Toyota to Unveil 134 MPG Plug-in Prius for 2011

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    NEWSLETTERS

    During the summer, Toyota announced it would lease hundreds of plug-in Prius models by the end of 2009 as a "key first step" in evaluating a version for mass production.

    Now Toyota is more specific. Executive vice president Takeshi Uchiyamada told reporters in Tokyo that the company plans to sell a retail plug-in Prius hybrid for the 2011 model year, Bloomberg reports, with the intent to sell "several tens of thousands" annually around the world.

    The plug-in Prius will run for about 14 miles on pure electricity generated by a lithium-ion battery, according to the report. After that, the gas engine will kick in and run the car as a hybrid, with an expected overall fuel economy of 134 miles per gallon. Toyota is aiming to price the car "affordably;" currently plug-in conversion kits for the Prius are running at about $10,000.

    In addition, Toyota announced plans to sell a short-distance pure electric car in 2012. That would put it in direct competition with Nissan's Leaf EV, GM's Chevy Volt, and smaller boutique startups like Tesla Motors. (Thanks to David Gerzof for sending this in)