China is no place for electric cars:Toyota

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese carmaker Toyota is working to improve its hybrid cars and develop electric cars for the future, but an official said on Monday that these vehicles would not help reduce CO2 emissions in China.

“In France, 80 percent of electricity is produced by nuclear stations so if electric cars replace fossil fuel cars then you have a clear reduction in the emission of CO2,” said Tatehito Ueda, a managing officer at Toyota Motor Corp.

“But in China they make electricity by burning coal, so China is not the place for electric cars,” he told the Nikkei International Automotive Conference in Tokyo.

Toyota has introduced a so-called ‘plug-in’ hybrid vehicle -- in which the electric part of the engine can be charged up from the electricity network -- in France in partnership with EDF and will introduce this elsewhere as well.

The vehicle is based on its Fuel Cell stack technology, but Ueda said a lot of issues needed to be resolved to make this a mass technology, both in infrastructure and in vehicles.

In the meantime, improved fuel economy through reduced running resistance, or friction, and an improved power train can cut emissions. Software can help make mechanical actions more precise and reduce fuel consumption, he said.