Toyota Electric Cars

Toyota was on the cutting edge of technology when it introduced the Prius hybrid a decade ago, but it was slow to roll-out electric cars and plug-in hybrids. But that is changing.

In September 2010, Toyota announced plans for a plug-in version of the Prius to be sold in 2012. Toyota said it will be the cheapest green car of its kind.

The car would cost about $28,000, much cheaper than the gas and electric Chevrolet Volt, which sells for $41,000.

Toyota product development chief Takeshi Uchiyamada said the plug-in Prius would be priced "so close to the current version that customers really have to hesitate and think about it."

The all-electric Nissan Leaf sells for $32,780.

"Over time, we would like to offer consumers the option of paying more for a bigger battery and longer range, but that won't be possible with the first version," said Uchiyamada.

Toyota is also set to unveil a cheaper all-electric vehicle for 2012. The small car is intended for urban drivers who only go short distances at a time.

In addition, Toyota is working with electric car company Tesla to develop battery packs for an electric version of its RAV4 SUV that will allow it to travel longer distances.

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