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After much speculation, Toyota has finally confirmed that a concept version of the Prius Plug-In Hybrid will appear at the Frankfurt Auto Show next week.
Designed to take on the Chevy Volt, there is no word on when full public sales of the Prius PHV start, while the Volt is scheduled for sale in early 2011. “Although we like to be first to market with these technologies, it’s more important that we are best to market,” said Irv Miller, TMS group vice president, environmental and public affairs. “This demonstration program will ensure that the vehicles we bring to market will not just meet customer expectations, but exceed them.”
As for the numbers, they don’t sound all that competitive, with an expected electric-only range of 12 miles, as opposed to the 40 miles claimed by General Motors. Using Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and lithium-ion batteries, Toyota says the Prius PHV will be able to reach highway speeds on pure electric power. Engineers at the Japanese automaker are also looking beyond lithium batteries for future energy solutions.
Later this year Toyota will deliver 500 Prius PHV vehicles, 150 of which will be sold in the United States.
Official release after the jump: