Toyota has announced it plans to commence sales of lithium-ion battery equipped plug-in hybrid vehicles to fleet customers by 2010.
Toyota and the Matsushita Group are currently investigating the feasibility of the mass production of lithium-ion batteries for this purpose at the Omori Plant in central Japan of their joint venture company, Panasonic EV Energy Co. Ltd.
This announcement represents the next step forward in the move to mass-market production of plug-in hybrid vehicles.
This follows the beginning of public-road verification tests of Toyota nickel-metal hydride battery equipped plug-in hybrid vehicles in Japan, the United States, and Europe during 2007.
Tests of these vehicles in the United States began in November last year in co-operation with the University of California, Irvine, under the State of California's Alternative Fuel Incentive Programme.
In addition to plug-in hybrid vehicles, TMC is progressing with its development of other alternative fuel propulsion systems including fuel cell hybrid vehicles, flexible-fuel vehicles, and new diesel engine technologies.