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Toyota exec touts fuel cell cars, dismisses EV rivals

Toyota has been showing off its fuel cell concept vehicle at the international auto show circuit. The FCV is set for production and sale in 2015. (Newspress USA)
Jan. 15, 2014, 8:39 a.m.

DETROIT (Reuters) – In an escalation of the auto industry’s war of words over future green technologies, a senior Toyota Motor Corp executive singled out Elon Musk and other rival executives on Tuesday and made a bold prediction for its hydrogen car.

Bob Carter, Toyota’s senior vice president for automative operations, said in a speech that he believed a hydrogen fuel cell car it plans to launch next year could eventually be as successful as its pioneering Prius gasoline-electric hybrid.

Carter said “naysayers” who have spoken out against the technology would be proven wrong and referred to Elon Musk, founder of electric car maker Tesla Motors Inc, Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Nissan Motor Co, and former Volkswagen executive Jonathan Browning by name.

“Personally I don’t really care what Elon and Carlos and Jonathan have to say about fuel cells. It’s very reminiscent of 1998, 1999 when we first introduced the Prius,” Carter said at a conference held in conjunction with the Detroit auto show.

The comments underscore just how big the stakes are in the race to take the lead in the next generation green car.
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