Toyota road-test hybrid electric cars in Strasbourg

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Xinhua, April 27, 2010
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A hundred plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) jointly developed by French power giant Electricite de France (EDF) and Japanese car maker Toyota rolled out Monday onto the streets of Strasbourg.

The Prius hybrid cars will be leased to selected individuals and companies, who will be among the first in Europe to road-test the vehicles over a duration of three years, reports said.

To kick off the real-world trial, French energy company Schneider Electric, partner of the PHEV project, unveiled 135 chargers installed in the parking lots of partner companies and at the homes of participating Strasbourg residents.

"Schneider Electric today presented the electric vehicle chargers it has supplied for the plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) trial in Strasbourg, being conducted jointly by EDF and Toyota," the company confirmed in a news release.

The new hybrid fueled cars are reported to have ability to travel 23.4 kilometers as an electric car after a 2-hour-charge from a regular household socket and when the battery power runs out, it can continue running like a regular hybrid, ensuring drivers it won't break on the road.

The Prius uses a lithium ion battery so that it cuts CO2 emissions and improves fuel consumption, according to a joint introduction by EDF and Toyota, which didn't reveal the leasing and sale prices of the new product.

Financially supported by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the project combines Toyota's technology and performance of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles and EDF's innovation of different operational options for the charging infrastructure.

The 'Green' value of the sophisticated hybrid electric Prius is evident, but the market value needs more time to become apparent after this trial period, local analysts said.

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