Toyota’s Plug-In Hybrid Will Hit Japan in 2011

By dancurranjr On December 10th, 2009

toyota-phev-priusToyota Motor Corp. will release a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can be charged at home beginning in late 2011, the company has said.

The carmaker said it hoped to initially sell about 15,000 vehicles of the new model annually in the United States, and was considering releasing the model in Japan around the same time.

The vehicle likely will be priced at about 3 million yen (46,200 Singapore dollars) or more.

Amid fierce competition among automakers worldwide to develop next-generation eco-cars, Toyota concluded that a plug-in hybrid vehicle, which has better mileage than a car solely powered by electricity, will become the market mainstream.

The carmaker hopes the new model will attain market penetration with its lower price tag than electric cars.

With its fully charged high-power lithium-ion battery, Toyota’s new plug-in hybrid vehicle can operate for about 20 kilometers powered only by its motor.

Even after the battery runs out, the vehicle continues to run as a hybrid car powered by its gasoline engine.

The longest operating distance achieved by existing electric cars is about 100 kilometers or more. The carmaker is expected to further take the lead in eco-car development due to the new hybrid model’s greater efficiency than electric cars.

Toyota plans to launch sales of the model in the United States because California regulations to require carmakers to sell a certain percentage of eco-cars will likely become tougher.

SOURCE: Asia One

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