DETROIT — The Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s leading seller of hybrid-electric vehicles, announced recently that its first plug-in hybrid will be available by 2010. GM has also recently announced plans to sell its own plug-in, the Chevy Volt, in the same timeframe. Katsuaki Watanabe, the president of Toyota, announced the company’s plans at the Detroit auto show as part of a series of environmental steps.
Plug-in hybrids differ from the current hybrid vehicles in that they can be recharged externally, from an ordinary power outlet. In a conventional hybrid the battery is recharged from power generated by its wheels.
Additionally, Toyota 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 said it would unveil both at the 2009 Detroit show.
SOURCE: New York Times