In 2007, Time Magazine dubbed the Prius design team, Heroes of the Environment
. By contrast, I recently posted a Mother Jones
news item about the dirty secret that making hybrids, EVs and a lot of other gizmos requires rare earths that are about as nasty to refine as tar sands.
Over at TTAC, Bertel Schmitt first interviewed
the leader of that team, Toyota Chief Engineer Ogiso Satoshi (in the center, above) about the effort that led to the Prius:
“Look, when we started the Prius project in 1993, we did not even think of a hybrid system for the Prius. We did not set out to build a hybrid. We studied what was needed for the 21st century, and two things were certain: The need to protect the environment, and the need to bring consumption down. That’s all we knew, and you did not need to be a clairvoyant to know it.”