Toyota to study demand for plug-in Prius for U.S.

Toyota outlines plan to study demand for Prius plug-in

We already know that Toyota has begun testing of its Plug-in HV on Japanese roads. On Friday, the Japanese automaker outlined plans to study the demand for a plug-in Prius for the U.S. market.

The Toyota Plug-in HV has a gasoline-powered internal combustion engine and an electric motor that supposedly allows it to do 8-miles on battery alone. Toyota also said on Friday that it will be delivering a modified Prius to the University of California as well as Berkeley, for a 3-year study with a goal to speed up development of a plug-in version of the hybrid.

“Before we bring it to market, our customers always expect a level of quality and reliability, value and cost,” said Bob Carter, head of the Toyota brand in the U.S. “It’s critical that we understand the expectations of the consumers.”

The Berkeley team will study consumer behavior while UC will concentrate on technical issues.

Carter declined to say how soon, or if, the plug-in Prius would hit U.S. roadways to rival GM’s Chevrolet Volt. The Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid has a target launch date of 2010.

Toyota currently dominates the market for hybrids and is expected to account for about 80 percent of all hybrids sold in the United States this year, with its Prius.

 

Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

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