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Hybrids will anchor Toyota’s future fleet


Toyota says its FT-EV concept car on show at the Detroit motor show is a step forward in its plan to launch an urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012

The FT-EV concept (pictured) shares its platform with Toyota’s iQ urban commuter vehicle which is already a hit in Japan.

Toyota designed the FT-EV on the premise that a commuter drives up to 80 kilometres between home, work and public transport. 

It says that although BEVs and small vehicles like the iQ will be key components of its future line-up, petrol-electric hybrid drive systems will be its main long-term powertrains.

Toyota plans to sell one million petrol-electric hybrids a year by sometime during the early 2010s, and will launch up to 10 new hybrids by then. The third-generation Toyota Prius and all new Lexus HS250h which debuted in Detroit this week are the first two. 

It will also place plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHVs) with global lease-fleet customers, beginning late this year with 500 Prius PHVs powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Toyota will use the 500 PHVs for market and engineering analysis, with lease–fleet customers monitoring the performance and durability of the first-generation lithium-ion battery.

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