Toyota ready to kick off plug-in demonstration program in Portland
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oregon
Sustainable Business Oregon
PSU President Wim Wiewel tries out the new plug-in Toyota hybrid.
Toyota Corp. executives met Friday with executives from Portland State University and Portland General Electric to discuss a new plug-in Prius demonstration program that will debut in Portland later this month or early in July.
"This is our chance to gather real-world customer feedback, to learn what customers really need," said Jana Hartline, Toyota's environmental communications manager.
As part of the test, drivers of the vehicles will be asked to log driving and charging information into a web site that will make public the data gathered in the trial. The still-under-construction web site www.sustainablemobility.com will become the hub for the plug-in trials.
"We want all the information in the trial to be transparent," Hartline said.
The Prius plug-in hybrid is equipped like other Prius cars with a hybrid engine. But unlike the hybrids currently available, the plug-in Prius will be able to take trips of up to 15 miles on an electric charge without engaging the gas engine. The car can use a regular home plug and doesn't require a special charging station.
Toyota announced last month that it would partner with Tesla Motors on a new electric sedan.
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