Toyota to lease Prius plug-in
Its new Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHV) is an adapted version of the next-generation Toyota Prius that can be charged using a standard domestic socket.
The PHV uses a lithium ion battery that extends the Prius's electric-only range, cuts CO2 emissions and improves fuel consumption. For longer journeys it operates like a standard Prius, with a petrol engine that provides power and also charges the battery.
The first examples of the new PHV will be leased to customers in Strasbourg, France, at the end of 2009, but Toyota is also in discussions to let vehicles in the UK, Germany and Netherlands.
It expects to lease over 150 examples in Europe by the middle of 2010 and predicts that over 500 cars will be on trial in Europe, Japan and the US by the end of 2010.