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Toyota, Ford plan to keep hybrids as core part of their lineups, showing split in auto industry

“If I had a dollar more to invest, would I spend it on a hybrid? Or would I spend it on the answer that we all know is going to happen, and get there faster and better than anybody else?” GM President Mark Reuss

Last week, Continental AG , one of the world’s biggest car-parts makers, said it would cut investment in conventional engine parts because of a faster-than-expected fall in demand—yet another sign the industry is accelerating the shift to electric vehicles.

Today, auto companies generally lose money on each electric car they sell, mostly because of the high cost of lithium-ion batteries.

VW and GM are focused on all-electric cars largely because of China, where new regulations require car companies to sell a minimum number of zero-emissions vehicles to avoid financial penalties.

For now, both hybrids and electric cars are more expensive to produce than comparable gas-powered vehicles. A hybrid system can add roughly $2,000 to a vehicle’s cost, while a fully electric version is an additional $6,000 to $10,000

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