Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. announced that beginning in late 2009, it will start global delivery of 500 Prius PHVs powered by lithium-ion batteries. Of these initial vehicles, 150 will be placed with U.S. lease-fleet customers.
The first-generation lithium-ion batteries powering these PHVs will be built on an assembly line at Toyota’s PEVE battery plant, a joint-venture production facility in which Toyota owns 60 percent equity.
During its development, the new Prius was designed and engineered to package either the lithium-ion battery pack with plug-in capability or the nickel-metal hydride battery for the conventional gas-electric system.
The 500 PHVs arriving globally in late 2009 will be used for market and engineering analysis.
Toyoya will also display the Toyota FT-EV concept at the North American International Auto Show and confirmed the plan to launch an urban commuter battery-electric vehicle (BEV) by 2012.
The FT-EV concept imagines an urban dweller who drives up to 50 miles between home, work, and other forms of public transportation, such as high-speed rail.