Toyota A-Bat

Words By Jim Holder

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Toyota president Katsuaki Watanabe used the Detroit motor show to outline the company's commitment to the environment.

In his speech, he made it clear that, by 2010, Toyota will have a variety of plug-in hybrids on sale around the world as a result of investment of more than $1,000,000 an hour in green technology.

Kick-starting the programme, Watanabe revealed Toyota's plans to offer a diesel V8 engine in both the Tundra and Sequoia in the near future.

By next year he pledged to have two new hybrids ready for sale in the USA, one under the Lexus marque, the other Toyota.

'All this will move us closer to our goal of selling one million hybrids a year in the next decade,' said Watanabe.

Toyota A-Bat
This year, though, Toyota had to content itself to applying the hybrid technology developed for the Prius on a pick-up, the A-Bat concept car.

Aimed at city dwellers rather than off-roaders, the four-seater is larger than the Hilux, which is on sale in Europe, and features quirks such as solar panels to power the sat-nav and in-car wi-fi.

Other details are scant: there's no mention of engine size or fuel economy, so we may have to file this one away until it appears again in a slightly more developed form.