Hybrid Race

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

General Motors' top product executive says the race between GM and Toyota to produce a rechargeable car is meaningless because the companies' vehicles are so different.

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says Toyota's plug-in hybrid has a much shorter electric range than the Chevrolet Volt and must use a gasoline engine to go any farther.

Toyota's president pledged on Thursday to bring his company's plug-in hybrid to market in 2009, while the Volt is due in showrooms in late 2010.

But Lutz says he expects Toyota's plug-in will be debut in controlled fleets and not in large numbers. He says GM will have production versions of the Volt working in a large test fleet in late 2009.

Lutz was speaking at an event in Illinois where GM showed reporters its 2009 model lineup.

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