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    Toyota Announces Expansion of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles


    by NTDTelevision

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    Toyota is looking into expanding its hybrid line. It's part of a push to create more fuel-efficient cars.

    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.

    [Takeshi Uchiyamada, Executive Vice President, Toyota]:
    "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 liter, 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 car-maker Tesla.