Toyota gets bullish on plug-in hybrids with new Prius Prime

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota says it may not have been as bullish as rivals in the past in pushing plug-in hybrids. Toyota Motor Corp. leads the industry in hybrids, which switches between a gas engine and an electric motor, having sold 9 million hybrid vehicles around the world since the first Prius went...

TOKYO (AP) — Toyota says it may not have been as bullish as rivals in the past in pushing plug-in hybrids.

Toyota Motor Corp. leads the industry in hybrids, which switches between a gas engine and an electric motor, having sold 9 million hybrid vehicles around the world since the first Prius went on sale in 1997.

In contrast, the Japanese automaker has sold only about 75,000 plug-in hybrids, which charges from a regular household plug, and runs as a pure electric vehicle and switches to a hybrid when the battery runs low.

The remodeled plug-in, called the Prius Prime in the U.S. and Prius PHV in Japan, goes on sale later this year.

Chief Engineer Kouji Toyoshima says Toyota took its time to study best plug-in solutions.

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