Toyota Charges Up New Models

2009 Detroit Auto Show

Toyota Charges Up New Models

Joann Muller, 01.10.09, 03:00 PM EST

Plug-in fleet cars and a small electric vehicle for commuters are just down the road.

Detroit – Toyota Motor, knocked off its game by a stunning collapse in auto sales–not to mention a rising Japanese yen–says it is plowing ahead with development of alternative vehicle technologies, including battery-powered electric cars, plug-ins and as many as 10 new hybrid models.

Despite a projected $1.7 billion operating loss this year, “we cannot lose sight of our future,” said Irv Miller, Toyota Motor Sales USA group vice president for environmental and public affairs.

Saturday, the day before Toyota (nyse: TMnews people ) was set to unveil its next-generation Prius hybrid in Detroit, the Japanese carmaker outlined a broad plan toward electrification of the automobile. It includes plans to test plug-in hybrids with fleet customers later this year and a commitment to launch a tiny electric commuter car by 2012. A prototype of that car, the FT-EV, will be displayed at Detroit’s North American International Auto Show this week.


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