Toyota Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles Testing Begins in UK

Toyota together with EDF Energy, the British subsidiary of the French energy company EDF, has began testing Toyota plug-in hybrid vehicles on public roads in the United Kingdom from September 10. The UK road tests, like those conducted with EDF in France starting in autumn 2007, involve setting up necessary infrastructure, evaluating vehicle performance and ease-of-use, and surveying participating vehicle users. Plans call for the test period to continue for more than one year. UK is the fifth country in which Toyota has conducted tests of plug-in hybrid vehicles on public roads, following tests that began in 2007 in Japan, the United States, France and Belgium.

While the current tests involve use of vehicles equipped with nickel-metal hydride batteries, Toyota is also accelerating development of plug-in hybrid vehicles equipped with lithium-ion batteries. Sales of the latter to fleet customers in Japan, the United States and Europe are planned to begin—ahead of the original schedule—by the end of 2009.