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UK gets plug-in hybrid Prius trial

A trial of 20 plug-in hybrid Prius will be launched by Toyota GB in mid-2010.

The UK initiative forms part of global trials involving 600 cars in Japan, USA and Europe leased to local and national authorities, universities and energy companies.

Toyota has confirmed plans to sell the model "in the tens of thousands to the general public in two years" after analysing feedback from the trials.

Identified as Prius Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle (PHV), it offers greater range on electric power to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, using lithium-ion batteries which can be charged from electrical sockets as well as the vehicle's own petrol-electric hybrid drive system.

"The plug-in hybrid technology is a key driver on our road towards sustainable mobility," said Toyota Motor Corporation executive vice-president Takeshi Uchiyamada.

"Based on Toyota's full hybrid powertrain, PHV represents today the most practical way of increasing the use of electricity for personal transport. Now we need to investigate market acceptance of this new technology."


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