Toyota plans to build up to 30,000 plug-in hybrids a year by 2012 to compete with GM’s Chevrolet Volt, according to reports in Japan.
Toyota is currently testing around 500 plug-in Prius hybrids globally but the Japanese firm has yet to confirm when it will start to mass produce them.
GM will start to sell the Chevrolet Volt in the US late next year and the reports suggest Toyota is keen to launch its own plug-in range to compete at around the same time.
Toyota also plans to compete on price in Japan with Mitsubishi, which has launched its own plug-in hybrid.
The Mitsubishi plug-in hybrid costs around twice as much as a conventional Toyota Prius hybrid, so Toyota will want its plug-in Prius to cost a similar amount when it goes on sale to avoid being undercut by the Mitsubishi.
The plug-in Prius will reportedly be able to travel around 15 miles on battery power alone according to the reports. The lithium-ion batteries used in it are a joint venture between Toyota and Panasonic.