Toy­ota takes a dig at Tesla

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - — Wheels Re­porter.

THE trade jour­nal Ward’s Auto re­ports Toy­ota’s se­nior vice- pres­i­dent for U. S. op­er­a­tions Bob Carter diss­ing Tesla dur­ing ad hoc com­ments he made at the J. D. Power Au­to­mo­tive Sum­mit in San Fran­cisco last week.

In the U. S., mean­while, Toy­ota has now logged 16 000 “hand- rais­ers”, or con­sumers who have signed up to learn more about the Mi­rai — which will go on sale dur­ing the sec­ond half of this year.

With re­gard to elec­tric­car maker Tesla, how­ever, Carter said he had been “dis­ap­pointed” in com­ments by CEO Elon Musk that hy­dro­gen- pow­ered cars should be called “fool- cell ve­hi­cles”.

“If I had all my eggs in one bas­ket,” Ward’s re­ports him say­ing, “I might be mak­ing the same com­ments.”

In his pub­lished re­marks, which did not con­tain the Tesla crit­i­cism, Carter also said of the fuel- cell car: “In re­al­ity, Mi­rai IS an elec­tric ve­hi­cle. But the elec­tric­ity is pro­duced on­board … ver­sus off the grid.”

And, he added, “In other words … the Toy­ota Fuel Cell Sys­tem in the new Mi­rai … is sim­ply … a bet­ter bat­tery.”

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