CATARC President Assistant Li Wei and TMC Senior Managing Director Akira Sasaki signed the agreement at a ceremony in the presence of Tianjin Deputy Mayor Wang Zhi Ping.
The goal of the verification tests, which are to start within 2010, is to determine the adaptability and usefulness of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in China.
TMC will select drivers to evaluate the vehicle during use for commuting and other daily purposes, while CATARC and TMC will measure fuel efficiency, charging times, electric-vehicle driving range, etc., and will analyze and evaluate data collected.
"As we move to distance cars from petroleum, we view electricity, which can be produced using any primary energy source, as exceptionally promising. Greater use of it is in lockstep with China’s electrification policy", said TMC Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada at the ceremony.
The Prius Plug-in Hybrid can be charged using an external power source such as a household electric outlet. Its large-capacity battery gives it an electric car driving range longer than that of a conventional gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, resulting in reduced fuel consumption and direct CO2 emissions.
It also functions as a conventional gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle when its battery is too low to allow charge-based electric driving, meaning that its range is not limited by remaining battery power. Hence, TMC believes that plug-in hybrid electric vehicles such as the Prius Plug-in Hybrid are environmental friendly vehicles highly suitable for popularization.
TMC has already started verification tests of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid in Rokkasho Village, Japan; Boulder City, United States; and the city of Strasbourg in France. The vehicle is scheduled for commercial launch at the start of 2012.
While continuing to develop next-generation environmental technologies and technologies for using electricity, TMC – under its founding philosophy of contributing to society through the manufacture of automobiles – will continue to strive to produce vehicles that meet consumers’ needs.
Supported by people around the world, Toyota Motor Corporation (TSE: 7203; NYSE: TM), has endeavored since its establishment in 1937 to serve society by creating better products. As of the end of March 2010, Toyota conducts its business worldwide with 51 overseas manufacturing companies in 26 countries and regions. Toyota’s vehicles are sold in more than 170 countries and regions.