With all the bad news about Toyota recently, it's about time for something a bit more positive. Toyota is in the process of deploying a fleet of several hundred plug-in Priuses in Japan, North America and Asia. Of the 200 Prius PHEVs destined for Europe, two are headed for the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Toyota Norge has reached an agreement to supply the plug-in hybrids for a three-year field test. The city of Oslo and trade group Energy Norway will run the test program jointly to evaluate real world performance as well as driver perceptions of the cars.
The vehicle usage tracking system will look at the efficiency of the PHEVs as well as how frequently and where drivers plug them in. Getting any advantage out of a plug-in hybrid requires that drivers keep the battery charged as much as possible in order to enable electric driving. If the car is not charged at every opportunity, it will not perform any better than a significantly less expensive non-plug hybrid. The cars will be delivered to Oslo in June 2010.