Toyota announced Sunday night at the North American International Auto Show that it will build its first plug-in hybrid by 2010.
In fact, the auto manufactuer is planning on developing a new hybrid-electric car specifically for its Lexus division as well as another new hybrid for the Toyota brand, and will unveil both at the 2009 Detroit show.
Toyota, already the world’s leader in sales of hybrid-electric vehicles, says the plug-in hybrids will run on lithium-ion batteries, instead of the nickel-metal hydride batteries that power its Prius and other Toyota models. Plug-ins can be recharged externally, from an ordinary power outlet, as opposed to the battery being recharged via power generated by its wheels like regular hybrids.
The announcement come hot on the heels of General Motors plans to sell its own plug-in hybrid vehicle, the Chevrolet Volt, sometime around 2010.
The lithium-ion rides will be available to Toyota’s commercial customers around the world first, like government agencies and corporations. Then on to consumers like me and you. Well, not me. I like to pollute.
NYTimes.com: Toyota Will Offer a Plug-In Hybrid by 2010