Fleet News

Hybrid sales up for Toyota and Lexus

European sales of Toyota and Lexus hybrids have topped the 100,000 mark. Since they were launched in 2000, 101,235 were sold up until July 31.

Honda has sold 14,089 hybrids over the same period.

Toyota’s announcement comes at the same time as an evolution of hybrid technology is being trialled by energy giant EDF in France.

The tests of Toyota’s prototype Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHV) could be expanded to the rest of Europe if it is successful.

EDF is testing a small number of PHVs as part of its fleet. The vehicles are based on Toyota’s existing hybrid technology – a petrol engine and a battery-powered electric motor.

But the batteries can also be recharged using a standard electrical plug, as well as from energy used in braking.

EDF and Toyota have also developed a charging and invoicing system, compatible with a new generation of public charging stations, which aim to make electric power more accessible on public roads and car parks.

EDF’s president and CEO, Pierre Gadonneix, said: “It is a promising move towards acceptance of electricity as a competitive and ecologically-viable source of energy for European motorists.” <> Road trials will start in France in the autumn.

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