According to the company, the Prius Plug-in Hybrid can be charged using an external power source such as a household electric outlet and is the first vehicle produced by Toyota, which can be propelled by a lithium-ion battery.
As the battery has expanded capacity, the vehicle has an extended electric-vehicle driving range, which will also help to use it as an electric vehicle or EV for short distances. For medium and long distances, after battery power depletes to a level that will not allow EV driving mode, the vehicle functions as a conventional gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle or electric car.
Toyota said that the plug-in hybrid vehicles, or PHVs, are expected to achieve fuel efficiency superior to conventional gasoline-electric HVs, reduce consumption of fossil fuels as well as reduce CO2 emissions and atmospheric pollution.
In Japan, Toyota is planning to lease nearly 230 units to government ministries, local governments selected for the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry’s electric car & PHV Towns program, corporations such, as electric power companies and other entities.
About 150 units will be provided, in the US to government agencies, corporations, universities and research agencies, to be used in a demonstration program, intended to collect driving data and spurring the development of battery-charging infrastructure.
Further, the company will lease in Europe about 200 units, with nearly 100 intended to the City of Strasbourg, France.
Toyota also plans to introduce the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in the UK and Portugal. In addition, the company is considering 10 other European countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, along with countries in other regions, such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.