Toyota leases latest plug-in hybrid to selected customers
14 May 2009

Toyota will begin trials of its next-generation plug-in hybrid in late 2009, with 150 examples of the new car being leased to selected fleet customers across Europe, the company has announced.

The trials for the lithium-ion battery powered plug-in hybrid, based on the latest Toyota Prius, will begin Strasbourg in France by the end of the year, with the UK, Germany and the Netherlands following in mid-2010.

Although the cars will go to employees of companies such as EDF, they will be used as real-world everyday vehicles for commuting and the errands of daily life.

“We want to get as much real-world data from these tests as possible,” said a spokesman for Toyota. “For example, is the current range of 10km (6.2 miles) on electric power enough for a city-based commute?”

As well as a six-mile electric-only range, the latest Toyota plug-in hybrid can reach 62mph on electric power alone, and overall fuel economy is expected to be around 40 per cent better than a standard Prius’s, making the plug-in hybrid Toyota theoretically capable of 90-100mpg. Over the course of a 15-mile journey, Toyota claims that economy is improved by up to 60 per cent.

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

There are no plans to put this generation of plug-in hybrid into general production.

Matt Rigby

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week