Toyota's drive on future car technology

* Electric iQ trial to launch next year * Plug-in Prius sales start early 2012 * Fuel cell in showrooms by 2015...

Toyota's drive on future car technology

Toyota has set out a road map for future car technologies including electric cars, plug-ins and fuel cells.

The manufacturer says it will start a European trial of an electric iQ EV to evaluate whether it should sell it in Europe as well as the US, where it will be launched in 2012.

It has also confirmed that the Plug-in Prius - driven by What Car? on the recent Future Car Challenge - will go on sale early in 2012, while a hydrogen fuel cell will arrive in 2015.

Toyota says it will have a total of 11 hybrids on sale by the end of 2012, and has accelerated research into the next generation of battery technology after lithium-ion cells.

Solid-state batteries are being investigated along with metal-air designs which Toyota says have the potential to provide a far great energy density than li-ion.