We’re already developing vehicles that can operate in ethanol-rich Brazil and we’re optimistic that we can offer similar vehicles to American consumers.”
He said Toyota is also pursuing a plug-in hybrid vehicle that would be capable of traveling greater distances without using its gas engine, with the ultimate goal of conserving more oil, reducing smog and greenhouse gases to near zero emissions levels.
Press made his comments in a talk at the National Press Club (no relation to him), and numerous media outlets picked up the story out of DC from their own perspectives. The Chicago Sun-Times headlined that Toyota was “charging ahead with plans for plug-in hybrid.” Detroit Free Press noted that Press ” stopped well short of committing Toyota to bringing either technology to the U.S. market.” Associated Press headlined with Press’ denial that Toyota was thinking of hooking up with GM and buried the ethanol/plug-in angle about mid-article. Bloomberg focused on the plug-ins.