There's no doubt: Tesla's electric vehicles are the talk of the industry, the models of environmental stewardship, the undisputed kings of torque at the drag strip.
Full-electric vehicles are the products at which today's trendsetters — and automakers — throw their money with abandon.
And that, in a nutshell, is what makes Toyota's commitment to spreading hybrid technology across its global lineup a tougher sell.
The technology, pioneered by Toyota in the 1990s, uses electric motors and gasoline engines in tandem to deliver power in a highly efficient, though not very exciting, manner.
Toyota's introduction of the Prius in 1997 and its global expansion of the egg-shaped hatchback in 2001 made the automaker the industry's symbol of innovation for a generation of consumers. Hybrid drivers even received special privileges to accompany their vehicles' stellar fuel economy, including access to high-occupancy vehicle lanes.
But as Toyota continues to improve its hybrid technology and promises to spread it across its vast global Lexus and Toyota lineups by 2025, it faces a marketing problem: Hybrids may be eminently practical, but they just aren't perceived to be as cool or cutting-edge as EVs.