Topic: Bi-Fuel Vehicles
Financial Times reports that Toyota Motor Corp. is developing ethanol-based cars for Brazil and plans to introduce those vehicles in the U.S. by 2008.
The Japanese automaker, a market leader in gas-electric hybrids, has resisted the technology up to this point, which left the market open to domestic automakers such as General Motors and Ford. Detroit's domestic manufacturers currently have more than 1.5 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road in the United States.
Toyota is said to be worried about the impact of highly corrosive ethanol on rubber seals in the engine. Toyota's debut ethanol vehicle would be fitted with new anti-corrosive parts to meet U.S. regulations, but the automaker suggested that a less ambitious strategy of mixing only 10-to-15-percent ethanol into gasoline might produce greater savings, the paper said.
President Bush has called for more ethanol use to reduce dependence on foreign oil.