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2010: Toyota's Plug-in Target

By March 18, 2008

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Toyota is dead serious about this hybrid stuff. A report from Automotive News Europe indicates that the company will be sending lithium-ion battery powered plug-in hybrid Priuses to European businesses by 2010. While there is no target date yet for consumer level plug-ins, at the Geneva Auto Show, Toyota Motor Company President Katsuaki Watanabe said, "We will deliver plug-in hybrid vehicles powered by lithium-ion batteries to fleet customers in Europe by 2010."

The current Prius can go about 1 km (.62 mi) on electric power that it generates on its own. The plug-in Prius, which will have styling similar to the planned Prius wagon, is expected to be able to travel up to 20 km (12.42 mi) on one 220-volt household charge. After that, it will be able to travel on electric/engine power like the regular Prius. Leaps in battery technology have allowed Toyota to set this aggressive plug-in hybrid schedule, yet they realize that potential problems lurk. "Passing from laboratory-made lithium ion batteries to mass-produced batteries is a tremendous challenge both on quality and reliability," Watanabe is quoted as saying in the article.

What say you? Do you think Toyota is leading the pack ... and will the Prius be the first production plug-in vehicle to be seen on streets in your neighborhood? Or will it be the Chevrolet Volt?

Plug-in Prius at the Detroit Auto Show - photo Dale Wickell
March 19, 2008 at 2:48 pm
(1) Hybrid Authority says:

I think Toyota has the upper edge on Chevy right now anyway, so no reason to see why they wouldn’t continue to be #1. As I see it Chevy has a long way to go, but I wouldn’t count them out either.

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