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Toyota Giving Up On Electric Cars

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Toyota is scrapping its electric car production by the end of 2014 in order to begin production on its FCV - a hydrogen fuel cell powered car, set to appear in showrooms in 2015.

Speaking with Automotive News, Mitsuhisa Kato, Toyota's head of research and development, said that the company was not making satisfactory progress with its electric vehicles:

"The cruising distance is so short for EVs, and the charging time is so long. At the current level of technology, somebody needs to invent a Nobel Prize-winning type battery."

Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota's North American region, echoed the sentiment, noting that EVs are viable only in "a select way, in short-range vehicles that take you that extra mile . . . But for long-range travel primary vehicles, we feel there are better alternatives, such as hybrids and plug-in hybrids, and tomorrow with fuel cells."

Toyota's last remaining EVs in production are the eQ electric minicar and RAV4 EV crossover.

FCVs combine hydrogen with oxygen to generate electricity and emit only water vapor as exhaust. Toyota's first model is expected to retail for $70,000 - the same price as the all-electric Tesla Model S.

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