Toyota belgium hands prius plug-in vehicles to 5 belgian partners

On 1 July 2010, at the European Business Summit, a major pan-European business conference in Brussels, Toyota Belgium handed-over Prius Plug-in vehicles to its five Belgian partners who were selected for a limited research project.

A total of 600 units of the Prius Plug-in are distributed worldwide for a limited 3-year lease program which aims to test the model extensively in real world circumstances with the aim to launch in the coming years. Approximately 200 of these 600 vehicles are tested in 18 different European countries. About half of the cars destined for Europe are deployed in a major testing program in Strasbourg, which was launched on 27 April. Belgium has five vehicles assigned.

The Prius Plug-in hybrid vehicle uses Toyota's full hybrid technology, with the added benefit that its battery can be recharged using a standard electrical plug. Toyota's PHV is "the best of both worlds": for short distances, it can be driven as an electric vehicle, resulting in a silent, zero CO2 emissions drive. For longer distances, the PHV works as a conventional hybrid vehicle, providing all the benefits of Toyota's full hybrid technology, including low emissions and fuel consumption, and excellent driving performance. Toyota expects the PHV to bring unsurpassed fuel efficiency and therefore record low emissions — as compared to any other mass-market vehicle on roads today. Based on the third generation Prius, the new Prius Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a lithium-ion battery and emits only 59gr of CO2/km in the New European Driving Cycle.

The five Belgian partners who will use their PHVs for the next three years are: Colruyt Group, Telenet, Agoria, the Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport, and Mr Jos Delbeke, European Commission, Directorate-General for Climate Action. Eric Deprins, Managing Director of Toyota Belgium is pleased and honoured that Belgium was assigned five vehicles, but sees this primarily as an opportunity. "This test gives us the opportunity to work closely with our customers and to better understand their needs. Moreover, the Prius Plug-in is a product with high potential, both in terms of environmental impact and in terms of sales. We therefore hope that the launch will follow soon after all the feedback is gathered from our partners."

Filip Vanlandeghem, Deputy Director Expansion & Heritage of Dats 24 within Colruyt Group, is honored that Toyota has chosen the company as partner to actively participate in the testing of the Prius Plug-in. "It is an affirmation of the efforts we do as an organization to continuously evolve our sustainability vision and more specifically reduce our CO2 emissions."

Also Jan De Grave, Vice-President Sustainability of Telenet, is delighted that the company is part of the program. "Telenet started a comprehensive program to reduce CO2 emissions of the company. During the past two years, the ecological footprint of Telenet was reduced by nearly 50%. We want to green our fleet. In this respect, the Toyota Prius Plug-in with it's very low CO2 emissions and its electrical charging option offers a perfect alternative for our workers. According to Wilson De Pril, Automotive Director of Agoria, federation of the technology industry, Toyota provides a good example.

"The automotive industry is currently in full transition towards the production of environmentally friendly vehicles and the development of new components and applications. Especially companies that invest heavily in innovation and develop new applications for the next generation of green vehicles will be successful in the future. " For Carol Coune, Director of the Federal Public Service for Mobility and Transport, sustainable development is one of the main priorities. "One example is our company mobility program that has ensured that 91% of our staff commuting is made by public transport.

The Prius Plug-in fits in perfectly because the car contributes to the greening of our fleet. Moreover, we are setting an example by using this car. " Finally, according to Jos Delbeke, Deputy Director General Environment (DG Climate Action), Europe has an ambitious policy to reduce greenhouse gasses. "This is based on clean technology for both industry and transport. Toyota has long pioneered with its hybrid vehicles, and today I am delighted to be able to participate in a major step forward in the development of this technology. "

Technical details of the Toyota Prius Plug-in:

&bull Lithium-ion battery&bull Full electric driving range of up to 20 km

&bull CO2 emissions of 59 gr/km

&bull Fully rechargeable in less than 2 hours (230V, 16A)

&bull Rechargeable via standard household plug

&bull Average fuel consumption: 2.6l/100km