Thu, November 18, 2010
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Toyota pushes green pedal

2010-11-18 10:03:33 GMT2010-11-18 18:03:33 (Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Long the leader in hybrids, Toyota laid out Thursday major expansion plans for its eco-vehicle line up, including a plug-in and an electric car.

The plug-in Prius, one of 11 new models, will be launched from 2012 in Japan, the U.S. and Europe for around $36,000, with Toyota targeting 50,000 sales annually.

SOUNDBITE: (Japanese) TOYOTA EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT TAKESHI UCHIYAMADA SAYING:

"I consider the Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle as an evolved form of a fusion between the Electric Vehicle and the Hybrid car."

Another hybrid compact aims to top fuel efficiency, getting 40 km per litre, while a small battery electric vehicle would go on sale in major markets in 2012.

Toyota says its battery-powered electric car will be cheaper than other makers such as GM's Volt and Nissan's all-electric Leaf, which will be eligible for subsidies.

The world No.1 is planning an e-car launch in China with road trials from next year, as well as a commercial hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle launch by 2015.

Global automakers are accelerating plans to electrify cars through a variety of hybrids and pure electric cars, as governments tighten emissions and fuel standards.

Toyota has been working on its own next-generation batteries, while investing $30 million in electric sports carmaker Tesla.

(Agencies)

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