GREEN AMBITION: Toyota is aiming to sell 50,000 plug-in hybrid car each year in the U.S., Japan and Europe beginning in 2012, for about $36,000 each without subsidies.
AND THEN SOME: Toyota Motor Corp. Executive Vice President Takeshi Uchiyamada said the automaker is also planning to sell an electric vehicle in 2012 in the U.S. and possibly in Japan, Europe and China.
THE BACKGROUND: Hybrids switch between a gasoline engine and an electric motor and Toyota's Prius is a top seller. A plug-in hybrid is cleaner than a regular hybrid because it travels longer as a zero-emission electric vehicle. Uchiyamada said electric vehicles will be mainly for short commutes for some time and gasoline-electric hybrids will remain the standard for green cars because drivers won't have to worry about running out of electricity on the road.