Speaking at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, James Lentz, the president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., announced that Toyota would release its version of a plug-in hybrid towards the end of 2009, a year ahead of schedule. This would put its release date ahead of the Chevrolet Volt, perhaps giving it a first-entrant advantage over the American counterpart.
Toyota plans on releasing only about 500 vehicles for commercial customers at the outset, with 150 of those plug-ins destined for the United States. G.M. plans to release its Volt plug-in to the public at large by the end of 2010. With this strategy, it is reasonable to speculate that Toyota is looking for real-world feedback from its first consumers, giving the company the opportunity to improve and perfect its product by the time the Chevrolet Volt is released.
The plug-ins will be powered by lithium-ion batteries.
To read more about the announcement, read the original article.