Toyota to start selling plug-in hybrids by 2011

Toyota Prius Plug-In Hybrid

Toyota’s Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada says that Toyota will start selling plug-in hybrid vehicles to consumers in 2011 at an affordable price. Uchiyamada made the comments while showing the Prius plug-in hybrid prototype.

Later this month, a total of 350 vehicles will be delivered in Japan and Europe in support of model programs with business and government partners. Early next year, 150 units will start arriving in the U.S., where they will be placed in regional clusters with select partners for market/consumer analysis and technical demonstration.

“When fully charged, the vehicle is targeted to achieve a maximum electric-only range of approximately 13 miles and will be capable of achieving highway speeds up to 60 mph in electric-only mode,” Toyota says. “For longer distances, the Prius PHV reverts to “hybrid mode” and operates like a regular Prius.”

The battery powering the Prius PHV is the first lithium-ion drive-battery developed by Toyota and its joint venture battery production company, Panasonic Electric Vehicle Energy (PEVE). In early November, PEVE began producing more than 500 lithium batteries on a dedicated assembly line at the company’s Teiho production facility in Japan.

– By: Omar Rana