Toyota and EDF Energy awarded UK Government funding for innovative PHV road trial: 20 new PHVs on UK roads in 2010

Toyota and EDF Energy have been awarded UK government funding through the Technology Strategy Board's Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Demonstrator Competition to support a trial of up to 20 innovative Plug in Hybrid Vehicles (PHVs). Based on Toyota's full hybrid technology, the PHV will come equipped with a powerful lithium-ion battery extending the vehicle's range in electric vehicle mode allowing for zero-emissions driving. The trial will start in London in 2010 for a period up to 3 years with the intention to lease the vehicles to a mix of public bodies and private companies including the Greater London Authority group and the Government Car and Despatch Agency.

"Together with our partner EDF Energy we are delighted that our competitive tender for a PHV demonstration in the UK has secured Government endorsement and funding. We often say that the PHV reflects 'the best of both worlds': it enhances the benefits of Toyota's full hybrid technology, while stepping over the constraints historically linked with electric vehicles. We've been testing a PHV in London since September 2008 and now we have the opportunity to demonstrate a fleet under demanding real-life conditions," said Miguel Fonseca, Managing Director of Toyota (GB) PLC.

"Our new PHV complements the newly-launched third generation Prius as plug-in technology extends electric driving mode almost tenfold, offering an even lower carbon transport solution for those customers with that specific need," he added.

Peter Hofman, Director of Company Shared Services & Integration at EDF Energy, said: "EDF Energy is at the heart of solutions to help combat climate change and has the expertise to help people use their energy more efficiently. That is why together with Toyota, we are delighted that our consortia has received funding and government backing for this trial. I am delighted that we will both be playing such a major role in continuing to develop this innovative technology as part of our ongoing work to make clean electric transport more accessible to everyone."

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "I am absolutely thrilled that Toyota and EDF Energy have won funding to deliver innovative plug in electric hybrid vehicles onto the capital's streets. The Greater London Authority group will be trialling a number of these vehicles as part of our active participation in this winning bid. I want to make London the electric vehicle capital of Europe and these trials will provide us with valuable information on what is needed to ensure they can become an everyday choice."

The trial will assess the vehicle's performance in urban driving conditions while also gathering information about the experience of drivers and passengers. This would include an understanding of their habits and preferences when recharging the vehicle — either at home, using a standard electrical point, or at charging points at vehicle fleet depots and elsewhere. Data collected by the trial will help inform future technology and policy developments and will be shared with Cenex - the UK Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon & Fuel Cell Technologies - and the Department for Transport, who are supporting this project through their contribution to the Ultra Low Carbon Vehicle Competition.

Toyota's PHV adds an extended electric driving mode to the proven benefits of Toyota's full hybrid technology: low CO2, exceptional fuel efficiency, seamless acceleration and quiet driving. The PHV can be driven as an electric vehicle for shorter distances or city commutes, while for long-distance journeys it operates as a full hybrid with its petrol engine serving as both a power source and battery generator when required. The battery is charged during driving, deceleration or braking, or by connecting its plug to a standard electrical point at home or at work.

Toyota will deploy over 500 new PHVs globally in Europe, Japan and the US — by 2010.