Honda Motor Co. CEO Takeo Fukui said plug-in hybrids offer too few environmental benefits for the company to pursue, according to a Wall Street Journal story Wednesday.
If the company was able to come up with lithium-ion batteries that were cheap, safe and high-performing enough for plug-in hybrids -- gasoline-electric hybrid cars that drivers can plug in to save gasoline -- Honda would rather use the batteries for electric vehicles, he said.
He specifically said the Chevrolet Volt, a concept plug-in hybrid that General Motors plans to commercialize in the next few years, makes little sense.
Analysts say electric cars aren't ready for mass adoption because they can't drive as far on a single charge as gasoline cars can drive on a single tank. But advocates say plug-in hybrids allow drivers to travel longer distances using gasoline.
Getting stuck without a charge means waiting up to eight hours for the battery to fill up.
The Honda news came out the day after GE Global Research, the research arm of the General Electric Co., announced $6.8 million in funding to help bring plug-in hybrids to market.
Google.org, the search giant's philanthropic arm, also has committed $10 million for investment in plug-in hybrids and electric cars (see Google Leaves Out Clean Diesel, Hydrogen).
In other Honda news Wednesday, the company said it is building a production version of its FCX hydrogen fuel-cell car, which it will unveil at the LA Auto Show in November and sell in the United States and Japan next year.