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Toyta Plug In Hybrid

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Toyota chief exec Katsuaki Watanabe announced that they would produce a plug-in hybrid vehicle equipped with a lithium-ion battery by 2010, for sale first to big commercial customers like corporations and government fleets. Mr. Watanabe said he was urging Toyota engineers to have the vehicle ready before that target, even tho he acknowledged it would take Toyota "a year or two" to conduct vehicle tests and assess the results. "Yesterday I said by 2010 we will introduce plug-ins, but before that is my desire", Watanabe was quoted as saying. He added that Panasonic Electric Vehicle Energy, would add a separate line at its assembly plant to produce lithium ion batteries.

Toyota also said it planned to develop a new hybrid electric car specifically for its Lexus division as well as another new hybrid for the Toyota brand. It aims to unveil both at the 2009 Detroit show. The new hybrid car would be larger than the current Prius, and Toyota again underscored that the Lexus version would be singular to its division.

Toyota market research will try to figure out if consumers would be willing to pay for a plug in, and what effect these cars will have on the environment. Given that, its likely Toyota would offer plug in technology as an option on the Prius at least in the short term, rather than switch all of its hybrids to plug in models.

Mondays New York Times was the source for this info.

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