2010 Plug-in Prius Prototypes – Click above for high-res image gallery
By early 2012, Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) aims to launch its Prius plug-in hybrid (PHEV), as confirmed by the automaker's "eco-car" outline:
However, Toyota's outline makes no mention of China, a country known for its massive subsidies of plug-in vehicles. China is also home to FAW Group, Toyota's joint venture. So, is China excluded from Toyota's PHEV plans? Well, a report streaming in from the Japanese news outlet Nikkei claims that FAW Group will indeed become a prominent part of Toyota's plugged-in future. The report reads like this:TMC plans to begin sales of a "Prius"-based PHV, mainly in Japan, the United States and Europe. Sales are targeted at more than 50,000 units annually, and the price for Japan is expected to be in the ¥3 million range ($36,000 U.S. at the current exchange rate).
If all this works out, then Toyota's plug-in Prius sales could soar to a level that's substantially "more than 50,000 units annually."Toyota intends to position the joint venture as the Chinese supply base for plug-ins, which are touted as the next big thing in environmentally friendly vehicles. Ahead of starting Chinese production and sales, Toyota will test the vehicles in Tianjin. It will study their performance based on road conditions and use the data it collects on fuel efficiency, recharging speed and other factors for local manufacturing.