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Toyota Engineer Doubts Future of Electric Cars

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April 16, 2015—A top engineer at Toyota Motor Corp. told to Reuters on Thursday that battery-powered electric vehicles don't have a practical future even if technological breakthroughs allow them to be charged more quickly.

Yoshikazu Tanaka, chief engineer of Toyota's hydrogen fuel-cell car, Mirai, said that the vehicle would use so much energy it would defeat the purpose of introducing an environmentally friendly form of transportation.

"If you were to charge a car in 12 minutes for a range of 500 km (310 miles), for example, you're probably using up electricity required to power 1,000 houses," said Tanaka, according to Reuters. "That totally goes against the need to stabilize electricity use on the grid."

Tanaka said he doesn't deny the benefits of EVs but instead says hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles offer the most promising zero-emission alternative to conventional cars.

Tanaka said the vehicles offer a similar driving range and refueling time, can be extracted from numerous sources and have the advantage of being more easily stored than electricity.

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