WILL RULE INDUSTRY
Automakers who develop greener vehicles will dominate the industry in the 21st century, Toyota Motor Corp.'s president said.
"Environmentally friendly cars will soon cease to be an option, they will become a necessity," Fujio Cho told reporters and industry officials at the North American International Auto Show.
He said while the industry becomes more global, automakers must not lose sight that any advances should not be at the expense of the environment.
"Automakers that deliver practical, greener products will command the market in the 21st century," Cho said.
Toyota will begin selling its gasoline-electric Prius vehicle in the United States later this year. And fuel-cell technology holds even more promise, Cho said. Many automakers have said they expect to begin selling cars powered by fuel cells in 2003 and 2004.
He said automakers will not be able to develop future technologies alone, however. That's one reason Toyota last year joined with General Motors Corp. to develop advanced technology. It also has a partnership on green technology and recycling with Germany's Volkswagen AG.
"To reach our goals as an industry, we must continue to cooperate in the laboratory and compete in the showroom," Cho said.
He said consumers will win with cleaner vehicles and lower prices.
Why go Electric?
Electric Vehicles, or EVs, are 97% cleaner than gas-powered cars. This includes the emissions from the electric power plant. EVs fill a perfect niche in the urban commute car market, where the range is short and the need for non-polluting cars is the greatest. EVs require less maintenance than gas powered cars. EVs are quiet, minimizing sound pollution. EVs will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
According to the Department of Energy, emissions from the 190 million cars and trucks on U.S. roads mostly hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and carbon monoxide account for about 50 percent of all air pollution and more than 80 percent of urban air pollution.
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