Toyota aims to roll out plug-in Prius in two years

Dec 14, 2009
A Toyota Prius is seen in a Tokyo showroom. The world's biggest car-maker Toyota Motor said Monday that it plans to begin commercial sales of its first plug-in hybrid vehicle in about two years, aiming to meet growing demand for fuel-efficient cars.

Toyota Motor said Monday that it plans to begin commercial sales of its first plug-in hybrid vehicle in about two years, aiming to meet growing demand for fuel-efficient cars.

The Japanese giant, the world's largest automaker, hopes to sell several tens of thousands of the plug-in Prius car, which it says will have an affordable price tag.

In part to gauge demand for the cars, Toyota said it would start leasing some 600 in the first half of 2010 to government agencies and businesses -- 230 in Japan, 200 in Europe and 150 in the United States.

The French city of Strasbourg is leasing about 100 of the plug-in Prius vehicles, powered by a combination of petrol and lithium-ion batteries that can be charged from a conventional electrical outlet.

The plug-in hybrid runs 23.4 kilometres (14.5 miles) in the electric mode alone on one charge and has an average fuel efficiency of 57 kilometres per litre, based on Japanese road conditions.

The efficiency is an improvement on the conventional Prius which boasts an average fuel efficiency of 30.6 kilometres per litre.

Combining the plug-in system with a conventional allowed the company to keep down the production cost compared with a full electric car, said Toyota vice president Takeshi Uchiyamada.

"The plug-in hybrid also solves users' concern about an electric car running out power," he said.

Toyota is also considering starting marketing a fuel-cell hybrid in 2015, he said.

Japanese automakers have made strides with because of high oil prices and growing concern about emissions blamed for global warming.

Toyota has sold more than 1.25 million Prius vehicles since the first version's launch in 1997, making it the world's most popular hybrid.

(c) 2009 AFP

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User comments : 6

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robbor
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009
A couple of years???
Independant companies are already retro-fitting the cars in California.
jerryd
5 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009

I agree with robbor, they are stalling again bring out PHEV's. In Cal they did it 5 yrs ago.

Toyota's lies that battery tech isn't here yet doesn't gel with reality. There are plenty of batteries out there to do the job, they just need orders.

I've been driving EV's for 13 yrs now at 25% of the cost of an ICE including lead battery costs. There is no reason a cost effective lead battery EV with 100 mile range can't be built except car companies don't want to because they are so simple, it cuts their aftermarket parts sales, a big profit source for them.

Nissan and Ford are going to clean Toyota's, other car companies clock in EV's, PHEV's next yr with reasonable priced ones, little or no more costly than ICE's.
Buyck
4.7 / 5 (3) Dec 14, 2009
"Toyota aims to roll out plug-in Prius in two years"... hopefully with solarcells on the roof!
wiyosaya
4 / 5 (1) Dec 14, 2009
A couple of years???
Independant companies are already retro-fitting the cars in California.

Yes, for a $10K premium.
wiyosaya
not rated yet Dec 14, 2009

I agree with robbor, they are stalling again bring out PHEV's. In Cal they did it 5 yrs ago.

Toyota's lies that battery tech isn't here yet doesn't gel with reality. There are plenty of batteries out there to do the job, they just need orders.

I've been driving EV's for 13 yrs now at 25% of the cost of an ICE including lead battery costs. There is no reason a cost effective lead battery EV with 100 mile range can't be built except car companies don't want to because they are so simple, it cuts their aftermarket parts sales, a big profit source for them.

Nissan and Ford are going to clean Toyota's, other car companies clock in EV's, PHEV's next yr with reasonable priced ones, little or no more costly than ICE's.


Congratulations on your EV. I hope it serves you well.

As to Ford and Nissan releasing PH/EV's, more power to them. Competition is always a great moderator for price. :)
fixer
not rated yet Dec 14, 2009
The original EV1 was a sleek vehicle, perhaps it will be reborn.
No development costs and fitted with modern batteries it should make 400km per charge and cost less than a comparable IC vehicle.