EDF and Toyota have announced a major step forward in their joint road-trials in France, involving plug-in hybrid vehicles equipped with lithium-ion batteries.
One hundred of the cars will be leased to companies in the Strasbourg area starting at the end of this year for a three year period.
This project has received financial support via the Research Fund managed by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency ADEME, following a call for projects on low-emitting vehicles.
This programme is part of a global Toyota project that will also be deployed in Japan and the US from the end of 2009.
Toyota is using the trial as an opportunity to investigate the technology and performance of its plug-in hybrid vehicles. EDF's objective is to evaluate different operational options for the charging infrastructure. The joint goal is to broaden consumers' understanding and acceptance, in preparation for broad commercialisation in the future.
In the context of the EDF-Toyota partnership, European road trials of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles started in France in the autumn of 2007 and were expanded to the UK last year.
The vehicles will use a charging system which will be set up at several hundred charging points at users' homes, at the facilities of partners, in public car parks and on public roads.