Does no one at the New York Times know about the electric RAV-4?
Toyota Holds Back in the Race to Go Electric - NYTimes.com
“Why is Toyota waiting on electric cars?” asked Tadashi Tateuchi, a former race car designer turned electric-car evangelist.The EV RAV-4 was around for years (1997-2003), and for that matter, is still running strong if you look at the vehicles that are still running even if they're not being sold.
Even when electric cars are sold widely, the company says, they will be suitable only for short trips and serve a decidedly niche market.
Toyota is instead building on its hybrid technology, bringing out a plug-in, gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle later this year that runs a short distance on batteries before the hybrid system kicks in.
“Electric cars are a disruptive technology, and Toyota knows that,” Mr. Shimizu said. “I wouldn’t say Toyota is killing the electric vehicle. Perhaps Toyota is scared.”
Now, that's not to say that Toyota is all that interested in electric vehicles, as opposed to hybrids. They have the most popular hybrid on the road today and are likely to want to keep that sort of success.
So the argument in the story being made is a legitimate one. But missing the electric car Toyota had out over a decade ago seems a little bit ... wrong.