Nobody is suggesting that plug-in vehicles will take over the world anytime in the near future, but Toyota managing officer has gone a step further by insisting that the internal combustion engine will "never" be abandoned.

Koei Saga, the managing officer of Toyota told reporters at the NAIAS that electric vehicles are best suited for use as "very small commuter-type vehicles."  He went on to state that longer range electric vehicles are not in the near future unless several sacrifices are made.  Saga said, "If we forget about battery life and if we forget about the cost incurred for replacement batteries," then long range EVs would be possible.

When asked by reporters at the show about the future of gasoline vehicles, Saga responded, "In my personal view, I think we will never abandon the internal combustion engine."

Toyota as a company has focused primarily on hybrid technology.  Though they will offer EVs soon.  The focus on hybrids has led them to the top in this segment.  However, competition is slowly getting stronger and many automakers will release EVs in the next 2 years.

It's our belief that it is highly unlikely that plug-in vehicles will replace the ICE vehicle anytime soon, but some day the gasoline powered vehicle will meet its match and disappear into history.

Toyota's approach is spot on.  First comes the hybrid vehicle, then the plug-in hybrid, then the full blown EV.  This gradual method truly fits in with technological advancements, buyers concerns, and costs.  But the demise of the gasoline engine is one step that the company does not believe will occur.

Source:  New York Times