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USA: Hybrids and EVs could soon cost up to $4k more Toyota warns

Hybrid and ZEV car prices could rise by up to $4,000 as battery technology fails to keep pace with dwindling federal tax credits, Toyota has warned, despite aggressive targets for low-emission cars in the US. Development of cheaper, more power-dense batteries are likely to bring down the cost of building cars like the Prius, Toyota’s Tom Stricker, VP of technology and regulatory affairs said, but countered that good news with the company’s own internal calculations that its cars – and those of competitors, like GM’s Volt and Nissan’s Leaf – could still end up costing between $2,000 and $4,000 more as subsidies and credits expire and are not reinstated.

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The potential for price rises comes amid evolving public policy toward subsidizing the adoption of low- and zero-emission cars, Stricker pointed out. Targets are ambitious: the Zero-Emission Vehicle requirements – led by the state of California – demands 15-percent of new sales be emission free, such as total-electric or fuel-cell models, by 2025.
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