Chrysler's Press Claims Japan Paid 100% Of Toyota Prius Hybrid, Battery Development; Lutz Says Volt Could Cost $48,000S

BusinessWeek's David Kiley had a fun idea to spend some time talking with some industry heavy-hitters about CAFE and fuel economy. He spent a few minutes talking to both former Toyota USA President and current #2 at Chrysler, Jim Press, as well as GM Vice-Chairman "Maximum" Bob Lutz. The topic was the fuel efficient topic of choice among greenies, hybrids. In the article, Lutz claimed the upcoming Chevy Vaporware Volt might end up with a sticker price at around $48K. Normally that would make a pretty spectacular lead for us, especially given it's a price tag that's betwen 33% and 60% higher than originally stated by the brand all about the 'merican revolution and the GM exec born from jets. Fortunately for him, his comments were eclipsed by Press on the Prius.

And why not, as Press noted the inherent unfairness of competition from Toyota in the hybrid game, saying

"...the Japanese government paid for 100% of the development of the battery and hybrid system that went into the Toyota Prius."
Phew, that's nice work by an automaker if you can get it. Here in the US, we're lucky if we can get a bailout for our automakers if they're about to go bankrupt. Oh wait, sorry Jim, Chrysler already used up that chit. But, we know how keen US politicians seem to be on helping out an industry which employs millions of people and effects almost every American's daily life, we're assuming similar plans are in the works. Yeah, right. [MSNBC]