News & Reports News Year 2010 November , 2010 Automakers Toyota unveils plans of new hybrids

Automakers Toyota unveils plans of new hybrids

Toyota Motor has unveiled plans to launch 11 new hybrid models by the end of 2012 in line with a growing global drive to build more environment-friendly vehicles.
The plans laid out on Thursday include new and redesigned models which are expected to expand Toyota's hybrid-engine range that runs on gasoline and electricity, AFP reported.
Toyota hopes to sell more than half a million units of its Prius-based plug-in hybrid a year once the vehicle is launched by early 2012 in Japan, the United States, and Europe.
It is also planning to launch an all-electric vehicle based on its current iQ minicar in Japan and Europe while considering introduction of the product in China as well.

The move by the world's top automaker comes at a time when rival groups are developing all-electric vehicles, with Japan's third largest automaker Nissan preparing to launch its Leaf -- the fulcrum of its green ambitions which produces no exhaust emissions.

But Toyota has been testing the waters in the all-electric market, blaming the hesitance partly on the creation of a convenient recharging system, which it has cited as a major obstacle.

Meanwhile, Toyota showcased its "RAV4 EV" concept vehicle that is on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the US this month.

The all-electric version of Toyota's RAV4 sports utility vehicle was developed with US electric vehicle firm Tesla Motors in which Toyota has a 50-million-dollar investment.

The plans come after Japan's automobile giant suffered major safety recalls in the past year over acceleration, engine, steering, and brake problems which affected a total of about 12 million vehicles.

Toyota said on Thursday that it also intends to introduce a fuel-cell powered sedan-type car in five years in the US, Europe and Japan.

Some 100 researchers are working in the company's separate battery division "established in January" to develop next-generation batteries which are to improve upon its current lithium-ion batteries.