Toyota Honda Unveil New Electric Cars WSJ com

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Honda Electric Cars

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Updated Nov. 18, 2010 11:52 a.m. ET

Toyota Motor Corp. TM -0.54% Toyota Motor Corp. ADS U.S. NYSE $ 113.34 -0.62 -0.54% March 10, 2014 4:03 pm Volume (Delayed 15m).

235,000 AFTER HOURS $ 112.75 -0.59 -0.52% March 10, 2014 7:55 pm Volume (Delayed 15m): 965 P/E Ratio 9.61 Market Cap $196.52 Billion Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee $764,041 02/06/14 Toyota Looks to Boost Exports. More quote details and news TM in Your Value Your Change Short position and Honda Motor Co. HMC -1.48% Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

ADS U.S. NYSE $ 36.57 -0.55 -1.48% March 10, 2014 4:05 pm Volume (Delayed 15m). 1.23M P/E Ratio 13.56 Market Cap $66.79 Billion Dividend Yield 2.14% Rev. per Employee $616,579 03/01/14 Apple Working With Ferrari, Vo.

More quote details and news HMC in Your Value Your Change Short position on Wednesday debuted their latest offerings in the increasingly competitive electric vehicle market, more than a decade after both launched electric cars that failed to catch on with U.S. car buyers.

Taking center stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Honda rolled out an electric version of its Fit subcompact and Toyota unveiled its RAV4 EV small sports utility vehicle. Both said their 100-mile range cars will be commercially available in 2012 and come equipped with lithium-ion batteries, Toyota’s coming from its partnership with Tesla Motors Inc. TSLA -2.99% Tesla Motors Inc. U.S.

Nasdaq $ 238.84 -7.37 -2.99% March 10, 2014 4:00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m). 7.68M AFTER HOURS $ 237.29 -1.55 -0.65% March 10, 2014 7:59 pm Volume (Delayed 15m): P/E Ratio N/A Market Cap $30.33 Billion Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee $343,659 03/10/14 HEARD ON THE STREET: Time to R. 03/07/14 As Tesla Cools, A Few Brave Sh. 03/07/14 Crystal Ball: Test Your Predic. More quote details and news TSLA in Your Value Your Change Short position

The two Japanese automakers had unveiled similar, but less technologically advanced, versions of compact EVs in the late 1990s using nickel-metal hydride batteries. Both ceased production of those vehicles earlier this decade after weak sales.

Executives at the two car makers expressed cautious optimism that the reception this time will be different than it was for the 1997 Toyota RAV4 EV and 1998 Honda EV Plus. But neither released expected sales figures or prices for their new electric vehicles.

We’re committed to do it, said John Mendel, executive vice president at American Honda Motor. But this will be very much a customer-pulled program, he said after Honda’s media presentation.

Similarly, Toyota officials played down the notion that electric cars are the dominant wave of the future for automotive technology. Instead, they depicted it as one of several technologies competing in the environmentally-friendly, high-fuel-efficiency niche of the market.

We see a role for the EV, but it’s far, far below 10 percent of the industry, said Bob Carter, general manager of the Toyota brand in the U.S.

While Toyota appears to be hedging its bets with EVs, it is moving quickly to expand its lead in the gas-electric hybrid segment, where it sees the highest growth potential.

In January, Toyota plans to roll out a Prius family line of four different hybrid gas-electric vehicles. Company officials say this sub-brand will likely include the current Prius, a plug-in version of the Prius, a hybrid tall wagon based on the Toyota Verso model sold in Europe and Japan, and a hybrid subcompact using the Toyota Yaris platform.

Honda Electric Cars

By the end of this decade, Prius will be the number one nameplate in the industry, the Camry as a close second, said James Lentz, president of Toyota’s U.S. sales unit. And that’s not because we expect a big drop in demand for Camry, he said in an interview.

The Toyota Camry is currently the best-selling car in the U.S.

Toyota said the shell of its electric RAV4 would be built in Canada, but the location where the electric power train would be installed is under discussion.

Telsa, based in Palo Alto, California, is building the battery packs at its new plant in Fremont, Calif. which is the former Toyota- General Motors Corp. GM -1.59% General Motors Co. U.S. NYSE $ 37.09 -0.60 -1.59% March 10, 2014 4:00 pm Volume (Delayed 15m).

17.51M AFTER HOURS $ 37.01 -0.08 -0.22% March 10, 2014 7:59 pm Volume (Delayed 15m): P/E Ratio 9.52 Market Cap $59.92 Billion Dividend Yield N/A Rev. per Employee $709,712 03/10/14 Congress to Investigate GM Rec. 03/09/14 William Clay Ford, Grandson of. 03/07/14 Cobalt Recall Claims Face Lega.

More quote details and news GM in Your Value Your Change Short position plant that closed earlier this year.

Toyota also is planning a subcompact electric car based on a Toyota iQ.

Honda said it will launch a plug-in vehicle in 2012, but has not specified which model it will be based on. However, company officials say that it will be for a mid-sized vehicle, which may indicate it is destined for a hybrid version of the Accord, its mainstay in the midsize segment.

Honda Electric Cars
Honda Electric Cars

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