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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

150 Cars Set for Toyota Prius PHV Demonstration Program

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. said its Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) demonstration program will place 150 vehicles in the U.S. with universities, corporations, city, state and federal governments, car sharing programs and other groups.

Toyota on April 13 announced that demonstration vehicles will be placed with Qualcomm, Silicon Valley Leadership Group, Southern California Air Quality Management District, University of California at Berkeley, University of Colorado, and Portland State University. Additional program partners are being finalized.

The PHV demonstration program will allow Toyota to gather real-world vehicle-use feedback to "better understand customer expectations for plug-in technology," the company said. "It will confirm, in a wide variety of in-use applications, the overall performance of first-generation lithium-ion battery technology and, hopefully, spur the development of public-access charging station infrastructure."

More importantly, the company added, the program is aimed at market preparedness for plug-in hybrids, which will arrive at Toyota dealerships in 2012, along with an all-new battery electric commuter vehicle.

"It is imperative that consumers fully understand both the potential and the challenges involved in the electrification of the automobile," said John Hanson, national manger of environmental, safety and quality communications. "Through this demonstration program, and a similar program for our hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, consumers will be informed on how these new mobility alternatives will fit with their transportation needs, their lifestyles and their budget."

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